Talking about love

Written By

Chitra Doraiswami

Talking about Love Loading

Talking about love…have you noticed how each generation portrays it in a different way? I was watching a movie from the ‘50s and it struck me then that flicks are a great mirror to society. Here was a nice well-fed ‘princess’, dancing and plucking flowers with her ‘girls’. Enter, hero – bandy legs in a churidar, a shiny kurta and a sword by his side – peeping at the goings on. He is looking at them by parting a straggly bush, but nobody sees him till the song ends. Then squeals and consternation. The soldiers rush in to protect the princess…you know the rest! When they meet next, they are singing a duet. A full moon is up, the trees and bushes are in full bloom, the swans are swimming around and the birds are twittering (possibly scolding the moon for being full three nights in a row and giving them insomnia).

He holds her hand or wraps an arm around her shoulder and says, ‘Priye!’. She looks down bashfully and says, ‘Swami!’ and that’s it.

Cut to the next decade. Shot of a bunch of girls cycling away up a nice rural road, singing. College girls, they will have you believe! The heroine is easy to spot. She has a bouffant to outdo Madame Pompadour’s and the tightest kameez, ever. And there comes the hero in an old Buick with a bunch of brash boys. The boys do everything possible to ruin the picnic. And thereafter, the hero stalks her- there is no other word for it.

He and his rowdy friends will pull off her dupatta, trip her up and sing into her face. The bad breath if nothing else should put her off. But no, she loves it! Instead of complaining to the police, she is soon romping in the park/ Paris with him.

Sooner or later it will rain. Like a mini Niagara, cascades of water will fall more on her than him. The thin chiffon sari will stick and titillate the audience. In no time, she is shedding tears and saying, ‘I’m going to be your baby’s mother.’ No, she doesn’t want to be the kid’s nanny!  Sure Shot Harry, the hero, will do his ‘dooty’ by her or intends to but he usually dies. There, that’s it.

The Swinging Seventies had heroines who were forced to be Women of the Night. The heroes were ‘angry young men’. Like a Grammar lesson, they would be angry, angrier and angriest – the last being usually, Amitabh Bachchan as ‘Vijay’. The heroine will ‘shake her booty’ at the bar (but natch) and a drunk will fancy the booty was being shaken for him and make a grab at her. The hero will explode and pulverize the poor sod. Love will blossom in a song or two. A trifle more normally. They will hug and almost kiss (not two flowers coyly cuddling).

Modern Times. Bar again. Heroine wanders in. The barman immediately pours her a drink. A known dipso, maybe? Guy, sidles up, ‘May I buy you a drink?’ She looks him over. Cut to the next scene. They are in bed. Her naked shoulders are above the sheet and he is shirtless. (Both the boys are girls in the audience ought to be pleased.) ‘Gimme a cigarette,’ says she and leaning on her elbow and blowing a smoke ring, she asks, ‘By the way, what’s your name?’

You can bet the censors will cut this scene if they see it properly. How can you smoke! And that too, in bed!




Chitra Doraiswami, 69, is from Bangalore. She has written for many publications such as the Deccan Herald, The Times, Femina, Eve’s Weekly, etc. Chitra has many an interesting tale to tell including the one about finishing her Masters along with her son; sadly “only” getting a First Class, where her son got a rank. She joined CMR, NPS as Headmistress two decades ago and is now known as the Associate Principal of the institution. She also has a sixteen year old grandson. Chitra is an avid dancer, reader and drama-enthusiast. She's traveled extensively with her husband who was in the IAF. She taught wherever they were posted. Chitra enjoys teaching people innovative ways of helping children learn, but she is definitely not the prototypical fluffy grandma!

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