I was trying to get on to people's nerves with my ceaseless prodding through the day: So, how are you spending your Valentine's Day? This one deserves to be the most irritating question of the year. And I burst out laughing at this one. "On most days I am double but on this particular day I am single it seems". By double she was referring to her weight. This came from a young colleague in the team – 20 something and quite funny. And taking me seriously asked me, "What is the V-Day fuss all about? "Don't you know love is in the air?" Wasn't amused with the cliche. Finally she tells me her plans on the chat. "I'll be watching adult movies with my cousin. My parents will be going out." I sensed the excitement. I've taken a liking to this one in the team. She is a normal young girl – doing things that conventional women in the team consider outrageous – smoking and drinking occasionally and hanging out with friends while focusing as much on her career. I won't say she is spoilt. I think it's perfectly normal to doing the things that she is doing. It's when you cross the line of extremity that you can say you are in the danger zone. And with no pretences and double standards, she stands out to me.
Anyway coming to Valentine's Day, I notice a rabid irritation. I think it comes from all the marketing hype that is so over the top. In Delhi, the revellers are mainly college goers who will be thronging the malls India Gate, Appu Ghar (newspapers are sure to print pictures the next day). One daily even ran an anchor which said the security for some great shake's garden has been tightened for his precious roses. My boss says an aged soul like him should be spared the V-Day question. But he added one can make tons of money tomorrow selling roses on the road, because it is sure to swell up to Rs 300 for one. Looks like he did burn a hole in his pocket once. And I failed to elicit some exciting response to my most hated question of the year.
I tried to do something I haven't done in my life. Look for a Valentine's Day card for the don. I walked into a popular card store some time back but walked out quite disgusted because I felt the cards just lacked taste. Big, ornate and in your face, it had the cheesiest of lines. I told the don I could become the creative head of cardmakers like Archies and Hallmark. Doomed career he said. Nobody sends cards anymore save for some who still believe in the old world charm. With the internet, even romance has become mechanised, it's all about speed, brevity and what not. Divorces are already happening via sms or texting. Relationships are taking on an altogether different hue and shape. Sigh!