25.11.05

Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. I say that chivalry can never be a thing of the past.

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).

27 comments:

Delhi's Deviant said...

chivalry wouldn't be so dead if it weren't for you'll conniving females, upon whom any display of chivalry is quite often misinterpreted as leering/leching/general disgusting behaviour, which is why i've never even attempted it in the slightest degree.

thalassa_mikra said...

For the commenter above: what kind of deluded person would think of holding doors open, pulling out chair, and other such niceties as disgusting? That's a sorry excuse for being quite clueless about what it takes to be chivalrous.

AB, at least as far as holding open doors is concerned, men and women of many other countries are far more considerate than we Indians are. Sadly, we're not really socialized with such little civilities.

shyam said...

Delhi's Deviant, I guess we would disagree about the definition of chivalry, but from what I know, most behaviour termed as "leering/leching/general disgusting behaviour" -- being groped at, pinched and commented on -- is quite in line with the words used.

Opening doors and such is not generally ingrained into us. I am quite a clueless moron when it comes to things related to culture etc, but from the little I know, we are used to women following us, so it kind of goes against the grain. That said, I have seen an increase in the number of exceptions which is quite encouraging, though it would take a while before it becomes the norm.

AB said...

Delhi's deviant: To expect courtesy isn't conniving for anything by any length.

If you can, try being chivalrous for once to the women in your life and see their reaction.

Thalassa: You see what I mean. Sigh.

Codey: I know, I haven't till now come across what I would call chivalry among the guys in my generation.

But it does charm women.

I swear:-)

Ron said...

Fashion show on the walls of a hotel? WOW!!! Am very impressed. All sympathies with your colleague P..I would have I was hallucinating too if i suddenly saw something like that!

AB said...

Ron: Yeah it was great. At first it was scary though. And I couldn't stop laughing at P's stunned reaction that she enacted for me.

shyam said...

ab: I need to intro you to better guys ;-)

Yep, the charm factor is very much there, but it is also used as quite a decent ploy to catch women off guard.

eM said...

You guys have so much funnnnn!!
Wah, now I'm most depressed. I want to change beats :(

Docs Dope said...

hey who said chivalry is dead.

doc is still alive

acidrocks said...

Hey here in this country opening the doors for somebody is like a rule, a custom which everybody follows. Indians living here slowly slowly get into the habit and do the same. And about the old lady may be the watchman or the security would have been one Khadoos guy...otherwise people generally help right...?

AB said...

Codey: Pls do:-)

eM: Yeah why don't you?;0)Haven't seen you in a while. Actually there have not been much alcohol assignments I think.

Acidrocks: I thought so too. But the incident involving the old lady and the Italian guy the day before made me rethink.

Rat said...

Wow the skywalk sounds very cool. Im a bit confused though as to how exactly it happens.

Jay said...

A skywalk! I've never even heard of such a thing. Did they use models or professional stuntmen?!

AB said...

Rat and Jay: And I was moping thinking I am the only ignoramus:) They dangle the model with a rope tied around her waist and she puts on special shoes that stick to the wall. I don't think they were professional stuntsmen though. The best part was they weren't merely walking down the walls, but doing some tricks like doing flips and landing on their feet.

Parna said...

wow a skywalk! even there were ropes tied around and shoes which stuff to the walls, just the thought of walking down a building, makes me giddy!

and do you always have to end with food-talk? :)

sinusoidally said...

Being a woman does not stop me from holding the door for the person walking behind me. However, it is something I was never taught at home or at school when I lived in India. Holding the door open for someone is a basic courtesy that should be practiced eqally by either gender. I really feel that many men in India are not chivalrous because we as a society do not teach them that when they are kids.

AB said...

Parna: Ok ok you caught me there babe:-)

Sinusoidally: I so agree with you. These are those little things that make a big difference.

Mint Chutney said...

I agree with sinu's comment 500%.

I think it's something that needs to be be taught at a young age regardless of gender. To me it's less about chivalry and more about common courtesy.

couchpotato said...

Would love to try that out. That I'd be alive or not to celebrate the feat would be a different matter altogether! ;)

couchpotato said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AB said...

Mint: Like the school of rock, maybe there should be a school of common courtesy:-)

Couchpotato: Why don't you? Let me know how it was;)

Penny Lane said...

WOW... sky walk.. I've never even heard of it! So Esprit has now launched only in Delhi or everywhere in India?

AB said...

Penny Lane: It has launched in Bombay and Bangalore as well. Suddenly it's raining brands:-)

n.g. said...

thats a bit harsh. lack of chivalry is frowned upon, but i dont see anyone writing about indian guys who offer seats in crowded buses and who open doors for women. im sure it doesnt happen often, but it happens. keeping all modesty aside, i offer seats and open doors and do the whole thing, and im sure other guys do it too. cut us a bit of slack.

AB said...

Nish: Ok ok the next time I come across chivalry in any form I am gonna blog about it:-)

Saket said...

Hey small sample size there caramel. There are some nice Indian guys out there too.

AB said...

saket: I didn't say there isn't:-)