The Folly of Valentine’s Day

One comes across so much of noise on Valentine’s Day that it is almost difficult not to be questioned about what one is planning to do on that day !

Well, I was questioned by my daughter !!

I have no real plan as I think there is no rationale for Valentine’s Day.

I think it is really a marketing trick to make people spend money, driven by incessant advertising, articles on what actors/actresses plan to do on that day, promotional flyers, TV coverage, and what not. All this leads to pressure on people to spend and of course, there is enormous peer pressure as well. There was no Valentine’s Day celebration just a few years ago in India, now it is all the rage amongst youngsters and even older couples.

While it is all right to help the country’s economy by consumer spending, in the current circumstances when the markets are falling and the growth story has come into some serious questioning, one also has to think about the future. How things will shape up over the course of the next few months is anybody’s guess. So, it might be prudent to save than spend at this juncture.

Valentine’s Day cannot replace the special feeling that one has for someone else, by forcing one to buy a gift/card and retaking the vow of special relationship. Such a thing is an integral part of the day-to-day relationship between two people and requires neither endorsement or re-affirmation in any manner.

It is all in the……..eyes. And I am sorry to see that people do not realise the importance of “personal” time, space and investment in building and solidifying the relationship, rather they tend to seek external stimulii. I am not stating here that Valentine’s Day is against Indian culture, et al. That is not what I am saying, it is not necessary to link everything alien to the cultural dependency that a society has formulated for its actions or non-actions. These things are but natural, and any adaptation is welcome except when there is no real rationale.

And, I believe there is no logic. You might differ, that is fine. I hope you are fine with my rationale for not endorsing or promoting Valentine’s Day.

Am I doing anything special in the next couple of days ? You bet I am not prone to such pressures.

Well if you do indulge, all the best for a fabulous evening !


Vijay Srinivasan
12th Feb 2011


Faulting PDA on Valentine’s

You might think of “PDA” as a “personal digital assistant”.

But it appears that now PDA is twisted as “public display of affection”. Wow !

With Valentine’s Day today, there has been extensive coverage in several newspapers about what to do and accomplish – advice for both men and women. Very interesting to read, but totally meaningless as there is very little in a relationship if it has to be celebrated on a public day when all couples and partners are destined to celebrate in a particular manner. The only way a relationship is going to be stronger by the day, is if there is constant nurturing and investment in the relationship by both parties. Symbolic celebrations are no good when more than 30% of all relationships end in failures in today’s fast-paced world which rarely permits serious involvement.

So, it was humourous to read newspaper coverage of “love flashback”, “true love”, “classic love”, “10 best gifts for your valentine”, et al and advertisements related to Valentine’s Day. Further, I noticed that PDA rules the roost – it is no longer hidden, it is very much out in the open, and nobody seems to care that much any more. Moral Police was absent ! The only issue is that they do cause serious distraction in the middle of a mall or while shopping in a departmental store, but that can be forgiven, I guess. Sure, there are many other places for PDA to be executed, but the choice seems to be the most crowded malls !

There is surely a disconnect between PDA happenings and the middle-aged folks who do not hold as much as each other’s hands ! They look down with a disdain, and shield their kids away !!

Well, world is moving on, and we cannot police such things as long as traffic is not affected. Such stuff is common sight in Singapore and Hong Kong, and nothing special. The best way is to ignore both PDA and the attack of the Valentine’s Day. It should be every day rather.


Vijay Srinivasan
14th Feb 2010

Husband 1.0

NOTE : This is from a family friend, I thought it is hilarious, Enjoy !

Installing Husband 1.0

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow-down in overall system performance – particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, installation of Husband 1.0 seems to have uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed such other undesirable programs as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0.and Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do ????

Signed, Desperate ============ ========= ======

Dear Desperate :

First keep in mind that Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System.

Please enter the command: “http: I Thought You Loved Me.htm” and try to download Tears 6.2, and don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1.

Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will automatically download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background which will eventually seize control of all your system resources).

Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program.

This is an unsupported application and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance.

We recommend Hot Food 3.0.

Good Luck, Tech Support


Vijay Srinivasan
1st December 2007


Today was a key milestone – 20th Wedding Anniversary.

It was office as usual for the day, including a meeting at 5:30 PM at the Grand Central Sheraton with a guest from Singapore.

There was not much choice except to meet my wife and kids at the Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel, about 20 minutes from the hotel. As I waded through the dense traffic of Parel, the first thought to cross my mind was “well, the traffic scene here seems to be slightly better than the Western Suburbs where there is just no traffic sense !”

