Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sleebeless in Sealdah



Courtesy - Google Images


Long before the world discovered a fashion phenomenon called sleeveless, sleeveless discovered the Bengali woman. This was the time that Marxism was still a respected ideology in Bengal when the bhodro-mohila embraced the sleeveless blouse and sent the dormant hormones of the bhodrolok on an overdrive.

Thousands of kakis, jethis, pishis and mashis took to this garment like hilsa to water and achieved nirvana. I grew up in the company of flabby arms encased in these sleeveless wonders, getting an unhindered view of subcutaneous fat swinging in gay abandon, wincing a little at the sight of sweat forming lazy pools under the arms. For a young girl growing up on Krishi Darshan, this was my wicked pleasure.

This bare-dare act was confined more to the urbane Kolkata woman who was more comfortable with her sexuality and didn’t mind flaunting it. Her not so fortunate counterpart scattered around the country would wait for her annual trip to Kolkata to stock up on these flimsy nothings. Sleeveless, backless and a neck that was deeper than the Grand Canyon ravine – this was Bhictoria’s secret! Truth be told, a Bengali lady fancies herself more as Moonmoon Sen rather than Mamata Banerjee - perfectly complimenting the Bengali ethos that doesn’t let work interfere with its quest for pleasure.

Long before an aging beer baron anointed himself as the king of good times, the bhodrolok was living it.

The grooming starts at a very young age. While the young male prefers spending his youth doing adda on a rock, his female counterpart is busy loving humanity. For her prem-kora(doing love) is a day job. For a girl growing up in dry, desolate Delhi, this was beyond fascinating. In fact it was my curiosity for her penchant for romance that got me to learn reading Bangla. Reading salacious details about a 12 year old’s love for her Math tutor in an Agony aunt column of a Bengali magazine...Chronicles of the Boudi in her frilly floral nighty serenaded by her love-sick neighbour – all of 30, useless and jobless (unless you count prem-kora as a full- fledged job). Mills and Boons seemed pale in comparison!

When I was old enough to make my own sartorial choices, I was more coy than daring. For the longest I was convinced that that going sleeveless was the prerogative of the plump. But when I finally succumbed there was no looking back.

The modern nari has the choice to ditch the sleeves, go backless, have her garment hanging precariously from noodles, defy gravity and go stringless or even embellish her bra with crystals and pass it off as a blouse. Who doesn’t like the feel of sun and air on her assorted body parts?

Alas, good times come with an expiry date! Just when we were having fun playing femme fatales, some dork declared that it’s not okay to sweat and stink and had us clamouring for deo-sticks. And just as we were getting used to smelling of lavender and other flowers with difficult to spell names, there comes another dork and says –Hey girls, shouldn’t you be doing something about your yucky, dark armpits?

Ah! The unbearable pressure of going sleeveless – pour hot wax over hair follicles, rub copious quantities of deodorant and now put a shade card to check if you are fair enough! Raising your arms was never this stressful.

Imagine being judged on the basis of our armpits! No thank you, I would like have my sleeves back please.

Suddenly, the Bengali bhordromohila in her sweat soaked Ladies Dream blouse, flaunting her tuft a la Julia Roberts seems ultra-cool.


110 comments:

  1. ROFL! I learnt the Bangla vernacular for the very same reason. Somehow for all the prim propah and coy demeanor Bangla ladies sport, their written world is very very bold and in your face!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, absolutely! Bengali women revel in their sensuality.

      Delete
  2. yupps....bengali women in WB have got a thing for the sleeveless!!


    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so glad to be back on internet and reading your amazing blog.. you rock Purba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delighted to see your comment on my blog.

      Delete
  4. 'Main apna jeevan tumhe armpit karti hoon?' Hilarious as always, Purba!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ha ha ha ...
    Funny n seriously we don't need others telling us that our armpits r dark when men get to flaunt hair bodies.
    N Bengali women with their 'kalo horin choke' have always been the top of the sexy ladder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who cares what others are thinking of your armpits.

