Love Is In the Air! Education Hub is all Geared Up for V-Day Fearing Less to Threats
Mangaluru: On the outset before going further into this article, I just want to clarify that if Sri Rama Sena is saying that Valentine’s Day is a Western and Christian culture, then why are the members of this Sena wearing Jeans and Polo T-shirts-isn’t this attire Western too?. Seems like “We don’t practice what we preach!” kind of attitude. Oh well-now moving further to the article- Roses are Red My Love! And that’s how you say it with “Roses”, especially the Red colored ones on the romantic Valentine’s Day. It’s once again that time of the year, where controversies involving young lovers and activists of certain political saffron parties are nothing new, but the feeling of ill-will is usually at its peak on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
Rs 30,000 Flower arrangement at a flower shop
St Valentine merely wanted to spread the message of love, but lately, this day has become one of possible conflict in India, as well as Mangaluru. As lovers eagerly await to greet their Valentines on February 14, there’s some not-so-pleasing news for them. Roses, one of the essential gifts on Valentine’s Day, are little higher than last year, and also prices of Teddy Bears and other Valentine’s Day tidbits are quite outrageous. But no matter what, lovers who really want to celebrate this day, will go ahead and buy the stuff, forgetting the price matter.
If Sri Rama Sema Supremo Pramod Muthalik is dead against observing Valentine’s Day, but that hasn’t stopped those who believe in V-Day, who are all geared up to mark this Day, buying roses, gifts, chocolates, cards etc, for their dear ones. And for that matter, if you look at the flowers shop and gifts shops in Mangaluru, they are all making brisk business from flower arrangements, teddy bears, greeting cards, novelties, gift items, chocolates/cupcakes etc etc. As lovers listen to heart’s whisper and say those three little words with roses and gifts, V-Day spells megabucks for bizland. As big-time parties are planned at luxury hotels, pubs and social clubs in other big cities, but unfortunately in Kudla, owners of hotels, pubs and clubs have been quite reluctant in hosting any V-Day events, with a little fear of the saffron groups creating trouble.
Like the prices of ‘Kumbalakai’ that go up during ‘Ayudha Pooja’- the prices of roses go up during V-Day. While millions of flowers/roses get shipped to Western countries, and thus there has been shortage of roses here, and that’s the reason they have jacked up the prices. Roses which you bought yesterday for a lesser price are double the price today, especially the red coloured ones. Flower arrangements range from Rs 500- Rs 2500- and I was surprised to note that couple of these flower shops have a heavy booking for these rose laden arrangements. And there’s one huge flower arrangement sitting in front of Iris flower shop costing around Rs 30,000?. Guess which man will buy it?- he has to be Truly, Deeply and Madly in love with his sweetheart. I bet some psycho will buy it by tonight!
“Love birds do not mind to pay around two times usual price of flowers,” giggled another florist at a popular florist shop in town. However, he said many avoid purchasing flowers due to anti-valentine’s squad and Moral-police personnel. The moral police brigade on that day are keeping an eye and youngsters hesitate to purchase flowers to avoid problem. Last year there had been protests by the saffron group in the city, claiming V-Day as a Western culture”. And if you are looking to give anything else other than flowers, there are cakes/desserts shops who have heart-shaped pastries/cakes. Yummy, put some love into my Tummy, dear?
Going around the city I saw quite a few young and old people shopping for V-Day cards, roses and other V-Day novelties. But the shopping spree and craze for V-Day items has died down lately, with the present generation using SMSs, email and e-Cards to convey their V-Day greetings. Mariette Cutinha, the lady who introduced the first flower delivery/showroom in the city namely ‘Sentiments florists’ said, ” Business this year for V-Day has been less compared to last couple of years. Since there are restrictions from college management on students not to celebrate V-Day, also threat from saffron groups not to accept western cultures, and also many youngsters opting to send V-Day greetings through mobile text messages, emails and e-Cards has very much affected our business. But we still want to continue and support various traditions that people are still used to, including V-Day, even though we don’t make big profits. V-Day has been good, but could have been better, if not for all these anti-elements. Also due to bad economy, people are cutting down on V-Day expenses”.
Ullhas Rasquinha of Jerosa Company said, “This year was little dull than last year. People are very reluctant to celebrate- some fear of the warnings from saffron outfits, others don’t want to spend due to bad economy. We didn’t stock much of V-day goodies, but most of the stuff what we have, are being selling like hot-cakes, from cards and novelties”. Even a staff at Iris flower shop said, “Last year we had made mega flower arrangements, but had a few buyers-it was simply waste of roses and other flowers. This year we have cut down on mega creations, but have concentrated with flower arrangements mixed with chocolates, which are the fast sellers. It is like saying V-day with flowers and candies. Business has been sturdy until now, hoping to be better”.
Shyam Sinha, an medical student had bought a mega-size V-Day card at gift shop, and has also plans to take his sweetheart for a “candle-light” dinner at a cozy and elegant Onyx lounge tonight. Merwyn, an IT employee also had bought a mega-size V-Day card-he and his would-be life partner had fallen in love one year ago while working together at the same IT firm, and he has plans to marry his fiancee next year. He had the V-Day card wrapped in a red foil paper, to be presented to her when she comes down to Mangaluru this weekend, since she is employed in Bengaluru. He has plans to take her to the beach, and spend a cozy and lovely evening at a pub or nice restaurant.
Shy but bold, Melannie who didn’t mind sharing her comments was all set to hand over her V-Day gift to her hubby Darren this evening. She had bought heart-shaped miniature pillows for her husband, although her husband doesn’t believe in V-Day- this is her first V-Day gift to her hubby since they got married last year. What’s awaiting her as a V-Day from Darren will be a surprise-could be a glittering jewel or a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant or it could be just a hug and a smooch!
Amith and Carol, both students of a local medical college who had come to buy their rose arrangement at a flower shop, when Team Mangalorean asked as to how they feel about Valentine’s Day celebrations in Mangaluru, they replied, “We wish we were in Mumbai our hometown, where V-Day celebrations are simply fun and frolic. Here we have been traumatized by saffron groups and not many of our friends want to take a chance to get hurt while having good times. Telling us what to do and what not to do by the members of these outfits is just bul@#@#?. We are planning in having a good time, so also bunch of our revelers at our apartment. Happy Valentine’s Day to all who believe in it”. Police have been posted near the malls, pubs, hotels, lounges etc to prevenct any untoward incident.
To sum it all, Valentine’s Day is traditionally a way to celebrate the romance in your life, but it’s also a good way to show friends how much you value them. There are as many ways to do this as there are friendships, and no way is right or wrong. With some friends, you might give a card to say “Happy Valentine’s Day,” while with others you might go all out with a big party. There are different ways to celebrate V-Day- pick one and celebrate. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Team Mangalorean wish you all a Happy & Romantic Valentine’s Day with a popular V-Day tune on Youtube: