Friday, April 30, 2010

Femmes will be Fatal

Female libido just got a pop-a-pill solution. Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant that saved mankind (well almost) with Viagra, will soon be launching its female counterpart, the yet unnamed UK-414495. Women all over the world will now be literally on top and why not? Why should men have all the fun!

Did you know Viagra was an accidental discovery by doctors looking to treat angina-pectoris, a heart condition (But haven’t we known all along where a man’s heart lies, whoever said it was the stomach was a big fat liar). So Big-V fortunately or unfortunately was much like Columbus’s stumbling upon America on a voyage to discover India. History repeats itself and how!

Researchers have suggested that Viagra is a noble discovery which has inadvertently proved to be a boon for endangered species (no, not the witty, intelligent kind). Research at the University of Alaska and University of Wales reveals that trade in exotic body parts used as aphrodisiacs has fallen dramatically since Viagra hit the market. Rhinos love it and can now flaunt their horns without a care in the world. Reindeers feel more secure about their antlers and fewer goats are walking the roads with their legs crossed!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Full

An Icelandic volcano simmered and spewed ash bringing the world to a grinding halt. But the name, Eyjafjallajokull gave greater stress to us. People choked on their coffee, their tongues got twisted, all in an attempt to pronounce an unpronounceable name. A name coined as if a 2 year old was given a free run on the keyboard!

Shifting tectonic plates can now take a well deserved rest. According to Sedighi, an Iranian cleric, “Women who dress immodestly are capable of increasing Earthquakes”. And women in cleavage baring dresses managed to do just that. On “Boobquake Day” femmes let loose a rumble they had not bargained for. In a comedy of coincidences, an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale shook up Taiwan, even as Jennifer McCreight spearheaded a “full frontal” campaign against the Iranian cleric.

The Shoa-nia saga kept the nation enthralled with its day-to-day exciting developments fuelled by a mystery lady. The woman turned out to be Shoaib’s first wife. So excited was Shoaib about his impending marriage to Sania, the poster girl of Indian tennis, that he conveniently forgot the presence of his larger than life telephone begum and confused her with his “Aapaa”. He claimed ignorance, feigned memory loss and made a miraculous recovery when the truth threatened to spill over. Barely had we recovered from this hullabaloo, Modi tweeted and triggered an IPL slugfest. A public spat that snowballed into a scandal revealing bigger players, personal liaisons casting doubts over transparency and accountability of the league itself. A mint fresh minister resigned and a witch hunt is on to finish Modi once and for all. But with Modi behaving like Rajnikanth on steroids he’s unlikely to go down easily. Moral of the story? Think twice before you tweet.

Robert Pattinson, Twilight heart-throb, became Hollywood’s yummiest man. He was immortalised in 18 kilos of solid Belgian chocolate. What a waste of good chocolate! Girls Aloud band member, Sarah Harding on the other hand is doing her level best to make her food unappetizing. Harding has admitted that she sprinkles her food with charcoal dust to keep fit! Can diets get any more bizarre?

Beer guzzling men will be surprised to know that this drink was an all- women affair till 200 years ago. According to historian, author Jay Peyton women created beer and for thousands of years operated breweries. It was a drink exclusively meant for them, until the men took over and managed beer bellies. Women evolved and moved on to sophisticated drinks like the “Cosmopolitan”.

But men needn’t despair. There’s good news for them as well. You can now check out that hot chick and not feel guilty about it. Men it seems are programmed to have a lustful, wandering eye. So next time your wife raps you on your knuckles for leering at her best friend, just blame it on mother- nature and her faulty programming. And don’t forget to smile. Smiling apparently adds years to your life. Is that your 20th cigarette? Just grin. Remember the broader you grin the longer you get to live. And don’t forget to say sorry to your wife even if it’s not you fault.Research suggests that an apology adds years to your wife’s life.

