Friday, 19 December 2014

An Ode To The Indian Toilet...


Dear Indian Toilet,

Nothing screamed of your slow demise more than the Harpic advertisement, where you were heartlessly replaced by your western counterpart. Renovation after renovation, you were destroyed, only to survive in areas that were yet to be touched by westernization and joint problems. In a world where everyone and everything pretends to be urban and red carpet, you have become a symbol of rural living. But I shall miss you.

You my friend taught me my first and only known yoga pose, Malasana. You made me squat before squatting became mainstream. You would be surprised to read this but you also taught me the art of meditation. You see, with you I only had the option of staring at the opposite wall or the ant steadfastly walking on the handle of the red bucket. Sometimes I would work on my predilection for peeling the paint off the opposite wall by counting the numerous bindis my mother had left on the washbasin mirror, permanently stuck because she found them too unhygienic to be used again. Our romance was always interrupted by the numbness creeping into my feet, forcing me to leave you temporarily. But you knew, I would always come back.

I still remember the day those men came to my house. We already had an English version of you on the first floor of our place, rarely used because we all loved you. But my grandfather was 78 and you knew that he couldn’t garner enough flexibility to use you. He needed a seat, which western toilet with its ceramic throne kindly provided. Your demise was inevitable but let me tell you something; you served us well my friend.

You are well aware that innovations make life easy and I know that you would scream “traitor!!”, but I have to tell you that it did not take time for me to fall in love with your western avatar.  On the day following a strenuous workout at the gym, I didn’t have to scream out a cuss word or two every time I had to attend the nature’s call because unlike you, the western toilet understood my limitations. But as much as there are pros to something, there are cons. The western toilet has sprouted my yearning for extra entertainment like replying to important mails through phone, watching viral YouTube videos or stalking the ex, which wasn’t possible with you because all available energy was utilized by me towards keeping myself from falling into you.

You might be thinking, why a letter now? Well, I was forced to squat yesterday while fitting accessories on the lowest branch of my Christmas tree and guess what, I fell backwards. Wouldn’t have happened, had I stayed loyal to you.

Until we meet again (courtesy-Indian railways).

Love,
Your once devoted user.


P.S- I know that blogging works on a give and take basis. I also know that I haven't stalked other blogs for long, owing to being a junior lawyers who gets excited at the mere mention of the word 'sleep'. I humbly apologize. I shall stalk you soon! 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

I am a winner.I don't even lose weight.


I need to lose weight. The mirror in my bedroom seems to have a concave surface every time I look at it. This reader’s digest with its every damn issue wants me to lose weight. I am so desperate!

Ok, enough, I will start today. I will start my day with a glass of warm lemon water in the morning with a drop of honey in it. Priyanka told me that this chick from college who resembled a vermicelli strand, used to drink boiling hot water after every meal. Helps with the digestion she said. I will also drink boiling hot water. I have heard that lemon water also helps you pass the stool easier. Stool! What a funny word. A stool also means a small bench and it also means faeces. Faeces, even that is a funny word. Reminds me of the cosmetic brand Faces. Boiling water after every meal it is!

I will start working out in the morning. 30 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes on the treadmill and some floor exercises, that would be enough to chisel my body to perfection. Actually, I have heard that Jillian Michaels has this video online called the ‘30 Day Shred’ which is an exercise video of 20 minutes but it is said to kick ass. Last time I saw her video, she claimed that giving her 20 minutes is equivalent to ‘spending hours of phonying at the gym’. I will give her my 20 minutes. She is so hot! Lesbians are hot, except those who pretend to be men, like the ones they show in ‘Orange is the new black’. 20 minutes I will give her, every morning. But I have to be at work 9 am and this is when I don’t have a case to attend. Stupid law! Why did I become a lawyer? Ok, I will wake up at 5 am and workout or maybe I will work out after work because then I won’t have that morning ugly face which needs time to fix. Also, because of the food I ate since morning, I would be having high energy levels. Evening workout it is!

