Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Hug Addict

Don’t judge me. But I suffer from the same malaise as Modi ji. It’s called Hugaria – an impulsive urge to hug. Call it a family thing or a cultural trait, I come from a family of hug addicts. We take pride in the fact that we are such a warm bunch. Perhaps it’s wired in my DNA. Perhaps it originates from an inherent desire to love and be loved. Perhaps I won the Miss Congeniality crown in my previous birth. 
Come to think of it, I’m not sure when this hug bug got internalized. My husband is happy that full blown Hugaria hit me in my forties and not in my teens. Given how private he is, I can sense his ‘adverse hug reaction’ each time he watches me in a hug overdose. 

Like Modi ji, not everyone gets to hug me. Just so you know, Modi ji has been photographed meeting more than seventy leaders but hugged only twenty-three odd leaders. In other words, only one third leaders get a chance to hug him. So just like Trump’s best buddy, my embrace is exclusive. 

The only thing constant, they say, is change. With the arrival if this dreaded Covid, there goes the hug, the handshake and even the flying kiss. Why, didn’t we celebrate the Hug Day a month ago? And look at us now? Entire matrix of greeting has changed. 
This week I met a group of friends for coffee in a mall. Given my predicament, I involuntarily spread my arms for a group hug. Almost everyone frosted. Then they smiled and folded hands like an airhostess on an Air India flight. Who knew that one fine sweep of flu would end our moments of cleavage and make us use our elbows to press the elevator buttons. 

Above all, there’s something about Delhi. Three people identified positive in Kerala in the month of February. But we didn’t care. Irony of distance. However, a tornado hit us when one man identified positive in Delhi. 

Arre Dilli main aa gaya? 
Hain kaise? Bataiye? 

Within hours we knew his name, age, skin colour, nose shape, address, mama, chacha, and waist size. ‘I was only trying to share information’ says the lady who shared his family picture in our WA group. Unless nature did it, whoever designed this zoonotic evil deserves to read all the Whatsapp forwards doing the rounds. If the virus didn’t kill him, rumours will. Everyone and his nephew took to WA social service like fish to water. ‘I WA therefore I am’.
 If we can’t travel, go out for movies or meet friends, kuch to log karenge? After all, how long can you keep busy washing hands? 

Dont get technical but according to Aaj Tak Chemistry, alcohol was the solution. Gurgaon loved it because we anyway drink water only to surprise our liver.  

Arguments whether we should play Holi in our apartment are doing the rounds. Why, even Modi ji is not playing Holi. A concerned mom has an idea. Let the kids play Holi with disinfectant filled balloons. Brilliant, no? Wear masks, throw disinfectant and then take a bath with hand sanitizers. Smell good, feel good. 

 Holi is about Holi Milan. What’s Holi if you can’t smear gulal and embrace your loved ones? So this Holi I have two options. To hug or not to hug. One path leads to a flop festival. The other leads to my extinction. Let’s hope I have the wisdom to choose correctly. 

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