This seems like a thing that should exist, right? Romances that revolve around all the confusion of Valentine’s Day in India. And instead of getting sucked into just one story, I am going to quickly outline 14 different stories!
It’s a thing for Hindutva thugs to go around and destroy stores that have Valentine’s Displays. And isn’t this also a great set-up for a romance? I want to keep it light, so we will treat the thugs as kind of comic and make them the thing that brings couples together.
So our sweet nervous good girl clerk on her first day in the store is caught up in the rioting and just sits down and shrieks. But there is a local gang that has put together an anti-thugs squad and then storm in to fight them off, the clerk is rescued by one of them, and then ends up being taken hostage so they can get away from the police. It’s all very lighthearted, no one is taking it that seriously (including the police), but the good girl clerk is still hysterical no matter how much they tell her to calm down. They take her back to their hide out and give her a drink to relax her, she drinks way too much and gets drunk, the local gangster decides he can’t take her back to her home in this state, ends up spending the night taking care of her, by morning they are in love.
He takes her home and bravely declares his feelings to her respectable middle-class family, they give him a year to get a good job with a good income and an apartment, and then they will engage the couple on Valentine’s Day. Much ups and down over the year, he stumbles in and out of jobs, they fight and flirt and make-up in between, but at the end of it, he is hired by a rich man to be his negotiator and assistant because he has the fire of the streets, and they are engaged on Valentine’s Day after all.
Heroine: Aparna Balamurali
Valentine’s Protest March Love Story
Kind of the same idea as above, but a different kind of odd couple. Because of protesters outside, a couple of strangers are trapped together in an empty office. He is in a hurry to get to a romantic Valentine’s meal he arranged for his girlfriend. She is in a hurry to get to a Valentine’s Day themed speed dating/arranged marriage event. She is lowclass and fast talking, he is high class and thoughtful and romantic. Let’s say Juhi and Shahrukh. They fight almost the whole time and really can’t stand each other. But they also share moments of truth, Juhi tells Shahrukh that he shouldn’t feel like he has to try so hard to impress his girlfriend, if she loves him she won’t need anything but him. And Shahrukh tells Juhi that she shouldn’t waste her time at all these speed dating style events, if someone is meant for her, he will find her. They both decide they have to “show” the other one, and so when they are both called as witnesses, Shahrukh has his secretary pretend to be passionately in love with him (his girlfriend broke up with him for being late on Valentine’s Day), and Juhi gets her gay friend to pretend to be her new boyfriend. They go out to lunch as a foursome after the case is over, the charade falls apart, and Shahrukh and Juhi end up having lunch together and falling a little bit in love.
But, there are still challenges! They are from different communities and Juhi’s family won’t give permission. Shahrukh has to slowly win them over by doing things around the house, learning how to cook, generally humiliating himself despite being a powerful successful businessman. And then Shahrukh’s daughter won’t give permission because Juhi is such a unelegant person and she has to have her own make-over. With all this stress on the relationship, it all falls apart in one big silly fight over nothing, the name they will give their shared apartment. But they still have to see each other one more time, for the final hearing in the court case. The judge, who has been following this whole story and gotten involved despite himself, is heartbroken to hear the engagement fell apart. He uses his authority to force them to return to the scene of the crime and locks them in again. After much back and forth, they make up, and are married, on Valentine’s Day a year after they met.
Valentine’s Day TV Contest Romance
An aspiring actress is desperate to get noticed, her parents have given her one more month and then she has to give up and go to grad school instead. She is sure that she is so charming, so talented, she just needs a chance to get noticed. She sees a TV contest for the “Sweetest Couple” for Valentine’s Day, the winners get to be the center of a whole dance show. She just needs a fiance, and she will be all set! At her next acting audition, she looks around and mentally casts who would look good next to her, finally landing on a new boy. She goes up to him, he initially thinks she is hitting on him and preens himself and proudly tells her that he already has a girlfriend. She moves on to the next prospect, but the casting director sees her and thinks she is trying to poach prospects and throws her, and the first actor, out. Now he is furious with her for getting him thrown out of the audition, and she has no other choice but to use him, so she offers to make-up for getting him thrown out by getting him on TV. She writes the perfect backstory for them both, even dialogue, plans it all out. But when they go in for their contestant interview, he goes off script and invents something totally new. She is furious, but it ends up working and they get on the show thanks to their “newness”.
