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Musings of an Aunty against evaluating love with gifts

by Aiden

Dolly Koghar urges us to rediscover each other this season of love.

Paulo Coelho once said, “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.” He’s hit the nail on its head: luv-shuv IS the root cause of all our headaches and heartaches, and yet we cannot stop ourselves from falling into the enticing pit. For isn’t it the one thing which makes the world go round and sustains life on this planet, whether it be that of kittens and puppies, or us humans?

But unlike the animals who don’t do social media, the red hearts popping out from every direction in the month of February beckons us, the hardcore consumerism-converts, to once again boost the sagging economy, as we did by being Santa’s gift- purchasing elves in December, and by binge-partying in the New Year. Although most of us Indians buy whatever we need or want when we need or want it, our changing values dictate that since it’s Valentine’s, it’s a requisite that we splurge ridiculously on gifts in proportion to our love; be it the soppy cards, confectionary, yet another handbag that isn’t needed, and of course, some roses over candlelit wine-and- dine dates. But guess what, no matter how much the youngsters max out our cards, or we max out our own cards, which is actually just two pockets and a back pocket of the same pair of jeans, if we are gifting each other in the same house; the ‘gift’ will still fall short of what others are brandishing on their Facebooks.

This Valentine’s, with business practically at a standstill since forever, let’s be cheapskates and yet reap rich dividends. Get real, nobody is filming us à la the Kardashians, so we can well drop the make-believe personas of a picture-perfect couple, with picture-perfect children, living in a picture-perfect home and having so much fun blowing up our dwindling money over commercial celebrations for the world to see and envy! Let’s opt for the old-fashioned way and make the evening of the 14th private and cosy, a time to go back to being a couple, just two people being with each other, with nothing in between; the world, the children, work, the selfies and the posing, everything and everyone can well wait for another day, another time. A time to relearn the lost art of talking and being heard. A time to reminisce when our emotions were ours alone to feel in real-time – whether it was senti, or of frustration or outright rage, they were private and close to the heart, and definitely not for sharing on the public platform.

Too often, we’re looking into our lives from behind the camera lens and get so engrossed in sprucing
up ourselves and ours, that we’re overlooking the constant change we undergo; we’ve lost touch with our own selves and definitely with those near and dear to us. So, let’s remove our masks and without shirking or judging, get reacquainted with the person emerging from underneath in totality, as the humans that we are, with our individual quirks, flaws, dents, weaknesses and strengths.

Yup, it’s Valentine-Shalentine which isn’t and shouldn’t be about gifts, but rather a time to rediscover
each other; to rekindle that connection and keep it alight from hence. So that tomorrow, when FB isn’t interested and the world has all but forgotten who we were or are, but we are the lucky few still alive to see our own and our partner’s wrinkles and toothless smile; and perchance, Fate so wills that we are incapacitated and memory fuzzy, we’ll still recognise each other sitting alongside on the rocking chair/ wheelchair and together we’ll complain of aching bones and incontinence while releasing excessive air from both ends. We’ll hold hands and watch the full moon that I so love, and we’ll spend our remaining time knowing that we each had an existence that was consequential, if not for anyone else, then at least for each other!

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