An Awkward Conversation.

Boy: Just call her. Get it over with. Quick, like taking off a band-aid. And, be cool. Who the heck says ‘be cool’ nowadays, anyway? Now, where did I write down this girl’s number… This bloody maid, if you tell her a million times not to touch stuff, wohi karna hai!?

*Searches here and there*

Aha! Here it is! How’d it get here… lounging between the remote and the ashtray? A smoke to ease pre-call stress? Nah, post-call smoke type situation lag rahi hai yeh. Okay, here goes nothing!

*Inhales deeply and dials*

Boy: Hello?

Girl: Yes, hello.

Boy: Is this Anita?

Girl: Yes, this is her. Who is this?

Boy: Hi! I’m Ashish. Your mother and my mom spoke sometime this week about an alliance and I just wanted to get to speak to you before we decide to take things further…

Girl: Yeah, my mom mentioned something earlier today. How are you? Arre yaar, not another of those matrimonial site losers. Why do I have to go through this torture? I just want to get a job and enjoy myself…

Boy: Good! How are you?

Girl: I’m good as well.

Awkward Pause

(Pause)

(Pause)

(Pause)

Boy: So… What do you do? Are you working somewhere?

Girl: No, well… I was working for an MNC but, I recently quit so… I’m kind of in between jobs right now… Are you working or studying right now?

Boy: Yeah, I work for a bank. *Clears throatStandard Chartered Bank actually, I just got promoted last week so… Things are pretty hectic and there’s a lot of work to be done… It’s like I’m a mini CEO or something, hahahahe.

Girl: Seems arrogant… What the hell is a mini CEO… Like Mini Me or something?… Oh My God, I hope he’s not bald! AAAAAh, mujhe ganje se shaadi nahin karni…Mujhe shaadi hi kyun karni pad rahi hai…

Girl: Oh, that’s great!

Boy: Yup! Yessss! *Hi-Fives, err… Space?* I’ve made a good impression, ‘Mini CEO’! Hahaa! Good one, dude! Gotta use more of that scrumptious li’l phrase from now on!

Boy: Yeah, I landed this job right after my MBA, which I did from NMIMS, Mumbai. What about you? You’re an M.A., right?

Girl: Yeah, in Mass Communications… Lady Irwin, DU.

Boy: Cool!

(Pause)

*Awkward fidgeting at both ends*

Boy: So… what sun sign are you? Aur kya boloon?

Girl: I’m a Virgo

Boy: Oh!! I’m a Virgo, too! Virgos are the best, I tell you. They’re smart and creative and they are good looking and…uh… they’re practical and calm and…uh… romantic…

Girl: What a cheapo!!! Oh, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that as well…

Boy: Yeah… astrology is fun and, and so useful!

Girl: Um, yeah. And, it helps in so many ways…

Boy: So, do you like watching movies? I like action flicks a lot!

Girl: Yeah, I like watching movies…

Boy: Great! I just saw ‘Elysium’. Matt Damon was awesome in it! Did you see any new flick recently?

Girl: Not really, I’m just really busy with looking for work and stuff…

Girl: *Checks the time* Oh, it’s 8:30 PM already? I gotta go, I have to make dinner. Chalo! Finally, I can hang up.

Boy: Sure! By the way, can you send me your FB link? I’ll send you mine as well… We can know more about each other that way. My e-mail ID is funkymunky@gheemail.com

Girl: Yeah, mine is dunkyshunky@chcheemail.com, I’ll send my FB page’s link to you.

Boy: Got it! Okay, thanks! I’ll send my FB page’s link to you as well. Nice talking to you! Bye!

Girl: Likewise, bye.

Boy: Well… thoda aur jaanane mein kya jaata hai? What’s the big deal in getting to know her a little more? Her voice sounded pretty mellifluous, actually.

Girl: What a loser! How arrogant and so pretentious! But, I suppose I should be polite and send the link-shink. Let’s see…

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Here You Go, Another Post on ‘Nirbhaya’

In the wake of the most recent Delhi gang-rape case, a lot of brouhaha has ensued. Everyone’s moral compass has suddenly swung to ‘Protect the Indian Daughter’ mode. People are organizing mass rallies, posters with witty slogans are found on every paan-spit soaked wall and pillar and every other blogger is crying hoarse for justice, equality, security, yada, yada.

