31

Empowerment, in vogue lately…

Did you watch the Vogue Empower video with Deepika Padukone in it? She looks gorgeous in the video, talking about empowerment, freedom and her choice to live her life the way she wants. It is a montage of 99 different women expressing  their emotions on their faces while DP talks in the background. The stunning black and white visuals with flowing drapes, DP’s lithe body, her adorable dimpled smile and wide eyed wonderment make it a treat to watch.

The video has great points about how freedom should be given to women to live the way they want to. It is a woman’s choice to be able to have s*x or not, to fall in love or not, to marry or not, and to cover her body or not. Sl*t shaming in the society needs to be stopped. There is a demand to be given respect regardless the choices a woman makes. DP asks the world to let a female out of the cage, so that she breaks the cycle of expectations in order to exceed them. She has the choice to be straight, g*y or bis*xual and only she can decide who to surrender her body to. She alerts them that her signs of love and wedded bliss are just replaceable ornaments. The only truth is her love, which is irreplaceable. It is a very powerful video asking for freedom, respect and humanity when a woman decides to have a say in how her life will shape up. The video wants every woman to embrace her choice and courage of conviction. It re-iterates all the points I stood up for when our leading Indian daily published a very demeaning picture of her cleav*ge. A woman must be allowed to live, thrive and grow, the way she wants. Heck, a woman must allow herself to grow.

Those are the good points I took away from the video.

The rest of the time, I was busy thinking how and why is DP so perfect looking with the flowing hair and the s*xy collarbone. I actually mistook the video to be a shampoo ad. Then I thought that it could be an ad for sanitary napkins. But then the video ended and I realized that it was not so. I watched it again, a little confused. Call me stupid, or laugh at my low IQ, but the whole I am a tree-I am not snowfall-you are a snowflake-universe infinite-cotton or silk wrapped around energy confused me. What was that ‘you are a snowflake!’ It sounded like me saying ‘I am not stupid, you are stupid.’ I have read much powerful lines with much simpler words that make impact. The very cute Alia Bhatt ad was a case in point. So was the ‘men don’t cry, and don’t make others cry’ campaign. That one hit the point across with a targeted ferocity.

They showed such pretty women in the video, with a few ladies from a rural background. It had a very elite, upper class feel for me. The points about freedom here lean more towards liberalization than empowerment, and was meant for A-listers I guess. It is very important I agree, but I feel it is the next step to feminism. The first one is to make both the sexes have equal footing in all walks of life. There is a debate in USA about white girl feminism and a colored girl feminism. It opens up the can of worms regarding how empowerment means such different things for different races, classes and strata of the society. Empowerment for some means equal pay and social standing, for others it means justice against violence and the right to make their own choices, while for so many it means to have the basic right to breathe and survive. What I would have liked to see here was women for education, women in science and technology, women in teaching, in medicine, women at home raising kids to be strong and independent; women running a business, working up a career or building a home. That is a choice the women have a right to which is usually denied.

When DP talks about her choice to have s*x whenever and wherever, I feel she is extending her choice of freedom to infidelity, which is just so wrong for any gender. If I can get really mad at a boy for cheating on me, how does my empowerment lead me to cheat on him. It reminds me of the fun Koffee with Karan episode where she bashed RK for cheating and being a s*x addict. She should not be that mad since after all it was his choice(even if it’s a sucky choice). Just a few months later, for a couple of weeks, they were super chummy again, when Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani was to be released. But people do change all the time and hopefully she has matured to actually follow her own message. It also brings to my mind the number of rape cases that are filed when a guy backs out of marriage after having s*xual relations with a girl. She speaks about a choice to have babies. That is a choice where a man and a woman must have an equal say for, in my humble opinion.

Vogue magazine is another story altogether that tells me that I am not beautiful unless I use a $50 Dior lipstick and curl my hair every single day. It tells me how I can’t catch his eye or succeed in the boardroom without the perfect skirt that will cost more than my rent. I do not want to go into their photoshop-body image-skin color issues and how bang opposite empowerment they are. “They do not have a size for my spirit.” Take that, Vogue! I am not fat. Also, is it the same DP who endorses the K challenge to get a flaunt-able waist in 2 weeks? I have written about her previously and recently wrote about Anushka getting bullied as well. I spoke up how they both were being shat on for no reason.

