Sunday, December 30, 2012

last of 2012

1) Sorry for the silence. I was, as you all know, getting married. Was insanely busy with that and I didn't want to use the internet to help me calm down.

2) My last long-ish post has a couple of nasty comments. I intend to start 2013 by replying to those comments. They're trolls, but honestly, I don't care about that. Asshole men who are assholes to women on nay forum deserve to get a stinker or 5 composed in their name.

3) 2012 went well. I've found someone who makes the entire groom hunt process worth it. What can I say, I got lucky. More on that later.

4) If you're a reader, then please do me a favour and party it up on December 31 and usher in the next year in the company of someone you care about and someone who cares about you enough to wish you all the joy and happiness life can bring.

5) Happy New Year. Have a lovely year ahead. Since the world hasn't ended, let's try and make it a better place to live in.

Friday, November 16, 2012

200

I have finally decided to resurface from the deep recesses of the cave in which I have been hiding. Why? Because I'm going nuts. And I honestly think my relationship with Murphy should be chronicled. Either that or I am going to reject him in totality. In absolute totality. I mean, until I joined college, in 2001 I had no clue who he was or what Murphy's Laws meant. I was a little bit of a spacey child in school worrying about things like boobs on my 16-year-old self. College actually opened up a whole lot of locked up boxes in my brain. I'm grateful for that.

Murphy was one such entity that I was introduced to when in college. I thought it was this really complicated process, and then I began to attribute a lot of things to him and the next thing you know, he's all over the place in my life, in my brain and an integral part of my every day routine. In fact, Murphy has been such a huge part of my life that I even dedicated an entire blog post to him. One whole entire blog post.

I feel horrible about doing that.

I think I am going to stop giving him as much credibility and reject him. There are a few million people who are aware of his existence and who will vouch for him, one less person who takes him seriously is not going to affect him in the least.

As of today, no more Murphy getting all the credit for all the drama. Sorry.

Then, my blog is now inactive enough to invite random spam. I might disable comments altogether. Let's see how the comments trend keeps going.

Also, I am three weeks away from getting married. Shit.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shru's excuses are shit

The next time my genus self comes up with a genius excuse online about why I'm irregular with the blog posts, do me a favour and slap my face? Or make me smell fish. Okay, don't make me smell fish, I don't like fish smell. Anyway, do something other than say polite things about how nice it is to read my latest, so I will be motivated to write more. Thing is, I should write more. I want to. I need to.

Now that that's out of the way. Let's get to today's post on theories and what I think of those theories.

The theorists that I was initially exposed to were not academic or profound, they were my parents. And parents often pose theories in the guise of life lessons/philosophies. In my father's case, these theories were often about boys. Obviously, to my father every fellow was the villain from Psycho.

Here's the theory - Boys don't want to be friends with girls, they will use friendship as a ruse to get to know you better and then will brag about how easy you are with the details about your life. Details here mean your personal information like your phone number and email ID. The key words to be looked at in this theory are of course 'easy', 'brag', 'ruse'.

I was a teenager when this theorising was happening. For some reason till the time you are 12 years old, you are not given enough importance to apply your mind and do things. Only  when you are teenager does your brain really kick into high gear and go batshit nuts on your parents. So they tell us. By the time I was considered old enough to handle the shocking news that boys were bad for my overall health and well-being, I had spent a considerable amount of time in a co-education school, you know with boys in my class and in my immediate vicinity.

During lecture hour with dad, I was tempted to tell him - "your theory is utter bullshit dad because X and I have been friends since we were in Kindergarten and I'm pretty sure he doesn't talk about me the way you think he does". No, what I did instead was get sad and teary and told him that he's being unreasonable. Well, I tried telling him once and he just dismissed it as bullshit because he was older and was a boy when he was young and in his tiny village in Kerala he used to be mean about girls. So that kind of made him an expert in this shit and I should shut up and listen and not talk to boys because as I mentioned earlier, boys were bad for my health and well-being.

Now, for some reason all parents who grew up in middle-class India in the 1960s and 1970s all have one refrain in common - be friends with people from the opposite sex, but to a limit, otherwise you will never get married, because people will think you are that type of girl. WHATTHEFUCK?!

The implications of being in healthy, platonic, emotionally viable relationships with boys was never something my father could fathom. In his opinion, I had boobs and was therefore subject to boys' attention. Um, okay dad. Apparently the biggest crime on this planet is that someone have a crush on me or feel physically attracted to me because dude, that's just wrong, yo. Not at all good for the future when people find out that you're interesting enough to be liked by boys because if a boy likes you and talks about it then you're that type of girl - who boys like and will talk about. And when boys are talking about you, you have little or no moral compass or character. Again, WHATTHEFUCK?!

The theories and my responses to them are obviously in retrospect. I would never have dared to think this aloud ever. Till I was 18, I would listen to lectures intermittently, cry about it in my spare time, and then wonder if all these reported things happened to those people who had parents who didn't lecture. Of course, by that time this "generation gap" shitbucket began to make its way into popular speak and I blamed it on that. Following my entry into college, a few new grey cells were created in my brain and I began to actually think about the things my parents lectured me about. Specifically about boys and how they were bad for my health and well-being.

To me, at that time, the concept was ridiculous, dated and a little misplaced.I honestly believe that you need to have experienced something first-hand in order to have an honest and rational opinion about it. Stoners feel passionately about their weed and hash, I for one, don't get it; but I don't offer some moral assholery to them because I don't smoke weed/hash. Especially when I don't know what the stoner experience is.

You make mistakes, you learn. That's the deal, right? No. Wrong! If you're a child, it is not enough that you get indoctrinated about right and wrong, you must also bear the burden of your parents' morality, in most cases your father's morality because this is a patriarchal society and even if you're trying to live up to your father's standards, your mother will always be blamed for you having the audacity for wearing sleeveless kurtas. That's the thing about dads, they think they're saying half these so-called, well-intentioned gemstones of advice because they feel that their children ought to learn important life lessons via the "I talk, you listen and follow" method. It doesn't fucking work!

Have you ever tried feeding a baby that does not want to eat? If you have, you will know fully well that rebellion begins when humans are at the stage when they are dependent on other humans for basic sustenance. So this whole "Oh she's a teenager, it's the hormones" thing is crap. Utter nonsense.

So, I had singled out the words 'easy', 'brag' and 'ruse'.

Let's talk about that for a minute.

Easy - I HATE the connotation. I do. Just because I had sex when I wanted to, knowing fully well what it entailed and just because said sexual partner was acquired "before marriage", I'm easy? What the fuck? How does that make me "of loose morals"? HOW? TELLMEHOW? How does the act of being physically intimate with someone become a moral thing? You didn't have sex before marriage, good for you. Please take your morality and pass it on to your children, don't dump that load on me, I'm not going to deal with it.  I have a different moral and personal take on sexual behaviour, learn to respect it, just like you expect me to respect your opinion.

Brag - what the hell does this mean? Yeah, there are a finite number of assholes who talk about how they have 'girlfriends' who talk to them and hang out with them. There are also an equally finite number of men to whom you are important and who will not brag about the fact that they know you. They will instead make plans to drink beer with you, pig out on pasta and cupcakes and be nice to you with no agenda. Probably shocking, I know, but they exist. The way bragging has been made this cool thing on the internet and by Barney Stinson really makes me wonder why the hell it's cool to talk in a manner that dehumanises the other person. Especially since the only thing that person probably did was to give you some of their time and some of their selves. But no, your assholery trumps some honest-to-god goodfellow's niceness and makes its way into my dad's lectures. Thank you for existing, really. Thank you.

