The Indian male is a funny species. A dichotomy of mind-boggling proportions.
Today I was informed by my gym that 15 or so members had signed a petition to have my membership rescinded from the gym. My fault; walking around naked in the gym.
No- not in the exercise area—in the men’s changing room.
“Wait, what?” I shook my head in disbelief. “Of-course I’ll be naked when I shower.”
“Yes but you have to wrap yo’ ‘tings when you walk around.” He pointed at my crotch.
“Yes, but there‘s no posted rule, although I?ll certainly comply with the sensibility of other gym-mates.”
As I started my warm-up today, I reflected on my issues with nudity. I have a huge problem walking around in the buff unless I have to- but that only happens in front of women. With the guys, I don’t really care- well I grew up in boarding schools where we have community bathrooms.
But the average Indian male is a dilemma.
At a mind-numbing population of 1.25 billion people we certainly are comfortable being nude and having sex—in-fact seems like we are quite good at it.
So we are nude all the time—but we just don’t want to be seen naked.
There’s no nudity in our movies but when a director pulls of the coup of getting nudity cleared from our censor board, we throng to the theaters to see that nudity.
But we are uncomfortable with nudity.
How does that work??
When we were kids and we were caught naked, all our cousins would sing- “Shame shame, puppy shame. All the girls know your name.”
Such was the shame associated with nudity—and somewhere it stuck in my mind. I’ve never been comfortable in the nude.
Years of trying to move forward took a huge hit today. I recede back into a shell which coddles me. I am very very comfortable in that spot.
But a progressive part of my mind urges me to stay naked and be comfortable with it… so I will live to fight another day—just not at my gym.