Happy Valentine’s day everyone. This day, every year, some people are feeling butterflies in their belly. Others, may be feeling depressed due to solitude. While neither of those feelings are permanent, but in the moment, they are pretty overwhelming. Both emotions have a potential of creating a brain cloud in your head which strays you away from reality. But today, we do not discuss about the two extremes of feel train on a Valentine’s day. Rather, it is about how we as Indians condemn the very basic of humanity: LOVE on this day specifically. And also, how due to absence of a proper definitive feeling due to our upbringing, some people replace it with hate. So why is valentines day bad? Is it something fundamental or our upbringing is to be blamed?
Why is Valentine’s Day Actually Bad:
Okay, before you start protesting against me with bricks and bats on the road, I am not against valentine’s day or it’s celebration at all. It is just some aspects of this day that I personally don’t like. Again, I am not imposing my view point here. Check if you agree with me or not:
Cost of Love:
Loving someone should be free. It is indeed. However, expressing it comes with a cost. And in this week particularly, it is quite exorbitant. Massive commercialization of this ‘festival’ has opened the doors to a brand new avenue of business. I would rather go ahead and use the word exploitation here. When I was a kid, I used to buy flowers for my father’s visit to temple every Monday. Unfortunately, one such Monday was a Valentine’s day. The price was just tripled for the same flower I had been buying for years. I understand demand and supply but there should be a cap to it? No?
All restaurants in the town are packed. I asked for reservations for a couple of them in Powai today but they said, it is strictly on first come first serve basis today. I guess, just like other Valentine’s, we’ll probably pop open a few cold ones at home and go to sleep by 10. (Not bad actually if you think)
And even if you manage to pull out both: Shelling out huge sums of money and find a place, there is this sword of expectations ready to be shoved down your throat. And why not? You can have dinner outside on any regular day. Valentine’s have to match that level of love which they show in romcoms. There has to be, at least, Michael Bolton around singing “When a man loves a woman”. Too much stress even thinking about it. Isn’t it?
The Solitary Valentino:
It gets even worse when you have not found “The One”. Every little poster, hoarding, nearby café and even people around you are not going to leave an opportunity to make you realize that you’re alone. It’s just brutal. My advice: Sab Moh Maaya hai!
But What’s Wrong with Our Upbringing?
While I just mentioned a few reasons of Valentine’s day being a little off spirit, majority of Indians don’t bat an eyelid to these aspects. They haven’t even reached there yet.
Ever since the beginning of the time, we associate love with sex. And of course, sex is a taboo in our nation. I think it has probably something to do with the arrange marriage culture in our country. Since generations, we have been unaware of the concept of dating. Since most of the previous generation was pressurized to have kids as soon as they met an opposite gender, they think that that’s the only way to go about it.
You meet someone, you get married, have sex and spend next 20 years of your life upbringing kids. That’s it. I am not sure if these people have ever uttered the words like “I love you” to their significant others.
Not even for a minute it crosses their minds that we are the country with 1.3bn people. So we do have a lot of sex if that’s what they’re petrified of. We came up with a handbook of sex for god’s sake. So a few pointers that our parents probably missed telling us:
Love is not confined:
Let’s do a quick test. When you think of valentine’s day, are you able to think of anyone else than your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse? Nope? Then probably you are a part of the problem. Love can take any form. Valentine’s is not restricted to loving and celebrating with your with your honey bunny. You can express your love to your god (I have seen people do that), your parents, your dog, for your god damn trees if you will.
If only our definition of love was this broad, valentine’s day wouldn’t seem to be such a big deal it is right now. One of my teachers gave us a lecture on this topic when we were kids, but I was too naïve to realize that she was right.
Sex is Not Mandatory:
It’s sad that I even have to emphasize this. If your children are going out on a date, it is NOT mandatory for them to have sex on Valentine’s day. Additionally, even if they do, it is probably no one else’s business. Stop demonizing a basic human urge. Try resisting it when government is crying about overpopulation. The best one could do in such a case is to have “the talk” at the right age to ensure your children are safe.
MYOB or minding your own business is something we really need to work on. I wonder why people who go on beating these couples on the road aren’t taught about it. Even if you are a sore loser, you still don’t have any right to express your hatred against someone. You know what pushes me off the edge? When they say, “Ye Bharatiya Sanskriti ke khilaaf hai” (This is against our traditions). Don’t even get me started on the problem of rape culture, child abuse in our country. How can THIS top issues like that?
Today, I keep revisiting the memory lane. So during morning school assembly, there was a patriotic song we used to sing every fortnight or so. I vaguely remember the lyrics were
Khud Jio, Auro ko bhi Jeene do
Yahi to hai zindagi ka raasta
Tumhe aman aur shanti ka vaasta
Translated to English: Live and let others lie. This is the way of life. This is for the sake of peace and harmony.
Where did all our moral values go? Wasn’t this song or some variant of it a part of your morning routine too? Or did you guys never attended school at all?
In a nutshell, we have got a long way to go. Atmanirbhar Bharat needs Atmanirbhar Soch first.
Have you been a victim of this self righteous moral policing?
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Until next time..