Go on, be a Valentine

By Shreena Hronsky

In how many movies have we seen heroes running up to their mehboobs with roses in their hands to celebrate Valentine’s Day ? Come to think of it, exactly how is romance portrayed on the big screen ?

Man declaring his love to woman under a fountain handing over roses

Does art imitate life when it comes to romance ? Or what we see is simply what you get? Let’s for a moment analyse what is considered romantic according to most young people, and what popular magazines and movies in the western world have you believe.

Romance is traditionally the job of the guy. As if he doesn’t have hard enough time wooing the girl of his dreams, every Valentine’s Day, anniversary or birthday, he is forced to make rituals that show his girlfriend exactly how much he cares.

So on Valentine’s Day and every birthday or anniversary, the girl is supposed to get flowers. Of course, we don’t count on those moments where the guy does something wrong and is forced by convention to send little tokens of regrets and sadness.

So on most momentous days, he is obliged to send flowers. Naturally, there is a social order for flower arrangements, with red roses coming very high in hierarchy and plain white daisies pulled from Mrs Gomes garden right at the bottom.

One single rose means he’s a kanjoos, while ten roses means he really truly cares for you. And if he is crazy about the girl and sends her 24 roses or more, that means he really wants to do something her parents would not approve of that, he quite likely, and in all probability, drives a black BMW.

And if you think that that spoilt the girl and permanently put the guy in her her book of definite-potential-husband-material, then wait till you hear this. If the guy sends roses, chocolates and a huge teddy bear, he is not trying to impress just the girl, her mother, father and uncle from Lucknow, but he is also impressing his own uncles, aunts, parents and any other girl who may be interested in falling for him should the present girl prefer a taxi driver over him as we see in so many films.

Speaking of that, how do Hindi film heroes show romance? Remember Satte Pe Satta where Amitabh sends Hema roses and she throws them at him? Well, see why the heroes don’t buy roses to woo heroines? Because it is mindless waste of good roses.

It either gets thrown in your face or slammed shut in doors or she throws it on the ground and walks all over it. No, not Mumtaz style, but some spoilt brat Mumta Kulkarni or Madhuri Dixit style who didn’t want flowers from Shah Rukh. Now that is seriously questioning her taste.

Regardless of the fact that he is besotted by her and killed her husband and child, a rose is a rose and one should accept it from potential suitors, even if they are as psychotic as Shah Rukh was in Darr and Anjaam and what not.

So I suppose heroes would have to try another method seeing that roses were economically unviable as a gift. So they went into singing and dancing. Now this seriously worked out. I mean, you have the guy singing and dancing till he was hoarse and only if the song was really good and his dancing were appealing would the girl even look at him.

At least this didn’t cost that much money. And at least she couldn’t throw it back on his face. So she had to resort to face pulling, name calling and shaking of the hips which is damn childish and immature thing to do but directors obviously think that audience want to see this kind of natak.

Have we answered the question does art imitate life? I guess we have come to the conclusion that art does imitate life to an extent. We have heroes wooing girls a lot like what most guys do nowadays. But have they got it right?

Let’s see. Romance is not about traditions and conformity. Romance is about knowing the person you are wooing and doing something to please that person. And with style, if it’s a contentious point in the relationship.

For instance, most girls love flowers. Red roses are okay for Valentines’s Day, but with a little bit of creativity, one should try obtaining white lilies with yellow ones only. Or a row of white irises against a backdrop of blue ones.

How about a huge bunch of babies breath with two sprigs of of birds of paradise? What about a red gerberas only? And don’t go for the bunch of everything but the thorns thrown in. That is as original as Milli Vanilli and any girl who likes this is obviously not worth having as her sense of style leaves a lot to be desired.

So you have done the flowers and she’s loved it and now you want to surprise her. Pick up some sandwiches, or pakoras and samosas if she is that way inclined, take a picnic rug and some sparkling apple juice if she is not into champagne and sit by the harbour or another cosy spot and just look at her. Or, buy a punnet of strawberries, and with cherries and berries in season, feast on that while looking over the harbour.

Okay, okay, so this is too western for you? Well take her shopping. Most girls would love that. Better still. Go buy her some shoes and tell her to pick an outfit to match. She will be so delighted with this idea that she won’t even care whether you bought the shoes from Discount Danny or Myers.

And if your lady allows you a few indulgences, take her to a romantic spot and give her a foot massage with some rose oil. Now that’s luxury.

Naturally, all these things can be done at home. In fact, Valentine’s Day Is not the only time you should be doing these things. You should make an effort to do it all the time.

What about the guys? Now that’s really easy. If you want to spoil your guy, take him to a sporting game. Or organise for some of his friends to go with him. Take a picnic rug and sit there and show some interest, who knows, you may learn something.

If you can afford it, rent his favourite car (a BMW or Merc) and drive him to Palm Beach for the day. And because you are a smart girl, you’ll let him do the driving.

And then, curl up and watch an action movie together. What else? Ask him to teach you boxing. Ask him to teach you to walk like a man. Heck, I’m not a man so I can’t exactly say what a guy wants.

But I do know that every guy likes his girl telling him that he is special and he is number one for her. Tell him that.

And maybe you should already be telling that rather than waiting for Valentine’s Day to come around. If you’re with the guy you love, hold on to him.

And this Valentine’s Day make it a point to always let your loved ones know they matter to you. And as has been said since time memorial, actions speak louder than words

Shereena Hronskey was one of TIDU’s prized writer on Bollywood in days gone by. Here we reproduce her article on St. Valentine’s Day that falls every year on February 14. A classic, the article still catches your attention, only because love is eternal.

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