KARACHI – The flower vendors at Phool Gali near MA Jinnah Road are ready with stocks of red roses and hired extra workers for their customers’ special orders.Teddy bears carrying red hearts, cards and other items have flooded shops in the heart of the city, Saddar.
A famous bakery in Clifton is offering special heart-shaped chocolate cakes and cookies wrapped in heart-shaped red boxes.Many restaurants in the posh areas of the city have been decorated with heart-shaped balloons. Some have gone a step further by arranging special corners with dim lights for romancing couples.Young street vendors, who usually sell toys and other items, are now offering red balloons and roses.Despite living in a society where religious extremism is growing stronger and TV anchorpersons raid couples at public parks, many residents of Karachi will ‘dare’ to celebrate the Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on February 14 around the world. But in the subcontinent, especially in India and Pakistan, right-wingers oppose its celebration on the pretext that it is a Western concept and against the local culture.In Pakistan, some extremist groups see the increasing popularity of Valentine’s Day among the youth as immoral westernisation.But despite all that, a large number of youths have made special arrangements to celebrate the occasion and many students have decided not to attend classes on the day. Like every festival, Valentine’s Day also brings a good opportunity for small-time vendors.
“The sale of gifts increases 400 times more than usual,” said a shopkeeper at Bohri Bazaar in Saddar.A three-star hotel on Shahrah-e-Faisal has announced special packages for couples to celebrate their romantic moments. Many famous singers have launched their new albums for the day as well. – PT