Or maybe, I should just diet. I will start with some cornflakes in the morning. Deepika Padukone feels special after having cornflakes. So, what if I don’t drink milk? I will just have cornflakes dry, pretending that it is Bhel Puri. I will not eat the snacks that the cycle chai wala gets us at work. Also, two chappatis in the afternoon for lunch and two cups of green tea throughout the day. I hate green tea! Ok, I will let it cool down completely and gulp it down in one go. I even read somewhere that cold green tea has more anti-oxidants than hot green tea. My problem is solved. I eat so much at night. I will skip dinner. Actually, I won’t eat anything after 6 pm. In that book ‘Lose weight and not your mind’ the author said that your stomach gets sleepy and that it’s at its best between 7 am -10 am. Oh! The book's name was ‘Don’t lose your mind, Lose your weight.’ Maybe I will follow the reverse diet! Have heavy breakfast, comparatively less heavy lunch and little dinner. May be I will just have fruits at night. There is an apple lying in the fridge.

Fridge. There is ice-cream in the fridge.

P.S- I am in the ‘last line’ stage. Everyday
P.P.S- I missed blogging. Lawyering is keeping me on my toes. So many blogs to read!




Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Just another woman's take on 'Kiss of Love'...


So suddenly out of nowhere,  kissing in public makes you a rebel, an activist against moral policing. It makes you the flag bearer of justice and a soldier of free living. The youth of India want to kiss.

It all started when a clueless political party decided to vandalize an uptown café in Calicut, because a news report proclaimed that immoral activities in the form of kissing and hugging was happening inside.  Angered by the depravity that the political party was indulging in, a group of young bloods decided to launch a drive against such moral policing.  Thus, ‘KISS OF LOVE’ was born and now everyone wants to kiss their way to a massive social reform.

Now would I kiss in public? Ok, let me rephrase this. Would I as a woman, have the audacity to smooch the one I like, before the lovely audience that the citizens of my country make? Would I ???  NO, and it is not because I hate kissing (don’t be obtuse) or because I have truckloads of respect for our sanskaar and sabhyata. It is just that I don’t think that our country is mentally developed enough to accept public display of affection.

Let us for a minute imagine a scene. You and the one you currently love just got out after enjoying a lovely meal at the restaurant that you frequent. Everything has been perfect and the day is beautiful. The gentle whirling of the wind suddenly sounds like a John Mayer track and you two are having that moment which just has to be made better with a kiss. And Kiss you do. Kiss you do, a little afraid that your relatives might be around somewhere . Kiss you do, as aunties and uncles of your colony pass by. Kiss you do, as a lone auto driver stares on and kiss you do, as a biker records a video of you smooching, for his own private enjoyment later that night. Now, tell me, was the risk worth it?

I was not aware of the ‘Kiss of Love’ event until one of my colleagues told me about it. “Hey, guess what? People are going to gather at Marine drive on 2nd November and kiss. They are saying that it is some kind of a protest against moral policing” she said, showing me the Facebook page of the event, which had by then crossed 60000 likes, with around 7000 declaring that they will be a part of this drive. We laughed about it, imagining Emraan Hashmi style kissing happening outside the TV box, in our own Marine drive.  In a country that has redefined porn to include MMS of a woman sleeping in a public transport bus, unaware that her saree is innocently displaying her navel, much to the pleasure of the onlookers; we were planning a kiss protest, which can easily be mistaken for a Guinness book of world record attempt.

The problem does not lie in a few politicians who have taken up moral policing as their latest political propaganda. The problem lies in all of us. We perceive a kiss as the initiation of foreplay, a sexual stimulation and not as a way of displaying love or affection. A kiss according to us, has more to do with the fire in the loins than the spark in the heart. We are structured to think that way, thanks to the years of declaring everything including love, a taboo. We as a country, need to change.

