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  • Is this too hot for you to handle?

    by Sunny
    9th December, 2005 at 5:26 am    

    “Oh, rosy faced one, are you the personified numen of Respect, Renown or Resplendence, or the Felicitous Lakshmi herself, or oh, curvaceous one, are you a nymphal Apsara, or the numen of Benefactress, or a self-motivated woman, or Rati Devi, the consort of Manmatha, the Love God.

    “Your teeth are evenly, smooth and their tips are like jasmine buds, and your whitish broad eyes are spotless, reddish at ends, and pupils are black.

    “Your hips are beamy, thighs burly akin to elephant’s trunks, and these two breasts of yours that are ornamented with best jewellery are rotund, rubbing and bumping each other, and they are swinging up and up, their nipples are brawny and jutting out, and they are smoothish like palm-fruits, thus they are covetable for they are beautiful.”

    Before I come back to that piece of poetry above, let me provide a bit of background.

    In November I mentioned a sex-scandal in South India surrounding the actress Khushboo (pictured) whose mistake was to advocate safe sex and state “no educated man in India can expect his bride to be a virgin” or something along those lines.

    Forget a debate around freedom of speech; she faced protests, burning effigies and 25 lawsuits on defamation of “hurting Tamil sentiments”. Then Sania Mirza also waded in with her own comments.

    Now the right-wing Hindu fanatics from the VHP (a big national organisation) have also jumped on the bandagon, putting her on their harassment hitlist. Meanwhile newspaper columnists, who could give Melanie Phillips a run for her money, continue with their drivel.

    The moral police in India is getting increasingly uptight these days to the extent they recently published these “guidelines” for tourists to Rajasthan.

    1) Men should never touch women in public, even to help a woman out of a car, unless the lady is very elderly or infirm

    2) In Indian culture… men socialise with men, and women with women

    3) Married couples in Asia do not hug, hold hands or kiss in public. Even embracing at airports and train stations is considered out of the question

    4) Generally it is improper for women to speak with strangers on the street and especially to strike up a casual conversation

    5) Drinking alcohol or smoking in public, no matter how innocent, are interpreted as a sign of moral laxity and are not acceptable.

    Basically, the kind of stuff your dad told you when you were young and you then instantly ignored.

    It came after an Israeli couple were fined $22 for kissing during their Hindu wedding ceremony! A tale for the grandkids no doubt.

    Going back to the original tale, Khushboo is still due in court later this month and the case carries on without any respite for the poor woman.

    That has prompted bloggers to ask when other texts will also be banned by the moral police. After all, Indians wrote the Kama Sutra and our temples are adorned with figurines in sexual positions.

    The most apt question comes from Varnam, who asks when the censors will ban the Ramayana, the Hindu holy text that the first set of paragraphs were translated from.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Culture,Humour,South Asia

    25 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Siddharth — on 9th December, 2005 at 8:29 am  

      Am I wrong in thinking that Tamils were always slightly more quietly conservative than the rest of India? This is no big deal, but the Midday article you linked to by some cretin called Anil Thakraney had me screeching with laughter this morning. Titter ye not, missus:

      And these vile women forget that men in India are not human, but angels in disguise.

      They treat every woman as they would their mother and sister, they worship them like goddesses.

      They would rather die than think of women in an erotic way.

      It is defiled and corrupted souls like Khushboo and Sania who are spoiling our pure and pristine land.

      Anil sounds like a bit of a weirdo, donchathink?

    2. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 9:19 am  

      It all sounds rather Victorian. Maybe he is a closet gay.

    3. aloof — on 9th December, 2005 at 9:58 am  

      Really interesting blog on sexuality (South Asian)
      check it out.

    4. Vikrant — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:14 am  

      Now c’mon cant you spot the obvious sarcasm in the mid day article. They’ve posted pics of nude Hindu sculptures and Kamitipura (redlight area in Mumbai).. dont you get the hint?

      Anyways Indians whether in India or west will continue to thump about our supposed cultural superiority over “morally decadent” west.

      That guide was published after Israeli and Norwegian womenparaded naked in the Holy city of Pushkar which “angered” attention-seeking sadhus. I think in India theres a huge disconnect between the children of liberalisation and their parents.

    5. Vikrant — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:16 am  


      Now c’mon cant you spot the obvious sarcasm in the mid day article. They’ve posted pics of nude Hindu sculptures and Kamitipura (redlight area in Mumbai) along with the article .. dont you get the hint?

    6. El Cid — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:24 am  

      Having read the full article, I see your point Vikrant.

    7. Siddharth — on 9th December, 2005 at 10:30 am  

      Thats some subtle-ass irony. I should have realised at the phrase “throbbing with spirituality”.

    8. Neel — on 9th December, 2005 at 11:11 am  

      I agree to the guidelines for tourists part though. So many Westerners go around in completely inappropriate attire. Especially in urban areas of Goa and Kerala, thinkin ghte place is one big beach.

    9. Vikrant — on 9th December, 2005 at 11:13 am  

      Neel meboy… its a free country isnt it… why care about what goras wear? especially seeing that Indian tourism industry performs waaay below its potential.

    10. Neel — on 9th December, 2005 at 11:33 am  

      I dont think allowing people to walk around naked should be the key aspect to any tourism policy ! India has much more to offer and people can still go and enjoy the country wiithout causing offence. At the end of the day though India’s Cities and middle classes are on the whole more liberal and forward thinking, this doesn’t automatically mean becoming ‘Western’ in all habits.