We connected up at the Phoenix Mall, which stands on top of the mill lands of Mumbai. A swanky setup with leading brands, a supermarket, departmental stores, a bowling alley, several pubs, and a smattering of restaurants make up the mill space.

After a bit of self doubt, we chose the Spaghetti Kitchen, which initially looked like an Indian joint. And, as we entered, we learnt that the left side at the entrance is indeed an Indian style restaurant. The Italian food at the Spaghetti Kitchen was good, and the ambience was very good. Service deteriorated as they received more guests, but that is the way it is in India nowadays.

It was a nice evening, we walked around the courtyard a bit, and returned home.


Vijay Srinivasan
17 April 2007

Enchanting Goa

I took a brief break at Goa with my family this weekend.

It appeared to me that time has stood still in Goan villages. The driver told me that nothing much has changed, except for the holiday resorts mushrooming all over the coastline.

I saw just the beach at the resort where we stayed, which like most other Goan beaches had a fascinating name – Caravela Beach Resort at Varca. The beach was great, with beautiful white sand. Kilometres of unspoilt beauty – if this existed in South East Asia, they would have made a killing in profits, like in Bali and Phuket. But, Goa is not only far better in terms of the beauty of the beaches, it is almost pristine quality – fresh air, fewer number of people, less commercialisation in South Goa atleast with better environment and quieter surroundings.

Anyone who knows the 1960’s Hippy Culture and The Beatles, would have somehow come to learn about Goa. Even today the place bristles with Westerners, mostly Europeans, Isrealites and Russians. There were few Indian tourists, you can count them in the resort I was staying at.

We did some excellent water sports. But the high point was when the entire family was deliberately toppled from the banana boat into the middle of the sea. I knew when it hit me, all of us went down like a tube, struggled quite a bit, came up, and were helped onto the boat again. That was indeed a shocker !

I liked the Cashew Feni drink which is of Goan origin, it was just too strong. I suggest you try it without the Limca, just try it on the rocks. It was amazing, especially when the sun is down and you are in the midst of sea breeze on the shores of one of the most beautiful beaches, potentially in the entire world.

I am going to explore more of Goa in my next trip. The photos from the current trip would be uploaded soon.

In the meanwhile, get ready for a busy and entertaining week ahead, folks !

Best Regards

Vijay Srinivasan
11th Feb 2007

Birthday Date

Today being my Birthday, I did not know what exactly to do to realise that I had turned a year older. I had taken this week off, spending time around Mumbai with my family, so was at home today. I received ofcourse, a number of calls wishing me a happy birthday. However, I did not plan to do anything special, sounding a bit awkward when people asked me what is my plan for the day – struggling to say something inconsequential !

Then, sometime during the day I hit upon the idea of going out with just my wife for a dinner date combined with a movie. We decided to go to “Kabul Express”, but missed the dinner due to the time pressure of getting into the movie theatre by 8:45 PM, grabbing some burgers and gujarati dishes at the Fame Adlabs Cineplex.

Due to the heavy advertisements/hoardings that we had seen of this specific movie, our expectations were high. We really thought that we were atlast going to see a Taliban movie, with Bollywood theatrics and masala – that it would be thrilling to the core.

What a disappointment ! Apart from scenic mountain views (which are repeated several times throughout the movie), and some dusty car rides, there was hardly anything in the movie which could have made us part with our hard-earned money. I was telling my wife that the movie would improve as it progressed, but nope !! There was no juice of anykind in this disaster. A very ordinary movie which can basically be a time killer. To top it all, there was hardly any serious acting by any of the characters.

I read the reviews after I saw the movie, and realised that movie reviews published in web sites and newspapers in India should not be trusted. The whole idea seems to be to drive crowds to theatres for movies with some brand name actors who occasionally also act. Directors are pathetic mostly.

The last true Hindi movie that I enjoyed is roughly about a year old, and that was “Black” which I seriously thought should have gotten an Oscar. It did win several national awards. The other Hindi movies that I saw (may be 4 to 5, including Kabul Express) were not worth even discussing – Hindi movies were not anyway supposed to be discussed, just to be enjoyed for their lyrics I guess. Tamil movies are more worse, full of violence and meaningless repetitions of yesteryear themes.

I just saw some fabulous English movies, will write soon on them.

Anyway, I enjoyed the time out walking around the mall and doing some window shopping. That was my birthday celebration.

Have a wonderful week folks.

Best Regards

Vijay Srinivasan
27 December 2006