"Hips are scientifically referred to as the joint between the femur and acetabulum of the pelvis and its primary function is to support the weight of the body in both static postures"
Yes. That's the scientific jargon that Wikipedia gives you but we girls know better than that don't we?
‘Hip’ is a word powerful enough to evoke fear and anguish in the bravest of women. Yes, even Xena the Fearless has body issues behind that unforgiving armour of hers.
Which brings us to the topic of Indian hips. We Indian women have been hiding behind our sarees and salwars for far too long. Sure we tried consoling ourselves in the belief that our men liked healthy, child bearing hips. That the saree demanded a well-padded body to adorn it with. But when our own men turned traitors and started drooling over the D.Padukones and the P.Chopras, it was time for the Bharathiya Nari to sit up straight and blink.
But luckily for the Bharathiya Nari, she decided to do more than blink. First, she got her facts straight and the facts didn’t look good. Her grandmother, mother and she had all thrived on a diet of rice/chapathis for generations and the carbs had settled well on the hips. Hmmm...So much for falling back on good genetics.
Secondly, sarees weren’t being draped exactly the way they used to be. The materials were getting very transparent, blouses non-existent and pleats were being tucked dangerously below the navel.
Thirdly, the Bharathiya Nari lived in a society where the physical activity for the average housewife was more or less reaching for the tissue-box during a Karan Johar flick or helping the maid sort out the 'machine-wash' and 'hand-wash' loads of clothes. Any prolonged, vigorous exercise was considered as distasteful as forsaking ghee on your aloo-parathas. Shudder!
And this is where the evolution tree branched out into the three types of Indian women. Based on their levels of laziness and the extent of damage from their worthy lineages.
The 'Wateva-sapiens' tried. Actually, they tried to try. And it didn't work out. So they just gave up at the start line, mumbled something about accepting our bodies and being proud of our Indian heritage and yeah, their evolution kind of stopped there.
A few others found themselves a middle path. They replaced the rice with chapathis, the escalators with the stairs and the loose salwars with the cleverly cut, slimming effect Kurtis. Again they were not quite attaining a size zero that they dreamt of, but they found solace in the V.Balans and R.Mukherjees of Bollywood.
Curves are IN, IN, IN. We don't want to look like 13-year old boys, they told themselves. “Or do we?”, they asked themselves again holding a pair of 26 waist skinny fit Levis beside a smirking shop assistant.
The third and final group of women represents those who went all the way and stuck to it. They made friends with the cruel treadmills and the salads sans dressing. And a flurry of tools and centres came along to guide them. Gyms and weight loss clinics sprouted up in the metros. Yoga was re-defined, glamourised, Westernised, re-Indianised and even patented. Atkins and South Beach diets crept into every-day conversations. ‘Calories’ and ‘inches’ became the feared words along with ‘hips’.
Gradually the Golden Era of the Indian Hips came to an end.
And as Indian women sail through one stage to another, some rejoicing, others fretting, the Indian man watches all of this from a distance. With a mixture of amusement and bemusement on his face. And an oily pakoda in his hand. He is far from any kind of evolution. Not till Cholesterol and Blood Pressure pay him a visit along with Mid-life Crisis.