Friday, February 23, 2007

Ramblings on Valentine’s Day

As I write this, I am pathetically harassed. Believe me. And that’s simply because, this is a Valentine’s Day morning, and everyone, whom I happen to know, say a high occasionally, and mostly flash a smile, (because there’s nothing to talk between them and me, in the office, that is, except for criticising everyone in the office, including the chairs and the computer monitors, except for us, the conversationalists) today is offering me Valentine’s Day wishes, meaning, probably, you useless nerd, get a life, get a girlfriend. You earn a decent salary, isn’t it. Splurge some. Stop sitting in front the computer screen, making your eyes suffer. Go out. Visit some mall, or go to a multiplex. And the next morning you must come back and tell us how badly your evening passed. Phew!
There was a time when I had the impression that this VD is banned in this part of India. On the second thought, probably that’s the reason why I am being bugged. I remember being tought by a very fat female in a particularly boring sociology class (boring because she was speaking in a nasal-monotone, and I just had a full meal for the lunch, a rare occasion) some years ago about the concept of underground culture. I don’t remember the academics of it, but what I understood is this: In any prevalent time, there are some ideas, some believes, some celebrations that are considered obscene (wrong would be the right word) by the social authorities who dictate the terms (culture change, authorities come and go, that’s a different story!). When it happens, that this so-called ‘wrong’ doings thrive underground, not in some dungeon, but away from the prying eyes of the Big Boss (sorry for the correct spelling!). This gives the practitioners of this ‘wrong’ whatever, a kind of kick of defying the system, the authority. Call it decadence, call it rebellion (with or without cause) but it exists.
Probably, mind you, probably, that has happened to this VD concept out here, we love it because there is a group of people out there who wants it banned. It’s as simple as that.
“Happy Valentine’s Day…” Yes, another one. This girl just passed, holding a mobile phone on her ear and seductively wishing me. Is she trying to make someone jealous?
Sorry for the digression!
Coming back to the point, we celebrate the day just to get the kick, literally and figuratively. I swear I know several instance where this kick-thing happened. Here’s one of them.
We grew up thinking that it’s a boys privilege to select the girl and propose to her, never mind what the girl might be thinking. So, this classmate of mine choose his girl and decided to propose her on the VD. He brought a single stem of a beautiful rose (paying five times more than the actual price), and stood there outside the class where she was attending a lecture. Lecture over, the boy accosted her, clutched the red rose between his hands and stammered out: “I…I love you.” Picture the scene with all her classmates watching! What the poor girl could do? She bowed her head and walked away and did not attend the class for the next whole week.
And let’s not get into the details of my friend’s state. It’s many years now. Yet, he hasn’t still recovered from the trauma.
And the girl? She told me much later that she like the rose really, and liked the boy too. But the situation was so bizarre. What could she do?
That’s for a real kick!
In the morning itself I had to part away with all the money my wallet carried, as my flat-mate is planning to take his date out to a dinner. He has finally got the date after a lot of hassle, you see. And from the reliable sources he has collected the information that the last date she went out with spend more that two grands, and yet she rejected him. So, my flat-mate needs to spend a double than that. You have seen that particular credit card ad, haven’t you?
“So, what’s your plans tonight?” the office boy, a young man, who likes to show off his mobile phone asks me. Now, that’s the pits. This VD stuff was supposed to be the culture of the moneyed people.
“So, what’s your plan?” I return him the question. He smiles shyly. “Kya sir, you know that I’m married.” Oh, another revelation! VD is not for the married people.
I tell him my plans. Today’s not a dry day. So what else? As usual. And today, thankfully, I will be alone. My flat-mate would be somewhere splurging his money, and mine as well.
The office boy isn’t happy with my answer. Anyway, he leaves me alone and looks for someone else, to ask the same question: “So, what’s your plans tonight?”

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