Saturday, October 15, 2011

Here goes... from the bottom up.... the group shot of all the winners taken at the beautiful vineyard, right after the vine baptism ceremony. Just noticed... all the Nordic blondes are together in a clump... and 'women of colour' like moi, the gorgeous Brazilian girl Leila, and the Egyptian sisters are grouped together. Hmmmmm. Interesting coincidence. Don't miss the dishy Stephane in yet another dapper outfit!
Oh.... that's the standing Baccarat chandelier I had mentioned in the earlier post. Magnifique, non?
C'est moi signing the VC Laureates' Book.
That's the jovial direct descendent of Mme. Clicquot after presenting a personalised, signed botle of La Grande Dame in the chalky 24 kms long, underground cellars of the estate.
And finally, the gorgeous Royal couple of Bhutan - Jigme Wangchuk 5, and Jetsun Pema his then fiancee , and now, the newly minted Queen. I'd shot this charming portrait at Pawan Varma, our Indian ambassador's sprawling residence in Thimpu, on the day the King had announced his engagement to his childhood sweetheart. Move over, William and Kate!

This appeared in The Week...

Have women forgotten how to flirt…?

I read Julia Stephenson’s terrifically spirited ‘Spectator’ column recently in which she laments the death of flirting in Britain… and chuckled to myself. Forget Europe , where flirting is an art form and equally appreciated for being that, in India, the land of ‘naayikas’, and apsaras, we too are stupidly following the Brits and forgetting what it’s like to enjoy a mild flutter, create a delicious frisson, and for a few brief moments, lose oneself in that wonderful space that makes hearts go ‘dhak dhak’. Julia is hugely distressed by the coarse behaviour of ‘Ladettes’ – young ladies representing the ‘90’s , who mimic the worst Laddish (read: loutish) behaviour by boozing it up, rioting , brawling at pubs and vomiting in the streets. These women resent what they consider old fashioned male attention and often snarl at a gentleman opening doors for them or offering a seat in the tube. Julia feels it is this crude and rude response to traditional male etiquette that has driven British men to turn ridiculously timid! According to Julia, British men are too terrified to flirt!
Is that happening to ‘desi boyz’ as well? Are we turning our chivalrous, gallant guys into ninnies who refuse to make eye contact with a pretty girl for fear of being slapped? I was talking to a youngish woman recently, who admitted she has all but forgotten what it’s like to be desirable… attractive to the opposite sex. “Nobody looks at me!” she whined. And she isn’t alone! Like her, thousands of much younger girls crib they are feeling de-sexed and unappreciated. One of the main reasons is that men are scared of being accused of sexual harassment, particularly at the work place. Even harmless, appreciative compliments are not welcomed by female colleagues. These days, a man is asking for trouble if he says, “Lovely saree,” or “This colour really suits you.” Internationally, men have been sacked for lesser ‘crimes’. And women find it hard to recall when they last received a compliment from a chap. How sad is that? It happened to me (compliment!) very recently when I ran into someone from college. I was initially flustered, then confused, and finally abrupt! Poor fellow behaved like he’d just got a tight slap, as he hastily apologized and fled! I kicked myself later for my inexcusable conduct. But it was too late to do anything about it by then.
When I got home, I recalled a lovely encounter with a famous woman I’d spent time with in Delhi. I was there to interview her for a glossy and she invited me into her boudoir while she got ready for the shoot. I wondered why she was constantly dropping the pallu of her chiffon saree and then replacing it delicately over her left shoulder, all the while gazing at her image in a gigantic mirror. After the 30th time, I finally asked her if she needed a safety pin to hold it in place. She smiled, “Darling, I am practicing, it’s an old habit!” She went on to explain how she used the pallu trick to ‘flirt’. I found that amusing, if a bit tacky. But at least she bothered! Nobody does, any more. Not even young girls looking for romance. Most times, they hang around at parties chatting animatedly (even dancing) with one another. At the end of the evening, they crib, “As if we had a choice… did you see the men? Losers!” Poor men! Damned if they do, and damned if they don’t! So, I asked some of these accomplished ladies why they even bother to dress up, look terrific and hit the social circuit. Do they not want male attention? “ Of course,we do… but from the right guys.” Social interactions are so very complex these days! Where are these ‘right guys’ hiding? And what’s wrong with girls taking the initiative?
As Julia points out, flirting is not infidelity. Or even a prelude to an affair. “It’s more about joie de vivre than sex,” she states. I love the way she clarifies that Europeans view such flirting as ‘routine good manners’. So it is. Really!So, what about that little eye flutter, ladies? Nothing too obvious, mind you. Just a teeny weensy one to remind ourselves we are female and the old mating game isn’t entirely passé. But for us to pull this off, we also need men to be men… come on, guys, are you up to it?


Sadiya Merchant said...

hehe nt sure y dis reminds me of d fairly old now tata indica commercial wid dose 4 grls n guy in tan goin 'its d rite kind of dayy to soak up d sun nanana'..*ok i forgot d rest of d wrds* :o
grt pics :)

kakaka said...

there is no time to flirt....people dont want to waste each others time by giving unwanted hints...most of us are looking for the right guy and dont choose to waste our time with th wrong ones.
and these days women can buld up their sself esteem with other things, a man's attention may not necessarily do it.

TheBluntBlogger said...

I disgaree :-) I am a flirt by nature and flirt all the time and men reciprocate too. I think you need to flirt with right kind,they have gays these days who do not appreciate being hit by women as they do not feel macho enough for being not hit by a man instead.
Thus flirt with a man and he will aiiooooo like Shakti Kapoor.

