Friday, April 26, 2013

Here's looking at you, America.

Minutes after the Boston bombings, Facebook exploded with prayers, outrage, profanities and shock. The victims weren’t just random Americans. They were innocent people who had lost their lives on a day just as innocent as them. A day of celebration and joy.  

But then something else happened. Resentment surfaced. Not towards the terrorists but towards the media and hundreds of Indians who had shown their sympathy for good ole USA. “What about Yemen and Afghanistan?” “What about the hundreds of children that have died in Pakistan?”  “3 die in Boston…300 die in Iraq by the hands of the Americans! Why don’t we keep them in our prayers?”  These statements made me realize just how desensitized we have become. We believe that death is a natural part of life in these parts. 

It’s not just the Boston bombings. It’s the school shootings in small towns, a brutal murder by a nanny in New York, a horrific shooting in a movie theatre.  We (urban India) all get sucked in and it hurts us far deeper than a story about a 21 year old Indian solider who will never kiss his unborn child. So what is this bond we feel with a country many of us have probably never even travelled to? Well, this is what I believe. The truth is we have grown up with America. It has weaved itself into our very existence from the time we were fat, toothless infants.

Disney made “happily ever afters” possible.  Spiderman and Batman taught us how to kick butt. MC Hammer told us that we can’t touch this and we still tried. Michael Jackson made every Bunty, Babli and Mithu want to moonwalk while Madonna made little girls ask what a Virgin was. Elvis gave Bollywood stars a makeover that included a gigantic head of puff. Hollywood made us imitate the American twang and dye our hair blonde. Barbie showed us perfect boobs. Playboy gave boys their first orgasm. Archie taught us about high school and to “say not to drugs.” Steve Jobs made geeks cool. The list goes on, and on. No matter how uncultured some of us like to call Americans, we have always been drawn to their culture.

I am not confusing political views with popular culture, but I am just pointing out the (bitter?), truth. If we constantly surround our lives with all things American how can we not help but feel a deeper connection to them? Why are we suddenly called biased when all our lives we have been just that. So whether you shake your head from left to right in agreement or disagreement, it's true y'all, Bharaat Mata has always had an unhealthy obsession with Ms. Liberty.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

You're beautiful. On facebook.

 It’s funny (peculiar funny) how we women often seek the approval of other women to feel good about ourselves. I mean of course we want the attention of the man but as long as he sees a tight ass and a hint of cleavage chances are he won’t check out our neon pants or comment on how the mascara makes our eyes pop. If he likes what he sees then you’re looking hot. He won’t tear you into shreds, examine the shreds with a magnifying glass and then sew you back together. That’s a woman’s job. But things are different on Facebook Land. Because on Facebook land every girl is beautiful. Every girl looks like a princess, is STUNNING, has lost weight, is soo frikking hot, is a complete doll, never looks her age. Even if she is a three eyed troll. If we’re being bitchy, no one would ever know. We just dip it in all kinds of sweet and sprinkle it with colourful compliments. Why? Is it because we’d like the compliment returned when we post instagramed versions of ourselves? Or is because we find it easier to be nice when it’s not face to face but picture to picture? Or are the repercussions of being bitchy more severe on a public platform as opposed to real life? I haven’t quite figured it out.
Boys on the other hand, get off on being complete D-Bags to each other. The best part is that it’s taken with a pinch of salt. Especially on Facebook Land. So while we girls are busy telling each other how hot we are, boys are busy telling each other that they look like dicks or look like they’ve been sucking on one, their sweaters are gay, are constipated fucks, need to get laid, braz!  That’s the difference between boys and girls or men and women. They’re honest with each other and sometimes brutally so. There are no underlying meanings or not so subtle hints. Boy land on or off Facebook is pretty much a 100% real.
But no matter how hard I try, I don’t think I can adopt the man way even if I am itching to tell a friend that she stinks so bad I can taste her stink. But I just cannot. I will not. So when I see her next, I’ll tell her she smells of roses and leave a “you’re stunning” comment on her latest profile picture.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

the big fat indian tamasha

Like all girls, I have always dreamed about my wedding day. I’ve played my favourite Bollywood track on repeat, imagining my friends and family dancing around me while I become the centre of their universe for just a few hours. It would be my day and of course my hone vaala’s day. But it would belong to me a little more than it would belong to him. But now it seems I have to share my day with a hundred people with hundred different opinions. I will have to do things I don’t really believe in and listen to a pundit that I don’t really agree with. When did weddings become so impersonal?

 Yes, Indian weddings and traditions date back to thousands of years but during those thousand years, someone somewhere decided to turn a wedding into a tamasha. The very reason for a wedding has been diluted by over the top customs, social obligations and eye-watering bling. I know so many people that want to elope to a small island and get married with no one around except seagulls and crashing waves. But unfortunately tradition and obligations bind them to the big fat Indian wedding.

I respect and even like tradition as long as it’s in small doses. But I don’t really want it following me as I take my 7 pheras. I want to dance around the mandap wearing flip-flops and a neon colored lhenga with a hipflask hanging loosely around my waist.  But nope, I will have to be a demure angelic virginal bride as I walk around the fire and smile coyly while eyes judge me. I will be a victim and I can’t fight it because even though it’s my day I have to make everyone else happy. Funny isn’t it?

