On Being A Domesticated Housewife

Last millennium, there was a paradigm shift in the way men and women thought and behaved. Whole societies evolved into liberal entities, allowing such acts like women being allowed to work, men being allowed to marry other men, women being allowed to marry other women, women being allowed to vote, read and opine – acts that would have had them killed before. We all rejoiced this happy turn of events. Everyone could do everything, and no one would be allowed to question them. Everyone had smart lawyers who ensured the continued freedom to do and to sue.

However, I must have missed the memo, because of late, I’ve been domesticated to such an extent that I’m wondering if I’ve gone back in time to the Darker Ages, and occupied a woman’s body. A typical day in my life pans out like this: I wake up, finish my ablutions, make some coffee for myself and drink it while reading the newspaper. So far so good, right?

I then wash the previous night’s dishes, clean the kitchen counter, the stove, the shelves and the dining table, take a shower, clean up the bathroom, clean up the toilet, set the bed and go to work. I guess this is also typical of a guy living alone. But, wait. It gets better.

I get home in the evening, make some coffee or tea for myself, drink it while watching a bit of television, then make some dinner. Once I’m fed, I clean up the kitchen and the stove, and if I’m in the mood, I do the dishes right there. I then do a quick, cursory sweep of the house with a broom, dust all the table tops and the windows. I then proceed to put my dirty laundry into the washer, and while its doing its thing, I walk down to the grocer, buy some groceries, walk back, and arrange the new purchases on the shelves. I tie up the garbage bags and take it downstairs for it to be picked up. By now, the washer would have almost finished its job, so I take the wet clothes out to the line to hang them up.

But what’s this? There are clothes already present on the line, from last evening’s laundry. So, I take them down, and replace them with today’s. I fold the dry clothes and put them away in my cupboard, come back into the kitchen and clean the washer. I then make some more coffee or tea and clean up the dishes and run a wet towel over the kitchen counters again and watch some more television with my beverage.

I hit the sack, exhausted.

So, in this domesticated lifestyle of mine, I hardly find the time to socialize. I need a break, and I need a maid. Sometimes it’s a nice break from the monotony of not doing your own chores.

Oh, I won’t bother writing about my weekend schedule. It’s worse.

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Fashionably Amused

I am no exception to the Rule of Omission, which states that a straight guy, when surrounded by ten or more beautiful women, will subconsciously omit everything else from his field of vision. A similar situation arose last night. A long lost sister of mine coerced forced invited me to attend the shooting of the grand finale of a high-end reality fashion show, which was promised to be oozing with glamor. I took up the invitation reluctantly and only because of my brotherly protective instincts, which she managed to evoke quite deftly. How can a chivalrous guy like me let his kid sister wander the outskirt streets of a  city like Mumbai alone at midnight and beyond?

So, I went as bodyguard and guest, and sat through two hours of boring social etiquette, while sexy women in breathtaking dresses paraded in front of me. As part of the audience, sitting in my usual torn jeans and ill-fitting shirt, I was the most under-dressed of the lot. And that is saying something. Everyone around me was dressed in lovely evening attire, dresses flowing freely on some and body-hugging some. Curves all around. I was in straight guy heaven.

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The event itself was mediocre. The concept was not too unique and the contestants in the beauty pageant behaved exactly as they were expected to – pretty but dumb. There was the obligatory ‘world-peace’ speech from one of the girls and the cliched ‘stop-terrorism’ plea from another. There were four judges for the event (it could have been five, I’m not sure) – an ex-beauty queen, two or three Bollywood actors and a fashion designer. Apparently these people were celebrities and supposed to be quite the household name. I had never heard of them.

