Sometime back, I briefly dated a big shot corporate. The man had this way cool mannerism, language, and an eclectic knowledge of cuisines, culture and world. Such men attract me like a magnet.

That evening inside his subcompact Ford Ikon, we mulled on which place to dine. He asked me for a choice and I told him that all I know is the quotidian North Indian cuisine. No! he said. His penchant for knowledge urged him to enlighten me with an unexplored cuisine. ‘Japanese’ and we went to Kofuku in Navi Mumbai.
The decor was superb. There was chabudai, a short-legged table used in traditional Japanese homes for lunch dinner. We had Sushi platter, Khimchi rice, and Dumpling soup. He was delighted that I’m finding this all a novel experience. We came back and talked late night over phone. ‘You looked gorgeous but there’s something I have to tell you’ He said. What? I was alerted.

‘You wore a white bra under a black blouse, that made the lingerie see through. The lingerie should always be invisible. It’s a major fashion blunder, a Faux Pas. You should either wear a nude bra or something of a matching color tone but never this’.

I actually followed the invisible bra mandate until one day I shunned it all. And as unbelievable as it may sound, the inspiration behind this dare were my school teachers. No! you got it all wrong. I grew up in a conservative environment and my teachers were the ultimate gatekeepers of female chastity. They modestly dressed, their lives revolved around their families, never puffed cigarettes during lunchtime, and never watched porn. All such barriers, I have broken at some point in life.

In the tranquil nineties when I was growing up, Rupa bra was quite popular and available in every nook and corner. Unlike today’s strapless, backless, padded, laced bras, Rupa bra came in only one color, that was white. And I just discovered that Zivame has a special category called ‘bridal bra’ for all those women who take the holy plunge on their wedding night.

So like me and my mother, my teachers also wore white Rupa bra under their blouses of different colors. I remember Kalpana mam, a Bengali math’s teacher, who wore handloom saris with Elan. In those days schools thrived on a modest tuition fees and hence did not have lavish facilities like a generator back up and there were power outages in our school. So I remember on a hot summer afternoon, Kalpana mam’s back was facing us and she drew cubes, prisms on the blackboard. Mam was quite sweated up and her sweat soaked body made the lining and color of that bra visible. I could see her emitting feminine sensuality and sexuality in the form of sweat drops on her brown skin that dried as the fans went up again.

This is what women think of –

Correct!! Why should it be invisible when the whole world already knows we wear one! Not a secret. Not a revelation if its visible. Nothing to hide.

Totally agree… its like how men wear vest, we wear a bra.. why is it considered a taboo to be talking about it or talking about it in hushed voices… more often than not, we are told to hide our straps if they r visible.. why on earth?? For men its cool to flaunt their CK underwear from the low hanging jeans but if a woman’s bra straps are out by chance, it instantly becomes a matter of shame… hypocrisy it is in our male dominated society