Celebrate your love
Celebrate your love. Love is in the air. Really! Just look around you – the signs are all there. The roses have that richer red hue, the stuffed...
“When you are in love you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” -Dr Seuss
Love is in the air. Really! Just look around you – the signs are all there. The roses have that richer red hue, the stuffed animals are so much cuter, the chocolates are sweeter, the love notes are more heartfelt and romantic… Yes, it’s that time of the year again, when couples go into a tizzy trying to outdo each other to prove their ‘eternal devotion’ to each other. Yes, today is Valentine’s Day.
Pages from the diary of a middle-aged:
“I have been going through my scrapbook, my 44th Valentine’s Day after we got married. Nostalgia, sweet memories… I have saved everything, those petals and the little shells from the seashore.
It left me thinking about my valentine. I got a card depicting giant carrying a small angel that is how we looked as a couple. The card read, love you and kiss me. There were cards of hearts and three red roses which said, ‘I love you’. Giving this Kiss me card to a wrong person spelled disaster. There was clarity on the relations and the decision was weighed and the card carefully selected.
As I entered High School, Valentine’s Day was all about various cards exchanged in the canteen or in the shelves behind the library. It was an illustrated 5/7 card with a love symbol. A card which read, ‘All you need is love’, ‘You gotta have a heart’, ‘Forever yours’. I always prayed everyone got one. But there was no guarantee as a few were shy and many scared.
When my kids were in elementary school, rules changed. The kids couldn't choose whom they wanted to send one to. But behind the shelves of the library and near the school gate they did exchange cards. Those democratic valentine days only lasted until seventh grade where some random edict came down amongst the kids that valentines were no longer cool.
Did you now e-mail a Valentine card to your intended? Or did you get a tattoo of your high school sweetheart's name in a heart on your thigh standing together in “Eat Street” on Necklace Road?
I see my hair turn grey in the mirror. A few wrinkles (I didn’t opt for a botox though it has become a trend to present the hospital bill of a plastic surgeon as a valentine gift) I know, my post fifty is showing. But, I wonder if kids today get to experience any of that anticipation of what it was like to receive a romantic, handmade card where the glitter stays on you until you shower it off that night.
But looking at my valentine cards, these petals, the pebbles keep wondering if kids know the fun and thrill of that Samosa & Irani chai in the small office canteen and he stealing a kiss on your hand. I have these cards, a book a few photos in black and white full of memories and love hidden in each atom. But as I see my grand children grow and the addiction for technology I keep wondering what will they have to show to their children? I wonder if there is any devise to store the text and e-mails. I have a scrapbook full of memories, and decaying gardenias that will be passed onto my kids and grandkids. Will our kids have anything to save? If our kids don't make cards, or write poems, what will they show their kids when they visit them once in a year in the Home for the aged. I guess they'll just tell them about that ultra-romantic time they got that text of hearts emotions, mails, SMS and tattoos.”
Love knows no language
Shailaja and Vickram were classmates in a MBA College. They were dating against their family’s wishes. The girl was a Brahmin and her family strongly felt that she wouldn’t be happy marrying a boy of a low-caste.
Due to family's pressure, they kept quarrelling every day. Shailaja had a lot of insecurity due to which she kept asking Vickram, if he loved her truly. Vickram was not very poetic and romantic and could not express his love in words. Shailaja was upset as he could not express his mind clearly and the family pressure left her confused.
After a couple of years, Vickram graduated and had decided to go abroad for his higher studies. Before leaving, he proposed to Shailaja saying, "I'm not very good with words. But all I know is that I love you. If you allow me, I will take care of you for the rest of my life. I'll try my best to convince your family after I come back from London. Will you marry me?" Shailaja agreed, and they exchanged rings without the knowledge of both the families. When Shailaja’s family got to know about this silent engagement they asked her to stay away as it may have an impact on the marriages of the other girls in the family.
Shailaja was staying in a working society, whereas Vickram was pursuing his masters in London. They kept their love alive through letters and phone calls. Though it was hard, both of them never thought of giving up.
On her way back home, after posting a card to Vickram on Valentine’s Day, she was knocked down by a car which lost control. The moment she gained conscious, she saw her mother weeping. While trying to comfort her mother, she realised that she has lost her voice. She broke down.
The doctor says that the accident had an impact on her brain which made her lose her voice. Upon reaching home, everything seemed to be the same, except for the ringing of the phone which killed her every time it rang. She did not wish Vickram to know about her. She wrote a letter to him saying that she did not wish to wait any longer and her parents looked for a better match for her. Vickram tried reaching her through letters, phones and friends.
The parents decided to move away, hoping that she would eventually forget everything and be happy. In a new environment, Shailaja learnt the sign language and started a new life. Telling herself everyday that she must forget the love for Vickram .One day, her friend Trinadh told her that Vickram was back from London. She asked her friend not to let him know about what happened to her. Since then, there wasn't any news about him.
After a year, Trinadh came with a wedding card of Vickram. Shailaja was shattered and opened the card with tears. To her surprise, she saw her name in the card.
She was puzzled. Vickram walked in and says, "I have spent a year's time to learn the sign language. Just to let you know that I have not forgotten our promise. Let me have the chance to be your voice. I Love You.” He slipped the ring back into her finger. They lived happily ever after. The couple are happily married and blessed with three children. But even today Shailaja and Vickram are a voice to hundreds who are not confident of their love for each other and believe in short term relations or end up with multiple affairs.
How are we celebrating the day?
“It is not like Valentine’s Day is the only day to love or to be loved, every single day we love each other, but this day is our day. I have planned for a surprise gift for him and I am pretty sure he will love it. We are planning for a day out at a resort and spend some time together. I hope we will cherish this day in our future,” Ramya Kirtana, a home-maker.
“We are working professionals at early forties. Of course, we will celebrate this occasion with right spirit. I am lucky to be with her. I will fill her tummy with butter scotch, which is her famous palate. Also we will go for an outing in the evening. Our daughters are more than excited and have made a few surprise plans for their mom” says Pradeep PL, Senior Project Manager, GHS Infratech Pvt Ltd.
“This time around I am planning to throw a surprise party for him. As every year he plans and executes. This is my turn now. I have made appointments at a Karaoke bar where I am planning to sing for him. I lied to him that I will be out of station on some personal work. I cannot wait to see the expression on his face, when he finds out I lied. I am really excited about it” says Neha John, a private employee.
“This is no special day for me, as I will be busy with the work. I don’t believe in these as these are nothing but western intrusions in Indian society. People who have a lot of time to spare can think about this day, but I can’t,” says J Anil Kumar, manager at a coffee shop.
“The season of Valentine’s Day is very special for us. People come here to buy greetings, roses and gifts. We do sell a lot of roses on this day so we do increase the price. Apart from business I don’t feel anything special about this day,” Rufus Lazarus, owner, Fifth Avenue Gallery.