I don’t know how many of you were aware but July 6th was the “ International Kissing day”! When I mentioned this on facebook, people wanted to know if I was serious. There were lots of witty remarks – about how people were faring,  why it was international and not national and so on. Lots of smiley faces and social media abbreviations kept the conversations very lively right through the day.  What really made me happy was the fact that we were discussing this without any embarrassment.  Friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, acquaintances and the entire population of the virtual world. 

When I think of a decade or more  earlier, talking about a kiss like this in public would have been considered scandalous! I am sure all of you remember the huge controversies  around those movies which portrayed a couple kissing on screen. Really stupid considering  such vulgar scenes showing heaving bosoms and gyrating hips passed through the scissors of the censor board unscathed!  But no- a kiss on screen was considered blasphemy! So film makers stuck to showing two flowers coming together or the hero and heroine emerging from behind a bush wiping their lips!!! 
It was rare to see a kiss outside of an English movie those days. And ofcourse the only English movies that I grew up watching until I was about twelve or thirteen were the cartoons ( Walt Disney ones), Wildlife movies ( Hatari) and children’s movies like Annie. So you can imagine how puzzled I was when I  first read about a kiss in a Mills and Boon novel. I read it again and again wondering what it was that was being described.  I was not going to admit my ignorance by asking my friends about it. And then when I started watching  movies like “ The Sound of Music” , “ Roman Holiday” etc  things became clearer. But  my confused adolescent Indian mind formed its own interpretations- that this was an act that only “foreigners” indulged in ! I don’t know what I believed of my culture but I could not bring myself to imagine that my parents, aunts, uncles or cousins had ever locked lips like that !!! 

I can remember the first time I saw an Indian movie that portrayed a kiss – I think it was “Betaab” starring  Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh. All the gossip magazines were talking about it and I think all of us went for the movie exclusively to watch this. But it was such a fleeting scene that we all came back disappointed! 

Today almost all Indian movies portray a kiss and thank god they do it naturally and not like some illicit act! Of course there are some directors and actors who are type cast as “kissers” – Emran Hashmi in all those Mukesh Bhatt films could be easily given the title of “Lucky lips”! 

These days we hear of school kids being caught kissing. Can’t be helped I guess, given all the other changes that have taken place in a society where we have shed our prudish behavior. Teenagers who are becoming aware of their sexuality are bound to experiment and it is shocking for us as that generation of parents that grew up talking about the act coyly! Whatever the consequences, I am glad that it is now all out in the open. There are no stupid innuendos around a kiss. It is becoming as acceptable as holding hands! But I wonder if it is also becoming a compulsion? You know, to constantly be at it to prove( to yourself and the world) how much you are in love ( or lust). 

Couples in every culture express their love and longing for each other differently. The kiss is probably the most universal quasi public physical expression of intimacy. And now it is not restricted to people of the opposite sex. Society has become open enough to  also read or watch in a movie, two people of the same sex kiss

But I sincerely hope that with all this hoo haa  the language of locked lips is not taking over the romance world completely. There is the language of the eyes and the body that also speaks volumes. I wish films and books would continue to write about that!


  1. Two people of the same sex kiss is fine. But not lips to lips. Then that would give different meaning. AS you correctly said, language of the eyes will speak volumes.

  2. I was not even aware that such a day existed. The earliest kiss on Indian cinema was in Devika Rani's times.

  3. Devika Rani did a bold kissing scene,along with her husband during the Black and White era. Thereafter it went snip-snip under the censor board scissors. I feel those flowers and the couples wiping their lips was too disgusting and not lesser 'embarrassing' if we consider our teenage acknowledging that these happen, was a taboo.

    That was a generation who, even when in love would save the first kiss for the wedding night. "Bou-Bhaat er poorei mookh etho korbo" :) :)

    And that was the time when if a kiss happended, a person would actually feel that with the sealing of lips, the relation is sealed and they are destined to be together, which was NOT NECESSARILY correct ad this caused a lot many heart break.

    I am happy we are taking this more naturally with our younger ones.

    Well, I was not aware of the existence of an International Kissing Day. Belated happy Kissing day to all and it is not too late t kiss..

  4. Would be consigned as a scandalous post until a decade ago by the self acclaimed puritans.

    Well all things in life seem to be having exclusive days. This Kissing day is a revelation to me.
    Indeed as you mentioned cultures have their own ways of expression- of feelings.And kiss seem to be the universal, either in public and locking lips - in private ( in some societies).

    It is the conventions and tradition that determine the matter.
    Even a simple pat can evoke as much empathy, love as kiss would.

    As the country western song goes, "Your kisses are sweeter than wine",. What better way to express love in romance!

  5. Folks, I did not believe that there was an exclusive day for "kissing" until I checked in google ( our guru these days ). Kalpana and Ani, Devika Rani was far ahead of her times as were many others like Ismat Chughtai who wrote about homosexuality in those day.

  6. @ SG two people kissing lip to lip is becoming more and more common these days - I used to be very shocked but I am trying to open my mind to these things.

    @ Anil, love finds expression in different ways, sometimes people just follow conventions, peer pressure and media suggestions and that is how the kiss has found its way out into the public domain I guess- otherwise this land of Kamasutra had negated its existence in those areas.

  7. as you said let's just hope all this does not take over the real romance :) :)... and really there was an international kiss day? :P :P

  8. a very candid post Meera Ji.

    I am glad our mentality is becoming more acceptable to kissing and other "so far censored" stuffs to be shown on television and films and also in real life. This reminds me of a very recent controvesy that happend with Vidya balan starrer movie "The dirty Picture" Inspite of this movie winning a Nationa Award, it was refrained from being shown of televions on a prime time slot. Though Hypocrisy still exists in our soicety, but with the Society becoming more open; parents becoming more aware towards importance of sex education for their kids; openness of society towards homosexuality, and movies like Vicky donor and the dirty Picture winning National awards, i think the wind is blowing in the right direction.

  9. I am not well versed in Tamil despite being a Tamilian, and a proud one. The only tamil that I learnt was from Ma, so I do not understand the difference between the spoken and the written word. But as you said, Language is just a means of communication and it should be made simple and available for all.


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