Scene: A boy and a girl are sitting on the hot sands that Marina beach (in Chennai) has to offer at 2 p.m. on the Valentine` day. The boy has his hand around the girl`s neck and at regular intervals clears the girl`s hair falling on her face, not knowing that she is using it to shade from the sun. I am dressed as a small boy selling peanuts, with a tin can and some loose change in my sweaty palm.
Boy: We should have come here in the morning. It is too hot.
Girl: Yes it is hot. But at least we are together.
Boy: That`s true. You want to move to that small structure? We might find some shade.
Girl: That`s the structure against which you piss when we come in the night.
Girl: Did you realize, this is our first Valentine`s day.
Boy: Really? When did we start going out?
Girl: You already forgot?
Boy: Not really. I was just testing you. We started off in March last year.
Girl: NO! It was October last year.
Boy: Why does it seem so long then?
(The girl fails to comprehend the joke)
Girl: So what did you get me?
Boy: Did you realize…one red rose costs Rs 20. Day time robbery! And I know you don`t like yellow or white roses.
Girl: So, you bought me nothing?
Boy: Rose is nothing compared to what I have planned to gift you….guess what?
Boy: I have decided to quit smoking. Yahoooo! Isn`t it the best Valentine`s Day gift you could have asked for?
(The girl is shocked. But she can`t show that she doesn`t care. So caries forward the script…)
Girl: That`s really good. But didn`t you quit smoking for my birthday in December?
Boy: I did? (Confused)
(Girl goes into a short huddle with herself to decide if she wants gift the boy or keep it for her friend Priya, who is getting married shortly. She decides to be magnanimous.)
Girl: Anyways, guess what I bought for you?
Boy: Teddy bear?
Boy: Heart shaped key-chain?
Boy: A greeting card with mushy lines?
Boy: A deodorant?
Boy: You tell me…I am tired. Anyways this heat is sapping.
Girl: I bought you a calendar.
(The girl was yet to tell the boy that her father worked as a Human Resources Manager in MNC and most HR Consultants would present him calendars in the beginning of the year.)
Boy: A calendar? What sort?
Girl: Here you go….(she pulls the calendar out of her handbag)
Boy: This is a sport calendar. You could have bought a calendar with pretty babes on it.
(The girl gets a little upset)
Girl: I never asked you to quit drinking, instead of smoking. Why you complaining?
Boy: So…now you have a problem with my drinking too? Why can`t you accept me as I am?
Girl: Big deal. You can`t buy me a gift on Valentine`s day…and you want me to accept you as you are?
Boy: So you saying I am a cheapo. Wait…or are you complaining about me being poor?
Girl: Neither. But I expected a decent gift …that`s all.
(By now, the boy is terribly upset. And he is trying to tear the calendar gifted to him… in the process he notices the ‘With warm regards, One Step Consultants` sticker.)
Boy: Look who was calling me a cheapo! You are a cheapo! A big cheapo!
Girl: I don`t want to speak to you. Bye.
Boy: Bye. I also don`t care about you!
The peanut boy that I was, I could not hang on longer (remember I did not wear slippers and the sand was hot..) to listen to their conversation.
Did their relationship end in a tragic note? Or did the St. Valentine spirit overcome them and they called each other and ask for forgiveness? We would never know. What we do know is…Valentine`s Day drives a very big wedge between lovers and husband & wives…and families.