Monday, February 13, 2006

Smells Like Love, Or Something Like That

Somehow Valentine's Day never fails in rekindling my first love. Taken for granted, forgotten, abused, false-promises made, V-Day is a time for old flames and as I write I am getting those same old feelings. It has happened since I was in the 9th standard, and now I'm happy to see that 14th Feb has the same effect on this working professional. No matter how hard I try forgetting, this time of the year I can't help but WRITE. And St. Valentine's Day has served two purposes for years now. First bring us, me and writing, back together, no matter how far we might have moved and how estranged the relationship has become. Secondly I call it the maturity-meter, comparing the previous years or the one's before with the latest ones always throw up the changes in the way of thinking that crop up from one V-Day to another.

Sad part is that every year, including this one, I want to start the article with a major change, by believing in the efficacy of the day, but it seems I haven't succeeded in convincing myself one bit about it one bit. Anyway 07,08 and years after that will also have middle of February and maybe one day I will be enlightened about the importance of the day.

Valentine's Day means one thing for a majority of the people and hundreds of other things for the remaining minority. For me its a celebration of commercialism, branding and marketing. Feb 14 was no different for the average Indian from Feb 13 or Feb 15 (unless it happens it be his/her b'day) till the merchant of love, Yash Chopra used his favourite salesman, Shahrukh Khan in a movie called Dil To Pagal Hai in late 1997. Watching the movie in a gangtok theatre, the 14 year-old me was clueless about this 'heart balloon day'. In fact in those boring 'days' Independence Day and Republic Day were the only notable one's besides one's birthday. So now the nation of close to a billion came to know that there is this one day when you are supposed to love and express your love. Hadn't one 'semi-naked fakir' (Ref: Winston Churchill) taught us the same thing about a century ago? Ofcourse not, he wanted too much. He wanted all year long, no balloons, no cards and no one-upmanship in love either. Besides he went way over the top by asking for peace. Please bapuji, give us a break.

Compare an over-demanding, cranky, fashion 'un'conscious old man with the perfectly suited top-level executives of Multi-Nationals and even better looking actors and actresses. Whom would you believe? Ofocurse the latter. They are the one's who will lead you on in every aspect of life, including love.

And all along you thought that missing someone, holding hands, a kiss, a hug was love? How simplistic you tend to make love. Don't you see that these are things we all can do and do everyday. Love is no easy game, said the executives. We pricked up our ears. And they said

"So listen, you can love as much as you want all year, but the amount of love you show on the fourteenth day of February is what is the real thing. Do you really think that any self-respecting lover can let someone else go away with all the glory? Love is eternal, love is divine, love is about giving selflessly......"

Someone nervously said, "but sir, do I need to show my love on this particular day and is buying gifts necessary?"

The corporate head honchos glared at him. "So you are getting mercenary thoughts even when we are discussing an issue like Love??"

He meekly surrendered.

So since then it has been decided that on the 14th day of February, every year we shall celebrate our love for all things commercial and this day also marks the beginning of the emotion of love entering the market and working according to the laws of demand and supply and demonstration effect and other irrefutable laws of economics.

Thanks to all of you who helped in giving us this free commodity in a brand new product form, repackaged and redesigned, Come lets celebrate the commercialisation of Love.


Anonymous said...

man, u really seem to hate valentines day... but c'mon it's just a day to have a lil fun..huh? go out, wach a film, eat good food and buy a nice gift for ur friend/friends maybe??
its like singing the national anthem and pinning the national flag on independence day..only, valentine's day is more fun!!

maxdavinci said...


u post after ages n still ppl read this space 2 comment....

anyways well written an u know it truly elucidates my stand on 'mera baap amir hai day' (a.k.a valentines day)

Suhel Banerjee said...

Thanks a lot for all your comments. Now for a touch of personalisation:

@ Abhsishek

We pin flowers and sing the anthem on independence day because we cannot connect with the independence movement (even after RDB). But if so is the case with today's love, if love is to be just celebrated by outward show, then I am the strongest advocate of V-Day!

@ Gunjan

I couldn't agree with you more, except for that 'unneccesary problems(girls)' part. I was not propagating 'singledom' through my article, please do rise in love given a half chance. I was just talking about the farce called Valentine's Day. And point being if you love someone, plz do not stop doing so on 14th feb, as a mark of protest!!

@ Maxdavinci

Seriously re its very humbling to know that even after months of hibernation, people actually do read this column and also spare the time to leave comments.

By the way I loved that 'mera baap aamir hai' line:)


Great to know that you agreed with me. But if the impression this post gives is that of lovesick boyfriend spurning the very concept of love, then I accept failure as a writer.

P.S: All's well with me and all my girls;)

Arindam said...

couldn't agree with you more...a silly concept borrowed from the West...

Sayan said...

Well written's my gyaan...only thing is the concept of v-day sells big time..and some ppl choose to buy it. Its a good thing from a marketer's perspective..i.e. if I had a shop, I wud have surely kept v-day cards and sold the concept like anything, as that wud attract influx of money into my pocket..but as a customer , I personally will nvr fall for the trap. having said tht, I dont want 2 undermine the spirit of those who celebrate this day with their heart...only I hope that they do it sincerely and not just for the heck of it! Anyway, u write well!

Anonymous said...

it was well written and i completely agree with you.more so because i am one of those who celebrated independence day yesterday.but on a serious note i have never found any justification of such a day.the simple thing why there should be only one out of 365 days to love somebody baffles me to the core.anyways lets not dampen the spirits of those who consider this day as the 'd' day.let them enjoy..... the way who is the 'gal' with whom u had a tiff recently???

Suhel Banerjee said...

@Arindam - Indeed, indeed.

@Sayan - Thanks

@Boudhayan - Ha ha ha, how time flies! Thanks for the compliment by the way:)