I believe the Valentine’s Day has run its prime and in today’s world it has lost its meaning! Now if you are a die-hard Sharukh Khan fan or someone who has lived and enjoyed the prime of Valentine’s Day hoopla, around the 90’s you would be shaking your head vigorously and even consider me to be a fool, for not believing in the true magic of love and et.all but before you get into all that, let me present my case.

The rise of Valentine’s Day

As a teenager of the 90’s I have seen this phenomenon called Valentine’s Day turn into a national festival backed by sheer marketing genius. India is known to be all accommodative, especially if it is anything to do with festivals! Valentine’s Day marketing blitz was accepted with the same love and affection that we endorse any other festival with and it quickly became an important day, to be marked in the calendars much to the dismay of our parents.

Soon there were fests and days that were celebrated around Valentine’s day and Feb was collectively known as college fun fest days. Soon after that many known unknown days like Chocolate Day, Rose Day, Teddy day and god knows what not day followed! The popularity was such that fringe outfits and parties, decided to cash in on its popularity by banning it and going on rampage against it!

A marketing genius

Now, as I didn’t fall in the popular girl’s category, I had much more time and leisure to study this marketing gimmick than be bogged down by the affection and attention that boys thought was perfect to be showered around this month.

I call this a great marketing strategy for the simple reason that the time was right for the kind of romance that Valentine’s Day stands for! You had movies that showcased love as all empowering and something that will give you a happily ever after, stolen kisses and secret meets were considered revolutionary and even enough to show and prove that they loved each other, parents opposition was enough to be the basis for a full length movie and words like live-in, sexting, Facebook and what’s app were unheard of!

Do we want a Valentine's day limited to great pics or a day to showcase commitment?

Valentine’s Day in today’s context

The historic reference of Valentine’s day was very close to the 90’s idea of romance. There was love, longing and the expectations were few, but today that’s hardly the case.

Today being in love is not all consuming. You can be in love with multiple people, your work or even with yourself! There is no concept of ‘waiting for the one’ Today, love is seen for what it basically is – a chemical reaction in the brain. It focuses on what you experience rather than believe in the illusion that marketing fed you over the years! I mean seriously – Does anyone believe in dialogues like ‘ Use dekhte hi violin bajane lagte hai!’

Valentine’s Day without warmth

While it is a relief that people are accepting love in a more realistic term rather than putting it on a pedestal, it is also lacking the warmth that the whole ‘love’ aura exuded.

Today, what I see is a lack in commitment. Any relation starts with the ‘If it doesn’t work out let’s move on’ concept. Any relationship needs work and if both come with the perspective of can easily move on, there is hardly going to be any relationship.

I am not sure if movies are a representation of today’s society or the society is being influenced by movies, but I am really not very happy looking at the way ‘love’ is portrayed. Love is a universal language, but I think Valentine’s Day needs a serious revamp! We need to add some feelings and a sense of commitment to a relationship.

What are your views? Have you seen a change in Valentine’s Day and it’s connect to the heart? Is it all just about giving gifts, adding selfies on Insta, FB lives and moving on the next day or is it about thoughtfulness, caring and sharing?

18 Replies to “The curious case of Valentine’s Day in India”

  1. Valentine’s is just another day to celebrate love. It has acquired a lot of relevance in the past few years and I love how the entire city is decorated in red on this day.

  2. To me Valentine’s Day is just like any other day because I think, all days are filled with love and laughter for me if I have happy people surrounding me. Our love or expression should not be restricted to on such say but forever…
    Loves the Violin line..lol..

  3. I think true love is just more than saying ‘I love you’ as you have outlined in your article! It has become a hype that is fuelled by the market. Love is an eternal gift you can give to your family.

  4. I feel teh v Day is just a fad. It is getting crazier for sure though. I prefer birthdays and hardly celebrate v day. Just once after my wedding I think lol! Loved your take on teh day !

  5. True that love is become very practical these days unlike my growing up years in the nineties. I guess in general not just Valentines day that emotions have been replaced by too much practicality. That is definitely reflected in popular culture in movies and TV.

  6. I agree with you at some level, Neha. Valentine’s Day is indeed great opportunity for varius brands to use it for marketing. What has changed over the years is more about intolerance in relationship rather than committment. Lovers start out committed towards each other but when relationship faces challenges, intolerance and ego breaks it. Those who truely love each other do not needsa particular day to express love. Love is expressed in the small things a couple dpoes for each other. But I think we also like to be pampered on a special day so Valentine’s Day has gained popularity over the years.

  7. Personally I can’t connect to this day! And honestly I’ve never even celebrated it! When you have love for someone, why wait for one day in a whole year to express or do something for them

  8. Now Valentine’s Day is beyond couple affairs. It’s more like celebrating love, giving gifts and cherish. I really like the core concept.

  9. This article has got it down right. Valentine’s day used to be more about love and trying to spend more quality time on that particular day. Now gifts and gimmicks are part of V day everywhere. I truly believe everyday is V day and it is just how you see it.

  10. Love is love and definitely doesnt need a dedicated day to celebrate it; too many marketing gimmicks in town thanks to the social media blitz. And thats the only reason why all these “days” are special to us all of a sudden.
    Having said that its so easy to get caught up in it all – you go the market place and see places festooned all over and soon you also start thinking into it.
    Well written post Neha- love how you have expressed it so clearly!

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