Public Display of Affection-How much is too much

Toady, I read an elaborate article and slideshow on Obamas PDA(public Disply of Affection)..Oh well,honestly speaking,I felt so good and happy for them as a wife and husband..The joy,the love,its all visible in their eyes when they look into each others eyes..The way they seem to listen to each other,the way they danced..I just loved it.One cannot fake such emotions on every occasion,so to me,they truly seem to be in love with each other..Good luck to Obamas and me…



obama2This made me think on how much or to which extent in PDA acceptable in India..Lol,I just knew that PDA is banned or unacceptable in India,by the Supreme court of Justice.Well,this is a two year old news and it is my problem that I didn’t read it and hence reacting late..Please bear with me .

So what is wrong with displaying one’s love towards the partner.If you don’t like it,just don’t look at it,isn’t it as simple as that..??I am not talking about those high volatge acts like french kissing and stuff on streets..No sane person would do that.Apart from that,what is wrong in holding hands,or small small hugs doesn’t do any harm,do they?I know that I sound dumb by sayign this because ‘right’ is subjective and people are always keen to push forward the ‘limits’..But we are being too rigid by looking down at people who just hold hands and walk or maybe give a sponatenous kiss or hug..Afterall,it all happens just like that and we can’t just blame them for it.


In my class,we had a few ‘couples’ who were deeeeply in love(interstingly,they all married somebody else later in life…aggrrrh) ..For every break we had,these three sets would come on to behind the last row of benches and would start these acts of PDA..Sorry guys,no offence meant,but it was all disguting ..I never(read not often) stared at them to avoid myself getting embarassed,but few times I saw them putting hands into each others dress,the girl playing with guy’s shirts buttons,the guy playing with her hair,hell it was all embarrassing that we all girls would not dare to sit inside the classroom during lunch break.Since I was a chota neta then,all girls asked me to talk to these couples and ask them to keep limits as their acts were gaining popularity within the college and thereby making our class famous(read infamous) It was the most embarassing moment of my life when I asked them(all of them my best friends) to ‘Pls take care because we few fellow beings are sitting here..’..ROFL I can’t believe now that I did this.Nevermind,my point is,the problem with their PDA was that they didn’t know how and where to keep limits and hence their acts of love or care became disgusting in our eyes..

Of course it is not a personal business and hence the name public display of affection.Neverthless,I would have felt great for them if they had just held hands or have an occassional hug or like stuff..But acting like a wife and husband as in a bedroom,doing it in classroom because of lack of space in not at all acceptable.To those who would complain ,I used to tell that  ‘They are in love,so it doesn’t matter’..But how real and how practical was my answer ..I have doubts now.What do you think on ‘How much is too much’??


Good day to all..

  1. PDA is fine still as long as it doesn’t cause anyone else discomfort in your presence. There is no problem in having a little bit of PDA in personal life of a couple. Infact the repression of such feelings is the one of the causes that most people in India stare at couples and one of the reasons of sexual frustration leading to acts of harassment.

    🙂 I agree…Everything is fine as long as it is within limits of modesty..Thanks for coming-Nimmy

  2. Nimmy you will find many of us are uncomfortable with even a little display of affection in public, others don’t mind anything! I am confused, once a saw a couple of tourist who I thought were really shocking (they were perfectly decent but I suspect I was a prude) and I cribbed to an Indian friend married to an American and she asked me what I thought of the affection we show to our kids. She said so long as it is affection and not hatred let it be …

    But I know I won’t let it be, another time I saw young teenagers in Cafe Coffee Day just being teenagers and thought they were most undignified …

    Of course our various Senas and our local Police wallas miss no opportunity to misuse such laws and I am totally against any serious laws against PDA.
    Remember the scene from Monsoon Wedding?
    We can do without victimless crimes.

    🙂 Even Im against any such laws dear..Opressing or banning is not the answer..Instead,if we creat awreness,among both groups,it maybe helpful as not to create any hulla-balla..But then again,I find no reason why people (including me) should be irritated,as its just love and not hatred..Good day IHM -Nimmy

  3. Is there a law against PDAs in India? Then why aren’t our Bollywood couples getting punished? Saif-Kareena and now recent Bora Bora pictures of Hrithik-Suzzane are steamy.

    Anyways coming back to my opinion about PDAs I have no problem with it as long as people don’t cross the limit and even in that case I would just move away.

    Personally as a couple we don’t walk hand in hand or give a Eskimo kiss like Obamas 🙂 in public. Not because of any reservation but I just never felt the need for it.

    But my other half and I have these crazy bets where we challenge to do some weird thing in public when we lose an argument. That way I had to kiss him in public once :)) and on two occasions had to do a crazy dance in restaurant and in the middle of the road.

