It’s Raining Men...Where Exactly?
- Anjuly Mathai
Story Dated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 13:43 hrs IST
There are two types of men in the world: First, the kind that’s firmly enmeshed in your life and for that reason deserves no further mention (for fear of one of them actually reading this post). Second, the more exotic strain that hovers somewhere in your peripheral vision and exists solely for decorative purposes. It is this latter, impossibly good looking species that we shall we dwelling on.
My theory is simple: I believe these men are a diminishing demographic…almost an endangered species.
Exhibit A -The rare sightings. You never see them in public places. Supermarkets and movie theatres are anathema to them. Once in a blue moon, you might catch a glimpse of a carefully manicured hand peeking out of a Porsche.
There used to be one place where they’d be swarming in hordes - the airport aka Disneyland for men watchers. The place used to be infested with them in all their suitcase-swishing Armani-donning glory. A recent visit and a rather disconcerting number of men in lungis and Bata chappals convinced me that that’s no longer the case.
Exhibit B - The film industry. Being a home-grown, authentic Syrian Christian Mallu girl I’d like to cite the example of the steady diet on which all of us true-blue Mallus are brought up: Mollywood. There used to be a time when the honchos of Mallu land: Mohanlal, Mammooty, Suresh Gopi and Jayaram, with their character-engulfing acting skills and charm oozing out of every pore, would take us on fantasy trips to the land of mustachioed bravado and moonlit rescues.
Cut to the present: They’re nothing but pale, rather bloated, shadows of their former selves who seem to be clinging onto residual images of youth through ugly silk shirts, uglier haircuts and heroines barely out of the nursery.
Perhaps it’s only the Tamil film industry that’s emerged more or less unscathed due to the likes of Surya and Vikram but by and large, it’s a global epidemic.
Take the current crop of Hollywood eye candy. They’re either dead (Heath Ledger), gay (Neil Patrick Harris), dreary (Jake Gyllenhal) or have reduced acting to the art of minimum lip motion (Tobey Maguire).
The one beacon of hope used to be Ashton Kutcher. Pre-Spread. No denying he’s pretty. But not even Kutcher can pull off skinny suspenders and lines like “When a girl tells you you’re not getting any, before you even try, you’re getting some.”
It makes one nostalgic for the cowboy charm of Clint Eastwood, the suave panache of Robert Redford, the fossilised beauty of George Clooney (that’s a walking talking anti-ageing advertisement for you).
I can envisage myself telling my daughter about those long-ago days when men used to be men. Probably in the same dreamy tone my mom uses when she launches one of her ‘In my days’ grenades.
Which brings me back to my anguish-filled query: Where have all the men gone?