13 November 2011

Why you gotta be a hater, yo?

Delhi, my darling, at this time of the year, you look smug with loveliness. You're all like, "Hey, India, I got winter, I got pretty outdoor restaurants, I got places where you can buy boots AND places where you can wear boots. I'm pretty much the winner of everything." And justified. You are remarkably gorgeous, the weather is remarkably gorgeous, and it is that brief window, that happens only for a few precious weeks, where everyone's in a bloody good mood, crimes drop (a little) and if you steal someone's parking spot, they'll let you off with a chuckle, instead of pulling a knife on you.

But, man, you hate single women. From my limited observations, you're entirely different around single men, with them you adopt a cheek pulling, hair tousling, boys-will-be-boys attitude, invite them over for dinner, guard your teenage daughters, but still look out for them with a parental twinkling eye.  Bachelors have carte blanche in their flats, they can have women over, have noisy parties, and still be invited downstairs to the landlord's house for a meal, or something. You see pieces of writing about Delhi, where the single male writer is going on a rhapsody about their single male writer life. And while I'm not complaining (I got lucky enough to find one of the few flats in Delhi without an owner attached to the ground floor) I do think that as a single woman, I get a bit of a short shrift.

This blog post is triggered off by the fact that it is Sunday afternoon, and I just tried, very unsuccessfully, to order lunch. I called three places and was told my order was "too little". I am a small person, I eat small portions. They have a "single sized" serving on their menus, and all I wanted was to get one of those single sized things to my doorstep, rather than have leftovers lying in my fridge for weeks. Waste not, want not, isn't that the rule? I can't order a whole bunch of other things, and yes, I do think this is a girl-only problem, because I think a dude would be able to eat a lot more than just a single serving of something. (I'm generalising, but this is from watching a lot of boys eat a lot more than I would.) Finally, one restaurant took pity on me, and decided to send me lunch, but usually, it's a whole lot of, "Yeah, no, we can't send that, it's too little."

And then, this got me thinking about other ways being a single lady in a city not equipped for single ladies had gotten me down. I touched briefly upon it in this piece I did for the Sunday Guardian on moving, but allow me to quote some of the things potential landlords said to me as I was househunting:

"The door is locked after 11 pm, you can call if you want to be in later, but you won't be later."

"Here is the barsaati, here is the bathroom, our grandson comes to visit often, he's going to want to use your loo."

"I only rent to young women, but I'm concerned you'll be *ahem* lonely, all by yourself in that big flat."

And, of course, the classic, the what-we've-all-heard:

"Absolutely no male company." "But.. but.. I have male friends." "You have male friends! Harlot!" (Okay, slight exaggeration, but only slight.)

Then, of course, if one is having sex (which I'm not confirming or denying here, just sayin') then everyone hates you. PDA = Not Allowed, but this we already knew, being a conservative country and adopting the opposite of the motto "the whole world loves a lover" and turning it into "keep it in your pants, goddamnit, because we never think about sex, oh no, the reason we're overpopulated is because pretty fairies come in at night and bless us with children." The whole country, Bollywood included, loves a male lover, again the head shaking, eye twinkling, boys-will-be-boys thing, but as a woman, you keep your knees together and your protests loud. And even then, you must have done something in order to interest a boy in the first place. Harlot Part Two! Overnight male guests get tea in the morning, but I get the stink eye from everyone, including the help and random neighbours. Men have "male desires", but single women have to be either a) married or b) sad virgins. When I was younger (and this is a true story), and I happened to be in a car with a member of the opposite sex, within five minutes, there'd be cops surrounding us, threatening to call our parents if we didn't give them some money. TRUE STORY. Is it any wonder that the iPill, a morning after, emergency contraceptive only, is flying off the shelves? Another true story: in my entire life, I have only bought condoms ONCE, and even then, blushing with shame, mumbling a request, and keeping my eyes downcast the entire time, so the shopkeeper wouldn't think I was actually *gasp* having sexual relations. I imagine (I've never actually witnessed this) that when men buy condoms, there are balloons and high fives and woot! score!

And, that's the end of my Sunday afternoon rant, brought to you by my lack of lunch.

45 comments:

  1. You are not a 30 single man, so you don't know anything about it. So I'd rather you shut up about saying that its OK to be 30 and not a married man.

