Garba: Mating dance in the age of Instagram

Recently I had the unfortunate privilege of overhearing a group of young male Garba revellers gathered at a paan-shop at midnight to discuss about the spoils of their nightly raid earned by gate-crashing into a Garba venue where the girls they “met” on social media were dancing.

While they discussed the venues where kind establishment owners allowed them to consume the fruits of their efforts, though utterly disgusted, I could see that these lawless kids represented something really important, i.e. boys and girls are conversing now on a new medium that has power to disrupt a way of life, so it needs to be questioned instead of welcoming it under the garb of freedom from medieval constraints, especially that the women suffered.

If we ponder at the mating behaviour of human ape, it has always been a warzone between individual desires and social norms. While Bollywood earned billions exploiting the idea of love defeating social limitations, it worked for only a few, because, on the ground it met with a simple practical difficulty.

While nature has dealt with the need of spreading information about sexually receptive female through solutions like pheromones that can travel far and wide, in case of humans, this information remained in control of social forces like parents. Events like a village fair or a community function released this information to the suitors, but it was a controlled process because it dealt with something really serious.

Barely fifty years back (the first condom was marketed in India in 1968), every sexual interaction that both male and female apes are driven to engage in, had potential to result into female getting burdened with an enormous responsibility of having a child, so it was not a matter that could be dealt with casually, and hence parental control focused on limiting access to females.

Though it does look like a sickening violation of female’s right to choose a mate, and hence a liberation from it a welcome release, but there is a devil in the detail that can’t be ignore.

As social media has now banished the parents from the loop, the onus of female-safety rests solely in the hands of young girls, a development that evolution may not have prepared them for.

It is entirely possible that in conservative societies where extreme parental control existed, girls could have evolved into risk-takers and opportunity-seekers as a counter balance commonly found in nature. This would have been a useful trait to prevent the system from failing because of parental control going overboard.

As social media has arrived almost overnight with a bang, the same evolutionary trait could end-up backfiring when it hits the conservative societies of the rural and less-educated masses where girls are unprepared to understand the nuances of social media.

With parental control gone, girl-boy conversations between the Mani from Manavadar, Magan from Mehsana, Junaid from Juhapura and Razia from Rajkot have now erupted. If we can be honest, these conversations are obviously not to learn quantum thermodynamics from each other, as both male and female brain is designed to focus on finding a sexual partner.

The net outcome is, female brains designed to take risk due to social oppression are now meeting males already designed to sow wild oats, so when an opportunity like Garba arrives, we will have a mayhem that can’t be taken lightly.

If we accept this problem and also accept that the social media platforms are here to stay, the only option we have is to make the next-gen, especially girls coming from the less educated and thus unexposed part of the society, aware about the danger of sex over social media.





I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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