These thoughts, though late in materializing, formed in my mind a few months back when Kerala was ablaze with the outburst of ‘The kiss of love’ protests. We watched as couples locked in kiss were chased around by armed policemen and hundreds of a-bit-more-sophisticatedly armed civilians, while thousands gathered around to bless the proceedings or to occasionally grab female protesters(and even a few press reporters) to express their unanimity to the cause. On TV, there were detailed discourses on the power of a kiss to relinquish our body, relax our minds and prolong our lives.

Having grown up kissing and being kissed for around twenty years till now, I know how powerful a kiss is. I also believe that it is wrong for any third person to interrupt two people engaged in a passionate kiss. But there is a third view which wasn’t heard; a group with no pundits to explain their rationale. My attempt is to give a voice to the ordinary malayalee.

Firstly it is not religious fascism that resists public smooches, no religious guy would support it. The media simply forgot to ask their opinion. Setting aside religious intolerance, I challenge the protesters to carry out their “Kiss of love’ protest in front of any random home in Kerala. Let’s see how many families ‘will not’ chase them away. If it’s a handicap, it’s a statewide handicap. And why should a social practice be enforced upon Kerala just because it is common in societies that formed and evolved separately for thousands of years?! Why try to club a pack of jackals with a kennel of Pomeranians(oh please…They aren’t analogies)?!There are no rigid rules defining the best social practices. The universally accepted wisdom is to let each society live on with its time honored customs and beliefs(unless they kill!).

Moreover, current studies reveal that familiarity to the idea of sexual separation and sexual attraction from a very young age is leading girls to puberty as early as the age of eleven and children in general to emotional maturity at a much faster pace. We are trading childhood for our lustful gratifications. When it is evidently high time the world starts thinking about what their kids should be exposed to before a certain age, our television channels chose to display public smooches in live with justifications for days.

Finally I can’t but laugh at some neo-geniuses who compared the urgency that forces people to piss in public to the tendency that evokes them to kiss. Look around and count the number of public toilets you see before making such mundane statements!
Come spring season and you see all sorts of creatures having sex in almost every backyard. We, as fellow creatures on earth, share their right. But what distinguishes us from them is that we are born not only with rights, but with lots of responsibilities and a thing called discriminative ability.

– Aswin Bhagianath, S4CA

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