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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