It’s the mushy season of love again and all around the world, people are prepping themselves for the big day. They are buying gifts, looking online for date ideas and planning to have a good time with their significant others.
But not us. Not us.
In other countries, Valentine’s day is exactly like how they show it in the Rom-Coms. In India, however, it reminds you more of a fast-paced thriller movie! It takes on the form of a high profile secret mission that compares to the likes of James Bond! (I swear if Indian Kids were in his place, they would carry out the whole mission more efficiently! They have trained for it all their lives!)
If you are a teen in India who has tried to find some cosy time with your boyfriend or girlfriend on Valentine’s day, there are a few different things we’re sure you’ve gone through. Here’s a list of the 12 things that go through every Indian teen’s mind on Valentine’s day. Some of these have been taken from personal experience so if you relate with it, let me know in the comments below!
1. Thinking of a gift for her
The preparation for Valentine’s day begins way before the actual day. And in a country like India, even earlier, since you have to acutely think of the logistics involved and figure out exactly how you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do! The most important part of the entire process is not to do something that is outside of your normal routine lest your parents suspect you! So you have to exactly think of when you’re buying the gift. Whether you’re buying it online and getting them delivered at your home (risky idea; your mom might just end up opening the parcel because honestly, what’s Right to Privacy in India?) or getting them delivered at your friend’s house (optimal solution if you have a supportive friend. I did, thanks V.) or opting for a pickup!
2. Storing away the gifts
Yeah, you got excited an ordered the explicitly romantic gifts a week before. Haha, the joke’s still on you. Where are you gonna keep it for week sir? Under your bed? Your ‘Bai’ might sweep it out in the morning. In the drawer? Your sister might casually open it up. Deep back in the closet hoping no one reaches out there? Yeah that’s your best bet!
3. Receiving a gift!
Hold-on! The gift-conundrum isn’t over yet. She’s also getting you a gift, right? The thought sounds all sweet and romantic until you think about returning right back outside your main door after your date with an obvious packet in your hand. You’re waiting outside the door, hoping that when someone opens the door, they don’t ask you what you’ve got in your hand. Otherwise, you’ve got to use your backup plan and say that a friend (most definitely of the same-sex because as homosexuality is still a far fetched thought) got it for you and hope they believe you.
4. Deciding a time to meet
Fixing a time can also turn out to be a task. Indian parents have a fixation of enrolling their children for as many tuitions, classes, tutorials as they possibly can. So you have to match your timings but you’ve to also take into account the time your dad leaves from office, your sister comes back from school, your aunt goes to the market for grocery shopping, your uncle takes an evening stroll in the park. If there’s a time that checks all those boxes, then you can proceed to the next thought in the list!
5. Deciding a place far from either person’s home
The time’s decided but what about the venue!? You can’t meet too close to your house. What if your mom’s friend sees you and calls her up? And you surely can’t meet near her house, because you don’t want her to get into trouble either. So you open the map and hunt for a place far away from both your place while still being in the radius of feasibility!
6. Finding a place that’s not too crowded (sorry you’re out of luck)
There are thousands of people just like you, having the same dangers looming over their heads and so if you wanna get a little cosy alone time, I’m sorry you’re a little out of luck here.
7. Finding ‘alone time’ in the Rikshaws
And so naturally, the next step in the series is your rickshaw rides to the venue (If you have your own vehicle now, you’re good. But these were the times before getting a licence) You still can’t do much since the Rikshawwala knows exactly what your intentions are and he will try his level best to make sure you don’t get that. It’s his way of making peace with the apparent lack of intimacy in his own life. So you gently take her hand in your own and hope she understands that if the circumstances were better, you’d definitely make the first move!
8. Scanning the inside of the venue
….the outside of the venue, the parking lot of the venue, the 5 km radius of the venue. You can’t make any errors in this step because it’s the most crucial part of the act. You’ve to look for close family (well obviously), extended family (these are the tricky ones since you never know which aunty you might bump into suddenly) and even people barely qualifying as family.
9. Keeping a watchful guard while on your ‘date’
Even when you finally get seated at your table, you can’t drop your guard. You may have to abort the mission any moment if you spot a threat in your immediate surroundings. So both of your keeping peeking over the other’s shoulders to make sure it’s all under control.
10. Making sure you don’t get reported or beaten up by the fringe groups
This one’s my personal favourite. Because now, you don’t just have your parents to beat you up if they catch you, you even have these pseudo-parent figures marching around the country on valentine’s day. Honestly, I can understand where they’re coming from, this is the only time of the year anyone’s gonna care about them. So they try their hardest to get the limelight on their big day!
11. Avoiding the judgemental glares
When you’re out on your date, the one thought that takes over all others is that you hope that the waiter, the cashier, the rikshaw-wala and just about every person you meet don’t give you judgemental glares. It’s that typical stare into your soul with a sly smirk. It is the worst.
12. After all this, if there’s any energy left in you, hope to have a good time.
This really is the last thought that comes to your mind because you’ve got more important things to deal with first!
If this is your first time going on a date on Valentine’s day, pay heed to the advice, tips and tricks mentioned above. Don’t call out on me later and say I didn’t warn you!
Should you choose to accept this mission, Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!