Friday, October 27, 2017

Hostel Diaries: Straight from the mouth of MaGau

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Year – 2025

Om Prakash Dhankar who is now a 175 feet statue at Veer Savarkar Chowk previously known as IFFCO is fondly remembered as the only minister who kept his promise. It may be recalled that way back in 2017 the State Animal Husbandry and Dairy Minister had announced his grandiose plans for setting up “PG hostels” on 50-100 acres land in major towns in Haryana to rear cows and buffaloes. Thanks to his unwavering commitment and the ambitious Deen Dayal Gauwas Yojna, Haryana is now the Gau capital of the world. Cows from as far as Switzerland and Germany are now thronging to Jaat pastures forcing the steak loving firangs to switch to Patanjali paneer.

Our reporter decided to approach the inmaids of one of the oldest and most prestigious hostels Working GauMaata Chhatrawas (GOTCHA) in Haryana to get a first-hand account of life behind the four walls.

What you’ll read next will leave you speechless.


(Names of hostellers have been changed to protect their identities)


“I spend most of my evenings staring outside my window, looking at my lower caste sisters shitting without a care in the world and swaying their tails with gai abandon” says Bhuteshwari. We are at the grounds outside the hostel champitheatre, where the gau and bhains get their weekly massage. Bhuteshwari and a few of her friends have gathered to share their experiences of life in the hostels at GOTCHA. Shifting uncomfortably in her khakhi shorts, Slutty-Savitri hisses “you know why they made us wear these shorts?” “Our chief-rakshak, BC Bhagmat was inseminated with the idea that our naked butts were sending wrong signals to the bulls in the neighbouring hostel. Bullshit! They squeezed us and our tails into these discarded RSS shorts to curb our freedom of expression.”

“This is bloody bovine injustice!”

The gais and bhais don’t want reveal their names because they could “get suspended” for speaking up against the administration. And then, as the evening starts to fade into darkness, they must head back in time for the ‘curfew’ hour, that begins at 8pm.

“From 9am-5pm, we are busy being milked. After that, we only have time till 8pm to do things such as visit the main gaibrary with limited internet access, visit our favourite garbage joints, or meet friends to talk about our achhe din which is now just a mammary,” says Abhainstika. After the main gates close, there’s a roll call to ensure all the gais and bhais are in. “If you are not in by then, it’s a serious violation of rules,” says Moomita, another inmaid. “The bulls, however, can stay out till 10pm, and unlike us, don’t need permission to step out after the deadline. They are even spared the ignominy of squeezing themselves into RSS shorts.”

“It’s like being born a gai was the greatest sin!”

“It wasn’t always like that,” sighs Gauteeka, the hostel’s oldest inmate. “There was a time when we were free to roam from dawn to dusk, chew cud and ruminate about world peace at roundabouts while bringing the traffic to grinding halt. Why, we could even get men killed for daring to look at us with hungry eyes!”

“Not anymore. We are now like chattels of powerful dairy magnates and who can’t keep their hands off our booty. From our poop, to pee, to our milk, they want it all. Greedy bastards!”

“We all feel udderly exploited.”

“What makes us mad is that the bulls have no such curbs. They can come and go as they please while the authorities turn a blind eye. Once a few of them forcibly entered our hostel and were like bulls in a china shop! Spotting a bull masturbating under our windows is a cowmon occurrence.”

Why should gais and bhais be deprived of attending events on campus after 8pm, the girls ask? Why can’t we talk on their mobile phones after 10pm, if the bulls can? Why are gais, unlike bulls, not allowed to bring their friends into their rooms? And why can’t they visit the gaibrary until 11pm when the bulls with no academic inclination can?

BC Bhagmat, chief- rakshak of GOTCHA when approached for his side of the story was quick to lay emphasis on “respect for gais and bhais”, who represent societal “prestige and honour”. “I am only thinking like a father: if a daughter is not safe on the streets, then the father will have to keep her inside the house,” he mooed.

The last few months have seen simmering discontent on the campus. The hostellers are far from amoosed that instead addressing their security concerns by bringing the bulls to task, it’s they who are being subjected to constant moral policing. This has led to a growing breed of feminazis who are demanding equal rights as bulls. They like to call themselves Rani Khaasi. They are a far cry from their demure foremothers who were content to chew cud all day. The current breed doesn’t shy from demanding more because they know they are worth it.

The Khaasis have been placed under house-arrest for demanding fodder for thought, spa and Yoga centres before their VC. This has not deterred them. It has been herd that they will now add voting rights to their list of demands.

It’s 8.05pm, and as the gais rush to make it past the gates, Bhuteshwari turns thoughtful and says, “It seems that the University doesn’t want us to think for ourselves. There’s no space for us to demand our rights, or express our opinion.

“We are now being treated like women” and stifles a tiny sob.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Women not crackers make Diwali special

Take out the woman of the house from festivities and it becomes a cold, empty house waiting to be filled with happy laughter. 

A major cluster of our cherished childhood memories hover lovingly around festivals. And it was our parents, their extra efforts that made these celebrations so special for us. Add to it the innocence that didn’t count calories, fret about the logistics and then complain about the stress, these occasions were the most looked-forward-to. 

Festivals for most of us were not just limited to the day of celebration. Like any well scripted story it built up over time, kept us on tenterhooks, made us impatient with excitement before reaching its crescendo.

