Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why (Some) Men Touch Themselves In Public

No, I’m serious, why?? Is it an inherent gender thing, or are guys taught how to do this in special classes when they enter puberty? Could it be sheer machismo, (I got it, so I touch it.), or a severe insecurity, (Shit! Why has it stopped moving?), or just an inexhaustable fascination with oneself, (oooh, I wonder if it has changed shape in the last 10 minutes)?

Or maybe it’s just a complete absence of consideration? Maybe it doesn’t even occur to a guy that it might disgust other people, especially if they are not male, to be watching him scratch his genitals in oblivious bliss. Maybe he assumes that since it would be the high point of his year to see an unfamiliar woman fondling herself, she would naturally feel the same for him.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be offensive here. I’m not even generalising. See, I added the ‘some’ in the title just to be politically correct, (though we all know better, don’t we?) I just need to find the answer to a few questions. And just so this doesn’t turn into a girly rant, I interviewed 6 hapless males to get their POV. The mentioned six have only one thing in common- they are my friends, (and hence somewhat weird) but apart from that, the sample range is pretty spread out.

The guys, strangely, were not remotely embarrassed, but talked willingly and eagerly. Only one of the six admitted to be a conscious ball-player, and the rest could not swear to what they did unconsciously. All six knew at least one person who persistently scratched himself, and two knew more than five. But this is where the similarity ends. When faced with the question of why people who touch, touch, each had a different theory.

Happy, who refused to accept that he touches himself even in private, thinks it is an Indian thing, the same inconsideration that makes people burp or fart in restuarants, or talk loudly about disgusting health problems to complete strangers. But he cannot explain why it should be restricted to males.

Nick says it is because men do not care and do not think it is cool to care. They think- ‘Whoa, I’m not touching you, I’m touching me; so whats your problem?’ He further feels that men should be left alone to touch themselves and women should get used to the idea that it’s just something men do, and not a personal affront.

Buno feels the tropical climate is to blame. Men, he says, sweat more than women, and therefore their itch problem would be more acute, especially in summers. He suspects that most scratchers suffer from some form of skin disease, and should be treated with pity and understanding rather than disgust.

Nandu suggests that the problem is more deep-rooted. He feels it stems from male lonelyness and emotional void. Men, he says, need to be touched, need to be loved and fondled. They touch themselves much as a lonely dog tries to throw and fetch all on its own. It’s a means to obliviate the sadness.

Sash (yes, of the porn CD infamy), says that many of his friends touch themselves in buses and trains to attract the attention of commuting girls. They enjoy being glared at in digust, it’s better than being ignored. Some guys even hope that the girls might just get turned on by the free show.

Sid feels that unlike girls whose hands are slapped away from their private parts from infancy itself, boys are never really taught not to touch. They grow up watching their fathers, uncles and brothers doing it, and they don’t even realize when they’ve imbibed the habit. They don’t mean to offend anybody; they just don’t realize it’s nasty.

The Monster Boss confesses that he touches himself because he has a very swollen, very crusty, very painful, very throbbing case of herpes down there and has also recently aquired a hyper-itchy fungal infection as well as pubic lice, and laments that the problem is getting worse instead of better.
(ok, no, that’s just wishful thinking. He wasn’t interviewed. I haven’t found out why he touches himself.)

Men, I didn’t want to judge you or show you down or rant against you. I merely wanted to understand a very bizzare habit that has never failed to disgust me or any other girl I know. Doing this survey opened my eyes and made me a more accepting person. I will never again want to set flesh eating scarabs upon a pair of testicles being scratched before my eyes. I realize it is a need you have, just as we girls need to compulsively eat chocolate. (No Aniket, I’m not calling you a girl).

But you might want to think about why certain parts of the human body are labled ‘private’ and why some places in your city are ‘public’ and how much nicer the world would be for the women you love, respect, and care for, if the twaine ne’er met.

If you have any insights you want to share, please feel free to use the comment page.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Goodbye Spring

Another April bids adieu.
Yet, every mustached face I see
Is still you.

Painting by Monet.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Three more inches.

Just three.

