I am a hoverer and I know most Indian women are too

I am a hoverer and I know most Indian women are too. In fact, I’m seriously considering setting up the ‘Sisterhood of Travelling Hoverers’ and making myself its Mascot–in-Chief.

I started hovering when I was about 18 and have not stopped since then, but these days the hovering starts much earlier in life. In fact, girls start very young these days; At maybe age 3- and then we continue hovering till we are ready to hang up our boots and go off to some hover-free land up above.

Hovering is a fine art, a science and almost a secret female martial arts form. We women keep this between us, talking about it under our breath or out aloud only when we are sure no member of the male species is around. Hovering involves great deal of patience, stamina and truck loads of determination. In fact, it is not for the weak-hearted. Or the weak-kneed. I know many women who have given up in frustration because they are too weak-willed but those who have stuck it out, gritting their teeth and holding their breath, know the joys it can deliver.

Among other things, hoverers attain ballerina-like grace and poise, the calmness and Zen state of a Tai-chi practitioner and the patience and tolerance of a Yogi. And the cherry on the cake? Hoverers become the proud owners of a backside that will be the envy of J-Lo, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian. Such is the magnificence of the pert, firm, well-rounded butt that comes from a life-time of hovering diligently.

Intrigued? You should be! Which other form of new-fangled exercise regimen promises you a pert backside without doing torturous squats, hundreds of lunges and other forms of self-inflicted pain? None whatsoever.

It is simple really. All you need to initiate yourself into the world of hovering is visit a public toilet block the next time you are out of your own home. Enroute to Mumbai on the dazzlingly modern expressway? No problem. On the way to catch a flight for an important business meeting? No worries. The thing about hovering is that you can do it anywhere, anytime, without cost-no expensive gym membership or personal trainer required.

I had two great days of hovering this past weekend when I went off to talk about my new book- Devi, Diva Or She Devil, in picturesque Goa. I started the first session at 4 am on Sunday at the Mumbai airport which was buzzing with people high on caffeine, even at that hour. On the wrong side of fifty for two months now, I have lost the courage to have coffee or anything liquid when I am travelling because the good old bladder is giving up on me. In fact, it is the reason why I headed for the toilet block that morning.

Now, those of you women who travel in Shashi Tharoor’s famed “Cattle Class” and don’t have access to fancy airport lounges, know what happens when you head to the ladies loo. You start mentally prepping yourself five minutes in advance with several deep breaths, you tuck in your tummy, set your jaws in determination, clench your teeth and push open the door. Sometimes the stench hits you on the face and you flee in horror. Or, if the call of nature won’t be denied any longer, you slap a hanky or tissue to your nose and totter to the nearest available cubicle.

This is the moment ‘Mission Hovering’ starts. So you walk in, gingerly look for a hook on the door to hang your bags, once again clench your jaws and face the truth: there is no way in hell you are going to sit on that filthy pot! The basics of hovering is fairly simple, if you don’t let it daunt you. You hitch up the dress, pull down the undergarment covering your modesty and then, position yourself with the precision of a missile , over the pot. At no point during this exercise does any part of the posterior come in contact with the surface of the pot. In fact, think once again of those air-to surface missile attacks. To draw a less intimidating analogy , it would be the loo version of a glute stretch with your entire upper body parallel to the floor, making eye-contact with the pools of pee that clueless users of the pot have left behind as their legacy. Positioned like this in airports across the country, I have had the chance to observe hundreds of types of women’s feet and their foot wear, from the bottom of the toilet cubicle. In fact, foot wear companies could consult with me to know what kind of shoes/sandals the woman on the go prefer these days. Also, airport contractors could pick my brain to know what fairly well-off women who travel want when they are hovering in airport loos. Think lots of tissue paper, hand sanitizers, hooks to hang bags and unwieldy dupattas loads of disposable toilet seat covers. And if humanly possible at all, maintenance staff who are not sleeping on duty inside the toilet blocks or stealing the stuff intended to make things easier for travellers.

Coming back to the subject under discussion though, I suspect that there will soon emerge training schools for hovering. Once upon a time mothers and grandmothers taught their girls skills such as cooking, embroidery, crochet, gardening, flower arrangement and laying out a good high tea. My mother did not. She did not believe her daughters, or she, needed to know any of the above-mentioned, other than cooking. But modern-day mothers, poor things, are over worked and have their hands full. I do know a few mothers of young daughters who have taught their girls the art of hovering. A couple of times I have been an unwitting audience to a live demo, as I myself hovered in an airport loo: “Darling, no! You are not supposed to sit on the pot. You have to spread your legs wide on both sides of the pot and pretend to do a squat like mama does at home. See, like this. And don’t wet your panty when you do it. And the pee-pee should be aimed inside the pot. Not outside….” You get the.. ahem…drift.

With mothers now too busy with the hundred things they do in their day, I suspect that one of those ‘How to be a perfect woman/bride’ training enterprises will soon include the ‘Fine Art of Hovering’ in their curriculum. And so, in between sessions on How to host the best cocktail party in town, How to have our husband eating out of your hand and How to get your mother-in-law on your side, these entrepreneurs will hold How to be the most effective hoverer sessions. And they will win brownie points in plenty from the students and their mothers, for having taught them a precious life skill.

Now that is a good idea for me too. Considering I am a hovering pro like none else; I know all the tricks and moves there is- and considering how little my publishers pay me for writing my books, I should seriously consider setting up one of these training schools myself! And maybe name it Clear Flow Techniques and Strategies Inc’.

Sudha Menon

Sudha Menon

Sudha Menon is an Author, a Writing Coach and a Speaker on Gender and Diversity.

You can reach her on sudhamenon2006@gmail.com or her twitter handle@sudhamenon2006
Sudha Menon