Gooseberry ? That’s what the package said. The fruit that you see in the above pic was known as “Tya(n)pari” in Bihar, it was sold by the cartful on the roadside and we used to love it. It was not much seen in Kolkata, the strange thing being D had never even heard of it. He would laugh at me whenever I said this name and was I elated to see this small pack in my local Shop Rite fruit aisle a month ago. Though the package said Gooseberry I think this the “Cape Gooseberry” according to Wiki. It is sweet and juicy and I love eating it raw. If you know more about this fruit please input your info.
Can you discern the heart in the picture? I didn’t plan it but when I saw it on my computer I was sure it was all because of Valentine Day and I had to write something I had wanted to keep to myself.
Ok, so let me come clean, I have stopped being a Valentines Day Fan. I feel it's overly hyped and there is too much brouhaha with it and the commercialization -- the less said the better.
Maybe I don't feel any attachment to this tradition because I have not grown up with it, Valentines Day was unheard of when I was in school, at least there was not much hullabaloo over it in our small township. At the close of the teens there was this hush in the air about this day and it was solely marketed for "romantic couples", we felt it was supposed to be for errrrrr stupid females with bfs, we ( the more stupid ones) had none so that was it.
By the time I was in college and we had moved to the city with an "Archies" store at every corner, the cute pink bears holding red hearts and the mushy-mushy card made my heart flip and if you would sniff hard, rising above the diesel and the fumes you could smell the red roses and "Love". That was the age to go rubbery in the knees on seeing such things and if someone so much as dropped the "L" word you would go red -pink & purple, ok not purple. "Archies" did a very good job of putting pressure on the millions of Indian youth and I bet even that gangly youth with oiled hair from Jhumritaliya shyly scribbled on an “Archies” card for the love of his life.
No such luck for me though and even later when I was friends with D we never succumbed to Valentines Day, the V day was still very much targeted for the mushy-mushy lovey-dovey couple of "Maine Pyar Kiya" and no way I was going to be labeled in such a category.
This changed however after marriage, the first Valentines day I totally flipped and sent a card worth 50 bucks to D who was far from India at work on an project. I was sane enough not to spend more of my hard earned bucks on postage and sent it with another good friend who was traveling to the same place around this time. Fortunately this was a guy and "happy & gay culture" was not in so there was no confusion as to "who gave the card to whom".
Since D did not send a card or claimed that his card was lost in transit I threw a hue and cry…all those years of not celebrating V day and "Archies" & now "Hallmark" was showing signs. So by the next V day when we were here in the "Valentines Day Mecca" D promptly bought me a bunch of roses, roses on V Day are you crazy ?? I was apalled by the price and again threw a hue & cry.
By now the poor guy would have been confused but he knew me well enough not to get ruffled. So the next year I asked him to get me a single stem of rose, that's it.
By now I was getting sick of Valentines Day anyway, and then it seems V day is no longer for "romantic couples" it is for everyone are you kidding me? Why the hell would I buy a dozen Roses worth $50 and present it to close, not so close, barely know them friends.And then they have Valentines Day parties at pre school and toddler classes too. This is getting on my nerves and so I put my foot down, "No Valentines Day For Me" this year
And so while I will hop around and check out all these wonderful blog events for Valentines Day, and die of guilt for not making a contribution, I will stay put and let Hallmark lose one buyer
Check out Valentines Day in other cultures in Wiki, fun info
Trivia: March 14 is celebrated as White Day in Japan & Korea by a concentrated marketing effort, when men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day has emerged in Japan and Korea as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers to people they like.