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

Nice pics.

Flirting.... NAA RE BABA Its become too costly nowadays of recession :)

Shalet said...

Could you please take part in the survey? It is for a project from fashion institute, Paris. Those who takes part will have a chance to win a coupon from Wills lifestyle.

Tsomo85 said...

Great! I completely agree with both of you. To think of it, the last time I actually constantly flirt was back in boarding school days; that too without any ill intensions or anything else as well, but simply just pure amusing manner as we can say. And I was around 4th to 6th grade. And the bonus part was I made friends with wonderful people then! But ever since I left the school & lived at home, everything changed, by nature there's more old fashion restriction on every single thing. And I've fairly adopted 90% of it & passionately honored this new value for 13 years but now as I've grown up & had my share of experience I've realized out of that 90% only 5% was the (reason) why some things went down hill in mylife. Now, I've started to change, trying not to be too serious, & just enjoying everybody's compliment or anything that everyone has to say! Even though, my mom has raised me with the idea that I shouldn't waste a minute with someone who's conversation would be simply none sense & for her; flirt is big time none sense since we don't get any penny or knowledge out of it, she came from extremely...(orthodox) background. But I'm not going to let any more damage happen to me & wil very wisely move a head in life with both good old tradition & good new ideas. :-) I'm so glad that I've found one of my lost personality back & loving it. One thing, it definitely makes me feel more humbled, & lovable that's for sure & cheers for myself to that. Yayyyy great to have brighter & better social life! Thanks for Sharing this Ms.De, I think many girls go throught the same issue, specially the ones who've only lived with their family for 24/7. It's just that they needs to be told by someone that it's ok to flirt as long as at least the other person doesn't bother or bore them to death! :-)

Pooja Rathore said...

The pic (the one with a big frame and chandelier)its awesome really very beautiful!
Flirting...views expressed quite true..but iam all for harmless flirting!

Webstallion said...

right guys haan? I say burn ur boats and go for a kill . I am a guy and I am not hesitant to flirting with a girl i adore ,but how on earth am I or the chick are supposed to know whether we are right for each other ? I guess we have to find that out

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Sadly enough flirting has never been a thoroughly understood concept in our culture. Unless you are from a certain strata of society that is a few rungs removed from the angst and "nessecary" roughness that characterises daily life in India, flirting is a dangerous sport. Less about normal human interaction and often it is seen as being an invitation to open a tinderbox of suppressed violence and misogyny.

Arnika said...

I can relate to both the Indian and the British traits of vanishing flirting. Receiving the compliment in the right spirit is becoming increasingly rare (Among girls AND boys)! Love it that you brought the topic up :)

Dr. Anand Nadkarni had written a brilliant piece in Marathi called 'Maitrin' on a similar topic... That was a great read too!

Arjun said...

Well my critical analysis and observation on this is as follows. With women becoming more and more independent, financially and otherwise; it has led to a paradigm shift in the way men and women interact, more so in this age of instant gratification.
There are NO genuine chivalrous men around, mind you !!! If you see someone of the kind opening doors for his lady, or over-zealous complimenting, you bet the person either knows he's being watched or its a put on or the person is just hard-wired to follow what he's seen as being cool. Plain and simple !!
For women taking initiatives in making first moves on men, doing the flirty acts, well that's just a case of the woman giving her consent for the guy to take things to the mutually rewarding level of orgasmic bliss. And so the multiple layers of flirting, what I call as innocent foreplay does not exist now. Ppl are so stressed and are working such binary lives, its a case where either something works or it doesn't, there's just no middle ground, no time and space for testing waters with flirtatious acts. Its a result oriented society now in all spheres, and the men and women never had it so good with the sexual liberalization of the society. :)

Musings of an insane mind :) said...

Loved reading this article. Thanks for dealing with such a topic. These days,flirting and kidding around has lost the significance with woman being more and more reluctant to accept and reflect on those, and men being too scary of being misinterpreted,if they pass on compliments and comments. Guess its the attitude our system has cultured all the way. I feel its too good to get a compliment on your looks whether its from people of opposite sex or not. It gives you a confidence, makes you go social,and helps you widen your perspective. Well harmless flirting is always good to have a healthy mind. :)

Bhaveen Sheth said...

Well madam, after reading your article i agree that flirting has become difficult for us men. Reason , don't ask, i don't want to sound like a despo, but the fact is that we have fears of what shall happen when we initiate conversation with a woman.At times we are mocked and ridiculed, given that fact that we are simple and are making our pitch in the dating world, we certainly don't like being humiliated.

Because after ending our conversation with a female, she literally puts us down, she shares with her companions that what idiotic man he is and how bad is his dressing sense. No law prosecutes a man coming up and just initiating conversation with a woman. If you don't like diplomatically show him the way away and then forget him. Is it necessary to humiliate him behind his back??

And by the way what are many of you Indian Females waiting for, A Handsome Hunk as your partner, dream on ladies, in one or two years like it or not , your parents will get you tied up with some Bespectacled, pot bellied filthy Techiee/MBA Grad/IAS Officer or whichever male who is fit to be passes as an eligible boy in the matrimonial market, so bad that when he shall kiss you, your mouth will feel the stench of municipal toilets, such shall be your Husbands.

So for god sake, talk nicely to a man who approaches you and take matters ahead. Don't be rude and don't be haughty. You are at the end of the day just some other ordinary female.

Remember this and take it ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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