By Aashish Mishra
Kathmandu, Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day is here – but with the coronavirus pandemic still far from over – the usual celebrations are not. Owing to the virus risk, couples have been forced to spend time away from each other or, for those who live together, confine themselves to their houses and avoid going out to crowded places. But, determined not to let the virus rain on the day of love, some people are getting creative with their Valentine’s plans.
Every year for the past six years, Nitu Banjara and her husband have been watching a movie on Valentine’s Day. Till last year, they used to do that in a theatre; this year, they will be doing it at their home.
“We have converted our bedroom into a cinema hall. I have blackened the windows and sound-proofed the door with pillows. My husband will bring large speakers and a projector from his office,” Banjara shared.
Asked which movie they were going to watch, she said that they would watch a rom-com from Netflix.
“What’s more romantic than a cosy movie night, right?” she said.
Well, for Devansh Shrestha, nothing can be more romantic than his first date with his now wife Rabina. Although it was more than a decade ago, he still remembers every detail of it like it was yesterday. “There were only a few good cafes and eateries back then which were really expensive. I had to save my salary of four months just to be able to afford one good date,” he laughed. “But it was worth it. She is the perfect woman who deserved a perfect night.”
This year, Shrestha is planning to recreate that date once again – with a twist. He will be recreating it in his kitchen. “It is not safe to be going out right now and also, because of the virus and the political atmosphere, the mood isn’t really there. So, we will relive our first evening in our kitchen. It will be more romantic than a restaurant too because it will be just the two of us,” he said.
But for many, this V-day will be gloomy, no matter what, mostly because of a lack of cash. People’s pockets suffered heavily in the four-month-long nationwide lockdown and they have not exactly boomed back up since the restrictions were lifted. As a result, couples just do not have enough money to splurge on romantic gestures.
“Couples are too cash-strapped to be doing anything special,” said Abhusan Singh, a self-styled ‘life coach’. “Plus, Valentine’s is on a Sunday this year. People will be working or at colleges.”
He added, “Even when together, couples will have to wear masks, sanitize their hands every few minutes and worry every time one of them coughs. COVID-19 is a huge buzzkill!”