December 05, 2005

Just a lil' hug!

When my dad said, "There is a world of difference between us and them", I believed he was wrong. After all, how different can human beings be from each other? And if they are from the same country, really, how can there be a world of difference? Isn't that an oxymoron or something?

Anyway, the funny part of this story is that I am beginning to believe my dad was right (as always!). Especially if I take the world to not literally mean the world outside. Think of it as the world within us and it kind of makes sense.

But, I am not writing this post to discuss how North Indians(or West Indians as Bombaites like to be called :)) live in a world different from ours (meaning us thayir sadam and no-chapathi South Indians). I am writing this post because sometimes, if I really keep my eyes open and my prejudices locked away, I feel I can absorb much more of the goodness in people and cultures...

I am digressing. What I really want to talk about can be summarized in a couple of words - "A hug"!

I mean, how hard is it to hug someone? A friend who stands at the airport waving goodbye and looking morose, my mom when I visit India after a year, my dad because he always gives in to what I say, however unreasonable :), my brother because well, he is just a kid to me...countless instances when I could have hugged and said more than what I could convey by mere words. But, I did not. And then there are times, when I just want to hug someone, spontaneously but I dont.

I am just not used to it! Its awkward for me to take the initiative and hug! Take k for instance, he hugs easily and comfortably - his friends, his parents, even my "You are an angel" pillow! When I saw him and his sis initially together, they looked like a Bollywood raakhi-psenti-types bro-sis pair to me :)

...but then in retrospect, I think about it and wonder, maybe a hug could have pacified what a hundred words did not, maybe a hug would have meant more than silent tears shed in silence, maybe a hug would have said, "I'll miss you" better than a bouquet of roses? Maybe.


Brat said...

are u talking about "jaadhu ki jappi"?

thennavan said...

Yes, that would make a hug-e difference ;-)

Anonymous said...

"If I really keep my eyes open and my prejudices locked away, I feel I can absorb much more of the goodness in people and cultures"
That digression was really good. Often times , how many people and how many interesting things we'd have failed to explore, learn and enjoy with eyes closed and being prejudiced ? Perhaps,a lot. It's very important to be open-minded so as to live not in a very confined territory of lifestyle. I learnt it over times and even liked Kamal that way being so open to any people and cultures.

Now let me slide a wee bit into the main discussion on hug. I feel it's only the South Indians that usually are hesitant to accept these social etiquettes and abstain from doing that regardless of sex. I think it will change eventually with time.

Enna panrathu ? Tamizh pengal konjam dharalama irundha nalla dhan irukkum .. ;)


RT said...

i hv though abt this many times and what u say is very very true...

hellboy said...

good one there, really good.

TJ said...

When u happend to read a guy who keeps hugging, he wud have a post "Just a lil' kiss!"

What a hug cannot do, can be just done by an eye to eye contact!!

As your dad said, there is a sea of difference not just between west/south, but between families who are neighbors but share a different value proposition.

Zeppelin said...

a hug, the li'l "i'll miss you", the small tear that trickles down the cheek, or just a look into the eyes of your loved one, can mean so much... especially at the airport or train station, etc.

people might think it is a sign of weakness displaying these sorta PDAs and love need not be shown or proved.... but once in a while it is good to show your loved ones how much you love them.. and for that, a hug is the best...

just like you can know about a person a little bit from his/her handshake.. a hug has the same effect too... :)

RS said...

brat - ekchactly!

thennavan - You cant stay away from puns, can you? :)

vasu - Funny and insightful comment :)

rt - sigh...

hellboy - thanks!

tj What a hug cannot do, can be just done by an eye to eye contact!!

Am not sure I agree...there is something to a timely hug...

phil - well said!

Divya said...

Hey nice post. I love ur blog. U have a very easy natural way of saying things. Sort of very refreshing. Read amulya malladi's " The mango season" after I saw it mentioned in one of ur earlier entries. Lovely book . Finished it in one sitting.

thennavan said...

RS, I wanted a name change but they did not give it to me:



dinesh said...


If this post is not going to get a "bloggy" comment from me, none of your other posts will :). I believe you are right..some societies are comfortable with the concept. Some friends circles find it more acceptable than others. I have been in both such circles. In the latter,I have been left stranded badly wanting to hug somebody because I felt he/she needed it or deserved it, or maybe I just wanted to do it without him/her needing it or deserving it. Not to mention those times where a hug from the right person/people would have done a world of good to my confidence/self esteem/mood (whichever applies) and not getting it. I know there's several concepts that have been materialized/realized through yourself and K's initiation, perhaps this is another one that can be initiated ? (although this doesn't seem like something that can be achieved through planning :)).

"maybe a hug could have pacified what a hundred words did not, maybe a hug would have meant more than silent tears shed in silence, maybe a hug would have said, "I'll miss you" better than a bouquet of roses?"

Well said !!

I remember our conversation (me you and K) at the desi fast food place on campus (the name I forget ! ). Do you ? I think we talked about the same thing and I recall that you took a stand that was opposite to the one you are taking right now ?

dinesh said...


Hug--kiss etc. You make it sound like it's a hierarchy towards something bigger !! I disagree with your opinion. Sometimes what can be done with eye contact cannot be done with a hug I agree. But sometimes, there's nothing better than a hug !!

RS said...

divya - thanks, glad :) Shobha Narayanan's - monsoon diary is also great :)

thennapun - :))

dinesh - nice to see your bloggish comment here, was beginning to miss it :)

I remember our conversation at Indigo (see, I even remember the name of the place!) and I think I remember saying I was maybe uncomfortable with such spontaneous physical display of affection maybe? I am beginning to reevaluate my thoughts maybe...sometimes a hug says it all :)

Muthukumar Puranam said...

I am one of those species who is not so comfortable with physcal contacts when it comes to expressing affection. Even hand shakes does not happen easily with me. However, must accept sometimes it is better mode of communication. Recently when I met a person, the moment I shook my hands and knew that person is gonna be one of my good friends. But hugging? long way to go!!

Saranya Kishore said...

Good one. And very true about the Southies being very reserved about 'touching' or any kind.
I just act the way folks around me do.

I of course dont go about hugging my parents or brother, because.. you know the reason.
But I do give the lightest of hugs to my northie friends when I see them. It just comes naturally when I see them. I remember when I was in school, I was with this group of girls who used to kiss each other good morning! and my brother saw me doing it once and tell-taled to my Dad!! :))

So my policy is, Be a Roman when in Rome, in this matter.
Sorry about the super long comment

Zeppelin said...

hey rs, dont know if anybody mentioned this before.. ever watched the movie "vasool raja mbbs" ? if you did, do you remember "kattipudi vaidhiyam" ?? :)

Anonymous said...

How true...

A Kiss ... A hug... can speak thousand of words.... When silence takes over...

RS said...

pb - long way to go for many of us, I guess :)

Saranya - exactly what I mean :)

arun - yes, jaadu ki jappi :)

anon - true indeed :)

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