India is a gigantic country. At every 50 kilometers there is a different dialect, and at every 100 kilometers, people are led by different culture and ethos. While north Indians are aggressive and have a tendency to show off; south Indians are comparatively calm and composed. West India had an influence of business community while the eastern region is more about art & literature and believes in simple living. In spite of the different attitude towards their religious values and culture Indians have one thing in common. They are pseudo-shy. They do everything they are shy of under the mask. Even the issues related to social improvement hasn’t changed their behaviour so far. One such subject is sex. Though it is an important part of life; people here are hesitant to talk about it in public. They even feel awkward about discussing related problems such as AIDS and measures of birth-control; forget about asking for a precautionary measure like ‘condoms’ or ‘rubber’.
The funny part is that though they feel demure to ask for a condom at the store; but when the government installed the vending machines, the machines got stolen. Some of them are very specific about the use. They just don’t know how to dispose-off. Or perhaps they are the possible litterbugs we are listening about nowadays.
There is such a case of Mr Luv Anand who lives on the third floor, just above my flat, of our apartment. Luv is India based environment officer in a renowned multinational company. He supports the earlier China policy of one child per family. His family consists of his wife and a three-year-old daughter. Luv is a very romantic person from top to bottom. His fascination about romance continues even after seven years of marriage to his beautiful Bengali wife. Once I have noticed his obsession – Vatsyayan’s work – in the glove box of his Audi. Anyone can see his love for his wife on the walkway of our apartment. He never bothers to dispose-off the ‘material’ properly in a paper envelope. Instead, he just throws them from his window opening in the walkway along the park.
On 2nd January as I came back from morning walk I saw Mrs. Pandey and her young daughter going to the temple. Mrs. Pandey was holding a puja thali in her hand and her daughter a decorated thali with a ‘Shivling’ in the centre of it. I stopped by to greet them. We were in the middle of the conversation as something dropped on the Shivling. I noticed it was the residual of love, err Luv. I felt a bit embarrassed and ashamed before the young girl, yet sighed later thinking of her worshiping Shivaling with the desire to get married soon to a loveable person.
Later that day I asked Luv why he flaunts the evidence of his love-making. He wasn’t expecting such a question from me, but I couldn’t control myself after the inept act I have faced in the morning. When I heard his logic and wit I get flattered over his modest thoughts. Luv is of the opinion that paper bag would cost dear on our environment. It takes many trees to make a paper bag. If we use paper bags just to hide our love it would not make us any more concerned about the society. He said it is people like him who had secured the job of sweeper in the apartment complex. Moreover, the rubber is a natural product. It is biodegradable. So, it doesn’t harm the environment in any sense. Luv said it would not take him much effort to use the bin instead but if even one-third of the society ‘changes’ by his ‘act’ and starts thinking that love is a necessity of life, his purpose would be solved.
Luv might have uttered the above reasoning by a sense of defending himself, but one thing touched my inner core: his love towards his soul-mate. Now I have started believing that physical intimacy brings an inseparable bonding between two bodies. The emotions find its tranquility in the closeness and gladden sense of the mate. The warmth gives the confidence and courage to face the challenges of life; and also to thwart the misdeeds of fortune. It definitely takes one to the long road of profound affection.
I think we are a country where you can urinate in public but cannot kiss someone you love. It’s high time we should change our approach towards ‘Luv’!