They both lie, her to her parents and him to his girlfriend, and then go off for the weeklong shooting of the competition. They turn into a great team, managing to defeat the other couples. And they stay up late talking in their shared room. Finally, during a “chemistry test” challenge, they kiss. They both separate after, she rushes off to remind herself not to blow this and make it into more than it is, and him to call his girlfriend and break-up since he has feelings for someone else. But then there is a misunderstanding, she is so cold and practical afterwards, he thinks she doesn’t feel the same way. They win the competition, but it all seems lifeless since their hearts are broken. They return for the live special filmed on Valentine’s Day, but during the special one of their rivals reveals it was all a con and they are both aspiring actors. But he spins a whole story immediately about how they fell in love at casting calls, and somehow it turns into the truth, and they end up confessing their true love life on TV. HAPPY ENDING. And then epilogue showing that they are now engaged, and co-starring on a hit soap opera.
Hero: Allu Arjun
Heroine: Kajal Aggarwal
Valentine’s Gift Store Romance
The owner of a gift shop decides to take on extra help during the holidays. His clerk/foster daughter thinks this is a terrible decision, why risk trusting a stranger? But the store owner reminds her that she was a stranger once too, a poor orphan who he took in and turned into his chief clerk, and he is such a nice and trusting guy he ends up hiring a desperate charming pavement dweller he runs into outside the store. The clerk doesn’t trust him at all and he responds by constantly puncturing her dignity and teasing her. But she has a change of heart and falls in love when he fights off a thief in the middle of the night (he has been sleeping in the store) and she comes in the next morning to find him beaten and bleeding. She nurses him back to health and decides she is in love and prepares herself to confess it. But before she can, he disappears! She is heartbroken.
Meanwhile, from the other side, we see his story. He is a member of a gang, just released from jail. While he was inside, the place where he hide the money ended up being covered over by the gift shop. He must get inside somehow in order to get his money. The rest of his gang is putting pressure on him, and threatening his family. He leaps at the chance to work at the shop, and tries to kill his feelings for the clerk. Especially after his gang sees how he feels about her, and his saintly fatherly boss, and threatens them. He puts up with their beatings and everything and finally has a chance to get the money and decides to disappear from the life of the clerk and shopowner forever, even though it breaks his heart. But he anonymously sends half his share of the money to their shop. It would all be over there, except the bills were marked without his knowledge, and the clerk and shopowner are arrested! He has no choice but to go to the police and confess everything. Luckily he finds himself with a sympathetic officer who arranges for him to confess everything over again with the clerk and shop owner listening so they can appreciate his true worth. The police officer lets them all go, since he has already been punished for his only real crime (stealing the money in the first place). And at the end of their Valentine’s Day sale, the store owner proudly declares this will be his last Valentine’s Day working the store, he is handing it down to his children, his daughter and son-in-law (neatly positioning them into having to get married).
Valentine’s Mistaken Identity Romance
A shy plain glasses wearing type woman gets a Valentine’s card slipped under her door. She is stunned, and touched, it has a beautiful message saying that the writer fell in love with her at first sight, her intelligence, her beautiful tresses, her grace, and so on and so on. And he says asks her to write back if she feels the same way and gives an email address. Meanwhile, on the other end, is a young guy who fell in love with the woman who lives one floor up, traditionally stunningly beautiful type. He is young and charming and clever and sure that his passionate love at first sight will work out, just like everything else in his life has always worked out. He isn’t even surprised when she responds to his message. And then it is even better than he thought, his friends told him that a woman he falls in love with at first sight won’t have anything in common with him, but they read the same books and like the same movies and everything. After two weeks of notes, he suggests they meet on Valentine’s Day. And then it all goes terribly wrong when he reacts to her arriving by saying “Oh! did your pretty friend send you with a note for me? Is she running late?” and the heroine immediately figures out what happened and is so humiliated that she goes along with the lie. She says her “friend” couldn’t come, but is sending a note. And then she goes home and sends a cold little note saying she saw him, and he was ugly, so she just left and doesn’t want to hear from him again.
