Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

It's such a cliche.

Year in and year out, it's the same old routine. The same red roses (at bloody high prices), cute teddy bears and all sorts of useless, fluffy items that won't see the light of the day in normal circumstances. The red pillows, perfumes, diamond necklaces and the strings of pearls aren't that important in retrospect - it's the stories.

The stories of how people meet and fall in love, tide over their differences and sometimes succumb, fail to bridge the gap, and part with only the memories and the occasional gift that was left behind after the break up. But sometimes, there is harmony and understanding, maybe the circumstances are favourable and it becomes the prologue to the 'real story', the point where all our Bollywood movies like to end and leave the details of the conjugal life to our imagination.

This year, I was home for Valentine's Day (kokam sherbet at the canteen had it's revenge, I guess) and I flicked my economics notes, and watched chick-flicks all day.

They have a formula that's not that secret, and are just too predictable - harried career guy/girl, the other person teaches them how to live, throw in some evil friends/sisters/mothers/mother-in-laws/exes and a lie, and you're set.

But we do watch them, don't we?

It's the promise of a happy ending which draws me to fluff. Like all good Indians, the part of the story I am most interested in is the ending. I read somewhere that cultures with a long history (which unavoidably have a lot of suffering) are more interested in 'how it ends' rather than 'how it happens'. Just observe. How many Bollywood flicks you know have a sad ending? The hero and the heroine have to fall in love, have to vanquish evil, get married (that's fairly compulsory) , and live happily ever after. It's changing though(and that makes me unaccountably sad), many Bollywood movies have the death of a significant character nowadays - take Agneepath, for instance - everyone dies! Bah.

Back to the point, the happy ending is a full stop to a good story. It may be the marriage of the two, or the birth of a child, but it is a joyous occasion that puts a smile on your face, long after you exit the theater or switch the television off, or put the book down with a sigh.

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