CHENNAI: Meet the husbands who never forget their anniversaries. And it isn’t because of a Facebook alert or a good memory. Rather, the credit goes to their family priests who coincidentally set their wedding dates to February 14 - close to 30 years ago. Valentine’s Day was unheard of. At the time, it was just a day on the calendar that met with a thumbs up from both swami and the local marriage hall. Fast forward to 2016, however, and its an entirely different story...
The cult status of Valentine’s day has boosted S K Mohan’s anniversary so high on the romance scale that he says, “Even my boss knows my wedding anniversary by heart!” The engineer who works for a manufacturing company adds with a laugh, “We didn’t know what Valentine’s day was back then.” This was an era of arranged marriage when coffee dates were scandalous and holding hands was considered moving too fast. Wedding anniversaries all those years ago were simple - a visit to the temple and perhaps a meal at restaurant.
Ironically, all the love in the air in recent years, has not added an extra zing of romance to their special day. Mohan cribs, “With all the restaurants crowded, my wife and I don’t really have space for our personal celebration.” So much so, that he adds, “We opt out of celebrating our anniversary on Valentine’s day and do it the weekend after instead.”
However, for K V Dinesh, a sanitation specialist, their February 14 anniversary is a happy coincidence. “Honestly I had heard about Valentine’s day even in the 80s, because I went to a rather hep college. But we didn’t plan it because of that, our pandit was to blame,” he chuckles.
Over the years, Dinesh and his wife Lakshmi have spent anniversaries doing everything from trekking to travel and bird watching. When their kids grew old enough to connect the dots, he adds, “They ensured we knew it was Valentine’s day and set us some new rules.”
That meant a dual celebration of wedding anniversary and V-day, and Dinesh adds with a laugh, “We were told to be on our best behaviour, with all disagreements postponed.” In their 50s, he makes it a point to mention that even healthy eating choices are allowed to be given a miss on their anniversary. “My wife Lakshmi has acidity issues, so she’s usually very careful. But I tell her, ‘Today eat everything, and if needed I’ll book you a room at Apollo hospital tomorrow.’”
So far, junk food and a romantic getaway haven’t led to emergency room though. Although, it has taught their kids a couple of life lessons. Beginning their 27th year of marriage today, Lakshmi dishes out some relationship advice to youngsters free of charge. “Enjoy that special feeling, and all of it that comes with the day, but please...don’t change your Valentine every year.”