I am reading a book that is futuristic in outlook. Trees on Mars By Hal Niedzviecki. Sitting on our commuter train, I look around to see that there is only one other person in the whole packed compartment reading a book. The book itself is a somewhat distressing outlook on our obsession with the future and futuristic trends. How Artificial Intelligence will and is taking on more and more of how the Internet World functions. How the waves of the future are affecting the educational system. How it could affect our entertainment choices, art and the study of humanities. We all know that is happening and is inevitable and all the rest of it, but I put the bleak thing away to ponder on some things that cannot be done away with.
As I stepped out of the train station that evening, I saw a vendor hawking red roses with a lopsided grin on his face. As though mocking and daring folks to stop and buy his roses. I have seen these vendors every year, during the week leading up to Valentines Day. On Valentine’s Day, you see a bunch of folks you would never have chalked down as the romantic type when observing them on the train, doling the cash out for a few roses for their beloved. The AI systems could take a while figuring out which ones have that streak of romanticism in them, I thought victoriously, but of course I might be wrong.
With Valentines Day approaching, the son’s preschool environs are a-quiver with excitement. Pink and red hearts plaster the walls. The daughter drew a card with a large heart and a bunch of surrounding hearts for our Anniversary. The son asked if he can take the card the daughter made for our anniversary to his school to put it up on the notice-board. “No!” I squealed. Before any egos could be bruised, I assured the children that the card was beautiful but it was meant for Appa and Amma alone. I am not sure I am quite ready for that to be bandied about on a school notice board. Not to mention the questions surrounding marriages, weddings or society’s inevitable curiosity around arranged marriages.
I am also reading The Wild Swan a book by Michael Cunningham, a clever take on fairy tales with a dose of the worldly adult interpretations. Each tale is short with a slightly different view to the tale. But, I cannot deny that I like the children’s versions better. The children’s versions are common tales but manage to spin magic about them.
Pretty much how the children manage to spin magic around Valentines Day.
I miss the years of Elementary school valentine’s day preparations with the daughter. She would arduously draw hearts and flowers on every card for every child and teacher in the class. I knew those cards were to join the recycle pile in their own homes by the end of the day just as the pile she came home with did, but it was a wonderful concept and kept her happily occupied for a few hours.
I really like how the younger children get to see love in its more wholesome form. They love their parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, friends, siblings, caregivers and pets. It all gets a bit wearying when they want to make cards for them all, but I prefer that to the more narrow interpretation leading to conjugal harmony( or not) one day.
As long as we know how to retain this curious ability to love and be loved, the future can march on to the beat of generated bytes and streaming bits.
Happy Valentine’s Day !