Moral Policing

8 hours of sleep in 48 hours and only now i am feeling the impact.

Well, I did actually feel it at work and for a moment when I was watching The Book of Eli (review coming up soon. What was Denzil Washington thinking?)

I have just begun to realise how crowded Bangalore is. There is no private space unless you have your own apartment. Plus, the people all around are judging or just extremely curious. Or am I just beginning to realise that as well?

It isn’t like other countries have a lot of places for couples – there are the traditional parking spots but the main difference is the easy going attitude. A couple seen holding hands or kissing doesn’t attract attention. A couple merely parked on the side of the road and just talking doesn’t have the cops banging on the windows hard enough to break it. What the hell is this moral policing?

It is the 21st century where women in India wear bikinis and have relationships. You have Emran Hashmi kissing every woman who is halfway willing on the big screen. And everyone else is doing it as well. But is this fiction portrayed by the silver screen or does it filter down into reality as well?

I guess it is does in a watered down form. You can walk around holding hands… nobody notices or comments. You can even probably hug. The rest.. nope.

I was at a restaurant today and it was a chilled evening. A basketful of fish and chips, a drink and a cricket match on and the boy. Midway through the conversation I noticed a guy at the other table staring at us. I wondered why. There were other couples in the place… maybe we stood out because I am still really conscious about the whole couple bit. Or maybe we were the only people in his line of sight. But it was getting annoying, especially when you are chilling out like buddies.

And right then, the boy asked if this staring occurred in other countries as well and that is when I realised why dating in India can get annoying.

Most of them live at home, with parents, where the thought of dating someone is sheer taboo. And even if they do agree to let you date, the physical part of the equation is completely out of the question. Which explains why you see hand holding couples sitting behind bushes in parks and movie theatres.  I always understood why they did it but the absurdity of it all strikes me only now.

I feel irritated if I catch people staring at me. Maybe I am more conscious than other couples. All that stems from a need of my own place I guess. But the rest of India is used to the space problem. You learn to mentally build a block around yourself and your gf/bf. I had stopped noticing these people… unless they were heavily into something, which I would’ve noticed in any country in the world.

But now I wonder if everyone treats it the same way… morality is a strong line here.

A friend told me about the time when she was parked on a roadside with her boyfriend having a serious discussion. The restaurants were too public and there were no parks open at that time of the night. Cops came banging and she had to do a lot of fast talking to explain that they were not doing anything “indecent” nor was she a hooker.

The cops in Bangalore seem to have a superiority complex. They come and shoo my car away on an empty road at 10.30 PM stating I am creating a traffic jam, when I’m just waiting for a friend to come back from a shop. They harass young lovers, the auto people and every one else. Of course, it is a chain and it filters down but right now all I am concerned is – why the hell is there so much moral policing? Why do people stare at young couples and hand holders? why are couples forced to find private niches in public spaces?

should we have a government approved parking zone? Ha right! the cops will be there hourly to make hafta collections. Simply because kissing or holding hands is against the culture of the country which has temples decorated with sexual poses and that came up with the world’s only scholarly essay on sex.

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