ENDEARMENT OR EXHIBITIONISM?



I chanced upon a facebook “status” today. A wife had posted a very “mushy” message wishing her husband a happy birthday. There was mention of how they had met and how many happy years they had spent together blah blah followed by  the Happy Birthday message. And guess who was the first person to hit the “like” button?- obviously the husband! 

Call me cynical but I was wondering what was the need for  this considering that they were in all likelihood together and she could have wished him directly ? Even if they were not together on this day, she could have called and wished him – after  all what are telephones there for? My husband with his nasty sense  of humour tells me with a grin “May be that is how they communicate”.

While I am all for display of affection – PDA or otherwise, I draw my lines when it comes to PDA for PDA’s sake. If you love someone and you want to spontaneously hold his/ her hand then sure go ahead  but holding someone’s hand or hugging someone  just to prove a point that you are in love is nothing short of exhibitionism!

And conversations… god! How false can they get… I was on a train and I heard a woman on her mobile talking to someone loud enough for people two cubicles away to hear. From the tone of her voice it was clear that she was talking to her husband giving him a laundry list of things to do / check up on while she was away. And guess how she ended her conversation ?  “Love you”!!! I guess the guy at the other end must have been some sort of a masochist!!

This “Love you” is  getting on my nerves. I hear teens using this on each other so often that it fails to mean anything …It almost sounds like the American term “honey”.  I am convinced that American couples have trouble remembering each other’s names and that was how this “honey” thing emerged. My cousin who has moved to the US has also been afflicted by this amnesia.. she has switched to calling her husband “honey”.  I guess she might have felt that if she had called him by his given name her American neighbours may have thought  she was calling the dog …!

I remember there was a time when there was an Indian slant to this “honey”/ “honey bunch” thing – “Jaan”! I think it was  later discarded as being too cliched or filmi.

While agreeing that much of social behaviour is  learned , what I fail to understand is how much of what we do is because we believe in it and how much of it is because others do it ? I mean, we cannot live a Yashraj film as our life can we?  While life does derive inspiration from art what beats me is why is it important to demonstrate this to the world ?  Are we so insecure in a relationship that it requires such behaviour to make us feel a sense of comfort? Or are we so used to watching displays of affection in movies that we feel some one ought to watch us enacting some scenes or mouthing dialogues? It saddens me that these acts may have become so hollow that they have ceased to mean anything between the people who are involved other than may be proving to the world that they care for each other! It is almost like celebrities performing for the media.

People who genuinely care for each other do not have to announce it to the world. It is so obvious to anyone who sees/  them together or happens to overhear them when they are talking to each other. The chemistry around them cannot be missed. They, on their part are usually oblivious to the world around them.  It is only with those who try hard to convey to the world  that “All is well” that there may be an  issue of “All not being well”.

What do you think?



Comments

  1. Meera,

    How will the people come to know that they love each other soooooooooooo muchhhhhhhhh? In reality they may be at daggers drawn all the time but the world should not know the dirty side, isn't it? Those in true love never need to say it, even to each other.

    Take care

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  2. Hello Meera,

    That is a nice take on today's style. Some of the points you noted here made me smile, like how the term honey came into being. I used to keep my mouth shut at times when such socially applicable topics put into discussion.

    My hundresdth post has a mention about you..)

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  3. From the first word in the post to the last letter of the last word, I cannot but agree with you.
    Sham, and specious!
    The affinity and affection , regard and love can been sensed in the body chemistry, in the eyes and not in the uttering of sweet nothing and clownish gesticulations.

    Perhaps you had a reason in posting the junior Bachan and his spouse?

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  4. I am a little confused about what to write...I sit at Carter Road and Bandstand in Bombay and see couples snogging and doing a whole lot of other things in public and I get disgusted and fervently wish that they get a room instead of indulging in such actions! However, PDA as such does not really bother me - I mean these days, everyone likes exhibiting their love and to be honest, there isn't much wrong with that...

    There are some people who like keeping intimacy a private affair..there are others who like displaying it before the whole world :) :)It's ok to have both kinds :D :D

    The need to address someone as honey/jaan/baby - cheesy as it may be, it isn't that big a deal - at the end, it is about personal choice :) There is nothing wrong with wanting to be filmy :D :D

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  5. Its all about showing mam, show the world how much they are in love ..

    you are right genuine people know in their heart , they dont need to show anything .. you look at a couple you see how much they love each other ..

