Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Magical Hug – “Jaadu ki Jhapppi”

This post is written as the tenth in the series of A-to-Z challenge and a part of #1000speak

My series theme is "Compassion" and today's thought is based on
"Jaadu ki Jhapppi" (Hindi phrase for Magical Hugs)

Jaadu ki Jhappi is a Bollywood concept originated from the movie “Munna Bhai MBBS”. The protagonist is a quack who starts the “Jaadu ki Jhappi” (Magical hug) trend in the hospital where he worked. In a typical Bollywood fiction format, the magical hugs healed many including a paralysis patient.

Research conducted in 2003, by psychologist Karen Grewen with the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, suggests that hug has medical benefits. Hug enhances the level of oxytocin (love hormone) which facilitates bonding. Hugs also reduced the harmful effects of stress because they effectively lower cortisol, (the stress hormone) and increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin (feel-good hormones). Interestingly, that people who lacked in physical contact with other human beings had higher blood pressure and heart rate than people who experienced touch often.

A warm hug from a loved one – mother, father or a teacher, does wonders to a child. It boosts his morale, and makes the child feel loved. This is particularly true with Vihaan (my 6 year old school going boy). A loving embrace of my spouse gives me the necessary strength to take on the demands of the world. An earnest hug from a cheerfully smiling friend, gives me self-confidence, and deep down I know there is someone who is there for me. Jaadu ki Jhappi (hug) is a symbol of support, indicating affection and care from the giver.
Sweden, my current country of residence, is a joy to live. It is a land where people live and not merely exist. With the way of living revolving around making oneself happy, and living a life of choice, happy and content Swedes live on hugs. Once you are not a stranger on the street, you get the warm Swedish “Kram”. In India, hugging is not a norm. “Namaste” (folding hands) is the normal form of greetings. Hugging is not a part of culture. Hugging is not left on your free will. It is OK to hug our child in public. But hugging our spouse in public is a taboo.
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Nevertheless, hugging your loved one is an unparalleled joy. I am grateful I have my family and friends to give me support and confidence at every step of my life. If you have your loved one around you now, what are you waiting for? A tight, warm, heartfelt “Jaadu ki Jhappi” awaits! Go for it.

Head to my fellow blogger and author, Devika Fernando posts to read insights on life during the challenge.