In a world where there’s barely a span of 5 minutes your phone buzzes for Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, BigBasket, Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, SMS, Viber, Skype, Email, Text messages, downloads, Google Photos. Phew ! And there are 16 waking hours in a day. We’re so damn involved in the noise that we cant bear the quiet anymore. We’re addicted to the noise that we are so used to. Car horns, static or the phone. So we do the same with relationships and conversations. We fill the silences up, with static.
Oh my God. I hate the New Year time! I’ve lived on this God damn planet for about three decades and I hate that EVERY! EVERY New Year’s Eve is full of stupid nonsensical people wanting to make New Year’s resolutions and later only to fall back on their bad habits. Finally, get frustrated about life and start drinking or go back to the exact same habit that they wanted to run away from in the first place.
As I sat there with my 9 piece McNuggets, my medium size fries and coke, I saw the most treasured memory of my childhood burned and turned to ashes. This new movie Ok Jaanu and the Humma humma song. What !? Wasn’t it enough that Bollywood ruined “Deewana Tera” by making Arijit sing it ? You’ll argue Arijit has “sing” in his last name, literally. But hey ! So did Sonu Nigam.
What ! You didn’t know ? His real name is Nonu Singam. I mean…. Everyone knows that ! That’s why he’s such a great singer. People made fun of him. Like you’re laughing right now. Hence, he changed his name. Badshah remixed the song.
Suddenly everyone has gone into panic mode. It’s like a mass power outage in everyone’s brains. Everyone is trying to be very logical about this and explain how it affects corruption but have you thought about the conversations you’ll have to have ?
On a side note, my friends and I thought of digging a mass grave to bury the local politicians and builders in the area (who will die of sudden and painful heart attacks) but then scrapped the plan because we didn’t have enough 100 Rs. notes to pay the daily wage workers.
Happy Dassera, Dashehra, Vijayadashmi, or whatever else you may call it in your language.
Dassera signifies the triumph of Good over evil. When I was very young, naturally having very limited exposure to the outside world and having watched Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana on TV, I believed that Lanka was like Atlantis. I thought it only existed in stories and no one really ever corroborated the theory of its existence. But as I grew older I started becoming obsessed with geography, the Ram Setu, Sita’s caves in Maharashtra and so much more. I always wondered, when Hanuman lit Lanka on fire, what happened to the regular inhabitant of Lanka? Who weren’t ‘demons’? It their king was such a terrible tyrant, the subjects must also have suffered through the tyranny! Were they rescued? Or did they die meaningless deaths? My mother eventually assuaged my fears saying that “Maybe they were terrible people too? Maybe they were exiled into Lanka because they were killers or looters and bandits who caused havoc in the lives of good people?” I mean what do you really tell a 5 year old?
For many years that answer assuaged my fears and worries. But then my hands fell on a book called Asura. And, my life turned…
On a rainy October morning I met someone who I never thought would be an inspiring image for anyone. He started off as someone who couldn’t speak English. A completely unkempt, skinny guy who just did some stuff well. Meh! So what? Anyone can do some stuff well. A terribly shabby, uninspired soul who just knew what he wanted to do. This time, when I met him, he was an entirely changed person. But….
My dad told me a story once that there was a man who spent his whole life looking for the philosopher’s stone. A stone that could turn anything into gold. He became old and frail. A monk, who felt pity for him, told him to look for the stone on a certain path near the monastery. The priest said, “Carry a stone with you and touch every stone on this path to the stone in your hand. Whichever stone turns it to gold, is yours to take. I don’t have much to give you, but have some food and drink the refreshing water from my well before you leave. ” he said, as he motioned to the well behind him.
The old man was so happy that he finally had found his treasure, he dismissed the monk’s suggestion and started on his journey. He labored all day and night. Nothing happened. Another day came and another day went. Another day came and another day went. Days turned into nights and nights into day and finally, the path circled back to the monastery. The Old man threw the stone at the monk’s feet and said “You lied to me. There’s no stone like the philosopher’s stone”
Find a fair guy or girl with clear skin and a complexion to die for, with eyes that can melt the hearts of the stone-hearted. And then make eye contact. If they look at you like you killed their अण्णासाहेब, Bang on ! हेच ते ब्राह्मण ! (This happend because their minds are constantly engrossed)
Say it as it is
“आहो Shook shook ! मेरे डोळे का Surgery होनेका है. And रिक्षा साठी सुट्टे नाही आहेत. तुमच्या कडे पंचास Rupees आहेत काय ? I will be much obliged.”
