Was I going to celebrate Valentine ’s Day? I had not yet decided. For me, love was never ‘out there’ for display. Nor did I ever advocate the PDAs (public displays of affection, if you might call them that). But that does not mean I will ever allow myself to suffocate in the premises of my own thoughts.
I liked seeing love around me, rather than the ill-fated hatred that bound the hearts of millions with undisputed agony. We do not realize what a disgrace we allow ourselves to do, when we agree with mass inhumane behavior. And even if we don’t oppose it, it is as good as succumbing to it.

Richa liked Richard. I always saw them as two lovebirds, who were ready to take a full flight to their new destination. I used to see them everyday, standing at the bus stop, holding hands. Many days I saw a bright yellow sunflower accompanying her books, or even a rose. But what was unmistakable was her smile, when she was with Richard.

I was rather late to office that day. It was raining heavily. As I stood at the bus stop with my umbrella, trying to escape the darned wetness, they both waved at me. They were both half wet, soaking from their shoulders but cuddling under a single umbrella. The umbrella could hardly keep up with the rain, but the warmth still kept their smiles. They both waved at me. I could not help but smile, and waved back at them.

With people like Richa and Richard, I am sure each day was a valentine’s day. They seemed so perfect together, they way their eyes locked up, the way he waited for the bus with her and waved her goodbye, or the way he walked her back home. You could clearly see that they were too happy together to be bothered by external circumstances.
“The political leaders are going frantic about 14th Feb.” “I don’t know when will they ever stop this ridicule and do some ‘real’ work”. “I do not understand, when there are riots and killings, then nobody comes forward to protect the people, and they are ready to fire swords for these minuscule things.” I could just about agree, but what could be done. We were too busy running our own lives to allocate some time for social well-being.

When the day arrived, there was love in the air. Not literally, but the smell of roses had not left any gaps unchecked. The rose petals on the walkway, the over-hyped meeting of lovers, it was all a fascination being celebrated. But whatever it was, it was lovely to look at!

I could barely get to the bus stop. There were long queues at the florist’s shop for roses, being sold for 50 bucks, when the usual price was just 8 bucks! But it still did not deter people from waiting for them. Candy wrappers, chocolate boxes were to be seen everywhere. It looked more like a dozen birthdays being celebrated together.

I was waiting for the bus to come and made sure I wasn’t wearing any shades of pink or red. Somehow, I could never stand clichés or hypes. If I loved someone, I would rather hold his hand than the rose. What wonderful thoughts, the valentine season was getting to me now.

I saw Richard and Richa. She had a beautiful bouquet of red roses in her hands. Richard must have planned way ahead for this. They held each other’s hands. I noticed, it wasn’t just me smiling, but others like Mrs Gale,  Mr Alok and all people of my neighbourhood who stood there.

Suddenly an auto-rickshaw came and stopped near the bus. It was too sudden to exclaim or understand. A few people jumped out with flags which read – “Condemn Valentine’s day. Save the culture.” They headed towards Richard and Richa. Richard moved her behind him and prepared himself for them. But there were too many of them.

I can never explain what got into me at that moment. I rushed to Richard’s side and shouted “Stop this nonsense. I have called the police. They will be here any minute.” “Don’t interfere lady, we aren’t concerned with you. We just want to teach a lesson to these lovers, who can’t respect their own culture.” Mr Alok was quicker in thinking, he actually dialed the police while Mrs Gale came up to me and confronted them. “Don’t you teach us about culture. Creating havoc isn’t our culture. Nor is this spread of violence.” “We cant let this happen.” As it happened, Mrs Gale came forward and slapped the speaker. It was so sudden that everyone stopped speaking. Staring open mouthed at Mrs Gale, who was way above her sixty years of age, the mob stopped abruptly.

We could hear the police sirens in a distance. They got into the auto-rickshaw and made a head-start, but the police caught onto them. Mrs Gale noticed the stares from strangers and she retorted “ My husband was in the army you know. A very brave man, I got it from him.” People roared in laughter at her statement.

Richard stepped out and said “Thank you Mrs Gale, and all of you.” “Oh, don’t worry about it” said Mrs Gale who was still basking in her fame and adulation. “I am planning to marry Richa. I proposed today and she said yes.” “Wow…congratulations.” “But again, I am a Christian and she is a hindu. Her parents will never agree.” “Oh Richard, let me talk to her parents.” And that statement from Mrs Gale made their day.
They say all is well that ends well. But does it ever end? In a world that advocates freedom of thought and expression, was love – the basic human expression, so gullible? But I could not argue it accurately, because this is life, and we have to keep fighting to get it ‘our way’. Who said it was going to be easy, but the least we could do is not burden other people’s problems! If each of us dealt with together, we were sure to succeed. Happy Valentine’s day to all!



02/09/2010 1:46am

Good read, like all of your posts.

I find most of your posts follow a pattern :)

02/09/2010 8:09am

Nice story and message !!

But I am still searching for a way to stop these hooligans from spoling the valentine's day :-(

Happy Valentine's day !!

02/11/2010 10:51pm

@Rakesh - Thanks..
@Vimal - The least we can do is try n live our lives our own way....let's celebrate..what the hell yaar! Isn't it?

02/25/2010 2:17pm

Hey Lovya,

Good story, but waiting for it to be a little less preachy.
Just a tip, let the message be hidden, and let the story be interpreted differently by different people. :P

10/20/2010 2:55pm

The window open, You son of my blessing will come with the wind wave, You put the curtains, My blessing will come with sunlight, I take you to open the space, I wish I walked with.

10/28/2010 8:29am

good! i like this picture. lovely!

06/17/2011 3:44pm

I read with great interest.Thanks for you sharing.

06/17/2011 3:44pm

Your article looks great!Thanks for you sharing. I love it.

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