Friday, January 30, 2009

Everybody Loves a Good Eve-teaser

Yesterday I bashed up a guy in the bus. I slapped him twice, out-shouted him, and made him get down from the bus. This is the second time in two weeks this has happened.

I no longer expect appreciation for this. My parents and my boyfriend have made it very clear that they want me to desist from such dangerous behavior. Their lack of support apparently stems from their concern about my safety. Ma is going on about acid-throwers. Anik seems to be worried about a situation in which the eve-teaser actually hits me back.

Needless to say, I did not take their admonitions in a very accepting frame of mind. But in retrospect, I do appreciate what they are trying to say.

Jaipur is, to put it mildly, not a good place for women. Unlike the evilly reputed Delhi, where a guy can heckle you in public but you can heckle him right back and expect public support, or the more excitable Kolkata, where Anik tell me a girl has to raise her voice carefully because if she does, the janta will bash the eve-teaser to within an inch of his life, in Jaipur women stay down. If you raise your voice against an eve-teaser, there is a good chance that members of the public will support him and not you. You will hear comments like This girl has no modesty or what is a girl from a good family doing outside her home anyway? And of course, the eve-teaser not only gets away with it but can fearlessly hit you back or call you a slut or whatever. And there is of course the worry that he might mark you down and get back at you later, on the streets.

This disrespect for women, while it has some notable exceptions, is quiet an ubiquitous mentality in Jaipur. You will find it among the labour class, shop-keepers, and high-profile executives( eg- monster boss). I have a feeling it is older than centuries, and is too deeply set to really do anything about. My apologies to my Rajasthani readers, but this is from someone, who is doing Jaipur's underbelly everyday and knows what she is talking about.

Just the other day, I was reading about Chief Minister Gehlot's rant on the pub culture and public display of affection which are against Rajasthani culture. Mr. Gehlot, sir, why don't you do your state a favour, and instead of spouting political inanities, do something about the very real problem of eve-teasing in the city? Unless, of course, you feel that it is totally in accordance to Rajasthani culture.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mooccho Obliged…

Overheard at a school bus stop near my house.

Schoolkid 1 - Yaar suna hai Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi bahut boring gayi hai?

Schoolkid 2- Arre yaar uski first part bahut hi boring thi, lekin fir baad me accha rehta hai jab Shahrukh mooccho ho jaata hai

Schoolkid 1- Mooccho? Magar Mooch to uske shuru me hota hai na? End me thodi hota hai?

Schoolkid 2- Abe dhakkan mooch nahi mooccho! Mooccho ya ni ki strong.

Of Bhais and Names

I've always been a fan of Sanjay Dutt. I've loved him in Munnabhai, Kaante, Vastav, and most of his other movies, and I used to see him as a man who has had to repent more than he has sinned. All my sympathies have been with him in spite of all that people say about him. But something changed yesterday morning while I was reading the morning papers and came across an interview of my hero.

Mr. Dutt was asked about his sisters' publicly negative reactions to his wife Manyata. His answer was - " Good women change their surnames to that of their husbands after marriage. I have no sympathy with women who cling on to their father's names even after marriage. If Manyata had told me she wanted to keep her last name, I would have been extremely offended and would not have permitted this in any circumstances."

My reaction was simply "EXCUSE ME???" I just couldn't believe what I was reading! The NERVES on this audacious bastard!!

His dig was obviously at his sister Priya who remains a Dutt though she is married. Priya Dutt has inherited her father's political mantle, much to her brother's chagrin.
I don't want to go into their murky family feuds. But I just want to put this on record that I believe this expectation that men have that of course their wives will take their names after marriage is a CROCK OF CRAP. And its disgusting how so many girls go along with this expectation, as if it is the culmination of all their dreams have their identity redefined.

Don't get me wrong. Most ladies I know use their husbands' last names. Most of my friends do too. In fact someone who I know is reading this post uses both her husband's first and last name (his first name as her middle name). But I sincerely hope, at least in case of women my age, that this change of name was a choice they made voluntarily, and not because of the expectaions of society.
A woman does not become her husband's property after marriage, so what is this deal about stamping your wife with your identity. What is wrong with her own? And if you feel you and your wife should have the same last name, why don't you consider changing to hers?

A point made out by many of course is that even if you are not taking your husband's name, you are holding on to your father's, so how is that any better. But look, my family name is the one I've had for more than two decades. Why will it have to change all of a sudden? To what purpose? A wedding is NOT supposed to be a transfer of property. A wife is also a human being, and she has the right to hold on to the name the world has known her by. Your name is your identity, or at least a part of it.

