Your Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day
It’s almost upon us – the day of love. It’s Valentine’s Day in India.
Oh, excuse us. We mean Down-With-Western-Values Day.
Will you be my Down-With-Western-Valuestine?
Every February, Indian women are caught between an orange rock and a red hard place. On the one hand, there are hardworking marketing departments of various political parties across India slaving away to brainstorm ideas on how we can all violently celebrate DWWVD.
These Big Brothers, both Orwellian and Bollywoodian tropes at once, are always watching, and are not afraid to bravely defend their shy, unassuming culture from the insidious spread of hussy-like romantic love from the West. Like token protests about goods made in China, their antics are centered around one day, and take many forms, shapes and twisted thinking. The history of Valentine’s Day in India includes forced marriages, assault, threats and much more.
All of which directly affects India’s women, who have at least four of the following: a libido, brain, boyfriend/husband, and desire to have a nice dinner out (but rotten timing).
On the other hand, however, is the doctrine of St. Valentine himself, founded upon crass consumerism, forced consumption of past-sell-by-date food at overpriced restaurants, and an office-wide Valentine’s Day dress code. (Which is red. Like the face of the colleague, who asks if you can help her think of a nice Valentine’s Day gifts for him, when you respond “Isn’t sex enough?” And then belatedly realize she wasn’t talking about her husband. Hashtag awkward.)
By now you must be wailing: How does one survive all of these dangers to body and mind?
Chill, behen. We got your back.
Snark your way to safety on Valentine’s Day in India
If you’re a Snarky Indian Woman already, you’ve got a good start. Your inner critic looks at displays of teddy bears in the extremely pink Valentine’s Day Gifts section and calmly contemplates arson. You see Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas pop up on articles across Facebook and wonder how many people you’re allowed to block. You’re messaging — Have you bought cool Valentine’s day gifts for husband? — to single friends, and you’re all laughing.
But it’s not enough to merely laugh. Here are five easy tips on how to not only survive Valentine’s Day in India, but get ahead.
Dress code: Orange alert
Flout your workplace’s dress code by pleading colour-blindness (and deafness) and wear something orange every day. Fashion soothsayers are agreeing: It really is the new black in 2017. Political pundits agree: The chances of women wearing orange being assaulted is lesser than women wearing other colours. After all, even the most aggressive party member will stop and think: Could she be one of us? Life is about the split-second chances.
Call your BFFs
Over the years, several parties have threatened to forcibly marry any couples found together. Our solution? Hang out only with female friends, and create the rabble-rouser’s ultimate Catch-22: How does he effect his archaic bullying if he marries the two of you off and thus flouts LGBT-related archaic bullying and thus advances the liberal cause? Decisions, decisions.
Call your mom
Hang out with your mom and any time you see hardliners approach, kneel in front of her and pray to her with heart-shaped balloons, red roses and chocolates. You’re not seducing your mother on Valentine’s Day in India; you’re in accordance with Asaram Bapu’s 2012 decree that February 14 should be Parents Worship Day. This also ensures your mother never complains about not seeing you anymore.
Wage love jihad
The BJP promised the creation of Anti-Romeo Squads; groups of men roaming the streets to prevent other men from eve-teasing or assaulting women (poker faces on, people) – ostensibly to prevent the conversion of innocent Hindu women by charismatic, conniving Muslim men (aka, love jihad) during Valentine’s Day in India. (Damn, we did it again. Sorry, we mean DWWVD.)
We SIW can help by creating our own Anti-Juliet Squads – you and your BFFs, wearing orange, walking the streets with a boombox blasting out Beyonce’s All The Single Ladies (since you ask, she’s foreign but she’s married with children – so it’s all good). Every time you find a woman who looks like she’s in love, stop and show her pictures of what will happen to her vagina after birth and photos of dirty dishes, wet towels on the floor and mothers-in-law. Conversion accomplished.
Like water for saffron
On Parents Worship Day, like Diwali, you should ideally distribute sweets amongst your neighbours and other people who can spy on you, much like standing up when the national anthem is playing because you never know who’s watching and might physically attack you. Bake up some chakra-shaped saffron cookies, tint them orange and take them round. Start with the neighbours who go tightlipped when they see young people. Stress your extreme dislike of Valentine’s Day in every house and look disapprovingly at any teenagers for added effect.
Orange you glad you now know how to survive Valentine’s Day in India?
From one bunch of SIWs to another, good luck! (Also, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you our saffron cookies recipe.)