The Greeks might have Aphrodite, but hey, we taught them all about erotic kissing. When Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC with the intention of conquering the world, we sent him back with tips on how to lock lips, saying, bhai, duniya toh jeet hi lega, ab saath saath dil bhi jeet le. Unfortunately, today, not many spend a lot of time on first base. Sab ko home run ki hi padi rehti hai.
So, we thought, it’s International Day of Kissing. Why not remind all lovers that the lips must not be missed? Presenting our guide to the kisses, sing it with me, which happen only in India!
1. The Sniff-Kiss
Up first is the Sniff-kiss, possibly the first recorded kiss in our history. This chap named E. Washburn Hopkins, an American Sanskrit scholar, even wrote a book about it called ‘The Sniff-Kiss in Ancient India’. Ab yeh toh long long ago ki baat hai. And at that time, hamare Vedic poets ke paas kiss ke liye koi word nahi tha. So instead, they used a word which meant ‘sniff’ or ‘smell’. In fact, even today, folks from the Kyoun-tha tribe living at the Assam Frontier use their noses for kissing. Essentially saying, “Smell me, darling.”
2. The Kiss of Death
Quick, how many of you know Pooja Bedi? 80s ya 90s mein agar paida hue the, toh you’ll know this gorgeous, sultry woman. And you would know what I’m talking about when I say Vishakanya, the movie which was released by our very imaginative Bollywood film industry in 1991. The original Vishakanyas, however, date wayyyyy back to ancient India — a time when young women with poisonous blood and bodily fluids (yes, that happened) were used as assassins. In more recent times, many queer folks believe their exes are distant relatives of this special breed of women.
3. The Emraan Hashmi Kiss
Acting ka toh pata nahin, but yeh Chummey ka Champion zaroor hai. Creepily clocking on-screen kisses with over 20 women in the industry has deservedly earned him the title of ‘Serial Kisser’. For lessons on how to kiss like EH, watch any of his “films”. Disclaimer: Paisa wapas nahin milega.
4. Kamasutra: Kissing for Dummies
Given our society’s reluctance to accept sex and romance as real things, we can’t help but think that Kamasutra was a work of fiction by some horny guy back in the day. How else can we explain the range of kissing techniques the book describes? It includes kisses that cover fleeting contact to deep penetration with the tongue, where the rhythm of penetration can be matched to that of simultaneous intercourse. [Link]
5. Emoji Kiss
Unfortunately, if you want to stay relevant in today’s time and make most of whatever is left of ‘romance’ then there is no escaping the emoji kisses. In which case, perhaps this could come handy, The Definitive Guide to Romantically Inclined Emoji Usage. [Link]
6. Pahlaj Nihalani Version of an Acceptable Kiss
Our man needs no introduction. Yeh hai hamara current Chairman of Central Board of Chumma Film Certification (CBFC) of Indian cinema.
In the film “Befikre” (2016), Alok Nath ka baap, Nihalani, okayed flashing of actor Ranvir Singh’s supertoned bubble butt (we have a few theories on why he was okay with this). He even okayed several straight couples kissing in the song “Labon Ka Karobaar”. But same-sex couples kissing? Chop, chop!
Someone please hand him the Nobel Prize for Sanskaari-ness already!
7. The Anti-Indian Kiss
As per the cheerleaders of the moral-police brigade, “Our Indian culture does not permit us displaying such kinds of affection in public spaces.” And going by the recent trend, anyone who goes against the Indian culture is labelled ‘anti-Indian’.
8. Page 3 Kiss
The desi-version of an air-kiss is called Page 3 Kiss. And we have a strong feeling that somewhere Ms. Shobha De has had an important role in making this a very real thing.
9. What is a kiss? Not!
Even though the Government of India through National Education Policy (2016) has accepted the significance of sex education in schools for adolescent, unfortunately most schools are still stuck at health and hygiene workshops. Sigh!
And the best for last…
10. Flower-to-Flower Kiss
The Cinematograph Act 1952 somewhat banned on-screen kissing in Indian films. This led to an innovative (other word: jugaad) romance symbolism. Thanks to this, in the 60s and 70s, whenever there was a scene or a song that looked like it was leading up to a liplock, the camera would pan to two flowers, usually roses, that would lean in for a kiss.
Artist: Priya Dali
A work-in-progress illustrator, part-time joker and full-time bhukkad.