38

10 reasons why it’s hard to be a woman 

It’s a hard job belonging to the female species. 

Excuse me for this rant, but someone’s gotta say it. Don’t forget to read this with a pinch of salt. And a lemon wedge. With tequila.

1. Periods. Hi! Did I just make you all very uncomfortable?? 😉 Just the word is enough to curdle blood of any man, and send a gush of wild hormones in a woman’s vein. It hurts like a B*tch, feels disgusting, and leaves you so uncomfortable that you cannot sit, sleep or even sneeze in peace. Everything hurts. Including the sound of anyone breathing. Also, don’t ever tell a woman that the whole reason for the pain is to create life and miracle and all that jazz when she is PMS-ing. Just don’t.

2. Hair Removal. It is very easy for guys to say that they can’t stand girls who have hair on their arms or legs. In the same breath, they will say that oooh, they don’t know how women can rip off their hair and they will never do it. To rebel, I don’t wax my arms. And I am proud of my peach fuzz. Deal with it. There is nothing unhygienic about it. I go without touching my legs for months sometimes and I am brave enough to go to the gym in shorts.

3. Nails. We were at the bar the other day and 2 friends mentioned how they feel that if a girl’s nails are done, then it’s like a given thing that the girl is neat, clean and takes care of herself. So basically, to prove someone of my hygiene commitment, I am expected to blow up $40-$60 for a mani-pedi every week. Hmmmmmm.

4. Hair. Haircuts are the most stressful things. THE MOST EVER! People say it will grow out, it’s just hair. But the damn bird’s nest takes months to look presentable if gone wrong. Washing hair is a huge task and some poor ladies have to do it every day (make that 90% of non-desi girls I know). I hate the whole business of wetting, shampooing, then rinsing, then conditioning, then rinsing again and waiting forever for my hair to dry. Shorter hairstyles haven’t helped either, because if dried wrong, it looks horrible. I don’t want to get into the whole ironing/curling/blowdrying process. I don’t understand how women get up half an hour earlier to do their hair. Respect.

5. Shopping. This applies to only indecisive women like me. I will go to a store, browse just with my eyes, without touching anything, will get depressed about not finding anything, will leave, will come back after 15 minutes, browse again, will find something which is more expensive than my grocery budget of the month, will curse the economy of the country and walk out. Then I will go home and regret not buying the same thing for about 6 months to a lifetime. If I have some event, the first thing to pop in my head are outfit options. I will style everything in my head perfectly before realizing that not only I don’t have 60% of items but neither the tall lean stature to carry it off. Sigghh.

6. Fat accumulation. I cannot stand the belly bulge when I am sitting down. B**bies are the worst offenders in this case. Br*s can be f-ing annoying and more so if new weight is gained. Cannot even burn the damn br*s because then any body movement will be agony. Sheesh. We women have been blessed to deposit fat directly on our torso for some goddamn reason. It is very, very easy to accumulate it, but so hard to get rid of it. This is injustice. This brings me too…

7. Food. For the general public, ‘A moment on the lip, forever on the hips.’ For most women, ‘On belly, upper arms, bust, butt, upper legs.’ To all ladies who like their drinks, yes, beer belly is a reality.

8. Shoes. When Eve bit into the apple, God punished her by condemning her to eternal sin, and by creating high heeled shoes. When they say beauty comes at a price, they really mean it. I love the look of high heeled shoes, but my feet decided to be flat and have awkward joints with tapering toes(bunion) and that effectively put an end to my high heeled ambitions. Also, never ask a girl to walk home if she is in her heels, unless you want a kick with the same stilettoes.

9. Childbirth. First of all, who decided to give women certain child bearing years, while leaving men with practically their life time to work the family jewels? Why the hell are eggs finite? That’s just so unfair. Even worse is, why did it have to be so F-ing painful and agonizing and even more hormone-y than menstruation? Plus, I definitely have a problem with the glorification of motherhood in movies, TV, or society in general. Some woman either cannot have kids or don’t want to have kids, or some may even want kids but just adopt. IT’S FINE.

