ON VALENTINE’S Day, the spotlight will once again be on the Azaadi Route or erstwhile Geri Route, the name of which was changed through a review petition on Google Maps. Deeptha Vivekanand, the storyteller who put in the review to the internet giant, has another mission. “I need to change the name of the route where the CITCO restaurant, Stop n Stare, is located. That area is still called Geri Route. I first want to update that to Azaadi Route and then the Wikipedia entry. This is my bit for Valentine’s,” says Deeptha.
But, does the youth think that Valentine’s Day would be celebrated differently this time around? Social awareness has increased, after all. But youngsters are not too hopeful. “It’s a great idea. But, a name change is incapable of changing people’s thoughts. The freedom to celebrate V-Day ends when you encroach on someone else’s personal space,” says Siya Minocha, an NSUI leader.
Police, however, have tightened security in sectors 10 and 11 to keep a check on hooliganism. The mindset, after all, takes time to change even if the name of the route has changed. The name, Geri Route, is not official, but what started as girls and boys meeting each other has over the years got legitimised as a place to ogle women.
“I wish people realised there are more worthwhile things they can do with their time than roaming around aimlessly in cars. The sheer wastage of fuel is irksome,” says Samreen Chhabra, a student of MCM DAV College.
“The atmosphere that has been created will take a good amount of time to change as it’s difficult to change the mindset of people so quickly,” says Madhur Girdhar, a student of UICET, Panjab University.