Oh no, it’s that day again!

Author Advaita Kala slips into the shoes of Aisha Bhatia, the lead character from her novel Almost Single, for a reverse take on the big day of marshmallow love

brunch Updated: Feb 11, 2012 18:17 IST
Advaita Kala
Advaita Kala
Hindustan Times

Here is my problem with Valentine’s Day. It needs to be celebrated. I get why one would celebrate birthdays or promotions or even weddings but Valentine’s Day? A day to celebrate love. Please! More like a day to rub it in every single gal’s face that she doesn’t have love.

I mean Valentine’s Day totally brings out the activist in me, it makes me want to march down the street in some sort of awful khaki long john thingie with a cricket bat in one hand and a knitting needle in the other, bashing store windows and puncturing heart shaped balloons!

V-DayGlad I got that out, you can leave the chocolates on the dresser and take the flowers, that’s if anyone is delivering anything to me this year. Hope lies eternal, sigh.

I mention this because that’s what I need this Valentine’s Day – a BIG box of chocolates. And I am not getting cutesy philosophical about life being a box of chocolates… blah, blah! I just need something to put in my mouth so I don’t drunk-dial the Ex as I watch the umpteenth re-run of Casablanca on the classics movie channel, while snuffing wine.

Let’s truly celebrate what needs to be celebrated. But instead we need a little fat cherub sporting a bow and arrow with a really bad aim to mark the day. Guess what, his aim sucks! This guy is never going to be up for any Arjuna Award, not now, not ever.

The thing that exacerbates all this for me is the fact that I work in a hotel. So not only do I not have a Valentine but I have to – as a matter of duty – partake in this love fest. And you think the Indian Tibetan Border Police have it tough! I would rather stand on a glacier than a marble-floored lobby gazing at these love polyps. But Marquis de Sade, aka my boss, insists that my grinning, solicitous presence is a must for The Grand Orchid Hotel.

As we speak, I stare into the mirror and rework the instinctive "Oww" into an "Awww". Do you know what that does to one’s jaws, not to mention love life? That last minute twisting of the jaw and the speaking from the corner of the mouth – last year, I was speaking like John Wayne for a week after.

I am going to write to the United Nations and ask them to rechristen the 14th of February as ‘International Inadequacy Day’. The one day when being single or not doesn’t matter, because everyone feels inadequate. Whether you have a Valentine or not, whether you were proposed to or not, someone else is always having a more special time. And therein lies my freedom. Everyone is miserable on the inside. Ha!

But my friend Misha calls. It’s a leap year, you see, which means that girls can ask boys out. Where? In the UK she tells me. But naturally. Misha is only physically here. Mentally and spiritually she is an NRI.

But the truth is the only thing I want to leap over is Valentine’s Day and I have the perfect antidote – The Almost Single V-Day Wipeout, specially crafted by my friend and bar chef, Arindam Basu. For maximum impact, drink at midnight on the 13th and rise, fresh as a daisy at 6 am on the 15th, and it will be like V Day never happened. Of course the fact that it never does happen for some of us is a moot point!

Almost Single V-Day Wipe Out

30 ml Absinthe

30 ml Midori

30 ml Martini Rosso

Pour in tall glass

Top with soda (optional)

Garnish with a lemon twirl or two

Stick in a straw (I recommend two). I’m not being romantic here, it’s just quicker

(Advaita is the writer of a novel, Almost Single. She has also written scripts for films like Anjaana Anjaani and the forthcoming Kahani)

From HT Brunch, February 12

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First Published: Feb 11, 2012 16:10 IST