Why I Did not Return All Those Valentine’s Day Greetings!!!

Wikipedia says that Valentine’s Day was first introduced in India around 1992 due to channels like MTV. Perhaps! My wife and I, fossils that we now seem to be, started celebrating this day around 1986. It used to be a special day for us when we would reiterate our love for each other and exchange cards and go out for dinner. We stopped doing this around 10-15 years ago, not because our love ran out, but because the rampant commercialization completely took the sheen off.

Two years ago, on 14th February, I found myself spending the night at the Kolkata Hyatt. I went down alone for dinner to the Italian restaurant and to my horror the entire restaurant had been laid out for couples, with a special Valentine Day’s menu with little hearts on the table and heart-like ribbons on the chairs…I almost turned around but they found me a table a little further back, away from the kootchi-cooing couples and then thankfully removed all the “Valentine’s Day” stuff at my request. A little later a raucous Punjabi family of 10 landed up and took over 5 of those tables and for the first time in a long time, I was thankful to have loud diners next to me.

Anyway, this piece is about something else.

This year for the first time, I received Valentine’s Day greetings from people, both men and women, who are not my wife.

I have not replied. I don’t know how to. To me, Valentine’s Day is a day when you romance your girl-friend or wife. It is a day when you greet that one special person (or more, if you are Casanova and can handle so many) and make him/her feel more important than the rest of the world. If you send a general Happy Valentine’s Day greeting to a bunch of friends or as happens these days, multiple WhatsApp groups, it would mean that you think everyone in that group to be “special”. Which is not a bad idea in itself, but somehow I don’t think that is what Valentine’s Day is all about.

The people who wished me are good friends. I am sure some of them will read this. If you are reading this, please don’t get upset or mad at me. I am just trying to explain why I didn’t wish you back.

For me, Valentine’s Day is a special day. A day on which I would wish only that one special person in my life who I am in love with. It also means that I would not send a general Valentine’s Day greeting to a WhatsApp group or post on Facebook or tweet or reply to those greetings as well.

Some things are meant to remain private and personal. For me, a Valentine’s Day greeting is one of them!!!

18 Comments

  • dr. rajesh parikh wrote:

    absolutely correct.
    it is not like general comments day like doctor’s day etc.or an awareness day like WHO day.
    started as general due to whats app,face book and other social media without knowing the purpose of wishing!!!

  • Equally incomprehensible and maddening is the tendency of Facebook friends to write ‘happy birthday!!!!!!!’, ‘hbd’ or ‘have a BLASTTT!’ on one’s wall. If one person is wishing another person on his birthday, no matter how succinct the greeting may be, why is it posted on a forum that can be read by everyone else? Certainly not because the greeter wants others to see that he has passed on his wishes. When an alternative like Facebook messenger is available (hoping for phone calls/visits has become a tad unrealistic), I fail to understand this mindless display of private wishes.

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    80% of all people move in herds

  • Nitin Tamhane wrote:

    I agree totally as I was also not knowing about existance of Valentine day till I met my would be wife when we were courting!

    However as I understand it is also an exchange of pure love greetings to very near and dear ones including children and elders.

    It is certainly not for mass exchanges and celebrations so the “Man from Matunga” is right to have not responded on social sites.

  • Dr. H.L. Chulani wrote:

    Woman, women-yes. Men!! You don’t belong to the LGTB tribe do you? Just joking!

  • Valentine”s day is nothing but exhibiting false love and spending money in hotels for mere show by couples married and unmarried.Also this trend in our country is uncalled for as it is the western or European culture to show love in public.In India the common people do not get enough to eat and spend time on these frivolous occasion.
    Valentine day should be banned.

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    That’s a little too extreme I think n

  • Jayesh Desai wrote:

    The lack of true, meaningful education is cause of all this issues. Human being are same everywhere. To apply filters one needs to have some basic fundamentals taught by family and schools in childhood. Sadly that’s where we have failed as society. Commercial interests demands luring innocent people,political interest too demand the same, lure of isms or religion or region or language. The individual need to be on guard. But thinking and questioning is suppressed right from early childhood. Those who understand and learn change and stop following senseless even harmfool ideas and tradition. Nice of you to share with people. I agree cent percent with you on this. Valentine is for that special person in life, and try to treat that person nicely every day of your life. On lighter vein that’s the way to propose for young people, which we are not!

  • Bhavin, where were you ? Welcome back ! Most of what I would observe on this topic has already been spelt out; so I have something less to say ! 1 – Agree. 2 – Yes, marketing in a static economy will be more. 3 – whether the Day or not; a hug and affectionate remarks does wonder’s for relationship’s ! 4 – we are social (animals) and that’s what FB is capitalizing on. Well, have a better day people (including the gentleman who wants to ban the Day – well, don’t observe it but, do show your affection to your family in the manner which you feel fit !) Regards,

  • chandrakant singh wrote:

    My opinion is that the Meaning of Valentine Day has evolved over the year since 1986, love on valentine day is now just not limited to love your GF/BF which is the wrong notion being corrected now as the person on whom this day is celebrated was a Saint. Then how a Saint love be different for different person. Please try to grow mature in your love. :) and it’s not herd mentality, consider this that it’s been celebrated by educated people only in India.

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    So you think it is ok to wish anyone and everyone on this day?

  • Capt. Sanjay Vijan+ wrote:

    Firstly. Good to see you back. Missed your writings.
    I agree Valentine greetings have become too generalized these days.
    FB keeps throwing up Birthdays of people who are connected and if anyone wishes them as a response to the notification, it gets posted for all to see. Guess people don’t have the time or inclination to go to Messenger and send these wishes.
    That’s d way things have become.

    Some refused to adopt.
    Some just followed, per herd mentality.

    None is wrong.

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    Also not a bad idea to sometimes SMS or call people on their birthdays if they are close. If they are not why bother even wishing them?

  • Mehroo Kharegat wrote:

    Oh, you are so right. I too did not know how to react when this year I received Valentine greetings from my girlfriends! To me the pleasure is in looking back at the anonymous Valentine cards received by me as a teenager. Of course I knew who it was but you could happily profess bland ignorance. Remember, in my days boys sending cards to girls was an absolute No No! Then the pleasure of showing the cards to your friends feeling slightly smug but professing ignorance. Ah for those days!
    Sending Valentine cards to your friends of the same sex takes the thrill away.
    Perhaps for once we oldies score over the young ones today!

  • Ajay Bhonsle wrote:

    At the outset let me confess that we miss this exchange of thoughts provoked by ‘The Man from Matunga’! Valentines Day is a good occasion to reiterate your feelings towards person(s) you hold special in your life. And when this feeling is reciprocated, you feel happy & reassured. All the same I think this ‘feeling’ has to be between people of the opposite sex (unless one belongs to the LGBT community)!Also I personally don’t think that your parents or children should be on your Valentine Day list!

  • M R Sundaram wrote:

    Valentine Day, originally celebrating the expression of love turned to a ‘Peace Loving Day’ expressing love for all. This Universal love helps promotion of business & money turnover and ‘may be’ love among all -us humans!

  • Finally…..I have someone else who thinks just like me…that V Day is a special day for a special person !

  • Chandrakant Singh wrote:

    Yesss! Why not wish everyone including ur wife just like u wish any other day to her!
    Let me explain u in this way for example for a doctor use of word SEX would be to know gender but for a common man the same would mean different! So who is wrong? neither of them…… Hope this opens up your mind!

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