The Love Week is fast approaching; bearing in its womb a special day when friendship, affection and admiration will be delivered. The globe will be spinning on the axis of romance. There will be love in the air and clichéd dates with an infinite exchange of manufactured tokens of love. All the mass produced cards, chocolates and flowers will try to outdo each other in the race for who is a better gift. The heartless world will start to blush because everywhere you look you will see pink hearts.

Every couple will want to outdo the other in unique and attractive ways. The colours of all Small Markets and Big Bazaars will turn blood red, with business literally ripping the heart out of Valentine. Even the traditionalist Grinch, hardwired to believe that the commercialization of anything is negative, may have to concede at some point.

But for the radical side of this global gala event, it will be a day that they would love to hate. In the lap of our five thousand year old Motherland, its so-called 'local guardians' will be waving their saffron flags of concern, worried that a long dead and gone Saint is trying to make temporary converts of our youngsters. Far right groups will threaten and attack couples who celebrate. Perhaps cut off their hair, blacken their faces or even go so far as to force anyone making public displays of love, to get married.

Despite its evolving culture, fundamentals from other religious groups will debate on whether this idolatrous Christian festival is 'halal' or ‘haram’. Those who believe love should be celebrated will be silenced by the hardliners who consider it ‘shirq’. They will seek to eliminate the festivity due to its Christian origins, moral objections and theological deviations.

What exactly are these crusaders apprehensive of? The fact that our overburdened, tensed and pressured teenagers, will be bitten by a recent bug that is alien to our cultures? That this new generation will do the unnatural act of mooning and swooning over the most natural thing in the world- an emotion what we romantics called Love?

Despite annual grumblings from the country’s conservatives, I find it hard to find anything ‘religious’ in celebrations. Hinduism is not about goondas who proclaim to be judges of our moral standards, outlook, opinions and our sentiments.

Muslims are required to love one another and inculcate love among people regardless of their colour, race, religion, or identity. The dialect may vary but every religion speaks the same language. And in its every ‘undistorted’ version, all meets all. So if a certain day gives us an opportunity to take the dross out of relationships and replace it with warmth, why raise such a hue and cry about it?

If Patriotism can be worshipped, why can't Romance? If self-styled epitomes of Hatred can be worshipped, why not Love?

It may sound silly to some, but for me the expression of love in any form, is always a beautiful thing. So those thinking otherwise can grind their judgemental tooth and keep aside their frustrations, if only for a day. But what is ironic is that a day so full of life and coated with a definitive association of ardour, actually was born with the death of someone- St. Valentine. So why not venerate it by remembering those who have passed away?

Where is the unwritten rule which says that one has to be essentially present on earth to accept the wishes? Where is the need to materialize our adoration?

Why not send our silent greetings through our memories to those no longer with us, but who will continue to be loved- our family members, friends and pets.

Or extend it as a tribute to the millions, billions and gazillions of children who are being wiped off from the face of the earth without a blink of an eye. Maybe just sparing a thought for those who aren’t receiving much love and attention from an outside world, is perhaps enough to make this day seem even more special.

There’s a certain valuable aspect about love that cynics often tend to overlook. So today let me show you its significant positives with a humanitarian angle that can also be associated with this day. And I will say it not with flowers or with poetry. But with a new word that has not even made it into the dictionary yet!

The word is ‘Palentine’. Sure, it’s a mix of ‘pal’ and ‘valentine’, which one can interpret as ‘love for pals’. But when we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, you could perhaps read it as remembering Palestine.

When we attach hope to a holiday, let us also wrap some love and concern in the envelope of an international tradition and send it all the way across. Perhaps this is the hopeful take off that will cushion us to the hard landing of a commercialized field.

Perhaps this is the kind of enchantment that a violent, vicious and sceptical world needs. I’ve seen love find its way across race, identity and class, even in the most hopeless of circumstances. So maybe, just maybe this is an opportunity for the Palestinians, or what’s left of them, to step away from the harsh reality of their surroundings and focus on romance, beauty, and gratitude.

The flowers we send may be metaphorical; the chocolates symbolic; the cards imaginary; and our gifts representational; but maybe this is a chance to help them create a sense of normalcy, to celebrate life and love. Even if it is only for a day.

Politics has already ensnared Religion into its evil and corrupted folds. Should we stay mute witnesses while affection, an emotion totally alien to those epitomes of malice, is also being dragged into its realm? A saint was once martyred for Love. Let Love not be martyred again and again in the altar of hatred and indifference!

This year, let us spend the feast of St. Valentine, by strengthening the muscles of Cupid and Kama; by sharpening the arrowheads of their darts; so they can shoot it across every corner of the world where there’s war and strife and hatred is rife.

And even if you spend the entire week making widespread proclamations of undying promises on social media, on the 14th of February- Make Palestine, Your Valentine.