See, how easy it is to add and deduct years from your life? And in the meantime you can dream about the bathrooms of the future. According to a report, homes of the future will feature bathroom mirrors that will study your BP, heart rate and send them to your doctor. You can also enjoy a broadband connected bath which takes instructions. So it is now very possible to stay at home and never move out at all. This may not be a very bad idea in a place like Delhi.

My smile just got wider, just thinking about the future. Wondering if my bath tub can fix a glass of martini for me, shaken not stirred if you please?


Source

A heady cocktail of Hindustan Times, Times of India, Mail Today, spiked with the Author’s fertile imagination.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Patelgiri

I am filing for adoption of Praful Patel . Sure, he’s too old to adopt, but I can always pester him to adopt me instead. Purba Patel doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

It pays to be a Patel and how. Not only do you get freebies, joyrides and upgrades to first class in Air India; you get to hobnob with the likes of Vijay Mallya and have a private jet ferry you to Phuket, free of cost!

Wait, it doesn’t stop here. You also get to treat the National Carrier as your Daddy’s private garage. The Maharaja can bleed to the point of collapse, suffer massive losses, employees be asked to take pay cuts but I will have no qualms in getting a scheduled flight cancelled and use it as a private jet to ferry IPL players. Trivialities like inconvenience caused to hapless passengers on a confirmed Delhi-Coimbatore flight is not my headache.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weighty Issues

“Do you think I need to lose more weight?” asks this near anorexic lady at the gym. My jaws nearly dropped to the floor. But at moments such as these, I become incredibly profound. No woman is content with what she has, each one of us wishes for a little more of that and a little less of this, I replied with a Zen-like expression. Ask me, I know, I have been a lifetime member of this club.

Weight petrifies me, especially if it threatens to come anywhere in the vicinity of my petite frame. I am fitness fixated and I have no qualms admitting it. With age my regime has become more severe. Each time someone compliments me on my well-maintained self (I hate that term, makes me feel like a vintage car), I mentally start charting a newer even better fitness plan. I can’t afford to put on weight now!

We women are our greatest critics. At gatherings, most of us love greeting each other with weight updates. Have you put on? As if the lady doesn’t have a weighing scale, looking glass or a husband at home. But then husbands/boyfriends are programmed to say, “No honey your posterior looks just fine in that little black dress”, even if you look like an out of breath orange.

We are living in an age where all of us strive to be picture perfect. Obesity, cellulite, bad hair day, sagging skin are the new cardinal sins. Contemporary couture regrettably is designed for near perfect bodies. Most women in a desperate attempt to fit in, ape these unflattering styles, completely ignoring their body type. So we have to bear the ignominy of watching Mrs Gupta waddle around in her city shorts or squirm at Mrs Bhalla’s love-handles protruding from her “oh so tight” dress.


Indian women are meant to be curvy, some of us have it at the right places and some of us don’t. The last decade has witnessed a fitness revolution of sorts. There was a time when exercise meant taking a post dinner stroll: the rotund lady in her nightie-chunni (a favourite apparel of many a Punjabi woman) and the gentleman in his PJ‘s conversing animatedly and walking up and down the street. Not anymore. The lady has now ditched her nightie for track pants and does pilates with her private trainer. Her daughter loves kick boxing and aspires to be a size zero. Both of them are addicted to lauki juice and love snacking on pumpkin seeds. The son weight trains everyday and the poster of John Abraham’s butt adorns his wall. Of course there’s another breed that can wolf down a mega bucket of KFC’s winglets and perceives exercise as sacrilege.

It was only when I hit my 30’s that I diligently started an exercise routine; the “wake up at 5 and take a brisk 45-minute walk before going off to work” type. Prior to that, it was mostly need-based and mood-based. My first day at the park is clearly etched in my memory. Dawn had just broken; the air was fresh and crisp. As I approached the periphery of the park I heard a faint humming sound which grew louder with each approaching step. I was curious, a little scared. It was then, that I spotted three old ladies stuck to each other on a small bench, clapping furiously and chanting. I was mesmerised. The place was a frenzied hub of activity, youngsters walking at a furious pace with flailing arms, a gaggle of old men laughing deliriously in unison. It was surreal.

