I still remember that girl who mercilessly rejected my proposal as she took my softness to her as outright sympathy. She had reasons. The girl had a thick patch of grey hair that receded from her forehead, and that was too early for pre-degree students like us. She guided me out of my belief that mine was pure love.
Every Valentine’s day, I hear weak footfalls falling deep inside.
Of girls I fell in love long back. But this music of the season I hear in my ears is not thrumming just for me.
On Valentine’s day we all hear footfalls falling deep inside. Of girls and boys who padded in and out of our lives, don’t we? Oh, sweet memories! Good ole’ times!
What else is a Valentine’s day for!
But love is not all the way sweet; it turns bitter and salty with the seasons. For some it leaves them in deep pain for the rest of their life. Where do they go for a relief? Where do spurned lovers take their bleeding hearts when their mates walk out on them dimming their world?
Come November a few of them march silently to the little town of Rocca Centerano, near Rome. To take part in a festival, Festa del Cornuto, which falls in every November.
The carnival begins with a long parade of unhappy cuckolds sniveling along the streets of the town bemoaning their lost love. Floats which accompany them are satirical representations of the tragic stories of jilted lovers.
You would even catch a few of them smashing curious trinkets on the road in utter fury. Those are memorabilia which recall fond memories of cruel lovers who deserted them. See. Some are shredding garish lingeries of their lovers.
Do you have something which your bloody lover gave you during the last Valentine’s? Bring it along. Let us break it on the road or tear it away and cry over it at this festival. But be warned. It costs a bit for jumping into the bandwagon by chipping in with your own private dirges. You have to wear the customary horns as a mark of shame.
In ancient Rome, the soldiers who returned from the battle were awarded with horns for their brilliant service. But the real award was waiting at their home. The poor soldiers would soon find to their dismay that their wives were cheating them in their absence.
How would such husbands look like with horns adorning their head when they stumble across strange men in their bed? Buffoonish?
No wonder, the modern day cuckolds, cheated by their partners, also have to wear the same mark of ignominy in the festival their warrior predecessors wore.
But how can a man bring himself to celebrate his private wounds in public? What good is there in it?
Dude, when you know, you would also dash to Rome, and do what the Romans do, by sharing your own tragic tales of rejection and cheating. All this gaudy procession, and all this wailing at the colourful audience who throng the roadsides lead to kindle new flames. This is free ad for many as they scream to the world that their old love has died and new ones can be lit – they are free; they are available and ready for the take.
So when the sun finally dies in the west, many mourners would be necking and petting with new lovers they found during the festival, in some corner of a garden or park. Together they would wait to hail the Valentine ’s Day which comes in another three months, to swear their allegiance to each other and to exchange tokens of their heart.
But now let us give a good wring of our heart, for this is only November, the season of Festa del Cornuto. Let the tears flow abundantly. Wail aloud. But take heart.
If November comes, can February be far behind?