Do watch the video, and take away the great points it has to offer. But don’t confuse freedom of choice to be a reason to shirk away responsible choices and good sense. My freedom of choice may make me take all the cash from your wallet. But that won’t be right now, would it?

31

Dating tales : Boy 1

As promised earlier, I am going to blog about the guys I meet for dates. Let’s see if this is a lone star or turns into a series. 

I met a guy from Tinder last Saturday. The way we met, I am not even sure if I can call it a date.

I had to ask his number for whatsapp, after two weeks of tinder chatting. I firmly believe he should have done it, feminism-sheminism. But he made me do it and I am not too happy about it. We spoke on whatsapp on the day of the meeting and decided to meet at Corner Bakery for lunch, in a mall that is pretty much my watering hole. There is something about malls that makes everything so convenient. If you don’t know what to do, just head to the mall. Something WILL come up. It is fascinating to see the different levels of shopping people show. I find it equally amusing that the Rolex store is perpetually empty. Only 4-5 very well suited guys waiting around for invisible customers. In fact, that entire wing housing Rolex, Dior, Tiffany, Roberto Cavalli is usually not very busy. Anyways, I digress.

When Saturday arrived, I started to get extremely lazy. I thought to myself if I really have to go and meet someone, can’t I just keep chatting with people? When I was seeing the xBF, we were living together with roommates and we would spend most of our time at home, sprawled on bed, watching something together, just both of us or with Abhi, or talking to Abhi, or cooking together. We would head out a li’l bit on weekends. But that was it. There was eating out involved and date nights, but that was not too much work somehow. Now that I have been single for so long, the thought of dating feels exhausting. If I meet people on weekdays, when do I work out? And I can’t meet people after working out. My face is a mess then. I don’t want to wash my face, re-do makeup and put contacts on. Gosh. Too much. But weekends are meant to relax. Sheesh. Also, there is a weird guilt factor about even thinking about moving on. I am missing the xBF like crazy.

So, I reached the café and I saw him standing in the line. To be honest, I had reached 10 minutes early, as usual, had peeped inside and walked into H&M to kill time. I even picked out a top mentally that I bought later after saying bye to him. I went and said hi to him. A li’l dark, glasses, not too tall, loose black shirt, grey/brown pants and brown suede shoes. He had a very grey aura to him, maybe because of his clothes. Nothing too special.

I ordered a pretty meh sandwich that I later wished I hadn’t, and he had pancakes and scrambled eggs, that I wish I had. Point to be noted, we paid for own food, like I prefer. It is a self service sort of place where you order and they get you food. He had asked for his food without bacon and yet they seved him that. He, without a fuss, asked for an extra plate, removed the bacon and ate rest of his food. That was nice. I, err, would have created a small amount of fuss.

Now what did we talk about? We spoke about cricket, food, living situations, Pune and Bangalore. He has never seen anything except South of India, but says his family and friends have. But he has covered 26 states in USA and wants to cover all 50. That was not too bad. He mentioned how he likes to cook but doesn’t do it everyday. He is an early riser. He plays cricket every weekend at 7 am. I wake up at 10.30 am every weekend, unless I have to be somewhere. I was making jokes, and telling him how goofy I am. He seemed to be a simple, serious Bangalore boy. I was atleast 6 times more animated than he was.

That is all I remember from our conversation. It was quite vanilla. Normally I like vanilla, but I was disappointed that I did not hear any bells or guitars in my head. 

We walked over to the parking lot together and he said it was nice meeting me and we will hang out again soon. I said sure and did a little wave and went away to my car. I did not give him a bye-bye hug that I give all and sundry. My buddy Shawn asked if anyone leaned in for a kiss and I chastised him by saying we are Indians, we don’t do that. We both chuckled at my statement and then cried at the possibility of me being #foreveralone.

PS : My friend Anh says I should have gone to a better sit down place, and should have let the guy pay on the first date. 

21

Defeating sportsman and female spirit together 101

Awww, India lost.

Honestly, I am upset, but I am not disappointed by our boys in blue. They did great! Remember the series down under where we got absolutely walloped by the Australian willow? We were walking around with red b*tts for months. Everyone, including me, thought that we would be very lucky to even get past the pool matches.

