Phones started getting jammed with SMSs at midnight, e-mail boxes were full by morning and card shops recorded booming sales all day long. Call it an overwhelming expression of emotion or simply a commercial gimmick, Friendship Day was celebrated Sunday with much gaiety across the capital, like elsewhere.
Initially declared a holiday in honour of friends in America by the US Congress in 1935, the International Friendship Day is celebrated world over on the first Sunday in the month of August.
A day to celebrate love and friendship, Friendship Day has become very popular lately, especially with the younger crowd. And with a variety of cards, gifts, chocolates, wrist bands and other accessories to complement the mood, the craze has simply multiplied.
"Our card sales nearly double just before Friendship Day. Those in their teens and early twenties are our biggest buyers. Such a trend was not so visible - say five years before. But today people want to celebrate every occasion extravagantly," said Sohum Kumar, store manager of an Archies card shop in the capital.
"Friendship Day is all about celebrating your friends and the togetherness that you share. I have three very good friends in college, who were with me in school as well. We have always celebrated ourselves on Friendship Day simply by doing things that we enjoy - eating out, watching a good movie and then talking endlessly over a cup of coffee," said 19-year old Sohini Mitra, a college student.
For Amit Srivasta, Friendship Day is all about taking some time out of his hectic schedule and catching up with his old friends.
"I am so busy through the week that I hardly get any time for myself, let alone anyone else. Friendship Day becomes a good excuse to put everything aside and chill with my old friends who I don't meet as often," said the 24-year old sales executive.
For still others, Friendship Day doesn't mean anything except a commercial gimmick put into maximum use by the greeting card companies. "I really don't understand the logic behind celebrating Mother's Day, Father's Day, Friendship Day et al.
"I don't need one particular day to express my love and care for people who are special to me. In fact I get very irritated when my phone gets jammed with all the Friendship Day messages and emails start pouring. I fail to make my friends understand that it's a sheer commercial gimmick!" said Mandvi Verma, a student.