Some of us are shy and will not avow our romances in public.
Some of us think it uplifting to celebrate our souls' longings, never thinking of love as shameful.
Some of us will painfully avoid any display of affection yet stridently damn those who do.
My problem is always with the last group.
Who are you to judge others, pray? Who exactly are you? What makes you such an authority on emotions? Or morals?
Why should your holier-than-thou attitude to the limits, degrees and dimensions of emotional reciprocation be the standard for all humanity to follow?
If you've never felt the urge to hold a beloved hand - I don't mean metaphorically, but actually physically to hold - been brought to grin by an oddball quip from the soul whose sense of humour had swept you off your feet the first instance, were made comfortable, secure, content, at peace and thankful (extremely tall order, I know, but that's it, some of us just happen to have got that lucky) by that other human, from the goodness of my heart I pity you.
For if you had had, you would have realised, that holding hands, sharing a smile, a meaningful glance, walking side-by-side, rubbing shoulders, brushing knuckles, a peck on the cheek, flying kiss, wink, bear hug, liplock, these are instinctive. When the heart and brain are happy, the body will reflect it.
These do not spread poison among humanity.
It is moral policing like yours that do.
If you have known how fulfiling it is to be loved and yet loudly badmouth love's innocent follies, why, you are hypocrites! You are the worst. Your poison is in no way mild.
Make no mistake, I preach no public orgy, rampant stripping or vouyerism. Central Park grasslands, Victoria lawns, Prinsep columnal hideouts or the Riverside promenade, with their overdose of overt sexual displays isn't my cause celebre, though I do empathise with the predicament of young lovers who this city gives no private space to sequester their private intimacies.
No homes will welcome such displays of affection. Hotels are open invitation for graver trouble. Where would young love go even if an innocent overture of a kiss makes its urge felt?
I dread to think how same gender couples suffer, doubly damned.
What I mean, is, there is a thin line, and often a very broad no man's land, between a kiss that is precursor to sex and a kiss that is a token of warm understanding? What, have we who've known romance never known the different shades of connotation each bodily gesture holds?!
Sigh, if you haven't. A gentle sqeeze of two palms can speak more reassurance than words. An impulsive quick hug can signal "I'm there, don't worry" more simply and straight forward-ly than a sentence.
Some of these pairs will not end up being married to each other. Some of us have lived in bonhomie with our partners for years. How does that matter?
Who are you to question how the nuances of the human heart operate?
Will a piece of paper and twenty, or twenty thousand, witnesses define and sanctify what my human heart should feel?
Can it insure such feelings, their lasting worth?
Can it evoke such feelings, where instincts are nonexistent?
How does it matter, contractual bindings? We are all in the same quandry in a poor city where it is a sin for love to breath, thanks to your wagging tongues.
Shut your eyes. Close your stinking mouths. Like your hearts that already are. Shut your children's eyes, whose moral corruption you claim to fear, for you dare not open their eyes. You dare not even tell them how they were born. Go, to your bedrooms, where half of you were subject to accidental babymaking, marital rape for lack of voice, bodily intrusions for lack of knowledge of pleasure. Go, into your maternity wards and abortion clinics. Go, to your puja rooms and fold your palms before stone statues and glass encased images of Krishna-Radha.
Go, pretend to celebrate a love you will never know.
Shut up. For once. At once. Before you ignorantly try to tell me there's no display of affection for a beloved in 'our culture' and I have to remind you, you are putting your big foot in your empty mouth, again.