Ruse -There are only a select few, again finite number, of people who are qualified to spy in this country and they employ ruses. Why some idiot will use an excuse to get my phone number and do nothing with it is beyond me. If my phone number gets passed on? I become loose a? What? So basically some fellow will use some shit excuse to get my phone number - last I checked most people asked outright "what's your number? is it okay to call?" and people imparted this information willingly or  did not part with the details, at all. There is no need for a ruse. What ruse? Ask my friend for my number? Uh, okay. That happens sometimes, but how does that tie in with this loose/easy trope? HOW?

 You keep thinking it's parents who're nuts because they're being parents. Then you meet other parents who let their kids be and miraculously seem to have brought up well-adjusted individuals. With all the  lecturing and the "what will people say" fucking nonsense that I heard and continue to hear (now it's "you're getting married, if you step out at odd hours people will talk", WHATTHEFUCK?!) I'm surprised that I am able to refer to myself as a rational, sensible human being. I am. I feel like I should be in America right now with all my problems and consult a shrink. the thing is, it's not parents, everyone's opinionated and insane and moralising and that makes writing this even worse. Who are we to judge when we are so judge-y ourselves? I don't get it.

I guess it's about being right sometimes and being wrong the rest of the time and figuring this shit out. Escapists and other assorted religious scholars will talk about having the ability to disconnect the mind in order to find world peace and inner peace and live happily ever after. If finding peace of mind means having to unplug from all this, how the hell am I ever going to explain to my friends that I am no longer available for hugs and chocolate and beer and pasta and ice cream? How the hell do you disconnect from ice cream?

I don't know I'm tired of the moral brigade that thinks it's better than me. I'm tired of "well brought up girls" being thrown at me. I'm tired of being told how to behave in a socially acceptable, morally sound manner. I'm tired of it.

I'm going to find chocolate cake and eat all of it.









Monday, August 20, 2012

On Flipkart

Hello ladies and gents,

How are all of you?

Happy Eid. I hope everyone's managed to get some form of epic Biryani today. If not, please try and at least buy some epic Biryani. Some festivals are incomplete without festival food, so take the time to indulge.

In other news, my friend Jugal's book Toke has just been released and I am RIDICULOUSLY proud of him. I've always been a fan of his work and reading his book has confirmed exactly why I love his writing as much as I do.

In honour of my love for his book, which I read twice in 7 days, I wrote a short review in Flipkart.

Just thought I should update all this here, for posterity and such like.

Shru

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Whitening and tightening

…aaaand I’m back.

Good break. Lots of sleeping. Lots of mulling over the meaning of life and so on.

Lots of worrying over how the hell to keep my brain in one piece while my wedding comes together and I leave Madras forever and ever.

And lots of yoga.

But, I am not back to talk about my life. I’m talking about whitening and tightening.

Does the subject of this discussion make you queasy? Uneasy? It does? Then read on. It gets better. Trust me.

Earlier this year, a pharma company launched a line of vaginal products called Clean & Dry. But Clean & Dry came into the picture much later. We must talk about the anti-ageing shenanigans first. For the longest time men were the ONLY demographic that advertising catered to. You don’t believe me? Look at some of the vintage advertisements and figure it out on your own, okay? I won’t waste my time trying to convince you.

When catering to a male demographic, a woman is often objectified and made to look stupid, ignorant, dependent, idiotic, and incapable. And everything about a woman – personal and non-personal is put under the scanner and found fault with. Be it her personal hygiene, grooming, cooking skills, clothing, even her frikkin’ underclothes, EVERYTHING comes under the scanner and is made to look like the man you’re trying to attract is the motivation behind you looking and feeling good about life. Even breakfast cereal didn’t escape this built-in sexism and other feminist jargon-y nonsense.

And yes, I could go on and on, but analysis is time-consuming. Let’s look at the new boundaries that advertising is trying to mess with – our vaginas.

Yeah, vaginas.

Can I type it again? Vaginas.

We were tolerant when you told us that using creams on our face to tighten and whiten skin would ensure that our men would never tire of us and that we would live happily, romantically, ever after in happy land. But man, when you tell us to whiten our vaginas, wax it and now tighten it, we don’t need to be tolerant of your fucking budget and corporate interests and a product that needs to be advertised.

I mean, what the hell is all this about? You honestly think pimping a product to keep vaginal area dry, vagina-shaming will work as a way to get women to buy this stuff? You think we, as a country, got to 1.2 billion people before the commercial pimping of Clean & Dry and all his siblings by staying away from wet, loose, dark vaginas?

The more I think about it, the more annoying it gets.

They finally figured out that men can be objectified too and what did they give us? Armpits. Yeah, armpits – clean shaven armpits. Most men I know don’t shave their armpits, so you’re selling a lie already. Most men also don’t have six-pack abs and fill out a shirt like that’s what their life’s calling is, and also, most men don’t have picture perfect faces. Most men, like most women, don’t have the luxury of instagramming themselves or even photoshopping themselves when living in the real world and meeting people in real time. Their armpits, like most armpits, are also not silky smooth and pretty-smelling. By making them spray on some deodorant – be it Axe or Fogg or Cobra or 18+ or whatever other shit brand of deodorant you can think of – it doesn’t mean that they become attractive by virtue of that product and so on.

The joke is that this entire exercise is about women’s empowerment, apparently. What empowerment? A vaginal product and an anti-ageing product will empower me to do what? Win an Olympic medal? Seriously? You don’t say. If you’d mentioned this earlier, we could have created a medal factory, so that China and America wouldn’t win all the Olympic medals, morons.

All this “empowerment” coming from an industry that employs people who don’t know how to spell “transcend” and yet manage to get their copy printed on the front page of a national daily? I think we ought to seriously re-think the way in which advertising seems to be taking up all the air time on cable TV.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Yes and no

It feels good to be writing something these days. I must say. I am, however, really in this offline mood right now and I don’t want to hamper it with too much activity online. Don’t get me wrong, I am a lover of all things online, but every once in a while I do need to take a break from all this to do something else.

I don’t quite know what that something else is at this point in time, but I will figure it out.

Hopefully, soon.

Please do wait a week-ish for some more unsolicited social commentary.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wedding photographers

This is just a small note, because you know, someone who went to a wedding managed to get space in a national daily and did two things – one, write a piece in the editorial section and two, mention the word backside in print. In the case of the usage of the word backside, it was appropriate, so I don’t have an issue there. I do, however, have a problem with the fact that family members have a problem with wedding photographers.

First, when a wedding is fixed, what do you people do? Make endless inquiries about how the girl and boy met – is it a love match or arranged match? (I don’t know how else to word it, apologies), did you do a proper background check? How much does the boy earn? Do you allow her to speak to him? Are you sure YOUR daughter said yes to a boy YOU chose?

Second  are the inquiries about what you have to do at the wedding – what kind of ceremony are you having? Have the boy’s family made any demands? How much jewellery are you giving your daughter? Where are you buying the wedding sarees from? How much are you spending for the wedding? Are you serving a sit-down meal (sadya / ela saapadu) or will it be a buffet? How many people are you inviting to the wedding? Have you remembered to call this specific auntie?

My response to these people would be – mind your own business. But parents who are faced with these queries always answer patiently.

This is where I would like to step in and offer my two cents worth of yelling and name-calling. Who gives a shit about someone getting offended about looking at some photographer’s ass? Also why do you give a shit about looking at some photographer’s ass?