A 23-year old friend of mine who had accompanied us on this adventure became quite depressed halfway through the evening when my sister told her that she looked 28. The rest of the evening passed by in a blur for me, caught in between the incessant ‘Do I look 28?’ chants on one side and stunning women on the other. The buffet spread was passable at best, and a few social niceties later, we said skadoosh and hit the road. The place where this event was being held was called Madh Island (pronounced ‘Mud’, like in mud and dirt), which was a good hour away from the city proper, and in a secluded, forested  beachfront. Quite a charming place in daylight and definitely not for the weak-hearted and paranoid in moonlight. We were lucky enough to find a cab at the gates, without having to do too much walking around, and reached our respective houses close to 1:00 in the morning.

It was quite a night. Now I know where all the hot women hang out.

PS: Why is looking the right age so important for women in their twenties when they don’t act their age?

PPS: Using ‘freshly pressed’ as a tag on your posts won’t get you featured on the WordPress homepage. I discovered this the hard way, in my previous post.

For The Love Of Journalism

Once upon a time, there were two journalists – a boy and a girl – working in an over-crowded island that passed off for a city. The boy used to work in a newspaper, reporting on all the crimes that happened in the city and lived a dangerous life. For, the city had an abnormally high crime rate. The girl, on the other hand, was the editor of a magazine and reported on all the business dealings in the city. Unfortunately for her, the city was also the financial capital of the country, which kept her quite busy with no time for any fun. For the purposes of this story, let us call them the Reporter and the Editor.

One day, Editor was walking along the road, lost in her own thoughts, trying to avoid the speeding traffic and, at the same time, trying not to step into the potholes on the road. Trying to negotiate a particularly tricky pothole, she tripped on her high heels and fell on to the road. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a speeding truck rushing towards her and she closed her eyes, frozen with fear, thinking that everything was over. Just as the truck was about to run her over, strong hands grabbed her around the waist and pulled her out of harm’s way. The speeding truck, horns blaring and barely slowing down, rushed past her, splashing the muddy water all over back. For a second, she was confused. She wasn’t dead. She wasn’t roadkill. She looked up at her savior, the man who had pulled her to safety, and looked into the intelligent brown eyes of Reporter. He was covered in mud, just like her, but he was smiling.

“If you have a death wish, you can find better ways to kill yourself,” said Reporter with a smile. “Are you all right?”

“Ye- yes!” stammered Editor. “What happened? I’m.. I’m not dead?”

“Unfortunately, no,” he said. “Why did you fall over?”

“I.. I tripped,” she said. “You saved my life! Thank you!”

“I did nothing of that sort. I was walking a few paces behind  you on the road, and I saw you fall into the road, right in the path of that truck! I thought you were suicidal!”

She laughed, and gave him a tight hug. “Thanks for saving me!”

“Anytime,” he laughed. “What’s your name?”

“Editor,’ she said. “And you?”

“Reporter. Where do you live? You look like a truck just ran over you. You need to clean up. Let me take you home and make sure you don’t trip again.”

“I live just round the corner,” she said, laughing a little at his humor. “You can walk me home.”

So, arm in arm, they walked round the corner and he dropped her off at her house. “When do I see you again?” he asked, just as she turned to open her door.

She turned around and looked at him. He seemed cute enough. “Do you want to?” she asked with a smile.

He nodded.

*

Confused in Love

Two days after this incident, Editor was madly in love with Reporter. She didn’t know what to do about it and worse, she didn’t know how he felt about her. Meanwhile, Reporter was also badly smitten by the beautiful Editor, and wasn’t sure how to proceed. Both wanted things to move on and neither knew how to ask the other one out for an official date. They had met a couple of times over the past two days and had an absolutely wonderful time together. They enjoyed each others’ company and they jumped with joy when the other person called them. They were just too shy to ask each other out on a date. Or perhaps, they were afraid to make a move too soon and scare the other person away.

Love is such a fragile, fickle-minded thing.

So, one fine day, Editor couldn’t take it any more. She had to know. She contacted a friend of hers in another city and asked him to help her out in this dilemma. This friend of hers was known around the world as a famous Love Guru. He deliberated on her problem and came up with a foolproof, romantic way of bringing them together – a blog post. Though she was initially hesitant about the idea, she quickly realized the potential.