      Raise it in all it's stinky and hairy glory :P

      Delete
  6. I was brought up in a small town where sleeveless was as good as moving around in a bikini. People used to give me and a few handful of us got weird stares and comments for this.

    After shifting in a Metro city, I thought my misery was finally over, but alas! Some communities were still living in the early 50s. Gujarati community, they were still behind time when I was in college. And now when I see the same people, I feel as if I am 50 years behind their time even in my shorts. Sigh!

    About the fair armpits and similar shit, blame the advertisements. Before watching that dove deo ad, apart from Rani Mukharji's tanned armpits that my cousin had made me notice, I was never ever bothered about it. Half of our life is spent screaming because of wax getting stripped off than erm you know what!

    This is my problem - whenever I leave a comment, I write a whole bloody post here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you wear is your personal choice and yet we have to put up with diktats and the crap about hurting sentiments.

      And frankly I care a damn whether my armpits are fair or not!

      Delete
  7. To maintain gender parity, a safe assumption is that women from bhodrolok discovered flaunting biceps before the home grown male specie could even spell it straight. What a riot...ROFL indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hell yeah! Bigger and better than Dara Singh.

      Delete
  8. fair armpits is fair compared to ads that ask you to make your girlie parts fair...
    I agree it is a lot of pressure for women who wear sleeveless. Very soon there will be a fair and lovely cream for your armpits eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes! I'd rather go the Julia Roberts way.

      Delete
  9. hmm, when i was fit enough to wear sleeveless in India, my mother did not allow me.
    Now that I am free I am not wearing those, scared that I will look terrible (my husband denies it, but he has a big heart and I am not going to get deceived by that :-p). I am quite scared. I limit sleeveless tops to my home dresses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear! now that you are free, enjoy the freedom. What others think is their problem.

      Delete
  10. Hilarious from the word go! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hahaha! Funny!

    :) Raise your arms to the world, because no one else could thus far. The obsession with the white "inaccessibles", is going a bit too far. Did they forget how much effort it takes to go sleeveless in the first place? Go to the parlor, get smeared with hot wax, and whaaackkkkk! and ouchh!

    Now they go and plant another seed in the womans head, asking if her armpits are as gorgeous!

    I can imagine women asking their husband/boyfriend - Baby, do you think my armpits are beautiful?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair or unfair - that is the dilemma, my girl!

      Delete
  12. this is perfect. prem kora being a full time bengali pursuit is so accurate. and even today, women in kolkata can give women anywhere else in the world a complex about many a womanly thing. loved reading it, purba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And she gets ample encouragement from her enamoured male counterpart.

      Delete
  13. My God (particle) Purba, all I need to turn a boring afternoon into a ROFL one is to open your blog and read a few choice pieces. And if there is not enough time for that, one just needs to visit your tweets ....
    Total solid Bindass.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delighted that my ramblings make you ROFL.

      And Twitter is addictive :p

      Delete
    2. :-) yes twitter is very addictive...

      Delete
  14. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT?

    Anyways, on a more serious note, I really wonder why men in sleeveless thingies are looked down upon. We all share the hair and sweat problems, then why single us out?

    P.S.: I'm secretly a fan of Riya Sen. You get 12 brownie points for that photo up there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whaaaaaaaaatttt!

      You are a Riya Sen fan? Terribly disappointed in you.

      Delete
  15. Enjoyed all the Bengali lingo! Damn these people! I had a Bengali friend back in college who wore sleeveless tops and wouldn't even shave her armpits. But, she was ultra bindass! We need to start doing something really disgusting to get this "get fair" brigade off our faces. Great post, Purba!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why be disgusting when you can simply ignore it.

      We all have the inherent need to feel beautiful :-)

      Delete
  16. Purba Purba Purba ! Only you are capable of making a post out of bengali women and sleeveless blouses and that too a highly entertaining and hilarious one !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe...too bad that I couldn't find an appropriate image.

