I was living one more Valentine’s Day of my life easily yesterday. The advertisements talked about taking your partner for a plane ride that cost 30K for 30 minutes or taking them to a new restaurant in another country. The rose prices doubled and so did the rates of Coffee at a famous Coffee Lounge.
I was thinking if roses should be the color of money instead of the color of heart when phone rang. It was Papa on the line, his loving and cheerful self. So, what are you doing today for Valentine’s Day? When Papa asks that question, he usually means what’s the special thing you are going to eat. So, I asked him what Ma made for him and he proudly declared, Mooli ke paranthe but I am expecting more for dinner:-)
Then he went on and on about Ma’s culinary skills, that she tried making Kesari Bhath in Kannadiga style and the experiment was highly successful! I couldn’t believe that 15 days back these guys were arguing about whether their Marriage Anniversary is on Jan 20th or Jan 21st! Maybe they are so much in love that it doesn’t matter when did the ritual of marriage really take place!
Anyways, Papa made my Valentine’s Day super-special. Just before he disconnected, he said, Valentine’s Day is for everyone we love and I love you and I am proud of your independence.
I wish ‘I love…’ would be a more common expression. Even if we would love a stranger who kept the elevator door open for us while we ran towards it, we could say, hey I loved you when you were doing that. But we have chained the expression ‘I love…’ to relationships of one kind. I remember my Ma’s and Papa’s discomfort around three years back when I started saying ‘I love you’ to them whenever I felt like saying it to them. After an year or so, Ma started saying ‘I love you too’ and now they do not wait for me to say ‘I Love You’ so that they can say it too.
Not only have we chained it to a particular kind of relationship, we have also chained it to meanings. I can’t say ‘I loved you when you kept the elevator door open for me’ to a guy because that would mean I am hitting on the guy and I can’t say that to a woman for being taken as a freak!
Ok! I am sure you must be thinking, a ‘Thank you’ is enough in most of the moments. I know its enough. But what I am saying is that how many times, we even do that? Why go about our lives taking all the good manners, all the things that known and unknown people do for us, all the love we receive, and all the people we meet, for granted and not appreciate? One of my friends was sharing with me how hard time he had with his self-expression! Nodding, smiling in a acknowledging way, and other such gestures at public places gave him a natural self-expression that he found not only missing but rather misunderstood at most of the places.
I am not perfect and I am still trying to learn, still trying to find the right words to begin conversations, to be open, just open. But all I know is that since the day I started saying thanks to cabbies, autodrivers and good morning to pantry and security guys in office, my life has become much more easier. I feel comfortable and at home with most of the places. No one is a stranger any more and this Valentine’s Day I am my own Valentine with a promise to be open to love in all its forms.
Wishing me a life where I can express myself with love and responsibility. Wishing everyone, love in the life they choose to live, nothing more, nothing less.