As you read this, Condé Nast India is gearing up for its debut Netflix outing. Releasing on Valentine’s Day, is a six-part series that spotlights diverse couples and the day they began to plan their future together. A publishing house producing a show is not as far-fetched, we take it to a completely new level. The show explores modern Indian relationships through the lens of Indian weddings, presenting in full technicolor, a visual extravaganza with song and dance.” Our cast of real-life couples no longer seek the tall, slim and trim, but an equal partner. They helped us navigate modern love, which comes with varied stories, pick-up lines, meet cutes, and strange twists of fate that bring people together. The show inspired us to plan an issue dedicated to the matters of the heart. But our February issue is not a Valentine’s Day haze where we talk about an emotion that evokes grand gestures and intoxicating love letters (though the letter on our last page, written by Napoleon Bonaparte to his wife Josephine, set the gold standard for me). Our theme explores what it means to be in love today, in real life, in real time, and led us to featuring India’s first same-sex couple on the cover. The show also pushed us to cast a wider net on the institution of marriage and the evolving meaning of love. Through The State Of Love 2021 survey, India polled over 2,800 readers, from the age of 18 to over 45, to see how we view love today. Only 21 per cent believed that a healthy relationship led to the altar (a majority didn’t consider marriage to be the end-all of a relationship). The progressive results show that dating and matchmaking are seeing an exciting shift. Over 64 per cent told us that they believed in living with a partner before committing to marriage. Turn to page 91 to see our other findings. As you sift through this issue, you’ll come across a series of unfiltered love stories that are complex, considerate and heartwarming. Some of them may send you soaring into the stratosphere, but they are all built around real people who adapted and created their own narrative. With this hope, I leave you in charge, because though you might find inspiration within these pages, your love story begins with you.

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