31 March 2006
a) Nasty men who have something against women bloggers and start their own blogs in hope of what? Attention? Traffic? More hits? This pisses me off no end, and no, I'm not going to link because the last thing I would want to do is give them what they want, but really, why do you hate us, oh anonymous male blogger? If you prick us, will we not bleed? If you tickle us, will we not laugh? If you want even one tenth of our lifestyles, will we not seize the moment, kick you in the balls and walk away? I think the answer to all of the above is hell, yeah.
b) Meeting people, who comment on the blog, and were one of the few remaining people in the WORLD who didn't know who I *really* am. I am giving myself a shout-out for recognising him, because of a "Fidel Castro hat" he once mentioned on a comment. Hello, Raghu, I can't find the link to your blog anywhere so I can't link it, but hello, all the same.
c) Trying to use the phrase "dam of love" somewhere. Let's see, Fiona brushed back her golden locks as she scanned the horizon for Ted, her manly lover. Manly Ted, with his manly arms appeared suddenly, as if out of the blue, and crushed her bosom to his. "Oh, Fiona," he whispered, in his manly, resonant voice, and she felt his manhood press against her thigh. Unable to resist this dam of love (Aha, ahahahahaha. See?) she swooned and fell backwards, when with a move that showed off his manly, yet metrosexual, gymnastic skills, he caught her and kissed her in a paroxym of passion. Very nice. Thank you, Teleute, for the phrase. :)
d) Actually getting around to doing all the tags I'm supposed to, and the one I really want to do, that 30 one, which Tablemannered tagged me for. But I'm just feeling very, um, what's the word, ya, lazy.
e) How I met (well, saw) many members of the Indian cricket team, and really, Rahul Dravid is not that hot in real life. His head is kinda small, compared to the rest of his body, but he has a nice sweet voice, like the boy next door or something. We like Rahul Dravid. He should now give up cricket and do something meaningful, like, um, become the Prime Minister or something. We need a PM with sex appeal.
25 March 2006
You must understand though the touch of your hand makes my pulse react, that it's only the thrill of boy meeting girl, opposites attract
And so it is. (and so it ih-iss. Good song, by the way). They call you a couple of times, perhaps you even hang out again. But they don't uncurl around you any longer, except once, when the two of you are out, and you're drinking and you're making them laugh so hard, they stop and look at you with love-filled eyes. And you can hear them thinking about you, about the two of you and how perfect it would be and you let them come to you and be kissed and make gentle jokes about them and run your fingers over their knuckles and they (since they are so comfortable) try asking you again about it and you clear your throat and lay down what you had known all this while. "I'm really, um, not looking for a relationship." And you see the shutters going down on their face, the walls are up by the time the words are out of your mouth and they smile, crookedly, and say, "Ya, that's cool." And hang around a little longer then say they have a headache and leave. And you don't call them the next day, and they don't call you and this goes on for some time and in about a week, perhaps less, you know it's over.
Relationships. High school was simpler. Dating was simpler. You asked someone out ("Will you be my girlfriend?" Or boyfriend, if you were progressive) and they said yes and you were dating. The last time I was in a relationship began in second year college (oh, so far away! Why have you forsaken me, dating gods?) and then K asked me out, a day after we kissed for the first time. None of this, where are we going bullshit. Grarh. Well, okay, ya, there was a bit of where are we going, but not tremendous and I remember being enough in control then, less scared I think, to tell him straight out that I hated people who played games with me, and if he was going to then he should just go and look somewhere else.
Now we have at last count: a) a fling b) a scene c) dating d) seeing someone and e) a Relationship. What's the difference? I'm damned if I know. I know a fling, that's easy, when you're just fucking around, no strings attached, no emotional involvement, no expecatations of a regular Saturday night date. This is all very well if the person you're with is not the kind of person you'd hang out with in your pjs and watch DVDs with, but just very attractive and with not much to say for themselves. You know, the hot and silent variety. Like soup. But not like biryani.
But if you have a pj-wearing, how-was-your-day-asking type fling, then you're in trouble. Usually, from my experience, these are the emancipated, sensitive men, raised to believe the same things you were and so they don't want to be fuck-ups any more than you want them to be. So they'll be all straight with you in the beginning and say, "Yeah, I'm not looking for a relationship." and you're like, "Okay" but in your head you're thinking, dude, you're so wrong, because we are clearly perfect for each other. So you think you're dating, they don't really know what they're doing and by the end of it, when you have the "talk", it's back to square one.
Why do guys hate labels so much? I love labels, everything I have or do or think, has a label. Life used to be about black and white and all these sneaky shades of grey have suddenly appeared. Pearl grey? Satin grey? Grey like your grandmother's hair? WTF?