(1) You want to have “memories” from the wedding, so you hire someone to capture those memories for you. How he chooses to do it – standing right side up or upside down shouldn’t be your problem, right? Also, you don’t question the caterer who will only serve one teaspoon of poriyal (vegetable side dish) despite your paying him an insane amount of money to serve food at the wedding, so why bitch out the photographer?

(2) EVERY person who comes to the wedding and then visits you at some point will want to see the wedding album. Why? Because (a) they want to check out how they looked at your wedding and (b) they want to bitch about how they only saw the photographer’s ass and not the ceremony.

(3) Except for people in the first row, no one ever gets a good look at the proceedings in the mandapam anyway. Everyone else is left looking at the back of some aunty’s head, some other young girl’s really well-tailored saree blouse, some uncle’s really badly dyed hair, and some annoying child squirming in a chair and being annoying and whiny.

(4) It’s called a wedding ceremony not a marriage. The only witness in a marriage is a spouse and any other omniscient being that exists on this planet. The people who do not understand this difference should neither be getting married nor writing columns about going to weddings.

(5) Every invitee to a wedding brings their camera and manages to get one “good shot” at the ceremony and most often this person will be directly related to the person whining about having to check out the ass of some photographer. Said ass-checker will  visit the bride or groom, as the case may be, and then talk about how this direct relative got a great photo and put it up on Facebook.

For everyone who doesn’t want to check out some photographer’s ass at a wedding, maybe you could not come at all? Or go out while the ceremony is happening and come back for the mandatory photograph with the newly wed couple? And later visit the bride’s home or the groom's home and look at the album and talk about how you had to step out of the wedding venue because a photographer’s ass was totally ruining your view of the wedding.

You’re going to complain anyway, so the photographer's asses will be where they are, in your face!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Because people talk a lot

I have realised that there has been a small lapse in the unsolicited social commentary segment of this blog. It’s an odd feeling not to be trashing someone just because I have a blog and I can. Odd indeed. The last time I went through a silent phase like this, I was heartbroken and contemplating the meaning of life. Yeah, that’s the sad aftermath of what us Madras people call “lowe failyoor”. The thing is I wish I was older when that devastation happened. I was only 22. What kind of an age is that to have this epic thing called lowe failyoor.

The funny thing about heartbreak is the “two sides of the story” level analysis that the world wants to get into because, you know, they can. That really bothers me. Why does it bother me? People talk all the time don’t they? So how the fuck does it matter if one more set is talking about my break-up and how it was not entirely the guy’s fault and maybe I had something to do with it too. Fact is, you talkers, you haven’t dated people who may potentially be extra-terrestrial because there is no fathomable, human way in which one can explain their weirdness.

Now, don’t get me wrong. People are each weird in their own special way, just like everyone is unique in their own unique way. However, since it is my special case and my unique problem, I shall choose not to be objective. Where’s the fun in that, huh? The occasional immaturity and unreasonable stance never hurt anyone, right?

Where was I? People wanting to know the whole story. That’s the thing, no one really does. Either they know what you want them to, or they make the rest up based on what they know of you and of the person you dated. Again, this bothers me. As a staunch believer in gossip and the therapeutic value of it, I cannot fathom how someone’s devastated state of being could potentially make you interested enough to engage in a one-off, long-lasting conversation with other people. It’s insensitive. It just doesn’t make sense.

It may make sense if I am Adele and am making a LOT of money by calling my ex names and using my amazing voice to reach out to every heartbroken person in this universe. But, I’m not Adele. And I don’t have a powerhouse voice and I don’t want to make money by calling my exes names. I would rather wonder aloud at this innate tendency people have to talk. Thanks to the internet, these conversations are all over the place and everyone has access to it. I don’t know what that means for the long-term and my children. It might mean good things, it might mean bad things. Who knows, right?

But this post is really not about the internet. The internet has become the equivalent of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if memes are to be believed. Since it is such a precious commodity, I will not venture into an analysis of it at the present. I will, however, continue to talk about people talking.

See, this is the trouble with talking. You don’t really talk about one thing. You keep digressing and you keep moving from one subject to another, to the third and so on and you have completely lost track of what you began with. I was talking about heartbreaks and people talking about heartbreaks.

I have talked about break-ups to my girlfriends. When they were sitting across a table from me and calling their boyfriends names and wondering what to do next to save the relationship. I had to tell them mean, nasty, horrible things that may have, in any other circumstance, devastated my friendship with them, but in context, it saved them, I would like to think, from a horrible extension of a toxic relationship. I don’t know how to talk about other people breaking up with each other and how one person was devastated because they were in love with the toxic ex (all exes are toxic, for the sake of reference). I mean, the most I can come up with is “Did you know that A broke up with S and she’s not doing so well at all”. I can answer questions with answers based on what I do know. But I don’t know how to pick apart a broken relationship until I am happy to discover its core nature and tell everyone that I have unraveled the mystery of someone else’s relationship. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that, if you ask me.

Why do I care if someone broke up with someone else? How does it affect me? How does it affect the world I live in? One more heartbroken person who hates all members of the opposite sex, wow, that’s like so new! One more potential back story for someone in a chick flick. Wonderful.

I’m tired. I’m tired of the times I have had to endure questions about why someone and I broke up. I’m tired of the times I have sat at a table with someone else wondering why X and Y broke up and figuring out if X was more at fault or Y. I’m tired of listening to someone’s profound analysis of a relationship that is not theirs. I’m just tired.

I want to get off the internet and read 5000 books and collect 50,000 books. But then, I kinda like blogging and Tweeting and sly Facebook status updating. So getting off the internet is not an option. I also want to save the print industry from ruin and ensure that the world always lives with the smell of fresh paper and romances the “sit in a corner with a mug of hot chocolate and read while listening to the sound of rain outside the window” idea. I want all that.

Mostly, I want people to stop talking about things that they can refrain from offering moral commentary on. Because, honestly, you anonymous piece of junk, my broken, devastated heart is none of your business and figuring me out while I’m devastated and heartbroken should not be something you think is an appropriate way to pass time. Please do the following as a personal favour to me:
•    Find a tall building
•    Get to the roof
•    Find a corner that is unhindered by sun roofs and such
•    Jump

The thing is, this process of elimination only takes care of one anonymous piece of junk at a time.

Oh, well, you can’t have everything can you?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What grips me is also fear

Since March 2011, I have been working in various desk-only jobs. Now, don’t get me wrong, for the longest time, I always thought I wanted a desk-only job. But I thought I would be spending my days editing reams of pages and at some point in time during that overwhelming volume of editing, I would finally figure out the names of the tenses and punctuations and how to use them. See, the funny thing about being an English teacher’s daughter is this insane need to figure out the language and how it works. But, I digress.

I was telling you about working in a desk-only job.

There are a number of disadvantages of working in a desk-only job:
•    You don’t write
•    You don’t write
•    You don’t write
•    You. Don’t. Write.
•    Y.O.U.D.O.N’.T.W.R.I.T.E.

And you know what? Not writing is debilitating to the soul. I think some part of me has dried up and gone all raisin-like. And I think this soul-sucking drying up is the reason for this constant inertia that grips me. I want it to stop. I want to write again. I want to have the words for Facebook, Twitter and this blog and also a book or five, an article or 500. I need my words back. Soon. If I don’t get them, I’m terrified that I will turn into some horrible, loathsome version of myself!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Being incommunicado

Hai yougaiz.

I'm sorry for having gone completely under the radar! Here's an update on what's been happening.

1) my maternal grandmother passed away on June 22. She was 81 and had been suffering with many many diabetes related complications. Her kidney failed her and she didn't suffer with that pain for too long.

