The Valentine’s day Coming, coming, coming and at last it has come.! The valentine’s day has at last dawned. Grand indeed. The lovers are exuberant. It’s a special day for them. It’s special because they could express their love for each other openly and distinctly. Though this day has been celebrated all over the world right from the 3rd century AD, in India, people took to it only some 7 or 8 years back. Not that they were no lovers here 7 or 8 yeas back. No one thought it right to display one’s love openly till then. It has been a secret affair, that’s all. And all of a sudden, one day all the youth woke up in unison all of over India and demanded that they too fall in line with the rest of world and honor this day, 14th February.. Unlike in the West, the Indian lovers don’t express their love openly for the seeing pleasure of the onlookers. It is something sacred and absolutely personal and so let that remain personal only between the special two. So long as they understand the depth of their love for each other, why go and shout to the world as if you want the world to take a note of it? No. It is something exclusive and exclusive it should be. The young lovers observe this day by exchanging superbly worded greeting cards, putting an advertisement in the special column for their unique person or sending flowers or those who could afford by giving some expensive gift. This is a day to consolidate their affection for each other. Lest we forget, it would be useful to go into the origin of this practice. A legend goes that one Roman catholic Priest named Valentine played spoilsport during the regime of Emperor Claudius II, who wanted all the young men to go and partake in battle for the defense of his country, the Roman empire. Many young men wanted to escape this kind of conscription. But, Claudius exempted only the married guys and forced the unmarried fellows to fight for him. So, the priest Valentine secretly married off several young men just to keep them off the battle field. Claudius learnt of this, imprisoned the priest and had him killed for such a national crime. So to remember the great service Valentine did for the younger generation, they set aside a particular day to pay homage to the venerable priest and called it ‘The Valentine’s day’ after his name.
Why, the 14th of February? Here again there is some controversy. Some say, on this day Valentine died. In ancient Rome, the official beginning of the Spring was in February, a time considered ideal for purification. Houses and their interiors were ritually cleansed, then sprinkled with salt and a type of wheat called ‘spelt’. 15th of that month was also celebrated as the fertility day dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Romulus. So it had been argued that Feb 15th ,being an auspicious day already, why not name it as the Valentine’s day as well? But, Pope Galasius declared Feb 14th as the Valentine’s day in the year 498 because France and England considered that Feb 14th was the day the birds started mating. Valentine being another name for love and fertility is connected with love, 14th Feb was generally accepted as the Valentine’s day. Anyway, the date doesn’t matter at all. We have to fix some day for some occasion. What’s important is that the entire world has now come to observe 14th Feb as the Valentine’s day. A day reserved for young lovers. What do the parents feel about their adult son or daughter nominating his/her lover for the information of the world? Well, nothing at all. They could do nothing at all. The youngsters these days would love to do everything in a highly fashionable way without an iota of guilt. Indian parents do not approve of pre-marital sex nor any kind of close physical relationship between two young people. So long as Valentine day is commemorated with restraint, decorum, sanctity and within the society’s permissible limits, we should welcome it. Long live the Valentine’s day.- - - - By Israel Jayakaran