And it is a RUBBISH concept that a woman's family changes after marriage. Sure, her husband's family becomes her own, but there is no logical reason that she should stop being a part of the family she has known since birth.

People, the gender equation in our country is totally screwed. What has existed for generations is not neccessarily right or just. At least think about change sometime.

And oh, as you can probably tell by the photograph I've edited as above, I am no longer a fan of Mr. Sanjay "Keep your womenfolk in control" Dutt.

I can just hear Anik snickering "reactionary!". :-D

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How NOT To Be A Bore

A very dear and well loved friend of mine, (let's call him Moby) , has, I'm afraid, completely broken with me. The fault is, of course mine... Moby is the type of person who loves the sound of his own voice,and a week or so ago, after listening to a two-hour long monologue(over the phone), i fell asleep. I fell asleep while he was still talking.And i suspect he didn't find out for a good 15 minutes that there was nobody on this side of the call.

Nothing hurts the ego of a man who thinks of himself as a great orator, than to have his audience fall asleep so unceremoniously while he is talking. This is probably why Moby has not called or messaged me in the last 6 days. And this would also probably explain why he has chosen to IGNORE USER me on orkut. While nothing excuses my bad behaviour, I'd like to draw Moby's attention to a few points, (though i have feeling he is not going to be reading my blogs anytime soon). This is also for any other reader who wants to be sure people don't fall asleep while in conversation with them.:

1. DO NOT act like a know-it-all. It's supposed to be a conversation, not a lecture. An excessive show of knowledge get's on anybody's nerves.

2. Let the other person talk too. Don't take advantage of the fact that s/he is a good listener.

3. DO NOT name-drop. Subtle references to your own achievements will impress your listeners. Referring to the fact that you have successful friends will merely bore them. Moreover, if you overdo it, people will stop believing you. They'll start seeing you as a very sad failure.

4. Show interest in your listeners' lives. Don't make the mistake of thinking that their raison d'etre is to listen to you.

5. Don't talk like an asshole. If someone asks you what you think about a movie, do not go on for an hour about how the director /editor/ whatever was your junior in college and learnt all he knows from you, the ungrateful bugger. Just say whether you like the movie or not.

6. If you don't know nuts about something, don't venture to comment/ advise people on such topics. If your line is film-making, do not give career advice to people in the commerce/corporate line. If you obviously don't know anything about khisti khamari, stop trying to give gyan about it to people who do know. Do not scatter wisdom about sex if you are still a virgin.

7. DO NOT be an AANTEL. Nobody likes an AANTEL.

8. DO NOT repeat your life tragedies to people more than once. The first time, people empathise. All subsequent times, they merely act polite and pretend to listen.( Honestly MB, i still don't really know what that SRFTI caper is all about. Everytime you say SRFTI, my mind switches off)

9. Try not to be self centred and egotisical. That always helps. Don't talk about imaginary achievments. It doesn't impress people. It makes them pity you.

10. And last, whatever you do, DO NOT talk incessently(I mean with zero participation from the other side) for more than 10 minutes. Moby's best is 45 minutes. He does not know this, but many a times while he's talking, I've put the phone down, gotten up to make a cuppa tea, drunk it down, and come back to my seat without him realising even once that I've been absent.

I realise that I've probably hammered the last nails into the coffin of our friendship, but it was in a good cause. If this helps Moby or anybody to hold the attention of their audience in future, I shall not have written in vain.

Hope everybody had a happy weekend.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Rainbow For Free

If you drive along JLN Marg and go around the Gandhi Statue with all the fountains at approximately 9.10 in the morning, you will be treated to a rainbow amidst the fountains just as soon as you put the sun behind you.

This is probably not a big deal, but I looked forward to this view every morning for nine days while being ferried to the examination centre at the Commerce College. It was like chicken soup for my frayed nerves.

Oh , and now suckers who might try (though I can’t imagine why) to copy paste the stuff I write here will just have to copy it out manually if they want it so badly. I’ve fiddled it so you can’t Ctrl C Ctrl V me again… This is courtesy my friend Pragg., so if you want to find out how to do this you might ask her.

It’s 11.30 in the morning now and the monster isn’t here yet. Does this mean I can go home?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The good part about new year is that it gives you hope... one more chance to get it right, one more chance to make new promises, and the lovely, lovely hope that this time I'll keep them all... this is my year!!!

It takes about two weeks for me to get back to reality... It may be a new year, but its the same old me.

My resolutions this year include being regular with this blog. If i have any readership left, welcome back... Here's to another year of hope...