Monday, December 05, 2005

Touch Me Not

I've always wondered about this. What is it about our upper-middle class club-culture-seeped Indians that makes them hug and kiss everybody in the vicinity of their Chanel and Shahtoosh, or their Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss, dripping false familiarity while they size you up, to reckon whether the shoes you're wearing are off the streets of Bangkok [they're Khadim's, thank you] or whether the pair of faded jeans are [wozzit they said? blow-dried?] Levi's or [stone-chipped?] Lee. They're worn-and-torn Bare jeans, if you please.
I mean, the first time you're introduced to a lady and you find your face stuffed into the folds of her zardosi or whatchamacallit- is not what I call a pleasant feeling. And whatever happened to men smiling gallantly and shaking hands? What the hell, whatever happened to our good ol' namaste?! It's a perfectly dignified, [hygienic] way of greeting a person. I say, while we're being good and honest here, I do NOT like having another woman's breast pressed against mine, and i do NOT like men I barely know wetting my cheek with their lips!! I mean, I'm fine with hugging - but only when I've known a person for years and am especially happy to see her/him. Mostly I would hug when in areas of deep emotional crises - but generally, I like to keep aside such gentle fondling for the very-close and the most-beloved [that boils down to about 4 people in my life, as I distressingly find]. But I fail to understand widespread petting of one another just because it's the way to be in fashionable circles in Paris [pronounced pah-ree. roll the 'r']. I mean I understand that this is common in the West and, really even here I have nothing against such aping - leave me out of it, is awl I'm saying. Me, I'm awl for the folding of the hands and the light bowing of the head. The handshake even. There's variety in that - 5 or 6 different ways to shake a person's hand, depending on mood and occasion as D had rattled off when he'd freshly returned from training for his job.
So, tell me true, dear reader, is there a latent homophobe of sorts lurking wildly among the fatty acids that make up my being? 'Tis a most worrying thought.


Dee said...

Nah no homophobe there. I dislike the silly air kisses girls like to give after hugs as well. I mean what is the point? Very popular in Dubai.

However, for whatever reason, the hugging/kissing kind of guys tend to offer their hands now coz some good angel once signalled NOT to commit that with me and well word spread. I appreciate not being included in this dreadful saliva exchange and I don't like hugging strangers esp. men.

To prove I am not anti-social: I do hug close/good friends when I'm happy to see them/see them after a long time/ im ecstatically happy.


Dee said...

And while I'm feeling my chatty-self let me add:

It is also considered to be part of etiquette for guys to not initiate a hug/kiss unless the girl does so first or unless it has been established that there are no problems with it. Else you just offer the hand. So will someone educate them on this please?
I fear being enveloped in an uninvited hug/kiss.
I guess I'm not a very touchy-feely kind of person with people I don't know well/like.

Dee said...

Oh and with the handshakes, when I read a recent stats (but its based on North American kids so maybe its better in Kolkata?)on how atleast 40% of the students do not wash their hands after using a public washroom whereas of those who do atleast 30% do not use soap, I honestly didn't want to be touched by anyone's hands for quite a while.

Ok I'm done hogging the comments section for today! [but my day ends in 20 mins so :P]

Fangmaster F16 said...

its also relevant, though, that every time people are leaping on you, tigerlike, to greet you, its because you make them want to. in my case, people take a look, shiver involuntarily, and nod and smile in greeting. the braver ones extend hands, very gingerly.
of course, this is not reason enough for you to submit to their collective embrace unless you want to. look to the left and leap to the right, is my advice.
also, in pah-ree theres no wetting. Never any wetting.

thalassa_mikra said...

My two cents:

Some cultures handle social kisses very well. Iranians, Greeks, Italians and the French are all pretty well-versed in when to move in with the kiss, and when to rein back with a handshake.

The social kiss in these cultures is very civilized, progressing from the barest brushing of cheeks for newly acquainted, to a big hug and hearty kisses for dear friends and family. Perhaps we Indians need a few more years to catch up on the nuances.

I love the warmth of a kiss. A handshake just doesn't cut it.

And what's with Pah-ree :)? Perhaps we should start saying Koln, Athina, Pra-ha, Munchen, etc. The most annoying part is that most people who do this aren't even French speaking!

Ron said...

Nah!! Ekebarei homophobic noye!I dont understand why people want to hug all sorts of random people, sometimes more than once on a given day. There was this annoying female in college who would hug you each and every time she met you, even if she met you 15 times in one day. We ran into in each other at 5.30 in the morning in chennai station...unbathed, unbrushed and very very sleepy and she still jumped n fell on my neck as if I was going on on some Christopher Columbus type journey.

Also, the time I met my boyfriends mother for the first time and she (being very nice and hug prone)decided to embrace me the moment I walked in....ohh *shudders at the memory*!!! I almost died of shock and horror and ended up making a spectacle of myself!! *Sighs deeply*

the One said...

Pah-ree! Reminds one of these folks who were placed so highly on the social ladder that they insisted they'd been to Laa Vegaa and Low Angelay on their trip to the States.

