I think I first became conscious of V day in my early teens when someone told me to setup a shop selling red roses outside a girl’s college. He told me that men pay ridiculous amounts for ridiculously bad roses and then sometimes when they don’t get to give it they even give it back for free. I never did setup the shop, but I promised myself that I will never buy a rose on that day. At that time I told myself that I would never pay this kind of money, but the real reason was that for many years after that I had no one who I could give a rose on V day. By the time I did have someone the habit had stuck ! Since then I have watched this industry grow and grow and the girl’s college has a whole gaggle of shops peddling all sorts of red coloured stuff.

So what am I to make of Valentine’s day? What am I to make of this explosion of red, romantic flicks, romantic gifts and this huge interest of couples wanting to do something ‘different’ this Valentine’s Day. This is like the culmination of an entire year of output for the entire romance industry right from heart shaped chocolates to sexy lingerie. Why this sudden interest in romance on this day? I understand love ( i think!) and I also understand romance but  I don’t understand this explosion in the second week of February. More specifically why is there only a focus on love between couples. Unless I am completely missing the point, it is not like love and romance is a monopoly of couples only. Love could be possible between anyone and why is Valentine’s day not a celebration of love in its many forms ? I don’t understand how can we only celebrate love between couples and ignore everything outside of that.

If I was use to my personal experiences, since I first discovered Vday,  as a statistical sample, I think there is less love in the world then there was 20 years ago.  I wouldn’t say there is more hatred but there certainly less love. Since the past 20 years this world has seen a couple of wars and has been on the brink of some more. I see less love and more envy between different classes of people. The poor are constantly complaining that the rich and influential don’t let them come up in life and the rich say that the poor are like leeches who drain away their taxes into social welfare. We seem to have so much in plenty around us – there is more food than ever before, more cars, more clothes, more houses and yet I don’t feel the love. All I feel is more and more discontent. We seem to love ourselves less and less considering the amount of stupid things we do to ourselves.Or maybe hate is the new love.

I could go even more left and see a corporate conspiracy in all this ! But that would be making things simple. Valentine’s day, like everything else, holds a mirror to our society and in that mirror I see self-centred materialism. Which is fine with me as long as it is not called a ‘celeberation of  love’.