Well, guess what? We made it till the Semis! And un-freaking-defeated!! They did stunning. Our bowling was being critiqued left-right-center but the boys performed so well. The batsmen did absolutely great and Dhawan shone like a star. That guy has something in him. Remember Kohli? Who was said to be in a bad form and criticized for his batting skills? What a stunning knock against Pakistan. Honestly, the only game that mattered to me.

 

Dear Indian Cricket Team, you did great! . So what if we lost to the Aussies. We lost to a truly deserving team who played beautifully and who made me stay up till 4 am to watch the game.

*Salute*

Why do you think we did good till the semis? Because Anushka wasn’t present? Oooh, has to be because all the pativratha wives were praying super hard and were doing maha mrityunjay jaaps and no water fasts for their husbands. Right? That is the ONLY reason why the boys can perform. Hai na? Their talent takes a sideliner when the wives’ prayers are at work. Not girlfriends’. Because cheee, our culture doesn’t allow girlfriends. We can applaud and ogle at the non-Indian cricket player’s wives and girlfriends’ because that is allowed in their foreign culture. But when it comes to us? No way in hell! If Kohli does well, it is thanks to his talent with the bat. If he has a crunch day, it is because of the bad luck and the distraction that the actress girlfriend brings. We aren’t even going to look at the fact that Kohli has toned down his rowdiness so much since his relationship started. The girl has a truly calming effect on him. He was a star since his under-19 days and he will be a bigger star.

Anybody remembers the 1960s? The era when the beautiful Sharmila Tagore started seeing the so-very-handsome Pataudi? There was a point where Pataudi lost his form. Everyone forgot one tiny fact that his talent shone even when he was blind in one eye. There were jokes galore that Sharmila was distracting him and called him to go for dinner and he said to wait a minute, he will be right back. Aah, so funny. But that was 1960s. We have progressed so much since then. We are on our way to be a global superpower, economically stronger. We are so modern, ride fancy bikes, we travel by air everywhere, shop at Zara in Dubai and Singapore. Just read the jokes and tweets slandering Anushka. Have we really progressed now? Honestly, if one of the team members comes out of the closet, I shudder to think how our public will take them down. We have such a low opinion of anyone not being, apparently, ‘mard enough’.

Cricket is a very unpredictable game. You never know what will happen till that last ball is bowled. We have seen that time and again. Yet we chose to pin this loss to a woman who, by common public consensus, distracted our boy Virat. I am so proud of our cricket fans. Most of them are the young ones who cluck their tongues appropriately when there is a story about a molestation, who keep re-iterating the fact that they respect women when stories about eve-teasing break out, who themselves have girlfriends. They talk about a woman’s respect and how Anushka ruined Kohli in the same breath. Many girls I know are forwarding jokes about Anushka as well. The very same girls who also send forwards about how beautiful motherhood is, who post stories on FB about girls standing up against molesters, and who are trying to pave their paths.

People, don’t talk about woman empowerment, gender respect and equality only because it is fashionable to do so. Don’t go posting and harping about ‘men for women’ only because it is politically correct. Learn to appreciate the world without looking at the sexes. Don’t prove time and again that we are a bunch of narrow minded, ignorant, disrespectful twats.

 Team India, you have my absolute respect. Cricket fans of India, I am ashamed to be a part of a clique like yours.

Peace out.

43

15 steps to avoid being a weirdo on Tinder

So, I have been trying out Truly Madly in India and Tinder in my area in California. The experience so far has been very wavy. I haven’t met anyone yet, but I am planning to meet some of the guys I have been talking to soon-ish. Let’ see how it turns out. Maybe if nothing else, they will give me some blog content. I feel horrible pangs of heartache and have phases of relapsing into old memories. But I am trying really hard. I wonder what is he doing. 

So far, some of the boys that I have spoken to have been really, really weird. With a few exceptions, of course. I do not know if it’s a mentality or a grooming issue. I have mostly been swiping for Indian guys, because that’s what I am into. I have also spoken to some gora guys but that wavelength merge with such a different culture could be too much for me to handle. You know what I mean? It is just a personal preference for me, and to each his own. Although Gora guys have been matching up with me, but they could just be, you know, expanding their portfolios. Haha!