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  2. I have always felt that restaurant portions at Mumbai do not account for the solitary diner...hope you find your way to better lunches

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  3. I grew up in Morocco and I live in France for 10 years (my father is moroccan and my mother is french), and in Morocco single women (and single men, but in other ways) have no choice but to put throw the same kind of social pressure. Moroccan people are as hyprocritical as Indian people. I personnaly think that it's because of an oppressive religion. Religion is everywhere, in every sentence, in every moment of the day, in every tv show, it's suffocating! Maybe, that's the reason i left my country. In France, I'm a free woman. I live with my boyfriend even if we're not married. I feel good. I'm finally myself and I don't care about what people think.
    Keep telling us about our own experience. It's really interesting to see how similar we are and yet geographically far from each other.

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  4. hehe... LOVED it!
    the funny part is I lived with parents while I was working in Delhi for two years and boy tht is tougher at times... Delhi makes generally protective parents go a little bonkers in the head...

    But I guess every city has its own issues... In bombay my society neighbours threw a fit when they saw a boy leave my apartment shared by three girls, in the morning... the poor boy had quietly left without so much as a glance towards their 'aishwarya se bhi pyaari' teenaged daughter. their issues was - 'agar dekh liya hota toh' :P

    It is kinda entertaining, don't you think :P

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  5. Why you gotta be so clueless yo? It is as diffucult for a man to go out and buy condoms as it is for a woman. "Nahin mujhe woh wale chahiye - extra ribbed". Ever heard that sentence in a pharamcy? Yea, I thought not. Because it's fucking intimidating and embarrassign to ask for condoms in front what might turn out to be your neighbourhood 'aunty'. I appreciate that you think the world is about, being a 'famous' author and all, but believe it or not, other people out there actually have problems too. I wish your fantasy world existed, where the world hi-fives a guy for going out and buying a condom, but the reality is quite different. And if you actually got over yourself for a second, you would see that it is equally hard for a single man to get an apartment as a woman. It is also hard if you're a journalist, or a lawyer, or a 'young couple' or any other list of people neaderthal landlords think are degenerate. Maybe if you actually wrote something real about life instead of the fact that restaurants refuse to help you in your size-zero-ambition diet plan, your article would have some impact. Yea, this is your blog, yea 'a girl has a right to rant' blah blah blah blah. Save it - and try being a little less clueless. 'Yo'.

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  6. wow. the men! what's the problem? her personal opinion baba... why so much angst?
    you made me read the article thrice just to check what it was that was pissing you all off!
    arre be happy if you can do certain things we women can't!
    You don't see us complaining about how we get to cry publicly and men don't :P

    happy monday :)

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  7. Anon, dude, is the "yo" you object to or the condom buying fantasies? Either way, apologies. I'm sure you have problems, we ALL have problems, and I'm sorry this blog doesn't address "something real about life" (question: WHOSE life? My life is real enough.)But, after many years of writing these things, I have grown clever enough (aha!) to put in little disclaimers when I make a sweeping generalisation, such as "based on my LIMITED observation." Ta-DAH! Yes, that might make me cowardly, but yes, that also takes me off the hook I believe. Why don't you tell me about some of the problems single men face in Delhi? I haven't read about it anywhere, and it would make for interesting reading. Nicely, now, but.

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  8. @Zephyr - We are not asking compulsive missy not to rant. I rant about a lot of things myself. What I object to is this:

    > From my limited observations, you're
    > entirely different around single men

    Her observational powers must be very limited, and I'd rather she chose a better sample set before generating general statistics about the entire male population.

    By all means, rant. Rant about your own condition in absolute terms. But if you care to generalize things, please choose a better sample set.

    @eM, if you know your observation is limited, you KNOW that you are probably wrong. Why, then, write about something which you know is PROBABLY WRONG.

    BTW, I'm not referring to buying condoms.

    Since you wanted to know whats the problem with men not marrying at 30, let me give you a few hints
    > Is there something wrong with you, your virility i mean. People have asked me this question.
    > Marry while you still can have erections. I've had octogenarians give me this uninvited advice.
    > People refuse to rent out houses to you because they think you'll bring prostitutes home.
    > Your relatives get on your back
    > Some start doubting you are gay. If you aren't, thats really bad.
    > If you are gay, its worse. I have a friend who had to leave the country to avoid his family nag him about marriage.

    I'm not saying that its not difficult for single women. I imagine it is. Perhaps more difficult than single men.

