Friday, December 14, 2012

My crime in New Delhi? Love pollution.

I am guilty of love pollution. Write me up. Lock me away. Try and get me, coppers. You'll never catch me alive.


See, awhile ago, Saadia sent me an article about Delhi's newest form of pollution, fogging the air and putting the city's children at risk. No, it's not auto and truck exhaust. It's not the smelting or burning trash in the streets. No, my friends, this pollution is much more serious. It's the pollution of love, and that cannot be tolerated. I should know. I've been caught–and scorned–for it.

This article she sent stated that more and more young couples are kissing freely in the streets and parks. This, of course, is creating mayhem for the older generation in India.

I know how conservative Delhi is. Three people were arrested in June for kissing in public under a colonial “decency law” (Thanks a lot, Brits). Last Valentine’s Day, there was an effort to catch young people kissing on camera and put it youtube to publicly shame them.

When I walk down the street with my what-have-you holding hands we get stares. It could be because I look like a boy, or because we're so cute, but I know the real reason. We are billowing love smog in everyone's faces. We might as well be disrobing right there in front of the chow mein stand.

Anyway, here's what happened.

After living in my new apartment for all of 20 minutes the aforementioned what-have-you and I stepped out on the balcony for some fresh air. While enjoying our cigarettes, we did what we do all other moments of the day, and what I would argue all "lovers in love" do – we laced fingers and whispered into ears and touched lips.

That's right, I admit it, ok? We kissed. We were polluting, right there where any woman or child could see us… if that child looked five floors up from the street or was standing on a rooftop with a set of binoculars.

Well, this was too much for the gentleman who lives across from us and was apparently watching. As a concerned citizen and the purveyor of the moral high ground, he stepped in. So imagine me, eyes closed, pressed up against a certain young man, mind cloudy and heart fluttering, to hear scoffing and noises of disgust coming from the rooftop across the street.

Real pollution in New Delhi. The white is low-hanging pollution. 
The black is what the sky should look like.

I didn't turn to face him, ashamed that I had dirtied this pristine city with my affection. But my partner in crime turned to see him brushing us off and shaking his head. As one would do in any large city with neighbors, we more or less ignored him… until there was a knock on the door.

As it turns out, this Dudley Doright, this Boy Scout, this citizen watchman, called our landlord to tell on us. She sheepishly walked into my unlocked apartment and beckoned me in the hallway. Embarrassed as all get-out to be put in this situation, she told me a neighbor was complaining that I was acting "inappropriately.” In my defense, how inappropriate can I be when my boyfriend is wrapped up in a thick cotton sweater–sorry, jumper– and busy smoking?

Well, the situation has gone unresolved, for now. But Molly and Louis have a new sworn enemy. And Church Road in New Delhi now has someone to answer to if they are caught enjoying their lives and being in love. There's a new sheriff in town, and this town ain't big enough for the both of us.

1 comment:

jessybeats said...

Love it. thanks midnight society, keep smokin'!