    I totally agree with you

    Bikram's

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  6. @ Jack you are right about the daggers being drawn.

    @ Tomz congrats on your 100th post. I will surely read it and thanks for mentioning me.

    @ Anil you are very observant- Jr Bacchan and the DIL are probably one of the couples who are most false while in public. I think if they could act half as well in their movies they would walk away with all the awards. The entire Bacchhan family is a movie

    @ Divya- as I had said I am not against public display of affection. It is a natural thing to do if you are in love. In places like Bombay public spaces symbolize anonymity so you can see couples "almost making out" But they are not doing it coz they want to prove a point to someone You may like to read my post "No PDA please we are Indians"

    @ Bikram thanks for your comment. Glad that you agree

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  7. I don't like PDA.
    All intimacy should be in the privacy of homes!
    Fb status....to get comments i suppose, and yes, for people to know they are into each other..too much mushy words or exaggerated words are 'window dressing'.
    How are you feeling now meera?
    pls take care.

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  8. well, we all are living in a world that likes "show-off"..be it of any kind..and while doing so people just don't care about anything....

    moreover its not only about those fb status but you can see married couples doing all sort of things at public places..i mean what is the need of doing that in public, if you are living under one roof....

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  9. First time here. Very well written. May be something is shaky in their marriage and therefore, the wife wanted to reaffirm the relationship publicly. And, thus send a message to the husband.

    “Honey” has been shortened to “hon” here in USA. In Southern states (like Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, etc.) (who are known for their hospitality) even casual acquaintances and strangers are addressed “hon”.

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  10. First time on your blog,
    this is an interesting post, and though you are expressing your opinion, allow me to express mine by saying that I do not agree with this point;

    't is only with those who try hard to convey to the world that “All is well” that there may be an issue of “All not being well”.'

    SOme people just love to display affection, and this woman you are talking about on the train, she might not even be thinking about saying 'love you' for just the sake of it.

    she might be used to saying that, and that might be the way her and her husband communicate.

    so i don't believe people PDA for the sake of proving something to the world. I think it might be genuine and they do not even consider the thought of someone thinking they are doing it for the sake of it.

    xx

    Diary Of A Shallow Black Girl

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  11. @ Ibhade, thanks so much for your concern- yes I am better and the stitches come off tommorrow. You are right about the married couples bit - if everything is to be done in public then wonder what they do in private?

    @ Ms Nana welcome to my blog. Certainly you are entitled to your opinion and I always welcome different views on anything I write. Displaying affection may be the done thing with certain kinds of people but there is certainly a difference when they do it spontaneously and when it is contrived.

    @SG again welcome to my blog. Thanks for the kind words. LOL..!! A short form for hon? But yes you are right - sometimes when couples may have issues they try to be very demonstrative in public.

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  12. @ Irfan FB is the new way to "show off"

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  13. PDA as you said as become very common and many people genuinely are more physical in the way they show affection. I believe that not all people who do PDA have a bad relationship/marriage.

    I have some friends who will hug me every time I meet them and some who will jut say Hi! verbally. It is just the nature of each person.

    Lazy Pineapple

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  14. Namaste....
    We all love and express that love differently. While some of us quietly convey our love expressing it in muted ways quietly taking care of our families, making sure our husbands know that he is loved and honored while others prefer the external validation and public adoration that comes with declaring and claiming their spouses by announcing to the world their ownership.

    The public affirmation and the continued reaffirmations of others is an important aspect of the relationship, it’s a validation by way of congratulatory wishes from others on the number of years of marriage and the love that still seem potent and enduring. It is righteous confirmation signifying that they have done something right and continue to do so.


    Either way is neither right nor wrong, its just different, different expressions of being and living.

    have a blessed week.
    peace.

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  15. I've been longing to write a post on these lines...I see a lot of couples wishing each other happy birthday in the coziest, sweetest of ways in social media than in real life...this probably explains how we Indians are fast becoming social liars, pretenders and actors...whatever we call it, it's just not acceptable though one can say that it is more expressive or fashionable....if that is the case, will couples start 'making' kids on social media too? Hope not. !!!

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