Sunday, March 22, 2009


Try me



It is a scary feeling. There is a deep hollow in my brain because of memory reprocessing. All my memories were stored believing, confirming, and affirming that I was a shy individual. However, I have come to realize that I am just plain cowardly. What I viewed as being shy, turns out is that part of me refusing to be called cowardly and hence is refashioning itself into an appropriate, innocent and feminine quality, which I have never had and possibly never will.

Such is life, a bundle of bittersweet reality checks.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I positive

That little piece of flesh

Remember those Levi’s dangerously low jeans? Bare bodies models adorning every billboard in town. Our orthodox and overactive cultural police did do a successful job of bringing down those ‘shameless’ pictures but that in anyway did not bring the sales down.

The jeans crowded the colleges. Books were dropped, butt cleavages exposed. Laces were tied, anal hair exhibited. Elders would roll their eyes and an occasional aunty would mock, “Kids nowadays!”

If that was not enough remorse for the elders, the underwear never caught up with the trend. Or they probably did. Suddenly names of American men were boldly visible on huge waistbands above the dangerously low jeans.

On the other hand, the panties were a little more conscious of the fashion development, and coordinated with the dangerously low producing tiny insignificant underwear which my mom had trouble folding.

The t-shirts got stuffier and tinier. For the kurta-jeans crowd, the side slits got larger and longer. And actually that’s where my story begins.

I am on the yatra sitting with a couple of girls. All of us belong to different age groups and different parts of the world. G is from a Kenya and has a healthy curiosity about anything remotely Indian. A is educating her on Indian marriages. There is great camaraderie and every five minutes someone breaks into giggles.

A is from Coimbatore. She is dressed in a casual kurti up to her hips and jeans (high waist one). She says, “I could never wear this at home.”

G is shocked. She looks at me. I am dressed in a knee length kurta and raggedy jeans (mid rise one). I say, “I always dress like this.”

I am reaching out to the top berth to get some water. Looking at me, A explains, “See, the difference is, I can wear what she is wearing but for that little piece of flesh.”

She is referring to small triangle of skin that shows between my kurta and my jeans at the sides.

The politics of clothing has always amused me. How deep is a deep neck? How short is a short skirt? How short can a sleeve really go without being slutty? How mini is a mini?

Now I am at Govandi station arming myself to get into the train. I notice the woman next to me stare at me two seconds too more. I look at her and smile.

She comes close and says, “tumhaara kurta phat gaya hai.”

I am surprised and worried and as I pull it back and front to see where exactly, she looks at me and points to that little piece of flesh.