2) Finally met someone on BharatMatrimony.com who I am going to marry. More on that as the days go by.

3) I need to write something. Fast. I'm losing touch and it's not cool. If not at work, then I must vent on blog. Clearly tweeting like a maniac is not helping my cause.

The end.

I will be back soon enough with other things.

:D

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inequality Begins at home - By Sharada

Hi everyone. First off, my apologies for having disappeared completely. Some personal issues to get sorted out and such-like. Also, this project that began with K's post in the last month, continues with another dear friend Sharada pitching in. 

I met Sharada while on assignment at TOI. She was with Outlook at the time. We've been friends ever since. She has also written for anthologies and is a follower of this blog and a well-wisher. Another strong woman who I love and admire is talking about being a girl / woman at home where the men are more vocal with their opinions about the fairer sex.

**********
Inequality begins at home


Growing up in a vibrant city like Mumbai, my future seemed bleak. Well, I did not think that way. It was more a thinking that came from men and society. "Oh, she can’t be an IIT engineer, she is always out playing with the boys and kids, she scores zilch in Maths and science", and then I was a tagged "loser" in my early teens. I was never a typical girl with oiled, long and plaited hair; coy and worried about how a "girl" should be. As a child, I grew up playing football, climbing trees, stealing mangoes, cycling out with the boys, with no worries about the future. Well, I still would, I don’t doubt it. 

Even though we lived in a city like Bombay, the men in my family and my extended family had loads of reservations about my dressing, why l did not have a pottu on my forehead, why I never wore saree for occasions, why I never learned carnatic music, why I wore even two inch heels or coloured my lips, and the list was actually endless. Did I do all this for a reason? No. The intention was never to attract men or to go against the family. It was just for me. As simple as that. And why would anyone care? It is my face, my body.

As a boy, my brother did not have to go through any of this. No one would question him why he wore pants or jeans for a family function and not a veshti, why there were no ash marks on his forehead, or if he knew how to cook. We talk about gender inequality in society, but everything begins at home. It is a fact.

My brother was allowed to take his bike and go out late at nights, spend nights with his friends, bring them home, go on a travel vacation without having to worry about hearing a ‘no’ from my dad. The case with me was different. Even on days when I was working for an NGO, coming home at 9.30 invited chaos. I was never allowed to watch MTV or Channel V like my classmates from my posh South Mumbai college. During those times, I used to sit alone in a room, listening to old English classics on FM Rainbow. I was not allowed to dream, to choose my career, but my brother could do all that. I had to break this shackle - being a woman and still choosing my independence and way of life.

Tag me a tomboy, tag me a brash girl, or someone who does not follow traditions, it does not matter to me. Honestly. When the point came to choosing my education, my brother rather ruthlessly dragged me into commerce when my mind dreamed of doing literature and economics and pursuing journalism. Writing was my biggest emotional outlet and it gave me a sense of freedom. Enough was enough. I took a decision to break this indiscriminate inequality right at home. 

Think about this. There are two people at home and one is given all the freedom because he is a man and one is stripped of even basic freedom because she is a woman and she is to be married someday. So the girl, in essence, learns Palakkad Iyer cooking, maintains long hair, doesn’t raise her voice, gets up early in the morning, cleans and mops the house, does not mingle with the boys and take a career that is ‘safe’ for women.

When I wanted to make a career in fashion designing or hospitality industry, I was not allowed to give entrance exam because these careers were apparently not good for women. So, I ask what is a good career for a man? And you will hear - "a man can do anything". If a man can, then why not a woman? I hate being typecast into something because I am a woman.

I did become a journalist. I remember the days when I used to come home late in the night after working for a newspaper. My father would be scoffing at me every morning for getting up late and how I would carry off a marital life, if I was like this.

The essence of the thing is control-over the clothes you wear, over not being allowed to go out with boys and party, late night movies, job, everything needed a nod from the men in the family. So who am I in the world, in this godforsaken society and what is my real identity? It was after I ventured out, listening to my heart, that I realised that it was something I had to create from within, and it was something I would live with.

Years have passed, times have changed, people have changed and so has  society, and I have evolved from a tom boy to a woman who loves draping sarees, celebrating festivals, cooking and all the other things that women are ‘expected’ to do. The difference is - I am doing this because I love and enjoy it.

It is for ME, not to please anyone. It is not to show off culture, or to prove that I am ‘God fearing’ (as portrayed by matrimonial profiles), or to prove a point that, “Hey, look, I have challenged you and proved to be successful.” Nothing of that sort. I am not here to prove a point. I am not here to argue that I made it. The feeling of being yourself, making your own decisions despite a hundred odds makes you stand up for yourself.  It is as simple as that. After a successful career and moving across cities, I cherished the independence of meeting new people, getting up when I wanted to, keeping my home messy at times, cook for myself, go on a long walk to the beach at night, without having to worry about who will be waiting at home to churn my mind. I breathe freedom. It has elevated me in many ways. I can take care of myself, without having to counsel my family on every little thing, I am super confident about all the decisions I make, and I have no regrets. If I was the one who would succumb to family pressures of being a homely woman, I would not have reached this far. When you ask a man, why you draw these lines for women about time factor, dressing, going out, you are most likely to hear this - "we care for you", or "we are scared something might happen to you". Concern is fine, but in the name of ‘we care for you’, you are only imposing and not allowing us to explore the world on our own. We all have our own judgements about people and surroundings. As women, we also know how to take care of ourselves, only if you give us a chance to let that experience enter our life, rather than saying - "don’t talk to this boy, he will dump you, don’t take this as career, you can’t do it, don’t go out at night, something will happen". How long are the women going to be in this cobweb of not choosing to feel and live her life in the name of security, safety, care and protection? Give me a break!

Be it a man or a woman, let’s face it, we make choices for ourselves, not for the family and not for society. As I always like to say individuality is much more important and essential than just bending down to rules of men and society. And to recognise and realise this individuality mandates independent thinking, which can only come when you make decisions, not someone else choosing for you, be it life partner, career or even your way of living!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

On Objectification - by K

First, meet K. She writes over at Bitch Slap Barbie. I've known her since 2006, when we met at Madras University. [fondly referred to by the alum as Mad Uni.] We then worked together for two years at TOI. We are also great friends and pact-holders. Sometimes, I think I might marry her, because she's so amazing! :) She's someone I trust completely and someone who I run to in times of needing objectivity. An amazing writer and a super brain and an even better journo. Yeah, I know, I'm gushing. But she deserves every vowel and consonant in this introduction.

On that happy note, I would like you to read further, on her response to the comments section of this post.

**********
IN DEFENSE OF MY JING BANGS By Lakshmi Krupa

When I was young(er) and in school and generally being more angsty than I am now, some friends had a name for me. She-woman/ man-hater. I really have no idea where they got this from and this was in school mind you, when I was not displaying, overtly, my tendency to also appreciate the f. of the s. And I have for long lived with this label of ‘feminist-type’ woman.

But then there is a fundamental problem. What kind of feminist would I be? The kind who embraces her femininity and says different does not mean unequal or the kind who goes on about how I can do anything a man can? Would I be the, I will not shave or wax or do my eyebrows/ grow a beard type or would I wear lip-gloss to go with my kolhapuris and wooden bangles? Would I shun little black dresses and high heels on a particularly lovely Friday evening and not go dancing with my girlfriends or would I sit alone in a coffee shop, drinking black tea, reading Jamaica Kincaid?