But what I’d hate even more than painful earrings splitting my earlobes into two is the guest-list syndrome that I have witnessed many, many times in the past. So you had a shot with someone once and indulged in drunken conversation and that person is already picking out sarees and designer ties for your wedding. Even colleagues expect to be invited just because you ate lunch with them one odd day in a crowded cafeteria. And so does so-and so aunty who is so-and-so’s aunty who once smiled at you with pan stained teeth. If they don’t get a card, they think it’s an insult. Seriously? An insult? I know someone who returned someone’s ladoos because they didn’t get a card for the wedding day. Just eat the ladoos, man! It’s not about you! It’s about two people celebrating their undying love for each other. It’s about two families becoming one. It’ s about over-the-top laughter and smiling so hard your cheeks hurt. It’s not about egos, demands, people pleasing. It’s only about love, happiness and positive vibrations. So no, you and your paan stained teeth will not smile for photographs during my wedding.  

I am not a wedding hater nor am I attacking “traditional family values” or the very fabric of society. But as I get ready to venture down the path of the seven pheras, I am educating myself about certain fallacies that blind people during wedding planning. A wedding doesn’t make a marriage. Let two people start their journey the way they want to start it. Not let tradition, customs and what nots become hurdles. Let two people enjoy every second of their celebration, make silly faces and get uncontrollably drunk and do everything under the sun that makes them happy.  So even though this day might become a little less mine, I’m still going to have a few moments that will belong to me. And tradition will never know

Monday, January 7, 2013

The year that was

2012 came to an end, but the world didn't.  It was a weird year. A funny year. It wasn’t a great year. I didn’t accomplish anything big but I did manage to quit my job. I love what I do but I just don’t know if I love the life that comes with it. I decided to big goodbye to my brands, stuff my last and final low paying salary check in my pocket and walk to greener pastures. I wanted to be a foot loose and fancy freelancer. Even though the first few months were promising, the few ass holes that refused to pay me my due ruined it for me. So with the money running out, and the loan officers harassing me, I had to quickly find something that would pay the bills. After rejecting an offer from another “big agency” I took a job at a tiny place that pays better than the big guys. I now have a flexible job where I get to write and get to leave before the sun goes down. It’s not permanent but while I figure things out, this will do. 

Besides committing partial career suicide, I also attended a lot of weddings this year. I’m getting pretty good at being a guest. I’ve mastered the fake smile and can also zone in and out of boring conversations perfectly and I've made a massive attempt not to get too drunk. I rolled off a chair and tore my saree at one BFF’s wedding two years ago. But now I think I am a more refined wedding attender. I still have to learn to tie my own saree though. There are a few things I just cannot do. It’s like a disorder or a handicap or whatever. I cannot do math. I cannot fold clothes. I cannot wrap presents. And I cannot remember or give directions. So I am pretty sure I cannot tie sarees. But I must learn because if I am going to marry my Rajput boyfriend I need to be an expert saree wearer. I do look good in one though. Hawwt even.

Um.. what else. I had a lot of fights this year. Lots. With my parents and my boyfriend. I’d like to think that I was “going through something’ or my hormones were outta whack. But whatever it was, I was a moody bitch. Of course I wasn't the only one to blame. My parents turned into the people I’d never thought they’d turn into- the get-married-now- or break-up- so- we- can- find- you- an -eligible –groom- parents. Yikes! Who are these people? Of course like most boys or men, my boyfriend would say- “dude, I’m not ready man.” So I was caught in the middle of the get married and the not ready to get married. So the first 6 months of 2012 were absolute hell on earth. Luckily my other relationships were pretty peaceful. Of course some relationships changed, some became stronger, some remained indifferent and some I continued to fight for.

 2012 was also the end of my 20’s and when I grew old. Aahhh my 20’s were definitely the best years of my life. But recently I spent half an hour chatting with a 20 year old, and even though she was a mature 20 year old, I FINALLY felt the difference. I usually can mould myself into a younger person and gossip about the things they want to gossip about or make dirty jokes that I know they’d appreciate, but for the first time it felt like an effort. Even though my personality hasn’t changed much since I was 16, I think I have finally metamorphosed into a lady. A loud and at times inappropriate lady, but a lady nonetheless. I also realized that even though I enjoy the occasional party where I air kiss and spend time checking out other girls and sucking in my gut, I really can’t go out that much. I use the word can’t because my bones and liver just can’t take it anymore. After a night of dancing and drinking, I wake up feeling like I’ve run a marathon and I am more nauseous than an army of pregnant women.  I prefer dinners, and glasses of wine filled with conversation
 So I did learn lessons in 2012. Big lessons,retarded lessons, trivial lessons, hilarious lessons. I've learned to take care of myself a little better. I have come to terms with certain things in my life and I have learned a few new things and revisited some old things as well. So now  I'm ready for you 2013…I have big plans for you. Big plans.