“Go ahead,” she said.

And the Love Guru started writing: “Once upon a time, there were two journalists…”

How To Spot An Indian

I’ve been hearing a lot of incidents of racial profiling, where Indians are ‘randomly’ pulled out of lines at the airport for a thorough check. It has picked up tremendously after 9/11 and I’m not surprised. As Indians, we unfortunately share the skin color and hair styles of the usual terrorist suspects. I would be racially profiling myself, if I said that all terrorists are middle-eastern, so I won’t say it.

A lot of people in Western countries shit their pants when they see a brown guy sporting a full beard. This fear is doubled if the brown guy is wearing a white kurta. And they practically run for their lives if this guy sports a Taqiyah – the traditional Muslim prayer cap. And there have been a few instances where a white guy literally had a heart attack when a brown guy he was talking to, used the word “Allah” in his sentence.

Terrorist SpottingThis is so ridiculous. There is a limit to paranoia, and taking it out on brown-skinned men and women, just because some brown assholes killed a bunch of white people in the past, is calling for trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I am shocked and disgusted each time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the world. As a pacifist myself, I find the unnecessary loss of human lives intolerable. It is okay to be afraid, but it is not okay to assume that every guy with brown skin is a terrorist with a bomb strapped to his balls.

So, I have decided to write a small but useful guide to help people identify Indians in a line-up. Look, Indians are a harmless, gutless bunch of people who gave the world Kama Sutra, and wanted everyone in the world to live happily together, having awesome sex with each other. We are not the kind of people who would want to harm others. Hell, we go ballistic when our kids eat non-vegetarian foods and call them murderers – we believe in instilling guilt very early in our kids.

The first thing you should notice about an Indian guy in a line-up (I’ll get to Indian women later) is that he won’t smile. His passport photo will look as if he is attending his mother’s funeral. But this alone will not help you weed out Indians from terrorists, because terrorists don’t smile in their passports as well, as Russel Peters very eloquently put it, a few years ago. So, the next thing to do is check out a suspect’s facebook profile or, if he’s in the airport check-in / check-out line, grab his phone and check the pictures on his phone. Here’s what you will expect to see:

  1. If the Indian in question is a student at an American / UK / Australian university, he will have definitely stored pictures of himself posing in front of every tree, post-box, car and white guy he comes across. And in all these pictures, he will be wearing a pair of shades that are too big for his face, the thickest fur-lined jacket (if its winter) or a hat that can only be described as a fedora (if its summer). He will also have the smuggest expression on his face that seems to say, “Look at me, I’m so bloody cool!” Yeah, he’s an Indian, let him go. He will probably wet himself if he is questioned about bombs and guns. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at what I did when I was a student in New York. This is a link to my album on Orkut – I am so ashamed of myself that I hardly use Orkut these days.
  2. If the Indian is older and his passport lists him as being married, then his phone / facebook profile will have hundreds of photographs with his wife, taken on their wedding day – the wife will be posing solo in many of these, in a gaudy silk saree and a head-full of flowers, in front of various background images of waterfalls and mountains, arms raised in different gracious angles… He’s an Indian, let him go.
  3. If the Indian is older but unmarried, he will probably be trying to smuggle booze and cell phones into the country to distribute to his cousins and friends and parents. Hold him, but be warned that he will have a fantastic defense planned – something about being forced into this by a girlfriend or a dying kid from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

I hope that I have made it abundantly clear on how to spot Indian men and I hope that this guide will aid law enforcement officials to avoid profiling of Indians because of their skin color. Always remember, we are the assholes posing stupidly in photographs. We are not killers.

PS: It’s quite easy to spot an Indian woman – she’s very hot and she screams in terror when any guy gets too close.

