PDA – Public Display of Affection


During our visit to Europe two years ago – we – my “Better Half” and Me – we saw an enthralling “French Can Can” cabaret called Paradis à la Folie at Paradis Latin in Paris.

The place was jampacked.

We were lucky to get excellent seats – and we – my “Better Half” and Me – we sat next to each other.

When were seated in the restaurant – before the start of the cabaret show – a lady photographer asked us whether we would like to take some pictures as a memory of our visit to Paradis Latin.

The “package” comprised 5 pictures.

For the first picture – we were required to hold (clink) our champagne glasses together and smile.

My “Better Half” was okay with this – as long as I kept a resonable distance between us.

For the second picture – the lady photographer asked me to hug my “Better Half”.

As I hugged my “Better Half” – I could sense that she was feeling uncomfortable.

Next – for the third picture – we were asked to hold each other tight – and rub our cheeks together.

I responded enthusiastically – but my “Better Half” was desperately trying to wriggle away from me – she seemed to feeling very awkward and embarrassed – and – the way she was trying to free herself from my “clutches” – this indicated that she was feeling distinctly uncomfortable and extremely uneasy.

However – the third “romantic” photo was successfully clicked – though the expression of my “Better Half” is quite hilarious.

For the fourth picture – I was supposed to kiss my “Better Half” on the cheek.

When I tried to do so – my “Better Half” violently pushed me away.

She seemed furious at my attempts at “Public Display of Affection” – albeit – just for a photo.

My “Better Half” was looking at me so angrily – that I could not even dare to attempt to kiss her on the lips – as was required for the fifth picture.

The lady photographer had a big laugh at my “predicament” – and she gave us a discount – since she could click only 3 out of the 5 “romantic” pictures.

Later – my “Better Half” scolded me for my attempts at “Public Display of Affection” – and that too – when some people in the restaurant were a part of our tour group – who seemed to be eagerly watching us.

(Of course – my “Better Half” thoroughly enjoyed the the Paradis Latin Cabaret Show – which was a most beautiful, artistic and enjoyable cabaret – 90 minutes of enthralling entertainment – marvelous mesmerizing French Can Can dances with captivating music, dazzling costumes and incredible choreography)

Coming to my “Better Half” – her distaste for Public Display of Affection reminds me of this story I had written some years ago…

PDA – “Public Display of Affection”

A Love Story by Vikram Karve


A few days ago – while crossing a busy road I caught my wife’s hand – with the intention of helping her cross the road safely.

“Why are you holding my hand in public…?” my wife scolded me – and – she pulled away her hand.

My “Better Half” seemed furious at my “indecent” act of holding her hand in full view of the public.

So – I said to my wife:

“I am sorry – I just wanted to help you cross the road…”

My wife admonished me:

“Am I a small child or something…? I can cross the road myself. You behave yourself – especially in public…”

The same thing happened on our recent tour of Europe.

Whenever I tried to hold my wife while posing for photos – my wife would try to wriggle away – scolding me not to hold her.

Zero “Public Display of Affection” – that is the story of our “romance”.

Dear Reader – for your information – we have been married for more than 37 years.

(my wife and I got married on 30 May 1982)

Yes, Dear Reader – my “Better Half” and I – we have completed more than 37 years of married life.

But – there is no question of “Public Display of Affection” aka PDA.

(There’s hardly any “Private Display of Affection” either – but – that’s another story)

Hey – Dear Reader – I am digressing – so – let me come back to the incident where my “Better Half” scolded me for holding her hand in public.

Well – this incident reminded me of a “Public Display of Affection” story that happened many years ago – during my delightful early Navy days…


A Case of “Public Display of Affection” aka “PDA”

Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

My first unforgettable memory of Public Display of Affection (PDA) was around 43 years ago – in the late 1970’s – during my early days in the Navy.

There was a young newly married couple who just could not take their hands off each other.

A Naval Officer is not permitted to get married before the age of 25.

But in this case – the Navy had made an exception.

In a rare gesture – the Navy had shown “compassion” for “passion”.

It was a whirlwind romance – and parental opposition had necessitated a quick “hush-hush” wedding – and the Navy was presented with a fait accompli – when a young Under-Trainee Sub Lieutenant got married without without permission and reported for duty along with his newly-wedded wife.

The young Sub Lieutenant bluntly stated that he was prepared to quit the Navy for the sake of his “Lady Love”.

