There is no lack of features or objects in the world to express love. Couples in love also tell numerous stories about their passion and commitment to each other.
About love, there are countless myths, tales, and stories and we even celebrate it on Valentine's Day every year.
There are many ways through which couples can declare their feelings for each other, but none perhaps as interesting and unique as locking padlocks onto bridges.
One will find innumerable padlocks hooked to the railings and grills of small and big bridges in different countries of Europe.
As a symbol of commitment, couples clip the locks onto the metallic frames – where they jostle for space with several hundred other padlocks – and then fling the keys into the water.
The locks – a symbol of love and commitment – have the initials, or names of the couple etched on either side. Looking at the locks, one would wonder how many beautiful designs and shapes they have.
The lovelock culture seems to have become a staple for lovers. But what was the story behind it?
Well, as far as I know, no one knows the exact source of this beautiful tradition, but it gained vast popularity in the last two decades.
Some say it might be linked to the Chinese Empire since it had one of the oldest customs in the world. Couples in Asia used to observe this padlock custom to keep their vows.
There is another Serbian tale dating back to the First World War. According to the melancholic tale, a local school mistress named Nada fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja.
After they committed to each other, Relja went to fight a war in Greece. There he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu.
Subsequently, Relja and Nada broke off their engagement. She never recovered from the heartbreak and later committed suicide.
Serbian girls fix lovelocks to the Most Ljubavi Bridge as the tale suggests Nada and Relja did so.
In line with the tradition, Serbian couples fix lovelocks to the railing of the bridge and throw the keys in the waters.
Famous lovelock bridges across Europe include the Most Ljubavi Bridge, Serbia; Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne, Germany; Certovka Pedestran Bridge, Kampa, Prague, Czech Republic; Butcher's Bridge, Ljubjana, Slovenia; Elizabeth Bridge, Cluj, Romania; and Makartsteg Bridge, Salzburg, Austria.
Hohenzollern Bridge even runs online campaigns to attract couples there. According to history, soldiers used to meet their loved ones on Romania's Elizabeth Bridge in the early 20th century.
Apart from the above-mentioned spots, lovelocks are also found on bridges in Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, and Warsaw.
Some of the bridge authorities need to cut away the locks regularly since the tonnes of metal as a romantic gesture put heavy pressure on the structures.
I did not visit the Most Ljubavi bridge of Serbia. However, I found the tradition of the 21st century men and women surrendering to an unseen power to remain committed to love and to each other very intriguing.
Eliza Binte Elahi is a traveller and a teacher