      Delete
  17. btw in Punjab - specially in the smaller towns - they call sleevless as cut-sleeve - something I have always found so amusing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! I have heard that :D

      Delete
  18. What a post! I always assumed there was a connection between bongs and sleeveless blouses! Thanks for enlightening. Good to know, my observation was correct :)

    Awesome post, Btw :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Khi..khi...praying that a Bong Boudi doesn't keeel me for writing this.

      Delete
  19. Hilarious as usual. I ESPECIALLY liked the title of the post :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I have never been to Sealdah :P

      Delete
  20. Great post again...I love wearing sleeveless.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thoroughly enjoyed your writing Purba :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would not know havenot seen many bangla women , next time i land in kolkata i need to keep my eyes open and then come and comment here again :)

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Dear! bhodromohila spotting in Kolkata? Make sure your heart behaves.

      Delete
    2. Dil to pagal hai ji :) who knows he he he

      Delete
  23. Hehe I beg you to tell me the secret of how you choose your topics. Quite smelly and Hilarious to the core :P

    You have this knack of writing about the most simplest things in the most funniest way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life was intended to be simple. It's we who make it complicated.

      Delete
  24. Purba,

    I am still trying to count how many persons or issues you have taken a good dig at. I do think that marketing is surely going beyond some limits now.

    Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, if this piece offended you but this is how I write.

      Delete
    2. Purba,

      No, it did not at all offend me. On the contrary I am so glad that you bring out issues with wit and do not shy at taking dig at anyone. As I said some advertisements are really going over the thin line these days.

      Take care

      Delete
  25. I wish Prem-Kora was really a day's job. My mum and her questions.."No one had said 'Labh you' to you?" My cheekiest reply would be "Na Maa no one says 'Labh and Haani(honey)' to me.

    I look at the young girls in Kol and think when did they start seeing boys..Damn I was busy burning midnight oil figuratively :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I always found "prem kora" extremely "neykaa" :P

      Delete
  26. My armpits have decided to come out of their sleeves and thank you for a post that speaks volumes for millions of armpits worldwide. We remain dark knights, no whitening....oops shining armour please!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No underarm tactics - just the pure pleasure of going sleeveless.

      Delete
  27. Loved the way you went from the Bengali women wearing sleeveless blouse to the armpit ad.
    Hats off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where there's sleeveless, can armpits be far behind?

      Delete
  28. Rofl , bangali bhodro mohila rock sleeblessly :P :D

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nice post...with nice tittle..

    http://meandwords.blogspot.in/

    http://apparitionofmine.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  30. Inspired by your post I have decided to don that one sleebless blouse that I have and revel in my subcutaneous fat, cellulite, tan......The dark terrains were never so exciting.
    Honestly, I have read this twice already.
    Inimitable Purba style post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would lub to see you in one? What's stopping you girl?

      Delete
  31. 'I was convinced that that going sleeveless was the prerogative of the plump'...LOL

    I too avoided sleeveless for a long time, but now I am a true Kolkatan :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That icky humidity leaves you no choice.

      Delete
  32. As usual, you made every one smile here...:))

    ReplyDelete
  33. Okay...*strikes Kolkata out of the list of places to visit* I guess CR Park should be good enough for Bhodromohilla spotting.
    And now the questions - Who does Mamata Banerjee fancy herself as? You grew watching Krishi Darshan. Do something about the food crisis will you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! especially during Durga Puja. Just make sure you don't die in the stampede.

      Delete
  34. OMG...that is soooooo funny:P I wonder why so much of importance is given to underarms these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To keep the beauty of business flourishing

      Delete
  35. Bhictoria's secret? :D.
    Such a fun read. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Nice one, ladies first : ) - sleeveless has secret too.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thees is vaary hilarious...Bongs might keel you for thees!
    Thee best posht I have read in maany days! :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Actually it was the deo ad that makes the armpits fair that enlightened me that actually they have to be fair to be wearing sleeveless. And you should not have dandruff to wear black. And then there is intimate body lotion for a different reason. Wow I like your attitude and the post...it is totally upto us 2 wear what we want! But honestly I feel that any woman should know her body to wear the dress that suits her. Sleeveless or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beauty business feeds on our insecurities. Why let them change the way we feel about ourselves?

