How Valentine’s day has become symbolic not for love but for hate…

Until college Valentines day was not very popular amongst us, infact I myself found it particularly silly to be gifting greeting cards and flowers. Those days were also the no lover days so it didnt particularly matter. We used to think its the Archies Gallery sort of people who are promoting the festival just to ensure their card sells. A lot of us thought that for expressing love why just one day, the lovers always express their love and gift each other.

However one event in our college changed Valentines for us in a strange way, thought I should share… Heres how it goes… this happened in 1998

Part – I – the scene –

We used to study in Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda which is India’s single largest standing university. We do not have colleges but we have faculties. We would have all sorts of rose days, chocolate days, traditional days, musical days and what not. Similarly each faculty in our University would celebrate the Rose King and Rose Queen on Valentines day. The idea was to bring lots of flowers at 10rs. count them and sell in the college at 25rs. when you bought the flower you would tell for whom you bought it !!!! so they would note it down and then at the end of the day the Rose King and Rose Queen would be announced. Where the money would go no one knew !!!!!

My group never much celebrated as we were always broke for money, rather we would buy cigarettes and chai’s and nashta’s then spend on roses and cards.

In the second year of our college some Bajrang Dal people had ransacked a few shops and also warned the university not to celebrate.

Part – 2. – the Bapu’s –

In our university there were huge number hostels and hostelites. In our university hostel campus there were atleast 8 to 10 huge halls in the boys section and similarly in girls section. My roll number in FY Bcom was 4827 !!!! so you can imagine the number of students….

In all the boys hall, room no. 51 & 52 would be occupied by Bapu’s. They were all from Rajasthan, Rajputs and they were Dada’s of a sort. Most of them were huge in size and we Gujju’s would look like dwarfs in front of them. A lot of them were illegal residents in the hostel, but who would take on them or stop them. They would come and exchange their old beds for your new ones, their broken buckets with your new ones and what not….

They would always be in denims, they would only drive Enfield bullets and not a lot of people would be allowed in their groups easily. They would eat like crazy, drink like crazy and if any one came into a fight with them they would beat them like crazy….

We would always hide our things when they would come to our rooms, especially ghar ka khana, soaps, deodarants etc or they would just ask, “Arre Can I borrow this ?” all of us were in such awe usually would never refuse and they would take it away. They always had the most beautiful girls as their girlfriends and even if they broke up no one would dare to get tooo cosy with that girl fearing the Bapu back lash !!!

They had a customary style of greeting, ” Khambhakhani Bapu” and they were truly the kings of the college.

Main Story –

Our commerce faculty is on the main road and very near to the outside world, Most of these Bapu’s are in commerce. The faculty was celebrating Rose Day on Valentines… making rose king and queen… The Bapu’s were sitting at their customary place outside the canteeen and every one was watching the proceedings…. We rarely attended lectures as attendance was not compulsory in our college. The campus was abuzz…

It was at this point some 8-10 Bajrang Dal activists came in college campus to stop the rose day celebrations… the guys who brought the roses and were going to earn from it were the G.S (general secreatary etc the election winners) they were powerful and our number was huge… those 8-10 activists were beaten up !!! They were sent out of college… they ran…. for their lives we thought !!!!

But in another hour they returned with hockey sticks and atleast 50-60 people…. the scene was set…. for the collegians to now run….

This was the time when the Bapu’s stepped in and told all, not told actually warned every one, no body will run, we are more then 1000 here… these 50-60 and they are no match for us… the Bapu’s even warned us the one who runs… ” Koi nahi Bhagega, Agar Koi yahan se Bhaga to Uski kher nahi, Inka college se koi lena dena nahi, Inko hum sabak sikhayenge !!! “

What ensued there after was unbelievable, those 50 -60 people were bashed up like anything…. most of them ran away but 3-4 were caught and they were given a bashing of their lives….

