Small Town

Time to hug

Munnabhai had a good thing going. The lovable scamp, a bhai turned medical student, who believes a loving hug can cure everything. Who are we to say No? As I see it , most problems in our circle of family and friends start or escalate because of a lack of communication. What better way to communicate than with a heartfelt hug?

All through childhood ‘hug’ was a word I read only in books. In the sixties and seventies, hugging was a filmi thing, I think. At home it was rare; that was not the way one showed love or any emotion. Parents had many other ways to express their affection ( buying books for us, cooking special dishes , reading together, the rare pat on the head) and we would have been embarrassed to be hugged. So life went on smoothly and well, without any hugs. But now I wonder why it was so. Why did we never hug our parents or friends?

Or was it that there was no need to hug, to reinforce support and love through physical contact? After all, those were the days when Depression meant a dent and Packages had laundered clothes within, Quality time with children meant quantity time too, friends lived nearby and met regularly. So I guess life was pretty ‘cool’, even without any hugging.

Years later now, I hug my daughter whom I meet every few months,I hug my frail mother often, I hug my friends when I meet them after years, I hug those kids whose thin shoulders seem to be burdened with the weight of education. It helps.

Munnabhai knew what he was upto.

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