The choice this morning is between women’s plunging backlines and polished backs and the just concluded US vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.
Yielding to my natural shallowness let me go with plunging backlines and polished backs. As Gujarat in general and Ahmedabad in particular get ready for the annual dance festival of Navratri (literally Nine Nights), fetching and not so fetching, young and no so young women seem all set to put their best back forward. (Excuse the awkward sentence structure).
Since most women joining the nightly revelries of dance and music will wear either totally backless blouses or those that significantly expose their backs a small industry of beautifying backs has cropped up. I am told it could set women back by a few thousand rupees to make their backs glistening and alluringly smooth for the festival.
Women undergo a fairly elaborate beauty treatment which entails an assortment of cleansers and creams and lotions being rubbed. I am told rubbing clockwise or counterclockwise can make a difference in the smoothness of the back. So experts do a combination of the two with circles intersecting in a particular way. Just reading this might send some into advance stages of arousal.
Backs thus polished women then move on to ornately sequined dresses designed just for these nine nights. The affluent ones do not repeat a dress through the festival, sometimes undergoing two or three changes a night. Women are known to drop up to 50,000 rupees a dress during this time of year. Even those from more modest families set aside a fairly generous budget for Navratri. Considering that India now has a sizable population of young women in their early to mid-20s with their own fairly good independent incomes, buying clothes and accessories for the season has become much easier than what it was in the late 1960s early '70s when I grew up.
In my teenage years there were young women in backless blouses but not as many as now. There was no concept of polishing backs in those days but with testosterone pumping at capacity and more it was enough for teenagers like me that there were actual girls in proximity. That some of them wore figure-hugging blouses and form-defining skirts was a tremendous bonus.
There are special dance classes offered a couple of months before Navratri where choreographers devise new steps for the new season. I am told that dancing out of step by improvising your own is a big no-no. A group, no matter how small or large, which has trained together has to stick to the agreed choreography. I am also told that the choreography becomes the great differentiator apart from the cut of the backless and semi-backless blouses.
As the festival kicks in on October 16, one can feel the excitement building up among the young generation. Apart from everything else Navratri also offers an irresistible opportunity to explore surreptitious sexual joys. In my teenage years a girl accidentally brushing her hand against mine was the height of sexual contact. It is safe to say that now what constitutes the height of sexual contact is actual sex.
I used to be able to shake a leg or two with considerable ability but that phase is well past over. One has long entered the phase where one runs the risk of creeping out the younger generation. So I do not intend to join in the swirling madness but merely watch from the sidelines with as much avuncular asexuality as one can muster. I am better off watching two politicians, such as Biden and Ryan slugging it out on television. There is no prospect of anything plunging there other than someone’s entire political career.