10. Judgement. Patriarchy. Prejudice. Inequality. Inferiority. Enough said.

Now you can shoot that tequila down.

 

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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.

20

My skirt is not your license, pervert.

For some or the other reason, this has been going on in my head since around 2 weeks about men, whether in India or abroad. And to top it, I read few very interesting tweets on my Twitter feed.

I suppose everybody has read about TOI and Deepika Padukone’s tiff here. For the uninitiated, I have done a blog post on how embarrassing and crude Times of India is and how I would rather call it the Trash of India. So, it usually publishes very news worthy articles on the home page of their website like ‘Top 10 s*x scenes’, ‘Top 10 heroines with good b*tts’ and other very socially relevant articles. Occasionally, actually usually, you will find illuminating videos like ‘OMG, look at her wardrobe malfunction’ or ‘OMG, look at her pa*ty show’ and ‘OMG, look at her cle*vage’ which has what happened this time where the subject was Deepika Padukone, a very famous Indian film heroine. It was accompanied by a very shady pixelated image/video, I am not totally sure what, because I refuse to give click/view to that trash. But this time Deepika, lashed back at them where she decided to educate them about the existence of her female anatomy. TOI thought it was cheeky and cute to reply back saying how that was a compliment and everybody should see her, ahem, beauty. *Goes and bangs head on the wall*

Next we have the La-Di-Dah Shobhaa De’s article on NDTV webpage. For a recap, she had said after Deepika’s launch that she was very ‘verni’ and looked like someone who wouldn’t win ‘even’ a Dombivali Beauty Contest. I have been wondering why Dombivali? My best friend/rakhi brother who lives in San Diego is from Dombivali and he is one of the most good looking guys I know(Do not turn into an air head if you read this!). And why Verni? Just because Ms De happens to be from an elite part of Bombay? I am from Pune Kothrud, and I totally qualify to be called as Verni by every Tom, Dick and Harry from Koregaon Park or Kalyani Nagar. I have failed to understand the point of her article, like most of her articles. I am neutral towards Deepika Padukone, just to make things clear.

I do not understand this woman. NDTV says she is an authority on Indian pop culture. Yes she is. Because her article bang on describes the Indian patriarchal mentality. It further re-iterates the fact that a woman is responsible if someone leches at her, oh no no, compliments her body. Her view is exactly the view of a streetside romeo who goes on a hooting spree when a girl’s dupatta is slipping, a lady’s blouse is showing her strap or a woman walks out wearing a pair of shorts. According to Ms De, Deepika has put on display most parts of her body to the public. She has dressed up in risqué outfits and has done bold photo-shoots. She has a toned body and wears clothes that flaunt it. The low back dress, Ms De talks about, Deepika has been there and done that. Does that make it right to point and leer at her body in a National Daily like a hooligan in a bus? You know how she sounds to me? Like one of those moral-policing culture gurus who say that if a girl doesn’t want to be raped, she should cover herself. There are some people who have said that she is a high flying celebrity, she should be okay with pictures of her cleavage and she is creating a fuss about respect and empowerment. Really? Like, really?? I am pretty sure, a celebrity or a regular woman who loves wearing her gowns and skirts and dresses and cholis will find it very insulting when a picture of her is taken and it is zoomed onto her br*asts or b*tt. I think it is a federal crime(yeah, right!) when such pictures are circulated and leered at by politicians in the parliament, high school boys in the restroom, men in offices at water coolers, and by the pseudo journalists.

I am pretty sick and tired of being told not to travel in a general compartment in the trains because men will pinch my behind. I hate being told not to wear low waist jeans because the back benchers will stare. It frustrates me being asked to not wear a square neck or V-neck because it will attract attention. It is quite obvious that I have br*asts and I wear a b*a. So should you stare at my strap like an animal staring at its prey? I know you have a d*ck, does it mean I stare fixedly while you(all the freakin’ time) scratch it? Take your eyes off my body. Don’t dare call it a natural instinct. My natural instinct is to gouge your eyes out and hand them to you. And for heaven’s sake, TOI, stop feeding this crap to the public as entertainment news. We have enough people on the streets who go OMG and whistle if I walk down in a salwar/saree/skirt. I don’t need a National Newspaper doing the same exact thing.

