Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and the rants on social media have already begun surfacing. Since the day has begun to be celebrated in India, there have been opinions galore and controversies surrounding its celebration. I remember my first brush with it was way back in college in Bombay. In those days, we celebrated it as Rose Day. And since the number of girls was always lesser than those of the boys, the girls ended up getting a lot of attention. Hence, each of us got a bunch of roses, some from girlfriends as well and cute cards, mostly anonymous. There was no love in the picture though just harmless fun. Love was a serious matter for me. I always looked at a potential date from the lenses of a future beau perspective thereby killing many budding romances swiftly. Silly it seems now when I look back.

Meanwhile, many political parties and belligerent outfits found a great way to stay in the news by denouncing the event, calling it an attack on Indian culture, of spoiling our youth etc. Bah! No one cared, really. If anything they drove more people to celebrate the day and bring it more prominence. Nothing works for a cause like notoriety.

The card companies, chocolates, jewelry, gift places, eateries etc. had a field day commercializing the event galore. Pay through your noses and they laughed all the way to the bank. For new couples, the boy was under immense pressure to do something spectacular for his girl. I do pity men here. For some reason, even though love is a two-way street, most of the gifting has become the prerogative of males. Imagine, every year to be faced with this situation. Not only is the budget an issue but also coming up with new, creative ideas year after year. It especially is a nightmare for men whose creativity ranges to buying kitchen appliances and gaudy baubles.

Valentine's Day Then and Now

Courtesy: Etsy.com

My first Valentine’s Day after marriage was celebrated snuggling on the couch watching a flick after a lovely dinner, wine, chocolate and roses. We did that – it amazes me! The rush of new love, it must have been. But having been together for almost 16 years now, it seems rather juvenile to go moony for each other on one particular day.

The kids are now a part of the love equation. They haven’t shown any excitement around this day yet. I guess I have to wait for them to have their girlfriends to watch the fun. As far as the two of us are concerned, we sometimes catch a movie or lunch or nothing.

Valentine's Day Then and Now

Courtesy: Etsy.com

When you’ve been together for as long as we have been, there is a certain comfort that seeps in. The romance mellows down and you settle into the monotony comfort of companionship, fights humor, an acceptance ease of living and building a life together. We don’t sit gazing deeply into each other’s eyes. Hell, that would make me erupt in laughter. The dimensions of love over the years have transformed from how many gifts he bought for me to how many times we watched each other’s backs. We don’t really care or have to prove to the world that we have that one person to annoy love for a lifetime and absolutely no reason to go over the top trying to satisfy commercial whims and fancies. Such a relief, really!

So whether you wish to celebrate with your special someone, friends, relatives or children, I say go for it! Do whatever pleases you –impromptu or planned. If you’d rather ignore the day, why not? That will help you from burning a hole into your wallet. Either way, count your blessings. A little gratitude for what you have makes any/every day bright.

Just go by the heart, I say!

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day or would you rather not? Do share in the comments.

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51 Thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Then and Now

  1. Valentine’s day and every other day is fine as long as it helps the people who are taking part. 😉 V is a romantic but ends up sending me cheesy forwarded messages in this time 😀 I still love it though, so no complaints 😉

    Ultimately, it depends on each person. Yes, of course the card and flower guys enjoy it. Good for business 😉
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…Soulful Sundays- Murphy’s LawMy Profile

    • Cheesy romantic messages, now that sounds like fun. 😉 I get those too if the husband is in the mood for some fun. Aren’t we lucky to have a choice? Poor college goers hardly seem to have any.

  2. I love the ease which comes with being in a relationship for so long…No pressures, just the peace and comfort of being together…We haven’t planned anything for this valentine’s day..we’ll see how it goes..and I agree everyone has the right and freedom to celebrate it like they want to or even not celebrate it at all 🙂
    Nabanita Dhar recently posted…When Romeo Almost Missed JulietMy Profile

  3. It’s how a relationship evolves over time, isn’t it? Love and lust soon wither. Only when friendship remains does the relation truly blossom.

    As Shailaja and you said, V-Day a good day (and week) for business. But it makes me squirm, even (rather especially) if I have a girlfriend. Time to lock the doors, stay indoors and get off the net 😛

    • Absolutely, Vishal. I think friendship is the foundation for love to blossom and for it to sustain. Passionate love is relegated to peaks while the longer valleys are those comfortable companionship. I can imagine why you squirm. Like I said, the day is tilted less favorably towards guys. hehe That sounds like a good strategy. Or just celebrate with mom if she likes it. 🙂

  4. To each his/her own I say. If you like it celebrate it, if not don’t. I remember when we were in Bhopal some boys from one of the political parties would stand with charcoal and blacken the faces of any boy-girl they saw together on Valentine’s Day. One of the annoyed girls yelled at them saying – ‘Yesterday you were right here passing comments at the girls and today you have the cheek to blacken our faces.’ I thought that was so true. I hate it when someone tells us what is the ‘right’ thing to be done. I for one love flowers so that’s all I hope for that, after much pestering since the Husband considers it a waste of time. He insists we celebrate Valentine’s Day on some other day because flowers are just so expensive on Feb 14 :-P. Some logic, Huh?

