Tuesday, 7 October 2008
I know this is entirely predictable, but sometimes that traditional heterosexual male in me just WON’T be suppressed…. so it came to me that there just seems to be no contest over who the sexiest looking women in Mumbai are.
Yep, it’s those airline lasses.
You turn up to the airport to take an internal flight, and the sight of the Kingfisher girls just slaps you in the face (metaphorically of course). Mostly because they are wearing a uniform/outfit that is such a dramatic slash of total red, top to very bottom, that they seem to be tearing slits across one’s eyeballs. See the photo on the right.
Now, I admit their pant-suits do at first have an unfortunate resemblance to the garb of a cheesy Las Vegas magician or circus performer with their glue-like fits, but if you’re willing to keep looking (and some of us are), you can overcome that hurdle.
These representatives of Mr Vijay Mallya (the multi-millionaire whose face is ever in the finance pages) may only represent a low-cost internal airline - but they glide around supremely confident, knowing that they are The Business. Their uniforms look freshly laundered and well-fitted, the short tight sleeves leave their arms bare from just above the elbow, and the matador-style thin jacket somehow doesn’t look as stupid as it usually does on most people; I suppose because they are nearly all incredibly slender. Yes indeed, here’s a shock: they may well be chosen for their looks…
They even walk like models around the concourse, as though they own it, with a leisurely luxurious lasciviousness, their two-inch heels (on otherwise strangely ‘sensible’ shoes) clacking on the terminal’s shiny floor. With the way that a confident woman does, they look right through their admirers. It’s crushing.
(The shoes incidentally are an odd match against all this bright red, being the colour of an orange-red sun. I do not howvere blame the girls themselves for this faux-pas. Of course not).
The Deccan Airline girls unfortunately come second to that Kingfisher vision. Whilst they too wear a red outfit, actually almost the same red to be frank (it’s even a little confusing), they have a more traditional look – sensible knee-length skirts and blazer. Somehow, although as good-looking, they contrast porlly with the more modern-looking Kingfisher army which manages to render them just dumpy-looking. It’s sad.
But I do have a soft spot for the Jet Airways ladies.
Their designer has been presented with a difficult colour code - a mournful blue as its defining hue, with a splash of mud-yellow only. But – it must be the fit surely? – the ladies do carry it off.
The cut and shape seem to be long, loose and tight all at the same time (how is that done?), and the crisp white shirt, with the long white collars, makes a statement peeping from underneath.
Again, they walk with extreme insouciance and grace, aware that they are the object of gazing all around … and a glimpse of white shirt as a trim on the short sleeves of their tunics plays it off beautifully.
Not as dramatic as Kingfisher, and duller in plumage, but they have subtlety for sure.
It certainly makes the long wait at the airport gates a little more enjoyable. You can watch the little dramas at the exits with a little more interest.
I like the airlines
By the way, don’t listen to the bad-mouths about the Indian internal airlines.
Of course they have problems. India is a huge country, and dealing with sizzling hot temperatures, lashing monsoon storms, and the mountain wastes up by the Himalayas would test any airline.
But I seem to get by using them; and was only let down badly once. If you want to fly cheaply, you have to take the downside of it (ie - read the small print!)
Of course, getting your money back after a cancellation can be a nightmare, but then… oh let’s not go on about that.
Back to the ladies.
What puzzles me is that in such a conservative country, it’s thought that their uniforms are acceptable.
Let’s face it – every other woman in officialdom is wearing saris or variations on salwar kameezes (does the national carrier’s stewardesses still wear saris? I can’t remember), so why are these attendants not? Instead they, the Kingfisher girls, are wearing very sexy tight pants. It’s a puzzle and in some parts of India would be regarded as, well, offensive.
Perhaps it’s seen as Western, Western being a term which is synonymous with ‘modern’. All airlines want to be modern, don’t they? Perhaps that’s it.
Incidentally, am I the only blogger to have written a hymn to these ladies?
I hope not. They deserve more fame than that.
By the way, what’s happened to the boys at Mumbai airport who used to seize your suitcases out of your hand, carry them to your car, and demand one-pound-sterling for their services (yes I know it’s a 1000% mark-up!)?
They seem no longer to be there. Have they been chased off?
It seems amazing if they have been. They were a nuisance, but somehow part of the whole welcome-to-Mumbai chaotic experience. Gone huh?
Modernity indeed. Who needs it?
Posted by Mark R at 15:18