Kidnap the first guy who takes out fifty bucks. Because no one else on the planet will follow this Hing-rathi-ish. See, it’s a requirement to be proficient in three or more languages. But only they are much too used to this language.
So I bunked office one day and went to see my new found love. I mean, Akshay Kumar. Something about him just suddenly felt different.
The following events were warning signals that we shouldn’t have gone for the movie.
Reached late. Sprinted from parking to the cinema hall.
Took the lift pressed 2 and waited. And waited and waited and waited some more. And thought.
“Either we are moving very fast or we are not moving at all”. Realized that the button was not pressed and the couple behind us on the lift was completely oblivious of the fact that the lift was not moving. They were busy saying “Dekha baby ? I was saying na ? Let’s take the stairs ?”
“Aww baby, my baby, shweet baby, cute baby”.
I wanted to ask “Is your baby going to cry during the movie ?”
Just then I felt a tug at my hand. My partner in crime was giving me big eyes. Like, “Can we please get through one micro event in our lives without you not embarrassing me in public ? Just one ?”
After the roaring success of How to find a Marathi Brahmin in a crowd, I bring to you, how to spot a Malayalee. I am cursed, I mean blessed with Malayalees all around me. My best friends, not one, not two, not even three. All of Kerala has been instructed to come to the north and find me.
I’m not sure but this is some kind of ritual. They whisper my name in the baby’s ears and then the baby rests only after finding me. Regardless…
Find a group of guys/girls around Matunga east or Malad Orlem. And carry an animal with you. Any animal. Dog, cat, rat, snake, rooster, elephant, camel, rhino, hippo. But where would you find a Hippo !? So adjust, take a dog. Set the dog free. The person whose feet this canine goes and licks…ask him “Sherri ?”. If he looks up, keednaaap that Malayaliaaa. They’re hypnotic SO under no circumstances are you to make eye contact with them. And if you don’t want to get beaten up, I would suggest, refrain from calling them “Mallus”.
I am officially exhausted from the eve of Women’s Day. All this pink around me is genuinely giving me pink eye. I feel like I am in Barbieland for God’s sake. I don’t really know who associated pink with women and or feminism. But whoever did it, deserves to be beaten in a public square with a pink leash.
Regardless, let me quickly get to the point. So, on the eve of Women’s day, I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own. I set out of home on the 7th of March to see what exactly happens to women on days before and after women’s day. I stepped out of home thinking, it’s going to be a regular day. Shockingly, it wasn’t.
While stepping out of my building, I instructed my neighbor “Hey, could you please park a little bit ahead ? My car blocks our gate otherwise, it could really lead to a problem in an emergency”. She smiled and nodded at me. “Phew ! That was easy”.
I called the watchman, who looked at me like the arrogant, good-for-nothing, “aawaara” woman that I am, and asked delightfully rudely “KYA HUA MAIDUM !” I thought “MAI-DUM hi hu ! To have spoken to talk to him this morning !?”.
“Bhaiyya, please take an Amazon parcel for me”… His eyes went wide with surprise as he asked me “AUR EK ?…” and mumbled something under his breath. When I asked him to repeat what he said, he said, “Too many parcels coming in.. I cannot accept them”..Yeah, I am the small minded, character less woman who arrives home at 2 am and sees the night watchman asleep, happily snoring at the front gate in broad street light.I click a picture and send it to my secretary who is a woman, who fires that watchman and hires a new one. If my parcel goes back, I’ll kill you you little shit.
Women na, I tell you, they’re so dumb.– All the building’s night watchemen organisation.
Moving on. As I got out of my lane trying to hail a rickshaw, I saw one giant poster, a relic from the recent elections, “Congratulations to wife of Mr. X for the blah blah blah” ha ? Achcha ? She doesn’t have a name ! I feel so bad.
