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Sunday, April 8

Million Rupee Smiles Vs 2 Rupee Sweat

Two very different pictures stuck in my head over the week-end. The first was that of the three giggling Miss India's. Now a familiar annual photo-op.

Backed by an indulgent media, aggressive cosmetic companies and a desire to promote surface beauty above all else, this annual ritual of beauty celebration is the dumbest and amongst the most crass forms of consumerist imports from the West.

These women, supposedly represent India on a world stage. Qualifications include an intense and early aspiration, a beauty coaching regimen and a mechanical parroting of social conscience...These women then become the role models for a young and aspiring India!

The other far more liberating picture was that of these Tirupati women barbers who have stormed a male bastion.
Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam has broken away form an age-old tradition by allowing them to wield razors for tonsuring heads in the temple town, as part of the ritual of thanksgiving to Lord Venkateshwara for boons granted.

Currently there are 18 female barbers. They get paid a mere Rs. 2 for each tonsure. And they tonsure anywhere between 10-60 devotees a day!!

But of course, organised media does not have much space to show-case such grass-root changes! They are busy splashing manicured pictures of beauty. After all while the smiles are worth millions, the sweat costs a mere Rs. 2!

4 comments:

POOJA NAIR said...

Crazy but true.
All this hype makes every little girl have warped aspirations about being a beauty queen.

Warped because its a shallow aspiration. If instead they were inspired to do something that channelized their talents better - maybe to be a jazz singer or a dancer or a painter or an entrepreuner - all that passion and hard-work would have demanded a little more respect from the likes of us.

And it's amusing how they repeat the cliched jaw-drop, hands on face and exhiliriated crying EVERY SINGLE YEAR!

As if they were saying "look! i look pretty even when i'm crying!!!".
LOL (I think i'm being nasty :p)

Manish said...

that's the sad truth/ don't think you are being nasty at all!

meraj said...

great post!

Manish said...

thanks!. the more i think about how media twists our perception of the world, the angrier it makes me... and helpless:-)