The Ten Commandments of How to Love in the Indian subcontinent

This is a post for Dummies; a sort of ‘101’ or listicle if you ever want to fall in love in India. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this is the article you should print, pin up and practice.

  1. MATCH YOUR HOROSCOPES: First steps first, better get your kundalis(or horoscopes) matched before falling in love. Else your partner’s father’s second cousin’s grand daughter will probably die of whooping cough! We don’t want that now, do we?
  2. IF SOMEONE ASKS, DO NOT SAY YOU ARE IN LOVE: Wrap your love as if you are packing sambhar powder between your towels before you set out to the US! Only if you are cool about marriage nownownow, let the cat out of the bag.
  3. YOUR SEXUALITY IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL CONCERN: Unless you want the Agni 5 tested on you and your partner, stick to the opposite sex. After all, you choose who you want to love, no?
  4. NO DATING-VATING: ‘Kisi ke honth achche hain, kisi ke baal achche hain’ apply to the movies only. So stop running around trees. Choose between the honth/baal and get married already!
  5. ALWAYS INFORM YOUR PARENTS ABOUT YOUR LOVE: If you don’t, someone out there morally ‘straightening’ the society will speed dial them. Young love or old love, to quote Amitabh Bachchan from Mohabattein, we are a country of “Parampara, Pratishtha, Anushasan”. So, if you want to love, or even sneeze, “Daddy se pooch lena”!
  6. INTER-CASTE/INTER-RELIGIOUS LOVE? CONVERT OR FORGET: A recently popular opinion in the country (read most politicians and activist groups) is that “all residents of India are Hindus”. Wait, does that include the ‘North Eastern immigrants’ as well?
  7. NEVER KISS IN PUBLIC: Ever seen Indian films before Emraan Hashmi walked in? A kiss was always replaced with two flowers dancing in glee or a bee sucking out the nectar. Wait a minute… these analogies are quite perverted!
  8. NEVER HOLD HANDS IF YOU ARE A COUPLE: If you do, be ready to get married. A recent article I read stated that this Valentine’s Day, certain activists plan to put Alok Nath to shame and perform an impromptu kanyadaan!
  9. NO PRE-MARITAL ***: Shhhhhh! We don’t speak the word. You may have heard about the Kamasutra being written in India. But I have my own doubts!
  10. MARRY ASAP: ‘Love = Marriage’ is the new theorem about to be introduced in the science text books. So honey, no one cares if you need time to settle financially, emotionally, vertically or diagonally! ‘India wants to know when you are getting married!

P.S.: Advanced wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day! I am SO gonna go celebrate it this year!

GLOSSARY

  1. sambhar: Powder ground out of pulses, chillies and spices used to make a tangy concoction
  2. Kisi ke honth achche hain, kisi ke baal achche hain: famous line from a popular Hindi film meaning ‘Some people have beautiful lips, some people have beautiful hair’
  3. Daddy se pooch lena: famous line from a popular Hindi film meaning ‘Ask Daddy’
  4. Parampara, Pratishtha, Anushasan: famous line from a popular Hindi film meaning ‘familial tradition, prestige and discipline’
  5. Kanyadaan: Ritual of giving away the daughter’s hand in marriage
  6. Alok Nath: Popular character actor in the Hindi Film Industry known for playing the father of the heroine, always concerned with getting her married to a nice boy.

    Sandhya Ramachandran

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    Filmmaker, Writer, Content Strategist | To work with me, write to: sandhya321@gmail.com