Winning letter: A lot like love
For the past three-and-a-half decades, I have been asking my husband what gift he would like to give me on February 14. His standard response is love is not meant to be celebrated only on one day, but cherished every single moment. I feel he is too philosophical, but also right.
Love means different things to different people. Like the protagonists in the feature (Love, actually, Feb 10), some think love is all about candies, flowers and gifts, some are cynical about it, while others view it more realistically. Whatever the case be, what matters when you are in a relationship is that there is never a trust deficit. Valentine's Day is as much about selflessness, sacrifice, commitment, trust and respect as it is about the superficial notions of romance. What is important is that a couple should be able to withstand all difficulties and survive the hardships together. You may not be absolutely compatible, but you have to strive to be together.
Celebrating Valentine's Day can be an icing on the cake for a couple if they truly, madly, deeply love and respect each other. So, go ahead and make this day count, but also do not forget that the values V-Day stands for go beyond the usual pomp and show.
Jayashree Kulkarni, Abu Dhabi
» For the love of food
It goes without saying that love is the key ingredient when it comes to food (Food and Love: A V-Day Primer, Feb 10). Remove affection from the equation and the whole experience seems lacklustre. When this happens, having a meal becomes a chore. Sharing food with others is like showering love on them, it is the emotion that makes the quintessential difference.
Eating together is a part of intimacy between two people. It's authentic and primal. You cannot form genuine bonds with others unless you have shared your meals with them. Communal eating has been an integral part of our culture - the mother shares her milk with the baby, husband and wife share a meal at the end of a long day. Today, however, we hardly sit down together to eat. We live a single-sized-serving-microwaveable-entrée existence in a culture of brown bag lunches. That's sad.
Shabbir Saifuddin, by email
» Kitchen secrets
What started out as one man's fascination has now become the UAE's passion (Kitchen Confidential, Feb 10). Gaurav Tandon set up the UAE's first food reality show, and today, it is on the verge of entering a sixth season. It's celebration time, and the creators of the show must be so proud of this moment. Having said that, the show must have greater focus on local cuisines, and also inculcate Arab culture and values that so evidently manifest themselves in the region's food. That way, it will become more UAE-centric. All the best, Foodshala! Keep cooking up a good menu.
Narayan Iyer, by email
» Leave Trump alone
Accepting things the way they are and coming to terms with the situation one cannot change is wisdom (Matthew McConaughey, Drumpf and the Hater app, Feb 10). Donald Trump is the US President now and will continue to be one for the next four years. A pragmatic approach would be to pray that he serves well and proves his mettle. There is a need to see the bigger picture. Why is it that common hatred or hostility towards someone brings people together? As correctly stated, love for Obama or Clinton didn't bring people any closer, though that should have been a natural outcome.
Indu Sundaram, by email