Tuesday, February 14, 2006

st. valentine's pagan feast

to mark this same occasion many years ago i had penned an article which was published in the times of india. so i'm going to take the lazy option and republish it here.

“All you virgins out there, thanks for nothing”, catches my eye as I walk down the street. It’s the slogan on a young teenager’s T-shirt. If we excuse him his age, hormones and lack of tact we wouldn’t find much to argue about with him, would we now?

Do any of us know a guy who can stand up and proclaim proudly never to have been jilted, refused or just plain insulted by a woman, while pledging undying love to her, ever in the brief spell dwelt on mother Earth? If you, dear reader, are one of these blessed species, you, my friend, are a better man than most. This statement of course implicitly assumes that you have taken the trouble of falling in love with a woman and have subsequently gone on to undertake the brave act of asking her out.

Popular entertainment throughout the ages has always depicted protagonists who give up the world for their loved ones. That these poor fellows usually have tragic endings is not a reminder we need. Guys are the ones, who look at the moon and pine, get drunk and write poetry, or even just buy roses and wait endlessly for dinner dates that are invariably late. And then the inconsiderate women have to be dropped home early too, more often than not just as we get into the swing of things. Some of us look deep into their eyes and whisper sweet nothings, maybe all the while trying to look for those unborn children that Bryan Adams keeps harping about. When Romeo breathes his last, it’s usually the only option left. So how is it that women are assumed to be more romantic?

Reading a Mills & Boon’s novel and daydreaming about the perfect man. Bursting into tears when the suffering sod in the depressing movie finally dies. Acts such as these and myriad others are what have gotten women the world over the sobriquet of being hopeless romantics. When was the last time you came across an intelligent romantic story that didn’t disturb every nerve-center of your being? One that was written with the guy intellect in mind? Is this justified or fair? Of course not, like everything else in the relationship game, women enjoy an unfair advantage here too. Yet another manifestation of nature’s cruel streak. Why else do you think we refer to nature in the feminine?

Women are strong, pragmatic, ruthless creatures. Don’t let anybody convince you otherwise. Anything you have seen contrary to this sentiment is an elaborate ploy conducted for your benefit. They aren’t helpless babes in the woods. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any happiness you enjoy is only at their mercy and they know it, and each and every one of their kind is a past mistress at turning the screws on us. (Weaker sex, anyone?)

The few who fall in love with us before we do so are the exception rather than the norm and even in this group you would be hard pressed to find those who would take the trouble of asking one of us out. We on the other hand, are expected to win the love of our fair ladies and in this supposedly noble endeavor we engage in bizarre, inexplicable rituals that are none but the human edition of the mating game played by life forms everywhere.

Have you ever stopped to consider that this might just be a pleasure fulfillment sport for women? One that we are genetically conditioned to perform.

We fall in love with them and basically go a bit daft. Isn’t this what usually follows? You’re off in a dream world, bits of your brain stop working, you forget things, you make silly decisions, attention is focused on this one individual and other people and responsibilities are forgotten. Friends, family, social life and careers are only a few of the statistics on the casualty list. Detractors could argue that these symptoms are shown by both sexes but the catch is in the follow-up act. For women the logical next steps are: you become great mates, settle down, raise the next generation and grow old together. Not exactly the stuff candy-floss romantic dreams are made of, are they?

Conversely, us guys are more in love with the notion of being in love itself. It’s only the insanity of the first nutty months of the relationship that we clamor for. Once the head-rush has safely passed us by, things aren’t as interesting as they once seemed, for that’s when the women turn into their mothers. Constant nagging, boredom and sexual familiarity can be harmful to the health of your relationship. We don’t want to be practical and monogamous. We’re just not programmed to function that way. At least not with happiness and content.

So what’s that noise I hear? Is it my brethren asking for a solution? Alas, fellow men, many of our kind, better even than you and I, have frittered away a promising life in this very quest for mankind’s holy grail. As for now, send her a bouquet, forward the cute lovey-dovey SMS and buy a ticket to Manali, just for yourself.

1 comment:

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