It would start with anticipation of goodies which would give an extra spring to the steps we took. Unlike the hedonism of the present that eats out twice a week and shops till it drops, our past had few excesses. Our parents belonged to the era that believed in rationing material pleasures. So eating-out, a new dress and shoes were would wait for special occasions. If we had just watched a movie, stopping for ice-cream on our way back was a sure shot way of corrupting our souls beyond repair.

It was during festive occasions that our parents loosened up a bit. We were allowed second and third helpings of sweet treats and a few more when Mom was not looking. Almost all of them were homemade and invariably made by her. She’d spend long hours in the kitchen while we danced around her like excited puppies.

Is there anything in this world that tastes better than fresh off the griddle malpua dunked in a degchi of sticky sugar syrup?

When she was not busy in the kitchen, she was engrossed in making alpona on the floor with ground rice paste while I’d squat beside her and watch her in mesmerised silence. Each festival we celebrated had her distinctive stamp –from the 14 diyas she lit on chhoti Diwali, to the bhog she made during Lakshmi Puja, to the paste of turmeric and mustard oil she’d keep for us in the bathroom to slather ourselves with in honour of the beauteous and talented Saraswati. Durga Puja meant weeks of preparation for the many competitions that were held at the pandal during the Pujas.

When you are ten, all you want to do is make your Maa happy. So you recite poetry with emotions you don’t comprehend, participate in dance-dramas with your face caked with ghastly make-up, play musical chairs even though you hate it, all in an attempt dazzle her friends and relatives with your unimaginable talent.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Have We Let Our Children Down?

Photo courtesy - Google images

You don't realise how deeply you are capable of loving till you have your own child. As an adult who’s seen the world that can be kind and cruel, soft and harsh, cheerful and sinister, you want to shelter them from the worst and experience the best humanity has to offer. You want their childhood to be a cherished memory and not a nightmare.

So, when you read about a boy, all of 7, killed brutally for resisting sexual advances of a crazed man inside the safe confines of his school, your heart bleeds. You are filled with rage at the school for taking safety of your most precious so casually. You grieve for the parents who will be left with a gaping hole in their heart for the rest of their lives.

But the first thought that engulfs any parent is – what if it were my own child! I was living in Brisbane, and my daughter in Delhi when the Nirbhaya incident sent chills down our spine. It also brought out my worst fears. As much as I hated myself for doing it, I would ask her to be home by evening, carry a Swiss Knife with her at all times and my insides would turn into a gnawing jelly of anxiety, every time she wouldn’t pick up the phone.

Every time a child gets sexually assaulted or worse killed, we are overcome with helpless rage. It was appalling to find out that Ryan International has toilet facilities shared by students and the non-teaching staff including drivers and conductors. Children are easy targets for deviants. Also it's a known fact that paedophiles seek employment/engagement in organisations where they are in close proximity with children. It’s baffling that the school didn’t bother with background checks before hiring the non-teaching staff.

It is a colossal tragedy of our times that sexual abuse of children is not given the importance it deserves. It is either shrouded in complicit silence or the perpetrator is let off with a reprimand. The bus conductor who murdered Pradyuman allegedly had a history of sexual misdemeanours. Yet the school that dismissed him just a few months back didn’t think it was important to file a police complaint.

As a nation whose track record of safety for its citizens is far from exemplary, we still do not have a national database of sexual offenders. It’s not as if demands for one have not been raised before but our outrage that follows reports of sexual abuse in schools has the attention span of an amoeba.

The Delhi Police has chalked out a plan of action to look into the issue of security of children in schools following the Ryan incident. I am sure the Haryana government will also come up with their own list of rules and regulations for schools to follow. But simply drafting hurriedly made rules for children’s safety is not enough. If new laws and rules could keep us safe, no woman would be afraid to step out in the dark, no man would think twice before stopping to a take a bleeding accident victim to the hospital, no rapist will have the audacity to rape again and again.

Police background checks become just a useless piece paper when you know that the police chowki will simply sign the form without any physical verification for a mere 500 Rs. Regulations are of no use if the school lacks the sincerity to implement them.

One single lapse is all a predator needs to slip through the safety net.

So how do we keep our children safe?

Monday, August 28, 2017

How To Be An Asshole and still be Mistaken as God


Hello, my lovely disciples

Let me start by congratulating you for being a lucky bastard. Now now, don’t start fancying yourself as John Snow. Your case is different. You are blessed to be born in India and a time where despite free flowing spirits, spirits are at an all-time low and outrage at an all-time high. With the breakup of Suraj Barjatiya type of familial connections where even the dog is happy, families have become nuclear, happiness an elusive entity, satisfaction comes with no guarantee and everything you cherished is being relegated to history. You are often consumed with the fear of being part of the rootless and faceless herd, leading a life of perpetual consequence. And boy, you are so right!

Now that I have acquainted you with reality, don’t try to kill yourself or others by sharing your soppy poetry about your shitty life. If you follow my guidelines carefully, you can become the most powerful and wealthy asshole, with a following of millions ready to lap-up any bullshit you spew including achhe din. You don’t need degrees from elite institutions or be particularly gifted. All you need is a gift of the gab and a proclivity of making promises you have no intention of fulfilling. You have to master the art of making a fool of millions. Once you’ve achieved that, anything you do or don’t will be hailed as the best thing to have happened to mankind since chhole bhature.