21 March 2006
I have realised I have quite an aptitude for new things these days. Sunday, played pool for the first time ever with Dee and two of her friends and dude, I so rocked. I'm even going to give myself a pool nickname, like, um, Shady. Yeah, Shady. With oversized sunglasses and a scarf wrapped around my neck and hot pants. Red leather, with a black leather jacket. Anyway, I was taught the game by Dee's biker friend who kept calling me "Kid" for some reason, making me feel more and more like I was in a movie. Biker Chick and I played against each other and I almost won! Yay.
My car was in the workshop for the longest time early this month because for some reason the gears refused to change. And it cost me (okay, fine, my mother) about 10k to fix and everything and I asked the guy in my best I-am-professional-woman-who-drives-so-YOU-can't-even-THINK-of-taking-me-for-a-ride what was wrong with it and he said the clutch had worn out, because I drove with my foot on the clutch. Okay, so I do. But it's like a security blanket, my clutch. I need to have my foot on it at all times. Anyway, I've been training myself not to touch it even, and it's been REALLY hard to break a habit that I've had for the last six years, but I'm happy to say I've succeeded. Re-yay.
And since this is boring type post, let me mention that I saw Rajat Kapoor at TC on Saturday night and then in Barista on Sunday evening after I watched Memoirs Of A Geisha which totally made me realise I didn't capitalise on my virginity when I had a chance. Think of the money I could have made. Hell, since I have been practicing celibacy for a while now, I'm practically re-virginised. I want to be a geisha. Just like after I watched Pretty Woman, I wanted to be a hooker.
And whoever landed up on my blog with the keywords "Forgive Me, For I Have Sinned (repeatedly, and with great gusto…)" let's switch lifes (lives?) please.
Ooh, must also point you to this blog which reads like a gossip column and which most media people I know love because it talks about all the people they know. And this blog, which I discovered today and quite enjoyed.
11 March 2006
Plink plink plink-plink-plink, plink plink plink-plink-plink, plink plink plink-plink-inkkk, California here we come, right back where we started from
> Some people have too much money. I could however suggest better uses for it than this. And the text next to it just about finished me: What prince wouldn't want to see his iPod in this raspberry beret? What prince? Me, I don't care if my iPod's naked. Does that make me a bad person? Oh my god, I'm totally going to be the kind of mother who lets their kids run around in just a diaper, right? And if that wasn't enough--this makes it worse. Do you have an iPod hat rack? Dude, seriously, send me some of that cash, I'll make you an iPod sarong, with my own two hands--using just one of my old t-shirts! It's a miracle.
> The weather has been so kick-ass in Delhi recently. It's been drizzling off and on, and the smell of wet earth is everywhere. It makes me feel like an old Hindi movie heroine. As a result, my music list these days is only Hindi songs. English songs which are mellow are also mainly very sad. (Except Wonderwall. I've been singing it very loudly and tunelessly in the shower.) So when I'm driving, with my windows down and my iPod plugged into my ears you can bet it's either Sajna Ve Sajna or like something very mushy like Pehla Nasha. It's Hindi music weather, if you know what that means, and if you don't, it's really tough for me to explain. It's like raininess brings out all the Bollywood cliches of dancing around trees in a wet sari for me, and the music is just an appropriate soundtrack.
> Ooh and we have a new fridge! All this while we've been using Small's minibar type fridge, coz we've had a lot of bad luck with fridges. The one we rented refused to work after a while too--turning into a freezer, and we figured we'd wait till it got a little hotter before we invested in a new one. This one is beautiful, I've never really loved a household appliance so much, and is called Godfrey Smythe-Godrej III. It's a good name. And we're loving organising our stuff inside it also--filling up bottles with water, adding Tupperware containers, buying milk. Household stuff is fun when you don't have to do it.
7 March 2006
Today I was going to begin as part of the Women's Day blogathon, a long post on being harrassed and being afraid, and being a woman and all that. And then I got to thinking, and scrolling through my phonebook and thinking of happy memories and yeah, boys figure heavily in that. Boys whom I have loved, boys who have loved me, boys who have backslapped, boys who I have slept against, boys who looked at me admiringly as opposed to lecherously, boys who I have met briefly for coffee and have given them extensive advice about their love lives, we all know boys like that.
