–By T S Haokip
St Valentine is divinely revered by lovebirds all across the world and a feast day in his honour is observed worldwide as Valentine’s Day every February 14. Not satisfied with a single day, now we have Valentine’s week; starting with a rose day. On a lighter note, I feel this ritual has its origin in India, wherein most of our festivals have series of days before the main day. Valentine’s Day is no doubt a festival now; of love and romance. Not many years ago we have some groups of people attacking lovers observing Valentine’s days, alleging that ‘the celebration is a product of the fantasy people have for Western civilization, which is not in sync with Indian culture.’ The naming of the day notwithstanding, it is unfair to credit the celebration of love being Western culture alone. One cannot help but remember Kamasutra.
My memories of Valentine’s are mostly dotted with moments of being single or hanging out with friends devoid of any romance. But I have always been a staunch supporter of lovers having their own day in a year. Some argue that everyday is Valentine’s day for lovers and there is no need for a special day. In fact they opined love is not a one day affair. My reply to them would be that, ‘we have 365 days in a year. We can celebrate love many days. But not everyone can celebrate everyday. My simple logic is that just because you have ‘Mothers’ Day’ once in a year, you cannot imply that Mothers should not be loved in the remaining days of the year.
It is more about dedicating a single day at the least. You may be busy on other days day but on Valentine’s day, be available for your lovers. Best if you could every day.’
On a day when millions celebrate love, it is only pertinent to ask what is love? There are different kinds of love. Romance or the love for opposite gender was witnessed right from the days of Adam and Eve. Adam’s life was not complete without Eve. It has proven the fact that love is life. Love is one of the most beautiful gift God has given us. In fact His love ‘the agape’ is the highest of all kinds of love. Lovers can thus take a cue from the man who possessed the greatest of love. We can learn from his teachings. ‘True love awaits’ is one such message which has a deep meaning.
How do I celebrate Valentine’s day 2020, must be a question many have lost sleep over it in the past few days, if you are a lover. Millions will stick to dine-outs, roses and chocolates. As for me, I will write a poem or sing a song for my love. I believe in doing things differently. Rose and chocolate memories are so last year to me. In fact I even attempted sketching my lover. The fact that she got mad after seeing my work is a different thing altogether.
The experience of being single on a Valentine’s day has its own thrill. I remember going to Ward’s Lake, Shillong during my college days with three of my friends on Valentine’s day just to observe how couples observed the day. Then there were moments I’d spend alone in my room wondering what my friends would be doing. I’d remind myself, “you have priorities.” But deep inside there was a strong feeling of envy for people in love, stronger than the need to be loved or to love someone.
It is love that makes one to forget life’s woes and look forward to tomorrows with hope. It is love that makes a heart smile and romanticizes the clouds, rains, stars and the moon. It is beautiful to be in love – It is love that makes the short and tall; the fair and dark; ‘the rich and poor; the young and old – all beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers!
(The writer is Author of the Book ‘HILLY DREAMS)