When I was a member of the Madras Gymkhana Club at Chennai some years back, the swimming pool there had hardly any women swimming. But once darkness set in a few intrepid girls would enter the pool for a swim. This was usually after 8 pm and the girls could swim for an hour or so till the pool closed at 9 pm.
This is the dichotomy in India, women would like to swim and wear good bathing suits, but centuries of the Purdah system has indeed left a hangover. Thus, for a woman in India getting on the beach
Selecting a proper Swimming Costume.
A wide variety of swim wear by the latest manufacturers is available in any of the big stores in the Metro towns. However getting a swimming costume to buy in the small towns is almost like a pipe dream, hardly anybody will stock them as they will not sell. However in the Metro towns like Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai there is no dearth of swimsuits and you can get any of the best brands quite easily.
These swim suits can be examined by the buyer who will have to choose from a wide variety. However the girl will have to first decide where she plans to use the swim suit. Is she planning to have a swim at a beach or simply a dip in the pool of the club or hotel? Most of the good clubs in India have excellent pools and can be safely used.
In case a girl plans to use it at a club then there is no limitation. One can select a design that shows off your body to good advantage. You can select a backless or a low cut suit and no eye brows will be raised.
Swimming on the Open Beach
In case you are planning to go to one of the many beaches, than you will have to take some care in selecting a swim wear. You will have to ensure that the suit is not too revealing, as it will attract the eyes of oglers. This could be a disconcerting experience. However in some of the holiday resorts like Goa, the situation is a little better. But again a woman or girl must remember that discretion is the better part of valor.
Thus while planning a picnic at a beach, where you will like to enter the sea, take care that the suite is slightly staid. Do not select gaudy colors that will make you stand out it is best to select a swim suit with a light unobtrusive color. You could even select one that covers part of your thighs. If you follow the rules of the game, you will be able to relish a dip in the sea.
The Bikini and the Average Indian Girl
the Bikini is one dress that sets a woman to good advantage. In case you are slim and petite, a bikini will certainly be an asset. But in case you plan to enter the sea at a public resort, than make it a point not to wear a bikini in India. You will also observe that hardly any girl in India will wear a bikini on any of the beaches. I for one, who have travelled the length and breadth of India, have never seen an Indian girl in a bikini on the beach.
All this is a hangover from the age old Purdah system that has existed for well nigh 1000 years. Hence it is best to eschew a bikini on a public beach. However in case you are bold, then you can try out one in a five star hotel pool or a good club. You will certainly catch the eye, but that will be a pleasure.
However India is changing. Many taboos are going with the wind. The wearing of the swimming costume is on the rise, at least in the Metro cities. Many girls are also learning to swim in the corporation pools. India is moving ahead and that is a plus point.