They share images of the sculptures in Khajuraho, validating that India is the land of Kamasutra and that kiss is part of our sexy culture. They say that we live in a society where hatred in displayed publicly and crimes happen in broad daylight. They say that if hate is publicly allowed, why not love? They even seriously point out that kissing is their fundamental right, part of their liberty. It is all very true, but we should also remind ourselves that we have bigger problems to counter than the denial of street kissing.

The kiss of love drive that happened in a quaint little town in Kerala, has taken over the country by storm. Every college is suddenly flexing a muscle and hosting a kissing party. All in the name of social reform. But the true intention behind it is lost. Moral policing has taken a back seat. It has become more of a comical outburst than a fight. The ‘Kiss of Love’ event that happened in my city, saw only a handful of protesters, but a tsunami of men who had come to watch the live lip-lock ceremony.

So, do I want to kiss before an audience like that? I don’t. Do you?


P.S- Not every city in our country is metropolitan .Not everyone is modern.
P.P.S- Let me ask you something?Would the protest against moral policing have received such publicity, had it been a candle march  instead of a kiss drive?

Monday, 27 October 2014

KARUTTAPPA.....

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Rumour has it that his wife saw him applying soot on their baby’s beautiful white face.

Karuttappa did not believe his mother. His father would never do such an unimaginable thing. Why would a father colour his 1 year old baby girl’s face with dirt? No, it was certainly a lie formulated by his hallucinating mother. The rumour spread like wildfire across the village but Karuttappa never believed his mother. She never truly loved her husband.

Karuttappa was as dark as the moonless night in which he was born. By the time he could walk, he was obese and certified his legitimacy by looking exactly like his dark skinned father.  He was a good child, kind, intelligent and ever so humble, just like his father. His mother was everything he was not. Fair, arrogant and aware of the impact her beauty left on anyone who crossed her way. She kept telling him that he and his father had skin the colour of processed tea that was made in the factory which his family ran. Karuttappa knew that his father would have never got such a catch had it not been an alliance brought by his rich aunt. Money bought everything, even women, the kid learnt early in life.  He was eight when he was gifted a baby sister, as fair as his mother.  Exactly a year later, his father became the hot topic as the man who coloured his fair skinned daughter, black.

Karuttappa always craved to be his mother’s first preference, who cooed over his sister. He was his father’s pet but that was mostly because his father was too embarrassed to be seen in public with the newly born. He always wondered why but never enquired much due to the fear of losing importance even in his father’s eyes. He and his father were dark. His mother made sure they both knew about it.

By the time he was 27, Karuttappa hated his own skin. His mother found a clueless fair skinned village girl and they were married in a fortnight. No courtship and no stolen kisses, but he did not have time to brood, for he was happy that he had married a beautiful girl. He loved her and she loved him back with the same fervid conviction.  While his mother visited him every month with fresh contempt for his dark skin and her constant fear that his children would resemble him, his wife loved him and his colour. Among these conflicting views by the two most important women in his life, he chose the one that he was used to.

Two years down the marriage lane, his wife declared that she was pregnant. Karuttappa rejoiced and the entire family was quick to come down with gifts for his carrying wife. While his father hugged him with teary eyes, his mother filled his ears with ways to make his child enter this world as a fair skinned baby.  Make your wife drink Saffron milk every day, she said. He believed every word she uttered.

His disinterested wife obliged to his antics. She gulped down saffron milk twice a day, since her husband did not want to take a chance by limiting it to one. She sat through the poojas that he conducted in their house, tolerating the Brahmins who did not comprehend a single mantra that came out of their trained mouth. She loved her husband and cursed her mother-in-law for making a beautiful man hate himself. She also believed that their baby must have been too tired of being subjected to so many complicated rituals that she decided to enter the world a month before schedule. A premature yet healthy, fair skinned daughter was born. Karuttappa wept as he kissed his newly born baby girl. The Gods had listened to him. His progeny would be spared of the embarrassment that his colour has brought upon him. His wife kept silent, amused by the display of emotions by her handsome husband.