Crab strained his eyes. He could just see the tufty bit of root sticking out of the earth, three torturous inches away. It had been two hours that he had spent on his back, wiggling himself towards that root. And he had covered a single inch in all this time.

The root was his salvation, the only thing he could grab to get back on his feet. To get out of this dark dark hole. Three more inches. Crab forced his entire body to concentrate... Wiggle, man, wiggle!

Stupid. He had been stupid. The hole had seemed so innocent. So inviting. There was bound to be food inside, he had thought, and he would find it. Instead he had found himself on his back, as helpless as a silly turned turtle, and with no possible way to get out, except that stupid root he still couldn’t reach. He wiggled with all his being, celebrating each millimeter won with a gasp.

Two! More! Fucking! Inches!

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a squirrel’s skull, yellow and fragile. So he wasn’t the hole’s first victim. But no way. No way. He wasn’t going to die here like that dumb mammal. He wasn’t going to die such a meaningless, ridiculous death, on his back with his legs waving, in a dark stinking hole with a skull for company. Wiggle, man!

He couldn’t die on himself now. He needed to see his lovely pond again, the pond he had spent his whole life in, the pond he used to think of with so much disdain.

And he never got around to telling that pretty pink thing with those cute tiny claws how much he liked her. What about his dream of building a house of leaves and shells on the east bank of the pond for her and the children they would have together? NO! Come on man! Wiggle!

And what about his biggest dream, to see the river all the ducks and frogs always talked about… Imagine a place where water moved on its own! And so much bigger than the pond! Crab was not going to die without seeing that river, no he wasn’t!! The skull grinned at him in encouragement. Move man!

Sweat trickled down Crab’s insides. His back was raw from the rubbing. His claws were numb with the straining. He seemed to be moving, iota by iota, only by the force of his mind. Then, suddenly, something touched his ass.

Crab didn’t allow himself more than a moment to feel relief and joy. His lower claw grappled with the root and began to maneuver his half-dead body. He didn’t stop to wonder where the strength was coming from; he merely remembered the instant when his feet touched soft earth. And then he was scuttling, out of that dark scary tunnel into the fresh, open world.

He could smell the pond before he saw it, orange in the sunset, his paradise of food and shelter. Sweet, sweet pond! Crab scuttled towards it faster than he had ever scuttled in his life. A fat pig, waddling homeward from her evening bath, stopped to toss him in the air and catch him in her jaws.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Little Girl

We promised
That we would have a little girl
And we would name her
After your eyelashes
And my eyes.
Where do promises go when they die?
Where do little girls wait till they are called to be born?

This was my contribution to Catherine's Tapestry of Spring. If you want to see the uniquely beautiful anthology and hear this poem as well as seven magical others being read out, please visit Catherine here (link)
And if you want to read a poem on the making of this wonderful creation, you should visit Aniket here (link)

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Limericks, A Dime A Dozen

A long time ago, I had challenged Aniket to write a limerick. He took up the challenge, did a research on limericks, came up with not one but five(of which one he wrote for me), and threw the challenge back in my face.
I never thought I'd get around to doing them, but here they are finally... Ten of these are for nine very good friends of mine, one is for a mortal enemy, and one I just threw in for luck. Let me know if they are any good...