Honestly, I have done it all. I have shaved. Some days I have not. I get my eyebrows done and some days I let them turn into caterpillars. I wax when I feel like it. And I also never miss out on a chance to wear a Bengal cotton. I have an appreciation for beauty, particularly of the feminine kind. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with men, and continue to do so with one such person of the charming kind from the opposite sex (despite evidence pointing to other direction, at this point in life I must say I am straight and monogamous). I am not the best driver around, but I am happy to drive men around and buy them dinner. I open doors for other women and think chivalry deserves to stay alive – as a sort of a beautiful song and dance that people do around each other, a hangover of the past that reminds us that a bit of formality, a little bit of distance is a mark of respect, a sort of ‘I promise to not take you for granted’ statement.

So what am I? To spew a cliché, I am a product of my generation – socialized into believing that I have the right to be anything I deem right, at any given point and that I control my life. (Zigmunt Bauman writes famously in his Individually, Together about establishing a de jure automony in his foreword to Ulrich Beck’s book, Individualiazation, on how sociology as an institutionalized rejection of individualism is no longer possible and that individualization itself is institutionalized in the modern era. I would advice anyone with an interest in modernism to read it).

So coming to the question at hand, why do I not mind ‘accessorizing’ if objectification (of the sexual kind) hurts my intelligence? Well I could write an anthropological/ sociological explanation – talking about gender and roles and beauty and self. Or I could ask how does representation of a gender in its traditional sense a. qualify as non-feminist b. qualify as ‘up for objectification’?

If my grandmother wore a beautiful nose ring with seven stones that sparkled every time she turned her face towards the light, and I grew up watching her, considering her to be the very definition of what beauty in its most raw sense must seem like, and decided to go ahead and order myself a similar nose ring and wore it, does that make me up for a marriage at 13, or does that signal an organic continuity that has accommodated enough change to go with the times?

Here’s the bottom line. I am not here to defend my gender. I am hardly the mean, median and mode. But I am here to say, I am not ‘only’ my gender. Yes, it rankles that ‘we’ have been historically oppressed, shortchanged economically and handed a raw deal most times, are a sort of a walking time bomb, reminded constantly that the clock is ticking if our uteruses haven’t been suitably institutionalized, and thought of as failures until we manage to snag a man, but we have learned to brush it all off and say, ‘Oh, what are you gonna do? Life’s not fair. Let’s get on with our jobs, listen to Beyonce sing, Who run this mother or All the single ladies, read Jane Austen and watch Tina Fey, listen to Oprah and wonder why oh why did Jayalalitha let Sasikala back into Poes Garden?’

As you can see, one has a million things to worry about. Add keeping track of your menstrual cycle, pedi-mani / waxing appointments, work, meetings, girlfriends, men – in general, male friends, psychotic exes, heart aches, rejection, acceptance, love, lust, drama, drama, more drama, tears, rum, choosing what to wear when – appropriately, finding sleep, waking up on time, making it to work on time, mother, mother’s banter, what mother will think of this man, what mother will think of your clothes, what mother’s reaction will be to this late night rendezvous, etc, etc, etc. In the middle of all this, really, do you really think we must make time to wonder if we have fallen prey to our own clichés or must we embrace the charmingly, sometimes frustrating idiosyncrasies that come as a package deal when we are old enough realise who we are and what we must be like?

For the record, what I do consider an insult to my intelligence is someone, anyone (particularly if the said someone isn’t even from my gender) telling me I must read some text book somewhere written by some somewhat frustrated (aren’t we all?) lady giving us her version of what I, by virtue of being an independent individual must renounce – erm is that not tautological and self-defeating?

What I mean to say is, my MAC make-up, body shop’s body butter, Himalya’s lip gloss, wooden, glass and pearl bangles, hundreds of beads, chunky necklaces, picked up from gypsies after a lot of bargaining, diamond nose ring… They are all staying. And I am planning on using them for a very, very long time, while I continue to hold high standards and you better watch your step or you may fall into the MCP category even as I expect you to offer to pick up the check and open doors and drop me home, not because you are a man but because I do that too, regularly, even as I call myself a feminist, just as proud of being able to make rasam the way my mother makes as I have been with any academic and or professional achievements.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I'm thinking of doing

I had written something earlier and seemed to have got a number of replies ranging from empathy to agreement to well, interesting. While in conversation on the thread of comments on the post I just mentioned, I promised the commentor that I would write on the objectification of women and on socialisation.

Now, my problem is this - when I have been confronted with opinions that I personally deem annoying, I go on a rant on this blog and call out the person in question and it gets ugly.

As you know, if you've been reading this blog long enough, when it comes to equality, I'm a hugely frustrated person. Ably illustrated here, here, here, here, and here. I've touched on everything from articles of clothing, to my father's response to some of the things I do to the male population at large.

I didn't want to address a subject with this much potential with my limited vocabulary and syntax. So, I sent out an email to some of the women I know.

Of course, a few got back saying they didn't get the point of my exercise. Some were interested but are busy. Some didn't even bother replying. The first two, I am okay with. The last? I want to kind of slug with a heavy handbag. Not that  I love them any less, just that for now, I want to slug them.

Then, there is K. My one true love! She got back not only hyper enthu about this idea of mine, but also wrote me a brilliant piece that I am going to publish tomorrow.

This post was written for a couple of reasons - 1) I wanted to tell you what this project was about. 2) I wanted to ask if any of the women reading this blog will be interested in writing about "objectification" and the "impact of socialisation on women's equality/issues".

Tomorrow, at roughly the same time, I intend to give K an epic introduction [she un-private-ified her blog just for me, so she deserves it.] and proceed with posting her awesome response to my post in April.

Gotta love an erudite girlfriend. :D

Until tomorrow then.

Shru

Friday, May 11, 2012

In the meantime

[That project I was telling you about, is slowly materializing. I need a week more before I can discuss it. In the meantime, do be kind about the random posts.]

I need answers to some questions –

Why do some men send out pity to women who don’t like sport? It’s so strange. I’m playing to one stereotype and you are refusing to let me have it because you think that liking sport is cool? Why? Because it’s a guy thing and all guy things are, by default, cool? That’s strange, no? you don’t think so? Could you then, potentially and possibly immediately, whack your head on a brick wall until your skull opens up and your brain leaks out? Could you? Because your assumptions are making you look like an idiot.

Once you have answered that, you can read on for more…

I’m becoming increasingly hostile to people. I get the feeling that I will alienate everyone and die alone. I mean, I honestly don’t know why. There was a point when I had everyone at a monitorable distance – also known as a Facebook friend list. These days that list is dwindling. I don’t want to keep people at a monitorable distance. I want them out of my line of vision. Here’s why –

They suck at being in touch. I’m sorry but after I say ‘hi” too many times and ask you questions about your well-being, if you cease to initiate conversation with me, you know as a sign of reciprocity, I refuse to keep you in my friends list. After seeing my conversation on someone else’s wall if it occurs to you to suddenly want to speak with me again, then please take your conversation to the people who want to talk to you, because I don’t.

Also, Facebook is not only about ‘friending’ someone and then not doing a blessed thing about the relationship. A comment here, a like there, is not going to physically damage your ‘self’. I don’t see why online exchange can’t be straightforward. Selective over communication with others while you’re on my news feed is not exactly working out for you. Anyway, we’ve established ourselves as narcissistic by being on virtually every communicative platform there is, damage to these fragile online egos will not be taken too kindly. The story is the same for you, so why this sudden “I’m offended” feeling?

