Let out a Roar! to love & sunshine this V Day

Tags: News
Suddenly, all the love songs are about you. All the poems, all the prose. And all the lines in all the movies you’ve ever seen. It’s a many splendoured thing, you know, this thing called love. It makes your soul sing and your veins wing as you view the world in an uplifting, elevating light — kinda rose-tinted, sorta sepia stained. All aglow, all aflow.

It is this rosy-sepia hue that we seek to celebrate on our pages today. And we’ve poured our hearts out to put together a handbook on living and loving for a Valentine’s Day Special in this week’s ROAR! Our cover story on love in the 21st century focuses on the new rules of an eternal emotion. We’ve had a US-based technopreneur — a mother of three teens — write it for us, and commissioned a young Bangalore-based graphic artist to do the illustrations.

The other pages, too, have amour galore. We look at how love lyrics have changed over the years and how love poetry has endured down the ages. We conjure up love potions that will keep your beloved under your spell and flex out fitness routines that will get you a body to be desired. Then, we zoom in on all the movies that nobody in love should do without seeing. En route, we also stop by at the most romantic destinations for a date with your mate. Sure, love blooms in every season, but on February 14, it blossoms just a bit more.

Love, as we know it, means different things to different people. Many writers have taken the emotion to divine dimensions, equating it as a gateway to God, while some have rubbished it as a nasty trick played upon humans to keep generation after generation going. But like it or not, love is the key to life. As researchers across the world tell us when they repeatedly find links between loving relationships and better health. Study after study reveals connections between our emotions and our physical wellbeing, and show that those deprived of love in infancy and childhood can develop a wide variety of problems such as depression, headaches, physiological impairments and psychosomatic difficulties lasting through their life. Infants who are loved, touched and cuddled usually gain more weight, cry less and smile more. Clearly, love and intimacy are good medicines for the heart, mind and soul.

Love is also proving to be a good tonic for an ailing retail sector. All the world loves a lover but nobody more so than florists, choclatiers, jewellers and the whole shebang of gift makers and sellers.

As a survey by Assocham says, spending during VDay week this year will be 25 per cent higher than last year. Which, in itself, was a good Rs 15,000 crore. The survey estimates that around 65 per cent men are likely to purchase gifts for their beloveds, while 35 per cent women will buy presents for their lovers. And so what if bestselling items vary between Rs 100 and Rs 2,000, it is the sheer volumes of sales that’s keeping the market going.

Obviously, this season for loving and giving has the industry on a high. “We are seeing double-digit growth during the three days leading up to VDay in categories such as greeting cards, chocolates, artificial flowers and soft toys among others,” said Darshana Shah, senior vice-president-marketing and visual merchandising at Mumbai’s HyperCITY. If Shah is to be believed, VDay looks all set to eclipse the other big season for loving and giving —Christmas. In India, at least.

Agrees Sivaraman Balakrishnan, senior manager (marketing) of Landmark: “VDay celebrations in Indian cities are becoming as big as those in the west and buyers are splurging on women's accessories, home decor and stationery.” Other retailers such as Archies, Landmark and Nature's Basket too claimed double-digit growth. That’s also because these stores have left no arrow unsheathed to play Cupid. Shelves crammed with wine glasses, cocktail mixers, expensive chocolates, exotic biscuits, imported cosmetics, soft toys, aroma candles and a whole smorgasbord of love-tokens are drawing in young customers by the droves. And so what if bestselling items vary between Rs 100 and Rs 2,000, it is the sheer volumes of sales that keep the market going.So go on, love more, laugh more, live more.

(With inputs from Meghna Maiti in Mumbai)

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