Love, Irregular


(Say adios to the done-to-death movie and dinner date. Aparna Sundaresan has some ideas on how to transform V-Day to Wow Day)

Most couples I know spend Valentine’s Day in a movie theatre and then whisper sweet nothings to each other over a romantic, candle-lit dinner that may or may not include wine. I’m not pooh-poohing this age-old tradition, but I know that for every five conventional couples, there is one crazy, eccentric couple (I might have made up that statistic). If you and your better half are one of those oddball people and want an off-the-walls unconventional date, read on …

The Adrenaline Junky Couple

Characterised by high levels of energy at all times and want to carpe diem at every date (that’s ‘seize the day’, you dirty people!).

The Splurge Date: Rent an aircraft that will take you high above where you live. Hold each other’s hands and jump! And when I say jump, I mean skydive. Take in the rugged beauty of the landscape below before deploying the parachutes.

The Scrape Date:  Who says you need to be rich to have an adventure? Rent a couple of bicycles (or a couple’s bicycle, if that’s available) and cycle up to the nearest hiking area. Carry a basket of food and have a picnic lunch. And oh, leave the maps and the GPRS devices back at home.

The Gaming Geeks

Probably met on the hallowed (and virtual) streets of Stormwind City when both were playing too much World of Warcraft (WoW) and seeing too little real sunshine.

The Splurge Date: Buy as many WoW costumes, weapons, merchandise, etc as you can in the real  world, wear them and then play themed bonus quests on WoW together for a whole 24 hours with only toilet breaks. Since you’re both seasoned players, only you two know how to include meals in your day.

The ‘I Love You’ Gift: Gift each other a thoughtful, customised survival kit with ropes, pen knives, fluorescent vests, sleeping bags, etc. What if you land in the next town? Or are attacked by bees? Like the Scouts say, “Be prepared!”

Celebrity Example: When still married, singer Katy Perry gifted her comedian ex-husband Russell Brand a $200,000 (Rs. 1 crore) ticket to space. We wonder if the Martians will like Brand’s humour.

The Scrape Date: Play themed bonus quests on WoW together for a whole 24 hours with only toilet breaks. Do you really need to dress up?

The ‘I love you’ Gift: What could be more romantic than winning gifts and points for your significant other in the make-believe world of Azeroth? Or cosying up in a tent an entire night while in queue for a WoW game release the next day?

Celebrity Example: Mila Kunis and her exboyfriend Macaulay Culkin were soaddicted to WoW that Kunis admitted in a 2008 interview that she forced herself “to quit the game for good”. She now plays Call of Duty, perhaps as therapy.

The Environment Activist-Lovers

He met her when the ‘Save the tree snake’ signboards they were holding knocked into each other at a protest rally outside a government office.

The Splurge Date: Fly to the Gulf and lend both your hands to the treatment of animals still suffering from the devastation of the 2010 BP oil spill. Or head to the Amazon Basin to soak in its botanical diversity and discover new plants that have miraculous properties.

The Scrape Date: Volunteer at your local animal shelter – feed some strays, clean their enclosures, give them a bath. If furs and paws are not your  thing, pick a spot far from the madding crowd and plant trees, one for each of you, and watch the saplings grow into strong trees, like your relationship, over years.

The ‘I love You’ Gift: A massive and gorgeous fruit basket decorated not with  plastic sheets and paper flowers, but with real flowers, grass and seeds. Spray a bit of fruit-scented perfume on the whole package and delight in your partner’s gasps of ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ before you both dig into this basket of plentiful.

Celebrity Example: Angelina Jolie gifted Brad Pitt a Californian waterfall and its surrounding land. Apparently, Brad Pitt wants to build his dream house there. We’re betting it’s going to be a Noah’s Ark-type of dwelling.

The Sporty Twosome

These two are often seen wearing sports jerseys (sometimes of rival teams),  holding hands and engrossed in a TV broadcast of a match at which they occasionally yell expletives.

The Splurge Date: You two follow your favourite sports team through its season tour and watch all its matches on location, holding hands and occasionally  yelling expletives at the match proceedings.

The Scrape Date: Stock up on snacks and drinks, shack up in whosever’s house that has the largest TV and watch the match of the day, holding hands and  occasionally yelling expletives at the screen.

The ‘I Love You’ Gift: If you’re at an actual match, inch as close to the ground as possible and try to grab one of the player’s sweaty sports shirt when he changes it mid-way through the match (tennis players literally throw their gear to the fans, so don’t think it’s impossible) and give it to your significant other. If you’re shacked up, gift a sports encyclopaedia with a few posters thrown in.

Celebrity Example: Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson are ice hockey fans. In March last year, the Kiss-Cam (in-stadium camera that focuses on one couple in
the audience who then have to kiss) caught the two at a match and the Hollywood couple got all lovey-dovey as they kissed each other for the benefit of the rest of the spectators. Yep, goal!

The Food Fanatics

Their spot of guilty pleasure is the kitchen where they spend hours literally cooking up a storm, trying to recreate the fancy meals they see on their  favourite cooking TV shows.

Celebrity Example: George Clooney rented a $40,000-a night suite at Hugh Hefner Sky Village in Las Vegas’s Playboy Tower for his ex-girlfriend Sarah Larson and then took her out to dinner at the über exclusive and expensive Nove restaurant in the city. It’s a wonder his credit card did not melt that night from all the swiping.

The Splurge Date: Nab a place as the audience member in one of your  favourite cooking shows. And then hire the celebrity chefs to prepare their signature dishes for your romantic V-Day meal…

The Scrape Date: …or maybe just ask them for autographs. But if you can’t go to the show at all, stay in and cook your own romantic V-Day meal. There’s nothing more delicious than food made with love.

The ‘I Love You’ Gift: A spice hamper that shares space with half a dozen cooking utilities and gadgets – like the pizza cutter your beloved has always wanted or the heart-shaped baking tray you think expresses your love best.

The Musical Soul Mates

Their every expression of love is in melody and they quote lines from their favourite songs often in conversations.

The Splurge Date: Send singing telegrams to each other all day and top it off with a music concert in the evening. Enjoy each other’s company while immersed in the magic of the rich notes.

The Scrape Date: Hit up a karaoke bar and belt out duets through the night. If you two are good, who knows, you might get a round of free drinks.

The ‘I Love You’ Gift: The perfect serenade. You strumming the guitar and your girl/boyfriend in the balcony above. Twinkling stars. A slight breeze. A single-stemmed rose between your teeth.

Celebrity Example: Justin Timberlake wrote a song and serenaded his bride Jessica Biel as she walked down the aisle. By Timberlake’s own admission, his romantic gesture left “grown men…weeping”. Awwwwww!



Volume 2 Issue 8



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