    I strongly object to Shiv Sena goons’ moral policing during Valentine’s Day. They beat up card shop owners and even young couples sitting in a park. Who the hell gave them the right?

    Lol..Even i just knew about the law..Regarding Bollywood,well our moral police has interest in we petty people alone and not any big shots..AFterall,it is we,aam admi who will suffer without objecting..

    Wow,that was interesting and romantic a bet 🙂 Not to talk about those loose losse senas..Oh well,not to forget the moral police) i call them haram police) in muslim communtiy..We are never short of policing

  4. I have been termed ‘a hopless romantic’ more than a dozen times by different people. Now you know whats my opinion on PDA’s !!! 😀

    hmm,that smells

    There is no relation betwen love and PDA..Simply bcoz one isn’t comfortable with PDA,does it mean that he/she is not romantic..In love,intentions of the heart matter 🙂 -Nimmy

    • Chirag
    • January 23rd, 2009

    They both have fought a tough fight togather now is the happy part for them till all the problems created in last 8 years, start hauting him.

    They look really really happy and my guess is they don’t even notice people around them 🙂

    🙂 True..even we get a smile watching them..Hey hey,wahts your opinion on this???? -Nimmy

  5. how much is too much is extremely subjective. its also a generational thing. i am ok with seeing couples hug in public but it would in all probability make my grandmother uncomfortable. i like the two pics of the prez and his wife, especailly the first one. its like a candid moment caught on camera… one of those moments where u are in a crowd but still alone.

    i think pda shud be within limits, in good taste and tempered according to the people you are with. for eg. its probably ok for a couple to show their affection a little more explicitly when they are hanging out with their friends but the same couple shud prpbably tone it down a bit when in front of kids, elders and the like. pda shudnt make those witnessing it squirm in their seats.

    having laws against PDA is ridiculous.

    Hi churning the wordmill (i will call you CTW thanks for coming..

    I agree with you..Everythign is fine within the limits..But what are the limits and who will set the limits 🙂 -Nimmy

  6. I am for PDA, and the methods and intensity to be tailored to not to embrass the public around. We are waiting to try it out in front of non caring public in our first trip to a western country. As we westernise more and more PDA is sure to increase in Indian streets ofcourse no to moral policing

    🙂 Good luck .. -Nimmy

    • Dev
    • January 24th, 2009

    I think it depends a lot on place and context. I live in a place where PDA is done as much as it’s perhaps possible ( Montreal is most open place in North America due to strong European/French influence). Couples can be found kissing passionately at all sorts of places, including inside the library or while crossing the street or inside the elevator with other people standing. My parents were rather quite taken aback with such blatant display, when they first visited me here. :). I somehow never found/find it gross, unless and until I get a feeling that they are doing it just to show off or make an unnecessary statement.
    Iam sure PDA is taken much more differently if it’s done in more conservative societies such as India( except perhaps few big cities) and most muslim countries.

    I think it depends a lot on place and context.

    Exactly my point..

    lol,I can imagnie how your parents would have felt,coming from a society,where outspoken or like alone do that suff..

    There is no much question of PDA in muslim countries..I have lived in 3 muslim countries,and i hardly saw any muslim girl and boy even holding hands.. -Nimmy

  7. Both the photos just show a casual hug, not outrage, amusement, derision, or disgust. Never did the now famous and first citizens, go further than what you discussed about “the fumbling in class rooms” A casual hug is never banned and unacceptable in India. This is a very casual scene in an airport or a hospital where emotions run high. The Obama’s were watched by over a million spectators and not to mention the innumerable coverage by media channels. If people can act in movies and walk away with awards with their acting capabilities then the Obama’s could also fake love, smiles and hugs. I’m not trying to imply that they fight everyday and have faked their PDA in public but as you said, “One cannot fake such emotions on every occasion, so to me, they truly seem to be in love with each other” seems too much an introspection into their lives. Trust me, he’s a politician and all women are concerned if they don’t get “quality time” together. That applies to musicians, dancers and everyone who are “selfish” in the eyes of women to find time for them and their children. Of course women love power and money!!

    Hi Biju,Welcome to my blog 🙂

    I have provided the link and there are plenty of pictures where they do lip kissing,but i didn’t pick on that bcoz theirs is a different culture and it is vain to compare two different cultures..I do agree with you that He may have acted as to gain pouplarity..We never know..But i wasn’t talking about Obama as a person.Just took his example,trying to know on how we see this-PDA..I am not sure of how it is in your palce,but in my land,even holding hands is ‘too much’ and people will look at you with doubful eyes with are irritating and embarassing.

