Article: On Love in India

The Times of India asked me to write something for Valentine’s Day. I wrote this:
A doctor from Nagpur told me of a couple asking if kissing causes syphilis. If one goes to any 
college fest or corporate party today, there is a majority of men dancing with men. Often provocatively. These aren’t gay men but virile heterosexual men just unable to conjure up the courage to dance with women. Or chat or flirt. In some weird way, they show off their manhood to available women by dancing with other men. The stories of Indian men holding hands has often been told, especially by western writers. Recently someone told me they saw two men holding hands outside a brothel. If there was one image that sends mixed signals, I can’t think of a better one. 

That said, in a nation where 70 per cent of the population is under 30, younger men and women, at least in urban India, (unlike in rural areas, where your love affair is a whole village’s business) are making their own rules. They are dating more, falling in and out of love more, and hopefully having a normal healthy romantic and sexual life as they become young adults. They have begun to realize that spending your teenage years just going to tuitions and exams, without romance, desire, heartbreak and distractions of the opposite sex is not an achievement — it is foolishness that makes you incapable of social interaction and ultimately, insane. They have begun to realize that all the things some people think are morally corrupt before marriage — falling in love, having sex, breaking-up, being cheated on, cheating, fighting, falling out of love, never being able to tell someone you love them, telling the wrong people you love them, are all part of the great learning process that are necessary. It’s a journey that will make a nation of sensible experienced adults, better husbands, honest lovers, and we will, ultimately, grow up. 
Read the entire piece here.



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