India Uncut

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Space for love

Where do young lovers in big cities go when they want to spend time together? There are very few places that give young couples enough privacy, and the advent of the internet has actually increased their options. No, they don't make out in cyberspace -- what fun would that be? Instead, for a few years now, cyber cafes have started renting out cubicles by the hour that are ostensibly meant for surfing the net, but are used for, well, intimacy.

And we all know everybody loves intimacy. So how far away could the cameras be?

DNA reports that many cyber cafes in Mumbai's suburbs have hidden cameras in those cubicles, and they pack the footage they shoot into CDs, which they sell for "as cheap as Rs 100." Needless to say, they do not take the consent of the couples being filmed, who are unware that big brother and all his big friends will be watching them on VCD.

Some of these cyber cafes have even done away with the pretence of having computers in those cubicles. Just hidden cameras.

If we didn't live in such irritatingly moralistic times, I'm sure there would be a business opportunity in overtly providing young people spaces to spend time together in. Sleazy hotels and cyber cafes do this on the sly, but the problem with doing it covertly is that all this other nonsense comes into the frame. Enabling lovers to spend time together should be a legit business, and legit operators would, as is always the case, do more self-regulation to beat out the competition.

It will be ages, though, before we start thinking about intimacy as healthy rather than sinful except within the social construct of marriage. Doesn't affect me, but it's a pity for those poor kids who have to go to cyber cafes to do their thing, and who get filmed in the process. Unless, of course, they spend their time in activities more constructive than mere physical exploration, as I'd once outlined in the conversation at the end of this post.
amit varma, 11:29 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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