It happens in a society where public display of love is a taboo…


by NaSa

It’s moral to love, even spiritual. But it’s immoral to display love – love for your spouse else you can publicly demonstrate your love for shoes, candies, mobile phones and McDonalds. Anyway, not moving away from the point, here is an instance of the public display of love that didn’t raise any eyebrows or turned heads.

This teenage girl is chatty and so am I. It takes us longer than usual to understand each other’s Hindi because of the difference of our dialects but we still converse a lot. The other day, she told me about how her mother had more than once braved snakes whereas her father simply ran away in fear. She keeps on telling me many other such refreshing stories and the ones I find exotic ranging from their speaking pet parrot at their village home that can outwit many people to their kitchen garden in their backyard that grows pomegranates, ridge gourds and stuff.

Today, she came late while her mother had arrived earlier at our parents’ place, which is the flat opposite ours. When she came, my obvious question was why she and her mother didn’t come together to which her reply was that her father dropped herself, whereas her mother had come all alone earlier without even having breakfast because her mother and  father had an argument that made her mother angry. And I know about her mother’s nature: honest, courageous and a spitfire. After sometime, the girl went out with a water bottle and a glass in her hand and told me “papa aaye hain mummy ke liye khana lekar. Unhone khud banaya hai.” Her father and mother were having food and sharing smiles and chats at our staircase. Romantic, it surely is and rare too for the strata of society to which they belong that is infamous for domestic violence. Not that domestic violence doesn’t happen higher in hierarchy but these fellows are lesser two-faced about it. Probably therefore, more demonstrative about their love and care for each other. Needless to say,they don’t depend on candle lights, perfumes, chocolates or ‘ideals of romance,’ even if it is by compulsion of their circumstances.

The girl and her mother work as domestic helps at our place and a couple of more households in the vicinity.

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