PPS: This post is not meant to be offensive to anyone. If, in the process of putting down my opinions, I have inadvertently insulted any religion, caste, creed or camel, I apologize.

Twenty-Four Hours

If  you knew that you had only twenty-fours hours more to live, what are the things you would do?

I know it’s a morbid question, but I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard about the guy who died three days back. Well, he was a guy in the prime of his life, much like I am, and he was on his way to work thinking, I’m sure, of all the little nuances we think about when we drive to work – the meetings we have planned, the way things are headed, last night’s dinner, the last person we had sex with, whether or not to buy the new phone, whether or not you can trust these online dating sites, whether or not its time to get the car serviced, etc. Out of the blue, he hit a particularly nasty pothole, lost control of his motorcycle, got thrown in front of a speeding bus on the opposite lane. I shudder when I imagine that it could happen to anyone.

So, to occupy my free time these past two days (and I seem to have a lot of free time), I’ve been making a list of all things I would do if someone told me that I had only 24 hours to live. It’s sort of a bucket list, but not exactly. It’s more of a death-row wishlist.

I would probably start off my last day alive with a hearty breakfast without any stops, without any of the usual healthy crap. I would stuff myself to my heart’s content and head out to get some action. I would probably sleep around all day with different women, and in the evening, drive up to a beach and drink some cold beer, watching the sun set. I would end it all by walking out to the sea and start swimming towards the horizon.

But that’s just me.

I’m sure you can think of a lot of better things to do than having a lot of unprotected sex on your last day alive. Anything interesting that you care to share? Free beer for the best one, if you’re a guy. Free date with me, if you’re a chick.

Does It Suck?

Being single. Does it suck?

Its been 8 months now since I officially broke up with my last girlfriend – let’s call her Kay, to protect her privacy – and the past 8 months have been quite weird. It’s not that things have been really bad, no. On the personal front, things are quite well, to be honest. I find more and more time for myself, to do things that I’ve never dared to do when in a relationship, to meet and flirt with other women – women I’d have just fantasized about talking to, for fear of being called unfaithful, and finally, the freedom to spend my entire paycheck on myself, without any guilt. It does not suck, on first appearance.

Being Single

Lately, I’ve been re-thinking my position on this issue. A quick introspection has revealed that being single, for all the goodness it promises, does indeed, suck. There are times when I miss the intimacy, and these pangs are becoming quite frequent in the past few months. To know that there is a woman in your life who loves you as much as you love her, who (almost) doesn’t judge you for what you are and do, who cares about your well-being and is a good enough friend to endure your drunken mistakes and laugh at your inane jokes, someone who knows when to fight and when to patch up, who understands your mood swings enough to change their lifestyles according to them, and finally, someone who doesn’t mind eating whatever you cook because they’re kind enough not to tell you the truth about the excess of salt or the burnt bottoms.

Well, Kay was all this and more, and not a day goes by when I question my actions that led to us breaking up. We all have the potential to be jerks, and I was one of the biggest back then. And at the time, I thought I was justified in being a jerk. Thankfully, I’ve matured enough to understand that I wasn’t. She’s matured too, making it on her own. A great job, a good house, a bike and good friends, and more importantly, she’s done it and doing it on her own, with little or no support from any family ties, in an alien city.

We’ve kept in touch, Kay and I, over the months, and have reached a stage where we can talk politely to each other, go out for coffee and occasionally, do the odd chore or favor for each other, without physically injuring each other. There was a time when we couldn’t be in the same room together for fear of ripping each other apart with our bare claws hands, and we kid about those times today.

I guess its cathartic, what we do. It’s given us a fresh outlook to the whole process of dating and relationships, to an extent that we try to set each other up with other people. Maybe its the residual feelings talking, or maybe just a sadistic longing to share my loneliness, but I’ve managed to dig up a few creeps for her to date. More importantly, she has managed to find some bigger creeps for herself, without any help from me. On the other hand, she has vehemently refused to find me a date, as she feels that my social life has a lot more people than hers, and that I should have no trouble in finding someone on my own. I don’t deny it. But the fact that I truly wish, from the bottom of my heart, that she does not find someone better than me, is cause for concern. It’s not jealousy or sadism. It’s just selfishness from a man who still loves her and is foolishly optimistic about his chances of getting back together. Very foolishly.