      Besides it is cringworthy watching couples kissing in public oblivious to the fact they they are obviously causing unrest amongst locals, who may accept it but dont like it.

    11. tim osman — on 9th December, 2005 at 12:05 pm  

      Talking about 2hot to 2hand:

      911 - Too Hot To Handle?

      Exclusive to
      By Douglas Herman

      “If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.” — George HW Bush

      A couple weeks ago, just out of curiosity and in the interest of fairness, I decide to email a hundred mainstream media news editors from newspapers large and small. I wanted to get their own remarks to four very innocuous but pertinent questions regarding THE EVENT that spawned two foreign wars based on lies, massive government spending, enormous corruption and cronyism, vote fraud, crimes against the Geneva Convention and destruction of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not to mention the rather minor (by comparison) Valerie Plame affair.

      [edited out by moderator]

    12. Col. Mustafa — on 9th December, 2005 at 12:30 pm  

      Jesus christ man, you really didn’t get the point of this article.

    13. Col. Mustafa — on 9th December, 2005 at 12:38 pm  

      “And these vile women forget that men in India are not human, but angels in disguise.”

      Thats a good one.

      There not digging the Bollywood scene then.

      These types of people annoy me, they know what thier saying is total crap, and i doubt they believe it themselves; but they still talk.

      Women and men.
      There still having problems with each other.
      Evolve dammit.

    14. Sunny — on 9th December, 2005 at 2:04 pm  

      I thought he was being sarcastic too initially, but then I wasn’t sure because his writing was so over the top (sounded like an Indian male Melanie Phillips really) that I thought he may be serious and using the images to show how things had gone bad.

    15. Uncleji — on 9th December, 2005 at 3:16 pm  

      Regarding The Ramayana Extract

      I’ll tried those lines out on Auntieji to get her “in the mood” but she just burst out laughing, maybe it sounded better in the original sanskrit.

      Of course the Old Testament should also come with a 18 certificate how also killings and wars and laying with wives etc.

    16. contrarymary — on 9th December, 2005 at 3:16 pm  

      I think it’s more than fair enough that tourists should be aware and most of all respect local customs and standards of decency, when they’re travelling abroad. surely that’s part of the point of travelling, to learn about different cultures and customs rather than just going places and living by the practices you live by the other 50 weeks of the year.

    17. Siddharth — on 9th December, 2005 at 3:29 pm  

      Uncleji, could you not try some mood music and a copy of the Ajanta cave sculptures coffee table book, at hand? Could turn out to be more than a page turner…

    18. Jezza — on 9th December, 2005 at 3:37 pm  

      I’ve just rented a Kama Sutra dvd, I like the crab position, and must try the scissors position soon . . whats your favourite ?

    19. FOB — on 9th December, 2005 at 4:48 pm  

      Guys you have totally missed Anil Thakraneys sarcasm.The article is actually quite hilarious.

      He is no fundie, in fact he is one of the better columnists around and I think he has portrayed very well just how ridiculous the moral police’s agenda is.

      If any of you read Mid-Day reguarly you would know that this is one guy who enjoys taking the mickey of the religious right.

    20. Vikrant — on 9th December, 2005 at 4:55 pm  

      Oh dear Sunny and his tunnel vision… dude that article IS sarcastic.

    21. Sakshi — on 9th December, 2005 at 6:50 pm  

      Its funny to see that these very people aka. political assholes and black spot on woman liberation groups hardly ever protest against Bollywood movies where at times even the ‘vulgur’ word itself seems an under statement.

      Just cause most of the Bollywood fraternity is part of their group or agree to dance at their party events.

      For ‘fuck’ sake give us a brake.

    22. Rohin — on 11th December, 2005 at 4:54 pm  

      Jezza, try ‘splitting the bamboo’. But you’ll need an acrobatic girlie. My girlfriend did 16 years of bharatnatyam, but I’m sure she won’t appreciate me saying anything more than that!

      I’ve been in bed with ‘flu…but you can expect plenty more about SEX on PP, writing about it is a favourite topic of mine ;) Next up, when I get time; the fate of the dance bars.

      The Mid-day article is hilarious. Sunny, I would normally try to defend you, but you missing the sarcasm is a howler!

    23. squared — on 11th December, 2005 at 5:18 pm  

      HAHA @ you missing the sarcasm. Even I picked up on it, and I’m not good with sarcasm. :(

      To a point, I agree with contrarymary - that a country shouldn’t have to change its customs to accomodate tourists, but as far as I’m aware, that sort of behaviour goes on all the time in the cities. :|

      Sure, hike up your skirt a bit in the village and your mum’ll slap you, but generally, Indians in the city tend to be more risque.

    24. sonia — on 13th December, 2005 at 3:59 pm  

      yah man, one thing for the village, and one thing for the mumbai clubs. ‘not touching’ your partner, so smoking no drinking - heh heh.

    25. Kiran — on 14th December, 2005 at 8:34 pm  

      Well its amazing that they come up with the next thing about morals and yet it is the same people who behave in such a manner and then they say its culture. . .

      No Kissing, no hugging and no means of showing affection and India is supposed to be one of the higest populated country. . .

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