Across the world religion is becoming the fastest growing business venture. Since there’s never a shortage of the gullible masses waiting to believe that their very existence is under threat from evil forces, all you need to do is prey on their fears and make them believe you are their saviour. If they don’t have it, create it. Mine on their ignorance and you will yield a rich harvest of unfounded fears and hostility towards one and all. Make them feel wronged, alienated. Then you can slowly take control of their lives by becoming their spiritual guide, psychologist, family confidante, semen donor and money launderer.

Remember, this is the age of instant noodles, news, outrage, opinion, love, breakups, fame and satisfaction. So why should salvation be left behind! If all it takes is two minutes to commit a grievous sin and make Maggi, it is unreasonable to wait a lifetime for moksha. And since God is like homeopathy, more faith than reality, it makes sense to look for the real deal in flesh and blood.

So here lies your opportunity for becoming their God. The one that can be seen, touched, heard, and is a one stop shop of redressal for all their grievances.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dear Magazine, I am not sorry we broke up



The newspaper is dying a slow death, but not in India. For many households it’s still the perfect accompaniment with morning tea even though the many reports of horrific rapes and killings fill you with sorrow and disgust at the same time. Every member of the family has a favourite page. During my teen-angsty days ‘the middle’ mostly witty accounts of personal anecdotes, was my favourite. My Dad stuck to the sports page and Mom would devour very inch of the paper. When the ‘middle’ was removed, I shed lonely tears on its demise. Unfortunately, there was no social media where I could call for a candlelight vigil.

These days I spend most time on the editorial page. In this age of constant explosion of news that’s breaking the Internet every few minutes, you need a learned and well-informed pen to help you make sense of the chaos and cacophony that passes off as news.

As in any middle class home where a household item has nine lives before its expiry, the newspaper too enacts many roles with ease. After it has fulfilled its purpose of informing and sending ripples of outrage down our spine, it quietly takes on the humble job of lining shelves in cupboards and cleaning windows. The ones that escape this ordeal hand meekly surrender themselves to the local raddiwala who defies inflation and offers lesser and lesser money for the same pile.

As I hand over the stack of rustling newspapers to its new custodian, I can’t help but notice the few odd magazines cutting a lonely picture. I carefully avert my eyes from their accusing glances. They believe I have forsaken them for a new lover and they are right.

Damn you, online distractions!

The fact is, we did have a passionate love affair for decades. They were my besties after a long, tiring day, my before bed companion, the secret behind my know-all attitude. I remember how excited RayMan was when I trundled home with Cosmopolitan and 110 ways to make your man sigh in bed. I read them all, giggled, rolled my eyes and then promptly forgot all the tips. And my man let out a loud sigh.

It was through Illustrated Weekly I discovered great artists and their work. My Maa’s Bangla magazine with its agony aunt column where youngsters would share incestuous, forbidden and supremely weird but exciting tales of love and longing stoked my desire to learn the language. Magazines were a one stop shop for stories, opinion pieces, satire and how to use onion juice to rejuvenate your hair.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Period leave – Yay or Nay for Empowerment


I will conquer the world but only after I am done with my periods

A Mumbai based firm in their attempt to be more women friendly has granted first day period leave to all its women employees. Yay! This should start making men wish they had periods too - the mythical condition that makes perfectly normal women turn into raging monsters. This monthly ritual of shedding eggs is much like the short skirt – the most popular defence for rapists and their many sympathisers. Every time a woman creates a scene, screams her lungs out, gets into an argument because she’s tired of taking shit, it is promptly attributed to the big P or her sis PMS. Either this, or she is menopausal, or may not be getting enough sex.

So deep is this rot in the mindset, a Trump voter went on to say the reason why she’ll never vote for Hillary is because a woman should never be the President. Her hormones that play hide and seek make her so volatile that she can start wars, totally ignoring the fact that both the world wars were started by leaders who were men.

That the future of world peace depends on the mental health of our vagina is a huge responsibility to shoulder. Phew!

Despite menstruation taking the blame for all the ills that befall mankind, it’s funny to note how little men know about it. Or rather choose not to know about it. Never mind the fact that they had taken the same path as period blood to slide out into the world.

Ah, well!

Thankfully we have come a long way from the time when menstruation was thought to make women periodically dangerous. The reason why we were kept in isolation, away from public space and temples, lest we desecrate its holiness.

Period is no longer the condition that renders us bechaari and immobile. We can choose what we want to do – run, swim, scale mountains, barge our way into temples or even go to office, Hell, I can go to my neighbourhood chemist and walk out with a pack of sanitary napkins without its soulmate, the brown paper bag!

No one but us gets to tell us what we can or cannot do. So a Serena Williams wins the Australian Open when she was 8 weeks pregnant. A well into her fifth month Gal Gadot plays the warrior princess in Wonder Woman and slays.

We are no longer shy from talking about what we go through when we are menstruating. Something that was unthinkable for generations before us.

So forgive me if I feel confused when a period leave is hailed as a giant leap for womankind.

Yes, I get it. It is an acknowledgment of what we go through, the uneasiness, the cramps that come and go like electricity in Gurgaon. For some women it’s worse – fainting spells, vomiting, debilitating pain that brings life to a grinding halt. But the lack of a period leave has never stopped us from staying home when it was too much to bear, right?

