Just wrapped up an intense hugging session, and decided I’d write on it.

A hug, is cute, warm, loving, rapturous, passionate, safe, protective, soothing, casual and more depending on the situation and who you hugging ultimately. To a certain extent it’s not how you hug that matters as much as how you are hugged. Conversely, it’s a selfish random act of kindness as well.

Some time ago I had come across an article and some related material on the whole science of the action. It was a bit surprising to hear that there are folks out there who do not like to be touched or hugged. No, am not talking about the passionate or the more intense kinds, just the simple act of touching, and throwing your arms around someone dear enough, or casual enough. The non-verbal way expression of an emotion.

Coming from a culture where touch is akin to some kind of abuse (or even weirdly a sign of being considered weak/cheap) despite the fact that the concept of personal space is non-existent, it doesn’t hugely amaze me that physical contact in a softer, demure, or even loving way bothers many. While growing up, I don’t remember being hugged. Not by my parents, uncles, aunts, cousins. Friends, perhaps yes. That was when we were all grown up in high school in the late 80’s. A time when India’s youngsters were paving the path towards the west. listening to pop music, traveling and coming back home with goodies, and the western world and the habits weren’t alien as much as they were. Welcoming the little nuances of living a newer life, in a lifestyle that would be frowned upon, but would nevertheless be fun and fulfilling despite it all.

So, wouldn’t it come as a surprise when I say that someone my age, or younger have issues with ‘hugging’? I can’t begin to express clearly what I felt when I heard that. I’ve asked around and there are indeed many who have agreed that they do hug but rarely, hug only for a short frame of few seconds, and some in fact complain that they get hugged too much. I’d imagine just ‘coz you didn’t get much growing up, you’d actually want to go get more of it now that you can? Makes any sense?

I understand personal space, and I understand the intensities of a hug timed wrong, but am talking about the comfort and warmth that comes from the arms that go around you at various moments. Especially with someone you care about, and who in turn cares about you. It could be your child, friend, husband, significant other, parent anyone. Sometimes, the power of a hug can go beyond the boundaries of relationships. You must remember the youtube video of free hugs?

Today munchkin hugged me and hugged me tight. Many times over the past hour. She had a smug look on her face too, as if she was thoroughly enjoying it. Not just the usual smile and content that one sees, but a twinkle in her eye and a smile I can’t begin to describe.

You can tell am bowled? I am. I love to hug. Am a touchy-feely sort of person, and no, I don’t randomly start throwing hugs on anyone, but I like the concept of it. The feeling’s remarkable.

There can never be a bad hug right? Wait. Actually, there is one kind. Not bad per se, but one that can do wonders and yet occasionally leave you a little short of satisfied. No, won’t say, let’s see if any of you can come up with it.

So, either way, did you get your fill today? Hug anyone today?

If it’s a yes, tell me how you felt.

If you didn’t what you waiting for? Find someone, and don’t be shy. It’s just a small hug, but it’s what they meant when they said ‘Good things come in small packages’. The little package that your arms
form. Then come back and answer this:

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21 replies on “hug?”
  1. mmm…i like to hug too, but some people really don’t take to it so well. i get queer looks sometimes, which scare me so, i now think twice before hugging. man, it’s paranoid world out there!!

  2. mmm…i like to hug too, but some people really don’t take to it so well. i get queer looks sometimes, which scare me so, i now think twice before hugging. man, it’s paranoid world out there!!

  3. says: mlc

    “I love to hug. Am a touchy-feely sort of person, and no, I don’t randomly start throwing hugs on anyone, but I like the concept of it. The feeling’s remarkable”.

    – DITTO TO THAT:-)!

  4. says: Niyaz

    Woww rads ,realy superb post from u ..Sometimes back i thot of writing abt hugs but u wrote it first πŸ™‚ Nice…

    Usually i vl hug pillow & kids!!

  5. says: Apple

    Nice post RADS πŸ™‚
    I hug my DH, Mommy,aunt,shrek donkey and few of my very close friends….Others don’t take it so well…..

  6. says: Altoid

    Hm. I guess I have to say I am not a hug initiator most times. Recently something happened that did make me rethink my hugging strategies. I ran into an ex-coworker after a significant amt of time…we’ve talked on the phone/im/emailed a couple of times in the past 6 years but havent met much. She gave me a tight hug that lasted for a few minutes(not the usualy perfunctory ones) and then she hugged me again in a tight grip. She was that delighted to see me.

    Thats when it struck me that even though I was just as glad to see her, I am not big on the touchy-feely expressions. I’d decided to change that in a small way. My sister is a long time believer in hugs/cuddles etc.

