With the month of February, the season of love draws nearer and love seems to be surfacing in the air as it starts mushrooming in the hearts of budding lovers. And for the rest of the ignorant ones, there are billboards, TV channels, and shops that constantly remind that Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year to win the hearts of your loved ones but of course with their special V-day products which will work a magic.
V-day is a day when the rare, pure feelings of a person takes the form of flowers, chocolates and stuffed toys and then are wrapped in splendid sheets to present it to the dear ones. As the real feelings remain intangible, so they must be donned with alluring things to give the feelings a physical look in order to verify the existence of the personal feelings with roses and cards which have little to do with the genuine passion.
Thanks to a concerted quantity of advertising endeavor, that Valentine’s Day is now celebrated in Pakistan with more fervor every subsequent year thrashing the conservative outlook of the country in the minds of foreigners.
A day before the big day, all commercial ventures of the federal capital seemed to be fervently endorsing love by immersing in total red theme. In Islamabad the major shopping area, Super Market (F-6), Jinnah Super Market (F-7) and F-10 Markaz were seen decorated with greetings cards, red ribbons, heart-shaped pillows where teenagers were found in huge group numbers trying to search the right kind of present.
The colour red is flashing everywhere. Red ribbons, red sheets, red heart-shaped pillows, red balloons, red dresses are decorated on almost every shop fronts. According to Shoaib Taimur, a blogger “Valentine’s day was probably invented by greeting card companies who needed an excuse for people to spend money on stuffed toys, cards, chocolates and balloons.”
From the roadside florist to the telecom companies, from the lavish restaurant to the trendy gift shop, everyone compels you to celebrate the day.
The florist does it by asking you to buy their extra-special flowers for someone special while the restaurant and shops compels you to buy things by offering discounts, delicious delights & the adorable gifts.
In fact, the telecom companies have the most interesting ways to celebrate V-day convincing you to use their service to express your love. ‘Are you sure that he/she loves you? Or is he/she is the right person or not? Find out by simply typing @!$# and send to your telecom operator..’ And if luckily you are sure about the one you love, the how about sending a ‘sweet voice message or dedicating a song to your loved one?’
Valentine’s Day is believed to be the largest commercial day of the year when the “advertising agency compels the people to show their affection by purchasing things that they really don’t need or want, like the huge teddy bears” said Salma Khalid Khan, a student.
Flowers and especially red roses are sold like hot cakes on this day because ‘If you have a valentine and you didn’t receive flowers, what a shame! It means he might not even love you truly’ is the stereotypical girl thinking.
According to an estimate 110 million roses (mostly red) are sold for Valentine’s and about 73 percent of them are bought by men. While an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent each year and about 85 percent of them are bought by women.
Chocolates in all different kinds and shapes are considered the essential meal of the day, such as chocolate bars, chocolate ice creams, and chocolate muffins.
V-Day is also considered as the day when Cupid is all set to make a hole in your pocket and jewelery is one of the costly gifts that men turn to in order to prove their love to their spouses/girlfriends.
According to a report, the biggest portion of the earnings of the shops come from the greeting cards, followed by flowers, chocolates, toys, and from some of the expensive material like jewelry (rings, bracelets, necklaces), readymade garments, and cell phones.
An interesting fact is that not only the teenagers, but mature couples are also head over heels in love, on V-day especially. I remember last year when we were arranging a get-together dinner, one of my cousin politely refused the invitation because it was on V-day.
While the whole town seems to be celebrating love by exchanging gifts, few people are of the view that love is a priceless feeling which should be celebrated every day and should not be confined to one day.
“Valentine’s day is for those shallow minds who restrict celebration/expression of being in love to just one day. Love is a precious feeling, has to be celebrated every day, every minute” reads the status of Maria Effendi, a researcher on V-day.
Over the years, the romantic rituals on V-day have almost turned the passion of a human being into a commodity, and I wonder why do people buy these costly adorable gifts or greetings cards with sugar-coated words. It’s not because they want to show how they feel. Why is it important to show one’s love through presents and not words?
Because people do want to show how they feel. They use things to convey feelings so because either they are not sure about their feelings or perhaps too shy to or afraid to make up words of their own.
Valentine’s Day is an occasion to celebrate love which means thoughtful words, deep listening, generous actions, forgiveness and patience -these are gifts of the heart which money can’t buy.
I believe, if you are truly in love with anyone whether your spouse, your parents or your friends, it is your attitude which conveys the actual feelings and not those costly presents which might have no literal utility purpose at all. It is your care, your affection, your words that matters and not just on some particular day but all the year round!