No matter which way one turns – the real world or the virtual world – there is no escaping the ‘V’ word. As card shops and gift shops stock up on Valentine’s goodies, the Internet, too, has its share of offerings by way of emails, instant messengers, e-cards, websites, and, of course, online shopping.
Giving people a chance to come together in a virtual world, MSN India and Windows Live have introduced video chats that enable one to be with his or her loved ones virtually face-to-face. Doing away with the ‘oh so impersonal’ e-cards and emoticons, the Live Messenger is offering services through which one can personalise one’s emotions by playing a special backdrop video for one’s sweetheart or by sending personal video winks, as compared to the staid, static emoticons.
Network18 Group’s portal In.com has introduced a website called love.in, which is offering a series of services ranging from musical ‘Be my Valentine’ invite from a pre-selected list of romantic songs to lists of gifts and lists of the weekend getaways, luxurious spas and romantic beaches. From romantic love stories to crystal gazing and even expert advice on love or marital life have been put up on the site to entertain its users.
Taking its online shopping initiatives a step further, Moser Baer has come up with a Valentine’s carnival, offering sets of romantic film DVDs available only through online purchase.
With issues like cultural dilemmas and moral policing getting strongly associated with this day, the online world offers a considerable amount of freedom to choose the way one wishes to celebrate the day.
Of course, there is the much talked about ‘Pink Chaddi’ campaign in response to the assault on young women at a Mangalore pub by activists of Ram Sene. Guess that would require an entire separate report to find out how this campaign, mostly through an online forum, caught the nation’s and media’s attention.