    Alright- too long a comment – even to my standards. Hugs to you then πŸ™‚ and have a great day.

  7. says: rads

    Altoid: Just you wait! πŸ˜›
    I know, I get hugged occ by folks whom I haven’t met in awhile and it sinks in after how much they must have missed you or how happy they actually are. It’s sweet if you ask me. πŸ™‚

    Apple: LOL! Just a shoulder to shoulder hug should be okay? If not, they donno what they misisng rt? πŸ™‚

    Niyaz: Pillows are the best πŸ˜€

    mlc: Great, so am not the only weirdo in town πŸ˜›

    stitha: Yeah, gotta be careful. Can’t just hug PYT’s just coz they are around. :p

    Priya: Yes, it does πŸ˜›

  8. says: maxdavinci

    who’d hug me? But then as you can see my arms are always outstretched!

    I’ve got the wingspan of an albatross but my huggable quotient is low, I shud go back to school this thnxgivin n give jhappis to all fall kids!

    PS: * hugs * to you

  9. says: Anuradha

    Hi Rads,
    Living in Italy has exposed me to the hugging culture and has made me a total convert! Here men and women hug and kiss each other on both cheeks and it leaves you with an indescribably warm feeling πŸ™‚

  10. says: Praveen

    have been receiving quite a lot of hugs in the new place am in :). some of them make u want more πŸ˜€


  11. I hug my daughter everyday or rather she hugs me the most. I remember one awkward hug though when I was in California, working under a middle aged chinese lady project manager. She liked my work so much, when I was getting ready to go back to India, she hugged me and all I could think of was WTF! I stayed a distance when waving good bye to the rest of the crew πŸ™‚

  12. says: Priya

    I’ve opened up a bit only after I got here, family tho kuda, I am more expressive now, atleast trying to be. When its a dear frnd then its just so comforting, sometimes you really do need one kadaa ?
    But even now when someone I just met gives me a Hello’ hug or Nice meeting you’ hug I feel very awkward. nijanga antha feel avuthunara, or maree antha casual aa anedi ardham kaadu πŸ˜€

  13. says: rads

    Priya: lol@your last line! πŸ™‚
    Expressive with your emotions. That’s what I believe it is all about too. Not asking for extreme open book behavior (like me!) but one needs to do that, bottling is so no fun.

    Dinesh: LOL@your mgr. The poor thing! πŸ™‚
    Our own esp when they are toddlers are the best , coz when they grow up, they aren’t coming within 6 feet of you! Thank heavens I still have munchkin.
    Thank u πŸ™‚

    Praveen: aha! Little wonder you spend long hours at work ‘working’ :p

    Anuradha: Welcome! Italy must be beautiful! I know@kissing and hugging. πŸ˜€

    Max: Thank you πŸ™‚
    All this summa vetti banda. :p

  14. says: bpsk

    Great post, Rads – question, do you think there are regional differences in India in attitudes towards hugging? For instance, North vs. South? (you can tell I have an opinion):p

    Btw, your line “Coming from a culture where touch is akin to some kind of abuse ..despite the fact that the concept of personal space is non-existent” – I don’t think it is a contradiction at all. I think the lack of personal space comes from the sheer density of people. And so, when you grow up with a lack of personal space, you are extra careful about hugging, which would be seen as an invasion of what little personal space there is.

  15. says: rads

    bpsk: lol@MI vs SI. That’s one flaming argument, and I know what you saying πŸ˜€

    That’s an angle I didn’t think of. Space matters surely, I’ve become more sensitive towards it the longer I stay here. Like the son says “thaatha is encroaching into my personal bubble!All systems on alert.”
    But I wasn’t suggesting continuous hugging, just when a hug’s in order πŸ™‚

    Schmetterling: *hug, hehe, it’s a matter of opinion, who cares πŸ˜‰

  16. says: ASk

    Hi Rads nice post..hug is a emotional thing to express our love and emotions happiness…in my exp my beautiful hug is when i came to US my mother huged me for 2 min and cried alot really that emotionals r superb …and at that moment i could felt her touch ..

  17. I’m not much of a hugger – culturally disadvantaged – though it is the norm these days at parties. You get to hug random ladies and air-kiss, which is about as much falsehood I can take without throwing up. Only when there is real feeling behind the hug does it count.

    Great post as usual! Thought provoking.

  18. says: sachita

    Jaddu ki Jhappi, I see. I seem to have issues with this culture of hugging.

    The only people I am kind of comfortable would be my family and you should look at how uncomfortable my dad’s face becomes when I hug him:)

    We are probably better off expressing our love by slapping unless ofcourse we are Mata Amritamayee(i forgot her name:)).

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