CHEEKSOLOGY

CHEEKSOLOGY

Understandably, the above term refers to the study of cheeks. Not literally, though.  It is not analogous to Anthropology where one studies human societies, their cultures, biological and physiological characteristics and their evolution.

One would ridicule my above narrative for a total lack of clarity on the basic thought process expected before holding the pen. Ok, I respect the contempt but it would be premature to write me off. It actually has a lot to do with the ‘Cheeks’.

I intend to post mortem the newly acquired practice of rubbing cheeks with others’ while greeting, specially in the so-called “High Societies”. This practice is prevalent amongst the ‘elite’ [sic] class more often than the rest of the cattle class of Indian society. However, slowly but steadily it has crept into the system of the not so elite segment of our society too.

Nothing wrong with it technically, I agree.

How can I question the ever-questioning new generation! The FoE and the FoA you see!

Nonetheless, I still intend to  question its inevitability in pursuit of anything western and fair which unfortunately, is considered better than our own set of values, culture, etiquettes and social norms. We cannot alter the course too soon though since the practice does not have its roots in ancestry. It is merely due to our mysterious and blind love for copying western culture.

It is the urge to be seen class apart from the herd or the “cattle class”.

The subsequent question that clouds my feeble mind is why a certain class of people prefer to offer their unshaven / silky smooth cheeks while greeting rather than following the established Indian norm of greeting.

Is it sub-standard to fold hands and say Namaste or at most shake hands?

If the self professed Ultra rich or more recently even the upper middle class loath exposing their disinfected palms and unwashed hands, they are sadly being hoodwinked by their own unfounded set of rules and ideas in its shadow.

The cheeks are equally, if not more, greasy and dirty.  Aren’t they?

I am convinced that people wash their hands more often now and certainly more than their faces. The only silver lining that I can see while they insist on “Cheekshake“, is that one gets to experience an added intimacy with the other person which otherwise would be a distant dream.

But again, wait!

Even this tactless logic would sound striking only when the person to be greeted is from Venus as the brain cells, I agree, raise the level of testosterone on encountering a lady with fair, smooth cheeks. Obviously, not all can touch these desirable cheeks under normal circumstances. Hence, this idea offers an opportunity to explore the unexplorable. What is even funnier is the art of pouting lips as one approaches the unexplored territory on the map of smiling faces. Finally, the fake sound that is orchestrated to conclude the whole process is the last nail in the coffin. I am referring to that “Muaah – Muaah” thud. It does strike familiarity with the sacred sound reserved only for the bedroom.

Maybe, I am jealous because I have not been successful thus far in chicksmooching. Frankly, I have not tried this even with my wife. We prefer to hug each other when we meet rather than be seen vulgar while sounding “Muaah – Muaah” in public. In fact, why would I greet her like a westerner when there are so many traditional, time-honored, refined, dignified, tolerable and more personal Indian ways available than faking to join the bandwagon? Indian culture has distinct and highly acceptable forms of greeting. I would touch the feet of elder family members and my teachers, say ‘Namaste’ to others and hug those closer to my heart to convey my ‘real’ happiness. ‘Cheeksology’ communicates neither the desired intent nor the real feelings to the object. Respect and love have no better way of expression than those practiced in our Indian culture. Of course, these can be altered if the intentions are primarily to drive satisfaction of feeling someone else’s cheeks. I would personally hate to get close to the unknown territory and make that utterly disgusting sound in order to be judged classy.

Why not hug the whole person rather than going only for the cheeks?

Signing off with hugs and respects!!

– Col AC

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