For couples who never want to lose their partner’s affection, there’s a lock to seal their love forever. Or that’s what thousands of lovers across the world think when they snag a padlock, paint their names on it and snap it on the side of a bridge, throwing the key into the river below. They also click their pictures and upload it on Facebook which generally generate ‘Likes’ running into hundreds or fuzzy comments of ‘awws’ and ‘ohhh!’. If that’s not an incentive enough, they can frame their photos with the love lock for memory of this cheesy display of affection.
"The whole idea of love padlock seems so romantic. I have not seen it in India, but would love to do so. Who wouldn’t want their love to be sealed like this?" says Neha Acharya, a Mumbai-based college student. The custom of love locks, or love padlocks as they are popularly called, originated in Hungary in the 1980s, whereby couples would leave the locks in a place that is important to them and then throw the key in the water as a symbol of their hearts locking together in eternal love. The lock-of-love phenomenon then seems to have gained pace somewhere around the early part of the last decade. After Paris, it did not take much time for other cities to catch up.
Those struck by Cupid’s arrows can get custom-made locks online. There are websites ready to take down your order, engrave his and her names and deliver the locks (while offering Valentine’s Day discount!). Though, however, romantic the thought may seem, the state authorities have to fight the nuisance almost every year.
Two days before Valentine’s Day, hundreds of padlocks bearing the names of lovers have appeared across bridges in London recently, reports a newspaper.
"I don’t see the point of locking a padlock to a bridge. I would rather give my fiance the key — for the padlock to my heart," says Saurav Ghoshal, advertising professional.
So, while many may still like to say it with chocolate, card or flowers, the number of those sealing it with the iron stamp is fast rising. It’s only a matter of time when Indian lovers catch up with the romantic fervour. However, it would be amusing to see how authorities, already being panned for dillydallying in fighting water pollution, would deal with the love wave.