Here is V Gangadhar’s explanation for why Indians should celebrate Valentines day. V Gangadhar writes the column ‘Slice of Iife’ in The Hindu newspaper on Sundays. Taken from the archives of Slice of life.

Manmadhan was in the habit of shooting arrows made of fragrant flowers at his victims, making them fall in love. Somewhat like Cupid of Greek legend. Unfortunately, Manmadhan once fooled around with Shiva, the Angry Young God, who was not known to be particularly romantic. On being struck by the romantic arrow, Shiva reacted strongly. He opened his third eye, discharged the requisite fire reducing poor Manmadhan to ashes. I do not know when this exactly happened but it would be nice to celebrate the martyrdom of Manmadhan as our version of Valentine’s Day.