Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind William Shakespeare Love is in the air and so is spring here.

There's no better way to get up, close, personal and cosy to celebrate this month of romance with all mirth and glitter. Wot say! Yes, it's already February and come Tuesday the 14th, the whole world commemorates Valentine's Day.

Yes, you heard it right the day of love to be more accurate. It's that time of the year to again take a leap of lifelong faith, make a pledge of promises to be never broken, whisper sweet nothings into each other's ears, exchange cutesy gifts, pop up pleasant surprises, share an inseparable bonding with your significant other and much more to boot.

The signs and symbols are galore and the consumerist urban establishments right from plush retail stores, confectionery goodies, swanky malls, multiplexes to restaurants, parks and hotels, all gear up to offer quality services, branded merchandise and complimentary freebies to love birds walking in for a whale of a fun-time.

Well, this maagh maash has begun with Bengalis' Valentine's Day i.e. Saraswati Puja and now we are moving onto the global version of the fiesta, popularised by the West.

We have already noticed a steady footfall of couples at our eatery and we are expecting no lesser crowd ahead this week, reveals the manager of a city food joint, catering authentic Bengali fare.

I'll be presenting my sweetheart with a CD of lovesongs and it's a combo of both our favourite numbers. I hope she likes it, says IT Sector techie Arijit Biswas with a smile, who recently got hitched to his girlfriend of seven years.

This would be our first Valentine after marriage and we'd definitely want to make it very special, chimes in his coy missus-cumcolleague Arohi Biswas.

Sharing a coconut drink with straws, biting off from the same cake or a fat burger, munching on the same fries or eating from the same thali are nothing new for intimate boyfriends and girlfriends.

They even exchange wardrobe items like jeans and T-shirts. So caring and sharing have always been the name of their game since time immemorial.

Tempting ice-creams only add to the list. For next-gen love-doves, an adventurous spark of romance always attracts their taste. Whether you wish to formalise your relationship with your soulmate or yearn to utter those three magical words to someone special Be My Valentine there's no harm to go on a shopping spree to pick up those neat n nice knickknacks for the D-Day.

You may also skim through your cupboards and the long forgotten corners of your drawers to pull out some old stuff that exudes a scent of heart-warming nostalgia from your high-school days.

For instance, sticky love notes and letters in colour papers, that brown-white fluffy teddy bear or a soft toy, a silver neck-chain with heart shaped pendant (or the one designed with the word cool in it reminding of typically actor Shah Rukh Khan's character Rahul in the superhit celluloid lovesaga, Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai), coffee mugs embossed with heart-tugging messages and delightful doodles as well as pictorial images, negligees, red boxers, chocolates, aroma candles, flower vases, kitschy cushion covers, cosmetic kit, make-up boxes, photoframes, imported perfumes and what not! The flitting dalliances and flirty puppy love may lack enough depth and emerge fake in nature but in longdistance liaisons, the separating miles off farawayshores do make the heart grow ceaselessly fonder for one's better-half. The lovers and spouses across geographical borders may not be joined at their hips but the passion evoked from the core of their hearts is no less intense.

Memories of heart-to-heart pillow talks or connecting across oceans via telecalls, cellphone chats and webcams in this e-age have undoubtedly bridged the gap of a visible absence and estrangement to a great deal. My husband is a doctor in Toronto (Canada) and I stayed back in India to finish off my MBA course in the final year.

We badly miss each other but make up over long conversations on the weekends, confides Parul Gupta of Delhi's Vasant Vihar. Coming to season's beautiful floral showers, it's raining roses all over as the Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day rounded off by the Valentine's fall on the annual calendar consecutively, all in a week's time.

Besides this red variety, blue violets, white orchids, yellow-orange marigolds, fiery flame of the forest, lavender jasmine can be a few other options to garland your beloved with. Remember Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone wore a black gown with a big rose stitched on her right torso for an awards night of late?