The hero is heartbroken! He drinks and despairs and sobs to all his friends. Finally one of his friends gets drunk enough and angry enough that he goes to confront the woman. It turns into a big fight, she keeps saying that she doesn’t know what he is talking about, she never wrote any emails. The friend finally understands everything. He explains what must have happened to her, she is a perfectly nice woman and feels bad about the misunderstanding these two people have gone through. She is also beginning to have a bit of a crush on the friend. They decide to fix things. She will go out with the hero after all, but in the course of the date she will explain that she saw him leaving the note and thought he looked cute, but didn’t bother to read it. She had her friend read the note and write to him for her, she was just planning to show up for their date. But then the friend got angry for some reason and sent a note without her permission. The hero now has enough of the truth to figure things out, and the scales fall from his eyes and he realizes that he truly loves the woman who wrote the emails, not the beautiful woman in front of him. Which brings us to the ending, where the hero with the help of his friends and the pretty neighbor put an elaborate surprise love show and proposal for the heroine, giving her all the over the top romance she has missed in her lonely shy life.
Heroine: Bhumi Pednakar
(Hero’s Friend: Aditya Roy Kapoor)
(Pretty neighbor: Jacqueline Fernandez)
Valentine’s Day Party Romance
At college, there is a party for Valentine’s Day. The serious student who is always studying is persuaded by his friends to come to just this one party. The drunk party girl who never studies is persuaded to try to get through a party sober for once by her friends (she isn’t an alcoholic, she just likes to drink whenever she is at a party). Being weird and sober in a corner, she finds herself bonding with the serious student. They have a wonderful night together, end up leading a song and dance number and then kissing. But the next day, she can’t find him anywhere! She searches all over campus for her mysterious Valentine’s Day guy and can’t find him. She even starts going to her classes in hopes of seeing him. And with this new focus in her life, she finds herself actually getting interested in her classes, and less interested in parties and grows up to become a successful student who is offered a prime job after graduation and goes on to become a workaholic uptight boring person.
And then, in order to consolidate a contract with a big Sillicon valley google-like company, she has to go to their big Valentine’s party. Where she is surprised to find the mysterious stranger from college! After a few double-takes, she starts aggressively talking to him, trying to get him to confess that he remembers her. He truly doesn’t seem to, but he also seems to really like her now. They spend the night together, talking and exploring the empty office complex. She kisses him, says good-bye, and then disappears. The next day, he asks everyone about her, they all claim not to have seen this woman. And, FLASHBACK!!!! 5 years earlier, in college, he said good-bye to her and went back to his dorm room walking on air. And then had a dramatic confrontation with himself in the mirror. He has dedicated his life to achieving his dreams, is he really going to slow down and give up just for a pretty girl? But on the other hand, will he ever be able to move on if she is in his head? And so, he goes on to the dark web and finds a pattern that, if you watch it for 5 minutes, is supposed to make your brain erase the last 12 hours of your life. He wakes up the next morning and leaves for his scholarship to an American school and goes on as though the night never happened. Only to meet her again, years later, and fall in love at first sight all over again.
And, FLASHFORWARD!!! When she saw him at the party that night, she put her plan in place. Erased security cameras, paid off cleaning ladies, covered their tracks completely so it would be just as though she was never there, let him see how it feels. But something changed for him. He starts having strange dreams, hallucinations, and hears the song they danced to that first night everywhere. He takes a leave from work, his whole life is falling apart. He goes back to India to visit his family and sees her, in a store buying Valentine’s candy. He follows her to a bar where she is meeting friends for a Valentine’s party and sees her sitting sadly in a corner when “their” song plays. And finally, it comes fully flooding back to him, what he did back then and why. He walks in, and asks her to dance. HAPPY ENDING. (okay, that one took a really weird turn)
Heroine: Mithili Palkar
Valentine’s Day Candy Romance
A family sweets company has decided to go after the Valentine’s market. They hire an advertising firm to help. The young fresh faced decent young ad exec falls in love with the sweet sheltered divorced daughter of the family. But the family objects, they are old-fashioned and they want her to still try to work out her marriage. But they are finally won over when the campaign is revealed and it is all about true love means choosing what makes you happy (in the ad campaign, that means being able to put together your own selection of candy for your box) and it wins her family over. They invite him to the Valentine’s Day celebration at the store and surprise him with an engagement.
Heroine: Sai Pallavi
Okay, another 7 stories coming sometime in the next couple days! Along with all the other Valentine’s Themed Romance Posts!