Go Sleeveless Kochi. (Yea right!!)


I noticed a huge billboard advertising a Nivea product – a deodorant, in Kundannoor, Kochi. It said “Go Sleeveless, Kochi“. Mind you, it is not an ordinary deodorant!! It is a  whitening  deodorant. The first thought that came into my mind was, ”  Dear Nivea, You will need something more than a deodorant to make Kochi sleeveless.” It is not due to lack of fair under arms that we refrain from wearing sleeveless tops. It is because of propriety.

You see, I don’t think Nivea has a clear picture about Kochi’s (or rather whole of Kerala’s, I must say) sense of propriety. This is a place where men label  a woman a wanton because she did not cover her arms enough. A woman wearing a sari showing off half of her belly,chest and backside is a traditional woman with great values, though.

I find this very funny because, fifty or sixty years back women in this very same state had to go to court in order to gain the right to cover their upper body with a blouse. You know what is even  more funny? This very same society labels certain religions as barbaric because the women in these religions are required to cover themselves up. You’ve got a pretty messed up society, here Nivea. They have lost their priorities and  do not seem to know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate anymore.

I repeat: It would take something  more than a deodorant to make Kochi go sleeveless.

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8 thoughts on “Go Sleeveless Kochi. (Yea right!!)”

  1. absolutely right ! we call ourselves literate ..modern ect ect and yet when I pack my bags to go to kerala I have to think a 100 times ! Ofcourse I see a lot of change ..we will get there eventually 🙂

  2. Hell right you are. So the other day I was on the bus and this local men were on this seat right behind mine and one look at this Ad just over North Bridge in Cochin and they say, ” Haa now this was the only thing left for the women to follow!” I agree, Kerala has a long long way to go before Nivea can get the Venusians to go sleeveless! But like TTT rightly said, ” we will get there”

  3. Pretty insightful. The irony of it all just makes me feel that ‘progress’ is a pretty hollow word. I think it is a post-colonial hangover, this obsessive attention to ‘ Indian culture’. It’s not just Kerala, even in bollywood, they can flaunt erotic, barely-clad women’s bodies, but kissing remained taboo for such a long time. We must subvert these people, hie ho!!

  4. very well written, but nivea or no nivea kochi will eventually get their unlike most other parts of kerala. i think it has changed a lot from the time i first moved to kochi about 5 years ago from bangalore. i had harrowing experience of men intentionally trying to run in to me on the foot paths, let alone the stares. I totally give up wearing sleeveless dresses till recently. for the past one year i have been using sleeveless kurthis in malls, multiplexes and at private parties and i am comfortable, so there is an attitude shift. .

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