How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Coming into the category of the almost senior citizens, the husband and I had the Valentines Day talk a few days before the actual day. A lot of the talk was one sided, the spouse contributing to his side of the conversation with a series of non commital, non incriminating grunts engineered to sound aboslutely neutral and unthrow-back at him in the future in the event of any argument. This comes from being married for 15 years and dating for six years before the marriage. You get all your defence mechanisms down pat. Like I know the exact pointย in an argumentย when I need to quietly siddle out of the room just as the man’s nostrils start flaring and steam starts emanating from them, if I want to live to see another day.

Anyway, the discussion began with me informing the spouse that a friend had been booked into a spa by her husband for a day long session of treatments to be followed by a champagne dinner at a newly opened five star in the suburb we are located in. I was, naturally, in shades of green so resplendent I could have been glowing toxic waste. The man grunted. I then informed him about another friend who had been taken by her husband to the Tanishq showroom and let loose amongst the diamonds, and had returned home, sparkling from every angle so fiercely that sunglasses were recommended for direct viewing of her person, so as to prevent permanent damage to the retina. The man harrumphed again and continued his unblinking gaze directed towards the CNBC TV 18 on screen. At times, I am often concerned whether subliminal messages not targetted at me are being flashed on this screen, messages that go “Dont blink now, you will miss an important stock quotation if you do, and then you will curse yourself for the rest of your life…ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.” You know. I knew we were not going to celebrate Valentine’s Day again this year.

Our first Valentine Day was around a month after we met in college. This was the last year, and the last month of college. Strange, that we should spend five years in the same college and wind up locking glances and exchanging names in the last month. Fate? Fate was probably kicking us together time and again, everytime I watched him pass by and sighed with lovestruck angst, but would see his broad shoulders pass by without even registering me as a blip on his radar screen, while the college hotties draped themselves as decoration on his arms. Nope. I was not a college hottie. Therefore, us getting together was as remote as hell freezing over. Hell froze. Whatever. We began ‘going out’ from the day we met in Jan 1991. But were we a couple? Were we exclusive? Valentine’s Day comes loaded when you are in the la la land between exclusivity and dating. “Check what he gets you,” said my well meaning friends. “If it is something grand, you can be sure he’s serious.” Hmm, I thought, being totally raw at this game and its rules. No boyfriends. No dates. Nothing worth writing home about prior to this, except for long distance sighing and crushing on totally unsuitable types. What they didnt know, and what I didnt know too, was that this, the college stud, with the deadly physique and the killer looks, was in college on a sports scholarship. His father was dead, and his mother supported them on his father’s pension. He definitely did not have the funds to spring for a grand Valentines gift. I didnt know that. Well, I knew that technically but hadnt realised that funds were in short supply. Funds were in short supply at my end too. My mother worked at a bank as a clerk, a job she got on compassionate grounds when my father expired suddenly when I was nine. Her salary was barely enough to keep body and soul together. A friend helped me buy a bottle of Drakkar Noir for the man. I gift wrapped it excitedly, and picked up a cheesy card with many doves and hearts and ribbons on it, with everything except the words I Love You written on it. The day dawned. We met in college. We sat on the brick edging of the little green patch garden and he pulled out of his pocket an almost melted Dairy Milk and a card. The card had words I still remember, having read it so very often and committing the words to memory. It said, “I always knew I would meet someone special who would come into my life and make it complete. What I didnt know was how wonderful you would be and how very much I would love you.” It was messy eating that chocolate, but no chocolate has tasted as sweet. And yes, I’ve got gifts since. Big ticket items. Diamond sets. Swiss watches. A house. Luxury handbags. But nothing has come close to the joy of that moment, licking the chocolate off my fingers.

And no, we didnt celebrate Valentines Day. We dont celebrate Valentine’s Day now. But every night, when I sleep, holding my little boy and feeling the strength of the man’s arm under my head, I know I am blessed. You dont need a card and a gift to know you are loved. You know you are.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boyโ€™s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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34 Responses to How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

  1. Rohini says:

    Awwwwwww… lovely story ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. DI says:

    I am all mush now ๐Ÿ™‚ Loved it!