Oh, we did flirt with, and give up the idea of getting back together. Its like yesterday’s chocolate pudding – very tempting and a very bad idea. She’s still out there, looking for a decent guy to date, and I’m still here, resisting the urge to reach out and keep her selfishly to myself. Shouldn’t we learn from our mistakes?

PS:  She’s quite the character – fun, hyperactive like Pigwidgeon on dope, very hot and very very sexy. She hopes that this post of mine will be a very decent and non-desperate alternative to a dating site, and urges decent men who read this to get in touch for a date.

PPS: Same goes for me. Hot chicks, get in line for a good time.

Image Courtesy: Profilebrand.com

Gokarna & Why I Go There

This one goes out to all those unfortunate, uninitiated and uninspired individuals. Get off your high horse and read this.

There may be a hundred reasons why a person goes to Gokarna. People looking to get laid, people looking to score and get high, people looking for a nice, secluded beach and people wanting to offer their prayers in India’s most sacred temple. I don’t know if there are any other reasons, and frankly, I don’t really care why people go there.

I go there for a totally different reason, and its none of the above.

I lead a difficult life. I need to balance my passion to work, my unceasing urge to travel and roam aimlessly across the country, my singularly fierce attraction to beaches and my bank account. Juggling these four volatile substances while playing air hockey with the family, the bosses, the peers, the juniors, the friends, the foes, the creditors, the goons, the loons, the whackadoodles, the geniuses, the crap, the stench and the slippery slopes of bankruptcy, unemployment and loneliness around every corner is taking its toll on my nerves.

There are very few things I’m passionate about, and those that I am passionate about, I am so with a vehemence unseen in anyone else, for anything else. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘do drugs’. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘sleep with women’. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘drink drinks’. I do not go to Gokarna to visit the temple and offer my prayers. I do not go to Gokarna for the sea food. I do no go to Gokarna for the rustic beauty of the village. I do not go to Gokarna to ogle at half-naked women lounging in the sun. I do not go to Gokarna because I love beaches and water. I do not go to Gokarna to swim in the ocean. I do not go to Gokarna to live. I do not go to Gokarna to die.

I go to Gokarna once every three months because I need to get away from the Greek tragedy that my life is fast unraveling to be; to clear my head of all thoughts – good and bad; to reboot myself. I go to Gokarna because its the only place on Earth that welcomes me without judging who I am or what I have done. I go to Gokarna because that is the only place on Earth where I am at peace. Completely.

I have a sea rock, which I call my own, ten feet out into the ocean, at Om Beach. Its a bit of a hike to get to the top of the rock, and once I get there, I sit, looking at the waves crashing into me on all sides, rising twenty feet high and spraying me with a mist of cold, salty water. I listen to the rush, the gurgle, the power and the wordless songs of the waves and as I stare out into the horizon, imagining a place beyond comprehension, where the sky kisses the ocean, I realize that I am peaceful, within and without.

Gokarna - kudle beachNothing of what is happening in life matters here. Time stands still for me, for the 48 hours I’m there. I put my feet up at a cafe, sipping sweet tea and reading a good book, or people watching on the burning, golden sands. I take a nice pleasant trek up to Kudle through thick brambles and open moors and I wade in the white sands until the sun starts to set. I walk back amidst the gathering darkness to Om Beach, walk all the way up to Half Moon and back again. As night descends around me, so does the peace, deeper inside me.

I need this. I can’t do without it. For the unfortunate, uninitiated and uninspired individuals, I recommend it. The only thing I get high on, when in Gokarna, is Gokarna itself.