The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is an unabashed schloop-me-tight-goober.
What? Haven’t you heard of schlooping? It is a close, squishing embrace, which is so tight and close that it can get a bit embarrassing for the other person. Schloop-me-tight-goober is an authentic copyrighted Spunkybong term. I’ll sue you if you use it without my permishun.
Oh yeah, Narendra Modi is a hell of a touchy schloopy guy. Give him half a chance and he’ll schloop you. If you happen ta be a head of state, film star, CEO or celebrity and you see Modi bearing down on you from across the room, you’re going ta get schlooped whether you like it or not.
Sometimes he won’t let go – he’ll just keep on schlooping you with that Alfred E. Newman grin on his face. Just take a look at his schloop pics, go ahead. In every one of them, he looks slightly off into the distance and seems to say,’ What? Me worry?’
I just found an interesting photo of Modi, hugging Facebook founder and billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg at Silicon Valley, who appears to be cringing while trying to put on a brave smile. Schlooping billionaires is Narendra Modi’s forté.
Let me show you a few variations – ‘Schleep’ is when a schloop includes a kiss on the cheek. You could go further – like you could think of doing a schleep-a-doo-dee. You’ll have ta check into a motel room in a remote part of town, under a false name, with a blonde, to do a schleep-a-doo-dee. But let’s stick to just schlooping, okay? I am too straight-laced to write about the others, though there was a time I even would go schlapee-da-shoo, but please, don’t make me tell you what that is.
At work, just prior to the Christmas break, there’s a lot of schlooping going on. On December 24th, everyone walks around the office, schlooping everyone else. That’s the only day when Pierrette, the well-endowed counter-girl at the company cafeteria, gets schlooped by everybody. Even guys with pacemakers line up for coffee, just ta be able to schloop Pierrette, stroke be damned. Colombian coffee plantations just run dry, December 24th. It’s the day Pierrette’s counter looks a bit like the Holi festival in India, when men get official sanction to molest and women resign themselves to be pawed and squeezed. I am of course a refined individual who doesn’t believe in such frivolity.
There are goobers other than the schloop-me-tight-goobers of course. Let me introduce you to another kind of goober that inhabits the world – suck-my-face-goobers – also a Spunkybong copyrighted term. Suck-my-face-goobers are annoying folks who like to kiss wet slobbering open-mouthed kisses that women say are so yucky. Their kisses have a ridiculous slurpy sound, leaving half the woman’s face wet and sloppy, while their tongues slurp around the palate like eels. Yechh!
Suck-my-face-goobers are usually men but once in a while one gets a female – like this girl I used ta know in Pune when I was twennie-fie. She just couldn’t get enough of me and would slobber over my face until I felt like I was at Abu Ghraib, being water-boarded.
Getting back to the matter of schlooping, in itself, the act of one human hugging another is a heartwarming image. After all, the world does face a love-deficit at the moment, with the rise of the Donald Trumps and the Sarah Palins.
What is striking about Modi’s schlooping is the look of pure bliss on his face in each schloopy photo. What’s with the guy? He makes it look like he is in multiple same sex marriages, each photo appearing as though it was taken right after the ring exchange and the vows.
But then again, I hasten ta add that there is nothing wrong with the gesture as far as I am concerned. Politicians in India schloop all the time. It is the way of things there. India is choc-a-bloc with schloop-me-tight-goobers, especially among it’s politicians.
Having said that however, I cannot help feeling that it is not a very appropriate gesture for an Indian head of state to make in the western world. The warmth that a schloop tries to convey, is lost on most world leaders, especially if they happen to be white statesmen from affluent nations.
Would you find a David Cameron hugging a Francois Hollande? Or an Anglea Merkel getting schlooped by a Berlusconi? Modi thinks nothing of hugging his arch-rival, Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif. Would you dream of seeing Barack Obama schlooping Vladimir Putin? Why does it become so necessary for an Indian Prime Minister to slobber all over another dignitary? During his last meeting with Obama, Modi schlooped him no less than six times in the space of 24 hours.
In the west, physical space is an important concept. Usually it is a two-foot deep envelope all around a person. Western men take breaching that envelope as an annoyance and even an act of aggression. Between straight men in the west, the only acceptable way to breach the envelope is through a handshake or a high five. Otherwise, schlooping is frowned upon in general. A hug may look quite normal in India –even holding hands is quite common between two male friends in India, but if you try to hold another man’s hand here in the west, he’ll recoil away from you, convinced that you are a raving homo.
There could be a number of reasons for this aversion to touching between men in the west – one is a perception that any overt show of warmth or affection is by default a sign of a lack of manliness. After all the Caucasian male is essentially a war-like species of human beings, immensely proud of his masculinity. In ancient Greece, where homosexuality was endemic, a male could be a passive partner to another man and allow himself to be penetrated, only up until the age of 16-17, beyond which he had to marry a woman because it would be considered unmanly for him to allow himself to be screwed by another man.
Another reason could be the way that a western individual is taught to practice his faith. Take a look at pictures of Christian, Jewish or Islamic prophets and even artistic depictions of God – invariably they are all shown as austere, stern, severe, martial, generally inspiring fear and respect. Hey, if you look at a picture of Moses, would it make you feel like giving him a hug?
All three Abrahamic religions teach believers to ‘fear’ God or else. The term ‘an honest god-fearing man’ is an oft-repeated one in the west, meant to describe a devout person. Being God-fearing is like a qualification here. Brutal retribution is just one tiny sin away, if one follows either the Bible, the Tora or the Quran. It may be this either my way or the highway implicit ultimatum in these three religions that somehow makes a majority of believers cold and impersonal.
This is not to say that I haven’t met warm Christians or Muslims. The lack of warmth that I am referring to is just alluded to the physical space concerns and therefore the straight western man’s aversion to schlooping. Besides, I am not expressing an opinion on whether that is desirable or undesirable.
In comparison, Hinduism and all it’s gods and goddesses (we Hindus don’t have prophets or any other divine sales reps) – they all have one thing invariably in common – our Gods have this beatific, mushy and serene smile. The goddesses are cute to the extreme and the gods seem to be wearing lipstick and mascara (one of them – Ganesha with the elephant head – even looks cuddly). Fearing god is not a requirement at all in Hinduism, not in the way that the Abrahamic religions make it mandatory. There is no threat of hell fire in Hinduism. The explanation is simple and profound – how can you love someone you are told you should fear?
If I were Narendra Modi, I would stop being a schloop-me-tight-goober forthwith and maintain a certain aloofness. In international politics, it is more prudent to command respect than to look for affection.