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Read this wonderfully written and on-the-dot article… so sharing it with you guys.
So maybe I’m going to get lynched for saying this, have my patriotism, maybe even my sense of fun, questioned. But–seriously, honestly, without fear of peer pressure–do you really think Malaika Arora Khan in Munni badnam hui is sexy? The paper informs me it’s so every day, but I can’t see it — and heaven knows, I’ve tried. Ditto Bipasha Basu in Beedi from Omkara.
I think the songs are great, drawn from tried-and-tested sure-fire hit folk traditions. The lyrics are contemporary and mischievous. The dance moves are free and forthcoming.Â The voices of both playback singers are to die for–and are probably the actual sexy thing about both songs. Not because they are husky and raspy, but because they carry the manner of someone confident and a little amused by her own sensual power.But the item girls in question Â¦ well, they are in question, for me.
Compare them to Aishwarya Rai in Kajrare. Now that’s a song and dance that seems indubitably sexy.So, what’s the difference?First of all, it’s the eyes. While Ms Rai’s hips may not lie, her eyes refuse toÂ commit. They brim with suggestions and ambiguous preferences, a hide-and-seek between surrender and challenge, which could be real or a game. The fun (as with real life seduction) is in the guessing, the game in the playing.
On the other hand, the other two worthy ladies have a sort of frank but unchanging look in their eyes that encourages zero interaction. It’s utterly impersonal. You cannot sing of them as in Kajrare–aankhen toh kamaal karti hain, personal se sawaal karti hain. No time for questions and suggestions, there is a dance to be efficiently done. It’s almost polite even if their mouthsÂ formÂ all the right moues in the catalogue of come-ons. A kind of missionary position of item numbers.
Then, there’s the flesh. It’s the fact that Aishwarya Rai was spilling out slightly, top and sides, that made her choli and lehenga seem dangerously tiny. Or maybe their tininess suggested that they could not contain the lush plenitude they struggled to cover. But the perfect BMI and functionally revealing outfits of the other two felt like an oddly correct school uniform. It’s almost prim–you can look, but mustn’t touch. And what’s that got to do with sex, eventually?
I’ve watched loads of risqu Â© Bhojpuri music videos (don’t snigger, it was research).Â The girls in these are often very thin–bony, undernourished small town girls. But in their robust, wriggling, haphazard raunchiness–and thinly imperfect bodies–there’s a certain cheap sexiness I can recognise, though not enjoy.
Bips and Malaika are so not-cheap.Â To my eye they manage, despite the jhatkas and revealing costumes, to seem rather respectable. This is just a job they are doing. Watching them, I’m filled with conviction that after the song they will walk off screen and straight into a gym where they will work out with a wholesome, perfectionist, disciplined zeal. Rai in Kajrare definitely looks like, after the song, she will be having sex in some time.
Which, if I’m not mistaken, is the point of the item song? I mean what’s the haseen without the galati? Where’s the Bipasha of sultry eyes and just-right extra flesh in the Naomi Campbell rip-off costume from Jism? The Malaika from MTV, with the gleaming skin and touchable limbs with milk spilled down them? Who abducted these gorgeous, real, unnervingly sexy women and replaced them with an alien race of domesticated PT teachers? I fear, this may be a case for the CBI.
Paromita Vohra is an award-winning Mumbai-based filmmaker, writer and curator working with fiction and non-fiction. She runs Devi Pictures production company. Reach her atÂ http://www.parodevi.com/
Gals… we really don’t mind, and actually love, muffin tops!