Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day for the poor!

Wondering how light your pocket will feel at the end of this day? Pondering how heavy your heart will be despite a day’s orgy of commercialised love? Moaning that you did not buy that darn red rose a day earlier to have saved some more money? Or, are you worried that your Valentine – did we hear you say damn – will be cross even if you choose to empty your wallet or, as some instances suggest, your purse?

Fret not – here are some ideas on how to buck the trend where you don’t spend a penny and still claim to be in love. As Achala Sagar, an English teacher at Maheshwari Girls Public School, says, “Valentine’s Day is all about being with a person with whom you share a certain vibe, certain thoughts and emotions.” “Where does the question of money arise from,” she asks. For the greatest and, at times, boring minds would say – it’s the thought that counts!

You could perhaps even try the cliché response and claim not to believe in any one day being marked out for “expressing love”. But then, that would expose you to the threat of proclaiming love every other day of the year. You wouldn’t want that, would you? A safer bet might be to tell your dumb (ok, let’s make it your not-so-aware) date why February 14 has come to symbolise the marketing world’s greatest field day.

Or cook up a fantastic one-liner, like, “I am so madly in love with you that I entirely forgot to buy you a gift!” The literary minds could even turn cupid-cum-bards for the day and the religious could seek solace in a temple, for a change, away from each other’s arms.

Even if these tips fail, you can rest assured not to be embarrassed or let down by those too-bad-to-be-true gifts! For who would want to unwrap a packet to reveal stuffed lips in them with corny messages painted on them? Maybe a prodigiously furry heart? Or, worse, a deodorant or a perfume spray to purge that body odour of yours! Let the vandals have the cafes and galleries to themselves today. They can ransack and burn down those imports of “western culture”. Look east today!

One of my reports for Hindustan Times


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