I grew up telling the people around me that hugs were freakishly over-rated! People would hug each other for seemingly unnecessary reasons and it would annoy me to the core! Moreover I couldn’t stand it when these people thought they had to share their hugs with me!
I meet an old friend – a hug, I meet an old aunt – a hug.
I see someone after a weekend – a hug.
I get good marks – a hug, I get bad marks – a hug.
I hurt myself – a hug, I get a present – a hug!
Why?? I could never – for the love of God – understand why these people needed to hug other people so much! I would often think, ‘can’t everyone just maintain a little distance from everyone else and deal with their joys and sorrows from afar?’ I had something against physical contact with most people, so the constant hugging business practically made me nauseous! I especially hated those people who loved to hug so tight that you could practically feel every bone in your body as well as in the other person’s body! I would make excuses, throw tantrums and everything else I could think of, to get away from hugs. Some friends even thought that when I was really upset everything would be better by hugging me! Yeah! one tight squeeze could probably make me shed a few calories but not shed some grief! But no one really got that! Whenever a friend was going away on vacation or for an internship I would say goodbye with a firm handshake and a smile and most of my friends would feel offended. They began to think I didn’t care enough, and well – they were my friends at the end of the day – so I decided I needed to make them happy and live up to their expectations. If it was a hug they wanted it would be a hug they got! ‘How hard could it be?’ I asked myself and convinced myself that it was just like a blood test or like ripping off a band aid or like getting a tooth plucked out! The pain would last for just a moment and then it would be over!
So thus started the hugging business – at all times when a hug was called for I would hug the person and even pretend to like it! My friends thought there was a miraculous change in me but little did they know that every time I hugged a person I would think, ‘I’d rather have the band aid.’ But everyone was happy and I fulfilled my social and pointless responsibility of hugging people! But just when all was well in the world, in came another crisis! I was upset one day and when my friends saw that, they all rushed over to hug me. And in my mind I was going ‘baaaaaarrrrrrffff!’ I couldn’t uphold the social duty of hugging in this minute of sorrow! But did I have a choice? Me being the do-good-er that I am I had to do the right thing and allow people to – yech! – hug me!
It was then a habbit among all my social equals to hug me and expect a hug back whether the moment was dark or bright! I wallowed in my own misery as I hugged person after person! And I cribbed everyday, silently – to myself, about how much I hated hugs!
As time passed, I grew up and entered a fine college with fine specimen of today’s youth – vibrant, energetic, filled with ideas! There was just one problem – there were all addicted – to HUGS!! This place was worse than the one I had come from – here, people would hug each other just as a way of greeting! I would regret even saying hello because that would mean it was ‘hug-time’. I had to get accustomed to pulling that band aid off several times a day and there’s this thing about band aids – you can only pull them off a certain number of times without getting annoyed. And the same was the case with hugs and me. That much physical contact in a day was more than what I could bear! Nevertheless, I did it – day after day – without complaining!
Then came one curious day when I was all alone at home and feeling a little blue. I didn’t know what was happening or why I was so low, but I did know that all of a sudden, for some insane reason – I wanted a hug! I couldn’t understand why I was acting like this and decided to blame it on teenage hormones! But no matter whom or what I blamed it on, I realized that the only thing that could make me feel better – was a hug! That was the moment when I was enlightened! I realized that this cruel world I lived in had managed to drag me in too! The last standing soldier had fallen and I too was addicted! I decided to accept the change and move on. After all, everyone made mistakes! From that day on, there was no more pretending! I would hug everyone of my own will and would even enjoy doing so! Days passed in this manner and then came this one day. Yet another day which started off pretty well as I had had some pretty exciting news! But I couldn’t share it with anyone as it had to be a surprise. So there were no hugs there. And as the day progressed it didn’t get any better.So I sat up till midnight pondering over issues. Just about when I was done going around the same problem over and over in my head, I realized, how desperately I wanted a hug at that moment! But there I sat – all alone with no one but my pillow to hug! I didn’t know what else to do, so I sat down at my computer and began writing about how I used to think that hugs were really over-rated…