I religiously stuck to this routine (not the getting scared part) till we shifted to Gurgaon. I now huff and puff in the air-conditioned confines of the gym and discuss soup-salad dinners with my friends.

The near anorexic lady has managed some angry-looking eruptions on her face, apparently an infection she picked up somewhere. Other gym mates are concerned about her health and the possibility of contagion. But she refuses to stay put at home. When people say fitness is an addiction they are absolutely right. A celebrity more famous for her toned frame than her acting skills proudly proclaimed in one of her interviews, “My fitness takes priority over everything else in life. Even if my house is on fire I’d rather run off to the gym”.

Scary but true for many of us?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IPL (Indian Political Labyrinth)

A friend’s tweet “Thoo Thoo Tharoor” got me thinking. A weeklong of this blockbuster of a drama, featuring two powerful men and a woman: does it have a typical hero and villain? But then there is nothing typical in this IPL tamasha that has held the nation in its thrall so completely that we ignored Pankaj Advani’s historic hat-trick win at the Asian Billiards Championship.

It all started with a tweet about a minister’s role in procuring a team, by Him with a dubious past, extraordinary enterprise and a motor-propelled mouth - IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. At the receiving end was our uber savvy minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor and his stunning escort Sunanda Push-kar. It was alleged that Pushkar’s 75 crore equity holding in the consortium was actually a kickback to our honourable minister.

LSD (Lalit Shashi Aur Dhoka) was undoubtedly the most thrilling IPL match of the season. A public spat which snowballed into a scandal revealing bigger players, personal liaisons, casting doubts over the transparency and accountability of the league itself. We also learnt that equity could be free or sweaty. But does it really matter when it’s a whopping 75 crores.

Shashi defended himself by saying that as a cricket fan & MP from Kerala he was merely mentoring the consortium bidding for the Kochi team. Ironically the Kochi team has just one investor from Kerala whose share is a mere 1%.

So why did Modi spill the beans on the Kochi consortium? It is speculated that he was keen that another group (the Adanis) from Gujarat win the bid and was peeved when Kochi won. When Modi gets peeved he expresses it in more ways than one.

The story did not have a happy ending. Heads rolled, income tax raids conducted, doubts cast on integrity of many cast members. Unfortunately for Tharoor, his story pleading his innocence did not have too many takers. He was asked to quit from his post. Sunanda retired hurt from the consortium parting with her equity and quitting Rendezvous World Sports.

From the outset the junior minister of state found it hard to get his act right in the slippery world of politics. His “too clever for his own good” brand of politics led to his undoing. However his “cattle class for holy cows” did provide wholesome entertainment to the likes of us.

Was it his lack of propriety and his undue interest shown in an acquisition that led to his undoing? If the intent was operation cleanup, then why target just Tharoor? Don’t we have Sharad Pawar, Arun Jaitley and Suresh Kalmadi running sports associations as their personal fiefdoms, wielding power and doling out favours in a manner very unlikely to be honourable? We have a Mayawati misusing her powers for Dalit propaganda (and her handbags – come to think of it, I missed the significance of this accessory that adorns her statues), Shibu Soren convicted of murder and still heading a state and scores of others with criminal records, whose sole intention is to make a quick buck while still in power.

Here was an elected representative who was refreshingly different and wanted to bring about change in the system. His tweet opposing the misguided visa restrictions had bosses in New Delhi squirming in their seats. Was he in the wrong? Says which rule in the book that you cannot question the authorities and not indulge in healthy debate? The situation is uncannily similar to an archaic classroom where the rigid school teacher punishes the student for daring to defy the system and raising uncomfortable questions. Political parties in the world’s largest democracy, unfortunately, are run like autocracies.

In my opinion it was Tharoor’s lack of guile that did him in. In the murky world of politics you have to master the art of operating behind the scenes. Utilize your tenure in networking with cash rich industrialists, hobnob with criminals, get your daughter married off in style and if you have cash to spare get an adversary or two knocked off, rest assured you will be guaranteed a long innings. Why waste your precious time on aam-aadmi and his never-ending problems! The poor are meant to be taken for granted, the intelligentsia will do their candle light vigils and TV debates.

