Radhika's Diaries

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“Won’t you come into my parlor?”

said the spider to the fly……..

Those of you who haven’t heard this one in your kindergarten; its a nursery rhyme about a spider who spins a delicate and intricate web and invites a fly to step in.

Now why do these lines keep popping into my head so often these days? In fact they echo loudly in my ears especially when I’m in the vicinity of gift shops, greeting card shops or even pastry shops for that matter…… probably something to do with all those heart-shaped cards, heart-shaped cakes and little red heart-shaped balloons suspended suggestively from the ceilings and bobbing gently against my forehead whenever I pass by them in the shops! Well Well!!  Whaddya know…..its that time of the year again…………. D-Day!!  Ok Ok  I stand corrected. The romantic Big day – going by the name of Valentine’s day.

If good ol’ St Valentine miraculously came back to life today, he would, I strongly suspect, jump right back into his grave: in shock and amazement. Did he ever in his wildest dreams imagine that every year, otherwise sensible people, would  go crazy and spend half their hard-earned money, time and brains on  ingenious ideas on how  to celebrate Feb 14th – his Feast Day??  St. Valentine is now the patron saint of mushy love, mushy young couples and all things mushily romantic, but the day itself has its  origins in a gritty and brutal story of the poor priest being beaten, stoned and beheaded on Feb 14th. Actually there are several gory versions to it, but who cares…!

Over the years this day has evolved into a heart-shaped shopping festival. Actually its a win-win situation for A) young  love-birds and couples looking to spend big cash on special gifts and novelties and B) the business guys figuring out how to  get that big cash out of their wallets. Valentine’s Day has proved that love is an expensive business , with the retailers laughing all the way to the bank. This year alone, a country like the US is all set to splurge 30 billion dollars(*) for Valentines day. Yet another market survey reveals that a grand total of 700 million dollars will most likely be spent on Valentine gifts for their pets!! I wonder now…..heart-shaped dog collars? heart-shaped dog biscuits?  or a nice red heart-shaped doggie bone? The internet is absolutely bursting with novel ideas on how and where to celebrate this day, for those bored with merely going out to dinner or gifting chocolates or flowers!

I absolutely appreciate the fact that the day offers an excellent opportunity for those wanting to express their feelings to their loved ones; its a special day meant for special gestures and all that. Never mind if for the rest of the 364 days they’re going at it like cats and dogs. Well I guess…every dog has its day!  What I  object to is  all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Day!

A friend  once mentioned  just how much he loved Valentine’s Day and looked forward to it every year and didn’t mind spending a bit for it , all because for a few weeks leading upto the Big Day, his wife, and now I quote him “would be positively dripping with sugar and sweetness”  unquote. So celebrating that one day was like investing in a little bit of peace for a few days at least, was what he said. Ouch!! Now there goes the romance out of the window. I do wonder who  was trying to fool whom there!!

The children’s poem then goes on to describe how the spider entices the fly into its beautiful web through seduction, flattery and promises of good times together! And the fly although aware of the consequences is carried away with it all and steps in….. and we’re not told what happens after that.

So here’s my remixed version of the original rhyme :

“Won’t you come in to my parlor?” said the spider to the fly

“Will you be my Valentine?” said the girl to the guy;

Hand in hand they walk into the horizon, as the sun goes down the sky……..”

And again we won’t go into  what happens after that!  I’m tempted to remind you, however that, in  a romantic film,  if you haven’t left the hall already as the hero and heroine go off into the horizon, what usually comes on the screen is “The End”  Go work that one out!!

Anyway….. May be Valentine’s day has at last managed to work its magic on me. It seems to have awakened the poet in me; albeit a bad one!!

Happy Valentine’s Day folks!!!!!

(*)source- Business Insider. Aine Cain

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