Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why do women cry so much?



Image courtesy -
mamakatslosinit.com
We women are a touchy lot. We are sensitive to our feelings, the sun, our butt and most importantly our age. Come to think of it, we were born this way. Not just us but the men as well. Even the khap tau who thinks chowmein causes hormonal imbalances.

I mean, have you seen a baby that came out crying from its Mom’s messy womb with a smile on its face! Giving a high five as the nurse hung it upside down like a bat! No? Neither have I. Babies are born to make us realize that deviousness comes in small packages. Those barbarous little creatures are capable of bringing you down to your knees, gnash your teeth like Rakhi Sawant and drive you up the wall with their unreasonable demands that have lung power and no words.

But sooner than we could say Nirupa Roy, crying became a girlie thing. We the cute in our adorable little pigtails and pink frocks with flowers embroidered on them were suddenly at the mercy of nasty little boys, whose idea of fun was drawing a moustache on our pretty Barbies. We retaliated by wailing so loud that our parents had no choice but to slap those grubby monsters with little hygiene sense.

As we grew older our tear ducts found new avenues. And before we knew it we were shedding tears for a song sung well, a bird so beautiful, love expressed, unexpressed… Crying for our loved ones, with our loved ones and sometimes just for the heck of it. The other day I was sitting and watching Glee and started shedding tears just like that.

People say it’s the hormones. But I think it’s the water we drink. Eight glasses of it, come what may. Come rain, come shine, come earthquakes. Even when we are running down the stairs in panic, we say excuse me…let me drink another glass of water please? If I don’t, it will make me fat.

Now fat is another sore point. Especially that dumb thing, that’s always behind us, follows us like a loyal puppy and keeps getting bigger by the day. Humans call it the bum. We never miss a chance to check ourselves from the most unflattering angles. It always doesn’t have to be a mirror. Any reflecting surface is good enough for us. We most certainly don’t like what stares back at us, try to blame anything that moves for the added inches, publicly proclaim that we have learnt to embrace our curves, privately promise to go on a see-food diet. And then have a red velvet cupcake to soothe our frayed nerves.

Before we know it, we have gained another pound. And then we shed few more copious tears for the jeans, we may never be able to fit in again.

Ask any woman about the milestones in her life and one of them will most certainly be the first time the neighbour’s pimply son called her aunty. I distinctly remember my first time. I cried for years. And blamed my husband for marrying me and putting me in that disgusting category.

It’s imperative for humanity to know we are like Amul Chocolate – too old to play gulli danda but too young to be an Aunty. Especially fellow women.

When we venture into an unknown territory of unfamiliar faces and mysterious age-groups, our sensors start blinking like disco lights. For us it’s very critical to put our about to be friends in older/younger category.

Of course we cannot be blunt and ask directly. And so start the mind games. It starts with subtle interrogation about marital status and kids. We do some complicated addition and multiplication and sigh with relief. Ahh…she has kids in college! She must be a fossil. Then rises the panic attack. How do I tell these old hags that I am not as old as they look!! So we start looking for the first opportunity to announce, how early we got married. Just last week, someone claimed that she got married when she was just 17! I believe you girl.

It gets worse if we are with our husbands. They obviously don’t age well and look much older than they should. And to make it even worse, they usually forget their actual age and happily add a few more years to it. We are distraught, protest loudly and when we finally sit down for dinner, land a firm kick on his shin.

Do you realize that the entire room will go back thinking I am as old as you are!

This is worse than blasphemy.

Me, I’m different. Just like Maggi tomato ketchup. I make sure everyone knows how old I am and then wait to hear – gosh! You don’t look your age. If they don’t, I simply push them off the balcony. Just like that. But this time I don’t cry like Nirupa Roy.

Gold prices don’t make us cry. No, not even the mercurial Sensex. Not even the apathy, the senseless diktats issued for the good of the society. It just fills us with rage.

We cry out of relief, joy, sadness, loneliness, pain and sometimes to beat the stress. But if we cry, we laugh louder. We are women, we do not believe in keeping our emotions in check.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The shameful cheer-haran of Gadhakurry

Courtesy hindujagruti.com
She was resting in her chamber, playing Poker on her iPad. It was that time of the month. She was dressed in a sarong. The same one she and A had bought on their trip to Thighland. The maids were hovering around her anxiously with plates of samosas and jalebis. A hungry memsahib was scarier than a wounded buffalo.

She summoned Sushma, her favourite maid and asked for a rose scented hand wipe. The syrup from the jalebi had made her fingers sticky. Sticky fingers reminded her of 50 shades of Bhima. She didn’t want to risk that, especially when it was “that time of the month”.

She was stretched out on her Lazy Boy when her reverie was broken by a loud commotion outside. Startled she sat up, looking desperately for her clutch to tie up her flowing tresses.

