Tuesday, February 16, 2010

20 years ago

Yesterday was valentines day. These days there is so much hype about the day that it gets on to your nerves. You switch on the radio, its valentines day, switch on the TV its valentines day and more over even news is made of valentines day... This wasn't the case then when we were growing up. I would like to share a story of 20 years back...

I studied in a convent and I had sisters for siblings so had no interaction with growing boys of my age. When I left the convent and went to a public school with co-education system, it was a different world for me. 6 months into new school and I met this cute and good looking dude from another class. Shy as we were, we both got interacting with each other through our common friends. It was fun, I had never before experienced what it is like having young boys as your friends. Time went by and though we did not say anything but we were hooked on to each other.

Come February and the friends went buzzing in the class who will get valentine days cards and who will not. I had no clue what this talk was all about. Never before had I heard about this word. I did not know its meaning and I was totally clueless. This boyfriend of mine had already planned for the day for me and must have shared the same with his friends. My friends knew I was not planning on similar lines and they were worried that if I do not give my bf a card he would feel heart broken. They decided amongst themselves to sort this out. So one of them approached me and said "have u bought a valentine day card for Abhishek?" (name changed to protect the identity of the bf). "Whats a Valentines day?" I asked. "A card you give on 14th Feb to the one you love. You will get it in your regular card shop".

I did not know what to do. I did not know if this was to be done or this was a prank played on me. I had to ask someone and didn't know who to ask. So here is what I did, I went and asked a teacher friend about what is a valentines day and whether i should give this guy a card or not. How stupid of me. How the teacher must have gossiped about me and how they all must have laughed. My next issue was to get a card which was not overtly expressive and also how to get it. So I asked another common friend to do the needful for me. I got the card in the school, went to the girls toilet, wrote the card, it said, "Happy valentines day my dear friend". A safe card I thought. Met Abhishek in recess and gave him the note book with the card and got another note book from him. There in a pink envelop was my first valentines day card, it said" Happy Valentines day to the one I love" That was the first time in my life someone had said "I love you" to me. I was on the 7th heaven and had never felt anything like that before.

20 years have gone by and with each year the hype of this day has been increasing. Off late even the political parties have jumped in making this the agenda for protecting culture of the country. The simplicity of those days has gone. Never again will it be the same. I have never had a real occasion or a worthy person to celebrate the day with after that 1st experience. However even if I had a person, to celebrate it with, I would have refrained from doing anything or expressing anything. I never want to be part of the herd.

You really do not need a day to celebrate love... and even if you do the day to my mind has lost its novelty. It will never be the same again. So much for commercialization.

(C) shubhra 15th February 2010