If we are okay with taking a holiday earmarked as ‘period leave’, what’s stopping us from going to our boss from telling, look, I am about to get my periods, the pain is unbearable. I need to go back home. And if PL is the new normal, why not make provisions for pre-menstrual syndrome as well? Bar women from being part of key decision making, meeting high-value clients, closing business deals, because hey, it’s that time of the month when her mood swings faster than a movie star’s sexual orientation.

I will conquer the world but only after I am done with my periods?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Open the door, the Goddess is right outside


If you are a woman of reasonable means living in India, chances are you have seen God regardless of your caste, belief and pet prejudices.

For those of you unfortunate enough to be deprived of this divine viewing let me describe to you in detail what it feels like.

Like all good things in life this too doesn't come easily. In fact it is a lengthy process that entails a lot of suffering, uncertainty, anxiety that gnaws at your insides. It's a lot like when you have the misfortune of going to a government office to get a job done. By the end of the ordeal and no solution in sight, you wish you were born a lizard with no responsibilities other than flicking your tongue around for your next meal.

Tragically the longer the suffering is, the higher the probability is of the sighting. Your mood swings like a pendulum on testosterone. You alternate between anger at being betrayed and extreme melancholy. Women experience dehydration from frequent bouts of crying. It is likely to occur when you are on all your fours with a mop in hand, your hair greasy from sweat.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, all you will hear is sad strains of the violin. Nothing feels right anymore, not even your favourite TV series. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ playing for the zillionth time at club near you doesn’t annoy you anymore. You feel exhausted all the time mentally and physically and often end up reminiscing about achhe din which was your reality just a week back.

But no, the unevolved type you are, you refused to appreciate the gloriousness of the present when everything worked with clockwork precision and you actually had time to post photos of flowers, cute kittens and your dinner. Instead you chose to find faults with it. You cribbed about cups with tea-stains, the carpet that looked it hasn't been brushed for weeks.

You refused to appreciate your achhe din while you were living it.

Maybe you deserved this living hell. Perhaps you were asking for it by behaving inappropriately.

But with great distress comes greater introspection. As you are crouched over the sink cleaning the pile of dishes, you chide yourself for being ungrateful for comforts you took for granted.

You are often spotted near the window scanning the horizon for missing achhe din.

Mind you, there will come a time when you might feel tempted to cheat. Especially when the one you trusted so deeply has gone silent. Won't even pick up your calls, reply to your drunk texts, refuse to LOL on all the WA jokes you forward.

Perhaps it is time to move on. Should I start looking for a new acche din?

You give yourself a tight slap for being so impatient. Shutup, Purba, you tell yourself. You have invested so much in this relationship. Don’t give up. Not yet.

Thankfully you manage to assure yourself it is meant to last forever.

So you wait with Zen like patience. You meditate to keep your equilibrium intact. Soon you start experiencing detachment from discomforts you experience but only in spurts. The rest of the time you continue wallowing in misery and trying to unknot your stomach.

And then one day when you are on the cusp of attaining Nirvana and losing your sanity, the bell rings. You drag yourself to the door and open it and lo behold, you are greeted with the most beautiful sight. There she is glowing like a goddess, looking a little shamefaced for putting you through hard labour. Your body is trembling with unsaid emotions and your eyes well up with tears. It takes immense willpower from collapsing at her feet with relief. Before she can say, Didi, you close her mouth with your hands and whisper – bass kar pagli, rulayegee kya?

It’s been two days. Your eyes can’t stop following her like a puppy as she sweeps the floor. Once or twice when she has caught you staring, you immediately start looking intently at your phone and post a few lame jokes on Twitter. You are now making a mental note of buying her a new sari from Amazon.

Maybe I’ll give her something in peacock blue this time. It’ll suit her dusky complexion.

Better still, I’ll build a shrine for her in my heart. After all behind every carefree and footloose woman is her kamwali bai.


Monday, June 19, 2017

An Idiots Guide to How to Compliment a Woman Without Offending Her

Courtesy Google images

Certain men seem to be under the impression that they are in charge of a woman’s self-worth, and not without reason. Since the time they sprouted facial hair, they have been told a woman squeezes herself in asthma inducing dresses, totters in high-heels and spends hours prettying herself only for his attention. As a true gentleman it is his duty to reward her for all her efforts by looking intently at her cleavage and mumble ‘you are hot’, while scratching his scrotum.

What puzzles him is, instead of rolling over with gratitude and bounding towards him with her tongue hanging out, she has the temerity to walk in the opposite direction.

Ungrateful bitch!

Seriously, do these creatures even know what they want? He can recount countless instances where he tried to appreciate her legs in those teeny-weeny shorts and dresses she wears by leering at them. Once he even dropped a few drops of drool on her thighs. The confused muddle-head shrieked in horror and slapped him hard instead!

Of course he was butt hurt. He immediately put on Attaullah Khan's classic, achha silaa diya tune mere pyaar ka and asked himself again and again, tears rolling down his cheeks - isn’t this the sole purpose of wearing cleavage revealing, thigh baring and curve flaunting dresses?

He ran to the nearest temple, hung from the bell and demanded to know from God in his most pain-stricken voice, why are women like this? God as usual gave him the silent treatment.

