Father’s day, Mother’s day, Valentine’s day, Friendship day…….. There are days galore to felicitate the near and dear ones in our lives. All of them are celebrated with much fanfare. What amuses me is how, when any such ‘day’ of celebration is upon us, we inevitably have a size-able chunk of the population breaking out in rashes… of disapproval. They come on all sanctimonious over the innocent revellers and ask with righteous indignation, why on earth anyone needs a ‘day’ for celebrating mother, father, brother, sister, lover, friend, dog, cat or the parakeet. Shouldn’t love and affection for anyone be an ongoing thing instead of being confined to a ‘day’?
Good point. Except that as far as I know, such celebrations do not come with any conditions or clauses that state once the ‘day’ is over you are forbidden to show affection and love to loved ones until the same time next year. There is nothing that says no to continuing giving flowers/chocolates or going on outings or whatever all year round. Of course it is another matter with the prices being what they are that you might end up a pauper and not have anything in your pockets to do all that. But that is a different matter altogether.
I am not one for much of celebrations. Take for example today’s Valentine’s day. I can take it or leave it. For all I know the L & M might walk in today with a box of sinfully rich chocolates plus 102 (yes, the number has a significance which will be revealed duly) roses to celebrate the day. Of course if he does that, I might consider giving him one my famed reproachful looks for his not having given due thought to what all those calories would do to my non-existent waistline, even as I gobble them up without any remorse whatsoever. It is possible he might walk in empty-handed without a clue as to what day today is. Naaah, that is not actually possible. He is the same man who surprised me with a CD of mushy songs and a card for me on Valentine’s day way before the Senas had even heard of Valentine’s day, before there was internet to remind us of the day so promptly. What I mean to say is he remembers days. But I digress.
The point is, the possibilities are endless on just how this day unfolds for us. I might or might not wish him. We might or might not go out. You get the idea? We can take it or leave it. But I am happy for those who are out there celebrating. When I hear the sanctimonious nit-pickers, I feel that attitude of ‘live and let live’ is missing. Celebrations are for those who want to celebrate. The rest are free to do whatever else they’d like to do. But pricking the balloon of happiness of others is not one of them. After all, one definition of happiness does not fit everyone, does not have to, and will not either. Happiness may be a day snatched together in some name or other for some. May be the pinkness all around does lift some hearts? Chocolates, mushy songs, cards, eating out…. how can anyone say with certainty that all that does not give happiness to someone or other? May be not to you, but to someone different from you?
The favorite word bandied about here like nobody’s business when it comes to the different days is “commercialisation” used especially with regard to Valentine’s day, Father’s day, Mother’s day et al because they are seen as Western imports. Oh yeah. So all that money you splurge on our very own desi festivals is not commercialisation? All those unnecessary sugar you force down on each other, all the finery you deck yourself up in and try to impress each other with is not ‘commercialisation’? Give me a break. Is commercialisation only when the ‘day’ is of Western origin? Besides, I am yet to hear anyone dismiss Rakshabandhan day with a, “Why Rakshabandhan? Why should there be a special day to celebrate the relationship between sisters and brothers? Don’t they love each other the rest of the days in a year?”
I have been noticing how the anti-Valentine’s day gang has been speaking up in unison: Love does not need a day. I agree too. Absolute truth, love does not need a day at all. But love will not disintegrate and wither away because it was celebrated on a ‘day’ either. So why not let the revellers revel? Why not let them be happy in their enthusiasm?
Now we come to the reason why I hoped to get 102 roses. I opened my Google+ page today evening to find this message from an absolute stranger:
“HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! 101 ROSE!!!!!!!!!! love u dear,,,,, my id is firstname.lastname@example.org. Come for chat”
The L & M could top this offer only by getting me 102 roses. But who am I kidding? He laughed when I threw him the challenge and the laughter had the unmistakable tinkle of, “Dream on!”