Chivalry is not exactly the Indian male's forte. It is the Italian's.
In a matter of yesterday and today I came to the conclusion. Yesterday night I was attending the fashion show of Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre where at a certain point of time, a journo from another paper, S, and I were interviewing the CEO of Ferre. The latter pretended to be as dumb as possible with the result that we had none of our answers. As we were walking out of the hotel not very happy with life in general, an Italian guy held the door open for us and we sailed out. We turned back to smile and thank him. He was neither the doorkeeper nor was he trying to enter at the same time as we were getting out.
Today I was atttending a book launch. Now I K Gujral was there as the guest of honour. We walked out of the event at the same time and were waiting for our respective cars. I noticed an old lady who was kind of disabled and was trying to get in just after Gujral walked out. His PA, or whoever he was, held the door carefully open for Gujral but the next moment swung the door back on the lady. Of course she managed to open the door and walk in but there was nobody to help her. Not even the guard near the entrance who was standing watching people get in and out.
So if you want chivalry you know where to look.
On a different note, for the first time in my life, I watched a skywalk. Esprit launched in Delhi and for their fashion show, the models waltzed down the walls of the Shangri-la hotel. I revealed my awe and ignorance at the beginning by asking how they would do that. A photographer let me know that there have been shows like this in Bombay. And even though these models had ropes tied onto their waists and shoes that clung to the surface of the walls, I thought they were brave. Imagine walking down a five-star hotel and yet managing to look graceful!
Apparently colleague P was outside the hotel in the car and about to enter when she saw a person walking down the hotel wall. Her eyes popped out. "Initially I was trying to figure out whether I was seeing right (she was san lenses but wearing her glasses). Then I thought someone was trying to commit suicide. people had even gathered around because it could be seen from the road," she said dramatically as we stuffed into some yummy chocolate pastries and particularly nice chicken pizzettes (small circular thin crust pizzas).