So – permission was granted as an exceptional case – and the young couple was allowed to stay in the Wardroom (Officers Mess).

They were allotted a cabin in the old barrack where married officers awaiting allocation of proper married quarters lived temporarily.

The newly married husband and wife were passionately in love.

Their fervent love was visible to one and all – because the handsome husband – and his beautiful wife – demonstrated their obsessive affection for each other quite explicitly in public in a most uninhibited manner.

Dear Reader – please remember – this was the conservative India of the 1970’s – and this brazen Public Display of Affection (PDA) was happening in a remote cantonment – in full view of sailors and their families – who were mostly from rural areas – and had rather conservative values.

Now – in the orthodox and conformist environment of a cantonment – an officer and his wife indulging in such titillating physical Public Display Of Affection (PDA) was viewed as scandalous conduct.

The officer was warned to mend his ways.

The wife was “counselled” by ladies.

But – there was no effect.

In fact – the “advice” seemed to have the opposite effect.

The young “lovey-dovey” couple continued their amorous “PDA” with much greater ardour and passion – which seemed to be attaining new heights.

One evening they were observed kissing and “making out” in the dark corners of the base cinema hall – with their hands all over each other – when the lights suddenly came on.

Next morning – the “lovey-dovey” officer was read the “riot act” – and threatened with disciplinary action if he did not mend his ways.

“We will throw the book at you…” he was warned.

“We will charge you with Section 53 (indecent behaviour) and Section 54 (conduct unbecoming the character of an officer) of the Navy Act…” they threatened him.

But despite all this – there was no salutary effect on the officer and his wife – who continued their brazen PDA with increasing passion.

Soon everyone turned a blind eye to the PDA – because all realized that the officer and his wife were madly in love with each other.

The officer completed his training a few months later – and was transferred to a ship based at Mumbai.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief – in a cosmopolitan place like Mumbai – PDA was no big deal – even the Navy in Mumbai had a progressive culture as compared to other places.


I saw the officer three years later at an official function.

He looked like a ghost of his earlier self – as if he had gone through a serious bout of illness.

When I commented on his emaciated appearance – someone said to me:

“Don’t you know what a terrible tragedy the poor chap has gone through…? He has been through a most acrimonious and nasty divorce – and the distressing marital discord and bitter divorce has taken a big toll on his health.”

“Divorce…?” I was stunned.

I could never imagine that such a “lovey-dovey couple” who publicly demonstrated their intense love for each other would ever get divorced.

I still remembered their extremely sensual, passionate, amorous and highly romantic Public Display of Affection (PDA).

How could a husband and wife who were so passionately in love with each other suddenly get divorced…?

It did not make sense.

The couple had been so much in love – that they did not hesitate to publicly display their affection for each other despite societal disapproval – how could they get divorced…?

I just could not understand this inexplicable paradox.


Twenty years later – I once again met the officer – this time at an airport.

He told me that he had quit the Navy – and he had taken up a job in the corporate sector.

There was a lady standing next to him along with two children.

He introduced his wife and children.

So – he had got remarried.

Looking at his kids – I estimated that he must have got remarried around 10 years ago.

I remembered the officer and his first wife – the “lovey-dovey couple” – and their passionate, unrestrained and uninhibited Public Display of Affection (PDA).

But – now – there appeared to be a sea change in his demeanor with his new wife.

There was absolutely no Public Display of Affection (PDA) between him and his new wife.

In fact – from the way they were conducting themselves in public – it did not even appear that they were husband and wife.

What an irony…?

The “lovey-dovey” marriage with PDA – it broke up within one year.

The “loveless” marriage without PDA – it lasted for more than 10 years

And – it looked like this second marriage would last forever.

I still cannot fathom the paradox.

A relationship with “100% PDA” is fragile.

But – a relationship with “Zero PDA” is durable.

Such are the mysteries of marriage, romance, love, dating and relationships.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/12/public-display-of-affection-aka-pda.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a Revised Version of My Story PDA – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in this blog on 21 Jan 2015 and 04 Aug 2015 and 06 Oct 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/01/pda-public-display-of-affection.htmland http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-public-display-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/lovey-dovey-couple.htmlandhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/humor-in-uniform-pda-public-display-of.htmlandhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/public-display-of-affection-pda.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/pda-public-display-of-affection/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/do-you-like-public-display-of-affection-aka-pda/etc

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