Do you think even God is a woman? Hey Bhagwan!

Not the one to give up so easily and also because his virginity depended on it, he tried to take the sophisticated path. It was a busy weekend when he spotted a very shapely posterior at the pub. He walked up to it and said – Girl, are you polio? Coz you’re making my legs weak. She laughed like a hyena and rolled her eyes like windshield wipers. Goddammit! He then went to the dance floor and stared soulfully at the women dancing. He almost dropped his pitcher of beer when he saw a mature type lady smile at him. He immediately ran up to her and started doing his Dharmendra type moves. To show his thoughtful side, he even offered to drop her home, even though she was in no mood to go back. When she refused, he asked all the other ladies at the pub if he could drop them safely at home, because zamana is so kharab, I tell you!

Shaandaar is 28, still a virgin. And has very little time left to lose it. His Mom is busy looking for a girl who doesn’t go to malls to be his bride.



What baffles Shaandaar is these girls who treat him like he’s some sort of infection, do khi khi with other boys. They are not even half as good-looking as he is. What do they have that he doesn’t? He has biceps, triceps, fair and handsome looks, his Dad gifted Audi, couple of kothis in Gurgaon and Ma kaa andha pyaar.

Monday, May 8, 2017

If You Believe You Are A Supermom, You are a Victim not a Victor



avoid socializing with women who cannot talk beyond their kids. No, it has nothing to do with them making me feel like a useless Mom. An alien who can’t even recall the name of the papers her daughter is appearing for in her final exams next week among a sea of women who know each chapter of the course-book by heart. Rather I am filled with dread as I hear them discuss their sons and daughters’ goals they have set and make plans for a future that’ll have them at the steering wheel.

Like any mother holding her baby for the first time in her arms, I too was overcome with a resolution of being the best Mom in this universe to my only child. The one I had birthed after 12 hours of excruciating pain. I read up all the books that were ever written on childcare in the history of humanity. I constantly exchanged notes with other Mommies on diets, regimens, early habits that should be inculcated to bring up a superkid. I slogged, stressed and worried incessantly. But somewhere along the line I realised no matter what I did, there were always tots who were brighter, better, chubbier than my baby.

Our neighbour’s toddler was a sterling example of everything my daughter wasn’t. All I had to do was step out on the balcony and our neighbour’s 2 and a few months old kid would start reciting the alphabet song with sickening accuracy. Two taps on the kid’s back he would start quoting from Shakespeare and three taps was when he’d launch into his take on quantum theory. It was as if his Mom had made it her sole mission to dazzle me with her son’s brilliance. My 3 year old daughter unmindful of her mother’s crippling feeling of inadequacy would continue caressing the utensils that she’d dragged from the kitchen with the broom.

It got worse when Tee started school. This is where I had my first taste of supermoms. This specimen was always found hovering near the teachers, could be spotted at all school events volunteering and never missed a PTM in its life. Its offspring was half a dozen chapters ahead of the class and usually had a super-achieving elder sibling in the same school. After school these alpha kids were carted to their theatre, dancing, piano, painting, gymnastics and math-for-genius classes.

These kids stood out from the rest of the class. They believed they were better than the rest and had this vicious need to assert themselves by ganging up their friends against students who couldn’t care less about their supremacy. It was as if they had internalized their parents’ aggression and anxiety to excel.

As a mother I understand this need of working ceaselessly towards making your ward outshine others. Then there’s maternal instinct that makes you do everything possible to protect her from despair, failure and hurt. But when this extends to micro-managing her life - treating her school projects, assessments, exams, even disagreements with friends as your own, you encourage the apple of your eyes to absolve herself of responsibility and accountably. You end up raising kids incapable of handling stress, failure on their own. And this extends to their adulthood when you are no longer available to fret and fuss around them.

Monday, April 24, 2017

No One Knows Us Better Than Our Bed

A Bed Is Not Just a Bed, Its Much More

Image courtesy - Google Images

When I was growing up, the bed in our house was not just a place where we retired to at the end of a long day. It was something that became what you wanted it to be – an easy chair, a couch, a coffee table, a study table or an oasis you needed to revive your soul. It hosts all the stages of the theatre of your life – as a baby in your mother’s lap, as a child seeking refuge from reality, as a lover discovering intimacy, as a couple going through the highs and lows together, as a person well-lived on his last journey.

During my growing up years, it would turn into a bat cave on hot summery afternoons. All I had to do was crawl under it and into my world of make-believe. Behind the spider-web curtain was my kingdom that no one could invade. When I would get bored of conjuring up my own fantasies, I would turn into a dead log on the bed. The book in my hand would transport me to a world where a kind old man helped kids in trouble, but not before he served them lemonade and cakes.

When my cousins would visit us during the summer break, it would turn into our adda corner. All of us stuck to each other like glue, talking about god-knows-what till our Moms’ voices calling out for us would break our non-stop chatter. It was where I spent hours coochie-cooing to my crush as he gazed at me dumb-struck by my beauty ; the tall dark handsome hero who smiled once every fortnight gave me asthmatic attacks as he swooped me into his arms. Sadly I’d have to shoo him away when my Mom caught my glazed eyes and silly grin look.

