Call me ignorant or plain uninitiated but a few years ago, (infact now I should say almost a couple of decades ago ), while I still existed in one of the most romantic places I know of ,the honeymoon destination of the north-Shimla,I had not heard of it.The newly opened Archies store there was my first tutorial in valentines day.
As I travelled and read more ,I realised it had become almost a national festival in India,the irony remaining that except the USA ,in the rest of the english speaking world it was not so popular.
So I still don't get it why the whole country goes bonkers about it.Yes free expression of love is important and I am not even a least bit in favour of the firebrand moralists who believe that it corrupts young minds.
My concern as an academician is about misplaced passion,am reminded of Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
No second thoughts about love being the spirit of youth,the colour every heart must taste once atleast,but it should not become an excuse to splurge,vulgarise or simply overstate.
Is subtelty out of fashion?
Is the cost of a gift directly propotional to the intensity of love?
Is love reason enough for going over the top?
I am risking being labelled the moralising grandma by sharing this I know,yet I feel it is now becoming a bit too much.PYAR KO PYAR HI REHNE DO KOI AUR NAAM NA DO !