 

Now as a Public Service announcement, if you are a boy on tinder, please use the following guidelines to avoid turning off a girl. I think some points work for both the sexes, but I am not sure what to tell girls because I have no idea what their dating scene looks like. In my head, I am perfection. 😀 

 1.       Do not assume that if an Indian girl is on Tinder, she is bold and easy. You will make yourself look like a h*rny idiot.

2.       Do not open a conversation with Hie or Hye. Horrible.

3.       Do not use the term Daru(alcohol) after every 5 sentences. You just come across like a raging alcoholic or like a typical college kid who is screaming ‘I drink daru! So I am very cool!!’

4.       Do not ask a girl if she has done the deed with her ex-boyfriend. My friend went through such a conversation with a total turd.

5.       Do not put mirror or gym selfies as your profile picture.

6.       Do not ask her how can she be a vegetarian. She can be whatever the hell she wants to be.

7.       Do not ask her for her favorite author and proceed to insult the said author’s books. You will get whacked by the fattest book of the series.

8.       Do not send her a Facebook friend request the same day as you started talking to her. Nothing screams more desperate than that.

9.       Do not say ‘Oh, I don’t expect girls to be in Mechanical Engineering’ unless you want a screwdriver up your ###.

10.   Do not call her things like ‘Sunshine’ right on the second day of starting chatting. She may be a dark thunder cloud, you never know. Nicknames are best avoided.

11.   Do not be on Tinder if you are the kind of guy who will date like a Romeo and marry the girl only your Mumma chooses. There is Shaadi.com for that.

12.   Do  not ask a girl ‘if she does too much shopping’. It’s her money and she can set it on fire if she wishes to. 

13.   Do not start dissing India. Don’t be ‘that’ kind of a guy.

14.   Do not call anyone ‘so gay’. You will stink of narrow-mindedness and shortsightedness and there is no cologne to care of that. 

15.   Do not be someone you are not. If you are all of the above and pretend to be not, it is way worse. Open your mind and heart a bit, and you will do so much better in life.

*Going back to swiping left n right*

27

Humans or parasites?

All the views expressed on this blog are mine. And I am allowed to express/rant. Like all Princesses are.

I am extremely upset. With one thing and another.

FYI, I am absolutely against fur and leather. And I firmly believe animals have the right to their own skin and no one else.

It is an animal for God’s sake and not an Outfit of the Day.

I am not telling anyone to change their lifestyle or food habits. Although I may not agree to it, but it is food after all. I ate meat till my 9th grade and then I gave it up sometime in 2002. It was because I really, really love animals and work for them and couldn’t handle the thought of something dying to be on my plate. But then, it is food and livelihood for plenty of people. I may feel really bad for the deer but I know the lion will not be able to digest grass.

But do take a moment to think about drawing a line between need and luxuries and at what cost you are getting it. Are you really carrying a nice $850 Coach handbag or an animal that was lying on the table blinking and gasping after it was skinned alive? It sounds really harsh, but it true.

Versace may do gorgeous fur trims, but it came off something that did not even have the voice to cry after being bludgeoned.

I found out recently how 75% leather is actually dog or cat skin made in China (the letter said or India, where animal cruelty laws are very weak) and sold to manufacturing units. Many of these dogs are stolen from their humans. They are taken away from their loved ones. We feel very sad about human trafficking, and I might be the only one who feels equally sad about these voiceless creatures. I couldn’t stand the picture where they were bludgeoned to death in front of cages filled with alive dogs who were climbing on top of each other to escape. Watching the video footage was out of question, because I had seen the one about fur 5 years ago, and it killed my 4 nights of sleep.

This is a passionate issue for me and very close to my heart. I have blogged about something similar before here.

Let’s prove that we are at the top of evolution chain for a reason and not for mindless murder of humans through wars, or animals for money or of forests for our own profit.

33

The Ban Brigade

WARNING : I am extremely angry and need a vent right now. I am not proof-reading this and I admit there is a lot of cussing and anger and negativity in this post.