The Bapu’s (Dada’s of that time, some called them goonda’s) became the heroes of the college… Every one from that day onwards had a sense of respect towards them…

The next day again was celebrated as the Baasi-Valentines Day. In Gujarat there is a system of Baasi-Uttrayana, Baasi Eid etc… meaning the day after is still celebrated as people are not content with just the one day !!

Not one Bajrang Dal activist dared to come near any faculty there after…. It actually was very symbolic the next day for all to celebrate Valentines day just to show to these goons that they don’t matter…. For many years it was like that, in my mind too that I should celebrate Valentines day, not just for it is a day to express your love, but more so to show that Shiv Sena’s, Bajrang Dal’s etc cannot control us.

It is strange that since the last few years we almost had forgotten to celebrate it, but it was this idiot from Mangalore who again aroused the same feelings of our college days.

I would like to tell all don’t run and don’t take the beating from any one if you are innocent. We are too many and the goons are too less…. Some say this Pink Chaddi is vulgar, well it is a lot lot better… Our Bapu’s campaign would probably have been to give the Mangalore goonda’s even worse treatment then the one they gave to the innocent girls in Mangalore.

And by the way –

” Happy Valentine’s Day !!!!”

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32 thoughts on “How Valentine’s day has become symbolic not for love but for hate…

  1. Ajit says:

    good one man….. 🙂 it is always strength in numbers and thank god for those Bapus… 🙂

    yes, V day has symbolically become very important now… and it also needs all of us to stand together………

  2. Sagarone says:

    But Dhiren, what is the moral of this story? That if you want to protect your freedom, you should have your own army of Goondas?

    Freedom is not a privelege to be enjoyed without responsibilities. It is our duty to protect our freedom from being eroded and if necessary we should be prepared to take a stand for it as you guys ultimately did.

  3. hitch writer says:

    Sagarone : The moral of the story ? well I dont know… but valentines has become symbolic for something other than what it was, for us … It was about love.. but not any more…

    I dont think we should have goonda’s but what I would like to learn is to stick together !!

  4. hitch writer says:

    Ajit : Sadly Valentines Day a simple and a lovely day to mark celebration of love has come to such a state….

    As i read on trail blazer’s post, love is just beautiful let it be…

  5. Indian Home Maker says:

    LOVED this Dhiren 🙂
    I also think it’s just a state of mind. Courage is … Valentine’s Day then will come to stand for our Liberty, Gender Equality, and even for being a Symbol of Bapu’s strength 🙂

    Inspiring story.

  6. Varunavi says:

    Lovely dhiren.Even i never cared for valentine’s day.I used to think only a day is not enough to express love.But the mangalore incident made me to think indeed everyone should celebrate this day.
    Happy Valentine’s day
    I have mailed u

  7. hitch writer says:

    IHM : Bapu Strength surely was glorified in our minds !!!! lol….

    Varunavi – Exactly ! Muthaliks actually rubbed us the wrong way ! Serves him right to be in jail and eating jail ki rotiyan while we all eat pastries !!!!

  8. Rakesh says:

    Ghani Khamma Bapu! It definitely has become something more than only a symbol of love and this PCC ensures it goes further into Indian Cultural history as well. LoL.

    You know, we had a group of our own in college and called ourselves Archies! Initially, a few aggrieved boyfriends opposed the things we did, but BAPU was with us 🙂 so no problem. he he

  9. Usha Pisharody says:

    A good narrative, and a story that would put a real reel hindi film to shame 🙂 Loved the story, and the way it shows that when pushed to the wall, we find a sense of belonging, and work for doing something that we feel is right!

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!!!

  10. hitch writer says:

    Rakesh : Ghani Khamma !! I guess Kathiawadi Bapu’s were a different tribe altogether !!! Happy Valentines Day !!!

    Usha : Yea almost a bollywood script !!! lol… Happy Valentines day !!

  11. nimis540 says:

    Great post…The bottomline is “I would like to tell all don’t run and don’t take the beating from any one if you are innocent. We are too many and the goons are too less…. “So true,but we get intimidated for fear of ack of support if we react and this gives the goons more courage to trash us…

    Happy Valentine’s day 🙂

  12. Solilo says:

    Dhiren, That was a good read. I have a motto ‘If I believe in something then go ahead walk alone..people will follow you’. Work done with good intention never fails. Have to keep that optimism.