That was dramatic yet classy, radiantly bright in look yet subtle in appeal. Spelling out a mushy fairytale romance from every inch of her outfit, the Hollywood-returned actress appeared to get her dearie man easily at her beck and call. Her princess avatar with a tight top-knot on the head reminded us of a clandestine romantic date under a starry, moonlit sky or a candlelight dinner at a cosy haunt or the best alternative was to hop to a ballroom dance floor with her knight in shining armour.

Other choices to bedazzle in would be a sexy LBD (little black dress) or a quintessentially glamorous lil red dress to impress your admiring onlookers with and being a perfect eye-candy amidst a select social gathering. And if your gaze is steered towards those vintage Victorian caskets, then opt for a veiled hat in sunshine or soothing shades, plus a white wavy, flowery gown in satins with laces.

For modern-day dames, petal prints, polka dots, geometric motifs, toffee designs and chiffons can cast the desirable effect.  With a slight cold nip still clinging onto the atmosphere, the weather seems to be favourably breezy and relaxing to hit the street in your wonderful outfit wearing that carefree attitude on your sleeve, dispenses designer Ritika Arya Jain whose label Montage has launched a Valentine collection called anew Romance this fiscal.  

Inspired by the fervour of amorous feelings, the draper weaves in a lot of detailing with a colourscheme that speaks of the current flavour of season love and only love.

Hues of flushed red and pretty pink dominate the sartorial array comprising cocktail gowns and dresses. Fabrics used are neoprene and chiffon satins with sleek and sharp ruffles. Aesthetically fashioned and graceful to glance at, the line is just the right plea for you to flaunt this Valentine's Day.  

For accessories, geometric printed scarves and crystal studded evening bags come as an ideal pair, while in the jewellery section, fuss-free classic solitaires or simple diamonds can do the needful.

On the footwear front, pieces from Valentino and Louboutin are your best bet. Doll up with a confidently careless hairdo like loose braids and messy buns.

Footwear specialist Aprajita Toor recommends to team up the Kolhapuris with a pair of jeans or an Indian outfit. Similarly, the peep toes or pointy ones can be worn with both western and Indian clothes.

The specimens are further embellished with small tiny beads to give them a delicately chic look. Being a bespoke manufacturing design house, her designer tag has customised a collection of shoes in honour of love with its everlasting tint of red this Valentine.

Borrowing inspiration from the idea of loving and pampering oneself, Toor has hatched the love yourself collection with much effort and pains. Oscar Wilde once wisely said that to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance' and I completely abide by his statement. Designer Mayyur Girotra sheds light on how cool and romantic the dashing young males can go with their outfits in the wardrobe.

As Valentine is an occasion to rejoice with bold and classy colours, hence men can adhere to a bright palette with red, pink and yellow gaining supremacy.

As they have to look a bit more romantic and special on the day in question, so they may ditch the usual, everyday style of dressing and bring in an element of expression to their getups, he elaborates.

Excess of florals in bombers, semi-formal jackets or velvet suits in a diverse shade-card should welcome this spring with love, he prescribes men's apparels to match the season of amity, affection, adoration and tenderness.

To perk up their mood and lend a zest to their pallid canvas, men can certainly put on some nice jackets with statement love quotes and messages pregnant with deep meaning, he volunteers.

As this is an hour of ardor and ecstasy, hence happy, joyful colours are widely suggested. White is an immortal tone. Play it up with funny, quirky scribbles and love messages written on it. Also the first thing mostly noticeable in an appearance is the footwear.

So it would be really cool to accentuate your wardrobe with a funky pair of cool sneakers, he advises. The staunch saffron-fronts may create a loud brouhaha over this mass observance of love at different public places, citing hegemony of western culture but the fact of the matter is that the occasion has long been transformed into a transnational eventful activity for decades now.

Who knows, you could be the next target to get pierced with Cupid's arrows. So, watch out! Aparajita Toor CyanMagen.