“Won’t you say you love me too?”

This project idea came to me when a friend asked me to describe the best hug I’ve ever received. In turn, I asked a handful of people, “What does a hug mean to you?” In this post, all I’m going to do compile the responses, and I guess, spread a little love. 

“It’s worth a thousand words, packed between two bodies. I think it’s beautiful, the amount of power hugs hold.”

“It’s the warmest and safest feeling you could ever get and those few seconds feel blissful.”



Hugging has been proven to have health benefits. One study has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin and reduce blood pressure. 


“For me, a hug is a sign of re-assurance. A sign of friendship and love. And a beautiful way of showing someone that you care for them and that you are there for them.”

“A hug can say all the words that never made to my lips. It’s literally just two bodies in contact, but that can heal your deepest wounds. It’s beautiful.”

“Um…It means a warm sweater knitted with threads of affection.”


Hugging alleviates stress by reducing the levels of circulating cortisol (the stress hormones) in the blood. This causes the mind to calm down.


“Receiving a hug or giving one  is like trying to physically express to someone how close they are to your heart.”

“A hug at an opportune moment is like a cloudburst of emotions.”


“It imposes a different kind of feeling altogether. I think it’s one feeling a person can’t fake. For me they’re a re-assurance. A hug goes to the heart.”

“It means forgiving and protecting the people I care about.”


A study found that people who received social support and frequent hugs had less symptoms of an illness — or even none at all — compared to those who received less or no hugs.


“A hug is a show of courage, honesty and more often than not, vulnerability. But in the best way possible. It’s opening yourself up and letting someone you care about know that you have your weaknesses but knowing that they will shield your scars with their body and soul.”

“It’s a feeling of comfort you long for. You can say so much in a hug. And all I know, is that I need one more!!”

“Giving someone all the warmth and love, especially at random moments during the day, showing them you care, no matter what.”


Hugs have shown to reduce depression and anxiety, and it may have an effect on attention disorders.


“I can relate it with human cosmic energy”

“Well, it depends on who I receive it from. My dad’s hug motivates me, my mom’s comforts me. The hug from the one I love, the special one, is just…amazing.”

“The most unadulterated act of intimacy and closeness that two people can share. It leaves behind a sense of fulfillment and hope in your being.”



I think hugs are a very verbose yet silent way of expressing your deepest feelings. In the moments of a hug, it feels like your heart connects, and the happiness a correctly timed hug can impart is beyond compare. It’s like stuffing all  the love in the world into someone’s heart. Saying, “I love you too.” 

So let’s hug more. Make people happy. Forgive. Wipe away tears. Show them we care. Because who doesn’t like a warm, big bear hug? 

Heartiest thank you to everyone who helped with this project: Shruti Uniyal, Anusha Das, Ananya Shivkumar, Anuja Mukherjee, Megha Kumar, Dhananjay Venkatesh, Atri Chaudhuri, Arundhati Prasad, Vidhaan Mishra, Mandira Paul, Swarup Ghosh, Usharvi Basu, Susmita Basu, Vedant Seigell, Harshita Calla, Sushmit Mandal, Naman Bala and Anant Jaiswal.

You all did the work. I just put them together. Here’s a hug from me to you. ♥

~Ushashi Basu.


My sweet, hereby begins my journey unto death,

without your voice, your loving touch, you ~

For 53 years, our souls were latched together as one, and yet,

I feel betrayed.

You faded away in your sleep, dreaming of what, I’ll never know.

you didn’t let me say I love you,

You never let me say goodbye.


I still feel the cold metal of the “forever” necklace around my neck

And I still hear the sound of the computer keys typing away,

the dreams of our friendship.

But hey, it seems you’ve forgotten, or is it me?

I’ll not know, because you’ve changed your secret keeper.

You keep your dreams locked away in a pink glamorous diary, and not Yahoo mail.

You didn’t let me ask, “What happened?”

You didn’t let me say goodbye.


When you, stormed out, suitcase in hand,

vowing never to come back, you took my heart with you.

Day after day I wait, hoping,

You’re washing well, eating well, sleeping well.

I wish you’d come home, I promise I’ll be a better mother.

You didn’t let me apologize,

You never let me say goodbye.



She tells me you were like an angel, so beautiful, so radiant.

She says you were brave, so valiant, so determined.

You…You dreamed of us playing catch in the backyard?

She tells me you wanted to come home, so bad and put down the rifle and pick me up.

They say boys don’t cry, but dad,

you didn’t hear me say my first words,

You never let me say goodbye.


~ Ushashi Basu


“You can’t find anything but loneliness at the bottom of a bottle.”

— 1 —

You take the 9:30 train home. Same empty feeling, same washed out look on your face. Chinese take-out and a bottle. What are you so afraid of? Three wives and a dead son later, why are you letting go like this?

— 2 —

Deliberately cut her calls. It’s 10:00 pm. Why aren’t you home yet? You put your lips to the rim, hiding in a brown paper bag. Take a swig. It burns you on the inside doesn’t it? Why do you like to do that so much? Is it because you love pain? Does the warmth travelling down your innards remind you of  fine summer evening, no different than tonight? Does it help not to think – to forget – the beating that awaits you two blocks away? He’s left. You’re alive. So why are you setting yourself on fire?

— 3 —

A car pulls up to the side of the street and throws you on the curb. You’re dead. It’s in the air,  unmoving, blue and drunk. So, so drunk. Nobody to sing you to sleep. Just the sting of loss. And a bottle.

~ Adrija Dutta

Life As I Know It ♥

Life, as I know it, is the annual family vacation, whose every memory is ingrained in my head and makes me smile like an idiot.

Life as I know it, is the late night conversations I have with my best friends, even though they’re miles away. The assurance that we’re always right next to each other, no matter what.

It’s the weekends my mother tries the new recipes she finds online, and the most surreal smells wafting through the house ; me blabbering about how she’s the best cook ever.

It’s falling asleep to Shawn Mendes’ delicate voice and the strum of his guitar.

It’s carefully creating and curating my little library, and leaving my successors a piece of me within those pages.

It’s planning surprises for all my loved ones – adding the little personal touch, recording their smiles in my brain and feeling the warm hugs of gratitude.

It’s being able to rise up after having fallen great depths, and to wash the wounds and begin again.

It’s the smell of the earth during the rains and feeling like everything’s going to be okay, and we all can get through it.

Life as I know it, is feeling the unstoppable, undying force of love when I see my family and my friends, and knowing that nothing can stop it.

Life as I know it, is being able to follow my dreams and to inspire others to do the same.

Life as I know it, is simple, loving, and all about the little things.

Life as I know it, is very beautiful.



~ Ushashi Basu

~Photo by : Anusha Das (Link in ‘About’)