All the news channels are holding hour long debates where the same four – five stalwarts namely, Sheila Dikshit, Suhel Seth, Meenakshi Lekhi, Renuka Chowdhury and one or two extra fittings vehemently discuss how brutal the rape was, what the most tortuous punishment ought to be for the rapists, the hard-heartedness of the Delhiites who let ‘Nirbhaya’ lie sans help and the horrendous justice system with appropriately pained faces and a forced tear and anguished plea for sanity interjected once in a while when things get monotonous.

Basically, my head is spinning after watching, reading and endlessly discussing all this nonsense with every second person I meet. The basic problem is that all we are doing is just that. Discussing, probing, arguing. Conjecture is an art the idle Indian has perfected. We take an issue and dissect it limb-by-limb, criticizing everything and everyone associated with it, proclaiming ourselves to be judges of morality and civility while shaking our heads disapprovingly at others. But, do these so-called debates ever pan out to anything?

Take the case of Priyadarshini Mattoo. Or Ruchika Gehrotra. Or Aarushi Talwar. Or Soumya Vishwanathan. All these are high profile cases. All caused furore in the media and within the Indian community. There were rallies, heated debates and a lot of campaigning here and there (just as is going on with the ‘Nirbhaya’ case). But, a few months down the lane, all that remains is a hurried whisper and a stifled sigh. No new laws have been made, nothing has really changed, we’ve just moved onto a new story. Where is the action that follows a heartfelt discussion? Where is the law that follows a petition signed by a million odd Indians? Where is the court sentence that follows the endless chasing of the judicial system?

Who cares, right? Let us all just watch these debates, make some poignant comments here and there and then return to our old ways of turning the other cheek when we see someone teasing a young girl on her way home from college. Let us all ‘Like’ Facebook pages devoted to the ‘Nirbhaya’ case – albeit the only posts on them being photoshopped pictures of the nth India Gate candlelit-midnight peace walk or some passionate sloganeering-type quote that rouses the emotionally charged Indian to ‘Share’ the post on her/his feed, and feel good about herself/himself. ‘Cause like hell we’ll actually do something about it.

In reality, it is easier to make lofty speeches and discuss intelligently but, are we doing something constructive about the issue? It need not be a massive gesture or something groundbreaking – although those would be awesome – something thoughtful, I would imagine as being enough for beginners. Lighting a candle shows respect, I agree but, berating someone eve-teasing a young girl is what would actually make a difference. It is high time we stopped pretending to care and actually took action. After all, these are our lives, our people and our society we are talking about.

Get Out of My Way When I’m Getting My Sweat On!

Right. So this is a rant on all the pathetic and irritating aunties in my colony who have made my exercise routine excruciating because of their daily dose of dumbassery. For the uninitiated, middle-aged ladies in India are referred to as ‘aunties’ and it is common for these ladies to go for morning/evening walks in their respective suburbs.

These ladies are a peculiar species in their own way. They’re mostly housewives who spend the entire day yelling at their maids (household help in India is common) and over-feeding their darling children. They’re bored, undoubtedly. Come evening, they turn into salwar-kameezNike donning ninjas and hurry to meet their counterparts for their awesome “evening walk and chit-chat” sessions. Oh, and most of them carry flowery napkins to soak up their imagined workout sweat and frequently check their cellphones, which are generally worn as pendantesque accessories, like the three solid gold chains around their hippo necks aren’t eye-catching enough.

Anyway, once you get over this overwhelming sight, you notice that the aunty brigade takes up the entire road as they “walk”. Yes, the whole ten feet of road is occupied by these domestic cows as they sashay rhythmically down the lane. As it is they walk at a speed of roughly 2mts/hour, with breaks at regular intervals to catch their breaths and gossip some more – because it’s soooo difficult to saunter and jabber at the same time.

These Mrs. Khuranas and Mrs. Thiagarajans don’t give a damn about the loner jogger as s/he attempts to squeeze past the lady army and jog on steadfastly. They graciously deign to move for cars and autos and very grudgingly so for scooters and scooterettes. Please, hear our pleas! We’re here to use the roads, too!