Lay off!

16

Honesty is not always the best policy

The DMV(dept of motor vehicles), CA loves me too much or hates me limitless, I am not sure anymore. For the uninitiated, when you go in to get your license in USA, you have to give a written and vision test and then a behind the wheel driving test to get your driving previledges. If you are not a citizen, you have to submit I-29s and passport and visa copies to show your legal presence in the US.

I gave my written exam in 2011 and took my driving test in august 2012 while at grad school in San Diego. In both the exams, I was among the rarity in my school or people I know, who passed in their first go. I had to go in twice to the office after that because they wanted some more paperwork.That is when my DMV rounds began. Mind you, the DMV is not a fun place to hang out. If you thought the Indian RTO is inconvenient and a pain in the backside, the DMV is in another league of it’s own.

I waited to get my card in the mail with bated breath. 15 days…. 30 days…. 45 days…. And then 60 days! Finally I lost my patience and gave the Sacramento office a call. And, what do I hear,? They don’t have my picture. All this, after I had asked the lady after my driving test if I was supposed to get my picture taken again. She had refused and I had confirmed twice! Yet they told me then, that I was missing a picture. Why they did not call me right away? Your guess is as good as mine. So anyways, I went to the San Diego DV office again and did the whole picture taking thing. Finally my card arrived in the mail and I heaved a sigh of relief. Until I saw my mugshot and almost choked on my breath. Don’t worry, no one will see it, they said. Every cute bartender saw it. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Most of my friends already had their driving licesncesv by that time. Most people were good to go for a couple of years. Heck, I know a few people, who just gave their written exams and received their cards in the mail in a month, totally skipping the behind the wheel exam. Me? I was supposed to drop into their office by March 2013 again. They gave me a validity of 7 months, completely on whim. None of my papers were ending in March’13. My I29 was good until Oct 2013 and my post completion employment authorization was good till Dec 2013. So, I went in again in February 2013. This time, they very generously extended my license till Dec 2013. It seemed like this time the date was based on my ending of the authorization card. I was supposed to go in with a proof of my 17 month extension of employment authorization for the next renewal which I would have received in November. Once again for recap, people with the same visa situation as me, were owners of licenses good until 2015-2016, etc. So, I went in again in last November. They took all my paperwork and told me as usual to wait for 60 days for my card and if it doesn’t arrive, to call the sacramento office. Well of course! It did not arrive in the stipulated time frame. I had to go to the Santa Ana office, show them some more paperwork, get my temporary license extended, and wait again. Siggghhhhhhh. Finally my card arrived with a due date of? 26th September 2014, my birthday. I think I shed a tear or two at the thought of going in for my 3rd renewal within 2 years of driving. But this was nothing.

Three weeks back, I received a notice from the DMV. Usually when you are close to your renwal date, they mail you a notice regarding how you can extend it. Sometimes you can be eligible for renewing it over the phone, online or sometimes you can send your paperwork in mail. If it has been 5 years, you have to pay a renewal fee of $33, and for the unlucky few, you have to give the written test again. Me, you ask? My letter stated that I had to :

1.) Take the vision test
2.) Give the written exam
3.) Take behind the wheel driving test
4.) Pay a renewal fee of $33 in the office

Peaches! This was perfection personified by the DMV. I felt so sad, so so sad, that I can’t even tell! After 2 days of fuming, I made around 3-4 online appointments at the Santa Ana office to try and sort out the mess. I spoke to a lot of people at work and asked people on facebook to figure out if it was common. Apparentlty, everyone was clueless about this and said it had been 20 years or so they had been just renewing it. Great! DMV wanted to make me jump through a million hoops for no apparent reason.

So, I started studying a little bit and went to try and wriggle out of all this. I was told their that sometimes they gave the license for 2 years, and sometimes for 5 years. They just pick people to do it. There was no way of waiving that off. I just tried to smile inspite of my crest-fallen face and decided I will attempt the test then and there. Thankfully, I passed with just one mistake.

