Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, October 12, 2006

Public Display of affection

By Tanvir Hafiz

It's something happening all around us. And no matter where we are, someone is showing it off to you, with their significant other. Yes, I am talking about PDA or Public Display of affection.

There used to be time in the black and white era when couples or 'premik jugol' as they used to be referred at that time, had a great difficulty finding the right spot for them to coo away at each others ears. If you have every watched any of the classic Rajjak, Kobori films, you will see they whenever they are out on a date, they seemed to occupy the bottom of the shady tree, facing away from each other, with a bag and a couple of books, pretending to studying. Fast forward 25 years and the new hip couples have thrown away their books and copies (along with a few items of clothing as well) and are dating boldly where no man (and woman) has ever dated before.

Well this is to be expected what with more western influence and understanding of the open nature of men/women relationship from star plus and star world. Who needs to hide behind a cover anymore? But the soft cooing into the ears of the beloved has also been replaced by the ever so flirtatious and explicit public displays of affection.

So what is this PDA to be exact? Nowadays with the popularity of “making out” almost everything goes regarding overt display of affection. Sometimes the activities raise questions whether if it is mere vaunting or the worst kind of public vexation.

Couple of weeks ago, I was addafying in front of Grill n Chill better known as GnC. Suddenly our adda was interrupted by loud exclamatory lip smacking noises. My eyes, as well as all my buddies eyes searched in a general direction and found a couple smooching on a rickshaw. These two were dining inside GnC a couple of minutes ago. It seemed they simply couldn't wait any longer. We also observed the rather large grin that the rickshawallah put on his face. I guess he saved his money not having to go to the local cinema's night show.

PDA apparently has become a great way to test the dexterity of the co9uples limbs and lips among public places. Apparently it is not just public places where these displays of affection can get quite out of hand figuratively speaking. The closed confines of a house do not serve any respite to the general populace.

A couple friend of mine can go to quite shocking extremes at times every time we find them in one place together. It is so much so that we have to be on our toes to leave (actually to run for our lives) at all times. Naming names can be quite lethal to my health as well as taste palette because they quite often throw parties for our gastronomic pleasure. '

But I hope they get some clue that we don't like it. It seems that boy can't simply cant keep his hands off his gal. Okay so you love her so much, but dude, you have got to see who are around you. Private affairs are best kept as private affairs.

There seems to be certain places which encourages PDA more than any other place in Dhaka. One such place is the Dhanmondi Lake. I don't think there was ever a day when I passed through the sidewalk without ever experiencing a couple showing off their originality of affection in public. And I walk through there almost every day! These daring couples are well aware of the people passing and staring at them. Rather than stopping, they seem to enjoy being stared at. Now I don't have anything against couples taking some bold initiative to let their hormones flow freely, but I sincerely hope they are aware of the social implications of PDA. Couple of years back on the day of valentines day, the police actually went around arresting couples in various dating spots of the city. Also being caught at the wrong time in the wrong moment in front of a Murubbi can be quite awkward I am sure.

For many it becomes quite an eyesore while others can walk by without batting an eyelid. While some cannot help but stare at disbelief others can simply ignore like it is an acceptable fact. The question remains, is all this openness a progression or a regression?



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