Should Modi’s head roll too? Absolutely! his head was getting too inflated for his own good anyway.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Well Connected Generation

Lady Gaga released her new music video “Telephone”. When the lady decides to sing, you thank “You- Tube”, promptly download her video and contribute to the one million hits she gets. For the faint-hearted there’s always an “official clean version available”.

Long, long ago the telephone was used to, well... just talk. The invention of this device is mired in controversy and a confusing collection of claims and counter claims. When we were young, life was simple. We were told Graham Bell invented the telephone, we didn’t question it. The closest we came to a controversy was Marconi and his radio (it is alleged that our own Jagdish Bose invented the radio but was too lazy to go and file a patent). We now have Google and a million idle scholars. We are no longer sure of anything in this world.

Coming back to the telephone, it was an ugly instrument and the numbers had to be dialled (Nowadays my husband just barks a “Call John Mathew” on his Blackberry). Getting through was half the battle won. People spoke, they complained, made polite enquires. Cross connections were the rigueur de norm, intermittently a love story blossomed. I heard my first Nazia Hassan number on my phone courtesy a friend who played her hot new track for me. The cordless phone soon made its’ debut. We could now walk around the house, go up and down the stairs and discuss the hot new guy who had just joined college.

The 90’s ushered in the telecommunication revolution. The telephone became cellular. For a few years it was a status symbol. I have witnessed people having imagined conversations on their mobile, only to have it ring a few minutes later. My dad often used to run his car over his device. No, he wasn’t testing it for resilience. On their way out of the car, the mobile would drop off my mom’s lap where she would keep it for safekeeping. She had yet to get used to its size.

People found new uses for it, when they were bored they would make hoax calls and occasionally get arrested. Then there was this exciting new feature called texting. Furiously texting creatures were fast becoming part of the city’s landscape. Couples were breaking up on the phone, much awaited movie storylines were getting leaked and circulated, pathetic jokes were getting forwarded. We also started getting harassed by telemarketers. Everything from credit cards to would-you-like-to-support-a-few-causes is being promoted through the phone. The MMS feature heralded a sleaze phase. Voyeurism was now scaling new heights.

My mobile is an extension of my arm. It stores and plays my favourite tracks, I sometimes click photos with it, use it to surf the net, check my mails and text my buddies. Occasionally I use it to make phone calls and keep in touch with the men in my life (the milk vendor, veggie guy, gas walah and the husband). On our recent trip to Copenhagen, the GPS feature came to our rescue in zeroing on the Railway station exit nearest to our hotel. It saved us a long walk and, believe me, it’s not easy when you are lugging two mammoth suitcases and a couple of handbags (the Rays do not believe in travelling light).

Shoaib Malik gave a new dimension to this ubiquitous device. He went ahead and had a telephone nikah, suffered amnesia and made a miraculous recovery. If people can use the phone to flirt (ask Tiger Woods), serenade, break-up, why can’t they use it to marry?

Recently a blogger friend of mine typed an entire post on his device (his mobile). So what will people think of next? A phone that gives you a back-massage, tames your frizz and has an inbuilt pepper spray?

What a brilliant thought! I’d better hurry and file for copyright. I wouldn’t want the origin of my path breaking ideas to be mired in controversy and confusion. At least some things should be crystal clear to our future generations.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Living On A High

We shifted to Gurgaon from Delhi six years back into a high rise apartment. When you are staying in the capital, the 4th floor is the highest you go. The city doesn’t boast of too many apartment complexes besides the ones built by DDA (Delhi Development Authority). DDA since its inception in 1957 has been ceaselessly building unimaginative flats in tiresome yellows or pinks. Unfortunately the escalating real estate price makes this one of the few viable options for many a Delhite.