She didn’t have the time. It was Kachrawala. The same Kachrawala who had been acting like an out of control bull and maligning the good character of her kitty circle – Salmon Khushee, Roberto Vonderbra…Accusing them of getting too developed in an underdeveloped land.

Since when did growth become a crime?

Her heart was pounding loudly as she sat up. Damn! Where is that pepper spray I ordered online! She looked like a startled deer, her eyes moving like windshield wipers on a rainy day.

Kachrewala was grinning, his armpits soaked in sweat. Eww! Someone give him an Axe. He was now advancing towards her and in one swift movement grabbed her chubby arm. He was trying to drag her now, all 120 kilos of her. She screamed like a wounded hyena – nahiiiiiin. But Kachrewala was relentless. Today is the day I expose you. The nation wants to see your assets.

In the massive hall, blinded by flashlights of cameras, somebody tried to thrust something in her mouth. It looked like a mike. And then that monster started tugging at her sarong. She screamed, she cussed, she protested, she begged fellow asset holders to intervene - but all she could hear was silence. She spotted Roberta waving a mango at Kachra and Salmon tearing a return ticket into pieces. The rest were clutching on to their vastra, as if their life depended on it.

The sarong was unfolding faster than she could say OMG. Gadhakurry was praying fervently – save me o Lol Krishna. My dignity has always followed you like a lost puppy. Come in your rath and rescue me from ignominy. Lol Krishna gave her a high five and said – do you deeds but don’t expect any fruits. Especially mangoes and bananas.

G had no choice but to divert her pleas to the podium she was standing on. Dear podium, break into pieces and engulf me in your wooden arms.

The podium unable to bear with weight of guilt and Gadha came crashing down. Down fell G and out came her well concealed, lovingly nurtured assets - the deeds for land she had usurped from farmers, the gallons of water that had been diverted from farmlands to sugar and power industries, the cries of hungry children whose fathers had hung themselves from withered trees.

There was a huge crowd surrounding her fallen stature. Everyone was peering hard, a few took pictures with their iPhone, but nobody looked impressed. Their verdict – been there, seen that! We were fantasizing about a sleazier Scamsutra . This looks stale. Just like Poonam Pandey.

All eyes were on Kachrawala now. He looked as if he had just stepped out of a waterfall. Pulling and tugging at a mammoth Gadha is no child’s play. Someone shouted – Hey Kachra, we expect nothing but the stinkiest from you. So, when are you disrobing Profool Patel?



Sunday, October 14, 2012

To be a girl in Haryana

Every birth is a solemn occasion in Dharuhera. Critical decisions have to be made. Will it be sweets or will it be poison, this time? Ratan Mithai stocks both. The baby wails, the elders put a heavy lid on their emotions before they rush to check what’s between its legs. If it’s a boy, the men take out their desi revolvers and start shooting in the air. A little medal that reads “licensed to thrill” is hung around his lil thingie. If it’s a girl, the women start beating their chests. All sixteen of them, who were allowed to live so that they could cook and bear more sons. Now comes the dilemma. Should we bury her alive, poison her or wring her tiny neck?

A girl is a burden. Who has the money and the patience to nurture her, protect her from fellow wolves, arrange for her dowry and get her married when she barely hits her teens!

Even a buffalo is more pampered than she is.

It’s possible she might live. But only if the father faints after banging his wife’s head against the wall or is too busy milking buffaloes in the shed. If she’s allowed to live, she better uphold her family’s izzat. Look what happened to Renu! That stupid girl had to be burnt alive because she fell in love with a lower caste dog.

Is it fair to burden khap taaus with such life threatening decisions? Especially if that blasted girl is your own granddaughter? What to do. These are but small sacrifices one has to make for family’s honour.
 

And now there just sixteen girls in the town. Sixteen against 1786 men. All of them hormonal. The men I mean. All of them made to believe that they are god’s gift to humanity.

Take Vicky for instance. The village stud. Now this title goes to the most virile. His licensed to thrill organ has travelled far and wide, from village to village. What can you do, when out of the dozen women in your village, two of them are your mother and grandmother and the rest of them are busy looking like boys, wrestling in their father’s akhara! He tried his luck with one but got beaten up so badly that his mojo threatened to divorce him. So, he had no choice but to go the nearest village and rape somebody else’s mother or sister. Kya karein, life is like that only.

Vicky has now set his sights higher. He wants to go to Goodgaon – the mythical city of Apsaras. His cousins Rakesh and Dinesh had told him about this millennium city with no electricity and water. Where girls are not only allowed to be born, but are educated. They find jobs, take care of themselves and also have the permission to have fun. They wear small, small dresses and show cleavage that have no bite marks on them. Kalyug hai, bhai kalyug.

In his village girls are spoilt for choices. They can either get killed, raped, married off at 15 or take to wrestling.

