Growing up in the 80’s in middle class India, there wasn’t such a hullabaloo about Valentine’s day as it is today.
I remember Daddy bringing home flowers a few times, but then he brought them on other random days too, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. He loved giving card’s on all occasions- Birthdays Anniversaries, Best of Luck for Exam cards, Death’s in the family, Birth’s in the family, get well soon ones… I kid you not; the Archies Gallery guy knew him by name. Dad was cute like that…
So I never really thought much about it, till maybe when I was in my early teens and then entering college. I guess the hormones had kicked in and there was world of knowledge and possibilities suddenly blazing in front of me. It was followed by a yearning for a maybe, a possible admirer.. even a secret one would have done. But nope… nothing caught.
I think I must have been 17 or 18 years old and Valentine’s day rolled in as it does and nothing much was planned except maybe a samosa-chai party with my buddies. I came back from College around midday and was chilling in my room listening to Ace of Base (:P) when Mummy came in. She said she had something to give me. So I got up and walked up to her.
In her hand was a small red box. She said. ” You will have many Valentine’s day going ahead, but I wanted to give you your first Valentine’s day gift.”
She opened the box and in it,on blood red velvet was a beautifully crafted gold ring. It was designed to wrap around my finger and give the illusion of many rings.
To this day, I remember and love that thoughtful gesture by my mother. Because no matter what man/woman/friend entered and exited my life, She was my first love and I am her first child.
And that will never change.
Happy Valentine’s day to my first love.