The husband even in his penniless stage was very sure that he will never buy one of those staid flats. Gurgaon with its promise of high end living and picturesque complexes beckoned to us. So when it was finally time to buy our own nest we happily settled for the Millennium city. The artistic impressions of our complex circulated by our builder had me excited and I couldn’t stop gushing about it to my friends. We had booked a condo on the 7th floor. I got a lot of positive feedback on the pleasures of staying up north; a mosquito free, dust free existence, cool breezy evenings and amazing 360 degree views. I was in “seventh heaven”. Only one of my friends expressed a grave concern, what happens if there’s an earthquake? We may die a crushing death, but at least we’ll have fewer floors on our head, the husband had retorted.

We finally shifted to our own pad. The views were stunning, the rain never looked better. Having a cup of tea in our balcony to the sounds of birds with the soft breeze caressing our face was sheer bliss.

I was sporting a new look, the windswept look. Our complex for some mysterious reason is extremely windy. Initially it was charming; the constant tinkling of wind chimes, having to hold on to your dress for your dear life. But imagine hot, sultry, 42 degree Celsius afternoons to the sounds of whoo whoo and constant rattling of windows! It was eerie and depressing. And when it’s summers can ACs be far behind? 16 ACs (one for each floor) dripping water on top of each other in unison is definitely not music for the ears especially when you are trying to sleep after a hard day’s work. Two years back we installed split ACs and finally put an end to our agony. The installation process on the other hand was one horrific story, fodder for another post perhaps?

I had also acquired a new hobby, bird watching (the winged variety). Gurgaon is wonderfully green with lots of open spaces making it a haunt for exotic birds. When you are a city-bred brat you grow up seeing mostly crows and pigeons and every other bird seems exotic. So understandably I was maha excited each time I spotted birds in stunning colours, shapes and sizes. Even the stray peacock strutting its stuff had me behaving like an over excited kid.

The bird community must have sensed the warm, welcoming vibes emanating from the Ray household. Our AC compressors soon became the favoured hangout zone for pigeons. And where there are pigeons there is pigeon shit, loads and loads of it - on the compressors, balcony railings, wash stands, even my hapless plants were not spared.

We saw quite a few love stories unfold in our balcony, singles ready to mingle meet, settle, furious coupling ensues and baby pigeons make an appearance. My daughter even played Mother Teresa to an injured baby pigeon. She named it Peech (from the baby sounds it made) nursed it for days and grew hopelessly attached to it. When it died she was inconsolable.

Our reputation had now grown in leaps and bounds. The news of our compassion soon spread like wild fire. We now have pigeons flocking in all our balconies, on the floor, on the wash stand, even on the bathroom ledge. Dumb, desperate creatures that they are, they even try nesting on our kitchen balcony floor laying down a bed of borrowed broomsticks. The husband in an attempt to scare them off often splashes huge quantities of water at them, inadvertently giving them a much needed bath. In fact the other day he just said f%*&@ off and they actually made a hasty retreat. Wow! We have managed an incredible feat; our pigeons can now actually comprehend English! Unfortunately they keep coming back for more lessons.

The other day I was reading somewhere that the pigeon population is increasing alarmingly because the kites which prey upon them are becoming extinct. No wonder they spend many happy hours on the Ray balcony. They take care of my cardio though. I often have to run to the balcony menacingly to shoo them off. I am seriously considering training a bunch of them to deliver notes to my loved ones. The courier guys anyway do a lousy job. I could also export pigeon poop. I have heard that in Morocco, they use it to soften leather before dyeing it.

Last summer we had a termite scare and recently a few monkeys have been spotted in the vicinity. My mind is going into an overdrive thinking of possibilities. We also had an earthquake scare, swinging chandeliers, swaying fans and all that. But we managed to race to the ground floor in record-shattering time.

But these are minor glitches. I still feel elated seeing the various flowers in bloom in our complex. Walking down the shaded pathways, I feel rejuvenated at the sound of excited chatter of children playing in the park.

I’d still like to think that I am living on a high in a high rise.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Are we an English obsessed nation?

