Item numbers never go out of fashion

First if all, why are there no item numbers for women?

Umbreen Ali
By Umbreen Ali
August 23, 2013, 4:41 pm

First if all, why are there no item numbers for women? 

We watch Bollywood films too. Why can’t the men be made to look more, er, augmented, sultry, provocative and deliver the perfect, ruthless pelvic thrust?

Bollywood is a unique industry where a film can be a flop but can still stand strong and retain credibility on the merits of a single item number.

And in many instances, the ability to dance isn’t even a prerequisite. The criteria: skinny, pert cleavage, zero inhibitions, and a lustful pout. Or just enough sex appeal to make middle-aged Asian men sitting in shisha bars pay attention.

Bollywood is where the art of womanhood is flesh, flesh and more flesh. 

When an item girl’s sexual stamina knows no bounds. And not in a performance art kind of way. But who cares if the item song portrays enough glistening skin and when women gyrate their hips like it’s some sort of papal blessing?

Bollywood audiences seem to be pragmatically fanatical about these songs with moves being mirrored relentlessly by a generation that sees no qualms in flaunting their moves at family weddings.

And look at the propensity for clever titles like ‘Babli Badmash Hai’- Priyanka’s latest offering. With Katrina Kaif rumoured to be the next item girl alongside Salmaan Khan, one wonders how many times can the short ghagra and tung cholee combo be reinvented. 

And the lyrics just keep getting better, ‘Jis ko bhi dekho, saala peeche para hai.’ Charming.

But question. Since when were women compared to ‘atom bombs?’ And hasn’t the 39-year-old Malaika Arora, with her beetling and ferocious cleavage, exceeded the respectable number of item numbers for any single ‘actress?’

According to a dictionary definition, an item number or an item song is a musical performance that has little to do with the film in which it appears, but is presented to showcase beautiful dancing women in revealing clothes, to lend support to the marketability of the film. 

Or as one very apt commentator on YouTube said, ‘Ek dum´╗┐ ghatiya.’


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