Never seek to tell thy love
Love that never told can be
For the gentle wind does move
Silently invisibly
I told my love I told my love
I told her all my heart
Trembling cold in ghastly fears
Ah she doth depart
-William Blake
Saint Valentine was already popular before William Blake made it big. Perhaps, that is the reason why humanity across the globe decided to go bonkers on 14 February every year! The romantics were goaded into it, the skeptics found a way to demean it, the liberals turned it into a cause, and well, professionals like me retched a little at the thought of it.
Then, there is all the news around it – The Indian youth have decided to celebrate it, the political parties have decided to warn them against it, the pubs and restaurants have introduced special offers/discounts, and the police have been sulking about all the extra night duties.
But, wait a minute! Before we pass a judgment on the significance of Valentine’s Day, let’s find out what Data reveals about Valentine’s:

  1. Roses are Red, But They are Also Very Expensive – Approximately, 1.2 million (and counting) e-commerce site searches are reported for roses around this time. The price of roses goes through the roof every year around Valentine’s. Flowers are pretty to look at but exchanging 200 million roses on one single day could have sponsored the education of thousands in our country. (Just Saying!!)
  2. The Longer Your Relationship, the Lesser You will Spend – Any Google result around Valentine’s will tell you the same story. People, especially youngsters, will invest more money in buying gifts, either because everybody else is doing it or to just get lucky. People in long-term relationships, on the other hand, tend to either spend less for gifts or prefer the gift of experience over candies and flowers. Nearly 50% married couples would prefer a simple candle-lit dinner on Valentine’s.
  3. Feeding Millions to ‘Poor’ Retailers – While people celebrating Valentine’s may or may not get lucky, retailers are definitely betting huge on Valentine’s and are usually the only ones who don’t feel overwhelmed or have to cut sorry figures the next day. According to Economic Times, people are ready to spend an average of 1500-3000 INR on this day. 94% feel it is smart to buy gifts on discount and 78% actually wait to buy things. Online retailers expect sales way north of 25000 crores every year! JLo’s my love don’t cost a thing is no longer relevant.

All of this data is not to say, that you shouldn’t celebrate Valentine’s if you believe in it. The point is to buy a real gift like you would on any other special day. If you are single, invest in education by taking up a course that will help you grow personally or professionally. If you are committed – think of gifts that will add value exponentially. Learn and grow together. Education has a way of empowering the lives of everyone, whether they are young or old, rich or poor, single or committed, employed or unemployed.
This Valentine’s Day – Make a promise to do the things that will really count!



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