Once again, spring is here. Once again Valentine`s Day is around the corner. But the season of love now smells of lust. The other day, almost all newspapers were flashing the story that the sales of sex toys have recorded a considerable increase as Valentine`s Day is approaching nearer.
Well, in India we live amidst weird extremities. The Parvin Togadia and Pink Panty movement had not yet died down in our guffaws that we got the new fever of sex toys – something that both shocked and fascinated us.
Phew, the western influence! We would say to easily wave off a trend that`s transforming our way of thinking.
Agreed, Valentine`s Day is originally a western celebration...let’s not even call it a festival...it’s just a day to celebrate various feelings of love which overwhelm us during spring season.
Well then, what’s sex toys have got to do with the feeling of love? We must be celebrating physical intimacy or copulation? In fact, we are just celebrating the celebration streak of every damn thing in this world. It may be a break up, birthday, death, love, hate, father mother, brother sister, husband, wife, friend, incident, accident, happiness, sadness(did I leave something?).
By the virtue of my profession, I get ample opportunity to observe youngsters of our time...Youth of today - as they are so positively called. I love the positivity. During one youth fest, a young RJ was hosting a show on Valentine`s Day. Young girls and boys were called on stage and asked to propose to their new found Valentine or write a letter to her/him and read it out. The best one was getting a stupid little prize.
I saw the enthusiasm, the hope and dreams of a new found love in the eyes of participants. But the awkwardness, the embarrassment was also apparent. To flaunt or not to flaunt was the question. And believe me, everyone was trying to flaunt, no matter how embarrassing it was.
I was nostalgic. In my times, young boys and girls were secretive for the sheer respect for the relationship and of course for the fear of being caught. In my parents’ days, people spent their entire life without taking the name of the person they loved deeply. Today, it’s become fashionable to update your FB status about your love life, PDA, and even reporting a break-up.
I have had a few close and enlightening interactions with some of the youngsters. I started with an unwillingness...but somewhere in the middle, I really got engrossed and finally, ended up being really concerned. Simply, because of the realization that I am talking to really lonely souls who actually don’t know what they want and are just blindly aping the ways of the world. They have girlfriends/boyfriends because everyone else around has them.
It’s like having the pencil or bag or a car of the same brand that my neighbour has. Yes, they have fun, as you would when you buy a new thing. But then the fun of it disappears fast. Then there is emotional trauma, which is beyond understanding. So, the best thing is that you get hold of another person, another relationship...and without realizing it, they keep hurting themselves emotionally. Some of them give up emotionally. Some are increasingly becoming victims of clinical mental disorders, and a few of them of course end up being lucky, and I really feel happy for them.
It is after all the celebration of the celebration streak which is oh-so-present everywhere that the real fragrance and aura of the spring season is lost somewhere in the maze of the hullabaloo. Ultimately, it is the bond, the warmth of relationships that we celebrate on every festival and not the raw passion which may require sex toys.
(Pragati Saxena is working as an Assistant Professor at the Amity School of Communication)