    BUT - please don't imagine that single men don't have any problems. And for God's sake, I'd suggest you to read up something about how to choose a good sample set for a statistical generalization.

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  9. And things don't change much if you are a young married couple. Hubby and I just moved to Mumbai and you have no idea about the restrictions we have to put up with!

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  10. did u get small portion deliveries in bombay?

    Actually this post makes me glad for Bombay. Ive lived hort periods in both cities and both are wonderful and lovely but Ive had this bombay loyalty since I lived there first.
    But lately Delhi is beginning to seem like a nicer place to live, but makes the old bombay loyalist in me a little uncomfortable.

    Landlords in Bombay seem just as annoying, but maybe it rules in terms of single person delivery? Yay

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  11. "I have grown clever enough (aha!) to put in little disclaimers when I make a sweeping generalisation, such as "based on my LIMITED observation." Ta-DAH! Yes, that might make me cowardly, but yes, that also takes me off the hook I believe. "

    No - it's basically you saying - 'Yes, I know I'm a ditz, but I have a right to be a ditz OK?'

    Basically, you're defending being lazy and stupid. Fantastic. As for the fan-persons who ramble on about it being her 'personal opinion baba' - then she ought keep it in her head where it will cause less pain to the rest of us. Have some respect for the person who made the mistake of devoting 5 minutes of their precious short life to seeing if you had something interesting to say about anything. It is never a good idea to beat up on your audience - this, even as a writer, you should be aware of. If this blog is just about you spewing garbage, please do put a disclaimer up, and remove commenting - but if you actually want to have an interaction with the rest of the world - be prepared to get a few broad generalisations in 'our LIMITED experience' as well as giving. Does that get me 'off the hook' too? Next response from the fanboys and fangirls - "if you don't like this blog, don't read it". My response to you is - if I don't like this blog - can I do something to change it? Because unlike you, I believe eM actually has a chance at being rehabilitated back into the real world, and not given for a the equivalent of a dumb blonde - no matter how hard she's trying to convey that impression.

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  12. If you will place a sign of "6" between two peoples , one will view it as 9 and the other one as 6 . Difference of opinion will always be there.Having said that you can be a good writer but not a very good observer. Rajbir pointed this very correctly ,i am 25 and clouds of getting married are already stroming my world aloud.Having some positives are always attached with some negatives.Like sleep gives us rests but consumes 1/3 of our life.
    There can be problems but facing them is what life is all about, perfectly ideal is always boring, you know.Go and ask for condoms they are not gonna arrest you for that, let them stare as much as they want to.
    And, one more important observation if two guys are alone in a standing car at some secluded spot cops are gonna book u(even if 377 is Scrapped) and not just call your parents.

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  13. gosh..whats with all the daggers in the air..here is someone who is writing down HER views on HER BLOG with specific disclaimers that SHE MIGHT STAND CORRECTED too, so why dont we just settle down and read what she has to say.
    We write cuz we have opinions but lets not spew venom..
    Em i have always admired your true to the guts writing and i think its perhaps what all of us do..but again some people would always like to be different.

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  14. Steady on boys.

    I. Buying condoms as a guy is awesome. For one, you know you're gonna get some. High fives all around!

    For two, if you're a boy and you're too shy to ask for condoms, grow some fucking balls or go to a shop your auntie doesn't frequent.

    For girls in any country, not just India, it is ALWAYS more embarrassing to buy condoms than it is for boys (with balls). Fact. Please refute.

    II. Do any of you 'critics' really, really want to argue that it is harder being a boy than a girl in Delhi, rape capital of India, of all places? And that doesn't even get into the married or non-married scenario.

    Sure, your family might give you some grief or think you're gay. Stand up for yourself yaar. Tell them you're gay and you're proud, or that you are looking for the right one.

    Or just go for whatever your aunties find you on Shaadi.com - being in a loveless marriage is a lot easier for boys in India than girls, I daresay. As a boy you are practically expected to philander after a year or two, no? And boys will pretty much sleep with anything anyway - pity the poor girl who is expected by her own family to have sex every day with her no-balls husband.

    Lots of love,
    A boy

    Ps: Based on my limited observation.

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  15. Well, lets just finish by saying this:

    DON'T GENERALIZE IF YOU DON'T HAVE DATA, quoting your excuse "Based on my limited powers of imagination".

    Opinions, fine.
    But don't start generalizing.
    If you generalized based on colour, they'd call you racist. Well, this post was definitely sexist as it generalized without having appropriate data.