Clutching my cramped with anxiety stomach just the day before the exam, the heart sinking deeper because my syllabus was far from finished. Hugging the pillow as I listened to numbers requested by lovelorn boys for their crush on the radio and hoping someday someone would also dedicate a song to me. Sleepless nights, silent cries, dreamy sighs – my bed had seen it all. For me it was a place where I found and lost myself again and again.

I found out much later in life that it was not just me with an umbilical connection to my bed. Rather, laying on bed at awkward angles with legs propped up on the wall while philosophising about the purpose of your life is a national passion. RayMan’s favourite anecdote from his hostel days is when one of the parents came looking for their son and found instead a heap of skinny boys in their bare necessities (or not) stacked on each other.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Finding Me in Us


We have both found the ‘I’ in us and are not letting go of it. 

Every couple has their favourite chapter of their life they love regaling their friends with. Over the years their story-telling skills reach legendary proportions. They constantly scold each other for having missed the punchlines, laugh the loudest at their own jokes and pat themselves on their backs for having mesmerised their guests with their scintillating stories unmindful of their glazed eyes and loud yawns.

When they run out of friends, they wait for their kids to get married. Ask any daughter-in-law and she’ll agree, when-we-were-young-and-fabulous stories repeat themselves more often than history.

We have ours too and our favourite one goes back to our just married days. At that time we were two individuals with likes and dislikes as mismatched as Pahlaj Nihlani and rest of India’s views on censorship. The tea fanatic in him was appalled that his brand new mate for life couldn’t stand the sight of tea and preferred a glass of milk instead. The poor guy had envisioned both of us sipping tea and exchanging life’s philosophies with the setting sun. I was the Rajmah, bharta girl and he was the potoler-dalna, machher jhol guy.

Since we were in no mood to push our tastebuds out of their comfort zones, we’d cook our own meals. It didn’t help that we fell in love with each at different points of time. I mean when you are in love, don’t you partly surrender your ego and partly embrace his while he tch thchs at your temper tantrums?

He the rice eater would fix a 3 course meal in our dingy kitchen of our barsati half-submerged in his sweat-pool. Me, the roti girl would wonder if married life was about rolling amoeba shaped chappatis after a long day at work.

I think it was me who caved in first because I still remember how long and loud my Maa laughed when I told her I’d just had roti with aloo-posto. [To the uninformed, this is close to sacrilege]

As time progressed, our love matured from the tumultuous river gushing down the hills to its serene and deep version meandering through the plains. We embraced each other’s passions and peeves (most of them) while discovering new ones together. While we still stuck to our rice and roti ways, he learnt to appreciate chanaa masala with a hint of tanginess and I started cooking machh, chochoris and sukto during the weekend that we both ate with relish.

We’d cherish our us-time even if it meant watching a Hindi movie with me he didn’t quite fancy.

Not anymore.

For someone whose life revolved around her family and work suddenly decided she was missing the woman shorn of the roles of a mother, wife, daughter and sister. So I started thinking of things that made just me happy. It helped that I had just left my job with a fair bit of coercion from RayMan. With leisure time on hand I was now actively pursuing interests that I never had the time for.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Behind Every Successful woman are a Dozen Men Admiring Her Behind

Helpful tips on how to deal with sexual predators at office without having to kick his balls
Image courtesy - Google images


Hello Beti,

Congrats on landing your dream job. You must be soaring in the sky like an out of control kite. Allow me to fill you with dread and some unsolicited advice. Before I begin my monologue, let’s make it very clear - relinquishing your sanskaari position at home (the silent, supporting daughter-wife-mother behind a “man”) was a BAD IDEA. What made you think could step out of the house and become successful in your own right! Must have been those silly quotes that pop up like zits every Women’s Day.

Cool that you slogged your ass off to ace all your exams, made the company reject scores of candidates to hire you and are finally who and what you want to be. You also may have convinced yourself that you are capable, smart, intelligent and determined to achieve any goal you have set for yourself. But that guy in the corner cubicle giving you that creepy smile would rather have lauki ki sabzi every day of his life than accept this fact. For him you are just a piece of meat regardless of what you do and how many obstacles you scale to reach for that glass ceiling.

Don’t blame him. He has been on a diet of sexist WhatsApp forwards themed around shaadi-is-every-man’s-barbadi for so long, he has convinced himself of his bechara status. Never mind the clean house and warm meals that await him every evening. He’s too much of a decent guy to let go of his oppressive marriage and deprive his Missus of her many back-breaking duties and a listless life. Office is his only chance of fun on the side – yet another gyaan he has got from boss-secretary jokes where the secretary’s sole duty is to pleasure her boss.

So, it’s hardly a surprise that he is a firm believer of equality and harasses all women equally.

Correction. He fancies himself as a hopeless admirer of comely charms. When he finds a woman irresistible, he makes her aware of his sincere feelings through many thoughtful gestures like pinching her butt, sharing porn clips and suggesting they do a quickie to ease the unbearable tension between his legs.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A woman confident in her own skin is the beauty industry’s biggest nightmare

Courtesy - Google images


The beauty industry capitalizes on our insecurities because we let them.


