By Indu Balachandran/Deccan Herald
Being in a state of love is a good feeling in February. It is definitely a nicer state to be in than say, a higher tax bracket, or a tight pair of shoes.
But over the last couple of years, February 14 has been Quarantine’s Day rather than Valentine’s Day, what with Covid rhyming with morbid, sordid, and god-forbid… Close encounters of love scared off everybody. But now love is in the air, more than bacteria, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I can see men and women prepare for it differently.
The feminine gender sometimes gets straight to the point:
Girl: “For Valentines Day, honey, will you give me a ring?”
Boy: “Sure thing… what’s your telephone number again?”
Guys however are unprepared and many wish the V Day shifted from February 14 to February 30, or 31, to escape being hauled up for forgetting to remember.
Women, for some hormonal reason, prepare for this date roughly after the New Year Party. Along with them, several other elements too begin preparation. Rose plants work overtime to create more rosebuds, cocoa plants go into overdrive to produce extra chocolate. Many trees are ready to be chopped down to be turned into heart-shaped greeting cards. And there’s a population explosion in the teddy bear family, reproducing rapidly to go sit on gift shop shelves all over the world.
But some things can’t be hurried. Lumps of carbon, intending to be diamonds, begin preparation centuries before the approach of February, to become shiny romantic rings.
Yet men blissfully carry on, despite huge hints being dropped, flashed on screens, and romantic merchandise accosting them in malls and markets. Even this article of warning many are reading just now, maybe merrily forgotten until it’s too late…
I thought I’d ask some of my good male pals about their intentions for Valentine’s Day.
I began with Charlie, always a whiz with words. Perhaps he’d have created a special original message for his gal. “Hey! Do you know what cool anagrams you can make with Valentines’ Day?” he said instead. “Rearrange the letters and you get Lady’s Sin Event! And Valentine’s Day jumbled up also makes Nets Naive Lady.” Well I do hope Charlie’s gal loves funny anagrams as much as she loves him.
I bumped into Maddy, who was contemplating a huge sign outside a florist that said “Say it with flowers!” But seeing the prices of exotic orchids and rare lilies shook up Maddy. He felt saying it with flowers was a great idea; but then he was a man of few words…therefore a single rose would do.
There will be many clever chaps citing this brilliant excuse for not getting a thing: ‘But I was only saving my own life, darling: there are gangs of moral police everywhere, ready to attack anyone who buys Western expressions of Love that is against our great Indian culture…’ But I wish to warn these men that attacks by their peeved lady love could be more fatal than anti-love squads lurking about.
However, with so many being in polyamorous relationships these days, Valentine’s Day could still be a booming marketing opportunity, for those in the Romance industry. Driven more by guilt than goodness, all types of genders may well be giving out multiple cards and gifts secretly… pushing up sales like never before.
I looked around and found a boom in designer shoes and bags for a liberated generation of people in love. Hey what’s this, I thought, in the men’s section of fancy footwear. “These are Stud-lettos”, said a happy guy trying on a pair of high heels for men. Well! And there would doubtless be a Manbag to go with it, as Valentine’s gift for the love of his life.
I also saw matched towel sets with ‘Hers’ and ‘Hers’ printed with heart shapes all over. In the greeting card section, the standard red heart was joined by new-age Valentines with striped rainbow-coloured hearts. There was a nightshirt with this teasing message for someone contemplating an extra-marital affair: ‘I will be your Valentine. If you’ll be my concubine.’ There were some witty warnings too, for those giving in to amorous over-indulgence on this universal lovers’ day. I saw a poster that said: ‘Valentine’s Day is also VD.’ After a moment the penny dropped.
But what about those of us who don’t have Valentines, with any romance/lover/partner/crush/date/ on this big day devoted to the celebration of love?
Don’t be sad. Most people don’t have Chickenpox either on Chickenpox Day.
HeSaid/SheSaid is a monthly column on gender issues—funny side up.
The author ran away from a bank interview to join Advertising and then ran away again to be a Travel Writer. Resulting in her novel ‘Runaway Writers’. Reach her at [email protected]