Discovering Nirvana through Nightie

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It’s time aam aurats of India conveyed their heartfelt gratitude to the lady who was too lazy to change out of her nightdress and ended up sparking a revolution that led women to discover the delights of an unhindered, unclasped and drawstringless existence. Had it not been for her genius, Bhartiya Naaris would not have known Nirvana through Nightie.

Agreed that a fashion conscious, brand flaunting woman wouldn’t be seen dead in a shapeless nightwear masquerading as a maxi that does a perfect job of making you look like a dowdy behenji, but it is through its loose character, sweat soaked women all over India were exposed to the comforts of air-conditioning. Is there a greater satisfaction than slipping into a sack made of the softest cotton that lets you be yourself in all your hanging and paunchy glory? Who cares that the flowers printed on it outnumber the stars in the sky and its front has a bib like thing with even more flowers embroidered on it!

Its dusting cloth like texture is perfect for wiping your kitchen weary palms and your sweaty forehead with. It’s the perfect attire to slip into after a long day at work and what’s more, it gives you more space than your relationship!

The ubiquitous nightie is to women what lungi is to her husband - its comfort factor more than making up for its ewwness, bestowing its wearer with a beatific smile.

And who has the time and inclination to be that woman who slogs for hours at the gym and has three carrots for dinner before slipping into a lacy Armani that lovingly hugs her detoxed and toned body!

Of course, there is an emerging woman-force that has adopted the middle path and anointed pyjamas and loose t-shirts as their new nightie. These are women who spent their childhood traumatised by the vision of their Moms and neighbourhood Aunties flapping around in these hideous tents. I’m sure, all sabziwalas of certain Delhi localities like Lajpat Nagar and Rajinder Nagar have fond ‘mammaries’ of Chinki and Chunnu ki Mummy haggling for an extra bunch of coriander in her nightie-chunni. Or Raju Raddiwala who forgot his trademark manoeuvre to take the extra kilos off the stack of newspapers, the moment he sighted Mrs Mehra spilling out of her checked nightie with a waistband hugging her ample middle.

But no garment can beat the versatility of the Indianised version of the nightie that doubles up as a lounging, going out to buy groceries, screaming at presswala, gossiping with maid or even night-walk dress. What’s more, it doesn’t discriminate fat and the slim, lovely and ugly, and uniformly transforms everyone into a frumpy aunty jee. It doesn’t expect you to shape up or tidy up and goes perfectly with your no-make up look, bed head or even puffy eyes. A frock that fits all and covers all, it can be customised to suit your lack of fashion sensibilities. If floral fantasies make you sick, you can always opt for polka dots, checks or even cute hearts in pink. Sleeveless, side-slits, block-prints, flowy kaftans or even jhabla style. It is a garment that’s as forgiving of your indulgences as your conscience. Pair it Bata flip-flops for an outing to the grocer. For a more formal look slip into the pink beaded sandals that you bought for 650/- at the sale and if you’re feeling sporty, pair it with keds and voila you’re ready to conquer the world. Why, just the other day I spotted an elderly Indian lady in her nightie and sports shoes at a swanky shopping precinct in Brisbane! She looked cool as a cucumber.

A Beginner’s Guide to Avoiding the Living and the Non-Fictional

If the prospect of dealing with people stresses you out, I suggest you read Ms. Tee's helpful pointers on how to avoid all human contact. I am her Mom and know it works like magic.

Presenting Trisha Ray's guidelines on how to avoid the living and the Non-Fictional. 

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You may have been led to believe that humans are social beings. Smiling at passersby, holding doors open for people behind you, making small-talk with others standing with you at the queue for the ATM while the elderly gent inside struggles with the complications of this goddamn modern technology: all these are valuable social skills. But from time to time you will come across situations which require a very different skill set. Un-social skills are more important than you think. You can thank me later, when what I impart saves your puny, outgoing hide.

1. The (Serial) Killer Smile

The first and foremost skill in the arsenal of any aspiring anti-social is a smile made to kill. Literally. This little move can take years to master, especially if you’re (sickeningly) sunshine-y.

First- conjure up a normal smile (ironically, for a natural anti-social, this is cyanide). Now think of the worst thing that has ever happened to you: the missed promotion, the neighbour who steals your newspaper, the dead family pet, the un-dead family pet. Now feel that smile slowly begin to warp. Stop as soon as you think you’ve achieved the optimum level of “I may be thinking of rainbows and beaches, but I might also be planning to murder you and feed you to my pet Chihuahua”.

Congratulations. You have successfully driven a person to the brink of a psychological breakdown!

A word of warning: you may want to remove yourself from the vicinity of your target soon after pulling this move, since there is always a risk you might get arrested.

