The Valentine is a concept originated in England which is now widely celebrated and extremely commercialized. A local celebration in a particular culture has been cashed upon by the stalwarts of capitalism and people are earning huge amounts of money because of this one local culture gone global.
While in the era of globalization, almost each of the local festival and celebration is widely hyped all across the globe. It is providing means of business to so many people, which is a great thing from an economics point of view but it has its downsides as well as a society.
Now, in India, we are still not as open-minded with regard to the concept of romance and public display of affection as it is in the West. There are judgments and taboos attached. Even friendships between a man and a woman are questioned if they are not dating and well, they are anyway questioned if they are dating and not married and if a couple is above 50 years of age and still express love and do PDA at times, which could be simply holding hands while taking a walk, they are also looked with a smirk. So all in all, expressing love in an Indian society is often looked with a smirk, you could be having a purely platonic love equation with your friends, you could be dating, you could be married, you could be just existing simply, you will be looked upon with a smirk if you love too much.
“I love you” is a phrase which is either overused or not said at all. I belong to the millennial culture and generation where Tinder is the new cool and having hookups are normal. Honestly, I feel too confused because I have had a conservative upbringing with an open mind. I believe in old school romance and often feel like a misfit. On one hand, there is this much talked about “conservative society and culture” and while on the other hand there is this millennial culture of hookups and casual relationships and friends with benefits etc. People around me seem too confused between love and lust and sometimes I get confused too when I have a crush on someone in the real world. But lately my crushes on people are ending within hours so it is that shortlived. I have basically trained my mind to shoo away the butterflies which take birth sometimes in a very short period of time. In short, I am simply closing down with regard to romantic possibilities and relationships because of so much drama and confusion it brings.
“Love” on the other hand has brought so much clarity in my life. Love is not blind, infatuation is. When you love someone, you know their faults and imperfections too and still choose to love a person. In a family, you are aware of shortcomings of each of the family member and still love them because you love them. There is no reasoning or rationalizing for the love you have for someone. Yes, you might have reasons for first falling in love with someone, but you don’t have reasons for that feeling of love staying. Maybe that is one reason we never forget our first loves, we move on and get on with our lives, we love new people and spend our lives with them but we always remember the people we love or have loved because of that feeling which has stayed, which made the motor of your heart running in a particular rhythm. And love you have for different people makes the motor of your heart run in different rhythms. Not all love is the same and it should not be. The rhythms could be similar but it is not the same thing.
And in my strong opinion, love is a very personal thing and that’s why one-sided love stories exist. In any relationship with family, your romantic partner or a friendship of two people, very rarely both people love the same way and with the same intensity. There will be days when one person loves more than the other and there will be days when there will be lots and lots of fights and arguments but love will still be there and one goes back to the happy equilibrium of a loving friendship or relationship or it dies out and even when friendships and relationships die out, the love still stays for some and for some it does not and it is okay.
Now, why am I talking about all of this, when I started to talk about the much-talked concept of “The Valentine”, it’s because we have given “love”, a particular day and a particular week and a particular month for its celebration and it does not make much sense to me. And that is not because I am single or anything, it’s just because I feel that a feeling like “Love” should be celebrated every day of one’s life.
First of all, we need to understand that a valentine is not just a romantic partner and people need to stop getting under this pressure of being lonely on a particular day. Our psychology is so much affected by these concepts around us that we have failed to look within and appreciate the love that exists around us in many forms. I may be single but I have quite a couple of valentines in my life, people who are my family and my friends, my teachers, people whom I deeply love and adore are my valentines and none of my valentines are perfect. They are all flawed and human and I am my own valentine and love is something that must be celebrated each day because love binds us all. You can get lonely on any day and not just valentines’ and you find your way too so stop asking out every tom, dick and harry for a date and just live, laugh, love and turn yourself into a romantic comedy with life.
Happy Valentines’ Life to you! ❤