February 14, 2021 11:15:33 am
By Muskan Arora
Besides health, if there is one other thing people started valuing more since the beginning of the pandemic, it is the company of their loved ones. The larger part of 2020 was spent in lockdown and people started to realise the many things they previously took for granted.
The multiple life lessons, however, also made them discover the joy of online dates. Many people have spent months getting to know their romantic interests via virtual meet-ups, and many others have felt the pang of having to stay physically away from their significant other in the past year.
Valentine’s Day is an annual celebration of love, and in 2021, it has become all about improvising and making innovative plans to celebrate with loved ones, regardless of whether the celebrations are happening virtually, or in-person.
On the occasion, indianexpress.com reached out to some couples who have lived through the struggles of 2020, and now eagerly look forward to spending all their time with their significant other.
“Last year was challenging. We resorted to frequent video calls and texts,” says 30-year-old Devanshu Arora of his long-distance relationship. “We have already been in this arrangement for six years, but this time, it was a long gap before we could meet in person. But it has helped us become more patient and have faith in each other to sail through tough times,” he tells this outlet.
Arora, who got married in December 2020 to Ankita Priyadarshini — a 25-year-old medicine student — says this will be his first time celebrating Valentine’s Day with his wife. “This is going to be our first Valentine’s Day together in six years of relationship, and also our first after marriage. So it’s really special; our families are also equally excited about us spending time together. That makes it more adorable and exciting! Any day or moment spent with a loved one is special, regardless of any specific day,” he says.
Just like Arora, Valentine’s Day 2021 is looking hopeful for many couples, who have plans to meet each other after long. There is also a bit of nervousness about what to do, how to plan, what to wear, where to go, and such.
Kriti Arora, a 20-year-old student from Dehradun, says that despite the distance, her love for partner Devansh (in Greater Noida) has only grown “over the last year”. “Coming into a relationship at the beginning of 2020, we had no clue how the year was going to turn out, but we surpassed all of the difficulties and I’m proud to say that our bond has only become stronger over the course of the pandemic.”
Alankrita Dogra, a 24-year-old corporate employee weighs in: “For me, a perfect Valentine’s Day celebration is about spending a whole day with my partner in the mountains, along with having a lovely and romantic Chinese dinner!” She shares she will be meeting her significant other after almost a year.
Kriti, on the other hand, says a “perfect Valentine’s Day is about having a pizza, beer and [watching] a movie in our sweatshirts and sweatpants!”
On the condition of anonymity, another V-Day reveller shares with indianexpress.com her “simple and intimate” plans for the day. “We’ll bring our online ritual offline by having a nice candlelight dinner with Thai food, clicking pictures, and having lots of conversations. My partner and I enjoy keeping things simple and intimate.”
Besides mood, Valentine’s Day food is also being carefully considered, with couples curating menus per their choice, and including some must-eats. For instance, Dogra says that red velvet cheesecake or chocolate brownie, or even DBC (Death By Chocolate) “is a must”.
For Priyadarshini, it is her love for food that can “turn the evening more beautiful and memorable”. “I love Italian [food] as it’s hassle-free, adjusts-to-taste, is romantic and classy.”
Having spent most of their 2020 in pajamas, couples also want to assume a ‘glam avatar’, and the day of love provides them with the perfect opportunity. “Valentine’s Day this year is extra special, as I’m going for an offline date where I am looking forward to dressing up; preferably [wearing] something comfortable-yet-elegant, like an LBD, or even a party gown!” Priyadarshini adds.
But, if you are not in the mood for anything extra, Kriti and Devansh suggest you opt for “hoodies and sweatpants”. “Favourite outfits for a virtual date would be hoodies and sweatpants. Our post-pandemic outfits would be something more formal for an expensive date,” they say.
While the pandemic has certainly been an uncertain period for many couples, Valentine’s Day 2021 may be a breather for them. They are excited, have numerous fun date ideas — like having a socially-distanced picnic or a painting session together — and look forward to strengthening their bond this year.
(The writer is an intern at Indian Express)
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