My monthly visit to the salon plays like a typical saas-bahu saga that blares on telly every evening. The pedicure guy takes one look at my feet and starts weeping. With sad strains of violin playing in the background he looks up at me with sorrowful eyes and croaks – yeh kyaa haal banaya hai? I look shamefully at my calloused feet and croak back – that’s why I have come to you, you dickhead! If I am in a mood to severely disappoint many more, I get a hair-spa and sometimes a facial. The hair-spa guy runs his fingers through my hair, shakes his head in slow motion and before he can open his mouth I say no, I will not go for the ‘schizophrenia soaked in rare oils mined from Russia and then ground to fine paste with hibiscus and tiger testicles’ package. He looks heartbroken but I keep shaking my head like an autowallah who says no before you even say ‘bhaiyya?’ A lot depends on my no. If I let the facial lady have her way, she’ll will pull off the outer layer of my facial skin to reveal baby soft bleeding skin. She looks appalled when I tell her with a smug smile, I’m perfectly happy with my tanned skin and won’t do a thing to change it. Yet she tries to change my mind, every single time.

It’s a bit of a dilemma for me. On one hand I am constantly being told by my Facebook friends who I haven’t met about my gorgeousness. Then there are Twitter majnus who insist I’m the hottest thing to have happened since global-warming. And I believe every single one of them. So, you can imagine my consternation when I am told everything about me is sub-standard.

What, are you kidding me!

I get it, it is the salon’s job to make me feel miserable about myself. But it is my right to ask them to fuck off. Especially when I’m told they only way to beauty nirvana is a treatment that costs a king’s ransom.

The beauty industry, has built its fortune equating youth with beauty, slimness with desirability and dark skin tone that banishes you to a future as hopeless as Abhishekh Bachchan’s career. We are told, ageing is the gravest crime we can commit. Though Mr Pahlaj Nihalani who is dead against ladies indulging in unlady like fantasies may disagree. Therefore we must spend hours staring at the mirror, searching for fine lines, crow’s feet, dark spots and then arrest them immediately by mummifying ourselves with anti-ageing lotions, potions and serums. It works mostly, the guilt I mean. Many of us start believing in the magical powers of fairness in a tube, eternal youth in a pretty little jar and salon perfect hair in a plastic bottle.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ready for some hard-core pounding and grunting in public?


Story of a woman on a quest for that special one who can make her heart race faster


Let’s take a hypothetical character – a woman, plumpish of appearance, she spends a lot of time sharing and staring at her once upon a time slim pics. Even though she’d rather believe her Facebook friends who insist she’s gorgeous right after she calls them smoking hot, she doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. Her state of mind is like a pendulum – swinging between proud to be me and dissatisfaction with her extra-large curves. But her pesky little inner voice keeps telling her she’s lazy and too mortified to take the big step. Till one day she can’t bear the burden of her procrastinations anymore. After much self- loathing and soul-searching deliberations, she walks into a commitment that she thinks will change her life.

She approaches him gingerly because she knows it’s she who has to make the first move. She notices he’s bulky, his muscles rippling, his eyes red from whatever he’s been taking. She really doesn’t care. With a lot of good, comes a little bad and she’s ready to embrace it all. She takes a deep breath before she croaks – main badi ass leke aaee hoon apke pass. He turns around, sizes her up and replies with a smile – don’t worry, madam. Together will make it smaller.

Thus begins their journey of turning her bhains into tight-ass. He is now her dartboard because she has pinned all her hopes on him. She’s convinced that her knight with his shining dumbbells will rescue her from her large sized jeans and squeeze her into size small. She has already dreamt of the looks of envy her friends will give her once she sashays in her skinnies that cling to her like fungus.

It’s not as rosy as she’s imagined it to be although she always ends up looking like an over-heated tomato, her hair in disarray once he’s done with her. The first few days she can’t even walk straight.

Sick bastard, she mutters to herself.

It’s a love hate relationship. He’s so brutal with her! Makes her carry weights, swing kettle-bells, run for her life, jump up and down while he sits like a lord and master ordering her around.

Some days when she’s grunting, screaming obscenities because it’s so painful, sweat trickling into her eyes from her eyebrows, and the brute who has promised to transform her screams WATER BREAK, she’s afraid she’ll actually pop out a baby.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bhansali renames Padmavati to Mayawati and makes her great again

Bhansali bends backwards just like Ramdev.
Image courtesy - google.com

Protests over the movie “Padmavati” took a new turn with Rajput groups coming up with fresh demands of title change. It may be recalled that Karni Sena distressed over a script they had yet to read and a movie that’s yet to be made, beat up Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director and vandalised the set. The incident drew sharp condemnations from the political community. Union Minister Giriraj Singh accused Bhansali of showing Rani Padma in a bad light just because she was a Hindu. BJP leader, Khandelwal went a step ahead and announced a reward of Rs 10,000 to anyone who hurls a shoe at the director. His fatwa is now being sponsored by Bata.

State President of Karni Sena, Mr Maarkaat Seeng expressing his displeasure said, “The film is deviating from facts about Padmavati presented in Amar Chitra Katha comics. In a WhatsApp rumour circulated in our community group, it has come to our notice that the honour of a queen who’s as fictitious as our outrage, is at stake. We as a community take our comics as seriously as we do rumours and will not tolerate any distortions. Since women can’t seem to make decisions for themselves and always need saving, the Karni Sena was just doing their duty.”