The two largest English speaking countries in the world are India (350 million) and United States (300 million). In the next decade more than half of the English speaking population on Earth will be Indians. We will determine how the language will be spoken. Feels good, but I have a question – will Mamata Banerjee’s spoken words qualify as English too? She could be speaking in Hindi, Bangla or English – to me it comes across as a strange, uniform version of Esperanto.

A recent survey has officially established the Queen’s language as India’s lingua franca. That comes as no surprise. We as a nation still suffer from a massive colonial hangover. In school we are essentially taught British. Mushrooming BPO s promote the Yankee version. Our children end up speaking a bastardized version. Texting has made it worse. Address is now addy, afternoon afty, vacation vacays...kids are playing around with the language, which may not be such a bad thing. Why waste time on silly things such as spellings and sentences? It’s so not cool.

The non-NextGen Indians on the other hand love their English, more than even the English. Nowhere in the world are people so particular about diction and grammar. Maybe it represents much more than just being particular. How one holds forth in English often reflects schooling, social background. Pepper your conversation with a few tricky words and you are qualified to fit into certain elitist circles. A rather superficial way of slotting people, yet most of us succumb to it.

The world over, English spoken with a foreign accent is considered exotic. Did any one of us snigger at Penelope’s Oscar acceptance speech? But dare anyone in our country say yem yen square, we make that person the butt of our jokes for the rest of his unfortunate life. We are a lot more tolerant of incorrect Hindi.

We name our pets Sparkle, Goldy and Tipsy. Parmeet becomes Pinky, Sandeep becomes Sandy. Our children are more conversant in English rather than their mother tongue. Even my daughter prefers English even though the first language we taught her was Bangla. Why blame the kids, it is the parents who reinforce the belief. An NRI friend of mine had briefly migrated to Bangalore. At community get-togethers try as she might she could not get people to speak to her in Bangla. Who do you think we are – village bumpkins?

Agreed, in a diverse country such as ours it is this language that binds us together. We are heavyweights in the global IT space largely because of our ability to think and speak in English. And we have scored over China in acquisition of brands like Jaguar, Tetley and Corus probably because our felicity in a western language engenders western comfort.

It has certainly helped us stay connected globally, access and upload information globally, and share experiences globally. Millions of us mull over the philosophies of Ayn Rand, applaud the visual wizardry of Avatar, and sway to Linkin Park (for me it’s good old Eagles any day).

But if this language is the great unifying factor, the harbinger of opportunities, it is also a divisive factor. Lack of it translates into lack of opportunities. Small towns and cities where subjects are still taught in the vernacular are still grappling with this change. In metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi our rich diverse vernacular is dying a slow death. I miss the mellifluous, full of “adaa”, Lucknawi Hindi which my Dad and uncles used to speak. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone speak in chaste Hindi. All I hear is a confused mishmash. “You won’t believe what I saw jee, I toh nearly fainted”.

Is our obsession with English making us lose our identity? Or are we evolving into a new progressive society? On the flip side, were we better off with Bombay and everything it represented, or are we better off now with Mumbai and everything it is being forced to represent? We live in strange times where, in rural India, innocent youngsters are being killed because they dared to fall in love and urban India is witnessing a sexual revolution of sorts. Rich kids are ramming their BMWs after a drinking binge but girls are being dragged out of pubs by self-appointed moral police. We are a nation of startling contrasts where many of us are yet to come to terms with this new emerging India.

We are beyond the point where we can discard English, because it really is a great enabler. And I suppose we will emerge stronger as a race and a nation when we treat English exactly that way – an enabler, not a labeller.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

550 Days Of Summer

The sinking feeling starts towards the end of February; just when the season ending sales start. Don’t get me wrong. I love sales and love stocking up on stuff I won’t need for another eight months. The chill in the air starts waning, the sweaters come off and you discover you have acquired an extra tyre (damn those sinful pralines). The final nail in the coffin is Holi. Spring makes a blink- and- you- -will- miss appearance and sooner than you can let out an anguished aah, you are face to face with the longest, harshest season of the year, summers.

