Good Girls Wear Slit Skirts Too

10/04/2012 14:21 BST | Updated 08/06/2012 10:12 BST

Quick close your eyes
my Mother admonished the eleven year old me, proceeding to cover my eyes with her fingers, as I valiantly peered through the fringed screen to the screen. Helen vamped it up, sizzling as she coyly pushed out her right leg through the trade-mark slit in her long skirt, smiling her hundred watt smile, fluttering her long eyelashes as she walked her fingers seductively over the hero's shoulders, then folded the same said leg to place it lightly on the seat of the chair next to him.

The audience gasped, a few catcalls followed and I sighed losing my heart to my first teenage crush, rightly not a man but a glamorous, sexy, powerful Bollywood heroine. And she was the vamp.

Then my Father's friend gifted him with a vinyl featuring that cult song Ramba Ho, Sambha Ho. What caught my attention and stayed burned in my memory was of the two women on the vinyl cover, striking a pose which would put many a Hollywood heroine to shame today. The ubiquitous slit long skirts and not much else they wore, if you get what I mean. Strangely the sexy poses have always been staple family fare in India... something western audiences still don't get even today. As long as there is no mouth to mouth kissing its fine, and remember it was still the vamp - the fallen women who often than not wore the slit.

That was until Zeenat Aman in Qurbani made it all acceptable. As the disco lights covered her in the flashes of white lightning like effect she danced her heart out in a silvery white long gown with that long slit up the side through which her right leg peeked out. The leg had a life of its own playing hide - n - seek with the mesmerised hero on screen entrancing the viewer in real life. I was hooked. (Good girls wear slits too!)

In real life as I had my first high school crush, the first dress I ever bought, you guessed it, was pink and had long slit up the side. I felt so irresistible when I wore it. I was Helen, Zeenie and every single beautiful Bollywood heroine rolled into one. I got his attention too thought that romance did not last very long as first love's go.

Why is it that we women are so captivated by the slit? As I speak to my friends it becomes clear it is the power we can wield by controlling how much of flesh we show through the window of the slit. Leg pushed out or just coyly shown or just a turn of the ankle sometimes. Yet it seems we like being in control, to turn it off and on, playing with the male libido and being gratified by the instant response it garners.

The Bollywood Golden Girls, the true mistresses of seduction knew it before any of us. So as I see Angie walking down the red carpet with her right leg thrust out of the slit in the black dress, I have to chuckle,

Too late babe, Helen was there first!