I realized I was being ultra bitchy and thought, hey, I should calm down. Maybe visit some kind of spiritual place…what’s that called again ? TEMPLE ! Yeah ! I’ll go to a temple, which is literally two steps away from that hoarding. Instantly, my mind went to the thought “Is it that time of the month ?” as if, it were drilled into my head. As if on cue, there it was, written in bold letters,
“WOMEN HAVING THEIR PERIODS CANNOT ENTER THE TEMPLE.PREGNANT WOMEN BELOW 4 MONTHS CANNOT ENTER THE TEMPLE”.—- All the “we have a dick, we make the rules”holy baba people.
Of course, not in these “blatant” words but they seemed quite blatant to me. What I did next, might hurt quite a few religious sentiments, but considering that I wasn’t struck by lightning, wasn’t killed by a half man-half animal being or wasn’t crushed by a falling tree and did not summon the apocalypse on my overly urbanized city, I thought it was quite okay. Besides, what’s happening inside my body is not your problem unless it’s growing teeth and gnawing at your face. That’s called a baby.
A very subtle lordly,” HOLY” man once told me the true reason why women are not allowed in temples during their period (Did you cringe? Because if you did, stop reading right now). He said, there’s a radiance about women during these days, so if they do go outdoors, they lose their radiance.
YO, MR. BABA, FIRSTLY, I CAN BUY RADIANCE IN A 20ML BOTTLE AT A CHEMIST’S SHOP. ITS CALLED AN ANTI AGEING CREAM.
AND SECONDLY, RADIANCE? WHAT RADIANCE? WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD A SUDDEN A VIOLENT DROP IN HORMONES MAKE ME MORE RADIANT!? HEH? IF AT ALL, IT TAKES AWAY THE BACHA KUCHA RADIANCE AND ABOUT 600 STRANDS OF HAIR EVERYDAY. AND OF COURSE IT’S LIKE A BATTLEFFIELD BECAUSE THERE IS LITERALLY A RIVER OF BLOOD (I told you to stop reading if you cringed).
Well, myth busted, I am still alive, no flaming asteroids making their way towards Earth yet…I’ll keep you posted.
You beg, bribe or threaten the rickshaw. The rickshaw walas in Mumbai are like the puberty stricken teens. They don’t want to go anywhere, they don’t want to do anything and they’re always moody. One Rickshawala stopped. Maybe it was my “radiance” that blinded him to a halt. “EAST ?” I asked him.
One quick, not so subtle glance at my chest area and he said yes. Does he do that to men too? I mean, stare at their chests? Or any other area of their bodies?
You are wearing jeans and tshirt which are not figure hugging. Why are you not trying harder to please me– All tharki men on the road hoping to catch a peek, of something.
Yeah… Not kidding. I had never really realized or bothered about this. Besides, to protect my radiance that day, I had covered my face and neck with a scarf which was obviously oversized enough to cover everything until my stomach. I was wearing a worn out Captain America Tshirt and a decent pair of jeans with a backpack that could rival Everest climber’s rucksacks.
After this very enlightening experience, I couldn’t wait to get off and go to work where I knew I was surrounded by educated people. Or so I thought…
As soon as I entered, I had apparently interrupted a very important “Women’s DAY” celebration meeting which was why I was instantly pulled into a whirlpool of discussions about what “what games to play during office hours”. Yeeeeiiiiiiiishhhh.
Eeeeekkkkk khikhikhikhi, hehehehehhehe, huhuhuhuhhu, ahhahhhhhha, awwwww, so cute — all women planning an exciting get together.
I asked the office-wala Bhaiyya for Chai, who mindlessly nodded his head but handed me my tea only after I had asked him the 6th time. So much for “PAYING ATTENTION”.
Ugh ! These women want attention all the time. They dress up so that we can look at them. Bah !—- Official chai wala statement
After being welcomed by this unnervingly lovable Chai-wala, someone yelled,
“ALL THE PRETTY LADIES IN HOUSE, <name>’s HERE SO LOOSEN UP YOUR BLOUSE”
MY MIND WAS SCREAMING
“HEY <name> IN THE HOUSE…NO ONE’S LOOSENING THEIR BLOUSE
CUZ YOU’RE A BIG SCHMUCK ….AND WE DON’T GIVE A …..RAT’S ASS.”
