The great clashes that no doubt happened at some ancient times between the proponents of Manu’s Smriti and those of Vatsyayan’s Kamasutra (the two leading treatises on social mores) find strange echoes in our times.
On one hand we have the love-busting, honor killing, anti-valentine, love jihad types. They move out in large gangs at any breach of what is deemed in those circles as … perhaps violation of their views of social mores?
(who gave them the right to decide for the rest of us?)
Any marriage that cuts across gotra or caste or religious lines? Bears any tinge of a more liberal acceptance of human differences and the right of the individual to personal choices that Hinduism in its vast repertoire offers?
On the other is the liberal attitude that wonders why two people who know and accept each other, cannot live together practicing and respecting the faiths they have followed since birth.
It is a fact of life in India that we tend to bear down on our younger generations pretty heavily. Perhaps one of the worst cases is the attitude towards giving young couple privacy --- that causes many family rifts.
It is not always a matter of choice. A vast number of households are so terribly short of space; most cannot afford separate homes, making for a lot of heartburn all round.
While adjustments rule the roost in such households, never mind the inconvenience, it is young unmarried lovers who are even bigger losers. How do they find out if they will fit later?
In a day and age when divorces happen faster than marriages, pre marital sex is assuming importance, even in the minds of parents; witness the mother in Ki and Ka.
Irrespective of whether the couple is committed or not, in urban areas at least, sexual encounters are on the cards, for pleasure, for testing ground and for getting to know each other better. These entail a private space to speak to each other peacefully…. Something that is at a premium, with all the busybodies who rule the roost in gardens and other public spaces.
Is it not a sad statement of the India of our times, when there is so many thousands of crores floating around on so much hot air about creating infrastructure, including lakhs of affordable homes for those who need them.
The actual number of such schemes floated is tiny. Those that actually see light of day are tinier still. Where do the poor sorry souls take refuge when moral brigade police even small hotels and motels and decent hotels would be out of pocket?
Some bright spark has come up with a start up for just such souls, a StayUncle app the promises to get them hotel bookings for upto 10 hours for half the day price, no questions asked.
Every startup happens because there is a need to be fulfilled. This one too. Quite the opposite of Ashok Chakradhar’s:
“Aadmi ki fitrat nahi badalti
Telephone pe baat isliye karte
Kyonki shakal pasand nahi.”