17 June, 2021

Say No To Kissing

The TV ad 'scandal' has brought out old blushes. But just what is wrong with the Indian kiss?

Say No To Kissing
Sushma Swaraj disapproves of kisses, up close and personal and public. In her born-again Sushma Scissorhands avatar, the honourable I&B minister has been rather busy snipping all kinds of 'impurities' from the small screen. She yelled cut after she saw John Abraham's lips meet Vidisha Pavate's in a toothpaste ad on TV. What is it about a kiss that has the moral police in India frothing at the mouth? Funnily enough, were the minister to turn her gaze to the big screen, there wouldn't be too much snipping to do by way of kisses: Bollywood is rather squeamish about kissing. Simulated sex, pelvic thrusts and graphic violence, however, are all fine—there's as much as you want.

But no kissing please, we are Indian.

It's not the director's cut: stars themselves—with a few exceptions—don't want to kiss on screen. So, Aishwarya Rai refuses to kiss in Josh—it has to be faked. The sweet little kiss between Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta in Mission Kashmir ends up on the editing floor: director Vidhu Vinod Chopra didn't think it in character with the rest of his film....

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