Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired - Robert Frost
Come February 14th or Valentine’s Day and the environment turns rosy; flowers bloom and hearts smile! With Rose Day, Chocolate Day, Propose Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day and Kiss Day leading up to Valentine’s Day, there is an air of anticipation and thrill all around. Although there is a lot of speculation about how the day originated but it is widely believed that it coincides with the Roman festival of Lupercalia, dating back to 300 BC that celebrated the onset of spring. Interestingly, in India, we also celebrate Vasant Panchami around this time that also welcomes spring, signifying new life, new hope and joy; precisely the most delightful time of the year.
So, what do Odias have to say about Valentine’s Day? How do they celebrate this ‘day of love’? Or don’t they celebrate it at all?
According to Saanvi, a vivacious middle schooler, Valentine’s Day is just like any other day.“I’m not old enough to have a Valentine and am too old to make my parents my Valentines! I don’t have anything planned for this year and am probably not going to celebrate it. I will get presents for my family and close friends and they won’t be very big but will be from the heart. I think that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate with your loved ones, show how much you care about them, how much they mean to you and make them feel appreciated.”
Chiraag, a soft-spoken young freshman in college also thinks similarly. “I remember having a lot of fun on Valentine’s Day in school. We gifted cute little souvenirs to one another. But now, gifts have given way to just spending quality time with friends, chilling out and enjoying the day.”
Diptiranjan, a tall, handsome young bachelor feels, “V-day is a day ‘to love and be loved’. Somehow people think that you have to be with your partner on this day, but honestly speaking, singles don't go out just erratically looking for a date. Relationships do bring happiness, and soV-Day can also be a day to shower love on the lesser privileged ones in society.”
Arpita, a highly aspirational young woman opines, “Valentine’s day is just a day when we celebrate love. But people forget that loved ones actually need us throughout the year and so we should be concerned about them all the time. We should love every single person who cares for us; it should not be limited to just our sweetheart.”
Shreesh, a young newly married guy says, “There are days when one naturally feels happy the whole day; Valentine's day is one such day for me because this day is a reminder that I have received care, love and affection in various ways from so many individuals - not only in the personal zone but professional zone of life as well. Acknowledging this with gratitude sets the mood for the day! This day reinforces that love is all about giving and being available when someone needs you!”
Varsha, an ambitious young mother of a 6-year-old girl says, “For me, V day is a day of love; love that transcends all boundaries. I love celebrating it with my wonderful family...my husband and my daughter. We usually make it a point to have dinner outside on this day. Gifts are exchanged....not to forget my little one who always gifts me a handmade Valentine’s Day card. It really makes my day worthwhile. I could never have asked for a better Valentine than my daughter!”
Sangeeta, a self-motivated and positive-minded professional says, “It is all about showering love and affection on all special ones; to celebrate and cherish the feeling that you are loved by so many and loving so many.”
Thus, almost everyone agrees that Valentine’s Day is a ‘day of love’. You can shower love on your sweetheart, your parents, kids and friends. You can also plan to celebrate it with lesser privileged children and seniors, or even your pets.
There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved – George Sand