    • Oh yes, these custodians of culture especially nutcases of outfits are the ones who don’t hesitate before harassing and eve-teasing women. Hey, your husband must be my husband’s long lost brother. Same vichaar. 😉 I actually concur because what sense it makes to buy flowers at exorbitant rates? Buy them a day later or earlier.

  5. I agree there is something about the easy comfort of being together with someone for so long. And there is not much need felt for doing anything special just for a particular day, because it is a ‘convention’ or for social appearances. Heck, I could never do anything for that reason alone 🙂 But having said that, I don’t mind a special evening out once in a while. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (in fact, I don’t care much for fancy), just a little change from the routine is sometimes all that is needed. Whether it happens on a particular V-day or any other day is also immaterial. Sometimes it is actually more fun to have your personal celebration on a day that is personally more meaningful for you rather than what is socially acceptable. So any day can be a Valentine’s Day, no?!
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…Enough with the Collective ShamingMy Profile

    • True. Once in a while works for us too. As far as possible we try to do something nice on our Anniversary or birthdays. Oh yes, personal celebration is way better than one done under the pressure of a day.

  6. My first Valentine after my marriage was a romantic treasure hunt done by me. Every year i break my head to celebrate some special occasions in a different way. But all were made only by me. So pity for me ….. 🙁 For him, LOVE is LOVE. Nothing more needed for it ….. 😛 <3
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Being In Love To All – Metta Meditation Practice – #MondayMusingsMy Profile

    • My, my. Sounds really interesting. Men are quite cut and dry especially once they have you hooked. 😉 To tell you the truth I don’t feel lovey dovey either on one day.

  7. Exactly, it’s the comfort of togetherness for us too. Something has to be fishy if he brings roses or cards for me. 🙂

    • Now, that’s a totally new perspective to getting flowers or cards. I find it stupid too though I love flowers so they are welcome any time. But the husband hardly ever buys them and definitely not the overpriced ones on V Day. 🙂

  8. I find it funny that on one day everyone does there lovey dovey stuff.. what about the rest of the days..

    As alka mam says above I would be thinking why i am getting a card on this day and not others tooo .. 🙂

    Although I categorically say no cards for me he he he he
    Bikram recently posted…Wordless Wednesday (57) – Here I comeMy Profile

  9. We are like you, it’s nothing special for us. I guess it’s a big day for college going or teenagers. However, I make use of this day by asking a gift from my husband. Mil jaye to bonus.
    Saru Singhal recently posted…I set myself freeMy Profile

  10. It is kinda interesting (and sometimes amusing) to see the evolution of Valentine’s day over the years. It was relatively unknown in my school days and relatively low key (and nerve racking for some ;)) during college. But yeah.. you said it very well. Everybody should do what they like. We too don’t make a big deal of it and just keep it simple mostly with some nice flowers. 🙂
    Raj recently posted…STILL LIFEMy Profile

    • Yeah, I remember the nerve racking bit for some. 🙂 I love flowers as well but the husband avoids buying overpriced flowers so if it is flowers, it will be for another day. 🙂

  11. Leave alone Valentine’s Day, we both lay little store by even anniversaries. But yes, there are days when we pause to think how we have come through so many decades together! I feel it is rather sad that we need to set aside a day to celebrate even love. Having said that, these ‘days’ are the creation of commercial interests and as you say, celebrate it by all means if you want to burn a hole in the pocket!
    Zephyr recently posted…Why (not) to be a perfect motherMy Profile

    • I am sure it must be beautiful when you look back. A huge treasure trove of memories to savour. If I feel this way, I can only imagine what your thoughts must be about these days. 🙂

  12. Oh yes, I completely agree, Rachna. The comfort that seeps in long standing relationships is underrated, I say. I have come to treasure it. Such a wonderful feeling! Different from the initial butterflies, but lovely nonetheless. 🙂
    Shantala recently posted…Mrs Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna | Book ReviewMy Profile

  13. I agree with you, Rachna. I studied in a girl’s college so the ones with boyfriends brought back gifts, flowers, and chocolates (chocolates were shared :D). And there used to be a huge set of boys in front of the college gate and on V-Day the watchman was extra careful! It used to be fun. I don’t really believe in these days because they are so commercialized. That said, I don’t mind the celebrations – who doesn’t like to see the town literally painted red? My first Valentine’s Day with the husband came a few days after our wedding and we didn’t even realize it. I am sure it is going to be the same this year as well. 😀
    Destiny’s child recently posted…In two minutesMy Profile

