Gossip: an appeal for reappraisal

Sydney Scanlon - India


October 15, 2017

 

 

Gossip has been given its nefarious reputation by men jealous of the human discussion they so poorly execute. Testosterone dominated individuals have never been as good at letting things go, periods attest to that. There is something about women and gossip that so pleases the tongue. Why humans so universally chatter is a mystery. Yet, even wild gelada baboons are known for their tittering to one another as they go through the daily task of grooming one another.

 

India is no exception. The women like to talk their way through lengthy walks to market and then proceed to comment on the exorbitant prices of specialty vegetables. They ramble though the chores of dinner, letting their thoughts soften with the potatoes on the stove, yet remain equally as spicy with masala charm. They prattle through the sweet, creamy chai and their running minds are as rapidly released as the dishes, occasionally depleted, yet always there are more.

 

Gossip is no mystery and a fair precursor to the following thesis. The mothers of the home were conversing on the usual topics: the destruction of youth, stupidity of men, and most recent scandalous acts of neighbors. The ideas jumped from dieting to desserts in an impressive fashion. Let it be known John Lennon was not too far from imagining a world where humans were more like minded then different, he only had to look to the binding force of chatter.

 

The discussion in Kothrud delved into the thesis of globalization, though it may have not been realized. The chatty turmeric toned mamas giggled over the scandal of traditional Diwali attire coming in shorts. The atrocity of conventional patterns of the immense Indian festival being tarnished by booty shorts was laughable. They explored the human condition of youth taking inspiration from the western world in form fitting clothes, shorts, and dresses. How similar the skin tight leggings were to an act of premarital sex was most titillating. But in fact the best part was not a one sided appeal to the loss of Indian innocence, but instead, the tendency of all things to move in circles. While the eastern girls took their American slang and electronic music from whiter areas, the millennial’s of the west consumed eastern ideals with an insatiable hunger. Ayurveda and yoga have infiltrated the vernacular of any “it” girl as they pop cloves of garlic and ginger tea on their way to yoga class. Indians have been including mediation into their everyday and yoga into every household since Patanjali was writing his Sutras. If the water of the Indian sea makes its cyclical path towards the Atlantic, it must be that the sand of the European beaches is being found on Mumbai’s shores.

 

Gossip has gotten a bad rap. People seem to prefer terms such as philosophical discussion and intellectual thought. But anyone who knows women can see the expertise with which they weave insight with which doctorates are written upon into the kneaded dough of chapatti. If women are the future, one must not forget the necessity of social interaction, even the dirtiest and most delicious has morsels of morality hiding amongst the brush.

Sydney Scanlon