It was 8 pm in the evening and I was finishing off my work when I saw my phone vibrate. My husband texted me – Where are you. Now, we generally do not celebrate Valentine’s Day but we also have made a point to have a decent dinner together at our home. Amidst all the late night client calls, reports to be sent and presentations, we made an effort to come back, sit together and eat a simple meal on the same table.
As I hurried up, I asked couple of my colleagues who are millennials if they had any plans. The youngest one smirked at me and I asked, “What’s wrong? Never been in love?”
“That ship has long sailed,” he retorted. This guy always wore black. He is an ambitious bloke, who always wants to make a statement and is known to throw the best parties in town. I called him Jim Carry in my mind because whatever this chap does seems over the top, but in a funny way.
Another kid called Shanvi, participated in our discussion, “the concept of Valentine’s day is created by people who believe in monogamy and are not liberal and free thinkers. Our love is not bound by one day or relationship.” She always had a definitive tone in her voice. Even when our VP asked her anything, there was never an ounce of fear which I still have in front of my bosses. She was always brief and clear whether it was a discussion or just an answer to a question
I thought, ‘Wow! This is heavy’. Talking to people who are only a decade younger than me is quite liberating. It reminds me of the passion and beliefs I once had. I may not share the same belief but helps me to think ahead.
“I don’t get it. What are you against exactly?”, I asked genuinely intrigued.
An intern named Tara jumped on the bean bag next to me. I am thinking, ‘Shit! These guys will keep talking and I need to head home.’
Tara asked, “We are against boundaries that has been set up. We adjust our expectations to monogamy, gender roles and relationship goals. Valentine’s day is just a testimony to it.”
My phone buzzed again. My client texted- are we set to go live with the campaign? I sighed. I needed these kids to finish off work and leave.
Keshav who was the youngest of them sat quietly for quite some time. He finally spoke, “Well… Love is a natural instinct and I would like to think it is beyond gender roles. I would like to believe is little bit deeper than hormones. I do agree to what Tara said about monogamy but I don’t think it is pretentious to most of the people.”
My boss just stepped in. I thought, ‘Thank God, these bozos will work faster now’.
“what are you guys doing?” he asked.
“Discussing Valentine’s day”, I answered.
“Isn’t it amazing? This is one day when we are not expected much but to love. We want to present the best versions of ourselves and forget the worst part of ourselves. We don’t need to be patriotic, or be fatherly and be a certain way. I have an ice cream date with my daughter today and I am so relieved we can talk some nonsense today. This is the most uncomplicated day for me. Roses for wife, ice cream for daughter and even the newspaper editorials are much more relaxed in their articles. So what are your plans?” my boss asked.
There was a stoic silence. I think love today being the most uncomplicated word hit my colleagues. Beyond monogamy and polyamory there is a moment, however small, makes us lean back and feel the relief that we are wanted by someone for a fraction of second. It is that moment when we make love and only after few days, we remember that face in a split second when driving, eating or sitting. By the time we recollect what we were thinking that memory is gone and we are thrown back to reality but somewhere a small joy twitches in our hearts. It is at the end of the day a feeling which does not differentiate between the liberals or the bigoted.
“I am having a party at my place. You guys can bring whoever you want”, finally said Jim. The commotion started again.
I finished off work and as I headed home imagined Jim’s party- booze pouring and hookah smoking. I have been to his parties and there are really cool. And as my boss said, they will celebrate in a way that they will not be excepted to behave in a certain way. They will have to pick up their battles of love with the world soon which we have failed. Let them party today.
I entered my home and my husband was waiting for me. We ate a quiet dinner. “
He asked, “what do you want to do?” I was dead tired. “Lets’ go the bakery and share a dessert?” I somehow did not want to sleep. I wanted to share that desert because tomorrow I will wake up to just another day and in the everyday chaos I will not remember any of this for years to come.