The Perfect Valentine’s Day FAQ

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With their new book ‘Ready Study Go’ (by HarperCollins Publishers) doing phenomenally well, the duo- Khurshed Batliwala & Dinesh Godke are unquestionably the new, modern day, near-perfect kind of youth icons…With over two decades of experience in undertaking massive youth projects on education and environment, these ex-IITians have got just about all the answers you need to know about Love & Valentine! Read on…

Headline- The Perfect Valentine’s Day FAQ Diary

How did Valentine’s Day start?
The history of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery.
A Roman emperor – Claudius II, somehow got it into his head that single men make better soldiers than ones with wives and children. So, he outlawed marriage for young people. And that’s a sure-fire way to get young people committed to each other. Tell them no and they are going to want to do exactly that. Marriage became the hot thing to do and a priest called Valentine defied the emperor’s decree and performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Imagine an entire underground movement overtaking ancient Rome filled with desperate young people wanting to get married. Of course, the priest in question was caught and killed by the Emperor. The church declared him a saint for being martyred and Valentine’s Day was born. February 14th became St. Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to love and lovers and all things related to love.
There are other possible stories as well, but this one caught my fancy.

That’s nice to know. But what exactly is love?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says – Love is not an emotion. It is your very existence. If you think about it, everything is born out of love. All the wonderful, positive traits that anyone can have, they have because of love. All the terrible things that we Humans do and have done, amazingly are also from a distorted type of love. Young Love can be like fresh champagne – all bubbly and energetic and full of verve and disarming. It will leave you breathless. It will make you so weak and so strong. The only problem with this type of love is there is an accompanying sense of insecurity to it. Mature Love is like old comfortable shoes. No zip and zing, but solid comfort. Indian tradition says there is a third type of Love – The Divine Love. One that has all the scintillating energy of young love coupled with the comfort and security of the Mature Love. This Bliss of this Love can be tasted when one meditates…

Whooo… Sounds great. A little deep, but great! Does this kind of ideal love actually exist?
If you have delved even a little bit into spirituality you have had a whiff of it and you know for sure it is there… The normal human love is like diving into the depths of the Ocean. It can be very deep, but it’s finite. Divine Love is like the sky. Infinite and goes on forever. Rise from the depths of the sea and soar into the infinity of the sky.

Flying sounds wonderful… But let’s talk about diving. Could an ideal lover exist? Are there soul mates?
Hate to disappoint you, especially on Valentine’s Day. But the answer is no. Let me tell you why. Your soul mate – the one you would want to spend the rest of eternity with is a super special person. Right? He or she needs to totally meet a list of criteria that you have in your head. We do have almost 8 billion people on the planet, so there is some chance that such a person may actually exist… However, the chance that you will actually meet that person, and that they will in turn like you (they may have their own soul mate criteria, that may not be a match with you) is infinitesimally small. Even so, you will argue, some chance is there. I would agree, except that the list of things your soul mate should be and have that you got in your head keeps changing. Doesn’t it?! Who you thought your perfect soul mate should be at age 18 is vastly different at age 20 or 25. Not only do you want someone who has all the traits you have listed, you want someone who has all the traits you have listed and this list dynamically changes with time!

This becomes a little impossible. Don’t you think?
Oh no! No soul mate. Then what? I was saving all my love for them.
Instead of looking for a perfect person, you focus on being a perfect person. A wonderful human being! If you are that, you will attract the perfect person to you. They may not be all that you thought you wanted, but there is a high chance that they will be all that you will ever want!

Ok… so found him. How do I keep him?
Mostly men love their egos pampered. You want to keep your man, take care of their ego. Tell them they are the ultimate. The very Best! If you don’t they will stray to another who does.

Hey… We men are reading this as well. How do we keep our girls?
Take care of their feelings. Never mess with a woman’s feelings. Make her feel loved and taken care of. If you don’t, she will go off to someone who makes her feel that way.

Ok… Sounds simple. Is that all? Any other secrets to make sure my Valentine stays my Valentine?
It’s simple, but it can get complicated.

First rule of having a great relationship is to make sure you communicate with each other. Don’t think if he loves me, he should know. Tell him. Make sure he knows!

Secondly, respect each other’s dreams, goals and ambitions in life and support them. These need not be the same. One could want to clean up the oceans; the other may want to create wealth for a super comfortable life. That’s ok. As long as both respect each other’s dreams.

Lastly, keep your focus on the bigger things in life. If the focus is narrow, only on each other, both will feel suffocated and the relationship will stagnate and die. Focus on stuff much bigger than the two of you. Then you will stay together and enjoy each other to the hilt. If you are feeling bored in your relationship, there is no more zing left, this is perhaps the reason.

A little secret from one who knows – Learning how to meditate and meditating together is one of the most romantic things you can do!
I have written more on relationships and working in teams (those are relationships too) in our book Ready, Study, Go! You can buy it from most bookstores and online portals that sell books.

Sounds interesting. What to do when it comes to money? Does he pay? Does she pay? Do they both get their dads to pay?!
Goddess Laxmi is capricious. Here today, could go tomorrow. That’s why she is depicted sitting on a lotus floating in water. Kabhi bhi doob sakti hai!
Focus on Goddess Saraswati. She is the one with the education portfolio. She sits on a rock. When you learn a skill well, it’s yours for a very long time. Rock Solid. So even if that whimsical Goddess Laxmi abandons you for a bit, with the help of Saraswati, you can easily lure her back.
When ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Wealth’ are yours, it really doesn’t matter who pays. You know you can get back whatever you have spent!
Meanwhile, as the father told his son before going to an expensive restaurant – “Order something cheap!”

Thanks. That was nice. Not what I expected, but a really cool perspective on Valentine’s day. Any parting words?
You need not limit the scope of Valentine’s Day to a couple of human beings. Think bigger. This year, how about making the ‘Country’ your valentine? Or making ‘Learning’ your valentine? Or best of all, making ‘Spirituality’ your valentine??? Then you can go flying!!!
(To get your copy of ‘Ready Study Go’ )


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