Sanjay Leela Bhansali wasted no time in appeasing the distressed sainiks who had thrashed him mercilessly. Sporting the same shirt lovingly torn by the protestors, he assured them that the romantic dream sequence will have Khilji touching Padmavati’s feet, after which he’ll scream Bharat Mata ki Jai.

The demand for title change was raised at a joint press conference convened by Rajput Sabha to announce that Bhansali needs to grovel some more to seek their permission to make the movie.

Bhansali, was quick to respond before they could take further offence and make his life hell. In a statement issued to the press he said “I’d like to assure the Rajput community, I am extremely sensitive to their sensitive feelings. I am trying my best to make my creative license die of natural causes. My team is in consultation with Salman Khan and his legal team. Mr Khan has assured me, he will run it over with his SUV and make his driver take the blame.”

He further went on to apologise for blatantly distorting the fictitious tale of Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. Khilji, despite having considerable accomplishments to his credit, is only remembered for his unholy lust for someone else’s wife. Padmavati, instead of first bhai-zoning and then blocking him, chose to take her life and made sure her companions did the same. Bitch.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

'Tis The Age Of Designer Baby Names



Nobody names their kid Neha anymore. Yet, if I were to stand at the Rajiv Metro Chowk station and scream Nehaaaaaaaa, at least 67 women of all shapes and sizes will turn around and come running towards me. Add Mamta, Sanjay, Vineet, Preeti to that list. They are all part of a generation whose parents didn’t break into a sweat while naming their offspring. The ones that fancied themselves as ‘modern’, preferred Silky, Tina, Sunny, Honey, Bunny. The sanskari ones left the onus on the grandparents, who in turn would consult their family pandit, astrological charts and name the unsuspecting baby after their favourite God. So, if you had a Janardana, Bhavamochani, Dayanidhi in your class, you knew who to blame for their lifelong misery.

New age parents are different. Not only do they start reading up books on all the possible diseases their yet to be born baby can get, the mother prefers going on a gluten free, seed only diet to birth a conscientious future citizen of the world. Wiser from their own experience of being part of a flock, the Sameers, Sonias and Vineetas flick through pages and pages of ‘Unusual baby names’. Because their worldview transcends cultural and geographical barriers, Zeus it is for their baby who’s meant to rule the world. Once Zeus Chopra waddles to playschool, he meets Awesome Khare who loves peeing in his pants, much to the chagrin of the school ayah, Baby. Then there is Key-nah, who he is petrified of. The last time he tried to sneak a biscuit from her tiffin box, she knocked two of his milk teeth off. Muffin Malhotra has a constantly running nose that he loves wiping on an unsuspecting shoulder.

Interestingly, this penchant for giving their babies WTF names was once limited to snooty, good for nothing Bengalis. So, it’s not unusual run into a Canopy Chowdhury or Renaissance Roy at the local Durga Pujo and a Missile Dutta who you played ludo with when you were all of 10. Their pet names are even worse. The kind you can blackmail them with to extract state secrets and nuclear codes. So, if a Bongshell in a moment of tenderness confides in you that her parents call her Punchkee, it’s time for you to start looking for a ring.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

An Open Letter from the Short Skirt to Upholders of Women’s Morality

Image courtesy - DragoArt.com



Mitron,

Of late you’ve accused me of so many sexual crimes I have yet to commit, I’m contemplating suicide so that I can be reborn as a petticoat. I get it, my lack of length makes you deranged and you end up doing bad bad things. But must you always transfer the blame for your misdeeds on me, you nincompoops?

There was a time I used to fancy myself as just a skirt, hanging in front of a girl, asking her to love me. Fall in love she did, hook, hemline and zipper. Our love was as perfect as described in Hallmark cards and as deep as a Bengali boudi’s neckline. I fancied myself as the wind beneath her legs, goading her to own her body and embrace her sexuality. She often whispered to me how liberated I made her feel. I hugged her tight, fluttered around her waist, as she set out to conquer the world, looking like a million bucks. It was a smooth ride for us till some dick-head with no control of his dick pounced on her and then conveniently claimed it was me that beckoned him. At first I dismissed as a joke. A single male of the species with limited intelligence refusing to take responsibility for his pawing ways. I was so wrong. Before I could say STFU, it became a chorus with repeat performances year after year. It cut across demographic barriers uniting men and men alike, hell bent on absolving the molestor, the rapist, the sexual aggressor who needed to resort to violence to feel like a man. I have borne the burden of their blame for so long, my shoulders are stooping lower than these men’s self-esteem. These days I feel like Ganga whose sole purpose in life is to wash off the sins of these paapis.

Hey Ram, beam me up, will ya?

After much introspection I have arrived at this conclusion; my biggest crime is being born a skirt. And I am never allowed to forget that. I was told that the only way I can hope to lead a long unfruitful life is by covering myself with layers of plastic and shutting myself in the cupboard and wait for death. In the meantime, I was free to do whatever others wanted me to do. The rules set for my impeccable conduct by upholders of my morality read longer than the terms and conditions that no one reads but clicks on ‘I agree’ anyway. Interestingly, the rules apply only to me and not the ones who set them. While my male ‘counterpant’ is encouraged to be whatever he wants to be – loose character or a tight assed aggressive prick who demands, raises his voice, pushes, shoves, to climb the ladder of success, dare I do the same, I am promptly labelled as a bitch.

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