The news of Karuttappa fathering a fair little girl became a topic that garnered much interest among the villagers. While the prudent section believed that the baby might have acquired the colour of her mother, the rest vouched that Karuttappa’s wife must have shared her bed with another fair skinned man which resulted in the birth of this beautiful little girl. The possible debauchery of his wife became a subject of heated discussion even in the Toddy shops and one night when Karuttappa decided to grab a few drinks, the drunkards decided to debate about the legitimacy of his daughter right in front of him. A brawl followed but died when Karuttappa fell on the ground and wailed. They were quick to leave the weeping man alone.

The next day, a fresh topic of debate was delivered to the villagers.

Rumour has it that his wife saw him applying soot on their baby’s beautiful white face.



P.S- I am back to Kochi after a much needed Diwali break. Went home for a week after almost a year and boy do I feel happy. :) 
P.P.S- Please read before you comment. I would be glad.  


Friday, 10 October 2014

A MAN & HIS HAIRSTYLE.....


“The worse the haircut, the better the man. John Green
Men have been taking John Green quite seriously. At any given point of the day, if I look around, I can find men with hairstyles that can make a poet forget everything about poetry and force an atheist to pick up a cross. May be I know nothing about style.

Back when I was a child, I remember judging boys based on their hairstyles. Long hair meant drummer/guitarist/ kidnapper/ don’t take the Parle G biscuit he offered you/ Tamil movie villain’s side kick; while an Anil Kapoor style haircut meant decent/ God fearing/ accept the Parle G biscuit that is offered/ saint who will one day crack the IIT exams/hero who will save the girl from the Tamil movie villain’s long haired side kick. Life was simple back then. But as I grew up, barbers around the world began to commit serious scissor mistakes, paving way to some questionable styles. It was all approved in the name of Fashion. When Beckham got himself a Mohawk, the Indian male population went berserk and ran a trimmer on the sides of their heads leaving a row of hair on the middle which was then styled with some Parachute coconut oil.

But nothing hit the Indian hair scene as much as the word ‘Spikes’ did. Mani, our gardener from Trichy was the first one to get spikes. Actually no, I remember how back when I had a boy cut, every morning  meant staring at the hair strands standing up at odd places and putting them back in place with the help of tap water or my saliva, whichever was nearer. Spikes make my tongue sweat.

My brother recently got himself a ‘Honey Singh’ haircut, where the top portion is kept long and the sides barely there. To state the fact, my brother looks like an Indian version of Frankenstein. Since he is a teenager living in an age where the newspapers are filled with reports on children committing suicide over simple reasons like getting scolded, my parents have accepted his personal preference towards mad kick hairstyles.

I want to blame our cute oriental neighbours for this.  They look grand in everything they sport.  Straight hair, front bangs, messy hair-dos, random rainbow hair colour, spikes and punk influenced haircuts; it looks like they are custom made for every single thing. But that is not our case. No Sir, we certainly not that blessed. Sport a messy hairdo and they mistake you for a street urchin. Get an Emo haircut and your mother will check the yellow pages to contact the local Tantrik. Use excessive gel to style your hair and your grandmother would innocently ask if you were licked on the head by a cow. We my brown friend are definitely not that lucky.

My point is that I miss simple men. Men who are not obsessed with the shape of their eyebrows, the hairlessness of their chest or the smoothness of their jaw line. I want men who respect their two day stubble and indulge in mathematics that is not limited to counting the packs on their abs. I want men with hair styles that make them look terrestrial.

I also miss seeing my brother with a haircut that affirms that he indeed has a human skull underneath all that hair.


Somewhere, Anil Kapoor smiles. 



P.S-  RIP my favourite Mr.R.K.Narayan. Malgudi days will always be read, whatever stage of life I am in.

P.P.S- I wonder why I chose litigation. No time at all. I had to somehow update this blog. :( 

Friday, 19 September 2014

A BRANDED AFFAIR.....