    Lets face it, chauvinism may be the most common form of sexism, but its not the only one.

    @Anonymous (a boy), your comment was on a tangent and not relevant to any of the points I made.

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  16. @sulagna,
    Well, is LCM (little compulsive missy, or least common multiple, the pun for whatever it is worth) allowed to state her opinion, while we are not allowed to state our own, in-spite of the fact that LCM's opinion is practically arbitrary, and my opinion was that her opinion was arbitrary.

    Well, it seems that an arbitrary opinion is fine, but an opinion about an arbitrary opinion is not.

    > Em i have always admired your true to
    > the guts
    Lot of people admired the guts of Hitler to be anti-semetic too. Doesn't justify anti-semitism.

    Again, I'm not saying women are treated fairly everywhere. They do face discrimination. The discrimination LCM faces in Delhi is puny compared to what some women face in rural India. Point is pretty obvious.

    The point that is contested is that men don't have any problems.

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  17. TCC (The Compulsive Confessor, or Tosset Code Compiler), if this is still not clear to you, let me put it this way:

    If I had only five friends, all of whom were brahmins, and I knew each of them to be a drug addict, I wouldn't write a blog saying:

    "Within my limited powers of observations, brahmins are drug addicts".

    Chose brahmins because I'm supposed to be a brahmin myself, that is if I hadn't turned an atheist and started worshipping the Flying Spaggheti Monster.

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  18. @Rajbir: "Well, is LCM (little compulsive missy, or least common multiple, the pun for whatever it is worth) allowed to state her opinion, while we are not allowed to state our own, in-spite of the fact that LCM's opinion is practically arbitrary, and my opinion was that her opinion was arbitrary."

    First of all, you make no sense; what the hell are you trying to say exactly?

    Which leads us on to why you are not allowed to state your opinion or have your own blog: because you make no sense.

    And out of interest, when did the author ever make a statistical claim that the only people in the world who have problems are women living in Delhi?

    But perhaps, being charitable for a second, you actually intended to communicate a groundbreaking discovery about the human condition: life sucks and then you die. Can't argue with that.

    You also seem to be labouring under the more personal and shocking realisation that your life sucks because no one will marry you (possibly because you lack aforementioned balls to come out of the closet or to tell your parents to chill the fuck out and leave you alone).

    I am genuinely sorry about that. Life really does suck for everyone. And then you die.

    That said, please stop whining like a casual shovenist about how women run the world in a big conspiracy and no one cares about all the poor helpless little men out there having such a hard time.

    Yours faithfully,
    The same boy

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  19. Anonymous. Ole le le le. I'm sorry, I thought you were a boy. But you are quite a baby. I realized what I have done. I was trying to explain the Riemann hypothesis to a two year old. Of course you can't understand it. Its not your fault that you cried out aloud for all the neighbours to hear. My mistake. I'll buy you large yellow and red baloons. I must say, you are cho chweet.

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  20. Refuting Anon's claim that it's hard for women in any country, not just India, to purchase condoms. Rubbish. I live in the US, have been living here for the past six years, never had so much as a look-see glance from the cashier when purchasing Durex condoms at the pharmacy. Our college dorms even had vending machines that dispensed condoms. Ha, beat that!

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  21. if it's cheap to talk, it must be cheap to listen

    apparently not.

    - mouse, of anon

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  22. @Sachinky - I've seen condom vending machines in the men's toilet in the toilet of a bus station in Ottawa.

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  23. Rajbir Troll Sir, no one still has any clue what point you're trying to make and I suspect you've forgotten too. Go re-read the article, then go away and do a survey of happiness in a statistically significant sample size of men and women. And then don't tell us about it. Please.

    @Sachinky: How embarrassing. Apologies to any shovers I've offended by lumping them in the same ballpark as sexists.

    Condom vending machines: full of #win, clearly.

    Warmly,
    Boy, again

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  24. where I'm at, you do get single-person home delivery but it aint free!

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  25. Baby, YOU don't have a clue of what I'm saying. Gosh.
    Its amazing how much people generalize without having a clue about what they are saying.
    But then you are a baby. So you're excused.

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  26. BTW, baby, just to correct you, what you are referring to is not an article, only a random blog post.

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  27. I saw this post day before yesterday just sometime back after our lovely lady had posted but was too lazy to log in and comment. Now in a couple of days comments section has become more inetersting than the post!!

