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SUMANA BHATTACHARJEE

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 4/15/2017 |




Songsoptok
Interview
Valentine’s Day – myth or reality?

SONGSOPTOK: Valentine’s Day has become one of the major festivals these days, comparable to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, Id, Rosh Hashanah or Chanukah and observed by men and women irrespective of religion. Do you agree? How important is it in the country you live in??

SUMANA: Yes  I totally agreed with the fact that Valentine's Day become a festival of common people and celebrated widely irrespective of religion.

In my country India indeed it's celebrated but if we compare with other countries specially with the European Countries no doubt it's never celebrated here so grandly. Rather it ends up only by sharing gifts  messages and flowers. Although the elite class people sometime celebrate it in a grand way but still they are exception. Ten never   be counted amidst thousand.
 
But I believe the popularity we increase day by day as we are following a global culture now , we are no more restricted to any particular habits and rituals.


SONGSOPTOK: There are several different views about the history and origin of Valentine’s Day. Which is the version you know about?

SUMANA: As far as I know St. Valentine was a Catholic priest of 3rd century.  That time many people was converted to Christianity.  But emperor Claudius II imposed some strict laws on  what Christian was allowed to do. He believed that Roman soldiers should be completely devoted to their country , so they should not marry. But Saint Valentine started to give in marriage  this soldiers  with some secret Christian ceremonies. Thus was the beginning of his reputation as a messenger of love. Indeed it was the cause of his imprisonment and he was sentenced to death but yet Saint Valentine still remembered as an angel of love.

Although there is no such evidence that link between St. Valentine Day and the rites of Roman festival. The poet Chaucer in the middle age was the first who link the Valentine with romantic love.


SONGSOPTOK: Why do you think Valentine’s Day has become so important all over the world irrespective of the political, social and religious dimensions? Do you think that the anxiety and stress related to modern day relationships have contributed to its growing popularity all over the world?

SUMANA:  If we think somehow it's a reason actually.  In modern generation people are living a fast life. They get little time to think about their feelings  and spent with their dear ones. Even the woman are no more captivated in household life. They are also busy with their job or careers.  So if we take Valentine day as a festival of romantic love it's not a bad idea. At least lovers as well as couples can spend some quality time together.In our hectic life if it adds an extra charm , then it's okay actually.


SONGSOPTOK: Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? In what way? If you don’t, will you please explain why not?

SUMANA: Yes I celebrate it if time permits.  Honestly speaking I love to celebrate the festive mood. But I believe there must be some difference between a married couple and two tender lovers. Cause whenever we marry we occupied by some more responsibilities of family and childrens. 

But yet if our heart is tender we can celebrat  the day in our own way. As a poet am always tender by heart and yes!I  love to spend the day with my partner by a candle light dinner and sharing our thoughts with each other. I love to spend some quiet moments when we can recall our forlorn memories that bind every relation. Obviously if I get any gift as surprise it add a extra spice on that day.


SONGSOPTOK: Do you feel obliged to do something special for your spouse/partner on Valentine’s Day or it is similar to and as natural as celebrating birthdays and anniversaries? In other words, is there any peer pressure to conform to the traditions associated with the modern version of Valentine’s Day?

SUMANA: Actually I celebrate it as a festival of love. No doubt it's special but every time doing something special I feel like pressure. Rather I like to spend the day as a day of relax and amusement. Always it's not like that I celebrate it in a special way but the feelings is always special for me and it will remain same no matter hair turn as grey or not.


SONGSOPTOK: According to you what, if anything, is special about Valentine’s Day? Does it play an important role in romantic relationships? Why? Is it important for you to surprise your partner on Valentine’s Day? What would be your preferred way?

SUMANA: If we talk about speciality no doubt it's a special day cause it's the only day which is celebrated for romantic couples or for romantic love.

Yes! It plays an important role cause this day makes lovers think about their relation and their feelings. I would like to surprise my partner indeed in my  way like I would like to give him the gift that he longs for but never said  and I would like to make him feel relax at least for the day and same applicable for mine too.


SONGSOPTOK: Do you buy gifts on Valentine’s Day? What type of gifts do you normally buy? Do you think it is important to follow the norm and go for the traditional gifts like flowers, chocolates, cards, perfumes etc.? Please share your motivations or lack of them with us?

SUMANA: I love to buy cards and love to write some words of my own on it. I don't think it's important to follow the ancient norms but yes I personally love the traditional gifts like flowers ,chocolates , cards show pieces etc cause I think these gifts have an another appeal of their own. Something romantic and special.

Obviously lack of speciality will hurt me a little cause we every human wants to be special in someone's eye not only in first blush but also wants to remain same forever.


SONGSOPTOK: Marketing Gurus often dub Hallmark as the official sponsor of Valentine’s Day in the USA. Do you have any equivalent in your own country? Do big consumer good companies carry out an aggressive promotion campaign for Valentine’s Day? What are their preferred channels? Do social media play an important role in this respect in your country of residence?

SUMANA: No I don't think there is any such sponsor who can be compared with USA   or Hallmark but Yes , some companies carry out some promotional campaign  but they should 't be called aggressive.

Yes to some extent the social media like television , newspaper ,FM channels play the role and make it attractive. Archies Gallery arrange some special cards and gifts for the day and I love them.


SONGSOPTOK: What are the popular customs related to Valentine’s Day in the country you live in? What do you think about them? Do you think that men and women actually enjoy and look forward to 14th February or is it just a matter of keeping up with the Jones’??

SUMANA:  I don't feel there is any such particular customs maintained in my country India. We do what we love to do for our dear ones actually. But exchanging gifts like flowers, chocolates, cards ,perfumes obviously a part of it.

Yes I think we should enjoy the day. If we give importance Father's Day,Mother's Day, Children's Day, Independence Day ,then why not a day for lovers? For every celebration I think we need a particular day. Every day can't be a feast day. Love is love but yet a special moment or day we need to recall our feelings. Way may be different indeed !


SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that there is actually a social stigma for single, unattached people who do not celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you think that the Valentine Day extravaganza may have a negative impact on their psyche, moral and ultimately their well-beings? What is your own experiences? Would you please share it with us?

SUMANA:  Actually  I don't think so.To celebrate the day is always your choice. U may be single but yet you can take essence of the day and celebrate the feelings of love on your way , I don't have any partner so I hate the day it shouldn't be the phychology. 

Moreover if we think about the extravaganzas I don't agree cause often we spend so much money which never can be called our necessity then why it's a luxury if we spend little bit money for them whom we love ? The amount is always upto you but it never has any negative impact if you spare some money for him/her if you love unconditionally. It really matters a little.

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SUMANA BHATTACHARJEE is an English Poetry and short story writer from India.  She was born and brought up in city Kolkata. She graduated under Calcutta University with honours in literature and completed some technical training under George Telegraph Training Institute. She worked as an office assistant in a Private Limited Company for few years.  Her parents were teachers.and her father was a poetry writer from Bengal. From her very childhood  she had a keen interest in poetry drama and music. She loves to write on different themes and on different aspects.

She is working as an administrator of three online poetry groups and she has a poetry and prose group of her own. She is representing India as a Regional Director on behalf of Soflay Literary Foundation and working as an Editor.
Her poems has been published in several anthologies and blogs. Poetry and music are her passion and she would love to continue it till her last breathe.


We sincerely thank you for your time and hope to have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen
(EDITOR)

 Songsoptok

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