      Delete
  39. Sleeves or no sleeves, a lovely woman in a saree always gets my hormones pumping. I must be old-fashioned

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A saree is one of the most sensuous garments. And it drapes perfectly on a woman with curves.

      Delete
  40. Replies
    1. Meant to be tucked under your arms :D

      Delete
  41. sleeveless or no sleeveless I have always admired my Bangla beauties...fat, thin they all look amazing man !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And they are rarely boring :D

      Delete
  42. Errrr... Ummmmm...

    Always wondered when I was young (in age)- how even with 8 to 10 yards of cloth wrapped around them - women can manage so much to show, yet be comfortable in a crowd; even today the spaghettis and plunging necklines are still acceptable in larger pockets even in India - than a male walking in a sleeveless or couple of top buttons open in his shirt ! Is it the abundant crop of dermal appendage? Is it to keep the fairer sex "Fairer"?

    Even Dhuti and Photua are getting lost in history !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But Dhuti and Photua are timeless classics! Too bad the younger generation finds them too cumbersome.

      Delete
    2. Its not just about being cumbersome.. I seek opportunity to wear them, "knowing" that I will be battered with numerous battering and quizzing stares of disapproval ! So it has become more of a "dadur dress" than something to flaunt !

      Delete
  43. Dang girl--only you know how to write a post on sleeveless bengali woman and then connect it to modern pathos!!! Fantabulous post!!!! Yep, Kolkata women are something special--their sense of sexual abandon is so natural, so easy...and of course come and make things so complicated. Hats off to you or rather scarves off to you for another in-your-face post!!! Loved it all the way through:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Repeating what I said earlier ...where there's sleeveless can underarms be far behind.

      Women should revel in their sexuality and men need to appreciate it, albeit in a civilized manner.

      Delete
  44. Seriously, how have you developed such observational skills! Awe-struck!
    Itching myself too to write on something which is typical of Bongland ;)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hmmmm - one wonders of the 1920's "ghoti hata blouse" might make a comeback or not. Gr8 post, as usual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "ghoti hata blouse"? Sounds new to me!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. thats an awesome post.. btw ghoti hata blouse is the puffed sleeved blouse

      Delete
  46. ha ha nice post ... specially liked the style of writing ... and also the "bhodrolok" and "Bhodro Mohila" ... keep it up ... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Fantastic post..thanks to some of the bold ladies who are bold enough to carry the way they want to. I have been seeing lot of Women in sleeveless blouse and with thick growth of hairy armpits from my childhood till now while travelling in bus, Train and Metros as well. Trust me they look naturally beautiful. Read about pheromones..rest would be cleared.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh lovely... I must say bheri well written :-)

    ReplyDelete
  49. To be Sleebless or not be , is a million dollar question for the underarm has not only to be clean (pun intended) but be odourless too. No hair -raising experiences.
    Lovely post.enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  51. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  52. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  53. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  54. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  55. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  56. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  57. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  58. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  59. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  60. we are boy's, we like just hairy under arms women or girl, we think it's natural and sexy then shaved under arms. hairy under arms is great and lucking so nice and super sexy

    ReplyDelete
  61. yeah i still remember when i was a child living in 2000_2001 kolkata(jadavpur) sleeveless was a huge fantasy for my elder brothers n for my seniors in our 'para' who were in their early early teens but used to play 'goli cricket' with us...they use to admire armpits n sleeveless blouses more than samantha fox and kate winslet use to read 'bangla choti' from sealdah n college street where armpit was sexy as navel or legs.....sweat n hairy armpit were sensous to them....then came dove,rexona n veet n changed the scenario

    ReplyDelete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...