Sunday, February 12, 2012

Of Valentine's Day and Other Heartbreaks

When I was 12, my cousin first told me about Valentine's Day. "It is a day where you can propose to any girl", he said, "and she will have to say yes". This was a God sent opportunity for someone like me, who had just been initiated to the entire dating scenario. There were a couple of girls in class who I had developed huge crushes on. However, the fear of rejection held me from doing absolutely anything about it. Now, this Valentine's Day was apparently the way forward. Sadly, my school, being in the mountains, was closed during the winters, and I missed celebrating Valentine's Day with the girls I most wanted to during that time. It was also the days before mobile phones became such a rage, so I could not text them out as well. So I spent most of my next 4 V-days just wishing what could have been.
After finishing my 10th from school, I went to Chandigarh - taking admission into DAV College, which I believed at that time, to be a CoEd.
By the time I reached Chandigarh, my huge crushes had petered out, and I looked forward to dating the hot Chandigarh girls you hear so much about. Imagine my surprise, when I found out that the college I had enrolled in with much expectations was a Boy's only college, a fact that was reiterated and impressed to us over the five day ragging (Yeah, nothing like the IIT "Healthy Interaction" shit - this was ragging) period in the Boy's Only hostel. Over time, the hostel became the major points of community life - and cricket, and sweep, and Debonair, Letters to Penthouse and Fantasy were the major pastimes.
Thank God for tuition and the tutors. These were the only places where we could interact with those Chandigarh chicks. And boy, were they hot!! However, being a shy, rotund, awkward 16 year old meant I never had the courage to ask anyone out - and I waited excitedly for Valentine's Day. And I wasn't the only one. There were other people in the hostel making exciting plans for Valentine's Day and finding girls. There was this girl in my tuition I had a crush on - and I thought she would be the perfect target to try out on Valentine's Day. I had never really talked to her before - but she looked really friendly, and often smiled at me. I was very sure she was the one for me, and that I was deep in love with her. So on the allotted day, during the Chemistry tuition, as she sat next to me, I asked her out, through a passed on slip - asking her if she wanted coffee - and to my horror, she wrote a big NO, and smiled at me. I wanted to explain her the concept my cousin had told me years before - she was not supposed to say NO. However, I was too sad to argue, and took the NO slip, and smiled back. That same day, after tuition, I saw her talk to this St. John's alumnus, and they went off in his motorbike. While I was the heartbroken kid you hear about in American Pie.
I remember crying that day, or something to that general effect. Could there be a worse feeling than being rejected on Valentine's Day, I wondered. Luckily I was not the only one. There were a couple of other hostel guys who had tried their luck at the Chandigarh girls, and all of them had been rejected, which kind of alleviated the pain. We wondered what we had done wrong to be rejected on V-day, of all days. It was then we realised that there is nothing special about Valentine's Day, and that Feb 14 was just a random date, albeit one, which came exactly nine months before Children's Day.
Time, they say, heals everything, and this pain was also healed pretty soon. What I had imagined to be true love turned out to be nothing more than lust. Plenty of it, but still pure lust.
That day, however, I lost all respect for Valentine's Day. It had promised me heaven, but had delivered nothing. I have never celebrated Valentine's Day since (Not that I have had someone to celebrate it with, but that is a separate story altogether). I had lost my faith in St. Valentines. He was a cheat, someone who just wanted to sell more cards, cakes and chocolates. Over time, I have had other crushes, some more than crushes, but I have never went the St. Valentine's way. I have asked girls out without his help, and done quite well.
One thing that has happened since, and it is a pretty late development, is that I have even lost all respect for the word love. Like a friend in IIT once said, "Only unrequited love is true love, requited love is just lust." I believe both unrequited and requited love are overrated and are hyped out by the same people who had hyped Valentine's Day earlier.
As those who have read the first posts on this particular blog will testify, there was a time when I believed in the whole concept of love. Now I don't. Love for me has also become just another asset, much like money, which is more shown-off than actually felt. Watching movies like Pyaar ka Panchnama has actually helped, and made me feel happier for my single status. I am yet to meet a perfectly happy married or committed man.
Because, over time, I have come to realise that love and Cupid, are hand in hand with St. Valentines. They only want to sell more cards, cakes and chocolates.
Which is why, when my facebook status reads: "I love Valentine's Day. It makes me so much relatively richer as compared to all my other married and committed friends." I believe it.
Here's to another year of an awesomely single life!!