DO NOT READ

DO NOT READ

DO NOT READ

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

 I am sick and tired of the Govt’s attitude of banning this and banning that, left right and f-ing center. I am sick of the shortsightedness shown by these fools when it comes to justice and equality. I am do disgusted that I want to scream and slap the f-ing shit out of everyone. Arrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhh

I read about the horrendous mindset of the Delhi rapist. So nonchalantly he said that if the girl wouldn’t have struggled, she wouldn’t have been that injured. You f-ing bastard. You inflicted that pain of inserting the iron rod through her for teaching her a lesson? I should scratch your eye balls out with my bare hands for  just so much as glancing at a woman. He proclaims that raping a woman is a way of teaching her a lesson for roaming outside late at night, for wearing short skirts. The way things are right now, he may as well say that women need to be punished for wearing skirts, sarees, ghagras or even a burkha, for going out and filling water from wells, for going to work to earn a square meal, for going to school, for taking birth. YES. For taking birth. We have reached that stage where there are hyenas on streets luring little girls and raping them. What crime would they be committing that they must be raped as punishment?

The lawyer is even better of a specimen. HE proudly says that India has the best culture. I f-ing spit on your culture you useless piece of wasted sperm. You want to burn your daughter because she dared to stepped out of the house? I want to burn your one arm off, the one that pledged to stand up for truth and justice. Why don’t you get banned?

Rajnath Singh, HONORABLE home minister of India wants to ban the documentary. They are worried tourism will get affected. He says he was hurt when he heard about it. Meenakshi Lekhi wants the documentary filmmaker to be charged by cops. You f-ing morons, you are charging the wrong people! One of the most barbaric rapists is going to walk out in 3 years to hound more girls. That is not worrisome to you? Jaya Bachchan squeezed out a couple of fat droplets from her eyes claiming it is an insult to Nirbhaya is this documentary is aired. You stun me, woman. You have forgotten that you belong to a party which has men claiming boys will be boys and they make mistakes sometimes. I want to bang my head on the wall at the situation.

The one voice of reason was Anu Aga, who said that banning is not the answer. The main issue is the mindset and we need to confront the situation where men do not respect women and the blame is squarely on a woman after any rape.

Meanwhile, our awesomesauce censor board have directed the makers of the movie Dum Laga Ke Haisha to bleep out the word ‘Lesbian’. Yup. We are that country where we think marital rape is alright but words like Lesbian pose harm to society. Ashoke Pandit claims he was not a part of that decision to ban the word and has used the hashtag #freedomof speech. Freedom of speech gaya tel lene when he claimed K Jo has s*x with his mother after the roast. Which again, was simply, banned. Their p*nties are bunched up when they hear the word Bombay instead of Mumbai. A Manoj Bajpai movie is in trouble. Why? Because he will be playing a professor who was suspended because of being gay. The injustice meted out is chalta hai but showing it is not fine. Waah re waah.

Ban your idiotic minds you pieces of assholic junk sitting in the high chairs of the country’s top office. Open your eyes and face the real f-ing problem!!!!! You make me want to throw up.

8

Dear Chintu…

Oh Chintu, you sweet doggie. You came into the society right after my 9th had ended with your cutie lil sister Mintu. Both white. Chintu, a boy with brown spots and Mintu, a girl, with black spots. You both were adorably cute and wanted to play with Moony, who, ahem, can have a li’l attitude. You were just a year younger to Moony. I remember Risbood auntie christening you both.

Time flew and you grew up to be such a weirdo. You had the smoothest head I have ever seen! With taut skin and super short hair, and a thin long tail, you looked perpetually naked. One of your eyes had thick black liner and one eye had half and rest half some pink thing going on. We never stopped making fun of your funky looks. Mintu was the prettier one clearly. She had puppies when she was 2 years old. It was inside a junk hut full of wooden planks and stuff. Mom told us not to go near Mintu because she may have bitten us, but yet Dad and I went near the hut the day after they were born to see them. We were peeping through the window when she saw us. She came running outside with the most amazing expression on her face! She was smiling, we kid you not! She actually nudged us in and then pushed her li’l puppies to dad and my feet. It was like she was showing them off! Dad started patting her saying things like ‘kiti goad aahe tujhe baal, shaani Mintu majhi’(How cute your kids are, my good Mintu). She just lied down for a tummy rub from Dad while I played with the pups. Sorry Chintu, for we had to send your nephews/perhaps sons(I hope not!) away for adoption and eventually the watchman also sent Mintu away to live on someone’s farm. I hope she had a good life.

