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Farewell cynics, welcome Valentines
Why is it that we have cynics looking down upon Valentine’s Day?
IT IS THE season of love with lovers cooing lovey dovey in each other’s ears on Valentine’s Day. And as they say one can feel love is in the air!’ But hey, wait, I hear someone shout... they exclaim, “love? There’s no loving in Valentine’s Day! It’s all about sex, sleaze and seduction! Its materialism incarnated.” Well, of all other words, the word I expect to hear last was - materialism. Alas! Another black spot on the pink color of Valentine! Sure, there’s a lot of sex and sleaze and one-night stands associated with this wonderful day (and to which some would say, making it all the more wonderful), but materialism?
Maybe yes. But then I wonder which part of our life is not affected by it? Doesn’t the whole world seem to be running behind the American Dollar? People take up jobs more on the basis of pay rather than the content, girls marry guys because “...Oh so what he’s fat and bald? Everyone’s got flaws. But see, he’s an NRI too...”
Open up your eyes people - materialism is everywhere. And no festival, society or place remains unscathed by it. But isolating Valentine’s Day by marking it as a celebration of materialism isn’t the right thing to do.
As for sex, sleaze and seduction – they too are just around the corner. They don’t just burst out revolving on the day of Valentine’s. It’s only on that day the cynics (who probably don’t have a date) decide to notice how appallingly pathetic the world is. Some one mentioned somewhere about the Valentine cards being an invitation for date who fits our definition of attractive. Well first, we don’t date unattractive people. Accept it ladies. And second, it’s a start and you never know to whom a simple date may lead you to – perhaps, your soul mate for life?
Just because people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars (or rupees in our case) doesn’t make it a materialistic issue or having a causal relationship makes the whole society scandalous. The world is changing and so are our lives. Long gone are the days when there used to be just candies in the stockings on Christmas and a birthday cake (only) on your birthdays. Children of the rich now expect PS-2 or XBOX or maybe even the latest model of a cell phone on the shelf. But then again, it’s only a matter of perception that you chose.
Practically thinking, when did a rich kid wait for Christmas for laying his hands on their spoils, even when we look back in time? And the lesser privileged don’t dream of them even on a Christmas. And so holds true for a Valentine’s Day too. It’s about capacity and the capability to which you feel comfortable to spend for the one you love. Period. You cannot persuade Brad Pitt to celebrate Valentine’s Day with just flowers nor can you convince a mere peasant to celebrate Valentine’s Day with anything but flowers. There are still (and trust me, many) who still say it with flowers. And yes, they pay for it (rather be blamed for being materialistic than to be blamed for stealing flowers and ruining your neighbour’s garden). I know what you’re going to say... “Flowers ain’t that bad, it’s the expensive diamonds and the extravagant candle light dinner we’re talking about!” But then listen people; it’s not a choice we guys make. We know that mere flowers and a good sense of humor won’t get us a date. It’s our lovely ladies who will have to lower their standards and look into our well, ‘un-materialistic’ charming qualities and settle down for flowers. And thanks to Valentine’s Day, our poor farmers in Pune aren’t that poor anymore.
As for those who cry upon our lost cause and drifting away from our culture (aping the West to be more correct) – I have news! Thanks to globalization and our fast adaptation of the West today, we’re what we are becoming a more prosperous India! And if it makes you feel better, you have a choice to look towards and East (Japan, Korea Taiwan, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia…) where they celebrate Valentine’s Day too and say “Hey, we’re successfully aping the East now (pun intended here)!” Or perhaps, you like the conservative countries where Burka is still on vogue and Valentine Day a Taboo?

Have a Lovely, Romantic, Happy and Extravagant Valentine’s Day!

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shailesh kode
merinews for RTI activists
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brad pitt
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