Love in Simla…. growing up in Simla of the Sixties

Love” was a hush hush word during our growing up years in Simla of the Sixties! Though I can’t be so sure about the dainty damsels on the Mall but for the Lower Bazaar kudiis…it was a taboo to speak this four-lettered word aloud! It was much better to use a more respectable phrase like “kutchh kutchh hota hai” for us!!
So under these circumstances imagine a big jolt to our middle-class sensibilities when big hoardings were displayed near the lower Bazaar tunnel and at the Telegraph office side of the Lower Bazaar proclaiming “Love in Shimla”!! The word “love” became synonymous with Shimla… Never thought how words and vocabularies could change the sensibilities and taboos of a class of people! But this title changed so much for Simla and its people! At least for us…the girls!
This was just the beginning…another picture “Love in Tokyo” surpassed all the popularity charts for us, the kids!! So much so that the film title “Love in Tokyo” swept everyone off their feet and more than just a movie title It became an expression for a much-coveted romantic love! We, the kids of the Sixties, learnt our first Phoren language word, apart from english language, “Sayonara” and would use it in place of bye-bye.. “Kal phir aaungi….Sayonara…Ithhlaati aur Bal khaati….” How sensual it was! And it permeated so easily into our middle class sensibility that we were not able to distinguish it as a Phoren language word!!! So much so that this phrase broke away all the barricades…between the Mall and the Lower Bazaar, sensibilities, between Hindi and Angrezi language….and between Desi and Japanese!
Such an enlightenment and lessons in humanity were bestowed upon us by watching the big filmy posters near the lower Bazaar tunnel and singing “Love in Tokyo” all the way to our shy youth!!!

That was the biggest lesson of amalgamation that we learnt while growing up in Simla of the Sixties! How could I imagine the message this small three worded filmy title would have to me when I would be a greying old woman running my Sixties!!!
Next time…..

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