It wasn't until college that I began to notice a man’s butt. Actually, it would be fair to say that I began noticing men, in whole and in parts, only after I embarked on the ‘self realization’ journey called college.  I was a convent school product, a girl who based her entire judgment on Men-kind, solely on the specimen that her dad was. My Dad is a banker, usually seen wearing a simple shirt and black trousers, both bought from a certain shop called ‘A to Z fashionzz’ at New Market, Bhopal. Malls did not exist and our family owed it to the pot bellied man at A to Z fashionzz (fashion made better with a double z) for filling up our wardrobes with clothes which he believed where ‘In the Season’. We never cared or knew much about the word called ‘BRANDED’. Except for the VIP and Groversons undergarment, our clothes were well, just clothes.

What do you do when you are this socially awkward person, one who has never stepped out of her home solo in the past 17 years of her life and is suddenly states away from her family, attending her first day of college? What you do is, you make friends and ignite the fire of friendship that would not stand the test of time. The first time I visited a coffee shop was in my 1st year of college, unless ‘Amer Bakery Hut’ and ‘Bajrang Sweets &Namkeen’ from Bhopal, qualify as one too. Me and my two newly made friends would sit at Barista, play truth and dare over shots of strong Espresso and just pretend to not look at the men passing by. It was in this very Barista that I found out about this brand called Levi Strauss. The leader of our group was this beautifully bold girl from Delhi, one who included a man in her ‘Cute hai’ list based on two points- a) Looks b) the red tag on the piece of jeans enveloping his right ass cheek, screaming Levi’s. She was the siren and I was the nerd, pretending to be a siren and badly losing the game. She was a simple girl, a goddess at heart but we were all just teenagers trying to fit in.

During the subsistence of this challenging friendship, I learnt a few things. An underwear with a waistband that screamed ‘Jockey’ was much more important that a man’s IQ, unless he is wearing a ‘Playboy’, in which case his IQ level does not even matter. I learnt the art of checking out a man’s butt before I notice his face. For someone who only used ‘Cuticura Deo’, I learnt about perfumes by Chanel, Nina Ricci, Dior, Davidoff and a certain celebrity called Christina Aquilera. Even though I never owned a Louis Vuitton bag, I corrected everyone who pronounced it the wrong way. I was trying to do college right.

It was in college that I found out about people who aren’t exactly swimming in the rich category,  but will go to any length just to portray that they are. The first man I dated had a second hand Mercedes, with doors that threatened to leave the car the moment the speedometer hit 60. This guy had no personality, no intelligence, nor a face to make up for all the deficiencies. What he did have was a Levi’s jeans, a Pepe tshirt, imported Puma shoes and a Hidesign wallet. Inside the wallet he had 70 rupees, enough to buy him a cup of Green tea from one of the posh coffee shops in Cochin, The Cocoa Tree. I drank sparkling water, which thankfully was free. Of course, I dumped him after 2 months over a phone call, while stuffing my mouth with French fries. I was 19.

From the scholarship money that the bank gave me at the end of 2nd year of college, I bought my first Levi’s jeans worth Rs 2,400/-. Slim fit and bold curve, with the red tag perfectly placed over my right ass cheek. I worked out at the gym so that it was possible for me to wear tops short enough to not cover up the red tag. I literally lived in that pair of jeans until my mother bought me a new pair from ‘A to Z Fashionzz’, belonging to a brand called ‘ZOLA’. This particular jeans was 600 Rupees and as much as I hate to admit, was a dream to get into. How could I portray my love for it in a world where brands dominated your status? I even thought of cutting out the tag from the Levi’s jeans and stitching it on the Zola one, but did not do so for the lack of needle skills. I decided to give up on brands.

A person is not the brand he wears. My father still shops at A to Z fashionzz and is the best person alive on this planet. The closest he has got to brands, is Peter England and Wills Lifestyle office wear. My brother hoards on everything branded, but secretly prefers to wear flip-flops bought from this Barkheda market at Bhopal for 150 rupees, over the Nike one that costed my father a whopping 1299. My mother happily owns an LV bag without knowing what LV stands for and carries her lunch box containing sambar rice in it to office. Her ignorance makes her adorable.

