I’m back on kissing again. Have you noticed how Bombay has gone kissing mad? When I first moved here in 1998, no one kissed anyone.
Cut to 2007 and everyone is kissing left, right and centre. You bump into friends, friends of friends, work acquaintances and everyone wants to cosy up cheek to cheek. What does this mean?
Are we shedding our inhibitions and looking for any possible excuse to get up close and personal?
Generally I love this trend. However, we do seem to be living in kissing chaos. Some people kiss two cheeks, some kiss one, thereby leaving the kisses hanging in mid-air waiting for the second like a baby bird waiting to be fed. Awkward.
Then there is the question of the kiss itself. Do you brush your cheek against the other person’s? Do you not actually have contact? Do you plant a smacker… on the other person’s cheek?
And if the other person is already in the process of planting both their lips firmly on your cheek then you can’t, physically, reciprocate (try it, you will see what I mean) but then does that mean that you have not responded with sufficient enthusiasm?
And then, worst of all, there are those that don’t get it all and give you their left cheek so that you end up cheek by jowl, side by side, in some hideous fumble worse than the most gauche teenager. (This last one I have never understood….. who does that? And let us hope they don’t drive.)
So let us devise some kissing rules for Bombay to avoid all that awkward, messy stuff. Social kissing, Bombay rules: one kiss unless you are greeting a very good friend or someone you hope will become your very close friend!
Second, this can only work if we all understand its right cheek first. Duh! We know which side we drive on so why can’t we work out which cheek to advance?
Whilst the kiss should convey genuine warmth and affection the degree of smoochiness, pressure and who exerts it can only be decided on the spot — surely that is part of the fun.
And finally, that superficial skim of the cheek while looking past your ear to see if anyone more interesting is behind you is just horrid. If anyone does that to you then I suggest you think again who your friends are.
The author is a former PR professional who was born in London but now lives in Bandra. She writes a weekly column on an outsider’s view of the city.