Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Too busy for Valentine's day?

Today’s date bears momentous significance for the diehard romantics, the youth, radio stations, television networks,  cards and gifts stores, flower shops, restaurants and retail stores in general. At the same time, it’s just another day for many, with offices to attend and schools to go to. For me personally, it was a bit of both – an awareness of what the day means without any time to mull over it! Back in the US, Valentine’s Day was and still is a day to celebrate love – be it maternal love, paternal love, love of a child towards her parents and other family members, friendship, and basically any relationship defined by love. But in India, Valentine’s day has come to mean only romantic love, the celebration of which can sometimes be overshadowed with your little one down with a throat infection, your husband swamped with back-to-back conference calls and you are nervous about an important matter in court. All this leaves you with little time or energy to buy roses that suddenly cost 30 bucks a piece!

Anyway, leaving Abhay under the care of my in-laws, we did manage to eat out at a noisy restaurant that probably had the whole of Bangalore South dining in! Since there was nothing for Abhay to do this Valentine's day, I decided to read to him a book on love - the only kind he is most familiar least as of now! "Mama Do you Love me", by Barbara M Joose and Illustrated by Barbara Lavallee is a classic that Im surprised I havent read to my son till now. A little eskimo girl asks her mama if she loves her and how much and how long. When her mother claims that her love is more than that of a raven for his treasure  and that her love lasts until the stars turn to fish in the sky, the little girl wants to know more. She asks if her mother will still love her if she was careless ( drops the eggs she carries), or mischievous( puts salmon in her mom's clothes and footwear), or meddlesome (pours water into the lamp) or if she runs away and stays with the wolves or turns into an ox or a walrus or a polar bear and chases her mother into her tent? Her mother smiles as she replies that she may be sorry, surprised, or angry or scared - but underneath  it all, she would still be her little one, whom mama will always and forever love! Happy Valentine's day to everyone!

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