Be cautious in India, Richard Gere

Dear Mr. Gere,

It is with great pleasure that I inform you that the Supreme Court of India has suspended the arrestBurka
against you in connection with the Shilpa Shetty kiss. You are free to return to India. But as your attorney, I must caution you against doing any of the following:

1. Kissing Shilpa Shetty. The Supreme Court ruling does not mean that you can now kiss Shetty or any other Indian woman in public. It also does not mean that you can kiss any man in public. If any businessman is particularly generous to you or your charitable efforts, please avoid the temptation to kiss his butt. Please do all your kissing in private (and please do not record it and post it on YouTube).

2. Making any statement that indicates that you do not regret the Shilpa Shetty kiss. You must continue to act repentant and remorseful, even if everyone knows that the kiss was enjoyable and one of the highlights of your life.

3. Hugging an Indian woman with your hands around her. This rule applies even if you have no intention of squeezing her butt. If you must hug an Indian woman, try to do it with your hands raised above your head. And do not, under any circumstances, make contact with her breasts.

4. Blowing kisses to your fans. This may have been acceptable in the past, but these days, everything you do will be judged in the context of the Shetty kiss. And to right-wing activists, blowing a kiss may be seen as your way of waving a middle finger at them.

5. Exposing your lips to the public. As long as your lips are exposed, there is a chance that they may come into contact with another person. That’s why I recommend that during your next visit to India, for your safety and to appease right-wing activists, you wear a burka in public. A burka would save you a lot of trouble, as long as you resist the temptation to wear an extra-large one and hide Shilpa Shetty inside it.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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