Coming to me, I have given up searching for that red tag on a man’s butt, except occasionally, because well……..some habits die hard.


P.S- I do prefer brands when it comes to cosmetics. Call me a hypocrite!
P.P.S- Don’t hate me for not replying to the comments on the previous post. I do not have an internet facility except at work. I blog when I find time. I cherish each and every comment. You know I do. J


Friday, 5 September 2014

The Essential Ingredients of a Fairness Advertisement....

I am shocked that no Indian author has written a book titled ‘Guide to Fairness Advertisements for Dummies’. In a country where beauty is skin fair and a whitening cream is a better invention than polio drops, there is a requirement for a precise guide to shooting a fairness advertisement. Since, I grew up in a household where my grandmother applied Vicco Turmeric cream while my beautifully dark grandfather swore by Fair & Lovely, I know a thing or two about fairness creams. Also, being a person who conscientiously took up the 7 day Emami fairness challenge, I have all the required qualifications to write this post. By this post, I mean ‘The Essential Ingredients of a Fairness Advertisement’.

So, the first essential ingredient of a fairness advertisement, besides the obvious Fairness Cream (which by the way should camouflage the names of harmful chemicals like Hydroquinone, Mercury, Clobetasol a.k.a steroids somewhere in between the long list of ingredients at the back of the tube) is an actor/actress. Depending on the budget, you may either choose a known but struggling one or a 100 crore club member. In fact, it doesn’t even matter as long as they pledge that your product which is yet to come in the market is the reason behind their success and popularity.  Don’t worry, people will buy it because ‘naïve’ is much more than just a word.


The second essential ingredient is believing in the philosophy called ‘FUCK SCIENCE’. You need to come up with an explanation as to why dark people are dark and white people are, well white. Make sure you mention the word ‘MELANIN’ and show a pictographic representation of the layers in the skin. Refer to this already existing fairness brand called ‘FAIR LOOK’ which gives a perfect justification for the darkness of African people and fairness of the white clan.  The actress Preeti Jhangiani, of the Mohabbatein fame (the first essential ingredient) says “Look at the Caucasians, they are fair because they live in cold regions where the sun shines less, making the melanin content low. Look at the Blacks, they are dark because they live in hot and humid regions where the sun shines more, making the melanin content high.”  


The third essential ingredient is a fake Sadhu, who also holds a doctorate degree in Ayurveda. Sadhu’s are important because well, you are in India and sadhus rule. Make sure the chosen one talks in crude Hindi making statements like ‘CHAALIS ANMOL JADIBOOTIYAAN KA EK ANMOL MISHRAN’. Pure Hindi apparently makes people believe in your credibility.

The fourth and the most essential ingredient is the existence of a ‘Before & After’ story. For your perusal, I am mentioning a few stories that other brands have included in their advertisements.

  
 This is the story of Ragini who was single at 28 because of her dark complexion. A magical whitening cream enters her life like a genie and grants her three wishes- White face, a groom who would divorce her the moment she gets tanned during their honeymoon at Pattaya and three, a totally different voice. Wonder how that happened....

The story of Priya who neither had the qualifications to be an air-hostess nor the required fairness. In came the whitening cream and now her face glows like a bulb's filament . She still does not have the qualifications to be an air-hostess, but atleast she is fair. 


The final ingredient is Photoshop because how else will you come up with a photo showing the shade wise transformation of your actress from suicidal & soot faced to a jovial & slim snow woman in just 7 days.



I think I have covered it all. If not, kindly let me know by commenting below because I have been seriously considering writing the book I mentioned in the very first line of this post. It would undoubtedly be a best seller. You bet?


P.S- No blogging or blog reading for the next 5 days. I am celebrating Onam. Burp!
P.P.S- This one was posted from Mobile. So kindly forgive me for format errors if any.