An year back and maybe even before that, I read about Khap Panchayats banning jeans for women, especially unmarried ones. Their reasoning was that women wearing jeans were the cause for the increasing number of eve-teasing incidents and rapes that were plaguing the country. A lot of people seemed to misinterpret this “noble cause” as an orthodox, non-progressive rule passed according to the whims and fancies of a bunch of conservative pricks. But my mind cried, “Lady, don’t you understand what they are trying to say? By wearing jeans you are bringing shame to our ‘culture’ – something that only our country has in the entire world, something completely unknown to the West.” I felt ashamed that I was going against the culture and traditions of our great nation by wearing something as shameful as jeans. But I thought, “Meh, let me wear it for some more time.”
Then months back, at the time of the Nepal earthquake, I heard religious heads from different parts of the world and even “socially responsible” groups like ISIS condemning jeans because apparently women wearing jeans were the reason for natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and what not. My mind then cried, “Lady, don’t you understand what they are trying to say? By wearing jeans you are bringing about an apocalypse. If the end of the world comes about now, who is responsible? You!” I felt troubled that I was bringing an end to the world as we know by wearing something as destructive as jeans. But I thought, “Meh, maybe a little longer.”
Today I read a news piece about how a famous wildlife photographer was banned from entering a college in Calicut, Kerala. By the way, it was a lady, for the information of all of you who jumped to the conclusion that a wildlife photographer would be a male. Well, anyway, the reason for banning her was this. She had been asked to conduct a seminar on wildlife photography to the students of the college and inaugurate their Nature Club. A week before the programme, the Principal or some senior person from the college called her up and asked her what she was planning to wear to the college. She felt this was a stupid question to be asked, but told them anyway that she was planning on wearing a jeans and a shirt with blazer. The caller told her that could not be allowed and she had to come in a salwar kameez – and not to forget ‘with a dupatta’.
I cannot fathom the reason, but for some reason, the lady got offended. I mean, come onnnn.. Who gets offended by someone dictating to her what to wear!!! Isn’t that right? When the media got hold of this news, they contacted the all-knowing Principal of the college for an explanation. And he had to say this, “Wearing jeans poses threats to health.” What with the recent news about a lady getting admitted to a hospital in UK after an extremely skinny jeans cut off blood circulation to her legs, and doctors asking people to be careful of what they wear, this extremely student-friendly Principal had to make sure none of his students, or any visitors to the college for that matter got into such health troubles by wearing jeans. I am sure that was the only reason for his banning jeans “only for females” in his institution.
Now when I heard this, my mind cried, “Lady, after bringing shame to our culture and quite possibly working on bringing about the end of the world, you are now killing yourself by wearing something as dangerous as jeans. Please save yourself at least by ditching your jeans.” This time I am shit-scared. I have to throw away my jeans. And to ensure that no one gets hold of the jeans I throw away and use them, I am going to make sure I shred them as well. That is the best I can do to keep myself from dying, bring normalcy to the otherwise vulnerable mother-nature and most importantly, prevent our culture from getting insulted in front of the West.
For those of you who are tempted to send me links of the UK skinny jeans disaster of a woman, please do understand that not just jeans, any form of clothing, not excluding your inner wear, if too tight, can cause problems to you. And this is applicable not just to females, but also to males.
Before I end, I do hope two people who came in and went out of my life many years ago are reading this piece.
1) The Principal of the college where I did my graduation who told me I was dressed immodestly because I was wearing a basic t-shirt and a jeans and asked me to change it. My first reaction when she told me this was to look down to see if my fly was open!
2) A colleague who knew me for hardly 3 months and happened to be in my FB friends’ list, who apparently thought it was completely okay for him to ask me to take down a picture of mine with my husband, because he felt the sleeveless, knee-length dress I was wearing was totally inappropriate for a woman from our ‘culture’.