    Delhi and many metros are changing but doesn't mean they have changed. Life for single females will be hard, let it be ordering small portions of food or buying condoms. Period

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  28. Well, if you say that single men have it easy, and it is diffcult for a single woman, then just go to his place. :)

    personally, expensive hotels are the best option...

    And yes, eM, you can hang out at my place without any problem..if you come to hyd..

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  29. Very true and anyone who says its as difficult for a single man to stay alone(in 30s) does not know a bit about being a woman

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  30. all the people ranting here anonymously: what did u do last summer that you got to hide ur identity? :P

    I just feel that everybody is becoming too wound up by a single girl's account of her sunday woes.

    the whole point of blogs would be lost if people can't state their opinion. she hasn't defamed anyone. she just has an opinion that is not the same as someone else probably.

    for those who don't like the way she writes, don't read her blog. why do u want to change her? utilise ur free time in doing something more constructive!

    the fun part of blogs is that it is interactive but the prob here is that many of u 'anon' guys have started making personal attacks ! atleast argue with dignity and stick to the article!

    all of us are entitled to our points of view including me and including eM. I am sure we can respect that. :)

    But all said and done, apart from the personal attacks, it turned out to be quite an interesting discussion :)

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  31. A few months ago, I was standing in a pharmacy in Gurgaon with my 4 yr old niece. A guy in his late 20s walks in. He's in a suit, obviously on his way back from work. He looks around the pharmacy and visibly grimaces when he spots my niece(who incidentally is super cute). I'm a bit baffled. He then proceeds to have this conversation with the guy behind the counter: Guy- Give me a pack of Durex. Ribbed. Shop Guy gets him a pack of three. Guy: NO! I have tons of work to do with these. I need a larger pack. Hurry up! I haven't got all day..haha, I haven't got all night!
    It left me really bemused but more than that, it really made me think of the times I've bought condoms by myself and how different the whole thing HAD to be. In a place like Delhi, that is the truth.
    Neha

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  32. To address something a little less earth-shatteringly controversial about the post...
    I think it's about economics, no? Home deliveries for single-serve portions is just not cost-effective for most restaurants, is my guess.
    And that weakens the entire post. Sure, the following points are all true, but the initial observation-conclusion is kinda silly, to be honest.
    And I am a girl, if that matters.

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  33. Tell me about snub-nosed prudes! But Delhi, I love meri like jaan and Mumbai, I sleep with these days - but there, I guess, I am just being a man. Or a woman. It doesn't make much difference really.

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  34. //oh no, the reason we're overpopulated is because pretty fairies come in at night and bless us with children.//

    haha! ;) that's SO wonderfully written... so you actually bought condoms once... ohmigoshhh.. mybadd!! :D lol wink.. :)

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  35. Ha Ha!
    Single boys! So much outrage! So much of getting your panties in a twist!

    The Anonymous one who signed off
    with love
    a Boy
    is right when he says - single boy Vs single girl in India - no contest. Unless you had daily stories of hard-ons pressed against your butt on the bus ride to college? Didn't think so.

    I did used to buy my own condoms in India, pregnancy was always going to be sooo much more embarrassing!

    Boy/girl/hermaphrodite it really isn't a big deal in European countries. Until your flatmate knocks on your door at 2am, and you have to confess yours are probably out of date- It’s been that long. Then its embarrassing...

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  36. @Mr. Rajbir Bhattacharjee, I am more intrigued by your comments than this blog post, so I'd like to address that. First off, I think your argument about 30 year old single men having problems (that eM may have dismissed somewhat) is actually quite persuasive. However, your hostility toward first eM and then the anonymous commenter renders your argument ineffective.

    At the outset, to defend eM a bit, I think her method of analyzing data differs from yours--she, as a writer with perhaps a background in the liberal arts (am I right in this?) offers a subjective opinion 'corroborated' by anecdotal evidence while you, perhaps with a background in science (I'm guessing you're an engineer?) prefer empirical, objective analysis. Moreover, blogging as a medium privileges this kind of subjective, opinion-oriented writing, especially since there is little external editorial intervention. However, this also means you are free to voice your opinion by disagreeing with her, but unfortunately, being rude makes persons dislike you and not take you seriously.

