Sunday, March 27, 2011

Skirting the issue

Image courtesy :

Last month when Obama joked that his prayers tend to revolve around the length of his 12 year old daughter, Malia’s skirt - it triggered a wave-like effect on parents worldwide, with all of them nodding their heads in understanding.   Suntee ho Chinki ki Mummy...even the President of the most powerful country in the world has no control over his daughter!  And look at our beti, always in a salwar kameez.   Chinki blushes a beetroot red and hides her pile of minis deeper in her closet. Why burst Papajee's bubble? 

Only a man can understand how a hormonally charged teenaged boy’s mind works. And since he’s been there and done that, he has all the reasons to be alarmed.  What he doesn’t comprehend is, that it’s her way of asserting “I’m not a baby anymore and am ready to take flight”.   The poor Dad didn’t even realize when his baby grew up and now reality has hit him with a thud.

This sent me on a flashback.  My daughter insists that all this reminiscing for the sake of blogging is playing tricks on my memory.  Of late I have started forgetting things alarmingly.  The other day the husband rang the bell and I asked with a genuinely puzzled expression ‘You look familiar, do I know you”?   He of course wasn’t amused.   Agreed he works very hard and his face is mostly hidden behind his laptop, but this is unpardonable!  Damn, I’m deviating and will soon forget what I was writing about in the first place.  The point is I pressed the rewind button and stopped at my school girl days – the time when I was my parents’ worst nightmare.  But my shrinking skirt did not give them sleepless nights.  They were either too busy to notice or pretended not to notice and I merrily took advantage of it.  In school the length of our skirts was a matter of prestige - the higher it went, the more it upped our coolness quotient.  It helped that our principal was one those ladies who thought long skirts were meant for behenjees and even went to the extent of announcing her preference for short skirts in the assembly.  It was greeted with loud cheers especially from the guys and we girls did our very best to make her feel proud.

Soon it was time for me to start my college life and I took a public bus for the first time in my life.  I was still in love with my skirts and since I wanted to dazzle the college crowd with my style quotient, they had become even shorter now.  In the bus I noticed a strange phenomenon.  Everyone was looking intently at my legs, you know the brows knit together focussed look.   I was concerned... Is something wrong? Why is everyone having a silent conversation with my limbs!   It must have been a startling discovery for them – the salwar kee peechhe kya hai moment.  And since I was not keen on enlightening the male population about the mysteries of womankind’s anatomy, I had to forsake my Diva dreams. 

My daughter goes to the same school now and she’s far from a parent’s nightmare.  True, for years she sported a strange fad called the hipster skirt.  The sight of teens wearing their skirts/jeans precariously perched on their non-existent behinds were an assault on one’s delicate senses.  Imagine walking behind a bunch of gangly teens with their pants threatening to slide off their frames!  I was petrified of that what if moment.  

The skirt found its way to her waist after years of gentle prodding by her dad & me.  Thankfully the fad also died a quiet death.  

Nowadays I doubt if parents are worried about the length of the skirt.  I often walk into a store and pick up a tee which turns out to be a dress... A slightly long shirt ...yupp this one is a dress too....An apron...Maa that’s a shift dress....  And then you have these hardly-there shorts which they call hot pants.  The skirt now seems so last century.  

They say the length of the skirt is correlated to the state of the economy.  When the Economy is down in dumps, women prefer covering up and as the economy starts looking up the hemlines follow suit, much to the relief of men.  

Judging from Malia’s itsy bitsy skirts on Obama’s state trip to Latin America, the President can take solace that the American economy is back on track.  And judging from the near non-existent skirts on our gen-now, dear parents worldwide, it’s time to update your prayers.  Dear Lord, we are happy the way our Economy is shaping up, thank you so much.  But can you please, without messing around with the stock markets, turn around fashion and make her tent, apron, tutu or whatever she’s wearing, a little longer?
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  1. I had a very cute skirt back in school too.. :) And as elsewhere, the shorter the better, and smarter.

    Sadly, now I've I wear those skirts/hot pants and stare at myself in the mirror, think my calves aren't shapely enough, decide to wear them when I'm in better shape.