For every ghastly incident, every nipple tweak in a crowded place, I've had men who stand glowering behind me, or next to me, when we're in a crowded place together. Okay, perhaps not glowering, but if I light a cigarette say, in a place where women usually scamper around hidden by their dupattas, they will look casually threatening, so no one dares to say anything, and usually no one even dares to look. There are men, friend's lovers even, who know me only because the woman they love loves me, who would come if I called them at 4.30 in the morning with a flat tyre. And think nothing of it, waving away my effusive thank yous. There are the men I know professionally, photographers who I work with, who are careful to let the PR guy who addresses them because they are men and not me, because I am a woman and on top of everything else, look rather young, know that I am the one doing the story, and I should be treated accordingly.
There have been boys who have seen me home, boys who told me a hundred times to give them a damn missed call when I got home. And if I forgot, they'd call me, to see if everything was okay. There are men, boys whatever, who live with the same fears of Delhi not being safe for women, because we are its women, the other men, the ones who rape, the ones who held a knife to the throat of one of my friends, the ones who attempted to drag another friend into their car, the ones who follow me, so closely, that I can feel every indicator of mine being watched and mirrored and almost drive off the road with panic, they are not all the men in Delhi. They are, I admit, about eighty per cent, but they are not all.
There has been a cop who helped me when my car broke down, helping me push it to the side of the road, keeping an eye on me in that lonely place and when the mechanic arrived asked me whether this was the person I was waiting for. Auto rickshaw drivers, who, when I'm followed by some men on a motorcycle, speed up so that their rickety machines vibrate even more. Men brought up by parents like mine, parents of almost every woman I know who ingrain into us how our bodies should be sacred, special places, ours, to be guarded. For every man who doesn't listen when I say no, there are men who respond to even the slightest stiffening of my shoulders, stopping when they feel I'm not comfortable with where things are going.
Women's Day is about women, yes, my mother, my flatmate, my strong friends, my aunts, even my gentle non-confrontational grandmothers. But we're open enough to let the men share it--my father, my grandfather with his "burden" of four daughters whom he encouraged to study as much as they could and get proper jobs, Small's boyfriend Rahul, whom I love, and who goes to investigate mice in the kitchen because we're too scared, and my friends, always ready with a muscle flex, a cigarette and a back rub.
ps: I got this email the other day, from a male reader, Nishant Ramachandran who has some strong thoughts. I haven't edited anything, except added paragraphs.
I remember as a little kid standing amongst my peers in line at the school prayer, shouting with the sincerity and gusto of the very young, hand rigidly extended forward, the lines "all Indians are my brothers and sisters." A day came whence the shorts were replaced by pants, the face started sprouting hair albeit soft and downy, a growth spurt began with physical changes that were too baffling (anyway at first) and too surprising to comprehend fully. The same girls we ran and romped around with, playing and hollering around without any thought nor mind to being different from us boys, began to look like an alien species from wonderland. Emotions so unfathomable yet so deep began to flower in our flighty minds. Yes my friends the day came when we stood in the prayer lines, albeit among the senior students, and shouted with equal gusto and insincerity "all Indians are my brothers and your sisters." This last came about when we began to comprehend and appreciate the opposite sex.
As a young man dealing with the emotional lability associated with puberty and the growing realization of my own sexuality, I used to look upon girls with awe and longing, not knowing what was right or wrong, just that they fascinated me like nothing ever had before. I believe every boy who enters manhood goes through this phase and it is at this phase that the grain gets separated from the chaff. Boys compete with each other to grab the attention of the opposite sex, vent their energy through approved channels such as sports and some through violence towards each other. Testosterone surge and immature minds make a heady mix.
The family plays an important role in this stage of a male's development. I was fortunate in having an older sister who was very influential in shaping my outlook positively towards the opposite sex. Peer pressure at this stage is another difficulty to surmount as a group of young men make as much trouble as an avalanche if given the right conditions. The pressure to smoke, drink, indulge in objectionable attitudes and acts to prove manliness rises and many succumb to it. This is the cauldron that gives rise to such grave social ills as eve teasing and worse. Some young men make it their pastime, getting around in groups, following and annoying passing females with indecent propositions and suggestive filmi songs. I would be a hypocrite if I said I have never been tempted in my extreme youth upon seeing dark flowing hair and beautiful eyes to sing "ai haseena zulfon wali jaane jahaan, dhoondthi hai kathil aankhen kiska nishan," but respect for my sister always kept these ditties in my minds eye rather than on my lips.
It is said a thing of beauty is a joy forever and there is nothing more beautiful in a young man's eye as a beautiful woman. An appreciative and admiring glance was all I indulged in. Most young men look at this as harmless fun and outgrow them as they mature, but when this seemingly harmless sport becomes a serious affliction for some then it becomes a menace to society and women in general. My first awareness of eve teasing as something other than harmless fun was in college. By this time I was losing interest in studies, bunking classes, into alcohol, getting influenced by revolutionary ideology a la Che Guevara, and making serious attempts at disrupting peace. A classmate of mine was being followed around and harrassed by a group of hooligans from another class. A classmate who interfered in their sport and told them to lay off got himself roughed up. I had the pleasure of making them see the error of their ways and this incident hammered into me how difficult it is for women to live a normal life with the threat of such harrassment constantly hanging over their heads like the sword of damocles.