    Secondly, do understand the enemy you and eM are railing against is the same. The same group of people that shockingly question your virility and refuse to rent you homes for being unmarried are also the ones who imply that eM is a 'harlot'. Instead of attacking eM personally, maybe you can consider her an ally, even while respectfully disagreeing with some of her contentions?

    Finally and again, why does your method of argument rely on telling women to shut up and infantilizing/patronizing other male commenters? I'm sure you could get your point across without being an unmentionable-in-polite-society body part. To close my incredibly long post, a few words of advice from a fellow Bengali (a woman and a PhD student of Literature, in case you have missed my point and need some fodder to attack me personally after this), aeto raaga-raagi koro na go, blood pressure bede jaabe.

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  37. Stupendo. The first time went past this blog, I almost had no reaction as it is absolutely been written as eM's opine and atleast I didnt find it to be generalising. I mean anyways she writes for herself and not Indian Statistical Institute (Right eM ? ) .. Just done with reading the whole comment log and must say one thing. Although brilliantly written,each one them, there was a lot of generalisation there too. So to say if one person saying boys buying contraceptives is real cool is generalisation; so is another person saying that it is not .... We all generalise,dont we... And personally I think I agree with eM whehn she says that a girl doing stated stuffs is seen with skewed stares. Yes it is seen so... Absolutely. And if you refute this or havenot come across so, I am jealous coz thats exactly the kind of cities we intend to see in India, in future... As on date, there is a hag lot of taboo around all this and this is wide open ... Maybe a bit of introspection on how all of us guys have at some point of time evaluated any girl will help ...
    Having said all that, its good to debate in such forums... Because if I know my breed (guys and apologies for again generalising) we are strong at head and the learning has to be implicit and subtle else we may not accept it, coz of our ego to accept our faults gracefully :-)
    One of the longest comment ever. Thinking if should take half day leave and go home,take rest ... :-)

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  38. Stupendo. The first time went past this blog, I almost had no reaction as it is absolutely been written as eM's opine and atleast I didnt find it to be generalising. I mean anyways she writes for herself and not Indian Statistical Institute (Right eM ? ) .. Just done with reading the whole comment log and must say one thing. Although brilliantly written,each one them, there was a lot of generalisation there too. So to say if one person saying boys buying contraceptives is real cool is generalisation; so is another person saying that it is not .... We all generalise,dont we... And personally I think I agree with eM whehn she says that a girl doing stated stuffs is seen with skewed stares. Yes it is seen so... Absolutely. And if you refute this or havenot come across so, I am jealous coz thats exactly the kind of cities we intend to see in India, in future... As on date, there is a hag lot of taboo around all this and this is wide open ... Maybe a bit of introspection on how all of us guys have at some point of time evaluated any girl will help ...
    Having said all that, its good to debate in such forums... Because if I know my breed (guys and apologies for again generalising) we are strong at head and the learning has to be implicit and subtle else we may not accept it, coz of our ego to accept our faults gracefully :-)
    One of the longest comment ever. Thinking if should take half day leave and go home,take rest ... :-)

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  39. The first time I bought condoms (I still look too young to be using them), I thought the man would give me a glare and ask me to fuck off (no pun intended), but he didn't. It was rather businesslike, like I was just buying some toothpaste or something.

    To this day, I haven't encountered a medical shop uncle who reacts with anything but nonchalance.

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  40. wow like someone mentioned the comments section is becoming much more interesting than the blog itself.really what does it matter what eM says . shes just sayin u knw.i u disagree then thts ok. either ways whhhhht does it matter-- nooo ground breaking revelations were being made.

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  41. wow. Who knew a lazy sunday afternoon post could trigger off so much debate?
    Great post eM! And I can completely relate to the feeling that sometimes the whole world seems against single women. I live in London and every single time I go back home to Delhi, I feel victimised and discriminated against. Harsh words I know.. but that's how I felt every single time I stepped out of the house!
    Oh well.. you learn to roll with the punches I guess.

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  42. vers@ Boy - I really like the "statistically significant sample" part very much :) Precisely my thoughts!

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  43. Actually I don't know whether to comment on your lunch order or your sex life. Finally I settled for the former, simply because the latter is your personal choice and experience. Ordering food which will suffice for a frugal eater is a problem I used to face whenever I have to spend days and nights alone whenever my wife takes these trips to visit her sister in another part of the city. The eateries should sit up and take note of this common problem faced by many. Liked your ramblings generally. Keep going. Like your spirit though!

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