Rimi said...

homophobic? ki rubbish :P i like greeting people with hugs, but then the people concerned are very 'physical' people (oh dear, i can see the jokes coming already!) and prefer it that way. but i have an inherent problem with the handshake too...i mean, the namaste is sooo graceful, to say nothing of hygienic! those hands, now--you never know where they've been! (that's a cue for those-type jokes again)

but you can't beat "look to the left and leap to the right, is my advice." :D :D :D

rainbeau_peep said...

Hugging AND air-kissing?! Dear Lord, it's the attack of the Barbies! And but of course, how can I thank you enough for informing me that the next hand I shake may leave me smelling of pee or even ... oh horror, let us not even GO that way. :-[
Also, you may hog all u want, hogging is MY mantra - in fact, it's time for my 7 p.m. fridge raid now!

Although I do look marvellously like a comfortable air pillow, it doesn't warrant that I be treated as one! The look-n-leap has been tried in vain - it doesn't help to be uncivilised with the Angie aunties [nee Anjana],not when they have Wharton-educated bachelor sons and my biological clock, it gives me the warning ticks. :-[ And I mentioned petting in Pah-ree.

thalassa_mikra [pray what does ur name mean?],
I'm glad somebody thinks otherwise. I love the warmth of a kiss too, but only when it's heartfelt and one isn't just trying to be fashionable. And why must we catch up? We have our own traditional way of greeting and I think it's wonderful - respectful and dignified and uncomplicated. I mean, there are so many people in these social dos that i wouldn't want to know any better than i do right now, and chances are they feel the same way about me. Under the circumstances, isn't it hypocritical to pretend to feel warmly and return their kisses when they come a-hugging and a-pecking? And yes, Pah-ree amuses much, heh.

LOL, i know! I have a friend like that too - and she even baby-talks with me. :-[ Very disconcerting it is.Butit helps that she's an absolute darling and makes me feel protective towards her. (I also cannot fathom how two mature straight adults of the same sex can hold hands and walk about. But let's hush now - I feel mighty shallow). Enjoy your boyfriend's mother's embraces now, if you two decide to get married sometime, those embraces may change to death-grips ;-] *i am soooo kidding, btw*

the one,
Gujju bhai, awl that is su chhe. But I know a delightful lady (a.k.a. Mother) who once pronounced The Hague as Hugoo, which in bangla is slang for shit. [i apolize for the indiscretion. accept a peaceful tulip named 'aishwarya rai' will u?]

Having been much enlightened by Dee, i shall pretty much let em keep their filthy hands to themselves! As i've mentioned earlier, the look-n-leap doesn't work. One reason is that i'm not fast enough. Next time around I shall try jiving to that unforgettable ditty, "chhuo na chhuo na, chhi! Aami chondalini'r jhi!" :-]

Teleute said...

you won't accept a hug and a kiss from me? ME? me?

*goes to a corner and sheds many a tear*

rainbeau_peep said...

Aah, Utey, my dear.

*shuffles nervously*

*air-kisses as an afterthought*


Lancelot said...

ah well definitely homophobic!!!

well not actually, but everybody said u werent so i thought of saying ulto for the heck of it.

i agree, though, i would rather be left out of it too... agree with samit up there too, somehow ppl look at me and stop themselves!!! so its soemwhat easier

Anonymous said...

I moved my other blog to (I have 2):

This is the one with the fictional/fact-fiction works.

Thought I'd let you know just in case.
Not that the blog has the standard of all you english majors!

Teleute said...

i am heartbroken. i will not do love to you any more and bother you.

babelfish said...

rainy daahling you're pushing yer luck..I've heard of alternate online personae but this is all a bit much na? Quit harping about fatty acids and air-pillows..remember threat in scrapbook!!

Unjustified Insanity~~ said...

" i do NOT like men I barely know wetting my cheek with their lips!! I"

and thus all my hopes go down the drain :P

(btw you owe me a treat :)

fyn scarlet reed said...

Some people are uncomfortable with being touched/touching other people. This is all right.

Some people are homophobes. This, naturally, is not.

You used the key words yourself: false familiarity.

Acroyali said...

na ekebarei homophobic noy!

rainbeau_peep said...

If you were a shrink, you'd be the cause of many a suicide. And if people don't hurl themselves in joyful abandon at you, then ur one helluva lucky guy. Not everyone smells of morning dew, as i've noticed. :-[

Pooh, i'm waaay ahead of you! Seen that blog aeons ago, i think i've even commented!
As for standards in English - i eej not knowing vat it eej u minz, medam. i eej humbel parson op india who mixej the pronoun and the proposition in the sentence. ask the respected medam teleute, if u not believing!

My soul it does the disco dyansh of pashyon for u! My heart it crumbles like a fortune cookie at ur words! My eyes they pass water like a leaky bladder!
Take me, O Goddess Gonjika,
With u lies my fate, I consulted ponjika!

As long as ur staying fat, I'm being Queen Latifah. JUST.

I owe u a few slaps and ear-tweaks. ni plus, ni moins as they say.

Ham pao,
Precisely. Now go study for ur end-sems. :-D

Eii ur back! Bhelcum syar, how was the football shootball hai rabba? and have u found what u were looking for? wait, lemme go read ur blog n find out. :-D