I have since done extensive research on the origin of this Indian fixation. I have discovered that it’s all to do with the birds and the bees, mostly the latter.
In the first quarter of the twentieth century, an Austrian scientist, Prof. Karl von Frisch, discovered that these insects are able to convey the precise information to their fellow bees about the source of food, whether it is nectar or pollen. Professor Frisch found that the basis for their communication system is their dance language that had remained an enigma until he decoded it in 1923.
Bees perform two kinds of dances - the round dance, used to convey that the food source is not far away from the hive; and the waggle dance to convey the opposite, i.e. the source is far from the hive. As soon as any worker finds the food source, it returns to the nest to tell about his discovery by a ritual dance, each movement of which gives precise information to the fellow bees. (source)
What has all this got to do with Kollywood, you ask impatiently. Hang on. You would have noticed that most of these modern heroines try to be slim, even skinny. In the process, they go on crash diets, to the point of turning anorexic. The net result is that they are hungry all the time and constantly crave for food. But, where do you find food, in the movie studios? The heroines have no clue at all.
Enter the hero. By moving his hips rhythmically and swaying it at different degrees, he manages to convey to the heroine, the precise location of the food and what type of food is available. For example, if he happens to know where Hyderabad biryani is, he executes a simple harmonic motion with amplitude of 61.3 cm, which somehow the heroine correctly interprets as biryani. Heroines who fail to read the signals starve to death and are akin to queen bees who have missed the buzz.
The whole ritual, confers an evolutionary advantage on human beings especially the actors and actresses, and is line with Darwinian predictions on natural selection.
Why do the heroines sway their hips then? After all, the heroes look well-fed and nourished and don’t need to know where food is available? Good question. But, that’s the subject for another blog post. I don’t want to reveal all in one post and overload your brains.
Some of you, I know, are not convinced with my theory. All creative geniuses who have preceded me have had to face the ire of such cynics and skeptics .So, I am not surprised by your reaction. After all, when Newton had the insight that the moon was held in orbit by the gravitational pull of earth, he was pelted with apples. (The culprit has never been nabbed, but the needle of suspicion points towards Leibniz, as he was the only other guy around who knew all the complex calculus involved in pelting projectiles). Similarly, when Einstein first postulated his theory on space-time continuum, he was described as a mad cap too, giving rise to the equation that Einstein= mad cap too or E= mc2.
Update 04/01/08 : Research by New York University, says this BBC article, has shown that to be attractive women must sway their hips while moving and men must move with a shoulder swagger.