Friday, June 25, 2010

It’s amazing how sometimes we’re overwhelmed by the simple pleasures of life. Like a few words of reassurance, a compliment, a look of the eyes that tells you it’s one of genuine concern, a squeeze of the hand, a kiss, a hug or even a phone call.

It’s a pity that we often overlook them in our daily grind and look for more expensive means to tackle our depression, insecurity, self-doubt, self pity, and the works. And thanks to our myopic vision, the psychologists, marriage counsellors, education counsellors, and whathaveyous are having a field day out there.

Relationships and marriages are the worst sufferers. They are falling apart like nine pins because neither can take the stress at work and obviously they don’t have the patience or tolerance to hear each other out amicably once back home. The war’s given up even before it’s begun. They agree a third party intervention is essential to sort their personal matters out. And sharing confidential information with third parties always come for a price. A rather hefty one at that. But no worries, there’s enough disposable income to waste on the quirks. One’s pain and loss provides vicarious emotional and financial pleasure to another.

“Am in love” is a phrase that has been duly replaced with “Am going steady” “or am in a relationship”. Being in love, feeling the warmth of his/her presence, wallowing in love, blinded by love are all passé and one runs the risk of being branded an emotional fool. It’s all about a “workable relationship” now. Will it or won’t it work. Simple.

Move aside, heart. Step in, head. Don’t dream about those never-ending walks into the sunset or the cosy rain-soaked cuddle. Just do it, sing those romantic songs and dance around a few trees, if you must.

Don’t just plunge in and say “I love you.” Think of the kind of “investments” you need to make and the various “exit plans” you must keep handy before saying “I Do”.

Alas, why didn’t I think of these ever? Haven’t made any investments, nor do I have an exit plan. Just plunged into the deep end and swimming my way through. Is my future doomed? Or am I just being an incurable romantic?

At the risk of all those rotten tomatoes landing in my comment section, I’d still say: People, save that money, take some time off to sit down and look into each other’s eyes, hold that hand, smile, hug and kiss. And, when you are miles away, just call. Priceless ways of working wonders on that mind and heart.


A hug is a form of physical intimacy, not necessarily sexual, that usually involves closing or holding the arms around another person or group of persons. The hug is one of the most common human signs of love and affection, along with kissing.Unlike some other forms of physical intimacy, it is practiced publicly and privately without stigma in many countries, religions and cultures, within families, and also across age and gender lines.

Sometimes, hugs are a romantic exchange. Hugs may also be exchanged as a sign of support and comfort. A hug can be a demonstration of affection and emotional warmth, sometimes arising out of joy or happiness at meeting someone.

Brief in most cases, it is used to show many levels of affection. It is not particular to human beings alone, as there are many species of animals that engage in similar exchanges of warmth.

Hugging has been proven to have health benefits. One study has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin, and reduce blood pressure.

There are different variations of hugs. Prolonged hugging in a cozy, comfortable position is called cuddling. Spooning is a cuddling position, a kind of hugging when both the hugger and the hugged persons face the same direction, i.e., the front of one person is in contact with the back of the second one. The person whose front is in contact with the other's back is referred to as the "Big Spoon" and the person whose back is in contact with the other's front in referred to as the "Little Spoon".

In May 2009, the New York Times reported that "the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days" in the United States.

Despite hugging being widespread across human culture, several cultures - such as the Himba in Namibia - do not embrace as a sign of affection or love.