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Home/mumbai/ Four Lifestyle Trends That Haven’t Caught on (Thank God for that)

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While the BlackBerry Messenger services or much newer Whatsapp craze only promises to get bigger in 2013, Akhil Sood gives thanks for the few crazy trends that haven’t quite caught on.

Even the most technophobic among us will admit to using Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp. They are economical and practical and have spurred the conversion of hordes of Generation Y into bumbling jaywalkers who don’t look up from the device, even while crossing street.

Well, not every trend becomes quite as popular. Here’s a look at five fads that haven’t quite taken off, yet.

Veganism

Does anyone have a clue what vegans actually can or cannot eat? Rumours suggest that they’re only allowed to chew on hay and drink swill, but that could be hearsay. And really, who has the right to judge what other people eat? Surviving on a steady diet of bread and hummus for weeks on end is perfectly doable, especially in cases of extreme poverty.

What’s troubling about veganism, though, are not the rather unconventional dietary restrictions, but sometimes the practitioners themselves. They’re the culinary equivalent of evangelical atheists and religious nuts debating the existence of god online or Apple gadget owners doubling up as self-proclaimed salesmen. This pious espousing of virtues is vaguely annoying, but also quite amusing. Eating healthy food is of course a great habit, but who wouldn’t miss their daily dose of junk food?

Generous Tipping 

We are a notoriously frugal lot. Give us a bargain and watch us drool. Nowhere is this more so than at restaurants, where the social convention of paying a tip accompanies the bill. This voluntary process requires either a big heart or the ability to feel embarrassment, shame, or guilt. Although, when people lack those tendencies, tipping becomes an unnecessary evil. Often, the only way to avoid it is to make a shifty exit without any eye contact with the waiter. The concept works perfectly, especially in Mumbai, where a large percentage of restaurant-patrons and young people are trying to ‘make it’ as actors, writers, dancers, musicians, etc., so money’s a little tight. It’s one reason why the idea of service charges inbuilt into the bill is a morally grey area that stirs up much debate.

Not Bathing Everyday

Yep, this is actually a ‘thing’ now that’s being propagated by culturally progressive hippies in the west. The philosophy propagates the wisdom that washing your skin with soap each day is actually detrimental to the human body, and that baths should be sporadic and carefully regulated. Heck, even The New York Times did a piece on this absurd phenomenon. It was just a logical conclusion of the organic-this and organic-that boom of the past few years. Well, let’s just say grace and thank our lucky stars that India is still not that radical. The local trains in Mumbai are a stink fest at the best of times. And then there’s our tropical climate. Swearing off baths and soap would lead to nasal disasters.

Planking

Err…brace yourselves, for this fad’s as ridiculous as they come. Planking is the act of lying flat face down, body stretched straight, hands touching the body, and pretending to be a wooden plank. Friends of mine have pretended to be rich, famous, good looking, and what have you, but never a wooden plank. Why? We think it’s self-explanatory really! The only purpose of planking is to outdo other plankers by finding an unusual spot and uploading a photo of said planking on social media.  Sure, postmodernism is hip now, but really, let’s draw the line at people pretending to be planks. In fact let’s stop, point and laugh.

Rest assured, most western fads, as outlandish as they often are, do hit India, belatedly but with a vengeance. It could be the time difference that causes the delay. Logically, there should be relief. But in reality, that agonizing wait just makes things more absurd. What we can do, then, is simply huddle together and rejoice until the trends attack. We can call it the Huddling.

About The Author

Akhil Sood

Akhil Sood is an independent writer who lives in Mumbai. He dreams of acting in a Bollywood blockbuster with Gulshan Grover some day.

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