The most positive picture floating around internet these days is this one:
Two people holding each other, one being the comforter and other being comforted. This should be such a natural expression to share happiness, sorrow & love. Though this is a very common form of expression in the west, I don’t think it comes naturally to Indians. I have never witnessed it in my family or amongst neighbours. When we meet we usually say hello / namaste which is very formal.
My first tryst with a hug was with my mom’s christian friend. We met her at a railway station and she just hugged me, when mom introduced us. I still remember how awkward I felt and didn’t know what struck me and how should I react. That was the only experience in a long time.
Circa 2012. Welcome to Social networking sites. I learnt to give virtual hugs by quoting *hugs* and used to wonder what would happen if I meet those person in real? Would I be able to give them a real hug?
Circa 2014. Mom started staying at sister’s place and by then I had become a compulsive virtual hugger so much so that I didn’t have any qualms in hugging people. In public. Be it my colleague who I met after years & mom, who is usually not expressive about her emotions.
And you know what? It feels good. The warmth of friendship & love gives you a comfort which nothing else can. Not even chocolate.
Also, recently I got to hug someone (@islejazz) whom I used to send virtual hugs the most & my question was answered. If you really love the person, hugging comes naturally & feels great. ^_^