Is it just me, or the Valentine’s Day fails to ignite the romance and love in us anymore? While the consumerist market as always wants to milk this occasion of mush, the enthusiasm to celebrate has gone down from exchanging cards and gifting chocolates and teddy bears, to well… a a candlelight dinner, at a restaurant, teeming with people. Is it our notions about love that have changed, or Valentine’s day has failed to retain the market it had created in the 1990s.
Valentine’s Day complimented the campiness of the 90s
No decade sold love to us like the 90s did.
With movies focusing on love that lasts forever, and the thrill of romance in pre-dating app and mobile phone, our sentiments to find that someone special burst through our heads with our hormones. Valentine’s Day found references in our pop culture and in films, grooming the transitioning India to turn red and bold in matters of love.
The 90s was the time when charm and aesthetics took the reins from machismo and anger in films. The Indian society was infected with ideas of romance in Switzerland with open arms. The boys begin to woe girls with passion. Love was supposed to be eternal and Valentine’s Day magical.
The girls had a higher expectation from boys on the said day, than their parents had from the 10th board results. Boys were running in circles to find those cute little teddy bears from the song ‘Chhui Mui si tum lagti ho’ because the clingy koala bear was the new “I like you”. Archies and the Phoolwalas did enough business in one day, to keep floating for another year.
I know it sounds campy and misogynist to an extent, but wasn’t that true for the entire decade?
Things soon nose-dived for dear St Valentine once the millennials found the internet and then the advent of social media. The love letters and cards lost their value soon, and we would rather go on a quick dinner date, than spend the day hiding in parks from the fear of…you know…those who cannot be named.
Valentine’s Day Fails to score big on our new metric scale for love
It’s not just the technology, our sentiments about Valentine’s Day have changed and so has our definition of love. We don’t see the world from the rose-tinted glasses anymore. Even the teens today are more pragmatic about their love lives than the cards we exchanged then. The novelty factor, which led an entire generation to by-heart the seven days of the week of love, is long gone.
Our dating culture has moved from parks, restaurants and movie theatres to coffee shops, malls and Tinder.
So, while we still celebrate Valentine’s Day, our relationships are more practical than sentimental. Girls can buy their own chocolates and teddy bears now. The dinner bills are usually split up. Today, we feel disillusioned with the show and pomp that we used to so love about Valentine’s day. Our heart refuses to flutter at giant teddy bears or bunch of red roses. In fact love isn’t a priority for most millennials.
This change is visible in the enthusiasm around Valentine’s day. The advertisers and businesses still show much fanfare surrounding the day. The malls and coffee shops paint the day red. Several places offer special discounts and for couples V-day. We no longer seek wooing or the chocolaty romances which makes us go weak in our knees. So now Valentine’s Day is just an occasion like any other, than the phenomenon which made us love the idea of love.
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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own