Come on….give me a hug!!!
A good hug is a common way that people in India greet each other and the hugs just get stronger in the Punjabi culture. I mean some of the hugs from old friends or close relatives can be strong enough to take the wind out of my lungs and leave me gasping for air. But then I simply love these hugs…they depict a lot of warmth and openness while an impersonal, distant and a cold handshake that the English devised and introduced to us is hardly a greeting. To me, it looks more like two warriors about to engage in a duel and wanting to make the least possible contact before the battle begins.
A hug is a form of non verbal communication and indicates familiarity, love, affection, friendship or depending on the situation sympathy. A hug can be given as an indication of support, comfort, and consolation, particularly where words are insufficient and is usually a demonstration of affection and emotional warmth, sometimes arising out of joy or happiness at meeting someone or seeing someone that they have not seen in a long time.
My wife would enjoy giving me hugs (not any more, of course!) and she would actually feel energized by them and whenever she felt tired or low she would ask for a long hug which seemed to revitalize her. On an equally serious note I could feel as if I am giving out energy from my body to her. I did not understand the logic or the science behind this but then as long as it worked it didn’t matter. Over the next few years the frequency of the hugs between us started coming down so I turned my hugs towards my dog Chiko (a Doberman). Though I read somewhere that dogs don’t really liked to be hugged my dog somehow never seemed to mind my hugs (maybe just tolerating it) and took it as a kind of signal that play time was about to start. After the hug he would let out a short bark and the muscular canine would push me back and start running around me in circles and then began our wrestling match where we would try to pin each other to the ground. Well, my hugs did seem to energize my dog too!!
My son has turned into those troublesome teens and each day poses a different challenge to his mother….cuts & bruises from a rough game of football, loud metallic music, ignoring studies and picky about his food. Just as good as it could be. But what he has retained from our family tradition is the love for a good hug from me. It’s the first thing in the morning and then again when we meet after school. Last night was a marathon hug in bed with me stroking his hair and then he let out a deep sigh and closed his eyes and after a few minutes I could hear him snoring….what a blissful sleep he must have had.
Hugs are thought to be so beneficial, there’s even a day dedicated to celebrating the gift of a hug. Jan 21 has been deemed National Hugging Day and according to the organizers website http://nationalhuggingday.com/ the day was created for family and friends to hug often and freely with one another. There is another site on the net http://www.freehugsindia.blogspot.in/ which is quite nice to go through. Kudos to this guy.
It’s a simple gesture that can make a happy situation happier or help someone overcome with sadness feel a little better. Studies have shown that hugs can actually make a difference in one’s health; research out of the University of Carolina found that a hug can lower blood pressure and reduce the harmful physical effects of stress.
Remember that Jadoo ki Jhappi from Munnabhai MBBS? While Munna Bhai’s skills as a medical doctor are minimal, he transforms those around him with the “Jadoo Ki Jhappi” (“magical hug”) — a method of comfort taught to Munna by his mother. Believe it or not but apna Munnabhai’s onetime antidote for all-type of bemaaris has been given a certificate of approval by a medical foundation. “Talks is tops but a good hug ranks a close second when it comes to allaying the blues,” says the Mental Health Foundation after conducting a survey in UK.
There is a lovely poem I came across on the net which I am reproducing (without permission, sorry!) here for all to appreciate and enjoy……..enjoy it and give me a hug!!!
There’s something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart;
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part.
A hug’s a way to share the joy
And sad times we go through,
Or just a way for friends to say
They like you ’cause you’re you.
Hugs are meant for anyone
For whom we really care,
From your grandma to your neighbour,
Or a cuddly teddy bear.
A hug is an amazing thing –
It’s just the perfect way
To show the love we’re feeling
But can’t find the words to say.
It’s funny how a little hug
Makes everyone feel good;
In every place and language,
It’s always understood.
And hugs don’t need new equipment,
Special batteries or parts –
Just open up your arms
And open up your hearts.
~ Jill Wolf