This is a day when all your stereotypes come out and collaborate with your insecurities! A day – when the date is celebrated with implicit connotations of the so-called four-letter word, which few understand. A day when Love becomes a cryptocurrency – everyone talks about it, everyone wants a piece of it and hear stories about how everyone else apart from them has it but they don’t – but almost everyone is clueless about what exactly it is!
The word Love is confusing, as I believe, in most of my sociological intellectualization, that it is a packaged version of Lust when one moves from liking someone to needing something more! But then there is a nice explanation of the difference between Lust and Love – a TED talk by Terri Orbuch
I remember getting conscious about having conversations with girls on this day, lest they thought my intention was to drive them towards consummation, I mean, celebrating Valentine’s day!
This is what an over-marketed day (now a festival of 12 days) does to you.
Couples end up overspending, singles end up over-depressed and pretentious couples end up….continuing to pretend!
A quick glance at your Facebook timeline leaves you overwhelmed with the deluge of couples sharing their pictures with their better halves, reinforcing their territories (almost shouting out loud that they do have someone to call their Valentine!). Maybe its the herd mentality or maybe it’s a FOMO at another level – they might be perceived as a depressed soul if they don’t put up their ‘young and happy’ couple pic!
Or maybe they realize the truth – When the ignorance through the year is supposedly compensated for in a single day, why take the trouble of spending time with your family and loved ones through the year when you can just put an image on FaceBook of the two of you!
Another interesting piece – echoing most items I dislike about the day was published in Indian Express last year by Jyotsna Basotia, some of which are highlighted in this text – a hyped day to either drive you broke or depressed!
So what are Indians searching for Valentines?
While surveys claim to tell what they want, Google is our new age mirror – you can’t hide much from it.
Inspired by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, I was curious to know what are Indians searching for. Here is an interesting summary –
1. In India, Searches for Gifts for Girlfriend are more than Gifts for Boyfriend, where the reverse is valid for the world, especially US and UK. Clearly, we are different (gender bias?)
2. Top things searched for the day include Quotes, Gift, and few other items. But interestingly, have a look at the density of searches globally and then for India.
Globally, the order of search density is Quotes > Gifts > Love > Dinner > Sex
But in India, Quotes > Gifts > Love > Sex > Dinner
We Indians surely have our priorities correct! (Just for records, as per research, while Married couples prefer dinner dates, youngsters prefer gifting!)
3. Which cities are the most excited about the day – Interestingly, in the past week, 8 out of 10 cities globally are from India – including (in decreasing order of search densities) Nagpur, Patna, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Pimpri-Chinchwad (Pune), Noida, Jaipur and Gurgaon.
Surely, the Eastern belt in our country is more romantic! While this is largely attributed to the younger population, including student cities, you cannot undermine the possible inhibitions that we have to go and admit love – today is the official day to propose.
And why not, globally, 9 million marriage proposals would be made today. More than a million FaceBook users change their relationship status around this time (Source)
Can Money Buy Love
Valentine’s day might have some confusing and disconnected history (which has got no relevance to the spends done during Valentine’s), but that does not stop approx Rs. 20000 Cr (~$3 billion) being spent by Indians through this extra-red festival!