Valentine’s day was introduced to me in my early teens by Dil To Pagal Hai. A gazillion background dancers prancing to melodious lalalas, Madhuri Dixit’s afloat dupatta, and all those heart-shaped balloons, made for a landmark in the timeline of Bollywood romances. I waited to celebrate this ‘day of love’, chalked out plans, and daydreamed. And then… I grew up. The way I look at it now, I find it oh-so-overrated. And I shall give you 10 reasons why....
A competition of sorts
Valentine’s Day, over the years, has become less about each-other, and more about ‘others’. Going to luxury hotels on ‘staycations’ not to spend time with the partner, but to click as many pics as possible at all Instagramable corners of that plush property and flaunt on social media how you spent the day better than others, is anything but love.
Commercialization of love
It started with those extravagant cards and pivoted to V-Day special vacations, meals, looks. Social media influencers make a fortune promoting these deceptions, those who get tricked, end up with a hole in their pockets, and business establishments laugh their way to the banks. Who says one has no have a specific kind of meal wearing ruby lipstick with a matching skater dress on February 14th? The marketing wonder of it all!!!
Pushes gender equality several steps back
The popular notion is, a man approaches a woman with bouquets, chocolates, teddies and asks her out. Modern couples may switch the list with high-end gadgets. But it is always the man who is expected to gift, ask out the lady, and foot the bill. How does that work for gender equality?
Materialism in matters of heart
The moment you sit down waiting for your beloved to surprise you with a jaw-dropping gift wrapped in a gleaming gift-wrapper, know that the materialistic bug has bitten you. If absence of the “Valentine’s day gift” makes you upset, know that you are more materialist than you thought.
Unwanted mental stress
Bunches of reports to be sent out, piles of escalations to be dealt with - this is how a typical working-class couple steps into the week. Ain’t nobody got time for, “today is Rose day, need to go out to get a fresh rose… today is kiss day… what have you.” I mean, I need do my taxes right now, and you expect me to go out Teddy bear-shopping?
Forced against natural emotions
One may not feel the ‘vibe’ on the 14th, one may be in the middle of professional issues or family troubles, or amidst a financial crunch. One may be upset with their partner because they goofed up big time. One may be struggling through a riot of conflicting pent-up emotions. But one must switch to the koo-chi-koo mode despite emotional unavailability, because… Feb 14th?
You are switching every year
If you are making long promises of love and a togetherness forever only to repeat those lines on a new greeting card to be given to a new “Valentine” the next year, trust me, you are investing too much mind, emotion and money on that fling. Invest in a Mutual Fund, instead. At least, it comes with a statutory warning.
Some cowards aren’t worth it
You rush to the florist, pay for expensive roses, hand it to her. She gleams, loiters with you the entire day, and very gracefully flings that bouquet in the trash before heading home. “Ghar nahi le jaa sakti. Mummy ko kya bolungi.” That money going in the wet waste-bin could have been on something better than on one who couldn’t take your roses to the vase. Think again… Mutual Funds.
One can tell if you have a crush on one and expects to be asked out on February 14th. So, when the actual ‘asking out on a date’ happens on that day, it comes off as obvious and unexciting. How about proposing to you beloved on…I don’t know... July 21st… when one wasn’t expecting? Think about the element of surprise.
Everyone’s awkwarded out
This day is so uselessly hyped, it makes everyone end up feeling awkward. I applied for a leave last year to get my thyroid checked, the boss approved it with a creepy smile. He must have thought I had some V-Day plans. Awkward! Single people feel like a third-wheel with their ‘coupled’ up pals that day. Awkward! The couple feels guilty for the single’s singleness. Awkward! Then there are the ones recuperating a recent break-up. Their faces are the longest on Feb 14th tuning the situation for others… awkward!