  2. Ok...seriously..this time I can't think of anything to write in the comments section, about the post.....because:
    a) I don't wear and don't intend to wear a skirt. I did wear a denim skirt once but it was by mistake...I was in a hurry and thought it was a Bermuda....happens when you have cousins crowding your house and leaving their belongings scattered in your room. I am always careful since then.
    b) I don't have a baby girl to worry about and it is still a good three or four decades before I start reciting the Obama's Chalisa
    C) Can't think of any more reasons...
    Humorous by the way. Do capture Mr. Rays look next time you ask him who he is and shut the door on his face

  3. Alas, only if the lil Darlin Princess of her father could understand, the age is such that we can bet that we are better parents than our parents, or will be better. But only when we step in their shoes does the story unfold.

    May God listen to their earnest requests. :)
    But what would a boy's parents pray?

  4. what am i thinking.. I dont have to worry about these - got a boy! I am sure he would grow up to be one skirt chaser though! ;-D

  5. Ah! i wish my school had the same rule... for us it was "longer the better"
    nice read!

  6. Hahaha...thats hilarious! So, presumably, Indian economy is back on tracks;) Nice post Purba!

  7. The strange phenomenon of conversing with a girl's limbs when she wears short skirts, continues even to this day.

  8. gah If i had been in my hometown or somewhere other than Chennai, I could hv related to post or maybe written similar posts :P but since most of the population here is drapped in below knee length salwar kammeez that possibility is postponed till I get a transfer.
    your posts are always fun to read :D

  9. Pzes....Didn't we all love our school skirts. And sweets don't think that much, just wear them and dazzle the world!

    Prats...You wore a skirt? Are you sure it was a mistake! How cute....LOL

    Anshul...Boy's parents have a lot to worry about...Spiky gelled hair, too much Axe effect and have you seen those horrendous knee length silken basketball shorts boys prefer nowadays?

  10. Mayank...As parents we are never short of excuses to worry!

    Red Handed...So what's stopping you now?

    Cloud nine...According to the hemline index, it's rocking!

  11. Always happy...Guess it's his retarded way of appreciating beauty :D

    Rajlakshmi...You need to come Gurgaon :p

  12. ha ha the one about the poor dad...i guess you are right knows what another man thinks .so probably the "worry nerves go twang and the voice came out "baby you cant wear this and go ..." well i guess this happens in everyhome

    again i am impressed by your line"They say the length of the skirt is correlated to the state of the economy. When the Economy is down in dumps, women prefer covering up and as the economy starts looking up the hemlines follow suit, much to the relief of men. " well written purba

  13. In school the length of our skirts was a matter of prestige - the higher it went, the more it upped our coolness quotient.- That is so true even now. I remember most of my class mates used to wear their skirts as high above their waists as possible in an effort to make it appear shorter. And roll down their socks. You know why. :P
    I wasn't brave enough to follow suit. Damn this makes me wish I had done it atleast once!

  14. I roll my jeans to appear cool. :P

  15. Being a guy is such a simpler job. Phew!

    Loved the way you described the 'salwar kee peechhe kya hai' moment! Funniness!

  16. In my neighborhood leave aside girls, even their moms wear very short shorts...!

  17. Had a good laugh picturing your predicament in the itsy-bitsy skirt on the DTC bus :)I never got to wear skirts, short or otherwise, thanks to my conservative family. And thankfully I have not had to worry about my daughter's since all have are two boys.

    Thanks to the post, now I will not frown when I see a girl wearing micro-mini dresses but rejoice at the state of the economy :D

  18. Haha .. I was really laughing out loud at the state of the economy-and-raising-hemlines connection :)

    But jokes apart, I think it is a case of chicken-and-egg. Indian teen aged boys, not being used to the sight of short skirts; are bound to stare when they come across one. And girls (and their limbs) are bound to be put off by such unwelcome attention, so they end up not wearing them; which means there's less scope for the boys to "get used to" these sights.

    So, then is there a solution?

  19. RK...It's a fact, hemlines are indeed correlated to the stock market :)

    Samadrita...I know... the socks keep getting buried under the shoes.
    But school girls do look smarter in short skirts.

    Prateek...To show what? :p

  20. Giribala...And why not? I see nothing wrong in it.

    Zephyr...I wished I could melt and disappear, it was acutely embarrassing.