I don’t know, I am not the best at rapping.
Just after 4.30, I thought “Okay, one more hour and you can leave”. Just then a colleague barged in and said,
HE : “Happy Women’s Day”
ME : Th..
HE: How are you
ME : Fi..
HE : That day I saw your facebook post
HE : So hilarious
ME : B.. (At this point I was really lucky to even sneak in a monosyllabic grunt. Like Mmmmmmmm…or Oooooo… or Ppppppppp…. I think he saw me experimenting with these grunts and promptly asked)
HE : Are you not feeling well ?
ME : *Waited till he had finished saying all that he was saying and very gently, without spooking him away, said* YES.
I was prouder of myself in that moment more than Sindhu or Sakshi or Dipa must have been after they got worldwide recognition for their sport. Because I had made myself heard.
One rickshaw ride and another boob stare later, I was home. And that god damn neighbour’s car was still there. *Sigh* Why the hell do i even try !?
Thats when I found out that my fuul jaisi nazuk kali housemaid had decided to not come to work because her husband decided to leave her or she decided to leave him or my mom decided to leave her or something like that. The shock of it all make me forget the details. Maybe she left because I went to the temple when I was menstruating.
NOW EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE !
Just then I received a text from an old colleague.
THE INEVITABLE HAD BEGAN. “HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY. I salute your…” Nowadays whatsapp has become a very convenient way of stalking people in the digital universe whether it yields true or false info is another matter entirely.
Oh good Lord in the blue heaven let there be lava rain tomorrow and let the rain kill me so that I dont have to listen to this A grade crap anymore. Please God I beg you. If I have to see one more message about women empowerment, I will staple their fingers to each other and glue their mouth shut.
In the same text he also asked me, “YOU LOOK THINNER IN YOUR DP, DID YOU LOSE WEIGHT ? AND WHO ARE THESE CUTE BABIES IN YOUR DP ? YOUR BABIES ? GOOD NEWS ?”
NO, I BOUGHT THESE BABIES. FROM AMAZON. 50 RUPEES PER KILO. BUT I GOT THE WOMEN’S DAY BOGO OFFER. EK PE EK FREE.24 HOURS PRIME DELIVERY. 100 RUPEES EXTRA FOR DELIVERY. YOU WANT ONE ?
GOOD NEWS IS, I AM STARTING A POOP FACTORY. ORGANIC POOP. FROM THESE TWO BABIES. TO BE FLUNG AT FACES LIKE YOURS. TUJHE KYA KARNA HAI KISKA BABIES HAI !? DUKKAR KE PILLE ?
On the morning of the 8th, I just couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed. EVERYBODY ON THE PLANET WANTED TO SUDDENLY WISH ME “Happy women’s Day” while I was busy toiling away sweeping, cleaning, scrubbing, then typing, working, emailing and finally travelling, menstruating, waiting to die.
MOST WOMEN DID THIS TODAY. WELCOME, TO ONE DAY IN A WOMAN’S LIFE. THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO BE CELEBRATED ABOUT UNTIL THE DAY A WOMAN CAN SIT ON A CHAIR WITH HER FEET UP SIPPING HER VODKA IN HER UNDIES WITHOUT HAVING A HUSBAND OR IN LAWS OR SOCIETY BREATHING DOWN HER NECK TO DRESS PROPERLY AND DRINK RESPONSIBLY AND SETTLE DOWN !
ARRRGH ! I DONT WANT EMPOWERMENT/FAITH/LOVE/CARE/UNDERSTANDING/POWER/GRIT/DEDICATION/ EQUALITY/ROYAL TREATMENT/SPA TREATMENTS/HEAD MASSAGES/PIMPLE CREAM/FOOT CREAM/SAVINGS SCHEME/FERTILITY TREATMENT/DISCOUNTED CLOTHES/ SHOES. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I DON’T WANT YOUR SYMPATHY OR YOUR PITY.
Sure, I’m proud of being a woman. But there are plenty of reasons why I am shown how inappropriate and weak I am everyday, by men who need me desperately.
I WANT FREEDOM FROM ALL OF THEM. I WANT MYSELF.
We’ve come a long way and we have a long way to go before its a Happy Fucking Women’s Day !