30 July, 2021

Beyond The Bed

The urban Indian woman is at the beginning of a new affair, with her body, her unmet desires

Anay Mann/ Photoink
Beyond The Bed
My mother's bra strap never showed. Pinned in place as it always was to the shoulder of her blouse: mostly with a buttoned buckle stitched in to her blouse, sometimes with a safety pin. Bra strap showing was shabby, even shameful. So was a bra showing in public (even if you weren't wearing it)—reason why ma always ensured her brassieres, and mine as I was growing up, were dried discreetly, with a towel or some other such respectable cloth item thrown on top to hide our undergarments.

Recently though, I realised how I, and many among my thirtysomething women friends, had unlearnt our mothers' lessons in lingerie etiquette. At a get-together in a pub, when a male friend meaningfully glanced at an errant bra strap peeking out of a friend's kurta, his unspoken suggestion was: deal deftly with it, before others notice. Unlike my mother would have responded, though, my friend showed no embarrassed hurry in shoving the strap back under. Laughing instead, she said, "Look away if it makes you uncomfortable yaar!"

Hooking up these bra stories together revealed the altered...

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