November 17, 2013 by thejalebichronicles
Four Chambers: A page discussing heart aches, heart throbs and so much more
I have to admit that I was very amused to see a hundred couples glued to one another on a rainy afternoon by the sea. I couldn’t help but laugh at the futility of their using umbrellas to cover themselves. I even noticed a couple making out under a raincoat that they wore over their heads as if it was Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
That night I spoke to a friend of mine who had views different from my own. He told me how he and his girlfriend do not have any place to get intimate with each other and how they resort to public displays of affection (PDA) wherever they can, including movie theatres, malls, rickshaws, empty streets and beaches… Even college on occasion! He told me about an incident that took place in his college- He was ‘caught’ hugging his girlfriend who was only wishing him on his birthday! The college authorities blew the story out of proportion and threatened to tell his parents. “According to Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, PDA is a criminal offence,” said my aspiring lawyer friend. This made me rethink my approach to the problem entirely.
It dawned on me that there was nothing wrong with displaying affection towards another person in public as long as the environment is kept in mind. Most people think that anything beyond kissing in public is vulgar. I tried looking at the situation from the point of view of a couple. On a date, they’re reminiscing about old times and in the heat of the moment,he decides to hug her and place a kiss on her cheek. This couple can be fined and/or imprisoned for a term of three months. I don’t understand why there are restrictions placed on something so genuine and harmless.
We hear about how there are no restrictions on PDA in foreign countries and wish ours was open to it. But so often we hear ourselves saying, “Oh my God, there was a couple making out in that rickshaw!” We talk about how open-minded the new generation is, but why do we end up mocking people who indulge in PDA?
PDA is banned in India is because it goes against our age-old traditions and customs. But aren’t sati, child marriage and dowry also based on tradition? There are obvious reasons why we choose not to adopt them now.
Selon moi, PDA needs to be made legal for the following reasons:
• PDA does not harm anybody. It isn’t aimed at disgusting others, but to express one’s love for another. A hug or a kiss can make people smile, making this world a happier place.
• The policemen on duty keeping an eye on couples can be redirected to areas that need attention. For example, rescuing a person who is being molested would need their attention more.
• I agree that for a while after legalising PDA, we’ll see a lot of couples doing their thing, but in time, I think things will calm down.
I conclude that since physical intimacy is nothing but a primary, biological urge and we need to satisfy it in some way or other. I thought about all the times I’ve held someone’s hand, hugged or kissed in public (there, I said it, I’m sure you have done it too!) and wondered whether it was a ‘punishable offence’ so serious that it is termed as ‘criminal.’ Let’s stop being judgemental hypocrites and be mature and open-minded instead.
– Aarti Kuber
Aarti Kuber isn’t much of a writer, except for when she has a random dream about writing an article on a controversial topic in a creative, unconventional way. She is presently the vocalist of two musical projects – A rap/hip-hop project with Andrew John and Lost in Halcyon, a progressive metal band. She might appear to be tiny, but can lift almost anybody. She’s always the first to giggle at dirty jokes. She prefers schezwan sauce and piri piri masala to chocolates. More importantly, she loves mushroom soup.