  3. sraikh says:

    Awww…Eating that chocolate , I doubt any other chocolate comes close to that one
    We dont get anything for each other as well. He has at times in the past, suprised me with gifts but generally, its just another day..:)


  4. MRC says:

    Just wanted to say that you’ve got your head screwed on ABSOLUTELY right , and that this was a lovely post!


  5. Gymnast says:


    Here’s wishing you both many valentine’s days together , filled with the gift of love..

    But..atleast you got a chocolate and a card with beautiful words..

    Thats much better than what some of us here fare romancing brick walls in human form.


  6. Sue says:

    Vicky gave me his first ever Valentine this morning. He left a box of chocolates near my head as I slept last night.

    To think I am felled by some wee nuts dipped in chocolate…

    I’ve been wearing this goofy grin all morning.


  7. Sue says:

    BTW missy, am going to send you this link every time you moan about the man. So there.


  8. shruti says:

    awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.. hugs to u.. i’m all mush now.. happy valentines day !!


  9. awww this is a total kala tikka post



  10. dipali says:

    Such sweetness!
    My old man was off to Delhi early in the morning. Saw him off to the lift, closed the door, when the bell rang. I was sure he’d forgotten something. I open the door, he hands me two Center Fresh chewing gums, says Happy Valentine’s Day and is off:)
    I guess all the mush does register:)


  11. Trish says:

    Awww soo sweet!! Agree with Monika..big Kala Tika Kiran!
    And another big Kala Tika to our very own Dipali!
    BTW,Kiran,did u go to Ruia?


  12. Sonia says:

    Kiran you are SOO wise !!! I got married on Valentine’s day and it was my tenth wedding anniversary yesterday so we had a Satyanarayan pooja to say Thanks to the Gods for giving us so much happiness ๐Ÿ™‚


  13. Veena says:

    That’s the best V-day story…ever!


  14. Valentines day – Any day we dont fight with our Dh ๐Ÿ˜‰


  15. Wow..lovely lost for words actually. Just a sincere wish for both of you to be so happy always.


  16. Kiran Manral says:

    Musings and memories: Thank you so much.


  17. Poppy says:

    Lovely post Kiran – may you always be blessed by the company of your two men!


  18. rekha says:

    hI, That’s really beautiful Kiran.


  19. Abha says:

    beautiful Kiran! ๐Ÿ™‚

    here’s wishing you many many valentine’s days together!



  20. That’s such a sweet story! and i love the way u ended ur post!

    If it’s of any consolation – i got nuthing on V-day despite it also being my birthday!!!… C how lucky my husband is ๐Ÿ™‚

    But the year we first starting going out (rather a month after we started going out) -6 years ago – he who has never read a book in his life – consulted one of my friends who read a lot and took a complete list of books which i wanted to read, entered a bookshop for the first time and bought me books…i dont know why but i get all teary eyed when i think of it!


  21. choxbox says:


    And I got a bunch of red roses ๐Ÿ™‚


  22. Rani says:

    Your story is lovely. I got a handmade card- a plain notebook page folded and the two halves stuck to each other. So it was like one thick page. On one side he wrote, “this is you baby” and on the other side “this is me. And this together is WE.”

    I gave him a bunch of notes with my thoughts scribbled on them, about a 100 such notes. One to be opened each new day.

    I like such gifts. That cost nothing but are really priceless!


  23. That was a sweet, sweet story! My husband told me immediately after we got married that he thought V-day was plain silly and why did I want to feel extra loved on just one day when I was loved every day :). He called me materialistic for expecting romantic gifts! We’ve been married for almost 10 years now and he’s stuck to his point very firmly. Its ok though, I know I am much loved ๐Ÿ™‚


  24. Nids says:

    Loved reading this…I still have tears in my eyes..God bless you both ๐Ÿ™‚


  25. R's Mom says:

    The best V day story I read in a LONG time..wishing both of you many more dairy milks together ๐Ÿ™‚


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