And every time there is a ban, our social media timelines are full of ‘I will leave this country’ or ‘this government will sure chase the youth out of the nation’. When a distressed friend said she wanted to leave this country I thought of being a little helpful and started looking for that perfect and progressive nation where nothing is banned at all. And guess what? Map in hand I sat, I sat through the night as the street dogs kept me company. As per liberal gyaan I had of course thought the West is the most progressive zone on the planet and started looking for countries there. But wait. It isn’t easy to find that perfect land. So I just did a mix of West and East and South and landed in a hot bowl of soup!!!
I started with the one country people call passionate. Wines and Kisses, etc etc.
France– Okay okay. Don’t start hitting me. But Ketchup is banned in primary schools. One might say it is because it is not nutritious. But the point is not all fast food is banned. So the poor kids can’t enjoy their French fries with ketchup. Now if my friend’s toddler goes to school and sees the ban, she would blame me. Is the Ketchup song okay?
Up until 2008, Red Bull was banned. So France is of the list.
Greece is the land of the erm Greek Gods. So I thought I could just, you know help a friend.
Greece and South Korea – Now tell me what is common between Greece and South Korea? Video games. Bizarre ain’t it? In 2002 Greece banned video games. And though it is not completely banned in South Korea, post midnight under age gamers can’t play video games. That means there is a big brother watching you.
Okay this is my favourite. Whenever I take a selfie I look like a porcupine or a horse. So I love it when I know South Korea has banned selfie sticks. Why should others have fun!
And the country had also banned miniskirts.
North Korea- Even though it is not a perfect one I still checked the rules since it is next to South Korea. And informed her ‘If you were to travel to the country make sure you aren’t carrying any blue jeans with you.’ Yes. That innocent and low maintenance garment is banned in the country. They say it is because it is a symbol of American imperialism. What if one was to wear green, black, saffron jeans? And then of course Instagram is banned in the nation. So it is not going to be a photographer’s paradise.
Australia – Well well well. Now this is ‘misogyny’. If one aspired to be a lead actress in an adult film, she would have to be well endowed. Women with smaller bosoms can’t. Because that is banned in Australia. Though my friend is the nerdy type and wouldn’t take the bold step but then it would be difficult if she were to research on D.H. Lawrence. Why? Lady Chatterley’s Lover is reportedly banned in the country.
Oh wait. I forgot to tell you. If you were in the Victoria state, you cannot change a light bulb unless you are a licensed electrician. I know we are the masters of Jugaad. But it will not work there. Scratched off the list. This is a bizarre land. In Melbourne, vacuuming your house between 10 pm and 7 am during weekdays and 10 pm and 9 am during the weekends is against the law.
United Kingdom– Now this is a relatively safer option. UK doesn’t stop you from eating or wearing things of your choice. But. If you are on a visit, make sure you do not die in Houses of Parliament. I mean you would be dead and no one would be able to punish you. But it is still prohibited, because it is believed that anyone who dies there deserves a state funeral.
After a quick tour of Spain I decided to get back to the East. Well that is because Spain apparently has a ban on Flip flops while driving. So if you have freshly painted toe nails or a band aid stuck on a toe, Flip flops would be a flop idea.
Singapore –Now if we were to have a cricket tournament in Singapore, we wouldn’t see our cricketers move their sexy jaws and chew gum. Erm the obvious reason is because chewing gum is banned in Singapore. Off the list.
The next land my cursor landed on is Somalia. Well don’t yell at me please. It is no perfect land and I know it. But the ban is so bizarre that I had to text it to my friend and also share it with all of you.
Somalia– Wonder oh wonder. Samosas are banned in Somalia. Why? Because the innocent triangle shaped dish it seems looks like the Christian Holy Trinity. Not just my friend. This country would be a no-no for the samosa loving Indians right? I mean which rainy evening chit chat is complete without some piping hot tea and lip smacking samosas?
Italy – Naah….my search doesn’t end here. In Eboli a little town in southern Italy, one is not supposed to kiss in cars. In cars. Mind you. Not a very open public space. And many like my friend think we are a conservative country. Here a fringe group may get you married off. But you can still kiss in public. There is no official law right?
And then if were to reach Milan, you would have to smile always. You might have had a bad day, you might have a break up. But you cannot frown in public.
We also have Capri ( no not the garment, the tourist destination). Now if you have a sandal or a flip flop that makes noise, then you are in trouble. Because surprise surprise. It is banned.
Hawaii– And then if you have romantic dreams of Hawaii and love to sing, check your decibel levels if you land in Honolulu. You cannot sing loudly after sunset if you are in Honolulu. Off the list. My friend likes singing.
The world is not as free as we think. Somewhere it is a religious law, somewhere it is a social law or just a fallacious act. The one point is, the world is not ideal or Utopian. I for one have had a bizarre experience looking for the perfect land. My friend has realized it is futile and now wants to stay back. But wait. Let me take a moment to share a few more bizarre things. Our liberals think patriarchy is an Indian product. But oh wait. Let’s cut the crap. In Florida a woman is only allowed sky diving on a Sunday if she is married. And that is not the only one. In Bolivia, a married woman is allowed just one glass of wine. Just one. Mind it!
Men also have rules. In Ottumwa, Iowa if a man is caught winking at a woman, he would be fined. So you can’t sing ‘aankh maare o ladka aankh maare’ there I am sure. Or maybe the singing is allowed!
Now let us come to a sickening, stomach turning law. In Iran you can have sex with domestic animals. But not with wild animals. Whatever perverted logic! Or illogic. And men can’t make ponytails. So all you gorgeous men with better and longer hair than us women, do not go there.
And then in a city in Russia, if you have a car, better have it clean. If you drive a dirty car you will be fined. Yes. So you can’t drive a dirty car to a car washer. Cute isn’t it?
Denmark of course would be a hated land for Indian liberals. It has a ban on halal meat. Danes can’t even name their baby as per their wishes. They have to choose from a list of 7000 names. Must be a hard thing for parents. Skimming though 7000 names is not a joke.
My absolute favourite ban. Gossiping is banned in Icononzo, Colombia. And jogging is groups is banned in Burundi.
So the next time anyone says Ban-istan and Ban-de Mataram; take them for a virtual tour of the world. And if they don’t believe send them to Monza with a Gold fish in a glass jar.
P.S- Or ask them to build a nation and call it ‘ The Ban Free Land’. ;)