I will not give people the opportunity to troll me slyly. I mean, I don’t get it. My life is a pretty open book. Even the people I don’t confide in know what’s going on via my blog, or my Facebook and Twitter feeds, so the whole ‘she’s being secretive’ shit doesn’t even count man. What is that? Who is being secretive? You are shitface! You with your nil uploads and nil content and nil interaction. In real time, do you think friends secret troll each other? I mean, how stupid are you if you think I don’t see through that tripe.

I’m done. I’m finding that nearing my 30s is removing all shreds of patience from my personality. I don’t care any longer. I really and honestly don’t.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spelling mistakes and new ideas

> You know what? I feel like a loser. I've been ranting for so long about horrid English that there are some posts here that have not been previewed properly and have some silly typos in them. I'm going to correct them soon.

> My last post here has a few comments that could have led to a potentially epic rant on this space, but I have chosen to do something a little different. So far, the responses have been great. I guess you will have to wait for it.

> I've changed my template. Reading a black background was very disturbing to the eye. Hence the new template.

> Are you a Kamal Haasan fan? His office has started an official Facebook page here. Please go and like that page and send your friends there too.

> I got my pay cheque. I'm not broke any longer. Such a happy! 

Okay, I'm done.

Happy weekend everyone! Do something fun!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Matrimonial websites and me

I don’t want to be on an online matrimonial site any more.

1)    It’s insulting
2)    My father thinks that some guy who doesn’t have the time to write more than one sentence about himself is a good person to consider
3)    My family harbours some strange delusion that after the wedding things will just sort themselves out.
4)    My family also thinks that getting me married, also known as a wedding ceremony, is about all they need to do. Apparently anything more is no longer their responsibility, nor do they want to be held responsible for it!
5)    Marriage is the be all and end all of one’s existence is people are to be believed.
6)    I don’t see the point in it all. What is the significance of being married? I’m happy where I am. Yes, I’d like to move out of Chennai, but that’s about the only thing I would say is lacking in my life. I don’t see how marriage is going to make what I have now any better.
7)    There is also the distinct possibility that I have lost interest in being in a relationship. Honest. I mean, I don’t see the point any more. So far, I’ve been in relationships that haven’t lasted and have left me horribly disgusted with things. I don’t see how a man from KeralaMatrimony.com is going to change all that.

I am going to ask that my parents delete the profile and give themselves lesser things to worry about.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In crazy town, they publish BS

There’s something strange happening in the world of newspapers. People are not taking responsibility for their actions and are instead printing trite notes in their front page asking that the reader, who has already forgotten yesterday’s news, please forgive their oversight.

Now, I have a problem with this. As I do with a lot of things in newspapers considering that I was employed by one in the past.

Yesterday, the print edition of The Hindu published a jacket advertisement. Meaning their front page was not full of headlines, but a one-page spreadtouting the joys and auspiciousness of Akshaya Tritiya, that great gold lobby “festival” that the general public is taking way too seriously. This morning, for reasons that are best known to the new editor on board – Siddharth Varadarajan – The Hindu pubished a note to its readers regarding the advertisement placed in the paper.

Here’s what bothers me about that “note” – the editor thinks people are idiots, the editor thinks the readers of the paper are non-journos, the editor thinks his readers don’t know how money works in the world today.

If running a jacket advertisement disguised as a Hindu-backed news item smacks of insubordination of the newspaper’s editorial policy then I do believe that the company has not informed its employees of this hallowed policy. Unlike other organisations, The Hindu is one company whose employees know company policy and adhere to it or so is the inference one is to make on reading the editor’s note. What amazes me is the tone of authority, superiority and self-righteousness that comes across. It’s the kind of tone that sets  the stage for that perfect tight slap.

"Internal steps are being taken", says the editor – well Mr.Editor, I have a few questions:-

-    Is there no one in the marketing team, an employee who knows editorial policy perhaps, who could have alerted you about this content going to print?
-    Why the fuck weren’t you aware of the contents of the advertisement going to print? Aren’t you, as editor, expected to keep an eye on what I read?
-    Are you getting paid, as a company, to run that ad? [If Yes, then STFU. You’ve lose the right to be morally upright about journalism. If their money plays a part in your salary coming to you, then once again, STFU.]
-    Is this sudden assertion of power a result of the boardroom drama that was behind your election to this position? [If yes, then again, stop being indignant, you’re no different from the people who you’re publically picking a fight with.]
-    Do you think, publically outing the marketing and advertising desk is the correct way to do this? Why do I, as a reader, need to concern myself with your company’s internal issues? Don’t you think you are losing credibility as a serious publication by being so pedestrian about your internal conflicts of interest? Or do you think that informing a reader about these things makes you transparent?
-    What you are exhibiting is your position of power and how to misuse it. Yes, you are the editor, does that mean you will take up prime newspaper real estate just because you want to pick a fight? Wow. Classy.

I could go on, but I don’t think I want to. I’m pissed that a newspaper I respect is behaving like an immature child. Grow up and go to a conference room and sort your shit out! It’s far better than subjecting me to your company’s issues.

[The Hindu]

Friday, April 6, 2012

Observations

Just another one of my lists

-    Boys’ jeans are breeding grounds of yet-to-be-discovered toxic chemicals. They are an ecosystem unto themselves. My brother’s jeans are one such example. According to him, the thought of washing jeans is rubbish. I don’t get it. Are all men like this about their jeans? Why is washing jeans such a strange concept to them?
-    24-hour news channels have the world’s worst spell checks. Every ten minutes, if you are patient enough, you will spot one really “DUH!” spelling mistake. These errors will make most people cringe. Including the ones who think “okay” is spelt “k”.
-    Weekend non-stop viewing of Asianet and Surya TV is a living-outside-Kerala Mallu thing. All my mallu friends report instances of such behavior on behalf of their parents.
-    Come Dine With Me on BBC Entertainment is by far the most hilarious programme on TV.
-    I’ve discovered that I don’t mind being unemployed and shit broke. I’m not doing anything productive with my time. AT ALL. It’s scary and fun at the same time.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. To say. I have more time to blog now. And I will be posting more regularly.

Also, Happy Easter to everyone celebrating it. I wish someone’d buy me an Easter Egg. I want!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Do you speak-uh English?

English is my first language. I like it. I read English. I speak English. I write in English.

When bad English is spoken or written, my nerve endings transmit pain signals to my brain and then turn themselves inside out, creating a kind of pain implosion in my body.

I feel entitled to being exposed to good quality English [especially the English where the spellings are authentic – realise, analyse, tyre, cheque, colour, litre, etc.]

The Indian English media unfortunately does not want me to watch advertisements in which people will not say “my hairs are so soft”; to read newspapers where “I” will not appear in lowercase when referring to an individual writing in the first person; where news anchors will not come up with atrocious things like “Coalgate” for a scam.

It seems as if I am doomed to be exposed to rubbish English at every turn.

Then there are the subtitles on cable TV. You either use dashes for a curse word uttered on screen [it’s been muted anyway, so it makes no difference if you replace it - subtitling “jerk” for “son of a bitch” doesn’t work, the audience isn’t illiterate!]

To make things even more brilliant and exciting for me, there are the teenagers in this country who speak in a language that even aliens can’t decode because it is that strange. It’s some form of unpunctuated, nuance-less tripe that passes for English because, well the people speaking it have either had shit English teachers, or believe that they are the guardians of the language and all other versions are bullshit.

I could tear my hair out!

I cannot tolerate bad spelling. I cannot tolerate illogical sentence construction. I cannot tolerate language that’s been butchered because people feel that they speak the right way.