So, he takes Sukhdev chachu’s SUV to Goodgaon. The same SUV that Chachu had bought after selling his farmlands for crores to Vadra Loan Company (VLC). He wears his red satin shirt, imported from Mumbai and keeps six buttons open to show off his thick gold chain on his hairy chest. He wants to make friendship with the loose Apsaras of Goodgaon.

But when he tries to say hello to one of them and pats her bottom, he gets a kick on his balls.

Saali! I am the Prince of Darhuhera. My mother fasted for 15 consecutive Mondays for me. My dad killed two toll attendants to celebrate my birth! You, need to be taught a lesson.

At the Police Station, the girl with torn clothes and haunted eyes is interrogated ruthlessly by the SHO. Police constable, Mangat Ram his chachera chachu, takes him aside and slaps his gelled hair affectionately. Bahut naughty to ha gaya hai tu. Tere liye lagta hai Bangal se biwi mangwani padhegi! (You have become very naughty. Looks like, we’ll have to get a bride for you from Bengal)

To be born a girl in Haryana is an ordeal worse than hell. The Chachu,Taus, Chautalas and Vickys will make sure, when you finally leave for your heavenly abode, you never want to be born again.

Image Courtesy - DailyMail.co.uk


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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Are We All Sexists?

My new post for IBNLive....


Courtesy - memegenerator.net
 
How often have you walked down the aisles of a toy store and picked up a “Barbie” for your adorable nephew? Never, right! It’s not as if we have anything against that statistically challenged, perfectly coiffured doll. Why, we have always bought them and their million accessories for our little girls! Smiled indulgently as we watched them spend hours dressing and undressing Barbie and cooking imaginary meals for a party. Now, imagine your son doing the same. Wearing a crown on his head and pretending he’s Ms Universe! You’d be horrified, right? Pray that this too shall pass and he will come back to his senses.

How often have you sniggered at a man wearing yellow shoes and a pink shirt! Asked your son to stop crying and be a man. Called your friend henpecked when you saw him cooking and cleaning up after dinner, while his wife sat with a glass of wine in her hand. Dismissed the overtly assertive woman in your office as a bitch. Honked at the slow moving car and mumbled – only a woman can drive so badly!

What if someone came up to you and called you a sexist? You’d be shocked out of your wits. Protest loudly and sputter that you believe in equality and have respect for members of either gender.

Bullshit. The truth is we are all sexists.

I don’t blame you. It’s the way we have been brought up. Colour conditioned since childhood with the ‘pink is for girls and blue is for boys’ mentality. Girls were meant to look pretty in their frills and boys were meant to look cute in their dungarees. We went to toy stores and didn’t bat an eyelid before picking up trucks for boys and dolls for girls. Watched umpteen movies where the beautiful girl gets rescued by the swashbuckling man and rides with him into the sunset. Found ads where the woman cooks and cleans and worries about her husband’s growing waistline, perfectly normal.
 

These are essentially roles men and women are meant to play in a normal society – the woman as the care giver and the man as the caretaker. That’s how our hairy, cave-dwelling ancestors lived. Papa caveman hunted and mama cooked and bore cave-papa children. She was loving, compassionate and ever willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family’s happiness. He was strong, independent, and always ready to put up a fight for the sake of honour.

I agree times are changing. Traditional ideas about male and female qualities have shifted to serve different purposes and in line with different roles. We have women heading multinational companies and uber successful chefs who are men. A man can change diapers with as much ease as a woman who plans business strategy for her company.
But let’s admit it, a man behaving like a woman or woman cussing like a man, makes us uncomfortable. We expect our daughters to be ladylike and our sons to be knights in shining armour. We are happy playing roles society assigned us. When a woman is in trouble she knows she’s expected to fend for herself but still expects the men around her to come to her rescue. When they don’t, she feels let down. The definition of honour for men and women is completely different. A woman with multiple partners is a slut. A man with multiple partners and a fickle mind is George Clooney.

Men burp loudly and crack fart jokes. Women don’t.

Many of you will argue that you brought up your girls like tomboys. You encouraged them to ride cycles and climb trees. But how many of us will brag about sons who loved dressing in frocks and loved playing house-house.

Pity, that we are happy with our girls acting like boys and not otherwise.

Pity that to be a feminist you have to play the victim and diss men.

We still have a long way to go to be a seamless society where your gender doesn’t define the roles you can play.

Till then we will let our prejudices colour our perceptions. Indulge in lazy stereotyping – crack dumb blonde jokes, think calling north-easteners is our birth right, insist all Punjabis are loud and boorish. We do it because it suits us. Because we are too lazy to question what has been handed to us for ages, why black cannot look like purple, why feminine and masculine should be gender specific.

And those of us who dare to think and behave differently are regarded as anomalies. It takes decades for the rest us to realize they were not stupid but right.

Rights and wrongs evolve with knowledge. Rigidity will get us nowhere. And till realization dawns upon us, we will all continue to be sexists.




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