Cupid finds a good reception in Chennai!

I have been a romantic all my life, and Valentine’s Day has always appealed to me. So I have always celebrated Valentine’s Day in a befitting manner: roses, candle lit dinner et al, both as a bachelor, and now with my wife. However, as Pavithra notes, Valentine’s Day has now truly been embraced by a large segment of the populace, young and old alike, in recent years. Cynics can argue that it’s one more example of Indians blindly aping the West, but I really think there’s much more afoot.

Love, after all, is the universal language of the human race. Indeed, it is one of the noblest of all human feelings, and if universally practiced in all its forms, would result in even as grand a result as world peace! But I digress, for the love we are referring to here is between a man and woman, lass and youth, boy and girl. So what is it about Valentine’s Day that has captured the popular imagination?

For one, I think that in our repressive society, Valentine’s Day gives license for the opposite sexes to be honest & frank with each other and express their feelings. What was suppressed or dormant is given full expression in a day that has public sanction, so to speak. Which is why if you went to Landmark the days preceding today, you would have seen young men and women four deep at the cards counter, wading through the many variations available, with deep concentration writ upon their countenance!

Mind you, these were not the westernized, ‘hep’ lot that one would expect. The vast majority were young women in their teens to twenties, salvar kameez clad, with longish hair. Everyone was there, from school going kids to young working women and men. Leave alone the cards, there’s a frenzy online, with many young folks sending out Valentines expressions of eternal love online from sites such as Sify.com. The SifyMall even has an option for you to serenade your loved one with a guitar strumming singer, while a half kilo chocolate cake and flowers are delivered on your behalf!

Leave alone the stores being thronged pre Valentine’s Day, every restaurant in the city has something special happening today. And going by what my wife and I experienced over our special lunch (We beat the system, or so we thought!), every restaurant is likely to be packed. Lunch at the Lemon Grass at the Raintree was no different, with many of the tables occupied by couples of all ages. We had a foursome of teens next to us, and their conversation was peppered with references to the occasion!

Is this good or bad? It depends on your viewpoint I guess! (Refer Pavithra’s point about what Obi-Wan Kenobi had to say!) In my book, it is well and good, and certainly helps get the sexes able to interact and mingle with each other in an open way. The ability to express affection for one another is so fundamental to us, yet so often repressed, subdued or sidelined, that it results in frustration that erupts into behavior such as eve teasing. Simply because the opposite sex has no chance to interact with, or understand the fairer sex.

I really think Valentine’s Day is slowly changing that, with the license and opportunity that it gives people of all ages to express their feelings for one another. Or to celebrate the many years of togetherness and happiness that they have enjoyed in their married lives.

1 Comment so far

  1. nikhil (unregistered) on February 16th, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

    sir, i have been reading thru ur posts 4 quite sometime.am a journalism student at the asian college of journalism,chennai.i am doin a news story on the it corridor.i wud be extermly gr8ful if u provide me with ur prespective on the it corridor.my email id is lifeisnikhil@gmail.com.
    thank u,
    regards
    nikhil



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