Hugging is common here in America, among friends, relatives, when they meet. It is not an accepted practice in India, but when I met an old friend and neighbor in a shopping center, I hugged her spontaneously. She laughed like a thunder and pressed me to her big belly so hard that my breath stopped for a second. I was almost crushed but happy. Hugging creates happiness. Otherwise, who will hug?

But I was for a shock treatment. She picked up a few items from the shelves, dumped those into the push cart, turned towards me and showered abuses :’ you, shameless, tasteless, mannerless oldie from Olavakkode! You think that you are in America to hug me in a public place?’

My body was already shaking a bit by her iron grip and adamant hugging and added to that the verbal assault! I managed to mumble : ‘But Parvatha vardhini, I thought you enjoyed my hugging. In fact, you laughed so loud that I feared that shelves would shiver and the materials would fall down and roll all over”

‘Oh, poor Shivudu, I laughed watching you struggling to cover my fat body with your puny hands,’ she replied and picked some more stuff and dumped into the push cart.

‘It is ok, my husband is not here for your luck,’ she pampered me top to toe by a kind glance and ordered: ”push the cart to the Cash counter and pay the bill. I will wait outside, near the car!’

I’m wiser now. I don’t attempt to hug anyone anymore, whether man or woman, friend or foe!

Hug in my country is costly.
Sent from my iPad

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