Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine Day

Happy Valentine Day to all my friends! The traditional day where lovers express their love – as Wiki puts it.

I love this ‘love’ly day. As Usha puts it , anything that adds happiness to our joy is always a Welcome. This is also how I feel about this day! That one special day etched on the calendar, where you take off time to tell every loved one just how much you love them. I feel that it is not necessary that you should wish only that one special person in your life this day, but just anybody that you ‘love’ – your parents, friends, siblings, neighbour (???).
But to be spending the day with your ‘special person’ is indeed the biggest ‘special’ of this day!

As a kid, Val’s day did not mean anything at all. My parents were not of the romantic sort to wish each other on these ‘days’ – or probably they were even not aware of it. It all started as I stepped into my late teens – with stores like Halmark and Archies coming into prominence and putting up big posters around the city. Those were times when we would shop for small gifts – in the limited allowances given to us – for cards to be given to our dearest friends.

This was a BIG day in college. When I was in 1st of Engineering, I vaguely remember somebody telling me of it being a ‘Rose Queen’ day – the girl receiving the maximum number of roses from boys would be crowned the ‘Rose Queen’ – oh! I imagined it being celebrated in the Audi and the girl being crowned and all that – alas! Nothing of that sort happened – my romantic teen heart was disappointed (ha ha). This day was even fun in the 2nd year – when a bunch of us would sit near the entrance and tease all those girls who had ‘boy friends’ and all those girls who would get ‘calls from guys for roses’, and then would sit speculating who is the most prettiest girl , who would get most of the calls and sorts.

I still remember the Valentine day of 2000, it was just before our final exams, so the celebrations in the girls of our year was kind-a restricted. My best friend then L, the sort who gets tensed before exams, was so upset that the day had to be just before exams and grudgingly gave half an hour time out of her busy schedule to meet her boy friend S. About 5 of us crowded at the window of her room and boo-ed loudly when S came to meet her, embarrassing them! He was such a cutie –gave her a big bunch of balloons and her favorite – chicken dish. Oh! Those mushy times of college!

The Val day of 2000 was something special to me too. I innocently wished this best friend of mine a happy val’s day, while parting at the hostel gate (we had met each other ‘accidentally’ at the bank). Little did I know that 8 days later we would realize that it was not just friendship but love that we felt for each other! To this day, the Mr. pulls my leg saying that I was the one who lured him into the chakravyooh of love, by wishing him on Val’s day! Ever since that year, the importance of Valentine day has increased 100 fold in my life. Since then every year, the Mr. has surprised me with a special surprise gift on this day. This time, it was a long stemmed rose and a special edition of ‘Scrabble’ – something that I wanted to buy since a long time. It was utterly sweet of him to remember this and bring it as a surprise for me. It is not in vain that my friends say I am lucky to have such a wonderful spouse.

As the pressure of grown-up life increases and weighs upon us, we tend to forget these small pleasures of life – taking time off to celebrate one day for Love. Some people argue saying – Oh! I love my wife/husband every day, what is so special of this one day. Oh! We are way past that time of giving surprise gifts and celebrating days. For those, I would say – just for fun’s sake try taking your spouse out for a nice dinner/lunch, get him/her a rose or a their favorite drink/food item or just something small that they love in daily life and just see the surprised happiness on their faces and then you will know why this day is celebrated.

Pretty Ms M in office distributed Hershley's Kisses and cute little valentine cards to everybody in the department. It was terribly sweet of her to do so. Upstairs near the lunch room, they are selling heart shaped cakes and you can get your message iced on it. Ms Mo is rushing through her work today, so she can go home early to spend time with her Hubby dear. Ms C's husband got lucky - he got to come to visit her at office on an official work - thereby having a romantic Valentine lunch. Umm.. the day definitely seems to be "love"ly!

Monday, February 12, 2007


We added a new little member to our family two weeks ago – Meet Mr. Bertie (named by the Mr. after his all time favorite character Bertram Wooster from the PGW Series) – our goldfish.

After about three to four visits to three to four pet shops, I gave into the Mr.’s insistence and we bought Bertie home on 3rd February. And I must say, I am really happy that we made that decision.

When we started the topic of having pets at home, the Mr. is one great animal love and I am very inclined to think quite the opposite, I was not so very fine – until I saw the little parakeets in Meijer (the local grocery store – which somehow seems to have everything under the sun inside it – just like most grocery stores in the US do – food, household items, pharmacy, beauty products, clothes, furniture … whew! I am exhausted even naming them). I was lured into the trap that the Mr. so cleverly laid. But after talks to 2-3 pet shop folks, we were discouraged – as keeping birds takes quite a lot of effort and commitment. The temperature of the house has to be constantly maintained at 65F, and with the Michigan winter causing mercury to dance between 0F and 7F for the past 1 week, that posed to be a big issue – especially when both of us were at work. My good intentions dropped an inch lower when the big hunk there, who owns about 17 pets – some of which include a couple of lizards (hello! Did you ever hear of anybody loving those yucky looking creatures that I so dreaded, that I would refused to go to the toilet/bathroom as a kid, fearing the one tiny one sticking on the very corner of the roof.) - showed us the minimum size of the cage that we needed to have to own the minimum number of birds that we could have (which is Two) – it was half the width of my Kitchen slab – my bedroom would shrink to 1/4th of its size if I kept the cage there. And added to that was the pain of finding somebody who would be willing to take this load into their place for 3 weeks when we were gone to India (a trip is in the offing). So the wings of our dreams were clipped.

Then the focus of the Mr.’s keen eyes (which can never find a single item lying just in front of his eyes) landed on the gleaming gold flitting about in its water haven. I tried arguing with him a lot – What is the use of a fish that will remain in one corner of the room and will not even interact with us. We will get bored with it in 3 days – and so on. But his “puppy look” finally sealed the result of the discussion and one very proud and smug Mr. walked back to the apartment holding his precious aureate Bertie on a very cold Saturday.

And I was wrong – we have never been bored with our little fellow. There he sits on the TV Stand, swimming crazily in his bowl. Every Morning we wake up, the 1st thing the Mr. rushes to do is wish Bertie a very good morning before rushing to the toilet. Fish, somebody told me, are not very social animals – meaning they can live alone and really don’t respond much to human company. Either I was misinformed or the said person was wrong. In these two weeks, I can say that our company does matter to Bertie. If neither of us is around, he swims lazily or sits in one corner of the bowl eating and spitting out gravel. But the moment we put on the TV and are in the front room, he swims like crazy and does various antics. When I go and tap the bowl, he comes closer to where I am – opening and shutting his mouth as if talking to me.

It is very soothing to just look at Bertie, at the end of a long and boring/buzy day at work. He fills our house with peace, just with his presence.