    And stock traders can keep a keen eye on fashion to speculate :p

    Kiran...Look at the girls now, all they wear is shorts and even those shorts are getting shorter! Men should get over the excuse of deprivation.

  21. Ha ha ha .....
    Loved it. Economy & the length of the skirt do go hand in hand. Weird combination but so true. N yes men know what they thought so obviously when it comes to there daughter they what others will think. What a paradox to face.

  22. Heh..heh...I can so relate to "his face is mostly hidden behind his laptop"!!

  23. No harm in shorts or skirts, considering Delhis heat...only the phenomenon is new in metros and we have security guards, drivers and laborers who just cant stop gaping...
    The new blog look is very classy, very pro.....

  24. Lazy Pineapple...Hey! long time :)

    chocolatesanddreams...Only a man can understand how his brethren's mind works and it scares him no end :p

    aneeta...It's either the laptop or his many gadgets.

    Alka...None at all, in fact I encourage her to take it easy. She is allowed to wear anything as long as she is with us :)

    So glad you liked the new template.

  25. Lolz...the president should see the raising hemline as a graphic representation of economy what's wrong with it ....
    The messed up ( i hate this high on hormone excuse )hormones interfere with a more rational thinking i guess :)

    Loved you post Purba...why i didn't find this blog when i needed good humor sometime back...not that it's not welcome right now :)

  26. Infact, being a girl,I sometimes enjoy seeing girls with short skirts. I can imagine where it can take guys to......hahah, njoyed your post Purba!

  27. I used to wear short skirts back at school and even now, I wear them sometimes. Showing off legs have a different feel to it. :P

  28. Oh by the way, I have to say what my father keeps saying:

    Correlation is not causation!

  29. skirts are one the cutest apparels!
    esp loved the way you ended by customising parent's prayers to the changed times!:D

  30. Sangeeta....There are always two ways of looking at things, so why not think positive?

    Nandhini...If you can flaunt it, why not!

    Nethra...Yes, it feels cool and you look hot. I'd say it's a win-win situation.

  31. Karthikay...Correlation is just an excuse?

    magic eye...:)

    4 those who care...Times they are a changing, so shouldn't our prayers change accordingly.
    Like...Lord please don't let Pakistan win :p

  32. To show.........nothing! :p

  33. You have bared the skirts of the issue!
    And I fully agree with the ready-to-slip-away jeans stuff. Well written.

  34. My grandpa had issues with short tees and skirts… if he had his way he would get a scale to measure the length of both to be appropriate by his standards (equivalent to a burqha).

    Jokes apart my worst moment was when I went to a Gurdwara in skirt ( below knee) and the bhaiji announced it on the loud speaker that girls should dress appropriately and not wear skirts when visiting a holy place…. My mom went up to him and said he should focus on his prayers rather than noticing what girls wear

    @ Patty... on public demand please post a pic of yrz in a skirt ;)

  35. Prateek...:)

    umashankar....Thank you

    Delhizen..I love your Mum for standing up for you. This is how men with antiquated mind sets should be dealt with!

    Patty pls pls pls.

  36. i guess skirts have given way to shorts nowadays..I have seen teenage girls wearing shorts which are way high above their knees!! And they have every excuse to don one with such sweltering heat in Mumbai!! :)

  37. Hi, Purba- had a big smile on my face,reading this post, coz I was wondering the same, recently-namely,how every individual goes through an identical phase. Like, a particular time, they want nothing to do with girls, then, it's time to show off to the femme fatales, and wear trendy clothes, then, it's hip to hip-hop, so to speak..hehheh..:)
    A big LOL at ' the President can take solace that the American economy is back on track.'..:)
    Hope Mr. O reads this, somehow.
    I've so many posts that I missed-will surely catch up..but yes, work schedules have been too hectic, leading me to only want to watch comic serials and Comedy Circus in the rare few moments..and,of course, update on FB..I did post yesterday on my blog, though..haha.:)

  38. And not to forget the ever so dropping waistline of their jeans.
    I wonder what holds them there :P

  39. Loved reading ur post...I have a daughter and 'haps a few years from now that could cause a worry esp since v live in hi-life Dubai. We parents do have such kinds of discussions now and then.
    My teenage was spent in a small town and so wearing anything above the knee was considered profane... even wearing jeans!!! You had to be a boy for that or else you should have landed from London (that was the local tongue!)
    But we sure enjoyed our college days as what we wore; stylish or not, was not much of a matter.

