Monday, April 24, 2017

A Bed Is Not Just a Bed, Its Much More


No One Knows Us Better Than Our Bed
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.

When I visit my parents and my Maa suggests we have tea on the dining table, we all let out a horrified gasp. Why sit ramrod straight on a boring chair when you can stretch your legs and touch your toes to get second helping of the salted cashews. This is the same bed where my Mashi and I would slide our feet under as we sat on the floor listening to older aunts gossip, in rapt attention. Occasionally we’d pinch the annoying baby cousin, make him bawl and break into silent giggles. Of course our startled bodo Mashi (his Mom) had no idea it was us.

That baby cousin is now a well-regarded financial analyst and a Dad to a pretty little girl. Thankfully she’s not half as annoying as him.

So what is it about this ubiquitous piece of furniture that makes us helpless to its cosy charms and draws us to it like a magnet?

I think it has a lot to do with our propensity to keep our living rooms well-preserved like museums for the occasional guests. So lolling all day on the couch, cushions thrown around in disarray invites stern looks, and sometimes a firm kick on the posterior from the lady of the house. Also, unlike a sofa, the bed, like a doting partner gives you space to stretch yourself beyond your limits. When you get tired of laying on your back, you can always roll over on your stomach and perch your chin in your hands and stare dolefully at nothing in particular. If you are the adventurous type, you can tuck in one leg under the pillow and raise the other towards the ceiling, while uploading pics on Instagram, claim you invented a new asana and congratulate yourself. If like me, you prefer having your many snacks on the bed itself, you’ll often find bits and pieces of nuts, peels, a stray puffed rice colliding with your mouth and other parts of your body. For a midnight snack, all you’ll have to do is crawl on the bed with a torch in hand.

So, it’s like your home within home, where you can be yourself – the one you’re reluctant to show the world. You can sport the homeless look with élan, disappear behind piles of books, have long conversations on the phone propped up on the pillow – all this without even moving your ass. Little wonder after a long gruelling day, we rush to it like an eager child into her mothers’ waiting arms.

Maybe, knowing that the bed will keep you away from your long-list of must-do’s, make you conjure up excuses to spend a little more time on it that makes it so irresistible to us. Later as you fret how you spent the entire Sunday doing absolutely nothing, you also let out a satisfied sigh.

For most, the bedstead is like that complete relationship that has eluded you all your life. On a boring day at office, you invariably end up fantasising about it. It comforts you, soothes your tired bones, embraces you with its softness and makes you want to spend a little more time with it.

And sometimes it makes me wish RayMan would look at me as longingly as he looks at the bed after an exhausting day at office.

Too bad I am but a two legged creature made of flesh and blood.



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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