we (shouldn’t) enable Valentine’s Day
(This is not ramblings of a single man/woman who finds ‘love is in
the air’ to be sour grapes)
It’s Valentine’s Day! The day to get victimised by this big
capitalist commercial festival of card sending and teddy bear
purchasing. This big web of commercial threads were woven around us
gradually, none of us are either aware, or care, about the grip it has
What actually happened that led to love actually
St Valentine is a third century Roman saint who is commonly
associated with ‘courtly love’. Hagiographical identity of St Valentine
explains how he was martyred during the reign of emperor Claudius
Gothicus of Rome and that he was punished for marrying Christian couples
at a time marriage was prohibited with the intention of enrolling young
men to the army.
historians claim that the romantic nature of the Valentine’s Day was not
introduced until the middle ages and the month of February because back
then, it was believed that the birds couple in mid-February. 18thcentury
antiquarians Alban Butler and Francis Douce believed that February 14
was named after St Valentine to overpower the pagan holiday named
Lupercalia, which was celebrated from February 13-15 to avert evil
spirits and purify the city.
In this season, we say love is in the air, but I would like to
qualify that statement. Love is in the air for heterosexual couples who
can afford the luxuries promoted by multinational companies and media
today. And amidst flowers and cards and heart shaped chocolate boxes, we
have forgotten the meaning of this day.
the love is measure by how many roses you bought, or how big the
chocolate is, or how squashy and cuddly the teddy bear is or the
location to enjoy a romantic dinner. And mind you, there are many people
out there to make suggestions, and whatever decision you make, you will
be compared with others and judged accordingly.
The strange thing is, all this, the commercialisation, the
extravagansas, are done in the name of purest love that would, if alive,
have made John Keats sob himself to sleep, Bronte sisters to storm away
in an angry frenzy and Jane Austen to pen that there are inappropriate
social trends that reduce Darcys and Captain Wentworths to the level of
Wickhams and Willoughbys.
I would like to dedicate this day to men and women who struggle every
day to make their relationships work, who do not want any endorsement
from multi-national companies or media to be in love with someone and to
be committed to their relationship.
would like to dedicate this day to men and women who are trying to make
ends meet, daily, to honour family commitments with the limited economic
resources they have, and live today like any other day with their loved
ones, while the boisterous extravagant display of affection explodes in
I would like to dedicate this day to the LGBT community whose love is
ignored in this festive season.
I would like to dedicate this day to all the single men and women,
single by choice, single not by choice, divorced, widowed, separated,
I would especially like to dedicate this day to single women, who are
constantly judged, questioned, and cajoled for being single, for
following your dreams instead of settling down with what the society
demands of you, for being the author of your own story.
And I would like to dedicate this day to you too, you, who so eagerly
waited to celebrate this day. But remember, love remains in
individuality, autonomy, understanding and passion, not in everything
false that’s promoted today.