Actors Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor are suing a Mumbai tabloid for printing a photo that showed them snogging in a restaurant, with Kareena bleating ‘I am shocked and upset’. Ha ha. But are we forward-thinking British Asians any different when it comes to kissing and not telling?
There’s no doubt there’s heavy petting going on behind every closed door, but for many of us, that’s where it remains. When was the last time you saw a happily married Asian couple kissing in public? Have you ever seen your parents kiss? Is the sight of Asians kissing something that only happens among singletons in the dark recesses of clubs, bars and cars?
We were raised to believe public displays of physical attraction are unsightly, uncouth and unthinkable in the presence of other Asians, especially elders. The fact that a screen kiss in Bollywood still makes stormy headlines is a sign of primitive times, but while that can be dismissed as tasteless titillation, consider how rare it is to see couples kissing each other on their wedding photo album, a day that’s supposed to be the most romantic of their lives! Yet kissing between two people in love, whether it’s in a soppy romantic comedy or somewhere everyday like on a train platform, leaves anyone with a mushy heart thinking: ‘aww’. So why are we, as modern British Asian women, lagging so behind in the kiss chase?
The main reason is because we fear the gossip that follows the raised eyebrows. Admittedly, if you’re a 16-year-old with a hardcore nutter for a father and a boyfriend of, say, Caribbean descent, it’s understandable why locking tongues in public may be inadvisable. But you’re a grown woman in love with the man in your life. What are they going to say? ‘Can you believe she kissed her husband?’ What a terrible stain on your character that would be, eh?
It’s time to break the chain and lock the lips together. No one is suggesting you ram your tongue down each other’s throats at your nephew’s 10th birthday party, but to ban yourself from kissing means you’re allowing your couple time to be less intimate just because there happens to be other people around. Why let passers-by make you pass over the chance to get a bit of good loving into your day?
If you, like many Asian couples, think that breaking from the no kissing rule is more hassle than it’s worth, see it as something that will give your relationship a romantic boost by taking it, literally, to new territories. You don’t have to look over your shoulder or sneak away somewhere to steal a kiss – it’s your kiss. Kiss as you walk along the high street, kiss as you queue for the cinema, kiss as you push a trolley in Tesco or a pram in the park. The more you do it, the easier it’ll become. And you don’t need a science degree to appreciate the fact that the more physical intimacy there is between two people, the better their chemistry. So don’t let geography get in the way by banning yourself from kissing outdoors…
Start off today by embracing passionately on your doorstep whenever one of you leaves the other. If the neighbours are watching, let them watch. Maybe they’ll learn a thing or two. The important thing is, by taking your affections outside, you are no longer restricting displays of affection to the bedroom. Wagging tongues will always wag. But so long as your own tongue is wagging around in a delicious mouth, who cares?