Friday, February 17, 2006

Dil Vil Pyar Vyar

The week that passed by had a particular day, which of late has created lot of news of various shades not just black and white. Everyone calls it the "Valentine’s Day".

What used to be just another day in everyone’s life in India per se, 20 years back has assumed a new importance and dimension today. The new global face of India has shed off old inhibitions and embraced like never before the festival of Valentine's Day despite opposition from conservative voices.

Of late many many groups and outfits in India have opposed this day on grounds that the values and message propagated on this day are against Indian traditions. The values are something that Indians are not part of intrinsically. These days anti-Valentine's Day protests have become more violent and to me this is all pre-planned just to divert the minds of people and I feel the protesters eagerly wait for this day to draw media attention. Year after after, they religiously make protests and shower violence with stoning of shops/hotels/coffee houses etc.

The rightwing organisations such as the Shiv Sena and the VHP that support the BJP are the chief patrons.

My say:
a.Please don’t mix and match "netaji’s and mantri babus" for your personal benefits. Hindu religion by its very nature and definition is an open religion that believes in peace and love and so please don’t give a regional/communal ting for inciting people. You have no right to destroy any property or harm any one because they do not agree with your belief system/practice. The youth in India embraces V Day not because they respect St. Valentine or Western ideas or Christianity but because expressing love is an innate need. Times have changed now and educated Indians are mature and the best part is children openly discuss everything with their parents and elders. If they do not like the St. Valentine by name, call it the "Krishna-Rukmini" or "Laila Majnu" or "Heer Ranjha" Day but let the people in love(get full clarity as to what this means to each) express their affection.

b.It is true that knowledge is power and this just shows what lack of knowledge can do. The history of Valentine's Day is shrowded in mystery with many legends and stories. Learn more about the various legends and stories surrounding Valentine's Day, visit "The Hisory Channel".But we have given it a tone without being aware of the reason,that’s stupidity . Valentine's Day is celebrated to express love not just between two young individuals. It can be expressed between a brother and a sister, a mother and a son, a father and a daughter, basically any relationship. (for me Chotu is the best, and she is just 1 year old now and she is my cutie,"Chotu don’t listen to what crap people talk".). We do it everyday and Valentine's Day is just another special day where we express our love for a person in a special way. We Indians really need to think properly before we act.

I like the marketing, branding and the idea behind generating business that is remotely connected to heart/soul/emotions in any way on the pretext of this occasion. Some year’s back, when a few love-struck Indians first began to celebrate Valentine's Day, a rose would suffice to mark the occasion. Coming to roses let me remind you that my city, Bangalore earns "hazzar" money, as it is India's V Day rose capital and exports around 40% of the annual sales in one day, with Amsterdam alone this year ordering more than 2 million Indian roses.

No longer today, love cannot be conquered without splurging the right amount. As consumerism catches on in India, incomes rise and a young population finds gainful employment, the number of customers ready to pay for the requirements of love is getting larger and larger. The corporates have responded, cajoling lovers to spend big. Newspapers were rife with advertisements from corporates using the occasion to promote anything from contact lenses,electronic gadgets to watches to websites apart from traditional gifts like flowers, chocolates and jewellery. Shopping malls and middle class markets wore a festive look as the occasion was time for big business, and enterprising retailers left no stone unturned to cash in on the demand. The 14th Feb edition of TOI also stated that the sales from various segments have already touched the numbers that reach on festive seasons such as Diwali in most Indian cities. Valentine's Day is almost a Rs 22 crore industry in India, and like Sensex, it seems to be going just one way - up!

Whatever the arguments may be, the trend of celebrating the day is slowly percolating from the urban strongholds to the domain of smaller towns where the media has served to popularize and market once alien concepts. I love this, as there is a smile on the face of many people, the air of feel good lingers everywhere and this peppiness is something yummy.

This is a piece of info which I became aware of this year while flipping through a website. For the detective agencies across the United States, the romantic holiday is a boon for business as it is the ideal time for a spouse to catch a cheating mate. Don’t cheat,else you are caught.

The same day as I was returning from office, I saw some huge hoardings from (AOL,"see below for the full-form")planted at various strategic junction points of Bangalore roads. The celebration and spirit was not just confined to the city’s upmarket malls and multiplexes. At the Art of Living ashram on Kanakapura Road, hordes of spiritual seekers from abroad swayed to the tune of love.

My survey sheet of "V day" friends (celebs :-) hey giving all a soft pamper) whom I spoke to on that day.
Sanjay – my elder brother had to drive and do all the job himself as he was moving to his new apartment@ Chicago, for him it was “re-location day”
Seema 22 F – lovebird, says for her every day is a Valentine day (sounds like the usual ones you hear in channel V or MTV.)
Kutti 25 M – this fellow was struggling in the lab conducting experiments @ Florida Univ lab and then had been to gym for a workout and finally back home,just another day.
Bhavna – this techie had to rush home early to evade the busy B’lore traffic and join her husband and Chotu for a “Family Day’s out” and celebrated the day, enjoying a nice cosy dinner.

As the commercial demands of love spiral ever upward, what we must not forget that more than half the Indian population still lives on less than a dollar a day. We all know that we cannot make a change and swing the economy over night but in our fast lives,it is good to have a day when we can take a deep breath and follow our hearts.

For me it was just another day, keep reading and remainconnected.


At 10:45 PM, Blogger Kutti said...

If all you meant was V-day is just another reason to celebrate its fine. Ofcourse there are other things that come with this. Huge traffic, drunken lunacy on the street and stuff like that to name a few. All this just because ppl want to show off their so called "love" on the street? I love someone and would surely celebrate on V-Day but making it public and becoming a general nuisance on the road? Gimme a break!!!!. Will stop it here.

BTW you got my university wrong.

kutti ;-)

At 11:09 PM, Blogger remainconnected said...

I fully agree with you when someone makes this event public.Thats the reason, I mentioned 4 of my live survey reports to cite that,each one had its own way and none ever had anything to do with public.

My intention/message for the public part with respect to the branding and the marketing part.

Sorry for the Univ part. Shall amend it asap. Error is regretted.


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