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Nama-Slay: Love is in the air!

by Nikki Kumar

Sumati Huber navigates the various personalities this Valentines Day!

What will your Valentine’s Day be like?

February is upon us and love is supposedly floating somewhere in the polluted air. Valentine’s Day (14 February) isn’t a time where Indians fast or organise a pooja, but there’s no doubt that the coupled ones among us will be looking to celebrate. However, Valentine’s Day might look different depending on if you’re…

Secretly dating: Your parents have been stressed about getting you married since you turned 18, but they don’t know that you are actually in a relationship. Since ‘dating’ is frowned upon, you have to be very careful where you can go to not be ‘caught’ by other Indians. You have tried out all the restaurants by the riverside, ventured out to Ari, On Nut and other areas with a lower chance of being spotted by community members. You most likely will find an under-the-radar bar in Chinatown to spend Valentine’s evening where you don’t have to worry about any Indians you know venturing out on a weeknight. Now you just have to figure out where to tell your parents you are going all dressed for on 14 Feb since you are ‘single.’

Newlyweds: Your bridal henna may be fading but your love isn’t! If this is your first Valentine’s as a married couple, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to escape Sukhumvit like when you were secretly dating. Hubby will definitely surprise you with red roses and heart-shaped chocolates at a fancy dinner because you haven’t been married long enough for him to forget important dates. But a single day isn’t enough — you will also plan a weekend beach trip with a candlelit dinner, post all the photos on social media with captions like “My forever Valentine,” and watch the waves crashing as forcefully as your passion.

Married for a long time but still ‘cool’: You’ve been together long enough to know that you don’t need your husband to celebrate Valentine’s. Sure, you love him but you still want to change everything about him. Enter ‘Galentine’s’ — a day to have fun with your female friends. Your ladies won’t mock you for dressing up in red and pink, or get annoyed at taking a million photos together. Even if the husbands did attend, everyone knows that they will just end up sitting with the other men. Their only interaction with their wives will be when they need to be told that dinner is ready, to stop drinking so much, or that it is time to leave. So, forget them when you have Galentine’s!

Past your 40th year anniversary: When you’ve been married forever, you don’t need to put aside a day to honour your love. If anything, Valentine’s is another excuse to have a joint family dinner because what’s more important than that? You’re perfectly content discussing the simple things like what was on discount at the supermarket or how your plant is sprouting a new leaf.

Single: Who needs to be coupled up? Well, every Indian, according to their parents, or they will suffer in shame forever. But if you happen to be on the market you can still team up with your other single friends and hit the clubs (just kidding, you’re a nice Indian…you would never do that). Rather, your best option is to stay home and pray that you find a marriage partner soon because there will be some red roses and heart-shaped chocolates in it for you.

 An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.

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