In Mumbai’s Borivali, Satyam Shivam Sundaram residents put up a sign declaring there is a ‘No Kissing Zone’ outside their colony to prevent couples from showing their affection publicly. Since the Covid-induced lockdown began, residents reported seeing couples getting intimate on bikes and in cars from 5 pm until late evening. With no other option in sight, the residents of the society painted ‘No Kissing Zone’ outside their road.
There has been a reduction in the number of couples in the area as a result of the marking. ‘We are not against couples and kissing, but we cannot allow the premises just outside our houses to become a kissing zone. Residents initially explained this to couples, but when it became a regular spot, we came up with the idea of marking out the spot,’ says Satyam Shivam Sundaram resident Kailashrao Deshmukh.
In the beginning, residents filmed the couples outside their society and showed them to their local corporator, who notified the police. After receiving no action from the police, the residents decided to take action themselves and put a ‘No Kissing Zone’ sign. ‘Couples are not seen here since the marking. People come here to take selfies. When they park, get down, and see this marking, it has a psychological impact on them,’ said Deshmukh.
Residents complained about the constant romancing outside their windows. After consulting with the society’s chairman and secretary, they decided to paint the sign on the road. On the other hand, a couple told us there wasn’t much space to spend time in Mumbai. ‘No parking’, ‘no spitting’, ‘no smoking’ and ‘no drinking’ zones are common, but a ‘no kissing zone’ is new to them.
‘In the city, there is a space crunch, especially after lockdown. There are time limits or prohibitions on sitting in promenades and gardens. Roads are the only option left. Roads are public property and if things continue like this, there will be no place for couples in the city,’ residents said.