Note: Some names have been changed to protect privacy of fictional characters
All statistics and figures is meticulously made up by an overactive imagination. Please don’t take it lightly.
It is a known fact that the state of Kerala is facing an acute power crisis due to lack of rain. In this difficult time, the Kerala State Electricity Board has adopted stringent measures that are harsh enough to force every sensible Malayali to charge their laptops in advance and pay for a net pack instead of waiting for WiFi: a forty five minute power cut! Movements have been organized and voices of dissent heard, saying that the Constitutional right to 24/7 supply of electricity is being violated by this crushing measure. The Opposition has claimed that electricity is being diverted to light the kennels of the Chief Minister’s imported golden retrievers. Amidst all this din and unrest. the only one happy seems to be the St. Alphonsa Candles and Incense Company, which has recorded a 232% increase in its profits.
I am also one of the poor common Malayalis affected by this 45 minute power cut. My stomach has found a unique way to protest against it: every time the power goes off, it begins grumbling incessantly for food. I’ve tried tricking it by going to sleep or munching on an apple, but it shuts up only after half a kilo of rice and three pieces of fish settle in. Knowing when I am defeated, I light a St. Alphonsa candle, and walk to the kitchen. Fumbling, I find a plate and spoons, and soon, begin stuffing my mouth with food.
It is said that brainwaves occurs in the most unexpected moments. Everyone knows the story of Newton discovering gravity because an apple fell on his head (Ever since, students have hated anything that falls: right from crow droppings to rain). But there are also lesser known examples, like how schools were formed by a man who was terrible at sports, so he developed a grudge against anyone who spent entire days outdoors and came up with a system to root out that habit from childhood; or how jeans was developed by a woman who hated to shave her legs and still wanted to look sexy. Anyway, as I sat eating dinner under the light the St. Alphonsa candle kindly let out, I realized how terrible a candlelight dinner was.
I know what you will say. A candlelight dinner is the most romantic way to say “I love you”, or that it was during one such evening that you decided that that terribly boring boyfriend of yours was the love of your life. But I have careful, impartial research and scientifically proven statistics to prove you wrong. Candlelight dinners are not romantic. The fact that candlelight dinners are essential on Valentine’s Day is a myth, because the concept behind Valentine’s Day itself is a myth. Valentine’s Day is a story concocted by the brightest minds working at Hallmark to sell more cards. This was how they managed to make profits even during the Great Depression and through the 2000s, which saw a significant reduction in real human emotions. Candlelight dinners came up after hotel owners around the world met up for their annual Hotel Owners Conference (HOC) and stuck upon an idea to boost sales on a day which otherwise saw an ordinary turnout. This move by the HOC was so successful that some restaurants had candlelight dinners once in every month, while there are hotels, like the Dim Lights Wonder in Berlin, which host only candlelight dinners.
You might argue now that though the idea behind candlelight dinners was merely a move to bolster profits and feed an increasingly capitalist economy, still the idea in practice is as romantic as, um, proposing by a beach with a solitaire diamonds as fireworks light the sky (this, let me add, actually a result of a joint deal between diamond and firework companies to sell fireworks at 50% their original price for purchasing a solitaire). Candlelight dinners are shown as romantic in movies, where the woman looks as beautiful as the audience expect her to be, and you can literally see the love dancing in the reflection of the flame in the man’s eyes. But this is a carefully orchestrated scene, shot over many hours, to once again promote the eternal illusion that life is as perfect as a movie. However, reality is quite different and quite harsh too, as is obvious when one reads groundbreaking research, like Amita K. Thommen’s fascinating piece on how Bollywood Films only serve to convince you that your ideal partner is one who can dance in water wearing an outfit that clings at all the right places. In this case, my careful research will clearly show how the movie candlelight scene is a mere farce.
I conducted an experiment with three eminent scientists from the VELA Science Organization (VSC), to debunk the myth that candlelight dinners are romantic. The VSC is an institution known for conducting unparalleled research and proving definitely that watermelon seeds don’t kill you. We asked 100 couples who had ever gone on a candlelight dinner to recount their experience to us. What we found out what devastating, to say the least. Meghna Thoran, a 34-year-old housewife, recounts how a fairytale evening turned out to be a nightmare. Her boyfriend had just proposed, and to celebrate, they went out for a candlelight dinner. She was holding hands with her fiance and gazing into the eyes of a fiance when he reached over to touch her face. Accidentally, he knocked over a candle which fell on her arm. Instead of helping her, he quickly withdrew his hand and screamed. Luckily, the fire was put out, though the burn mark stayed with her even during her wedding day. “At least it prepared me to the kind of life to expect after marriage”, Meghna sighed, “When there’s a fire, he will let go. And there’s always a fire”. Not one for metaphors, we quickly went on to other participants in the experiment.
Rahul Kope, a 24 year old civil engineer, had the shock of his life when he took his ex-girlfriend Rashmi Potti, on a date last Valentine’s Day, “It was a wakeup call for me”, says Rahul, who said that the candlelight revealed how ugly his beloved was, Her dark circles and pimples stood out so prominently that he was forced to break up with her. Sushmita Warrier of the VSC who recorded this response wanted to punch Rahul for being a pig, but was restrained by onlookers.
For Lakshmi Ahantha, a 42 year old cardiac surgeon, a candlelight dinner ended in divorce. “My ex-husband had booked a table for us at the Thiri Place, and had arrived early to get a seat, When I walked in, he exclaimed, “mom, what are you doing here?”. I could not recover from that statement and had to divorce him”. Naturally. She also took refuge in Ponds Age Miracle, which she applies thrice a day, leaving her feel sixty years younger.
These are a few responses from the two hundred ones we recorded. After we assimilated the data, we found that 73% of people who had gone on candlelight dinners hated it. Of the ones who liked it, 26% were reported to have eye problems, and the other 1%, according to Dr. Harsh Jaada of the VSC, “suffered from an acute case of stupidity”.
Our experiment also revealed that candlelight dinners were part of a nationwide scam by which hotels made enormous amounts of profit by serving the rats caught in their kitchen instead of meat. Since the lighting is dim, and the idea behind such a dinner isn’t the food but the irrational emotions, couples rarely noticed what they were eating until they found their heads buried in their toilets the next day. Candle lighting also enable hotel owners to save tremendously on electricity bills, leading to a surge in their profits again. Also, the food served is prized at an average of 5% extra because the dim lighting does not allow the customer to distinguish between the 5, 3 and 8s. On the whole, hotels which have the option of candlelight dinners have made a profit of more than 64% as compared to other, more honest establishments which depend on regular lighting and broiler chicken.
Thus, candlelight dinners are not romantic at all. Instead they only serve to provoke deluded fantasies and increase the profits of capitalist ventures, which is against the very Communist essence of Kerala’s, China’s and the USSR’s beautiful history. Since Thomas Edison so kindly invented the light bulb, we should rely on its benefits, except when the Kerala State Electricity Board leaves you with no other option.