Saadia's Side: Let This Valentine’s Day Turn the Tables

Saadia's Side: Let This Valentine’s Day Turn the Tables

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love. Let this day bring greater joys to your being.

Before everything else begins and takes it regular route, let me first take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day. After all, it is all about the celebration of love and everything that comes with it. Being my loyal readers who read me literally every day, you do deserve this little token of love for me. By the way, if we lift all the veils and promise to be honest to each other, do you really think it matters to you if I wish you or not? If you are happy from within, you might value the wish. If you are not, you would probably simply let it go as if it never happened.

As a famous Urdu proverb says ‘ Mausum tou andar kay hotay hain (The weathers exist within)’, I am a firm believer of the fact that no matter what at the end of the day it is all about the world that exists within you. Many times it is scorching hot or freezing cold but we do not take the harshness of weather into account because the world that we hold within is comforting us with its gentle stroking. Many times the perfect Dubai weather just before it rains also fails to make you feel joyous about the rare beautiful weather. Humans are like that. Maybe animals are the same too. I am not too sure.

If at the end of the day, it is all about the world within us why never we work towards nurturing the dry gardens that exist within us? Why don’t we water the dying flowers in our heart? Why is self-love considered sinful and not the righteous way of leading the life?

Since it is all about Valentine’s Day these days, I have only been writing the articles that revolve around the same theme. Writing might sound an interestingly creative job but this is not always the case. It happens many times that it becomes a part of our fabric. Just like a doctor’s heart never shivers when a mother of three is undergoing a critical surgery, sometimes we writers also write mechanically. After covering multiple stories related to Valentine’s Day, there was one that made me ponder and reflect within.

I realized that we never consider ourselves worthy enough of the love we were born with. We burn the midnight oil to please our families, seek validation from our friends and comfort the society that is a pro at creating a sense of falsehood. In all this race, we fall exhausted while near the finish line because we are never able to reach the end. There is no end.

We do not give our own selves the love that we deserve. We seek it from everywhere outside us totally unaware that this thirst can be quenched only from the within.

For centuries, we have glorified self-negation and sacrifice. A good son is the one who gives up on his dreams to support his family. A good daughter thinks that taking a  stand for a decision as defining as her own marriage is A good mother and wife will sacrifice even things as little as the food of her choice just to keep her family at ease. A good father’s list of responsibilities can go on and on. So basically, there is little room left for anyone to discover themselves and value their own being based on the societal standards.

Self -love is considered synonymous with selfishness which actually is a polar opposite. How would anyone who does not have the ability to love him/herself ever be able to spread true love?

It is tragic that many of us have never eaten alone. We would rarely dedicate a day solely to ourselves. Have you ever taken yourself to a spa just because you thought you deserved it? Have you ever looked within yourself just to discover the miracle you were born to be? We want to be in a room full of people because we are scared of hearing the silent ballads that play inside us.

However, it is not wholly our fault too. Any person exercising his/her free will is a villain on this side of the equator. Hence, probably feeling or expressing self-love is a sin no one dares to commit. Those who do are the ones who have freed themselves from the suffocating social norms and have stopped caring what XYZ living in the neighbourhood might think.

How about showering our own selves with the love we have been seeking from here and there this Valentine’s Day? Why not love ourselves the way we claim to love our kith and kin? Let this Valentine’s Day be a little special. Take yourself out for a long romantic walk and pat yourself on your shoulder. Thank yourself for all you have done to make this world a better place to live in today. Just let your loving self fall asleep like a baby at the end. You need it.

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By Saadia Ahmed
Saadia Ahmed is a Bollywood and cheesecake fanatic with no obvious interest in space travel. She tweets @khwamkhwah day in and out