For the love of God, please have mercy on us loner joggers, we need to maintain a pace to build our stamina, we need to work up a sweat and thin down. Isn’t that the point of exercise, really?

Sidebar: I really wanted to put in a picture but, as I searched Google Images, I found mostly aunty-centric porn. Did not know that’s a rage. Indian men’s taste sucks big time.

Holi – India’s Excuse for a Nationwide Rave

Imagine a large crowd at a fancy Hauz Khas ground in New Delhi’s posh South Delhi area busting out their choice Bollywood moves to DJ Crayzeee’s Dhol Mix of ‘Rand Barse‘, Bhang or, more likely Vodka-Sprite, in one hand and an acid green water-pistol filled with mellow-yellow colored water in the other. There are photogs, News reporters and the occasional Holi-bash crasher on the prowl as the chic Delhiite parties on with abandon.

Welcome to the new age Holi celebration. Gone are the days when Holi was a festival when family and friends greeted each other with flowers, gujias and organic Vermilion teekas. When one wore white and harmlessly pelted one another with flower-based colors and doused water on each other with simple pichkaaris after gathering around to pray to God to mark the triumph of good over evil.

For instance, in 2011, India‘s capital was host to ‘Holi Cow’ on Vasantotsav (Huh, what’s that?), a rock concert featuring artistes like Menwhopause, Mob Marley Inc., et al which commercializes the festival as well as ensures that teenagers and ‘hip’ Delhiites skip the customary family lunch for an orgy of dubstep, rap and what-not.

Holi is fast becoming a breeding ground for tomfoolery, debauchery and commercialization. There are umpteen cases where boys take advantage of girls, touch them inappropriately and harass them. Illicit liquor, Bhang and other recreational drugs are pedalled freely on this day as the pot-bellied Delhi Police turns a blind eye labeling these exchanges as ‘innocent merrymaking on Holi‘. Mithai shops crank up the prices of frilly ribboned and sequined pre-packaged sweet hampers which not only taste manufactured but, also take away the joy of feasting on fresh homemade sweets.

It seems the undertones of the ‘festival of Spring’ are quietly withering away and like everything else, this link to India’s rich culture and history is dissolving fast into oblivion, just like the shade of organic Holi red dissolves into nothingness when synthetic color is added to the same bucket of water.

You’re Not Cool Because…

Hey, you! Yeah, you there with your frayed low-waist jeans and swagger to match, you look like a homeless dude, not cool, ‘kay? You there with the neon skirt and ‘I Heart Sugar Daddies’ tattoo on your lower back. Nada. And you there, with your multicolored spiky porcupine ‘do, you are definitely not cool!

I’m sick of meeting people who go around masquerading ‘being cool’ as it is ‘in’, posting a million Facebook ‘clicks’ making all sorts of crappy faces, texting shit like ‘txtn shyt lyk’ and acting douchy in general.

You. Are. Not. Cool.

You are as far away from cool as you could be. You’re at the top of the ‘Pseudo-Cool-Douchebag’ list. Basically, you’re uncool. And, the fact that you think that you’re actually fly makes you a complete buttwad and makes me want to swat you with one of those funky badminton racquet-shaped electric mosquito flyswats . Now, those are cool.

All you name-dropping, ‘Ambience Mall‘ hopping idiots, you are not cool because your attitudes suck. You look down at everyone who isn’t channeling Chanel when half of you think Coco refers to Coffee. You think you’re all that because you got passes to ‘LAP’ for an exclusive party? Can you spell ‘exclusive’ (Hint: It doesn’t start with ‘X’, honey)?

Don’t even get me started on all these anglicized ‘nicknames’ blinged out in Swarovski ambi-buti patterns on the covers of your iPhone 4 thingamajigs or whatever’s out now: J-Boi, Hunky Jaat, Pooo (like poo?),Jumzzz (Jamuna, go figure)? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you guys?

And what, I mean, what is up with the crappy accents? So, you went to Australia for a year, how the heck did you get a three-in-one accent! Oh, and please, spare us the “OMG! So durrrrddyeeee!” monologue after ‘living abroad’ (Raj Travels’ MalaysiaThailand-Timbucktoo package) for five weeks. Bitch, please. It’s called a vacation, ‘kay? Lunatics.