V-Day, Love and I
I was never very comfortable with V-Day . During my engineering days there was always some mild tension inside me on this day. It was between 1998-2002, V-Day was just getting popular in colleges but our Vijayawada college was still relatively untouched by this metro trend. Finding couples in the college was rare and so V-day was not really a big day at all, but still my heart used to beat fast on this day. No, I was not scared that some girl would propose to me . It is just that I feel embarrassed to see/know campus love stories. Luckily nothing significant happened on any of the V-Days. Only once a naughty guy in the class made a heart shaped red balloon dance in the air, the girls giggled in red and my face was red too.
Spiritual Guru Jaggi Vasudev likes the English expression "falling in love". He interprets that your ego should always fall down and only then love can flourish (though some wounded lovers imagine a picture of falling down from a cliff when they hear this expression) . The philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti felt defining "what is love" is difficult but it is easy to understand "what is NOT love". He concluded that when I (ego) exists, love doesn't and thus implied that the sentence "I love you" does not make much sense.
But much to the relief of companies like Archies, common people across the world have ignored the explanation of philosophers (sometimes to their own peril). Thus you find the entire world still struggling to define/understand love, still reinventing the wheel when the spiritual guys are yelling out that they know the answer. Love remains the longest written and yet incomplete novel. It remains the biggest puzzle and will continue to be. For some it is the biggest boon God gave us while for some it is a bigger scam than the 2G spectrum scam.
Khuswant Singh is right when he wrote in his book "The company of women" that lust is very clear in its meaning and intention while love is not. Compare "I lust you" and "I love you". The former has a single meaning but the latter has almost a 1000 meanings including - "I desire you", "I want you", "I want to marry you" , "I want to spend time with you" etc. English is filled with rather confusing interpretations of love and so you even have a phrase called "love making" which should more properly be called "baby making".
Indian culture did not celebrate days such as the V-Day. Our approach is to celebrate the institution, the values, the principles, the Dharma. Thus celebrating the institute of marriage by making it very sacred, by making it very responsible is itself a celebration of love. So you take care of marriage and you already have taken care of valentines day, mothers day and fathers day. More focus is placed on "love towards God" than "love towards girl". As a consequence, people offered more gifts to God than to their wife. The typical wife only expected her name to ring a melody in her husband's heart and did not wish for a diamond ring on her finger. But time like fashion always changes and now you find many spouses who exchange not just hugs & kisses but also gifts.
Here comes a problem. I was never a "gift-giver" in my life. I used to sometimes wish people on their special days and only rarely gave any gifts. But my wife Haritha is known for her creative "surprise gifts". The huge greeting card that said "I love you" she once sent me still sits in my office cubicle and attracts compliments from many colleagues. She gave me many other wonderful gifts too and needless to say I could not match her expertise. I did not even praise her enough times or say "I love you". Not that I cannot do these things but somehow I feel not quite myself doing these things. I echo similar sentiments to a lyric written by Sirivennela where he says - "Love is not all about saying "I love you" & a greeting card is not the only way to pour out your feelings". But if you have it & does not show it, what is the use? How does the other person know? I do not have a very good answer to this question and this article is an attempt to show my love for Haritha. Happy Valentines day!