The desire to adorn oneself with jewellery I thought was just a feminine fixation. Until I looked at it from a different perspective. Perhaps the man-jewellery may not be made of shiny gold or sparkling diamonds but it’s no less blinky or flashy or for that matter any less expensive. Just take a look at the Bluetooth contraption hanging from his right ear. (and here I was thinking that hanging adornments on the right ear was a sign of certain things not having gone ‘straight’ during the manufacture of the man). I remember the thick round loop of an earring which itself created a larger loop on my grandma’s ears. I used to stare at my grandma and think how weird fashion was a hundred years back. I’m sure it wouldn’t be until their grandsons of these dongle sporting metrosexuals point it out to them that those sporting the electronic earrings would realize how stupid they really look.
Perhaps every generation had its own body embellishments. Have you ever wondered what exactly the word “thevaaram” in the usage “kuli and thevaaram” means? I understand its all those prayers that they do, all dressed up and made up to get to the way the likes of chanthu, othenan and aromal of ancient mallu folklore used to do to get to they way they looked. Imagine the hours they would have had to spend in front of the mirror grooming your face, and not to speak of the hair to get your head chopped off on a sword fighting rink. I guess its history goes even beyond that. I can just imaging little Julius Caesar walking out of the bathroom in a ‘thorthu’ (a sort of loin cloth used as a towel) and his mother running after him with an olive wreath and warning him that he if he doesn’t wear the wreath he can forget about going out to the coliseum to play cart racing with his buddies. Or the primordial Mr.Homo Erectus being yelled at by the missus not to forget his designer snake skin scarf when he goes out hunting mastodons.
But really the things that men wear these days have me bewildered. Someone please tell me what’s the point carrying your mobile in a leather pouch attached to the belt when u could much much more easily keep it a few inches away in the trouser pocket. Or is it that they just couldn’t wait for all the crocs and snakes to be killed for the leather, that they decided that they might aid that process of extinction in their own little way.
And these days if a school teacher asks a student what a watch is used for and he replies – “to know the time”, I’m sure the whole class will burst out laughing. Same is the case with mobile phones. Frankly if it’s just to keep in touch, a five hundred rupee reliance instrument would do the job.
This is a tribute to those creative minds in the fashion world around the globe who time and again convinces a whole generation of apparently intelligent and smart set of young minds that to wear a blinking electronic earring is what constitutes fashion or that a three kilogram watch which supposedly would work fine even under five hundred meters of water (rest assured the wearer wouldn’t even expose it to the shower in his bathroom, let alone five hundred meters of water) is the ultimate macho symbol. I believe their acts of mass brain washing is no less an accomplishment than what the likes of Osama or Muthalik has done convincing their followers of what religion, culture and ethics is and should be all about. And then, ‘we’, the knowledgeable middleclass of the educated world call those of the creed of Osama and Muthalik as uneducated and misguided.
Disclaimer: I am one of those ardent believers of contemporary fashion. My dad calls me a "brand baby". But i guess in this time and age when people like Maneka Gandhi whose heart used to bleed when a stray dogs tail was so much as even stepped upon, endorses the cutting of arms of men, I guess i can speak for or against anything and everything in this world, regardless of where my beliefs lie.