My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

My ebook
Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
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Friday, February 17, 2012

A heartfelt obituary to Valentine’s Day

This year, Valentine’s day came and went. Many people didn’t even realize. And this year, many who were feral fans of the occasion looked down upon this day as something silly and childish. Marketing types who used to glorify this day as the next best thing for mankind after Angry Birds app kept their enthusiasm markedly mute. So much so, in Singapore, what till recently was the global headquarters of St. Valentine, many florists resorted to desperate touting to push their flower stocks. In India, where urban youth used to celebrate this day more as celibacy day by ransacking greeting-card shops, the day passed by rather tamely. Their 15 minutes of fame denied, these youths resorted to using their weapons of mass destruction as cricket bats instead. And the biggest sin of all was committed by Hollywood who forgot to launch any Valentine day movie. 2012 is truly the end of the world.

All this has left me with a sour mood. Till last year, I could pretend to be the Bohemian Antichrist Anti-Capitalist Anti-Hallmark Anti-Sybarite Rebel Cool by criticizing such imported celebrations. And this year, everyone around me is like me. It’s that “I am no more the only gay in the village” feeling from Little Britain, and it hurts.

So now I have come to realize the real essence and beauty of this day. Economic spin-offs apart, Valentine’s Day taught us that colonizing Westerners could love too. It gave us adults an opportunity to walk around again with big colorful balloons. And then there are those unbeatable discounts under Valentine’s Day packages, like men’s skin toning plus fat burning plus facial lift combo, all for sixty dollars. No one offered me that on Independence Day. It was a great excuse for many to leave office on time as well. We are living in a world where traditional languages are dying out, ancient customs are being forgotten, and mother’s recipes are dying out with mothers. If Valentine’s Day also fades away, what else will we keep holding on to?

I have a strong feeling that Iran or China is behind this just like they were behind Mia’s middle finger show during this year’s Superbowl. The fish out of water state of the banking industry is also to be blamed. Do you recall those couples this year who were saying that we would rather spend quality time together at home this Valentine’s Day? Don’t fall for that honey. More likely than not, the guy in this case is a banker or ex-banker, in other words, a neophyte cheapskate.

All things said; let’s hope for the best next year. I hope this is not the “new normal” (another cool term to use nowadays). But my mama said, always beware of the “unknown unknowns”; or was it Donald Rumsfeld? And Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston, the high priestesses of Valentine’s Day kitsch are not getting any younger. Life sucks!!

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