  40. Priya...And they look good, so why not!

    Amit...When you have hectic work schedules, you want come home and unwind. And you definitely want to stay a mile away from that computer.

    Anshul...Will power?

    Deepa....In Delhi, sadly what you wear matters. Flaunting your rocks, fancy labels is the done thing. But I guess it's for you to decide whether you"ll let such trivialities effect you :)

  41. Wow! super cool blog design - by any chance was it inspired by my last post?? :)))

    Whether its Delhi or Chennai there is universal formula ie., less clothes = more eyeballs. Hope women understand this!

    Now I will see a vampire - pro women Purba coming with a classy comment to dodge me! :))

  42. This time purba thunder has struck on skirts. Hope they don't go on an indefinite strike.
    Well struck.
    I have two sons, and both had their pants such that I marvelled always, had no reason to be in place.

  43. Very analytic post!! length of the skirt and the state of economy!

  44. Anto...LOL.. No, the template is not inspired.

    But you have to understand this, not all women wear short clothes to grab eye balls. For many it's an expression of freedom ...don't ruin it by gawking at her.

    Pramod...LOL pants that defy the laws of gravity!

    Restless...Yes and it's called the hemline index :)

  45. personally iam of the opinion that, if you got it flaunt it...i have a girl and a boy ( i mean , i dont 'have' them but they were born to me , well, not extactly me but i did have a role to play-hopefully) i do know that i might have to eat my words tomorrow, but rite now, iam all for personal expressions...i think everyone has a right to wear what they want without having the others make them feel uncomfortable..but then the others have the right to be who they want and derive what they want from everyone and that leaves the world a happy happy place..

    i like skirts...i think its cool and its comfortable...i shud know, iam a mallu and i have worn the lungi...we mallus understand girls in skirts...

  46. I just got reminded of how I used to secretly go to the tailor and get my school skirts shortened :)

  47. tys...A give, give - take, take situation! And we will all live happily ever after! That actually sounded like a fairy tale.

    Ana-treek...I got a friend's Mom to shorten up my white skirt for me :)

  48. Hey Purba got here thru Indiblogger. That was one wonderful post. Brought back memories of school. Way back in the 80s We had these cool short skirts in school for years. After we passed out some parents objected and now they have salwar kameez as the dress code... talk about progress :-(

  49. ... and I completed the ardh-shatak for your comments. hehe.

  50. This is my first visit here, but it won't be my last, i am in love with your blog already. I am a student 1 years old so your blog captured my interest. lol. I never sported the mini skirts or the hipsters so I guess I didn't bug my mom too much hmm.. lol

  51. My sis is 16 yrs old..and i so totally relate to ur post..loved it.

  52. Obsessivemom....I know, so many schools have introduced salwar kameez for girls! And I'm guessing you are from Delhi.

    Emmy...What a lovely girl or shall I say wait till you grow up!


    Peenuts...Hahhah...glad you did.

  53. Hi Purba,
    Loved your post but I think you shouldn't be bothered about her skirt for now. Give her the liberty to wear whatever she wants to, as long as her undies aren't visible. I'm in college and I miss school days when I could easily slip into a skirt and work around. Going to college in a bus, wearing a skirt or shorts is freaking difficult with a bunch of losers passing comments. Let her make the best of her freedom while it lasts.
    I understand you're worried but relax

  54. what a post! i loved it completely and enjoyed reading the comments as much..i guess the issue has been 'skirted' too much! Although i m a part of much hyped DU but not many girls prefer to don shorts and skirts owing to the condition of public transport here which doesn't spare even the ones clad in a salwar kameez of piercing x-ray like eyes!


  55. hey shorts and skirts are fine if you can handle the attention, for u will surely get some. and not only from the men. remember, women dress for women.

  56. AN...Actually am not worried at all. As long as she is with us she is allowed to wear anything she wants. But she knows if she's taking the Metro she has to dress down.

    Sarah....True, only if you have your Daddy's car dropping you off, you have no choice but to dress conservatively.

    confusedyuppie...LOL absolutely...women always dress for other women - guys are you listening!!!

  57. Nice post. I love the way you write :


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