Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine's Day stone artwork

Will you be my valentine?

A sentence that is a beautiful and complete love story in itself! And I have always been a sucker for love stories. I spent most of my adolescence dreaming up plots, scenarios, and characters… a large part of those were about love. I guess I have always been a dreamer. But would you believe that this sentence held no meaning or significance for me until I went to university? It is true! 

Those were different times. Mobile phones did not exist, the internet was unheard of and we used to go to the elite British Council Library or the American Library to research stuff for our school projects or to satisfy our curiosity. Google hadn’t been born yet. 

Like most people of my age at that time, my first brush with Valentine’s day happened when I went to college for my bachelor’s degree. The Archie’s store nearby was like Alladin’s cave for students, especially the freshers who had just stepped out of school and their parents’ protection. All those beautiful cards that said everything one could imagine, and teddy bears holding hearts… I could spend my entire day browsing through. Then, one day, the store was filled with cards and gifts for Valentine’s Day. It was like love gone wild! And we could see the seniors looking at us with knowing eyes, their slightly condescending smiles telling us in no uncertain terms, that we were ignorant. In many ways, we were. 

Valentine’s Day was a big event. Anyone who didn’t have a date on this day was the ultimate loser. Most of us freshers fell in this category, except some who moved exceptionally fast. I was among the slow ones, still trying to digest this new world. To live in a country whose literature, art and music have always glorified love but whose society frowns on dating even now and where public displays of affection are simply not done, is a strange experience. Valentine’s Day was a taboo topic beyond the university world. It was a celebration at college and just another day elsewhere. We all eventually got and gave our first Valentine’s cards, teddy bears that proclaimed love when pressed and heart-shaped chocolate in red velvet boxes. 

Now, I think kids are born with all this knowledge and can seamlessly coexist in a society where most still don’t bother with such things. This is not a part of our tradition but definitely a part of contemporary culture and commercial importance. From never having heard of Valentine’s at 17 to writing about it today has been a long and eventful journey but one thing hasn’t changed. I am still as much in love with love now, as I was then. 

Red roses, anyone? After all, ’tis the season of love!


2 thoughts on “Will You Be My Valentine?

Add yours

  1. Hello Mona,
    Yes a couple of years back, it was so different. I don’t think I heard about Valentine’s day before secondary school!
    Love was a subject I loved a lot but just in dreams and texts I wrote at that time. Real life was so far away from imagination!!
    I know in some countries Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate all kind of love. I like that!

    Liked by 1 person

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