Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine day rant.. from the shadows.

Its valentines day today. I am somewhat neutral to the idea of Valentines day. I have been unattached throughout my college life and 3 years into my professional life. Not that I was single every Valentines Day, from age 18 to age 27, but the two times that I had a date, it was less of a date and more of meeting a single female friend and chatting about things in general over coffee. No different than any other normal day.

This one too is pretty normal. I stayed back in office late on 13th Feb, woke up at 11 am today. I had to hurry. I reached office, the usual bugfixes and changes as requested by the powers-that-be, and I am still in office. I will go home, watch TV or read the papers for a while, and sleep. Another pretty normal day.

One good thing about Valentines day is that the poor kids, men and women selling flowers and balloons earn quite a lot that day. ( A Rs 10 Rose sells for anything above Rs 50 on Valentines Day). And yes, of course, lot of moolah for the greeting card companies too, who sell cards with almost similar mushy mush stuff. The wordings are almost similar on different cards, and I wonder if they hire first class post-graduates in English to write all that stuff. Or they just copy paste it off the net. I think they make more money on this day than Diwali, Christmas and New Year combined. No wonder its marketed so well.

The grouse I have against Valentines Day is that it makes singles turn off the lights, the radio and the TV, and crawl under the bed. I have been on both sides so I can understand. There is so much for those in love (or under the impression that they are in love ), that it makes the singles feel ignored. The usual restaurants and pubs will not allow you entry unless you have anyone who looks like a girl with you. You have to manage with one of those seedy bars where 40+ men with two buttons of their shirts open, have n number of quarters of regular whiskies.

There are times when you feel that you join the Sena brigade and join in driving irritating couples (creating traffic problems) away, who would like to coochie coo (or anything) on the streets rather than at their home. You feel like stoning the shops which display those heart balloons, heart pillows, teddy bears, etc. Its irritating in the sense, if you are walking down the road, you find such couples everywhere.

It seems like you have committed a crime if you dont have a girlfriend on Valentines Day. And the noise is too much to ignore. (Anyway, in the last few years, I have become quite immune to it, and it hardly matters to me). You have friends ( not the close friends variety), asking you "Hey what are you doing this Valentines Day". Either you reply,"Nothing much, watch TV and meet Vikky and Nitin" or you reply, "Oh I am meeting this special friend of mine". In the first case, you hear "tsk, tsk" and in the second, more prying questions. Either way, you are trapped :-) Worse, there are theories cooked up, regarding why you are still single. Maybe its his attitude, blah blah.

V-day is just an excuse to be with your lover publicly, after hunting for privacy all the year round. V-day celebration is ok, but it seems too much hyped and your senses are assailed by soft teddy bears and various hues of pink and red. All those pinks, reds and soft toys are sickening. Its lost its charm. Anyway, doesnt matter much. V-day is ok, once a year. Nothing much compared to other challenges facing us.

The most paradoxical thing is that affairs last from 14th Feb to 2nd Aug (i suppose thats the Friendship Day date). Friendship Day has the least to do with friendship, in fact it fully seems like V-Day Reloaded. Why August was chosen as the month for friendship day is an easy guess. If you break off and find another partner within six months, you can celebrate with him/her before waiting for the next February. Waiting for February increases chances of losing him/her before celebrating some "day" with him/her. So it solves the problem of having a "special so-and-so day" during the average timespan of a relationship these days.

Things to do this Valentine, for singles.

1. Switch off the lights, close the doors and windows, cover your ears with the pillow and sleep (or atleast try to sleep)
2. Wear any colour other than pinks and reds. (Black if preferable)
3. Do not look/blow your horn at any couple that obstructs you in traffic, you will be met with a cold stare unless you too have a girl with you. (in that case , you will be greeted with a smile or a thumbs up). If you blow your vehicles horn, you might be met with a cold stare or the hero might hit you for hurting the eardrums of his damsel in distress.
4. Join the moral police for a day
5. Dont call up any old girlfriends, or "just friends who are girls". You might be disappointed. Do that earlier than Feb14 if you wish to.
6. Dont ask your male friends -"how was your Valentines Day" You can spare yourself inane details and extra brags.


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