Wednesday, February 27, 2008


In a country where associations and clubs are started on the slightest pretext and for the most bizarre of reasons, nothing should surprise us. Yet, when I heard that a ‘Lovers Protection Association’ had been formed in Tiruchi, with one Karathe Muthukumar as its President, I sat up and took notice.

The Hindu reports that the association was formed ahead of Valentine's Day this year, to counter the menace of moral policing by the Hindu Munnani ( Note, this is a different Hindu and nothing to do with The Hindu). The Munnani had posted its volunteers at strategic points in the town to accost lovers and make tying of mangalsutras a pre-condition for the couples to enter the place as couples. The Lovers Protection Association then rallied to the support of these harassed couples.

Quite simply what these lovers wanted to do was to visit some temple or sit in a quiet spot, whispering sweet-nothings into each other’s ears. And the Munnani would not let them.

While I respect their right to keep whispering to their heart’s content, I ( a.k.a Mr. Unromantic) can’t help wondering, as R.K.Narayan reflected once, what these couples can possibly talk on for hours. Here’s RKN after a visit to a park:

Young couples sit in remote corners, in the shelter of bushes, conversing in whispers, their backs turned to the public. Day after day they sit there, I get very curious to know what they are saying. Of course, there must be an affirmation of each other’s dedication and devotion. It can’t go on repeated a thousand times day after day ad nauseam. They must have other things to talk about, their houses and parents or the hurdles in their way.

I would give anything to understand them. I wish them well and success to their romance. I know the whispers will cease ultimately, once they become man and wife. You can’t go on whispering all life. There will come a natural phase when you will shout at each other in the course of an argument or spend long pauses of silence, sitting in two chairs and staring ahead at a wall, a tree with no subject left for conversation. All that could be said has been said, followed by an unmitigated, pregnant silence. A perfect attunement and communication of minds has been attained where speech is superfluous. In Kamban’s Ramayana, where Rama and Sita are left alone after their wedding, they remain silent having nothing to say. The poet explains, “Those who were always together eternally as Vishnu and Lakshmi and separated only a moment ago have no need to talk”.


Anonymous said...

Wooster/Sankar :"your own"
Jeeves/Raj :"Shakespeare"/"RKN"
It is amazing how your RAM accesses pertinent anecdotes at the "touch of a button". I remember you telling me that as per ........... it is one of the signs of intelligence and I am sure you will reel out the other signs as classified. Do u qualify under all classes?

Anonymous said...

Hi ,
Stumbled upon ur blog while blog browsing . Yours are indeed one of the best blogs i have read . Damn good & humorous in their own . I agree with Sankar u have all the ancedotes at the touch of the button.

Raj said...

sankar, the trick is to first read the passage (RKN, Wodehouse,etc) and then find the incident to match the passage. Not the other way.

revati, thanks and welcome to my blog,