Coming as I do from a linguistically diverse country, the English that I believe in is the standardised version that ye olde colonisers gave me. I find it impossible, therefore, to account for dialects in the English spoken in India. Yes, I mess up the pronunciation just for fucks. That’s a one-off thing. I’m not a linguistic prude. But it bothers my brain when people who come from so-called good schools speak in shitty English and think they’re right. I want to give them all a lesson in grammar!

But then it occurs to me, that there is no point in it. These poor children are being taught by people who claim to know the language well. The problem is with the teachers and parents. When no one ever corrects you, then you spend your entire life thinking that your version of things is the right version. When your parents, your first language teachers, don’t correct your shitty English it's not your fault. But you are about 500 different kinds of fool/idiot for thinking grammar has no role in language and that English as a subject is a waste of time because it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things when you are an "aspiring Engineer or Doctor".

However, if you are the type that has spent its life ‘mastering’ the language, you assume that the next best thing to do with your time is to become a ‘creative writer’, following which you commit endless acts of violence against the language and murder it in ways I don’t want to get into because it’s depressing and it makes me angry. Once you are a part of the media that people are exposed to, you subconsciously correct their good English into your bad English and torture the language into a sad, miserable and painful death.

So, this is a note to say thank you murderer / butcher / horrible communicator. You've achieved with your shitty English what I hoped to achieve with my better English - linguistic domination.

I hope you accidentally fall off the roof of a building and just die. Because there is no justification for your existence.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Curd rice philosophy

In South India, there is a phenomenon called curd rice. It is, in this part of the world, the ultimate comfort food. It is also a typical summer food. The perfect end to an elaborate elai saapadu [banana leaf meal, is the best translation I can think of!]

I could go on and on about curd rice, but it would just cement my place in my friends’ opinions as my being too tam brahm. Not that I care. Because anyone who has issues with curd rice, barring the lactose intolerant, are just plain strange to be honest.

How can people who have issues with curd rice be strange? Aren’t you being too judgmental? Well, here’s a fun fact – people who don’t like curd rice ARE strange and I AM being too judgmental.

Have you ever eaten curd rice? The many variations of curd rice? Warm, cold, with chilies and ginger; with grapes, chillies, onions and ginger; tempered with mustard seeds and dried red chilies. If you have, then you should know that it is the most awesome thing that someone decided to come up with and popularize!

See, this is what happens. You take a little rice, preferably overcooked so you can make it all mushy. You make a tiny well in that baby mound of rice, you pour some runny curd into it and mix it all up. After that’s done, you glop some mango pickle on. The spicy, amazing, South Indian kind. And then you eat it. You brain will explode in amazement and your soul will finally achieve what it has been seeking for all this time – a measure of contentment. Because, that is the amazing nature of curd rice, it is a spiritual kind of food. I will not draw comparisons or even equate it to meat of any kind. Curd rice is a category unto itself. That’s what I love about it.

You can eat it after shoving vast quantities of meat down your gullet, and know that your stomach is thanking you for it.

It’s summer in Madras, and curd rice is going to be my staple for the next four months. I cannot imagine the joys that await me. Such pure, undiluted joy.

Don’t you love food and the simple ways in which it makes life better?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Things I'm thinking

I think human beings are hilarious creatures. We're so full of ourselves sometimes. I really don't understand that.

Okay, I do. I do because I own a blog where I spend a lot of time ranting about things that bother me, all the while, I occupy the moral high ground assuming that my point of view is correct and that everyone else is wrong. That's scary. It's also full of shit.

That being said, I cannot imagine my not having an honest opinion about everything. Can you imagine being that way? I'm not a saint, nor am I wise. I don't see how I can offer up anything that is beyond my own scale of comprehension.

This is precisely the reason why some people upset me on a regular basis. These some people are those who think the moral high ground, and a self-appointed self-righteousness is their birthright. Why? Because they're rich / older / have read more or some other profound reason that provides them an empirical basis on which to establish their superiority. And you know what gets me? They hate being told that someone doesn't like them. Do you know how annoyed they get? It rankles them on a very fundamental level.

I like being the cause of that. And in an instance of what is masochism, I also like being rankled on a very fundamental level.

Let me explain why.

When some core beliefs of yours are questioned and faced with events or facts that prove them wrong or misguided, it's important to take a look at what you believe in. Here's why, change is a good thing. It's good for your health, it's good for your mind, and it's good for the country! [Kidding about that last one, but you never know!]

I enjoy introspection. I like having the time to examine the way I process thoughts and analysing how that process has changed over the years. There was a time when I too moralistic, and too rigid, in how I thought about things and how I approached life itself. I've realised over the years, and after spending time with some epic items, that being that way is only going to cause an explosion in my brain! And I, for one, really like my brain. I can't have it exploding or even going more loopy than it already is.

Introspection has led me to a small-ish epiphany - to be more honest. I'm the least confrontational person I know. I have always hidden from fights and I always end up being the person who ends up crying at the end of a fight because the other person is yelling at me. It's awful.

I know that I have offended a lot of people in the recent past with my more confrontational approach to conversations, but I have just one thought for what they think - fuck it! Really. I don't see why I should end up looking like the guilty party at every confrontation. There are a lot of instances when I'm right and there is no need for that fact to go unnoticed because I don't like confrontation. Of course, I'm not picking a fight with every person that walks down the bloody road. I just choose to tell people who are finding fault with me that they also need to look at what they're doing. If it makes them unhappy, well, just too bad.

Yes, of course, I do say and do stupid shit all the damn time. That doesn't mean I'm the only one doing and saying stupid shit.

I would like to dedicate the rest of 2012 to introspection. My initial goal was punctuality, but I've given up. I think introspection is a good idea this year, for me. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sick again

Of course I'm sick again.

The back of my throat is itchy. My nose is stuffed. I'm coughing, A LOT.

Who do I have to thank for this? My parents. Passing around infectious colds. Ugh.

My ENT apparatus suffers too much. Poor thing. It also makes me angry that I keep hanging on to tissues and cold medication like some kind of lifeline.

A friend once told me that being sick was a sign that the body was fit and fighting off an infection. If I see him now, I might slug him with a jute sack filled with rice. Fighting off an infection! Nonsense.

I'm too whiny to be a social commentator at this point.

Later.

You know, when I feel up to it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Since the last time I posted

I haven’t been here in a while. It’s sad no? This space is named “The Shh Diaries” and Shh has not been diary-ing things.

I’m not ill any more. Although a Bombay trip later, I felt like someone dragged my ENT apparatus through mud. Took me a while to get over that. Then there was an enhausting trip to Trivandrum, third in three years, for the Attukal Pongala.

Back from that and it was engagements galore. Once again, everyone I know is gewtting married. I’m happy for them, for as long as they don’t get in my face about when I’m tying the knot. Usually, I smile a lot, but this kind of shit aggravates me and I just get upset and turn into this angry, vitriolic version of myself. I don’t like being in that space.

As for the rest, I’m broke. I need a job and I need to get on with my life. A few things here and there need to be sorted out and are in the process of being sorted out. I hope so.

Sigh.

I haven’t been to my writing group in forever and a half. I need to get out of home. However, I don’t have enough to transport myself to where I need to go. Yes, I’m that broke. See I checked my bank balance and it says – 0.00.

Now, I can ask my parents for money, but they’re feeling me and providing me a rent-free roof over my head, I cannot ask for more can I? Well, in case of an absolute emergency, I can and did.

On that confessional note, I’m signing off. There’s a lot on TV and in the newspapers that I have to rant about. I will, soon. Until then, I hope all of you are happy and well!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Being ill

Let me start by saying this - I'm grateful for what semblance of good health I have. I am. I'm grateful that I'm not battling a life threatening disorder or disease.


