I was just 7 or 8 years old when I learnt the importance of 14th February. I learnt it from the Children’s Encyclopedia. Valentine’s Day is the day you celebrate love, you tell the people you love how much you care about them. And it also taught us to make Valentine’s Day cards for “mom” “dad”. Tell your mom how much you love her. I was confused. Do I seriously need a particular day to tell that to them? What’s so special about this day? And to confuse me even more the idiot box played its part. Whichever channel I switch to there is someone singing for someone expressing their love, someone confessing about their feelings and the romantic songs dedication, college kids (back then they were matured adults for me)howling n shouting much like the neelam show from kuch kuch hota hai. Perhaps Saffron brigade wasn’t that active back then. But none of them expressed their love for their mom or dad. The colourful lovely three pages of encyclopedia was a waste then? Either the one who wrote it doesn’t know about Valentine’s Day or the people on television haven’t read what I have read. So finally I ended up asking my mom. She told me a story. Perhaps this incident happened in Rome. There was a king I don’t remember his name. There was a threat attack on his kingdom. An impending war was inevitable. Hence the king forbade his soldiers from getting married.(I wish we had such kings now :P not a single wedding to take place till you fight a war, climb a mountain or maybe travel at least 10 countries :P ) but who could stop the people blinded by love? They wanted to get married. And here comes our hero “St Valentines”, he solemnised all the weddings secretly in the church disobeying the kings order. He could not keep the love birds away from each other. So he was imprisoned and executed on the 14th of February. And the couples commemorated him by celebrating 14th February as Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to love. Sigh! All the love stories have to end with the important characters death be it Romeo Juliet or be it the person who helped the love sick couples. And the story got imprinted in my mind since then. So basically we celebrate this in memory of a martyr. I don’t know if the whole story is truth or myth but this story made more sense than the whole concept of dedicating 1 day to the three words, pink red hearts, flowers, and what not.
And as I grew up there was no more just Valentine’s Day but a whole Valentines week. Back in school the best part about the whole valentine’s week was the mix taped romantic songs you get in one cassette. Valentine special offers on music cassettes, all your favourite romantic songs together. This is more of a fashionable week dedicated to all the people into cards, teddy bears, flowers, chocolates, and jewellery ring business. It must be like the best time of the year for them. Had there been any props for hugs and kisses I am sure even that business would have boomed during this week. The stores the cafeterias coffee shops all go pink with hearts and balloons. And everyone gets drunk to the idea of celebrating love and its side effects in this particular week. And the ones who find it a pretty expensive affair and the ones who don’t have that special someone to pamper or be pampered are drunk on the idea that a better “single” life exists for them today and maybe they don’t need a day to celebrate their love. And some are drunk on the idea that love doesn't exist.. "huh! but I will marry out of the fear of dying alone and to fulfill society's demand but never celebrate valentines day." And for people like me it is just another Saturday afternoon where I crib why do I have to take a shower daily? It makes me sleepy and hence would spoil my lovey dovey date with books!! They don’t love me when I am sleepy we tend to lose the whole chemistry between us..! adios! I won’t get lunch till I get a shower. Happy Valentine’s Day!! J