As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is in the air. You can smell it, feel it and sense it. Valentine’s Day is that special day of the year when all couples pronounce their undying love for one another, by giving each other red roses, perfumes, chocolates etc etc. Shops are adorned with Valentine’s cards, heart-shaped balloons and even cuddly stuffed toys.
Eateries around the city go into an overdrive by giving Valentine offers. Couple discounts, special ‘Valentine’s Day’ menus at restaurants, exclusive cosy corner tables at restro bars, complementary wine bottles are on offer so as to make this day very very special. Valentine’s Day is when most of the clubs do brisk business. DJs churn out love songs. Laser lights are used for making heart-shaped patterns on the walls. The lighting too is subdued to keep the romantic element going all night. All this makes a special day like this, even more magical.
However I do remember a time when things were not quite like this. In the early 1990s, few people knew about the concept of Valentine’s Day in India. Other than the elite, most people did not know about St Valentine and his sacrifice for the sake of love in ancient Rome or even the reason for celebrating his death anniversary on 14 February.
Though it is still not clear exactly how many people from rural India still understand the significance of this day, they too have joined this celebration thanks to the media revolution that has happened in this country.
From a more personal viewpoint, Valentine Day has always been an exciting theme. What is sweet is the electrifying atmosphere at the malls and gift shops. It is a great time to shop. Though some people I know consider this kind of celebration corny, I beg to differ even if they are from the older generation.
I remember an elderly lady telling me ‘what is this big deal people are making about Valentine’s Day? How come it was not such a big deal in our time?’
But that precisely is the question that must be answered. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, you need not be of a certain age, religion, caste or economic background. It’s just a big party where everyone is invited…
Salloli Kumar is a regular on the page 3 circuit for nearly a decade…