Is Valentine’s day really the day of love?
We are in the week of love, hugs, kisses and also chocolates, teddies, flowers and… Fine! we are not counting all that. Finally it’s Valentine’s week, that time of the year when love is in the air and the expression of love is at its climax stage. But not everyone feels that way, of course there are singles out there and also the ones who love to hate this day.
This blog is not about any of those romantic dates, but we’ll dive into the somewhat darker side of Valentine’s day.
The History of St. Valentines is still not so clear, there could have been more than only one person by this name. One of the stories goes way back to around 300 BC in Rome, when it’s emperor banned army men from getting married. And St. Valentines helped the couples tying the knot or exchanged rings to be specific. When the ruler found out about it he prisoned and later executed on February 14th.
On his last day St. Valentine wrote a letter to his beloved, jailer’s daughter. At the end of the letter he wrote “With Love From Your Valentine”.
But some say this day is about Rome’s ancient festival Lupercalia. The young men picked women’s names from a jar and paired together. Of Course only men could do that.
This name became important after the romance authors denote lovers as “Valentine” in around 14th Century. But how do we know about Valentine’s day?
The concept of Valentine’s day came quite late in India. After 1992, Because of liberalization the word spread through media, radio and television. This is why we don’t see Valentine’s day related scenes in Bollywood movies before that period.
Movies like Mohabbatein, Baghban, Main Hoon Na, Taarzan: The Wonder Car, Kya Kool hai Hum, give much attention to this day and also the way it’s celebrated. Pay close attention when I say “ the way”. In these movies we see that men are the ones who should give roses, chocolates and gifts to women. And according to these movies if you propose to a girl on this day she can’t say no to you.
And not only that but color also plays another important role, to be specific- Red. From your dress to the gift wrap, everything has to be about red which makes me wonder if love has only one color. Why not it can be blue, white or pink or any other color like the sky as Aditi said in “Sky is Pink”(2019).
Now, Valentine’s day is not supposed to last for a single day, but a whole week. Starting on February 7th which is Rose Day followed by Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day and Valentine’s Day. Celebrating this whole week brings couples closer and business prosper. Did I say Business? This brings us to our next point, which is the valentine’s day celebration through the lens of Corporate World.
Valentines Week of Business
I remember back in my school days, my friends used to exchange DIY(Do it yourself/handmade) greeting cards and (real)flowers. And how the next day there were no flowers left for the school gardener to water. Fast forward to 2022 time has changed a lot. DIY stuff that takes time, effort is now replaced with expensive store bought presents. But the market has shaped itself to give more personalized results. You can have a customized cake, a customized pen, name pendant, pillows, key chains and notebook and miniature dolls/figurines that look like you.
Not only is it customized but is available online with a doorstep delivery feature. So you can make your loved one feel loved from whichever option you like. All that you need is to pay them for the services. Now here begins the real story “You have to Pay”(which is obvious).
There is nothing wrong in going with the option of buying gifts over handmade gifts but what we miss here is the loop that we are being trapped into. And any marketing company does not want to miss this opportunity to market their goods and services as a useful gifting option for this day.
Be it a clothing brand, an electronic device seller or a jewelry shop everyone comes up with an ad strategy that convinces you to buy their services.
It’s not only Steven’s dad who can bring instant emotional damage and you’ll see how. See the order in which all this begins, starting with roses, then chocolates and then teddies. There is an undenied pressure not from your partner but from society or in today’s time “social media ”.
Every time you come across that instagram post of your friend receiving a gift from their partner makes you feel unsatisfied because you didn’t get one. So it’s more important for you to get a gift for your partner because it’s valentine’s day and how you can’t not get it.
Now, some might argue that gifts are the token of love and it’s not compulsory to give a gift. That is what the whole point is, why gifts? and not long drives, why chocolates and not a rooftop conversation over a glass of wine or coffee, why only fancy dinner dates, and not a kulhad wali chai with some bhajiya and samosa. It’s fine to go on a fancy dinner date too but then again that shouldn’t define what a Valentine celebration is like. Enough of Bollywood’s approved ideas of making love, it’s time that you decide how you want to celebrate it or celebrate it at all.
Valentine’s day sure is a festival of love but it shouldn’t have to be only about red heart shaped balloons, a red dress- red tie or a dinner date with your partner but anything and in any way you want to do it. Read a book or sleep all day long. Or this can be like any other day to you. Let not only this day decide if you are romantic or not.
Cheers to all the love birds and singles out there, if you like what you read show some love by clapping on my post. And also check out my previous articles by clicking on my profile. Thank you!
P.S- Happy Valentine’s Day!