Valentine's Day needs no
introduction and February 14th is dedicated to the celebration of
love. If love really had a colour code, it is visible as the world takes on a
pleasing shade of red as the day approaches.
Pink and red hearts dot the decorations for the day and one cannot miss the cheer in the air, palpable in both the young and the old as they blend in the colour of the environment, with hearts beating in unison and resonating with love.
They say life without love is meaningless and who would know this better than a Valentine? Love is and will always be a universal, binding, powerful and an all encompassing emotion, finding relevance on Valentine's Day with the catchword 'Be my Valentine and let's weave the magic of love together'.
A heady cocktail of chemicals lure the brain into falling in love. Psychologists say that it takes anywhere between 90 seconds and 4 minutes for that life-altering decision of choosing a mate. Research into expressions of love has revealed that attraction or love is conveyed 55% through body language, 38% through tone and pace of voice, and only 7% through speech.
Helen Fisher of Rutgers University was so intrigued that she did some detailed research in the area.
According to her, love goes through three stages, motivated by the presence of different chemicals and hormones. The three famous stages of love are lust, attraction and attachment.
Sex hormones, testosterone and oestrogen - in both men and women come into play during the first stage - lust.
The second stage and the most beautiful one is attraction. When two people are so much in love with each other, neurotransmitters in the brain -adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine kick in to play their part. Blame adrenaline for the heart racing or the dry feeling in the mouth on meeting a loved one! Couples in love also have high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which gives them an instant high, akin to the effect of taking a drug like cocaine. This brain chemical stimulates desire and reward. It is serotonin at play when you get compulsive thoughts of your beloved.
Attachment is the next obvious stage of love and the hormone 'oxytocin' has a huge role to play in promoting trust, belongingness and setting the foundation of lifetime bonds.
'If you love somebody, then show it', seems to be the order of the day. It is not unusual to see open demonstrations of love, exchange of gifts, rendezvous at special valentine parties and dancing to mellifluous romantic numbers to set the feeling of love rolling. From the teens to the umpteen, Valentine's Day lights up lives and hearts in a universal expression of love.
E-love: Love Apps
"We love our Valentine but we also love our gadgets and just cannot seem to do without our iPad, smartphones and laptops" - In keeping with the times, organisations have come out with smart and intelligent applications to suit the mood. For instance, 'Valentine Day Quizle', 'Be Mine', ' Helpful Romantic', 'Love Poems' and few more love apps for smartphones have been kicked in to help the e-generation express love the way they know it best - with electronic media.
On the eve of Valentine's Day, Facebook status messages are feverishly updated as teens and millennial peer into their gadgets with a glazed look rather than dreamily look into their Valentine's eyes.
Welcome to the world of social media networking, where love speaks through 'Qwerty' keypads with beautiful electronic red hearts beating next to exquisitely worded messages of love. Life is an open book and Facebook ensures it. With a generation fixated about telling the world the details, one just needs to go to events to check out where the love birds are headed next!
Instant Love and Distant Relationships
Baby boomers and senior citizens also experienced the overpowering emotion of love but had different ways to express it. Love meant nurture, belongingness, trust and attachment. It meant a relationship to stand the test of time and display strength in the deepest of crisis. Today, love happens in quite a different manner.
In the age of instant noodles, instant curries, instant messenger and instant recharge, can instant love be far behind? Love happens with just a click. Falling in love and out of it is quick for the present generation. Relationships need time and Gen Y does not have enough of it. 'I got to run' seems the motto of the millennial and love is certainly left far behind!
Blues Amid all the Red -'Nirbhaya'
Memories of the fate that struck Nirbhaya is a haunting reminder of the erosion of love.
The budding 23-year-old aspiring student was snuffed out on December 16th 2012 due to the beastly acts of a gang of psychotic men. Any celebration of love is a parody in the face of this unforgettable incident, which caused the brutal death of a promising student. How can we celebrate love, if the basic love for fellow beings is dying?
Love also means security and protection and on Valentine's Day, it is time to ask ourselves this basic question - do we love enough to protect and safeguard our fellow human beings? 'Nirbhaya' signifies a world that is falling out of love.
Hug your loved ones and revel in the warmth of love. Love indeed makes the world go round and lets us remember To Love and Let love, this Valentine's Day!