Here’s another one of Sanil and I in the car. The song was playing on radio. To Sanil’s utter bemusement, I prefer to listen to old Hindi songs. Not that I don’t try, I really do, but somehow I cannot stomach new songs… especially when they are not being played in a DJ setting. That’s what they are good for… at least for a month. So Sanil has learnt to bear old songs mainly because he doesn’t have a choice. He doesn’t grunt as much now.

While I was humming along, there came a line:

Kuchh gila ho to gale humko laga lena sanam…

Meaning: Dear beloved, please embrace me when you have any problem with me.

I stopped. Not driving the car, of course, but stopped my train of thought.

Kuchh gila ho to gale humko laga lena sanam…

Apart from the stupid word “sanam” that old lyricists loved to sprinkle over all songs like salt in a dish (along with equally nonsensical words like “balam”, who uses such words??), the sentence had a point.

A beautiful point.

“Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we embraced people we are annoyed with… instead of conveying our hurt in other unsavoury ways?” I asked Sanil after explaining the song line a bit.

“Can we do that? Hug people like that?”

“Maybe not all the people… I guess. But we can start with our families. At least the immediate family. We can start this tradition at home. We’ll go hug the person we are less than happy with,” I was thinking aloud.

“But how will we know the category of hug as we hug all the time anyway?” Sanil has to get the technicalities right. Always.

Arrre, the hugging is not going to take away our tongues, we can still talk. After the hug, we can let the person know how we are feeling,” I added.

“Hmmm… we can do that,” he was thinking.

“Perhaps we can extend it to our friends later…,” I was enthusiastic.

“Ewww… wouldn’t that be a bit creepy? Embarrassing, for sure!”

“And yelling, shouting, fighting, sulking is not…?” It was a question as much to myself as to him.


“So you wouldn’t think twice before you yell at somebody who wronged you and won’t consider a more affectionate option…”

“I won’t even think once!”

“Isn’t it interesting… why not?” I was amused, not that I have any delusions of being any more saintly.

“Well, that’s how the society has taught us to be.”

Yes, blame the society, always works.

“But don’t we make the society? Can’t we bring the change we want to see?”

“Yes… but it would be awkward and not so fast…,” his discomfort was palpable as he shifted in his seat. What if this eccentric mother of mine decreed to always hug people who offend me… you know… to see how it works?

“Okay, so let’s say you are not within a society, you are on an island… would you do it?” It seems we had a lot of time on our hands. We must be going somewhere far.

“Person of the same gender… yes. Different gender… no.”

“But you are on an island, remember?” I squeaked, surprised by the fact there wasn’t even a maybe when it came to gender!

“Yes, we must have gone from this society only na… if we were born and brought up on that island, then it could be different. And I hope there are a lot of pillows on that island you are sending me to.”


“Yes. Pillows are the best to hug. They can bend, be squeezed as hard or as softly as you want and for as long as you want. So much less cumbersome and low maintenance. There is no pressure as to what the pillow is thinking… is the hug too tight or for too long,” he said with an air of authority of a person who has done enough study in the area.

Phew! Talk about commitment issues!

“But… can’t you do the shouting with a pillow as well? You are upset at someone, walk away, go shout at a pillow,” I offered once I regained my senses after the shock of hearing pillow theory.

“No way! It’s so not the same! You need somebody to listen and react to what you are saying when you are angry! It would be so unsatisfying otherwise,” he held a firm belief.

“So… what you are saying is… there is no need of an actual recipient when you want to hug but one is absolutely required when you want to shout,” I had to clear it up.

“Yes,” he said smugly.

And then he remarked, “Enough of this hug/fight talk. You know, there is one person who you can hug no matter what the situation is – love, fight… whatever… mom!!! Remember I hug you even when you are in the middle of a scolding,” his eyes twinkled.

Awww…. I so hoped he remembers this when he is in his embarrassed-to-be-in-vicinity-of-parents phase and beyond… while we enjoyed a great hug.

What? Of course we had reached home by then!

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Dinakshi is a curious explorer of life, and loves to see everything around her with a sense of wonder. Completely in awe of life and its ardent student, she is a writer, poet, blogger and ex-editor. Her superpower is involuntarily read and edit everything from text messages to poetry on the backside of trucks. Like any other Indian worth their salt, she’s done her time in the IT industry as a programmer. Books and journals have been her best friends for as long as she can remember. A philosopher at heart, she loves to question everything, including her propensity to question. An avid learner and unlearner, she is on a joyful path to live all that is.