Young love in a hot climate

Mumbai, India. Despite all that one hears about restrictions on dating and marrying ‘for love,’ it seems that boys and girls are doing a superb job of connecting and spending time together in this country. Girls are on the back of most young men’s motors-scooters, and what we use to call PDA’s (Public Displays of Affection) are everywhere.

But alas, what we are seeing is not what most parents are seeing – or want to see.

Our young college student guide, Akash, told us the other day that dating couples dare not put their significant other’s name in their phone directory. Mama will sniff it out and big trouble will ensue. What you do, he told us, is put her number under something innocent like “Customer Service,” and hope that throws the parents off the track. Cell conversations have to be done well out of earshot of any nosey relatives, and meetings have to be carefully arranged.

Will this change at some point? He looked at us sadly and said that, no, progress was not underway in this area.

But the romancing – which then seems doomed to an untimely end, never seems to stop.

Our hotel room faced the bay, and on each of the side streets next to it were co-ed colleges. We were absolutely astonished to see the daily collection of courting couples lined up on the embankment to watch the sun go down every evening.

Looks perfectly normal, till we were told that all those girls had told their parents that they were still at school studying, until the moment when the schools closed and they were expected home. Then the exodus begins, or else there will be an inquisition on their return.

I need to do some more digging to find out just how and when these romances end. Guess Shakespeare was interested in the same topic.

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