    Happy V-day to you and your wife.

  13. mou says:

    wow…no wonder the Bapus became heroes…they had their basics right…
    here the anti-valentine’s day activities started from day before yesterday…blocking roads and shouting at the top of their voices…they could have utilised their energy in doing something constructive!
    i myself had been always neutral regarding valentine…but the mangalore incident has triggered so many of us here, to celebrate valentine’s day just to defy the ram-sene. why does it escape their minds that india is a free country…if these “moral police” want a real example what would happen if they have their won way, they should look what taliban has done to afghanistan…

  14. ugich konitari says:

    Bapugiri keeps changing it appears. Long time ago, before I was born, it was about turning the other cheek. Later on, it became what you describe in your college days.

    I guess the recent campaign against Mutalik, is also a form on non-violent bapugiri……

    Ebjoyed the post….

  15. Indyeah says:

    Dhiren now that I have had time to read this at leisure I thoroughly enjoyed your post…and the bapu’s…oh man!very filmy and all!:D
    yeah understood what you have put here so nicely…that we all are one,if we stand together and fight these goons not necessarily physically but by raising our voices as one..then we can beat them..:)
    thansk Dhiren!

  16. hitch writer says:

    Nimmi : The simpler ways are always more difficult. But we have to show courage now… or else these goons will pile drive us.

    Mayz : Lol… no we need the traditional bapu’s too… they protested but in non violent ways… they tried to convince people… if Muthaliks want to peacefully protest and try and convince people I have no problem with that… But if they cannot convince, they should let the guy go free and let him do what he wants to !!!

    Solilo : ‘If I believe in something then go ahead walk alone..people will follow you’. wonderful !!! we need to show that courage… Its all upto us now !!!!

    Catherine : It should be the same here, unfortunately a few too many wrong things have changed it a bit… but I am sure there are more who celebrate it for love then for hate here !!! Bout the music… which song dear are you talking about ?? as there are almost 100 plus songs here !!! keep coming !! and enjoy the music !!! i cant– no speakers in office tsk tsk !!!

  17. hitch writer says:

    Ritu : Yea we sure do underestimate… but grave issues always bring out the best in the people !!! Thankfully Valentines was largely eventless… i mean violence less… thank god for that and let the lovers love !!!!

    MOU : Yea i fear that… when these goonda’s proclaim I feel ashamed that they are part of our country !!! a lot of people perceive them to be India !! they are not and we shall not allow this in our country… you, me, we exist and we must show that !

  18. hitch writer says:

    Ugich – Yes thankfully its non violent !! I was skeptical of the pink chaddi at first. Didnt know how the goonda’s would react… but they prevailed. I dont mind the Muthalik’s opposing the pub culture or anything for that matter, but they should be non violent. If people start taking law in their hands emotions will flow… thankfully sanity prevailed !!

  19. hitch writer says:

    Indyeah – Yes, it was filmy indeed. We were thrilled at our victory then… thanks to the Bapu’s !!

    And yes, we must raise our voice.. coz these goons are not India, we are…

    Thoorika – I am sure the collegians are good now too… we didnt think of the nice non violent pink chaddi did we ???

    Shilpa – Thanks !!

  20. Monika says:

    applaud dhiren… good post and can we have a baas-valentines day today too 🙂

    Actually the bapus reminded us of something so important as freedom isnt it?

  21. mandira says:

    lots of opinions floating around on the pcc..n i cant say anyone of them is wrong.. various approaches and various pts of view and i seem to agree to all!!
    i liked the idea of Baasi-Uttrayana, Baasi Eid. quite of us are so sick of the ram senas and bajrang dals tht we wudnt mind celebrating a day just to tell them that they cant dictate to us how we live and wat we do…can totally see the pt behind that…

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