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Love Aaj Kal – How Valentine’s Day Celebrations Have Changed Over The Years

Posted: February 14, 2020

Remember the 80s and 90s when you’d sneak out to meet you boyfriend? Now think of today, when couples are much more open about their love. How times change!

Love is in the air, everywhere I look around
Love is in the air, every sight and every sound
And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
Don’t know if I’m being wise
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when I look in your eyes

Love is in the air, in the whisper of the tree
Love is in the air, in the thunder of the sea
And I don’t know if I’m just dreaming
Don’t know if I feel safe
But it’s something that I must believe in
And it’s there when you call out my name

Love is in the air
Love is in the air
Oh, oh, oh, oh

~ John Paul Young

Yes, love is in the air. Wherever you look, you see love.

Valentine’s day was just making its presence felt in India when I started college. Or maybe I found out about it when I started college.

Love – then

Back then, we spoke of Valentine’s Day in hushed tones. We were worried that we wouldn’t be allowed to go to college- our parents were even more clueless than us. They would worry that we would either be harassed or teased on our way to college.

Valentine’s Day, then, was all about visiting the Hallmark or Archie’s stores. None of us could afford anything more than greeting cards but we would still go. A few lucky ones would get teddy bears and chocolates. And while getting cards was a very exciting business, hiding them was so difficult! I don’t think we could get away if we were caught. We did try to say that we got the cards from a girl and not a boy because isn’t Valentine’s day for all?

Valentine’s day, then, was for lovers. Period.

And love now!

But now, things have changed. And how!

You are allowed to talk about Valentine’s Day as loudly as you want. The malls are all decorated with red balloons. Every retailer has discounts that day.

However, I don’t think the younger generation gives any importance to this day. They laugh it off. Yes, they go out to dance and for dinner because it is one more reason to have fun. They even avail the discounts but they don’t think too much about it. Their view about love and everything else generally is very practical.

Most of them, can fall in and out of love, as easily as they like. It actually is good for them as they are adapting to the newer times. Meanwhile the ones who are married might just buy a gift or something for their partners.

So, if the younger generation isn’t the one into Valentine’s Day, who are the ones sending messages all around?

Who are the mushy kind now?

It is us- the 30-40 year olds. My kind and my generation of people.

Some of us who still believe in the mushy kind of love, ones who write love notes just like that. The ones who send it to their loved ones without expecting anything in return. And if you get something in return, you are one of the lucky few.

But most messages these days are the kind that say, ‘love is not only for the boy and the girl, it is for friends, daughters, parents, mothers and sons, blah blah…’ It is true that every relationship is based on love, I am not denying it. But Valentine’s Day is only for the lovers.

You tune in to the radio, you hear beautiful love songs. Or if you turn on the TV, you will still see love everywhere.

Inspite of all this, I still like the Valentine’s Day from our times– when there was excitement with love. After all, “chori chupe milne me jo maja aata hai voh khule aam milne me nahi! (there is something thrilling about meeting secretly that meeting out in the open doesn’t have)

Don’t you agree with me?

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