Today is February 14, Valentine’s Day. It’s the day to celebrate your love, right? But going by the amount of mailers I am getting from retail outlets, this seems more to me the day of shopping than that of more philosophical things like love. If you have a love, buy things, gift things, and make the storekeepers happier. Yes, it’s a very different expression of love than the one I grew up with.
When I was in my teens and read my share of sugary sweet romance novels, I imagined love to be the loyalty, the care, and most importantly the overwhelming need to spend time with someone special. But now it’s all about the expenses, how much are you spending on gifts, dinner, and the full experience. Relationships are being worked out on how much you can do for me, rather than a shared experience. With marriages of conveniences abound, you take out convenience from the equation, and there is no marriage left.
I had an arranged marriage, and then I fell in love with my husband. Every Valentine’s Day he doesn’t forget to wish me or get me flowers. Every anniversary of a birthday is all about flowers, cakes, and dinners. But most importantly it’s about being together, feeling the love and the loyalty. After 15 years of marriage, romance stays because we care, and certainly not because of Valentine’s Days. Sometimes Valentine’s Days are just excuses to celebrate togetherness.
Delhi marriages are all about pomp and show. How much you can spend and what all things can you buy with it, is the criteria here for a successful wedding. And yet relationships come cheap. Just get married, and then things will fall in place. Really? Is that how relationships work?
A friend of mine is searching for a partner to get married to. She thought matrimonial sites are a good place to start searching for the man of her dreams. As an educated, sophisticated, and professional woman, she wants a man who will be her equal in all respects. I would think that’s a very reasonable expectation. And yet it seems not. A guy has written to her, ‘Working lady is okay as long as she can manage my family perfectly (the perfect valet!). Also, too ambitious and career oriented girls are not our (there’s an entire group of you out there?) choices! So, preferably (the girl has to be) not working; (or ladies working in) government jobs or teaching jobs are highly preferred.’ So I guess, these sites may be a good place to search for people, but wrong places to search for love. And on second thoughts, marriages, the final expression of love, can actually survive on these kinds of conditions? People, you tell me.