That being said, I have, since January 29 been very ill. It started with a routine throat pain and difficulty to swallow, and very soon ventured into full-blown cold / viral fever territory. The thing is, I can deal with all that. A cold and me are good friends. Have been since I was a little girl. I thought we had grown apart when I was in my late teens and early twenties, however, it turns out that it was a trial separation.

I had such a bad cold that there was water dripping out of my nose. I couldn't keep my face level, the way most people do because my nose would drip. Yes, drip. That's the right word. Drip. Say it once with me. Drip. Imagine a dripping tap. Drip. Drip. Drip!

Of course, I had gone to see a doctor. I don't need to be insured to go see a doctor. I can go see a doctor whenever I want. So, when I first felt ill, I got one round of medicines. Two sleepless days later, I couldn't breathe properly. I was up all night sneezing. I barely slept. My mother was convinced I'd end up asthmatic or something. So, on my second visit, the good doctor gave me more medicine. Yay!

I've got so many medicines to eat until tomorrow. I get the feeling I might experience some form of withdrawal!

In other news, my wallet got stolen in a theatre [this happened back in December]. I've lost all my photo ID cards. I need to re-apply for all of them. FUCKITALLTOHELLANDBACK!

I need to be gainfully employed. I hope that my decision to freelance will earn me some money, if it doesn't, I'm working full-time. For sure!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Calling women crazy

It's so cliched.

Then of course these men go on to talk to their friends about how women are crazy and then they make memes, "popular" jokes and such. I hate it.

It's about time people, women included, realised that calling women crazy is old, lame, and more importantly uneducated.

It is also time for men to get over the cliches and spend some time understanding the women they are with, rather than referring to old joke books and manuals and feeling joyful in having figured out what women want.

Truth is people are different and everyone wants to be an individual. In the pursuit of individuality, we often forget that we turn into mass-manufactured drones.

Calling women crazy is just one example.



Monday, January 23, 2012

Blogs I find funny

The Local Tea Party (an Indian Blogger, not at all related to America's Tea Party) is a hilarious blogger from my city.

This post of his, by far the funniest piece of his I've read!

The language, for all my non-Indian friends, is Pidgin Indian English.

Haffun, everyone! 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting married to adjectives


The dehumanisation of the matrimonial profile

It's a preposterous title, I know. But, here's the thing – I blame this on the existence and proliferation of the 30-word matrimonial profile. Thanks to an entire segment in the daily classifieds dedicated to them, these brief, uninformative biographies have come to stand as an indicator of the kind of person you were going to marry, if you chose from a newspaper ad that is.

Here's my problem with those fucking ads. They've over-simplified the whole process to the point that some entrepreneur made an algorithm off it and started the hellhole of matrimonial process that is shaadi.com / bharatmatrimony.com and other such choice centres.

Despite my contractual obligations to be nice about online matchmaking / matchfinding, these sites are the root cause of my problems in life today. You have read, at length, the drama that my family has been putting me through in order to get me married.

As of 2011, things have become absurd. You know, where I go to temples and pray (I try to!) and my mother looks suitably anxious, my father feigns concern, my aunts chide my “negativity”, and other assorted nonsense.

This morning, it got epic. My father tells me

“A proposal's come. The boy is from Canada. His brother in America called. What do I tell them.”

I was drinking something at the time, so I couldn't do much. I didn't want to choke or anything. So I calmly gulped down my Horlicks and told my father

“Canada is too cold.”

Dad : “Even that skinny Mini survives Canada. You don't want London, you don't want Canada, you don't want Kerala, you don't want Dubai, what do you want?”

I was tempted to say – I want to marry a human being not a place or a social status, but he's my father and he's rude when he's defied. I don't have to deal with it at 27.

I just left for work.

Apparently – Engineer, MNC, Canada, and “they called me, I didn't call them” is enough of a basis for marriage.

O_o

Monday, January 9, 2012

Things I've done

What a nonsense, last week was!

Hurt my leg, was basically immobile because my back was also giving me trouble. Pain medication, cold compresses and the like dominated my weekly acitivities. Aside from the occasional nod to Facebook and Twitter. Sigh.

I have also, in a turn of events entirely technological, activated the mobile template of my blog. If you have a smartphone and you choose to access my blog via that, you can now able to read without too many issues. Unless, of course, the template I've chosen is shitty. If it is, please, please tell me; I'll change it.

Have you checked out my site recently? Lots of fun things. Well, I think so! Also, one of the articles I wrote for the site was published here. All those in favour of cross-country sisterly bonding, do a Vodka shot please? Thanks.

It's Pongal this week! It means an annual much-looked-forward to brunch at home. Sigh. Smells of ghee and joy are already here. Following Pongal, the calendar barely registers an holiday until April 14. And 2012 is one of those years where all the holidays are either on Saturday or Sunday. Nonsense! I don't like years like this. They are pointless to me!




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Don't kill MP's cows!

Happy, happy 2012 world!

Let's not focus on the now-extinct Mayans and their predictions and enjoy the year as much as we can? Good idea? Okay.

I'm going to bulletize first -
> Please read this - A superb article on my favorite social crusader from India, the venerable Mr.Anna Hazare. Just because something is a good cause, that does not mean it has no vested interests or hidden agendas. It's important that people realize this. More importantly, when someone has been set up on a pedestal, chances are they will fall, at least once. Again, I'm anti-corruption and anti-Hazare. Yes, they can co-exist, and they do. To dismiss democracy just because a goal has not been achieved is wrong, especially considering the fact that democracy hasn't been given a chance to live up to its potential.

> Reading that article brought me to this - another superbly written piece about caste in politics. I do believe that the issue of caste has been blown out of proportion and the media has not given the country an objective report of things. This report makes me want to ask Anna Hazare one question - if you believe in hierarchy so much, why are you challenging it? The Prime Minister is the boss of all bosses in this country, he has a job to do, let him do it. Why are you, who is not the Prime Minister, not doing your job?

I will not dwell on Anna Hazare any longer. Dwelling on Mr.Hazare has not been productive for this blog in the past. I will redirect your attention to Madhya Pradesh where they've banned cow slaughter.

I have no issues with cow slaughter. Yeah, I said it. If someone is making a living out of killing cows, let them. I wear leather and use leather, so I cannot have a righteous opinion on slaughter and so on. The law being passed means a certain kind of meat is no longer available for public consumption in Madhya Pradesh. Also, they are behaving as if cows are endangered species. Honestly, in India, as evidence from the photostreams of most tourists would prove, cows are not endangered species. The reason for this ban has some basis in religion, and that is problematic for me.

I'm Hindu, yes. I'm also vegetarian (quite by accident, not by design). However, that doesn't mean I'm some poster girl for religious virtue. I don't believe that a state has the power to decide what foods can be eaten by people. That's beyond ridiculous. It's about time India's virtuous Hindus realised that beef-eating is a reality. If they don't kill cows in Madhya Pradesh, how the hell is the thriving leather industry in Madhya Pradesh going to survive? For the most part, the leather industry needs cows to sustain itself. At least that's what I think. So, no more cow-killing means what for the leather industry?

What about dairy products? The mass manufacture of dairy products is not some kind of pleasant process where it's all sunshine and rainbows. Except for the co-operatives, the dairy industry does not employ sustainable practices, what of "intent to slaughter" then?

I do think that some laws need to be in place so that animals get treated better, however, this particular one reeks of too much control.

It is also highly likely that I don't get the complicated legalese and fine print. I will update this post soon as I do figure it out.

Moo!