In what marks a tectonic shift in our cultural sensibilities, India now has its very first advertisement which features a same sex couple. The ad belongs to a campaign by ethnic wear brand Anouk, retailing at fashion portal Myntra and begins with a casual conversation between two adult women – they could be roommates or just good friends. But it subtly shifts tone midway, suggesting some level of anxiety on one girl’s behalf since she is about to make an important announcement to her parents.
The ad appears to be shot with a lot of sensitivity and finesse. In the end the viewer walks away with the belief that a same sex couple is just like any other, that intimacy, no matter what form it takes, retains the same human emotions that drive us to care for one another.
What’s even more incredible is that no one seems to have called for a ban so far. In a country that is so reflexively fascistic about anything that doesn’t fit in their world view, this is either a huge leap in our ability to show tolerance or blind luck, since it’s entirely possible that the ad has flown under the ever present radar of the self-righteous.