Had Rip Van Winkle slept in 1997 and woken up on 14th February this year, he would have had asked just one question: Why do people in Pakistan celebrate Valentine’s day as their own? The million-dollar question has an answer as well. Many will disagree but with the passage of time, Pakistan has grown into a modern country. In 1997, people wouldn’t have cared about the ”day of love’ but now they do.
Why, you ask? Well it is a market gimmick because it helps the business glowing and cash flowing. Restaurants like Pizza Hut were the first to celebrate the Valentine’s day as their ‘roof’ provided a shelter for couples that couldn’t dine out in the open. Others followed suit as well and in no time, married couples and singles were waiting for Valentine’s Day to arrive. Courier services started taking orders which became a rage as people wanted their loved ones to get their favourite flowers on the day they would like them the most.
The print and electronic is responsible for this change, as by doing live (and as live) shows from local shopping malls and studios (for smaller TV channels), they have made people aware of the day they are supposed to promote love. Even Geo TV’s popular show Capital Talk and its crew celebrated Valentine’s Day as its host Hamid Mir wore a red tie and discussed the day and its importance with his guests.
Book shops also have started maintaining a separate Valentine’s section which wasn’t possible in the Pakistan of the 1990s. Now we are a progressive nation which can even match the neighboring India if a competition is held on ‘Who Celebrates Valentine’s Day better!’. Those who don’t celebrate the day argue that every day should be Valentine’s Day in Pakistan. That can be true but If that happens, then people would be found more in restaurants and on beaches jahan koi dekhne wala na ho. But it’s a good thought … why can’t we love each other as we do on Valentine’s Day!