Whoever sang “Those were the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summers” was not an Indian and definitely not a Delhite (actually it was Nat King Cole). The season makes you lazy and robs you of a social life. The sun is out, bright and shining 6.30 in the morning, the afternoon heat is scorching and the evenings are no better. You sweat, you curse. The humidity makes it worse, it saps you of energy, makes your tresses look like Jimmy Hendrix on a bad hair day and your face like an oil smeared pan. (Imagine Mamata Banerjee on an election campaign).

Granted, you get to wear pleasing summery dresses. It’s a nice excuse to shop, check out the new season collection. Your limbs are out for airing. As long as you are in air conditioned environs, it’s manageable. Try an open air rendezvous. It’s a lost battle. Within minutes you manage sweaty patches on your pristine white outfit and your face starts looking like an overheated tomato. You look hot, but of a different kind.

The fruits make summers vaguely tolerable. You gorge on watermelons, litchis, mangoes (the list is quite long). You guzzle tall glasses of chilled drinks and make Baskin Robbins/Walls a richer company. You try to drown your sorrows in the swimming pool and realize a little belatedly that 40 other people have hit upon the same idea. You bang into over excited kids and wonder how many of them have pee-ed in the pool. You beat a hasty retreat.

Summer is also the time for the school/college break. You are choked to the gills with announcements for summer camps and hobby classes. Hurry now, limited seats available. From taekwondo to jazz you have it all. Parents send their kids in the vain hope of turning them into overnight dancing stars with karate skills. The long summer break also makes it possible to plan a summer getaway. You manage a respite even if briefly. The monsoons make a guest appearance. In Delhi you read about it in magazines: skin care for monsoons, 10 smashing looks for the rains (white sari not included), mouth watering snacks for the season. The odd day it does rain we contentedly watch the downpour come down in sheets from our apartment window.


It’s April and the countdown has begun. The Met department made it worse by announcing normal rains this season (they always manage to be accurately inaccurate). We have already started planning our long awaited vacation. Sour green mangoes have made their dazzling debut. I am sipping my chilled glass of nimbu pani and counting the days. It may just be seven months, but feels like eternity, much like 550 days of summer.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Egg-alitarian Society

Young women take to selling eggs. On a leisurely Sunday, sipping my morning cuppa, this headline grabbed my eyeballs. Selling for as high as 50 grand! Where, when, how, can I too? I was all agog until I finished the entire sentence (Patience is not a virtue that I possess). Women are now selling their own eggs and the moolah depends on their looks an qualifications.

Ok, now I am too old to make a killing vending my eggs. But what a colossal waste of years I spent slogging, stressing and ranting over a job when I could have simply shed my inhibitions and eggs and led a carefree life.

Will people be now shopping for eggs, albeit of a different kind? One egg please, 5.6 ish, fair, convent educated, with an IQ higher than 120. Or can I have a homely egg, with creative inclinations. Imagine a world where eggs are tailor made to perfection and a happily ever after future with a genius of a baby.

So, will marriage soon become an obsolete concept? Something that our future generations will read about in their History books! Men and women won’t be requiring each other for procreation anymore. Wombs are on rent, eggs on sale, so why bother. Let’s observe a two minute silence for all those marriage martyrdom jokes that will wilt away to extinction.

Many will argue, this is yet another milestone towards gender equality and empowerment. If alpha males can sell their sperm, can alpha females be far behind! A woman can make thousands by donating just a single egg. Sperm donors on the other hand are paid much less. But the process entails no risk and is hardly any trouble for the men. They get to watch “stimulating visuals” and do what they have to in a private cabin. Egg donation on the other hand is far more risky. Hormones are injected to increase ovulation and the extraction is invasive. This can lead to medical complications in the future. We women never have it easy. All the good things for us always come with a rider.

Can I have a Megan Fox egg and a Lalit Modi sperm please? What a potent combination of beauty and enterprise. Although I do run the risk of having a daughter with His looks and Her brains.

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