The Day I Turned Into a Psycho
CLEAVAGE: According to Merriam Webster… klē-vij, noun.
1 : the quality of a crystallized substance or rock of splitting along definite planes; also : the occurrence of such splitting 1b : a fragment (as of a diamond) obtained by splitting
2: the series of synchronized mitotic cell divisions of a fertilized egg that results in the formation of the blastomeres and changes the single-celled zygote into a multicellular embryo; also: one of these cell divisions
3: the depression between a woman’s breasts especially when made visible by a low-cut neckline
For the purpose of this story, we will confine ourselves to the third definition of the word cleavage. Living in India you never see cleavage. When I say never, I literally mean never in real life. Womens’ cleavage is relegated only to our imaginations and the television screen. We do see legs sometimes, but to much a lesser extent. I still remember that in school, we boys would hang out at girls’ badminton practice, basketball games and track & field events, where girls wore shorts and gave us a sneak peak of those mysterious legs. The situation in my university, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, was even more pathetic. Forget seeing cleavage or legs, you didn’t even see girls. There were 25 girls in a batch of 450 students. The abysmal gender ratio meant there was approximately only one girl enrolled for every twenty male students. Needles in haystacks.
This all changed when I moved to Italy. Italian women not only show off their beautiful legs, shapely shoulders and curvy waistlines but also top it with ample amounts of cleavage. Infact showing off is an understatement. Italian women love to flaunt their beauty. It supports the old adage, “Use it or lose it.” Showing off like this is not considered vulgar. In fact, it’s cultural and classy. It’s been going on for centuries. Italian men and boys are used to it. While young men, from India like me, who grew up ogling at girls at badminton and basketball games, aren’t at all used to seeing so much skin. The situation is so bad that when you see so much cleavage, you just fall into the crack (no pun intended 🙂
My fall into a deep abyss began my first day of study at Politecnico Di Torino, in Italy. We were in a room waiting for our orientation program to begin. The woman handling the orientation and registration procedures walked into the room. I was dumbstruck! The woman, her name was Giulia, was beautiful. In her mid-30s, she was tall, slim and had flowing black hair. She wore a pair of stylish jeans, and a low cut top that showed off her full cleavage. Most of the men in the room took comfortable notice of it. I was comfortable too or so I thought ! I was sitting atleast ten metres away from Giulia and I have to admit, I couldn’t take my eyes of her.
My descent into the abyss began as I approached her desk to pick up my registration materials. I was quite sure that I’d be OK, as I subscribed to Bro’ Code Rule #316-B: “Looking at cleavage is like staring into the sun. You stare for too long…you go blind!”. I knew about the code and was generally good at practicing it. So, you’d think I’d be OK in this current situation. But…NO!
I approached Giulia as she sat in her desk and told myself, “Don’t look down. Don’t look down. No matter what happens, don’t look down. Stick to small talk, collect your registration documents, look her in the eyes and smile a lot. ” I was doing fine with all of this until I could not overcome the law of gravity and fell headfirst into the abyss. I stopped talking. I was in free fall. One second. Two seconds. Three seconds. Still staring down into the chasm. Five seconds. Six. I was incapable of pulling out of the dive. I was doomed! Suddenly, Giulia, realizing what was going on, shifted in her seat and covered her cleavage with part of her top. I was jolted back to reality.
I slithered back to my desk trying to figure out just what exactly had happened to me. How had I become a maniac gawker? Was I actually some kind of psycho?
This free fall into the abyss taught me an important lesson. The lesson was to always look at women in the eyes when talking. Anyways, about a year later, Giulia and I become good friends and laughed about the day I lost control of my eyes and became a psycho. It was OK to look, but just don’t stare speechless for over five seconds.