For someone moving out from Manipal the last year has been jarring to say the least. The ease of life that was there in a hostel, with friends all around, personal space when you needed it and a general feeling of freedom and peace to do what you wanted is much missed.
For me however one of the most confounding things has been the lack of ease and intimacy found between the sexes even in Urban India today, in that respect Manipal was a glorious amazing bubble where liberal views were the norm not the exception. Coming from a Bombay boy this might surprise you with many people equating it with a liberal culture by default which I must say compared to the rest of India it has by the bucket loads.
No where is this more evident to me than in the simple act of hugging, which for me has been quite a natural thing to do for whichever friends were close in Manipal be it guys or girls. I don’t quite get it to be honest, the side hug which most pass of nowadays for a full one. Is it because I’m more used to the real full blown thing or am I just way too modern with it the way Manipal allows you to be? Its a set of questions I don’t know the answer to and will spend a while figuring out for sure, maybe even re calibrating myself to the new social mores.
I do humbly appeal to everyone though, give a proper frontal hug, it makes you feel nice and fuzzy inside, its one of the most natural ways to express affection and why can’t there be that kind of affection between girls and guys in today’s day and age. The hug is sweet its tender and makes one light up and feel special, more than anything else it lets you know that this person has your back. i’m not saying go do it to every random stranger you meet cause that will surely gross a large part of the population out along with a few choice slaps to keep your cheek company but when you know and trust that person, give him/her a hug, let the “love” flow freely, cause it only increases with sharing.
Cause I love a nice hug 🙂