2. The Headphone Manoeuvre

Any good anti-social has a pair of headphones in easily-accessible places wherever he/she goes. If you see that chick from work who insists on calling you in the middle of your Hitchcock marathon to moan about her boy problems, quickly turn around, put on your headphones and turn up the volume. Stare steadily into the distance and bob your head slowly. Eventually, you will attain a mental state of complete blissful ignorance. The skill set required for this is not that different from meditation. In fact, I wager that the early ascetics were in fact professional anti-socials, avoiding friends complaining about relationship problems.

You’ll eventually get so good at this that you won’t even require a device attached to the other end of your headphones. If you keep practising, you might not even require the headphones. Avoid muttering lyrics though. Mental asylums are fun and all, but they don’t have Wi-Fi.

Your End is Near, my Dear

The Mayans were wrong. The dark, menacing cloud of apocalypse did not dissipate. It still hovers over our heads and is waiting for 2017 to come crashing down.

It will be the most memorable year of our afterlife. A year that will see the demise of the stand-up comic, poet extraordinaire, cook, diva, avid photographer, in us. The lone soul who tirelessly spread cheer by sharing BBM jokes and motivated friends and frenemies with quotes will say bye-bye and never come back. It will be a slow, painful death. What can you expect when you’ll have no one to share your ‘feeling blessed/mad/bad/sad’ updates with! Hundreds of friends who you painfully collected and nurtured over the years with likes and superlikes, the sole purpose behind your album, Random Clicks, Vacationing in Goa – Part I, II,I II and IV - all gone with one masterstroke.

Of what use will be those selfies you click, standing in front of the mirror, hair carelessly falling over your cheek, head tilted at a 45 degree angle.

Click 1 – OMG! I look so fat.

Click 2 – Yikes! My nose looks like Mt. Vesuvius.


Click 45 – Phew, finally a pic that does justice to my beauty.

The 129 likes, Ooh you hottieMadem your becoming younger with age, comments were worth the nagging pain you now have in your shoulder, pointing your arm to the ceiling for over 30 minutes to get that perfect shot. The thought of taking a vacation will become unbearable, now that you’ll have no one but your hapless relatives and friends to show those awesome clicks of you standing in front of every shrub, monument and mall in Bangkok.

Why should I party, if I can’t show my virtual friends that I’m not a pathetic soul who spends all day on Facebook but manage to have a rocking time in real life!

Those morons from Princeton are claiming that Facebook will fade out and die by 2017, just like the bubonic plague. The social network’s popularity that spread like an infectious disease over the years will see a downslide, because we’re slowly becoming immune to its charms.

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It is also being claimed that teens don’t find FB cool anymore and are migrating to Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. Ironically, it’s the parents who couldn’t stop bemoaning their teen’s addiction to this platform are the ones pushing them away by sending them friend requests and putting them off with their new-found devotion to Facebook.

Bro, it’s so not cool to see your Mom pout. 

Divine Powers of Brahood

Love is like a paintbrush that adds colour to the canvas of our lives. It is that elusive emotion that makes us bloom like a flower, hum like a bee even when stuck in a traffic snarl, oblivious to the chaos and skanky people with no civic sense. You circle around the object of your affection like a love-sick satellite, waiting to melt like Cadbury’s Silk in heat at the very sight of him.

Here lies the catch. How do you find out if he’s the one your soul has been waiting for to call him its mate! Do you fall in love with the first guy who’s struck by your beauty and brains, and find out many expensive dates later what a complete asshole he is? How many frogs must you kiss before you find your Prince! I mean, how many heartbreaks can your poor heart take!

When it comes sifting out true love from the chaff, your inner voices are not too helpful and have the uncanny ability to confuse you further. And your friends are all jealous bitches who love annoying you with their “there’s more to life than men” philosophy.

So, what does a girl do? Does she say no to love and starts scouring for a life-mate at!

They say a girl’s distress calls never go answered. So what, if it’s a company in far off Japan that has finally come up with a solution that every girl has been waiting for– a bra that unhooks itself but only at the sight of true love. Finally a brassiere that understands your true feelings. 

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(The Grass is Creepier on) The Other Side

This book review by Trisha Ray is part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to

Note: I want to start off with a warning. It’s not easy reviewing a collection of short stories. I have refrained from spoilers as much as possible, “as possible” being the operative phrase. In any case, I’ll type in the phrase SPOILERS AHEAD if I slip. Kudos)

Scary stories are my drug of choice. Nothing matches the thrill of a well-written tale of terror and then staying awake at night, trying to get your imagination under control. Your surroundings take on an air of strangeness. Every rustle becomes a whisper, every shadow a living (or not-so-living) being, every creak, every gurgle puts you on edge. Not many willingly put themselves through this. Few can make it through the night. 

