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.
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.
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.