Jwalamukhi: On going February month, and under the spell of Valentine’s day pictoreous Kangra Valley of Himachal Pardesh comes alive with surprises round the corner for the young generation. Youngesters are exchanging cards, sweets and choclates to make their presence felt. The love-struck bubbling with enthusiasm looks for a reason to celebrate. Be it a quite afternoon in your favourite restaurant or a visit to a card shop, you have to be there on the day to feel the fun and spirit.
It is only in the past few years that Kangra Valley has had this change with the metropolitan cultureâ€™s sneaking influence on the youth in particular. The towns like Jwalamukhi, Kangra and Palampur are full in Valentine’s mania these days. The towns particularly Jwalamukhi starts gearing up for the celebrations much in advance with shops displaying a variety of valentine’s day cards and gifts for the “Sweet hearts”, announcing various free gifts and other attractive offers – like a choclate for every 10th visitors. Mr. Pawan Sood, a franchise of a leading brand of cards and gifts, says there are vibrating hearts, musical teddies, Valentine’s day mugs and alot more besides the cards for the youth celebrating the day. There is a free booklet-“Volume of love”, with every purchase worth Rs. 100/-
Restaurant owners are also not left behind in this free gift race and they too are planning exciting offers for the young hearts. Though, a restaurants owner feels the Valentine’s day concept would take a long time to to catch on in Jwalamukhi. However, he also is to offer a 10 to 15 per cent concession on the day.
Valentine, the ambassador of love is said to have been a Bishop who suffered Martydom under Claudius 11, at Rome, about 270 AD probably the festival owes its date of the Roman Luperecalia, a riotous feast in honour of pan, celebrated about the middle of February.
The celebrations have their share of opposition too from a majority of “orthodox” parents while a few accept it as an out come of the modern education but helpless father of a teenaged girls says the new generation has got its priorities all wrong. Another parent of a 17- year-old college boy, feel otherwise. “With the changing times, the new generation is witnessing a behavioural revolution which is leading to a change in the way we interact with each other, especially with the opposite sex”, he says. However, yet world of the young as impatient and one in which attitudes are degrading.
In contrast, the young generation feels parents do not always know what is best for children. What the boys and girls indulge in is wrong neither socially or morally. What’s wrong if we choose our valentine and who says we lack commitment? asks an 12th standard student all set to purpose to a girls he admires since long. A University student Manju, justifies it saying in ancient times, too, women choose partners through “Swayamvaras”. Today the difference is only the manner we do it in, she says. But she admits that in certain cases relationship do not last.
The dispute between the young and the old in the city, as anywhere else, stems from the same thing – the young feel confident of themselves as well as the parent are of themselves. Somehow, parents are yet to break away from the traditional approach