Happy Valentine's Day
India, as a nation, adores Valentine's Day. Ancient scriptures and sculptures have shown that India has been a land of love for many years before this day actually started being celebrated. It took a while for India to welcome the Valentines Day. This is a day of romance and love for many Indians. The youth especially take keen interest in the day. Collegians have their own innovative and stylish ways of impressing their loved ones. Exchanging gifts like teddy bears and chocolates or personalized gifts have taken a rage in India. In the metros mainly, disco's and party venues have various parties organized for the people wanting to have a good time with their loved ones. This day gives a reason for those married to express their affection to their spouses. Jewelry is one of the main gifts exchanged and which is available in different designs in India. Flowers are the most commonly given momentos. Despite complaints from religious groups that it is an affront to Indian tradition and culture, and further westernizing the Indian populous, Valentine's Day has now become a widely recognized and celebrated day with Indian people. The messages of the small number of protesters is being ignored by most people, especially the younger generations. In Delhi, smart restaurants are fully booked for February 14th and card shops and florists are expecting to do record business. The Indian Post Office is also cashing in. It has launched a set of floral-scented stamps for Valentine's Day and hopes this will encourage people to send letters and cards to each other, rather than relying on emails and text messages to express their love.
Euphoria of Valentine's Day festival can be experienced weeks before the festival. Television, radio and print media start creating hype about the festival by covering all facets of it. Gift marketers and card companies launch a rigorous campaign to lure the youngsters. Card and gift shops are interestingly decorated with symbols of Valentine's Day including roses, cupid and heart shaped balloons. Shopping malls in metropolitan cities organize fun-filled competitions and distribute discount coupons to lure the consumers. On February 14, the Valentine's Day restaurants, discos, Cineplex, pubs and pizza parlors see a particularly busy time as couples celebrate the day in togetherness. Many boys and girls even propose to their sweetheart on this romantic day. With the craze for getting married on Valentine's Day gaining ground among young couples, all guest houses, DJs, band parties and priests in Indian metros are over booked for marriages to be solemnized on the day. Caring for the wishes of their clients, many priests pronounce "shubh lagna" (auspicious time) for marriage on Valentine's Day. “The planetary combinations that day are just right for a wedding — the union will be stable and happy," they declare, and the priests have their hands full. More than 50,000 couples line up to get married on Valentine’s Day in the capital of India. Priests say that’s a conservative estimate. There are favorable planetary combinations on other days, too, but the combination with Valentine’s Day is a hit with the youth.
On this auspicious day of love and happiness when millions of marriages are taking place all over indian cities, apart from as many proposals, I have a message for the mighty forces of Ram Sena, Shiv Sena and all the allied Senas, who have declared war on all the love birds who dare open their wings on the Valentine Day in India. May I remind them of their own revered deities of the Hindu mythology, whose stories of love and sacrifice they must have read and reread as they grew up, and before them their elders and before them their ancestors in all ages. Perhaps no other faith glorifies the idea of love between the sexes as Hinduism. This is evident from the amazing variety of mythical love stories that abound Sanskrit literature, which is undoubtedly one of the richest treasure hoards of exciting love tales. Set in a land of great natural beauty, where the lord of love picks his victims with consummate ease, these stories celebrate the myriad aspects of the many-splendor emotion called love. Classical love legends from Hindu mythology and folklore of India, like Shakuntala-Dushyant tale, legend of Savitry and Satyavan, Radha-Krishna Raas Leela etc., are both passionate and sensuous in content, and never fail to appeal to the romantic in us. These fables fuel our imagination, engage our emotions, sense and sensibility, and above all, inspire us to celebrate love. May I call upon the commanders of all sorts of saffron Senas, to call back to barracks all their brigades and let love bloom on Valentine's Day.
Happy Valentine's Day!