    And well,regarding the last line “Of course women love power and money!!” am not sure of how i think about it..But it is a new news to me that it is women who are concentrated or obsessed with money and power 🙂 .Good day.Do come again -Nimmy

  8. @Biju Mathews I think it is difficult to generalise and categorize. You say,

    //…. and all women are concerned if they don’t get “quality time” together.//
    Going by the rate of jealousy and insecurity related crimes by men – including crimes of passion, domestic violence etc I would say the concern for quality time is mutual.

    //That applies to musicians, dancers and everyone who are “selfish” in the eyes of women to find time for them and their children. //
    Again I think such reactions are common to both the genders…. many working women have to give up their careers for this.

    //Of course women love power and money!!’//
    Isn’t a love for power and money genderless too? I am sure we have a many men who also like success, and have drive and ambition with the final goal as power & money?

    Thanks a lot for your sharing your thoughts IHM..To me,it is a two way bridge,both men and women seek out to each other for satifying each others emotional and physical needs..I don’t know how can we single out one group alone for being greedy..Good day-Nimmy

  9. If the PDA is deliberately done as a publicity stunt and not a spontaneous reaction, I think then it is wrong. Because then it becomes a sort of an addiction to keep doing such things just to see people who are jealous around them, and gaining happiness. Not that its wrong or hurts other people but they might not feel as happy with their DA when they are alone.

    Destination Infinity

    Welcome DI 🙂

    lol,i agree with you,some people may do it just to seek attention and maybe they find more bliss in Public DA rather than normal Private DA 🙂 Keep coming -Nimmy

  10. Are you crazy? PDAs are not supposed to happen in India. You will always find Shiv sena or their clones beating up girls and boys who indulge in them. So, forget about it. Its against our Bhartiya Sanskriti!

    lol..even i just knew that Supreme court has banned comments about the rest.People like this should be thrown to sharks in a swimming pool -Nimmy

  11. The rights and wrongs of such things keep changing with time. So there is NEVER a limit we can fix and say this far and not any further. Like in my grandmother’s time I am sure the couple didn’t even talk, laugh or joke with each other freely. That would have been scandalous. Now we have come to the stage when we have slowly crawled to the stage of holding hands. Some are still debating if that is alright!! I hold my husband’s arms, literally hang on to it. I have found people giving me odd stares, like I care.
    I found this discussion forum on the net debating about President Obama’s PDA and there were many Indians voicing their opinion that they are public leaders and such show should be confined to their bedroom. Well, I don’t expect anything less from my fellow country-mates who think nothing of watching obscene and gyrating pelvic thrusts with the whole family but think kissing is taboo.
    I learnt early on in life that we are conditioned by our upbringing and beliefs dinned into us unconsciously or consciously. Once we learn to step out of it and view things objectively, our views regarding ‘limits’ will change. We will also realise the boundaries will keep changing and that it is inevitable that it be so. And those who are in the forefront of pushing those boundaries are always frowned upon if not fought tooth and nail by the traditionalists!
    I guess I have rambled!

    🙂 I understand your point..I loved (still love it) holding my husband’s hand..Once a dear one us asked me ‘Are you holding his hands,for fear of him running away with somebody else,Americans and Philipines hold hands like this..Shame on you to imitate them”..Geez..Since then whenever i hold his hands this comment comes to my mind and i stop holding.. -Nimmy

  12. BTW, I feel it would be better if Indian parents would do a bit of hugging and holding hands in front of their kids and not behave as though they were strangers (and the children brought by storks or found in cabbages or some Indian equivalent, my foot!!) and go all, ‘Kya kar rahe ho, bacche dekh rahe hai’ a la Bollywood style. Hahaha.. Really its so theatrical.
    Well, don’t be surprised, with a few months to hit half a century, my views are certainly not of my generation, not even of the present one! 😉

    So true,how hypocritical we are..When i discussed this with a dear one of mine,she said ‘If we kiss (read cheek kiss) and all inf ront of kids,they will take things like this very lightly,and when they grow up,they too will kiss/take kiss from somebody else as lightly as we is that logic correct??? -Nimmy

    • Aam Insaan
    • January 27th, 2009

    I remember seeing this Parental discussion on a TV Show, where the mother was sharing an experience she had with her 12yr. daughter- hesistantly she mustered courage & thought of imparting some knowledge about intimacy & sex to her, so she approached her & said
    mother:’I wish to discuss something imp.’
    daughter -’bout what?’
    daughter- ‘Oh, ok, i know a lot about it, tell me what do you wanna know ‘

    lol..I love that..I wonder how will i deal with it when my baby grows up… -Nimmy

  13. Hello Indian Homemaker,

    You said it right. “It is a two way bridge, both men and women seek out to each other for satifying each others emotional and physical needs” But somewhere down the journey “ego” takes over and they never remain the same again; “His” time never counts and “Her” time never counts. Thank you for commenting. I did visit your website but could not read all your posts. Will do it as time permits!

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