  14. Ya, even I remember , during our college days, we used to wear red dress and get lots of roses…all memories. After marriage I got gift from my husband for 2-3 years, as you have written, we don’t select a particular day to express love 🙂
    Ranjana Shankar recently posted…DIY craft- Tutorial to make Sandook(Box) from waste boxesMy Profile

  15. I have never eagerly waited for Valentine’s Day even when we were dating. If we celebrated that was purely impromptu. My son knows about this day since his preschool days as they celebrate it at school. He makes cards for us and it is a lovely feeling. I don’t care for the pressure this day puts on couples and singles but then everything comes with its own disadvantages too, right? I like your advice, Rachna – Go by your heart! 🙂
    Vinitha recently posted…Some quotes and thoughts #FridayReflectionsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Vinitha. I am just happy that I am not in the shoes of dating couples. So many unnecessary expectations especially due to the band baaja that happens on social media.

  16. I had those silly lovely days in college…We would all eagerly wait for the day wishing some Mr. Prince Charming is going to pop out of no where!!

    Al that excitement is definitely gone and have given way to a new way of living…everyday of arguing, loving, caring has like you said, made us live comfortably with each other. We have no more of any such formalities for any special days..but yes..once in a while if hubby pops out of the bush with a red rose or something romantic, that would be Great 🙂
    Bilna Sandeep recently posted…Why I hopped on to that Giant Wheel? | Marina Eye, Abu DhabiMy Profile

  17. Do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? Well, we used to – years ago, before marriage and all that. But the more time we spent together, the more we realised that the important thing is not the gifts or the sweet nothings, but just to be comfortable doing things together.
    We still sort of wish each other – and of course Rishi is part of this ‘custom’ of sorts too.
    Sid recently posted…The Silent ZoneMy Profile

    • Looks like all ‘settled’ couples follow a similar route. Basically no need to conform to social expectations and doing what feels right to them. Of course, the children are a part of all equations. 🙂

  18. When things are ritualized, all fun are lost.
    Ravish Mani recently posted…Anusual by Anu AggarwalMy Profile

  19. One day or one week to express love sounds boring to me.
    Counting our blessings and valuing the ones we love on a regular basis, matters the most. It should not be restricted to a day or a week.
    A beautiful, heartwarming post 🙂

  20. Unfortunately wallet consumption has become an important and appreciated process in the celebration. Love is only a latent bi-product!

  21. I feel that this ‘special day’ to show/express ‘love’ is for youngsters. Let them enjoy even if they have to burn money. For us, like you say, all days are same. We are comfortable with each other…I always tell others that we need company in later years, just at least to fight without any thought…aftermath! Nothing is taken seriously between old couples.

    For my birthday and our wedding anniversary, he brings sarees while coming back home from office! Sometimes 2 sarees with same design but in different colours! It is a joke in our family. I never say ‘I didn’t like this or that’. Because I know that he must have selected after ‘thinking’ for a loooong time! Life is fun!
    Sandhya Kumar recently posted…Vaalpaarai Trip – Athirappally/Athirappilly Water FallsMy Profile

  22. Enjoyed reading the V Day post and partners can make each other happy, love always wins. I am not celebrating V Day this time but hope to do it very soon. I so miss Rose Day in college and remember buying lots of them at the florist. It was in December and became part of my fondest memories.
    Vishal Bheeroo recently posted…Roses to the mind and soulMy Profile

  23. I heard that some politicians were trying to turn it into a Love your Parents Day!! Sheesh!!
    I love the cards you picked for your post! I would definitely choose one of those to give my husband, if I ever got him a card! 😀
    Roshni recently posted…Coldplay and Cultural AppropriationMy Profile

  24. Valentine’s Day, I do hope to celebrate it someday. You see no one around me treats that day differently, so I don’t really have an opinion on it. Maybe if I experience the cheesy romance once, I may have a better idea. I do believe that romance, like anything else in life evolves and grows.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…The New Age BullyMy Profile

  25. Instead of ‘going moony for each other on one particular day’, I suggest you go moony for each other every day, even if for a brief moment only 🙂

  26. We are Netflix buddies now 😉 We’ve been married for 28 years but have known each other since school so we are 40 years together now…he still brings me flowers and gifts anytime he feels like it. Valentine’s Day is just like any normal day for us. Togetherness and friendship are foundations of a good partnership. Lovely article.

  27. Lovely read. I am FOR anything that can be celebrated. But not necessarily for buying all that stuff. I nice experience with the ones you love – more than enough:-)
    Eli recently posted…Andante AndanteMy Profile

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