Chintu, it was amazing how you could recognize our car’s horn from one lane away when Dad would come back from work. Heck, you even recognized our Scooty’s sound! Well, our Scooty roars like a rocket engine but goes at the speed of a bicycle, so it is not hard to recognize. It doesn’t matter if you were snoozing somewhere, or eating, or doing any of your business, but you came running and gamboling to greet mom or dad or me. You used to be rewarded with toast or khaari. Just this was enough for your evening snack because you liked to have chicken courtesy Aderao auntie for your dinner. You were so regular that toast and khaari was a part of our monthly ration even if no one else in the house ate them.

Your breakfast was set to be milk and roti. We had to do every trick in the world to shut the door on Moony’s face because he would get insanely jealous when you got the food from us. Moony was a jerk at times barking at you from the car, but you would just go ‘aaaaoooonnnnn aaaaaa’ at him and continue wagging your weird whippy tail in circles.

It was a delight in the morning to meet you. Dad says you never missed the morning walk. As soon as he would take Moony out, you would join them and roam together. And then, you would earn your breakfast. Well, you would also go missing for days, when you were out and about like a Romeo. We always wondered how you did it in spite of the operation we got done on you! Geesh! You would come back with new cuts and bruises from all the wars you fought for the ladies. And then it was Dad’s headache to pot ointments on you or wash you up. There was this one time I had to wash your face for a gross reason. Moony had lifted his leg to pee on a small plant and God knows why you rolled over there and Moony continued his business. You were blinking when his pee hit your face but there was nothing anyone could do!

The funniest thing I remember of you is your vigorously wagging tail going thwack-thwack on the ground because you wouldn’t even get up out of sleepiness and then squealing for me to pat you. The other thing is how your and Moony’s weird relationship made me suspect that Moony’s gay. Also, I am going to slide over the fact that you stole some of Moony’s girlfriends. You got slapped by mom and no snacks on those days.The biggest Chintu characteristic was that we would be walking home from the grocery store and suddenly we would feel this wetness on our hands. You would always sneak up from behind and lick our hands! Sneaky you! You also had the most incredibly clean and white teeth ever! You could have been a walking and talking advertisement for colgate. 

A lot of building people always wanted you out. But mom and dad argued with/convinced everyone that you were okay. You had indeed prevented some robberies. Except Vengurlekar aunty who kept up a constant tirade against you. Not considering the fact that you were old, and arthritic, and so tired. We defended you. Always. Dad threatened this man at the grocery store who claimed he would poison you. That is the only time I have heard of Dad really losing it. You were the most harmless creature ever and even little kids played with you freely. You were last in the generation of dogs that came with you. Kolhoba(accident), Furry(disappeared with the watchman), Mintu(gone), many others. Now there are Audi and Snowy who are extremely sweet as well.

My parents last day in Kothrud, they fed you eggs and milk and you really enjoyed the meal. They sent me pictures. Even I had tears in my eyes looking at you. They don’t tell me, but they were very emotional at the thought of leaving you. But they were sure Aderao auntie will keep you full and fed and well-cared for like rest of the dogs.

We left on 26th November 2014. We had our Vastu Pujan on 3rd January 2015 when I was in Pune. Risbood uncle and auntie came home on 6th January 2015. Auntie told us then…. You were gone…. 28th December 2014. You had a very bad evening and probably had a cardiac arrest. You left for the rainbow bridge later that night surrounded by your kiddo friends and Aderao Auntie. She took care of you and kept you warm. She got you medicines from the Doc as well, but there was no point. 

You passed away at your 12 years of age. You had a long and hopefully good life. You are the only roadie I know who had a natural death so that makes me happy for you.

Chintu, we will always remember every bit of you. 

That very black wet nose, the hard and round scalp and the whip of a tail you had.
The wetness of your sneaky kisses, the hundreds of fleas we pulled out of your skin, and your very strong legs.
The funny floppy ears, the half pink eye, and the funny squeal of yours.
The lady-love scars, your love for butter-milk, and your evening snacking.

We miss you, sweets.



Chintu, the great.