What I need to live
Has been given to me by the earth
Why I need to live has been given by you.
The handwritten words on a card signify the total immersion of a person into the spirit of the other. This obsession can nurture a relationship – or go horribly wrong.
The card was made by a group of college students. The idea mooted by their mentor Ms. Elsa Da Costa, was to prepare hand-made knick- knacks for sale in the college on the run-up to V-Day and donate the proceeds to charity, e.g. an orphanage. The girls came up with a variety of creative ideas. They were made with love and celebrated love. Tanya D’Souza and Antrima Coutinho worked in tandem to make attractive cards of various styles. They used various materials like foam paper, beads, floppy paper and velvet paper.
Most of the cards were on a background of black chart paper. ‘I like black, because anything looks good on it,’ said Tanya. Emerging from mourning, I realized that the bright red on black imbued the colours with new meaning. Red need not always stand for blood and transfusions. It could also proclaim love – that was what the heart was for anyway.
Cheryl Duarte made a Valentine motif out of three kebab sticks. She twirled red woollen thread at the four corners of the tripod-shape to soften the edges. At each of the four corners she delicately placed a tiny red and white rose and a sprig of green leaf. From the pointed pinnacle she dropped a golden wire beneath which she attached a heart made out of red crepe paper. She finished off with a slender jute thread which rose from the pinnacle point with an adjustable sailor’s knot to hang the motif as a centrepiece. ‘I like to make things in 3-D,’ she said. It looks perfect under our chandelier in the salon.
Franzia D’costa offered handmade flowers. In hues of red and mauve her lovely roses were made out of crepe cloth, cloth leaves, bending wire and glitter.
Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ and ‘Hallelujah’ by Tori Kelly are all the rage now. But while love is often celebrated, it is also undermined at times. 14 February is the day Reeva was shot by her boyfriend Oscar five years back. Reeva Steenkamp became a model at 24 for Avon products in South Africa. She had been dating Oscar Pistorius for three months. Oscar is a South African runner who participated in the Paralympics with prosthetic limbs. He was 27 when he fired on Reeva four times through the closed door of a washroom cubicle in his home in Pretoria thinking she was an intruder. She was 29. Her mother June Steenkamp is now a full-time activist to stop domestic violence against women. ‘She was so beautiful, so fun-loving. I think he was jealous of the attention she was getting. . . Five years on, Valentine’s Day is still full of pain and suffering,’ says June.-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published in Gomantak Times, Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 25 February 2018. Pix of 3-D, Valentine motif by Cheryl Duarte, taken by Brian Mendonca.