I take a daisy in my hand and start plucking its petals one by one–
Valentine’s Day is good, Valentine’s Day is bad, is good, is bad…..
Despite being a person who holds strong opinions even on trivial issues, I am not able to decide yet if Valentine’s Day is good to celebrate or not.
The young girl in me, still alive, reminisces the time when my friend, now husband, used to send cards and dried roses from across the border, when we barely even heard of this day. So when I could get those roses two decades back, without a Valentine Day around, why cant these young girls now? At least on the Valentine Day if not everyday.
It isn’t a harmful day anyways, if one listens a bit less to one’s grey matter while listening to one’s ‘dil ki awaaz’. It doesn’t tell you to hate or kill anyone.
After-all, in this world loaded with hopelessness, despondency and uncertainty, the youth have so many insecurities these days. Hence, if they get one day even to blow their tops off with celebrations in the name of love, let them.
Tomorrow again it will be business as usual for them too.
Only if it hadn’t gone as commercial as it currently is–but then what else has not gone commercial–be it Eids, Ramadans, Milads and even Muharrams when people get made a wardrobe full of black dresses to wear during the 40 days of mourning.
How I wish that people did not confuse ‘love‘ from ‘lust‘ which is so selfish and pervert–exactly the opposite of what love is meant to be–selfless and pure .
But on the other hand, when one sees those numerous ads, of not just the innocent flowers, teddy bears or chocolates but of the products trying to boost one’s libido ahead of Valentine’s Day or even of those contraceptives–it feels sickening. As if those in need of this stuff wait for this single day out of all 365days in an year.
Hence I feel guilty of corroborating with the misdirected purpose of the day, and not vehemently opposing it with the loud mouth that I have.
There has also been research that if on one hand Valentine’s Day brings a tsunami of love amongst many, it erupts a volcano of dormant emotions in those who have either lost their loved ones, or were ditched by them or even those who never found their true love.
Valentine Day blues are real, not imaginary.
Yesterday I visited a seniors residence (an old home) in Mississauga to get the first hand feel of both these emotions.
The place was being bedecked in red frills, and balloons everywhere. It was a pleasurable sight to witness how enthusiastic some elderly( in their 80s) and the very elderly ( in their 90s or beyond) were about the Valentine Day. The zest with which they cleaned their rooms, and the gleam of youth in their eyes as they took out their best clothes to be ironed, even the most emotionally challenged could not miss.
But at the same time I was extremely pained to see the tearful emptiness in the eyes of a wheel chair bound woman who said her husband has passed away very recently and she has no Valentine now.
She is not alone. There must be millions all round the globe today feeling miserable, unlucky, left out, unwanted, unloved or whatever their depressed emotions would make them feel.
Joining in gloom, many young girls will fake and send themselves cards, chocolates or red roses to showoff to their friends what a ‘secret’ Valentine they are to ‘someone’ ‘somewhere’.
I do not feel sad for them, I feel helpless.
What if we could rise above our selfish love and make this feeling of ‘loved’ and ‘wanted’ so universal and selfless.
“When young girls can be innovative enough to fake Valentines Day for themselves, cant we just fake it for others too? “ Came the flash in my head as I was attending a meeting of an organization in this above mentioned ‘old home’s conference hall.
From that point in the meeting, I knew not what did they discuss –as there was another meeting progressing in my head.
As we finished, I approached the reception desk of the residence and asked the lady there if she had an idea, how many here would not be having any visitors or will not celebrate the Valentine Day.
After some reservation, and some explanation from me, she came up with a figure of about twenty or so elderly who have no visiting appointments booked for the day. I discussed a plan with her, which after a phone call from her Manager, she readily agreed to.
I rushed home in excitement and asked my husband for a deal–that instead of buying a bunch of beautiful red roses and shoving them into a flower vase in our living room and let it sit there till the last flower dries, we shall buy two dozen rose buds and as many chocolates and visit the ‘residential’ place in the evening to fake as Valentines for those who have no visitors.
And to make sure that none of those elders get overwhelmed and get a wrong message, we shall go together–my husband and me–to give them the roses and chocolates.
At least they will smile and feel wanted, be it for a few minutes. And hopefully the ‘feel good’ feeling will last as long as it will take the rose buds to dry in their vases.
I do not know how much of Valentine Day celebration is haram in my faith but I know that as part of our faith we are allowed to lie on three occasions–and one of them being when you want to please your loved one.
So today all these elderly men and women will have my husband and me as their Valentine. And we will ’fake’ love to just please them.
In this world of recession and promotions, they will get a great deal–
BUY ONE VALENTINE, GET ANOTHER FREE !