Today, February 14, is the Valentine’s Day, the day of love and romance in general parlance. On this day, people exchange gifts, sweets, and cards with their chosen Valentine (friend/relation) to convey and renew their love and affection for each other. Without digging history, it may be stated that Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout the world in one way or the other. Of late, in spite of many difficulties and objections by some sections of the orthodox society, in India also Valentine’s Day is increasingly becoming popular. I personally stand for the Day, as in the strife ridden atmosphere, it is good to have such occasions to exchange love and long for peace and harmony.
I cherish the memory of the Valentine’s Day of 2001 in Tokyo. I was posted at the Indian Embassy and fell seriously ill with a stroke on February 12 and was hospitalized. With God’s grace I recovered fast and was shifted from the ICU to a private room on February 14, Valentine’s Day. It gave a sigh of relief to my wife Vidya and my colleagues in the Embassy. But the climax was yet to come. The entire Japanese staff of the Embassy, young boys and girls, came to meet me with chocolates and red flowers to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me. I was overwhelmed by their love and regard. They sang “you are my Valentine” and wished me speedy recovery and good health. I will not forget that Valentine’s Day. With their good wishes, I recovered well. I was fit enough to join my duty before March 14, White Day (Reply Day) and celebrated it in a small and humble way, as a matter of gratitude. Unlike other places, in Japan March 14 is observed as the Reply Day by the male friends/colleagues with gifts and white chocolates.
With these happy memories, I wish my friends a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY.