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Indian Men and Valentine's day

Chitra Parayath

Who says married Indian men are not romantic? Well, 98% of the women polled by this lokvani scribe say so, and a whopping 99% of the men do too! We had to give you folks concrete evidence so here are some case studies. Names , particularly of husbands have been withheld to protect their identities and hence their lives, women urged me to use real names wherever possible so the world would know what kind of men Desi husbands are.

Case one: Yours truly. Take my story . This morning I woke the husband , (lets call him Dhurandar Bhatvadekar) with a cheery "Happy Valentines day!" Patting my head in an avuncular manner, he asked if our daughter had a Saxophone lesson today and if I had fixed him an appointment with the Chiro. Fuming, but determined not to lose my cool I thrust his present( an ergonomically designed pillow) at him. Smiling languidly he handed me a card. Dear readers, I almost broke down and cried, in so many years of matrimony, this was the first time he had given me a V day card. It was a different story when we were engaged to be married though; I got a V card every day for three months. I opened the envelope tears streaming down my face.

"Chichu," it read " Chichu, old shoe…..here's a little something, go knock yourself out!" There are five ten dollar bills and this little hand written note. I looked up at his proud face, and before I could say "&*@#$%", he was asking if he could borrow twenty dollars because he was out of cash and had no time to go to the ATM. Seeing the look on my face he hastily explained…"Chichu, you know how comfortable these old shoes are, you are like that to me, old, easy and comfortable!" For his safety I took the mini van out for a drive far, far away from home.

Case Two: Vimala is woken from sleep by her excited kids," Mom, " they say " Happy Valentines Day! Look what Daddy got you!" Vimala wakes up and finds herself staring eyeball to eyeball at a spanking new huge Vacuum cleaner. Her spouse stands near her, beaming. Making a sound not unlike an overloaded blender, Vimala storms out of the house for a long drive.

Case Three: As Govind tells me this story, he voice quavers a bit. He is nursing a black eye. " I fell down the stairs " he says. Then pleading…"don't tell Nina I talked to you." "Valentines Day?" I ask in sympathy , "I forgot" he whispers, a stricken look on his face. Nina's face is stormy and when I tell her I want to know what she thinks of Valentine's day, she kicks me out of her house. As the door shuts, I see a trapped look on Govind's face.

Case Four: This happy couple is holding hands. They are in a hurry. "We have started a new V day ritual " they explain" this year we have a joint appointment at the Dentists , every year from now on we will meet with a health professional and take better care of ourselves" Desi romance is so touching!

Case Five: Aunty Gulab's card reads... " When we got married you were rose flower, now you are cauliflower" Uncle Ji is clearly wanting in both departments, romance and English grammar. Aunty G is cooking him a dinner his stomach ulcers will love!

Case Six: This interviewee spoke with gritted teeth , hence some words were not recorded properly. Sheela made reservations for a romantic V day dinner at a local restaurant. She changed into her best little black dress and her most uncomfortable stilettos and waited for Jay. He had a surprise for her, he said on the phone. " You'll see it when you get there" Sheela held her breath, he knew she had her eye on a 12ct diamond ring . Jay had a close brush with danger that day when he turned up at the restaurant with his mother. They made a cozy threesome. Note: The mother theme was recurring in many case studies. In one the husband had bought both his mom and his wife identical saris.

Case Seven: Rani wakes up to see flowers strewn on her pillow, she is rushed to the hospital with a severe allergic reaction. Raj, her beloved pati had forgotten about her hay fever.

Case Seven: Chitra is served breakfast in bed. The newspaper is by her, morning coffee also served in bed. " No don't change from that raggedy old tattered night gown, you look so elegant in that" says her mate . " Stay in bed all day I'll take the kids to school, milk the cows, paint the house and also bring home the bacon" The kids kiss her good bye and she is alone with her favorite books and a bottle of wine.

Ok, Ok, the last one is a fantasy I tried to sneak in as a case study! Actually the rest too are all made up. Talked to a few pals about Valentines day and this article was inspired by their stories. Don't forget to write and tell us about your Valentine's day experience!

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Valentine's day ... duh?

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