The guy who checked my test, printed out an interim license to give me and told me that I will have my card in 2 weeks. Now, I should have just kept mum, taken the paper license, thanked him and walked out without as much as a second glance, right? But no. I had to be an epitome of honesty and I blurted out to ask why would I receive the card right away. He told me because I already had a license. I went on to say that the notice I received said that I had to take a driving test too. He asked me the booth number where I had submitted my paperwork and went to check the letter. He came back and re-printed a temporary license to say that I have to take a driving test next 😦

This makes me so so sad. I am just running around in circles like a dog chasing its tail. And then, its me and my big mouth. When will these two learn to keep quiet?

ETA on 09/17: I passed my driving exam! Tiny update here.

2

Of rants and closures…

Aaaah, that has been a verrrryyyyy long absence. So much for my decision to update my blog frequently. Btw, is it just me who gets confused on how to spell decision?

I finally have been working. Yay for that! Since, September. And along with the full time job, managed to finish my thesis, so I am a Masters in Mechanical Engineering with a good thesis against my name. Double yay for that! I will try not to think of the fact that the amount of research abuse I went through, and the work I did, I deserve a PHD. But alas, life is harsh and such.

I have been going through some really difficult things personally in my relationship with Mr. BF. He is the best guy possible. And it sucks when stupid things like future, marriage and moving to India come in between. Its even worse because neither of us are wrong. That deserves another post altogether and I am not sure how happy he will be about our story being made ploglic( blog+public, geddit? :D).

So, even when I was not posting anything on my blog, my blog reading hasn’t taken a backfoot. Blogs are blocked at work, but I am so glad to get the posts as emails. One such post that I read was this by Pepper.

It began a chain of thoughts about my behavior. Looking at me, it’s a classic case of spoilt, single child syndrome. I behave like a brat. I have the least amount of patience. I have horrible temper tantrums. I am very insecure. I resort to shouting very quickly. It is like, 0 to b*tch in 4.692 seconds.

But those who know me, also know that the diagnosis is not true. I am a single child, yes, but spoiled? Definitely not. I was pampered, and my parents adore me(obviously, duuh!) but they have never let me cross the limits.

I come from a not very affluent background. My dad worked hard always to give us the best possible. He spent maximum on education. He spent all his savings for my MS. I don’t remember ever crying for something in a “I want, I want” way. My dad has always credited me by saying that I look immature, but I am smarter than my parents. He is proud of me about the way I understand the responsibilities, my home situations and about what I have to do to give my family the best. That basically is the reason why I chose to do MS and decided to work in the US for atleast a couple of years. I earn good enough. But I send 50% of the money home to repay my education loans and will continue sending always to help out my parents and fulfill their life-long dream of having a home in Pune. This apparently ‘spoilt, pampered child’ amongst her friends, has had the least monthly expenses(in India and in US), minimum expenditure on thanksgiving shopping( people staying in US will know what I mean 😉 ), and practically no shopping budget every month.

Anyways, I realize I have written way too much about my upbringing. Getting into the reasons that I have thought are responsible for my crazy erratic behavior. I think there are two. The first one, again, deserves a separate post. The second. The second one, bullying.

My dad had a marketing job where he had to move from region to region. I have been to 7 schools, 1 junior college, 1 engg college, 1 US Grad school. I have lived in Ajmer(where I was born at my Nana-Nani’s place), Indore(my dad’s native place), New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Indore, Pune, Lonavala(Engg), San Diego, and now in OC. Way too many changes. Siggghhh! I have always been a meek chotu kid. I would always have incomplete classwork, bad grades, would get up in the middle of the class to walk to the blackboard, and annoy my teachers. When I moved to New Delhi, I was in the 1st std. First 6-7 months of school, any school till 6th std, I have eaten my lunch box alone. Sitting in the playground on a bench, pretending I am waiting for someone. Same thing in New Delhi. In the middle of the year, my teacher Mrs. Madhumita Chatterjee(loved her!) noticed my classwork, and my walking to the blackboard. She wrote a note to my parents to get my eyes tested, and I was diagnosed with -3, -3.5 in 1st std. No wonder my grades were bad, I could not see the questions written on the board, how would I answer them! So after that I was not just lone, but rather started getting made fun of because of my glasses. I do not kid when I say I looked exactly like Jassi! Haha! Then I met this girl Dimpi in class. Punjabi, loud, with a temper and an inability to take disagreement. I met her grown up(?) version as a roommate in my 1st year in San Diego(That year was a hell!). Dimpi would punch me on my back, pinch me, pull my plaits, make me jump from stairs for her amusement, make me climb jungle gyms even if I hated it. I put up with that just so that I had a ‘friend’ and did not have to eat alone. Then came a girl Kalpana who stood up to her and our friendship was promptly broken off.

