Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Just another woman's take on 'Kiss of Love'...

So suddenly out of nowhere,  kissing in public makes you a rebel, an activist against moral policing. It makes you the flag bearer of justice and a soldier of free living. The youth of India want to kiss.

It all started when a clueless political party decided to vandalize an uptown cafĂ© in Calicut, because a news report proclaimed that immoral activities in the form of kissing and hugging was happening inside.  Angered by the depravity that the political party was indulging in, a group of young bloods decided to launch a drive against such moral policing.  Thus, ‘KISS OF LOVE’ was born and now everyone wants to kiss their way to a massive social reform.

Now would I kiss in public? Ok, let me rephrase this. Would I as a woman, have the audacity to smooch the one I like, before the lovely audience that the citizens of my country make? Would I ???  NO, and it is not because I hate kissing (don’t be obtuse) or because I have truckloads of respect for our sanskaar and sabhyata. It is just that I don’t think that our country is mentally developed enough to accept public display of affection.

Let us for a minute imagine a scene. You and the one you currently love just got out after enjoying a lovely meal at the restaurant that you frequent. Everything has been perfect and the day is beautiful. The gentle whirling of the wind suddenly sounds like a John Mayer track and you two are having that moment which just has to be made better with a kiss. And Kiss you do. Kiss you do, a little afraid that your relatives might be around somewhere . Kiss you do, as aunties and uncles of your colony pass by. Kiss you do, as a lone auto driver stares on and kiss you do, as a biker records a video of you smooching, for his own private enjoyment later that night. Now, tell me, was the risk worth it?

I was not aware of the ‘Kiss of Love’ event until one of my colleagues told me about it. “Hey, guess what? People are going to gather at Marine drive on 2nd November and kiss. They are saying that it is some kind of a protest against moral policing” she said, showing me the Facebook page of the event, which had by then crossed 60000 likes, with around 7000 declaring that they will be a part of this drive. We laughed about it, imagining Emraan Hashmi style kissing happening outside the TV box, in our own Marine drive.  In a country that has redefined porn to include MMS of a woman sleeping in a public transport bus, unaware that her saree is innocently displaying her navel, much to the pleasure of the onlookers; we were planning a kiss protest, which can easily be mistaken for a Guinness book of world record attempt.

The problem does not lie in a few politicians who have taken up moral policing as their latest political propaganda. The problem lies in all of us. We perceive a kiss as the initiation of foreplay, a sexual stimulation and not as a way of displaying love or affection. A kiss according to us, has more to do with the fire in the loins than the spark in the heart. We are structured to think that way, thanks to the years of declaring everything including love, a taboo. We as a country, need to change.

They share images of the sculptures in Khajuraho, validating that India is the land of Kamasutra and that kiss is part of our sexy culture. They say that we live in a society where hatred in displayed publicly and crimes happen in broad daylight. They say that if hate is publicly allowed, why not love? They even seriously point out that kissing is their fundamental right, part of their liberty. It is all very true, but we should also remind ourselves that we have bigger problems to counter than the denial of street kissing.

The kiss of love drive that happened in a quaint little town in Kerala, has taken over the country by storm. Every college is suddenly flexing a muscle and hosting a kissing party. All in the name of social reform. But the true intention behind it is lost. Moral policing has taken a back seat. It has become more of a comical outburst than a fight. The ‘Kiss of Love’ event that happened in my city, saw only a handful of protesters, but a tsunami of men who had come to watch the live lip-lock ceremony.

So, do I want to kiss before an audience like that? I don’t. Do you?

P.S- Not every city in our country is metropolitan .Not everyone is modern.
P.P.S- Let me ask you something?Would the protest against moral policing have received such publicity, had it been a candle march  instead of a kiss drive?