It is not that only celebrity authors like Chetan Bhagat mutiliated beautiful words like girlfriend to make it half girlfriend. India has a glorious tradition of debasing beautiful legends.
Romeo was a great lover and a faithful one. The love between Romeo and Juliet was mutual. It is tragic yet, legendary. In the east too, we have such legends like Majnu and Laila, Sohni Mahiwal, Sirin and Farhad and many others.
Laila oh laila, aisi hun laila, har koi chahen mujhse milna akela – there goes a popular Bollywood number downgrading the legend associated with Laila to the lowest level possible. Of course, we have made the legend of Romeo to meet with the same fate.
Shakespear’s Romeo does not have the least bit resemblance to the roadside side badchalan laundas of India who are the inspiration behind our anti Romeo squads. Thank God, neither did Romeo live, nor did he leave any progeny behind to see this day. Had he been a little less tragic like the hero of De Caprio Titanic, his descendants would have commuted mass suicide after coming to know the down-gradation of his legend to such base levels.
These badchalan laundas stand at street corners passing lewd comments and teasing each member of the opposite sex, who dares to pass by. Sometimes things take uglier turn when they try to gain physical proximity and they create nightmare for girls who are not escorted by any male member. Wholeheartedly, do I support the action of the so called Anti Romeo squads who are out to make public places safer for women.
Then, there are these true followers of the glorious tradition of Romeo and Juliet. I mean the romantic part not the tragic part. I do not have any objection to two consenting adults coming together in response to certain emotional and biological stimuli provided, they are as faithful to each other like the legends whose footsteps they follow. Neither is it unlawful.
Of course, there is thi minor irritant what in technical jargon is called – PDA, which is Public Display of Affection in its expanded from. Quite often, such Romeos could be spotted with their Juliets in public places like Parks and Cinema Halls, busy in PDA activities as if being oblivious of the people around.
To counter these PDA activities, some self styled preservers of public moralities in India have come up with anti-Romeo vigilante groups, in line with the cow vigilant groups. While I condemn the activities of such vigilante groups who have no right to take up their own romantic failures on such romantic achievers, I appeal that even the official Anti Romeo quads should not take any action against them.
Rather, we should come up with innovative ideas to save and encourage such couples who are the preservers of the beautiful traditions set by the legendary Majnus and Lailas.
My suggestion is that we should enact a central law to make it mandatory for parents with children afflicted with Romeo Juliet Syndrome to give their children enough pocket money so that they can afford Private Display of Affection.
Alternately, we should have Romeo Lounges in every public place in India in line with the Smoker’s lounges at airports and elsewhere, so that the public is not the least bit affected by the cultural pollution spread by these Shakepearean Romeos and Juliets.
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(In response to Indispire Edition #166 at Indiblogger )