The Moves

What is that one arena in India where it is perfectly legitimate to be lascivious and come hither? A trifle cheap as they say.  Fleshy, undulating and mock seductive. You can throw your head back, tip it one way, or even cock it.

The eyes could be dilated under twitching brows, narrowed for coquettish effect or just plain rolled and crossed playfully. No one bats an eyelid! Looking in from the outside, it would appear to be a rally called ‘Humans against inhibitions’. It’s alright, you can use your handkerchief as a prop. Just bite one corner and pinch the other with both hands. Now swing the head, both arms and the waist to mimic coil uncoil. Don’t worry about your appearance.

There is sure to be a human snake close by, hands cupped over his expressive head, lunging at thin air. You don’t have a buoy, simply imagine one. A stack of currency notes for one. Careful now, this one needs skill. You begin to flick them into the sky with the right index finger and off the left palm, gyrating all the time, bend those knees a bit. Such a suicidal but celebratory sense of abandon, quite un-Indian. It is perfectly acceptable to balance a full glass of the amber beverage on the head and teeter, egged on by bashful beams. This is the safe space for the most part to let the hair down.

You are free to cut the rug in multiple directions. Be as jerky, as twirly, as trippy as you like, you know perfectly well that just beyond the floor lies your true, dignified self. This is just pretend. A hark back to our Bollywood subconscious. A glimpse of the play that lurks in the heart. A window to the primal masquerade. And you are in plenty company even as you pirouette around a bellowing dupatta. The spectators! Their mirror neurons are lit and frisky.

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I consider myself the Official Seenager, the senior teenager. A proud Air Force Veteran’s wife, I enjoy golf, love myroad bicycle that I rode Delhi-Chandigarh (246 km) and Gandhinagar-Nadabet Border (278 km) and enjoy swimming, a kilometer at a stretch. A lookout by nature, I am that person who sits in the crow’s nest on ships, scanning the seas for hazards. Despite my long history of paid work as an advertising executive, prize-winning fiction writer, feature journalist, teacher, script-writer, TV anchor, professional columnist, and editor it is my unpaid job as a mother to my two Ivy League-educated girls that taught me the biggest lesson of my life. This is the time for a never before empathy with the young and their modern demons. There is an impression that generation gap is just one of those things. But I have seen firsthand that, it in fact has the potential to cause parental alienation, mental sickness and in extreme cases, loss of life today. I have since turned a professional speaker on Effective Cross-generational Communication. My purpose in life now is to befriend this age group and those responsible for their care so that precious young lives flourish instead of spiraling out of control.

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