Sunday, 2 February 2014

14th Feb’ Valentine's Day, A day of Love?

Rita was very excited as it is going to be her very first date on 14th February with John. As he had approached her, had asked her to meet him on that particular day, fourteen February. Now she would be like one of her other teenage friends, those who shared their experiences in group. The only thing she knew was that this day is celebrated by lovers and each beautiful girl went with her boy friend to celebrate this day.
She got ready on that particular day in a special red dress and went to the card shop to buy card and gift and flowers, as it is custom for John, she had heard from her friends that this is the way to express their feelings.
 While coming out of shop she was surprised to see John with another girl holding flowers and cards. John was shocked when he saw her and he escaped from there quickly without saying anything to her. The truth dawned on her. She realized that she is merely rushing towards a person who is befooling don’t know how many girls in the name of ‘love’. Her dream was shattered but then it gave her a good lesson too.
             This made me wonder what is happening? Why this excessive attraction to the body and why this falsehood? Well digging deeper I found the answer the Indian movies are planting seeds into new crop’s innocent minds since 2000 and that too without understanding the depth of the seriousness of this emotion and this occasion. Youngsters meet and play in the name of ‘love’. Bollywood’s romantic movies are now creating ‘Valentine's Day’ celebration situations and fantasies that fascinate the adolescent young minds to live that dream. (Bollywood is the name for movies made in Mumbai, India). They are bright, colorful, romantic and musical like "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge", ‘Dil to pagal hai” etc.
     These days on this occasion the markets gets flooded with items related to this ‘Love emotion’ cards, gifts, heart shaped soft toys, teddy, roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, diamond industry too began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for gifting jewelry. This ‘emotion’ and this occasion have been commercialized. Negative elements of the society believe this day to be a license to indulge in anti gentlemanly activities, they consume lots of alcohol, indulge in eve teasing and sale of condoms also rise as this is also fast becoming a day of love making in this way.
     And this made me research the reason why the story associated with the ‘Valentine’s day’. Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.  Saint Valentine's Day, also known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them. St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.
      As a result of globalization this day is celebrated as festival in almost countries. In India, a hindu saint has stated that "Those who celebrate ‘Valentine’s Day’ in the present manner do in fact insult the saint himself; for they try to start a love-affair before their actual marriage by sending Valentine cards to one another. I believe had St. Valentine known that his good intentions would come to this, he would not have solemnized the marriages in the first place."
Shiv Sena and the Sangh Parivar have asked their followers to shun the holiday and the "public admission of love" because of them being "alien to Indian culture". Although these protests are organized by political elites, the protesters themselves are middle-class Hindu men who fear that the globalization will destroy the traditions in their society: arranged marriages, Hindu joint families, full-time mothers, etc.
Despite these obstacles, Valentine's Day is becoming increasingly popular in India.
Celebration of Valentine's Day in Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia has been harshly criticized by Islamic Teachers who see the celebrations as opposed to Islamic culture.Valentine's Day has been strongly criticized from a postcolonial perspective by intellectuals from the Indian left. 
Looking at the other countries St. Valentine's Day in Greek tradition was not associated with romantic love; In the Eastern Orthodox church there is another Saint who protects people who are in love, Hyacinth, of Caesarea but in contemporary Greece, this tradition has mostly been superseded by the "globalized" form of Valentine's Day.
In Denmark and Norway, although February 14 is known as Valentine’s day, it is not celebrated to a large extent, but is largely imported from American culture, and some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner, to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one. The cut-flower industry in particular is still working on promoting the holiday.
         In France, a traditionally Catholic country, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin", and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries. In Spain Valentine's Day is known as "San Valentín" and is celebrated the same way as in the UK.
Valentine's Day is celebrated in some East Asian countries with Chinese and South Koreans spending the most money on Valentine's gifts. In South Korea, similar to Japan, women give chocolate to men.
When whole life is not enough to love someone then how could you fix a single day for celebrating 'love'? I don't think love depends on any meeting or needs any physical togetherness or an expression into three magical words. Nor those words are able to complete this ocean of emotions. It is an emotion which can be felt by another soul no matter whether they are together or separated. If there is honesty in person then there would be realization of true feelings by another and care for each other.
What these youngsters feel is not ‘love’. It is infatuation, a temporary attraction towards the physical appearance of the other sex. That is certainly not the chaste and sacred feeling of love. What they feel is the need to show off to their group of friends that they too have a girlfriend/boyfriend and love is not a show off. It is an emotion close to the heart, which takes you close to God, which elevates you from the coarse and takes you to the sublime.
Alfred Tennyson says “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.”
For me love is a feeling which grows with time and it is so pure that it touches other's heart. It gives you power and reason to live, to divert your energies in a constructive way. It makes you feel romantic, special and to love yourself. A single life is not enough to absorb the wide emotion of 'love' so I can't celebrate this particular day of 'love'.... I want many lives to live and to love...