The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee promises its readers a “tour de force of unadulterated terror”. To which I say- Well no. If you want to be scared out of your wits, I would encourage you to direct your attention elsewhere. Kazi and Banerjee need a little more practice in this department. What they give you is a mixed bag in its truest sense. Each one tries to play on a different fear: the fear of death, losing someone, going insane, embarrassment and, of course, the unknown. Some are eerie, some accidentally hilarious (Mark of the Beast left me rolling on the floor but also mildly grossed-out by what the end implied), some blasé (Booo. And not in the ghostly sense either). Many were too similar to stories I had heard many, many times before (story number 11 Possession was *SPOILER AHEAD* pretty much an Indian version of The Conjuring) which kind of ruined any intended element of surprise. 

Modi Unveils Gujarat’s biggest erection and makes India proud

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When Narendra Modi unveiled his plans for India’s biggest erection, a 600 feet statue of Sardar Patel, it was hailed as the next best thing to have happened to India after the Mars Mission. It is hoped that once the statue of iron and concrete with a bronze outer layer – a fitting tribute to the Iron Man of our country – is complete, India will be catapulted to the elusive superpower club. I mean, if we have our very own Statue of Unity towering at twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, the world will be left with very little choice.

It may be recalled that it was Sardar Patel’s iron fist and will that had herded 500 princely states and their royal families into one nation, under the rule of one Royal Family, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. So, it comes as no surprise that he’s remembered as the Iron Man – the one who ironed out the creases of a post independent India with his toil and sweat. With no Yojanas (schemes) or universities and only one measly road and school in Delhi to commemorate the greatness of a man who laid the cast iron foundation of a shaky democracy, it was Modi who excavated Vallabhai’s Gujarati roots, dusted the cobwebs off his memory for future generations to remember his contribution to our country. And what better way than an attack of spondylitis to do that as they crane their necks at an ungainly angle to look up to his towering statue. As they nurse their gnawing pain, visitors can take an open lift to his head to get an inside view of his cranium and his way of thinking. To make Mr Patel a fun person to be with, the premises will also house a memorial, research institute, convention facilities, visitors' centre, hotel, and an amusement park. A special shady alcove will be made for honeymooning couples and amorous lovers, where they can carve ‘Jignesh loving deer Pushpa’ on trees in peace.

The Unsocial Side of Social media

Woke up to the terrible news of Sunanda Pushkar’s sudden death. A part of me couldn’t help getting rid of the nagging guilt of having been a part of the circus that followed after she took to Twitter to share her husband’s BBM texts to a former journalist in Pakistan. Two attractive women sparring over a public figure in full public view was a bait hard to resist. What ensued was pure mayhem – Twitterati trying to outdo each other in cracking the funniest jokes at someone else’s distress. The lady’s incoherent anger at a woman who she saw as someone out to destroy her marriage was fodder for the grist mill.

Frankly, a domestic dispute is none of our business. But with so much dirty linen being aired for public consumption, most of us could not hold back our holier than thou attitude and scorn.

Twitter is a cornucopia of opinions (often dipped in vitriol), breaking news, wisdom and wit that follows no hierarchy and worships the informed, wittiest and the most acerbic. This is where I get my priceless news-bytes from, getting to read the inside stories that rarely surface in the mainstream media. A place where I get to sharpen my claws, get inspiration for many of my posts and my 2 seconds of fame. It’s like having found my voice and an audience that’s willing to lend me their ears on every issue that may or not may not concern me. Not just me. Mr Sehgal, the over-worked executive who commutes 2 hours to get to his office and can air his angst at AAP that’s out to ruin his city… Savita, the homemaker from Indore who has taken Twitter by storm with her Coelho like philosophy…it’s as if fame, trolls, worshippers and stalkers were waiting all their lives to find you on Twitter.

There lies the catch – everyone gets to air their opinions on Twitter, regardless of their maturity, sense and sensibility, most of them in a hurry to give their two cents of wisdom before bothering to verify facts. It’s like – look I’m trying to rant her, stop bothering me with logic and facts. After all, it is the early bird that catches the maximum eyeballs, correctness be damned. But just like it is in real life, the shallow have the loudest voices, with everyone dying to play the judge, jury and executioner. The few sane voices are drowned in the cacophony of accusations, counter-accusations and LOLs. A platform that doesn’t think twice before targeting a public figure like Alok Nath, ridiculing his girth, his body of work, making him sound like a joke just because it’s so much fun! Ironically, at some point of time, we have all been a willing participant to the ridicule public figures are routinely subjected to without even realizing it.

That’s Twitter – it makes a joke out of serious issues and takes jokes seriously.


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