Gaja Gamini is Great, But Not Enough

Aditi Rao Hydari’s back flabs in ‘Heeramandi’ made people feel seen. Yet, body inclusivity for South Asians still feels far off.

gaja gamini gif
Gaja gamini walk in 'Heeramandi' (2024) (Netflix)

Isha Banerjee


May 31, 2024


7 min

Eight minutes into Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Heeramandi, we get our first song: “Saiyaan Hatto Jaao.” Bibbojaan (Aditi Rao Hydari) seduces her patrons through dance and, more specifically, a 20-second walk. That strut has since gone viral, with netizens plastering it across social media. They’ve also recreated it, some quite faithfully, others with humorous takes such as their dogs emulating Rao Hydari or setting a Taylor Swift Eras Tour clip to the song.

For many, seeing Rao Hydari walk gracefully while flaunting her back flabs made them feel comfortable in their skin. One creator, who reproduced the gait, wrote, “I was so insecure of my back flabs, until she healed all of us with this walk.” Another added, “She literally healed all my insecurities in one walk.” These comments point to a larger question. If a short clip featuring back flabs made thousands of South Asians feel seen for the first time, what does that say about body inclusivity in Bollywood and society at large?

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