In 3rd std, I moved to A’bad. By the time we moved, the admission season was over, so I had to go this really horrible school, Aroma, where English medium was also taught in Gujarati. It was an alien language for me. Even worse, cuz I was now a complete outsider. At the end of the 1st day of school, while walking out of class in a line, I accidently bumped against a girl in my front. She did not say anything then after I told her that I stumbled after getting pushed from behind due to the crowd. The wall at the gate was made of uneven bricks. I was standing there, when she came from behind and hit me on my head and pushed my head against that wall. I got tears in my eyes, but couldn’t utter a single word. The other bully I met was in the rickshaw. She was also in my class, and I was s uitable bakra for copying off the answers from in exams. I started messing up my rank in the class because helping with her math and science paper took up all my time. I still regret that I started stealing because of her so that I could buy her tamarinds, saunf, and such things. Luckily my parents found out soon and were very nice about it. So when I stopped, it made her really mad. I would not let her copy from my exam papers like before. I won a prize in school for painting and she could not take it anymore. When we met in rickshaw that day, Thwack! I was slapped. Once again, drank up my tears silently. I changed my school after that year. After the eating lunch alone period of 4 months, I found some nice people I could be friends with. They were all a mixture of personalities, but there were a couple who came to meet me and invited me back to their places on my last day in A’bad. I will remember their sweetness always.

It was much better in Indore. I went to St. Raphaels school, and made a couple of friends who I still talk to, and not just on Facebook. J

The worst school I went to has been in Pune. Its very hard to become friends with teenage girls when their groups are set since childhood. 9th and 10th were hard. A new girl coming in and getting one of top three ranks of my class, quickly becoming her English teacher’s favorite, can lead to craziness! I had a breakdown after my prelims for 10th boards and I had done really bad. My parents spoke to me all night about it and then I buckled up. I did rather good in my boards and topped my class. The best feeling was to see my parents beaming. I don’t want to even talk about my 12th boards, cuz I have no idea what had gotten into me(*rolling eyes*). I did bad in boards and average in CET. Somehow managed to get into Engineering. After 2 years of hiccups, last 2 years were the most wonderful years of my life, where I made the best friends that I love even today. I shall write about those cartoons too some day.

With so many transfers, so many new schools, somewhere I became very lonely. The experiences that I had, made me an introvert. St. Raphaels helped me come out of my shell in many ways. I credit that school for my confidence now. Since I have no siblings, and barely had friends, my support was my parents. Whatever was happening in school, I could not stand up for myself. So all that frustration would come out at home. I would have tantrums, screaming fits, crying, falling sick. My dad is the sweetest, most pavam guy. I hate the way I get angry at him. I seriously do! L Also, it led to a lot of insecurities, a feeling of discontent, and overall lack of patience. That unfortunately leads to many fit of rages with the BF also. HE is still with me and wants to be with me forever(God bless his heart!). He tries to handle with me with utmost patience. But I seem to be testing it. I feel extremely bad about this behavior. I know I am wrong. I am trying to control it. But the situations that arose in San Diego after I got here and specially in my 2nd year here, are making it extremely hard. I wish I find a way to kill this demon inside me.

This has been a loooooong post. But I had to write it down at one point or the other. Maybe it will lead to a closure of all the issues in my childhood. I hope jotting it down will lead to a new me. An improved me.