Burqa and Bikini

The Saturday last week was sweltering hot and humid. I could take it no longer, besides, I had been in an airconditioned room for more than three days. So I decided to go to my club and take a dip in the holy waters of our outdoor swimming pool. It was 35 degrees during the late afternoon, and so the water in the outdoor pool would have been about the same temperature. Perfect to let off steam from my body and mind.

As I reached the Club Lobby, I saw somebody I knew but hadn’t seen for years. It was Dave, and he had gone away to Australia many years ago. We shook hands and exchanged greetings after which he turned to his partner, a person wearing a burqa, and introduced us. He had apparently got married in Australia to a Muslim lady, and this was the first time he was bringing his wife to Japan.

A few minutes later I said I would see them again if they were going to be around, to which he replied in the affirmative. I went to the pool and dived into the water which felt pretty comfortable. I had just completed three lengths when I looked up to see Dave and a woman just coming by headed to the shaded area. He said “hello again” and the woman in bikini walking by his side also nodded her head smilingly. It would be an understatement if I said I was stunned. I was looking at one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. And then it suddenly dawned on me that this woman was the same woman (in burqa) whom I had seen in the lobby area with Dave a few minutes earlier. This was his wife. The change from burqa to bikini was a transformational experience for me.

Now, I have seen many beautiful women in my sixty years of (sub)conscious living, but this one was a stunner. She could be anywhere and pull any number of men towards her with her smile, like a powerful magnet can pull hundreds of pins out of their cardboard box.

I wish to ask why such scintillating beauty has to remain hidden in a burqa. A thing of beauty is a joy for everyone, and to deny such joy to even one human being is a crime against humanity. We enjoy seeing other beautiful things such as animals, birds, buildings, drawings, paintings, etc., and I am sure women also enjoy seeing or looking at handsome or charming men. In my younger days, I have in fact given extreme pleasure to girls who looked at me longingly, or so I have always thought.

With a view to promoting gender equality, a world in which men and women have been created equal and in the image of the supreme creator, I wish to suggest that the United Nations should table a resolution outlawing the wearing of burqa which keeps one-fifth of the human race hidden and separated from the remainder of humanity. Our ability to implement this change will in turn lead to building greater confidence to approach what has been revealed to us, for endearing relationships and close encounters of the special kind.