I spent Valentine’s Day 2009 in the most unique fashion – roaming about coal fields in the Jharia area. We saw coal burning by itself beneath the ground. What a waste of resources. ‘Burning desires of love’ is how a friend described it. The place is high on the list of places where I would never take a girl out for a date, other notable locations on the list being a five-star restaurant (unless she is paying), a lion’s den, and Jupiter. Seriously, the sight was straight out of one of those sci-fi Hollywood movies where the characters land on a deserted alien planet or one of those which show what the Earth would look like after doom’s day.
Smoke was billowing out of the cracks in the ground as if the Earth was having a humongous cigar. And they talk about reducing greenhouse gases. Hell would not look much different. There were abandoned homes all around, what with all the pollution and walls collapsing because of subsidence and mine fires, the place was absolutely inhabitable.
After our return, it took me about an hour to get all the coal dust off me. Had a three hour nap after that, my first during the day in several years. This is one Valentine’s Day I shall remember for a long time. At least I had a hands-on experience of how bad the situation in the mines in Jharia really is. Otherwise, I would have just lazed around in my room wondering why my love life is blank while everyone else is all mushy-mushy today. It’s a ploy to make all single people feel like jerks. What is someone who does not have a Valentine supposed to do? I have a feeling all the protests against V-day has some of its roots in this fact. After all, why would someone protest if he had someone by his/her side who really loved him/her? Think about it.