HYDERABAD: The Western fairy-tale festival of love and affection, Valentine’s Day, that gained in popularity across the country, especially among teens and youth, is likely to see a muted celebration this year.
Celebrated every February 14, it is going to be a low-key affair this time around, according to businesses that usually report brisk Valentine’s Day sales. Because of the pandemic, fewer events have been planned and sales of greeting cards and soft toys too have fallen. And instead of meeting, couples say that they may just have to make do with expressing their love over phones.
Sita and Sanju, (names changed) have been in a relationship for over a year but they cannot afford to meet up this year.
“We are working from home and if this routine is broken it might raise suspicions. Our meetings in any case have been very few because of the pandemic and they are now virtual. We do not even feel like celebrating the day anymore because of how it is all around us,” Sanju said.
Clubs, pubs and hotels, which usually host special events to mark the day, also have taken a back-seat as there are worries that the investment that goes into organising may not be recovered.
Radhika Masrani, a noted Zumba instructor, who organised a pre-Valentine Day dance event in her institution at Hyderguda, said “The idea was to create normalcy in the group. This is the first event we conducted for our trainees. The men were in black and women in red and romantic tunes from Bollywood films were played.”
Novelty and gift shops have reported a drastic drop in the sales of popular Valantine’s Day merchandise.
Prakash Jaisingh of Synthesis, Cards & Gifts at West Marredpally, who has been in this business for 31 years, said, “The business on Valentine’s Day has slowly developed and touched its peak in the previous years. It is usually college students and youth who spend more money on cards and gifts. This year, with colleges and offices closed and with most studying or working from home, the business has practically been killed.”
He said “the greeting cards business was destroyed by e-cards and WhatsApp messages. Now no one gives a greeting card to their loved ones.”...