Like every year, I ask (with genuine innocence) my husband about our Valentine’s Day Plans. And I love him purely based on the consistency that he maintains in emotions, words and expressions, year on year, when he says:

“What the f**k is Valentine’s Day?”

The year he turns around and says anything else- I will assume that he doesn’t love me anymore.

This is his way of loving me- Of not shelling importance to any specific day, but to shower me with love almost every second. Unless that’s true, I wouldn’t really see him walking in with flowers every day on his way back work, would I? Nor would concert and play tickets materialize with such frequency.

I think this is our way of love.

Don’t we all have that one thing that’s just ours? Have you ever ventured into the world of animals to see how they have their unique ways of loving, too? There are a few pages that we can pull out of their book, and observe, if this ‘Week of Love’ that the Advertising industry forces down our necks every year, can be made just about your partner and not about garnering endorsements under your love admissions on social media.

  • Penguins: Probably the sweetest lovers, they always stick to their partners. They teach us how communication is the key to a long lasting relationship. They are rarely seen away from their partner and are known to even take short trips with family! French Angle fish also show this trait. They are known to be with one partner for as long as they live- hunting in pairs, protecting their territory together from predators.
  • Antelopes: The male antelope sticks around his female mates and covers their scent. This, so that no other male can sense his mates and take them away. Sweet, indeed. But when this ‘sticking around’ becomes a ‘Nana Patekar’-ish obsession, I guess it’s best to say goodbye.
  • Giraffes: They flirt! That’s so The male giraffe slides next to the female giraffe to graze. He then continues to flirtatiously entwine their long necks. Remember that ‘Doctor Doctor’ game (where a bunch of boys and girls would entwine arms, legs and head with each other and the denner would disengage the precarious ball of lump we looked like) our parents always warned against? Wasn’t that game our way of Giraffe-like flirting too? (Be honest)
  • Swans: They can teach us fidelity. Swans stick to only one partner in their lifetime. This is more like the generations of our parents, who will not find another mate even when theirs has died. Now of course, Bollywood break ups are showing us how easy it is to find love when your partner is alive – and how they’re probably outdoing you at it!
  • Frogs: Male frogs sing (yes, sing) to attract female frogs. But try this with extreme caution and at your own risk. If mine sings, I’m likely to order him a ‘night out on the couch’. So much for his baritone.
  • Monkeys: We evolved from them right? You know, after monkeys finish fighting, they reconcile by grooming each other. Girls, the next time he fights, take away his Credit Card and go for that ridiculously expensive pedicure that your salon manager has been insisting on.
  • Bowerbirds: The male is known to decorate bowers (a decoration item made of twigs, feathers, flowers and any damn thing they can find) to attract females. The female picks the best bower and then mates with the corresponding male. It would appear that our mythology adopts this concept as ‘Swayamvar’.
  • Porcupine: I don’t think I ever will, but ask yourself – if you’d like to pee on your partner and wait if it turns her on. Just like a male porcupine that must drench his soul mate with urine to arouse her. Also known for exhausting the male completely, the female porcupine then goes in search for another male- hopefully one with a full bladder!
  • Wolves: Another love behaviour I may not be able to undertake is to abstain from it for as long as a year. This is a survival tactic to avoid being detected by hunters. Male wolves do not want to waste their time being inside their female counterparts for thirty minutes, as that would render them vulnerable to attacks. Simply put, it’s that age-old fear of distraction in the male. In India, IIT-JEE and UPSC aspirants follow this to the T.
  • Octopus: My favourite mating example, of course comes from the badass octopus! He tops the attitude quotient when it comes to making love. How? Well, how about detaching your organ, letting it swim to the female octopus, so she can please herself! Whoa, that is some serious swag, Octi.

So, what’s the takeaway? Make your love, yours. Buying chocolates on Chocolate Day, rose on Rose Day, teddy bear on Teddy Bear Day- How is that love? That is being part of a herd. Be original, be jungli. Just make it about the two of you – not too much of you two. If you know, what I mean (winky wink!)