There's a new human rights army looming on the Indian horizon -- and it's called the booby brigade! Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
I was stuck in a traffic jam for 40 minutes on my way to work this morning.
Will someone please contact Gehana Vasisth and ask her to bare her breasts in protest immediately?
And while she's at it, maybe she can dispose of her panties too, because there's dog poo on the sidewalk outside my house.
Heard the name before? I hadn't either, before her 'people' started bombarding media houses with e-mails that proudly proclaim her valiant intentions every week -- wearing nothing but the Indian flag, posing in a bikini for Independence Day, yanking off her clothes to support Mary Kom at the Olympics...
What's that you say? Gehana's not available because she's soliciting for paid sex? (Pick your jaw up off the floor -- the message from her PR is still in my inbox.)
No problem -- Sherlyn Chopra doesn't do that anymore, so she can probably lend a helping hand. Or hiney. Whatever.
See, this is the nation's need of the hour. An alert, upright citizen, a regular pillar of society, to flash her boobs, or butt, to draw attention to serious issues (just keep her away from Anna Hazare's rallies, the poor man's forever starving himself in the name of corruption and it'll take just a hint of cleavage to tip him over the edge into Neverland -- permanently).
So I'm calling upon all the Poonam Pandeys, Rozlyn Khans, Nisha Yadavs and (ugh) Madhavi Sharmas of India to step up to the plate and do what they do best. Flaunt it. Cheaply.
Coalgate, the unrest in Assam, strained Indo-Chinese relations...go to it, ladies! Maybe a larger than life mock-up of your assets on the LoC could defuse tensions (Pakistan, feel free to respond with an ISI-sponsored likeness of Veena Malik's naughty bits). Hell, while we're at it, why not a live strip-show to accompany the presentation of the Union Budget each year? That'll really draw everyone's attention to the need of the hour!
There's just one thing I'd like to know -- and yes, my doo-dah displaying darlings, as a fellow countrywoman I speak directly to you -- just how stupid do you think the average Indian really is?
If you want to doff your duds, no one's stopping you. Whip off that bra and go to it already; I'm not a prude and I've got nothing against nudity, even if 98 per cent of our population does. Just please, oh please(!) stop coming up with these guffaw-worthy excuses for your antics.
Because when a headline proclaims that you're wearing a black lace thong and a strategically placed necklace to protest the flooding problem in Mumbai, you're making a laughing stock of yourself. And the only thing worse than being a laughing stock is being a laughing stock in your birthday suit, with your naked boney butt sticking out for the world to see.
I know you desi pin-ups have a tough job -- after all, it's so hard to shock people in today's world with nudity alone. But stupidity? That's a new one. In all my years I've never known glamour models (and I use that term loosely) to go bananas in a bunch. And take sideswipes at each other while they're at it.
Since you're all sailing in the same boat, lovelies, you should put those claws away. Cash in on your common agenda. Do something constructive, like start a helpline maybe? 'Hello, Poonam, my pizza arrived half an hour late...' Off comes a sock. 'Rozlyn, my detergent is a rip-off, it doesn't make my whites shine like it claims ' Get rid of those knickers (for which you'll have to put them on first, I'm guessing).
And you know what's worse than all these worthy causes you gals so tirelessly dedicate yourselves to?
The photographs themselves.
There are thousands of models posing nude for publications across the world everyday, and millions of people who ogle at them -- look them up! You'll see what sets the Kate Mosses and Candice Swanepoels apart from, well, you! Or just watch Satyam Shivam Sundaram and see a true sex symbol in action -- that's how Zeenat Aman cemented her reputation as an eternal siren.
In other words, stop posing in a neighbour's backyard wearing 'Made in China' lingerie for a cameraman called Monty.
See, that's why an artistically shot topless scene in an Oscar-winning movie is different from a heavily made-up moll devouring some dude's ears with her tongue. One is aesthetically shot, tasteful, it's art; the other is porn (repeat after me: aesthetics, art, taste). The audience would rather catch a glimpse of Kareena Kapoor's shoulders than your breasts in their entirety. Pathetic attempts at sensuality will only relegate you to the bottom of the Z-list forever and that's where you'll stay, unless you learn to do it right.
Just one last word of advice. If you really want to be a modern-day Venus de Milo and remain respectable at the same time, his name is Mario Testino. Look him up. And while you're at it, don't try to sell him sex.
Sanaya Dalal is Assistant Managing Editor, Rediff.com