Greeting card companies ruined my life. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true. The Hallmarks and Archies of the world just swooped in and made what should be a special day just plain annoying. But then who can battle the cruel effects of commercialisation – I was just another victim. Before you wonder what I am rambling about, I’ll get straight to the point. I was born on the 14th of February. I’m sure this statement will elicit some eye rolls while some of you wonder why I am being so dramatic about it – surely it can’t be that bad. Well let me put it this way: it’s worse than you can ever imagine. I’m not a romantic, I never was and I really doubt I ever will be. I have seen that pragmatism serves me better than any rosy notions of life and love. And this in particular has been the cause of my misery. To start at the beginning, the whole process began when I was about 12 years old. Before that, the 14th of February was like any other day. But almost as if fate was not on my side, as I moved into my teens, the whole world decided to go red on my birthday. Everywhere I went, I was assaulted by balloons, hearts, chocolates and sickeningly sweet cards. So much so that every year, my friends would proceed to buy V-day cards on my birthday and promptly scratch out the ‘Happy Valentine Day’ and replace it with ‘Happy Birthday’. But it’s only over the years that things have really gone out of hand. Unfortunately for me, I am what you would call the ‘eternally single’ woman. For as long as I can remember, I haven’t really been in a relationship (at least not one in which didn’t end in a few weeks). And living in a city like Mumbai has not helped. It’s ok to be single here on 364 days a year – it’s only that one day when things get tricky.
With every passing year, I realised that the number of people who wanted to attend my birthday bashes was dwindling. Though some of it I may attribute to my cranky nature which has gotten worse with age, the main reason for this was the fact that most of my friends were getting into relationships. And they wanted to spend the day with their respective partners, not getting trashed with me. And then there was the issue of getting reservations; every place was overbooked and getting a table was a near impossibility. Ah, and the worst were the phone calls. Every year aunts and uncles from all around the world call to wish me and then proceed to lament my mother’s fate, for not being able to welcome a jamai into the family.
V-day is round the corner now. And I am sure many single women share my predicament. Take heart girls and don’t let Hallmark make you believe that you’re a lesser mortal for not having ‘a sweet hunnybun’ in your life! As far as I’m concerned there’s one person I fall in love with a little more each birthday – myself – and that is as good as it gets!
YOUR VOICE – How does it feel to be single on Valentine’s day?
Aishwarya Paraskar, 18,
Journalism student “Being single is not a big deal. After having experienced a bad relationship, I realised that I can have at least as much or more fun being single. Who wants the drama of a relationship? I am looking forward to having a blast with my friends.”
Hrishikesh Ghag, 24,
Civil Services aspirant “This is the day that you show someone of the opposite sex that you like or care for that person. But if I had someone in my life, it would not take a special day to show that I care about them. So I don’t think it’s a big deal. I might do something just to make her happy.”
Kanchi Shah, 19, BCom student
“Being single is more of having all the freedom to do what you want to and not being nagged by anyone all the time. On Valentine’s Day, you need not essentially have someone. Even your brother or your grandfather can be your Valentine. At the end of it, singlehood is a lot better and keeps one happier than being committed. It’s all about having fun and enjoying yourself totally.”
Prachi Jadhav, 18, BMM student
“No doubt it feels bad to not have your love around, but then what are friends for? They have been there throughout and I enjoy being with them!”
Yash Bhansali, 19, BCom student
“Having a date or not on Valentine’s doesn’t really matter to me. It’s not a big deal for guys but Valentine’s Day is everything for a girl. If I had a girlfriend, then great; we would probably do something together. And if not, then I just end up chilling with a couple of my friends, happy being single!”
Volume 1 Issue 8