February 14th is approaching. For knowing couples,I don’t have to elaborate on what is this day known for. A saint named Valentinus made this day his own. Actually it was a Christian feast day in the good old days. And one day, some extra smart businessman saw great business opportunity on this day. This day, first became associated with romantic love since the 14th century and by the 18th century, lovers were expressing their love for each other by exchanging flowers, chocolates, et al. And so it went on for many more years, the festival of the European continent slowly making its presence felt in the Americas and Asia. And then the madness started. The Retail revolution, helped by massive advertising and mouth watering sales pitching, made this day, a favourite for all romantic couples across continents. Now there are all signs of this day degenerating into comic chaos.
Sometime in the near future…
Suresh and Rina are a couple in love. They are a working couple hardly finding time for each other. So they take extra efforts to keep each other in good spirits by periodically gifting the most unique gifts. Once Rina had gifted a turtle to Suresh since he is very fond of wild animals. Suresh had decided then and there to search for a similar exotic gift for Rina. And the day was not very far off when couples gift each other to express their love for each other. So 14th Feb approaches and Suresh goes to the nearest Mall to look for exotic gifts for Rina. The extra friendly Mall attendant shows various gift articles to Suresh but Suresh is not satisfied and he asks for more unique gifts. Exasperated, the Mall attendant then takes Suresh to an inner room with the promise of a gift like no other. On an inside rack, there are various beautifully designed paper mache small boxes. The attendant opens one …inside it, a beautiful shiny brown specimen of the oldest species on Earth with its wings encrusted with gold dust, six diamond rings adorning it, the eyes boldly meeting Suresh’s. It’s love at first sight for Suresh and he parts with a hefty amount to possess it.
14th Feb! Both Suresh and Rina are excited with expectations. Suresh has pre-booked the best seat in the coffee shop of the newest Five Star hotel in town. Both reach the venue on time, hand in hand. The concierge at the hotel gives them a warm welcome and they are chaperoned to their seating place. Suresh orders for the best wine in the house and some mouth watering Italian spread. The next 2 hours are very well spent in small talk and some PDA. Finally the moment arrives for which Suresh has been waiting. First off the blocks is Rina. She gifts him the most rugged faux leather mobile cover for his premium smartphone. He is very happy. Suresh then takes out the beautiful paper mache box, gift wrapped to perfection. He asks Rina to open it there itself. She unwraps the gift and opens the box…a screech escapes her mouth. All eyes in the room are on them, expecting the worst. Tears are flowing from Rina’s eyes, but these are tears of real joy. After all, gold and diamonds do have such effect on the female species…so what if they come riding on a live….cockroach!!
Thinking that this is the trend, I too gifted a similar specimen to my wife. But this fellow was little too hyperactive, he jumped from the box, straight on my wife’s shoulder. She too screeched, but this screech was one of sheer terror. She dusted off the critter from her shoulder with her flailing hands, grabbed the nearest available newspaper roll, and found her mark. The next few minutes were spent in retrieving whatever gold dust and miniature diamonds as possible, from the floor. She did not talk to me for the next few days!!
Well, I hear this cockroach gifting fever has started in New York, and as all things American, bound to spread to the rest of the world.