Diaries Magazine

I Never Had a Valentine

Posted on the 17 February 2014 by C. Suresh
I have been particularly remiss in not posting anything on the subject of Valentine's day and am in serious risk of being banned by Social media. The harbinger of my impending pariah status is the fact that for the whole of the Valentine 'week' I have not had a single message from any South American or African lawyer offering to share a humongous unclaimed fortune with me. Truly  a fate to be dreaded.
I can offer only one excuse. I never had a Valentine. In the days of my youth, we started out avoiding girls - to the extent that teachers considered it a punishment to make a boy sit with the girls. What the girls did to deserve the punishment of having a boy squeeze into their desk is something that never bothered the teachers and, in that, they were probably aligned to Indian Jurisprudence as exemplified by the Khap Panchayats.
When we grew out of that phase and came to the conclusion that girls were pretty interesting creatures after all, Society stepped in. A boy caught talking to a girl, outside the confines of school, was a bad lot and certain to join the ranks of the criminals, if not the criminally insane. I am exaggerating, of course, though calling a girl for a date or proposing to her was a certain recipe for serious punitive action - right up to suspension and dismissal. Add to that the fact that India was not celebrating Valentine's day those days and you can understand that there was no possibility of any Valentine for me through youth. (One of the minor mysteries of life for me is what did all those guys, who now entertain themselves by breaking up valentine parties, do to pass their time in those days. Played gilli-danda, I suppose).
Actually, though, it is quite likely that I may never have had a Valentine anyway. I can always talk nineteen to a dozen, normally, to the extent that I cross the puny limits of verbal diarrhea into the exalted realms of Verbal Niagara. Comes the time when I really feel a strong emotion, though, I find this strange urge for silence.
You do not understand? Let me explain. When you brush accidentally against a stranger, the 'Sorry' comes tripping off your tongue. Think, then, of the time when you have seriously wronged a close friend and need to apologize. Someone seems to have tied your vocal chords into intricate knots. The vascular system, which really has no business in the process of vocalization, gets into the act and you find your ears turning a lovely carmine in color and the heart hammering away so busily pumping blood into your face that the opposite end of your body goes icy cold. The digestive system, not to be left behind, acts up too, drying your mouth of saliva and releasing a million fluttering butterflies into your stomach. The skeletal..you get the point? All right!
So, every time I approached a girl, this is precisely how I felt and, when I opened my mouth to talk and only managed to mewl, the lady of the moment fastidiously wrinkled her nose and moved away, assuming that I was about to barf. Needless to say, this did put a minor spanner in the works and, in retrospect, I find much reason to feel grateful that there was no Valentine's day in my days for me to be outside looking in forlornly at all those "Couples Only" places.
If I have given the impression that I am the strong, silent lover or, more likely, the mutt who comes running to fetch and carry when his idol crooked her finger and played the uncle, who became a horse or elephant as per choice, to her kids, I must admit such could have been the case but for a chance biological discovery. I found that the heart, being a muscle and not a bone, does not actually break and, thus, after a suitable interval, I always found another girl to mewl at.
In time, I found that picking heart-throbs from the heroines of any moment was much safer. You could always mewl at them and not run the risk of having to remember the dates and purchase gifts for the anniversaries (monthiversaries, if I may use the term, initially) of
1. The day we first met.
2. The day she first said 'Hello' and I gargled in reply.
3. The day we first had coffee together and I poured the coffee down her top trying to play the gallant lover.
4. Her Birthday - English AND Star
AND all those non-biographical days like Valentine's day, New year, Christmas, Akshaya Trithiya..........
As anyone, who knows me, can tell, in addition to a memory like a sieve for dates...

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