Valentine’s day became big and commercial in India a few years back , precisely during our high school and college days Before that, most of us didn’t even know that a St.Valentine existed.
Valentine’s Day is not kind to high school kids and college kids , especially for plain – looking kids. Most of the plain looking kids ( the ugly ducklings) grow up into beautiful swans. But while growing up , being a Plain Jane can be difficult . For readers out there who know you were/are drop dead gorgeous and always used to having a fleet of admirers at your feet( or just the dedicated 'one') , you might find it difficult to relate to this story but for the others, you can perhaps go back in time and relate to this.
I remember dreading Valentine’s day during college and used to think of excuses to bunk classes. The agony of watching people in love and so – called love and watching the hearts and flowers and balloons , was horrible. I used to be happy for my friends who were the recipients of such gestures and used to pretend that I don’t care a toss about this day , but deep down , couldn’t shake off this feeling of abject misery during this day . And this went on for years until I fell in love and got married.
There’s one particular story which I remember reading many years back in a book called ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ . The Chicken Soup series are a heart warming collection of true life short stories and they never fail to inspire me. This is one story which has stayed with me, all these years and I invariably think of this, every year during Valentine’s day .
Here below is a condensed version of that story , in my own words.
Laura was one such plain looking girl in her high school . Not ugly , not beautiful – just plain looking. This is the age when a girl desires admiration from boys , the most. And during these crucial years, not one card arrived. The feeling of hurt and rejection went on for years until she grew up.
Now she was no longer an ugly duckling nor a plain jane. She had turned into a beautiful swan and turned many heads. She had many admirers and Valentine’s Day was definitely not bad like it used to be . But she never forgot the feeling of hurt and rejection that she underwent in high school.
Today Laura is the mother of 2 grown up boys . Every year during Valentine’s Day , she hands out some money to her sons so that they can buy cards and gifts for the girls they fancy . But she also hands out some extra money so that they can buy an anonymous card for the plainest looking girl in their class- the kind of girl that does not expect to be remembered by anyone. Imagine their happiness and surprise when they find an anonymous card on their desk ,the joy of having a secret admirer at that age is beyond anything.
Laura has changed many lives during Valentines Day and has made many girls happy and feel cared for.
Isn’t thata wonderful story? We must remember that Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, it’s a day to make someone, anyone, feel special and cared and remembered for. It could be our friends, parents, the lonely widow down the street, the plain girl in the office that nobody talks to , the friend whose marriage just broke up – anyone .
After all , love in any shape and form – is what makes the world go round!
Happy Valentines’ Day everyone