Our society is unquestionably a male dominated one where women traditionally have little or no rights. Nothing illustrates this better than the practice of female foeticide and infanticide that has become such a menace that the government has been forced to outlaw sex determination tests such as amniocentesis etc., but still people find ways to detect and abort female foetuses. The government of Tamil Nadu even had to initiate a cradle baby scheme so that parents would rather give up their female children than kill them. Child marriage is prevalent across large parts of the country and it is as yet undetermined how many young women die of pregnancy related complications every year. Then there are conscientious people like Bhanwari Devi in Rajasthan who got gangraped and abused as punishment for requesting people to not be part of child marriages or Shakuntala Verma in Madhya Pradesh who got her hands chopped off for counseling people against the same.Women are perceived as weak and helpless, dependent on males for their protection and survival, a burden to their families as the dowry that has to be given in the marriage market usually bankrupts a family. This mentality is deeply entrenched and all pervading in our society thus giving rise to male chauvinistic behavior such as eve teasing, which in turn progresses to sexual harrassment and more heinous crimes like sexual assault. In no way am I suggesting that eve teasing, sexual harrassment and sexual abuse is a situation unique to India, it is a worldwide phenomenon, but this menace is much more dangerous in the context of the Indian Subcontinent because few women here would care to make an issue out of it for fear of social ostracisation. Even though we have laws to deal with crimes against women, there are too many loopholes in the present legal system which allow the vast majority of perpetrators to walk away scot free. This is best proved through the example set by our capital Delhi where city courts found only 16% of alleged rapists guilty in 2005. This is keeping in mind the fact that only a miniscule of rape cases actually get reported.Women from the socially and economically forward communities have the advantage of education, equal opportunities and hence are making a difference in the way society perceives them by occupying decision making posts and contributing towards the emancipation of women as a whole, but the vast majority of our country lives in backward villages, agricultural communities and slums where there is little or no social justice, where feudalism still reigns, where women are little more than puppets to be manipulated. It is very rare for a girl child to not lose her humanity if she survives to become a woman in such conditions.
Today's India is not the India of five years ago. There has been a quantum leap forward in terms of economic prosperity with the economy growing at an estimated 8% per annum. A lot of effort is being put in by the government, but more needs to be done to raise the female literacy level which would be the key to tackling poverty, raising awareness among the women about their rights and empowering them at the grassroot level.
ps 2: (I seem to keep updating today)
But, before you think I'm glossing over the whole thing, and missing the point, here are some facts I found out today, to make you think.
> 84 per cent of women who are raped know their attacker.
> Less than one third of rapes are reported to authorities.
> 8.5% of college men in the US admit to sexually abusing women - but don't consider that rape.
> In India every 26 minutes, a woman is molested.
> And every 42 minutes, an incident of sexual harassment takes place.
> Worse, every 34 minutes, a woman is raped. (By the time you finish reading this post, and check a few more blogs and drink your first cup of coffee. During your lunch break. As you drive home. It's happening to someone.)
And always remember this and this.
Be safe. Celebrate your women (and your men) friends. Don't do anything I wouldn't do.
2 March 2006
(Later, by the way, as I was leaving I said to him, "Dude, man, no one's ever clapped when I've danced before," and he smiled and said, "Well, you and Dee are very beautiful, why would people not clap?" Awwwwww. I heart nice boyfriends of friends. It's so much simpler than disliking them.)
> Also last night, I bumped into people I hadn't seen since I was, oh, three or four. Twins. I have a picture of them, taken then, two little girls with matching plaid dresses and spectacles and me, in the middle. They used to babysit me, apparently, they told me last night. Now we're all grown up, the plump twin has grown up into vision of beauty and delight (the skinny twin stayed skinny, but she is a vision of beauty and delight also) and we all chatted loudly and happily. It's amazing I recognised them, even though they looked at me with matching expressions of amzement when I told them who I was.
> Small's friend gave me the best back rub I have ever had. Really. By the end of it, I was purring and stretching and smiling through slit eyes. He used to be a professional masseuse (or is it masseur for men?) in Sydney, he told me, and oh. I will walk to the ends of the earth to get a good back rub. I'm a sucker for loose muscles. And that delicious pressure on the nubs of your shoulders. Mmmmmmmm.