Anik sighs to himself as he thinks
I used to be able to drink
My evening would start
With not less than a quart
How did my appetite shrink??
Bokom’s a doctor but he is also a poet.
Though he’s so goofy you’d just never know it.
Of all medicine put to test
Laughter is the best.
So for medical science’s sake, don’t outgrow it.
“Let’s see you steal my friends”, he dared.
So in twos and in threes they were snared
And when I achieved this feat
Aniket had to admit
Friends are much more fun when they’re shared.
The crap that they wrote was plain wicked
And they stayed anon, so it just wasn’t cricket.
But she showed them a finger,
And had they dared to linger
Jennifer would SO tell them where to stick it!
(This is re: Jennifer's recent trial with blog-stalkers. I hope this and the next one make you smile in mummified times, girl )
It's nice when she's away and you miss'er
'Cause a Mom-in-law's visit's like a blizzard.
Like she's sudden and she's cold
& She blasts through the household
And its all very unsettling for the lizards
(The above limerick will make sense to you only if your household comprises of both Mothers-in-law and lizards)
Anurag was surrounded by women.
The sole male in a feminine domain.
Amidst the cackling noise
In a guttaral voice,
He growled, ”But MY manhood is proven.”
I can't find a lable that will fit'er
She’s either sweet or she’s very very bitter
It depends on her mood
When Kriti’s good, she’s good,
But when she’s bad she’s actually better!
Sash bought a CD without checking its name
It turned out to be porn & no video game
Sash just couldn't desist,
He made love to his fist,
And sighed, "Someday I know I'll do this with a dame.
Deepa was sketching an angelic child
Which suddenly looked up at her and smiled.
Deepa jumped out of her skin!
The kid said with a grin,
"Why don't you make me a tad more wild?"
A young punjaban wanted Hasi for her lover
She was pretty and funny and very clever
But Hasi could not decide
If he liked her. Besides,
Where's the thrill of the chase if you can just have'er?
LGL's boss was obsessed with folders.
If she misfiled one li'l thing he'd scold her.
So she tricked him for a bet
Into the folder cabinet,
And left him locked there till he mouldered.
(Heeah! :D Sweet fantasy)
(And finally, something for all my Bong friends. I wrote this just before my exams.)
Moshla-maakha maach-gulo ke bhajte fele jei pan-e
Juddho korte jacchi mora, gorbe fole ei gyan-e
Bhoyonkor shobde moron
Beer—dorpe kore boron
Maach-er moto shohid hobo, emon ta to nei plan-e.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Very Recent Thought

The more time

I spend

In this world,

The less I want

To bring children

Into it.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My First Blog Award! Yay! (Title Shamelessly Copied)

After months of envying bloggers who have so many, dropping all sorts of hints to people, wondering if anybody would notice if I just stole one, and finally telling myself that blog awards are ridiculous, meaningless, and juvenile, I’ve finally got my first award!! Yaayyy! This honor is exponentiated by the fact that it’s from Aniket, my arch-nemesis and a genius in his own right (don’t slip on all the butter, AT), and all the other awardees are very very illustrious bloggers.
Apparently, there are several rules about what I’m supposed to do when I get an award, but since I don’t remember any of them, I just put up a picture of it on my blog side, and now I’ll give it around. But before I begin, I need to say that the first person I’d like to have awarded would have been Aniket himself, since his Melody of Dissonance is one of my favorite blogs, but then he’ll just award it back to me and this will go on till eternity and we’ll never be able to put up any new posts again. For similar reasons, I’ll refrain from giving it to my co-awardees Jennifer, whom I love, and Catharine, of whom I’m in deep awe.
(I realize I’m being ridiculously serious about this, but please humor me, it is my very first and I’ve waited very long for this.)
And so, this crayonny award goes to *drumroll*
Quaint Murmur for Quaint Murmur, because this blog is so lovely it’s addictive, and I’ve wanted to give it an award from my very first visit.
Shubajit Lahiri for Cinemascope, the baap of all film blogs, because his reviews are so crisp, funny, and no-holds-barred.
Kriti for Kreation, because this blog kicks ass. (and also, I was afraid she might hurt my family if I didn’t give it to her quietly)
Shubhadeep for Writer’s Column for his magical descriptive powers and the fact that he can bring any scene to life with just a word or two.
Anurag ‘Happy’ Pandey for Happinessss, because his expression is brilliant and it would be a pity if he stopped writing
Anil Sawan for Colors, because he knows how to put into words things I didn’t even know I was feeling.
Mainak ‘Bokom’ Pal for Vindi+Alu=Vindaloo, because his insanity is delicious and I wanted to incentivize him to keep up the madness
Deepa for Deepa's World of Art because her prose sparkles with colors and makes me smile every time.
Ok, you guys get to copy the award onto you own blogs, if you want to, that is, and you need to give it around to 7 other people or something, and you need to keep me in mind when you next get an award from someone else.
And I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the patience and perseverance of Shantanu Das, a new blog-friend who has spent the last two weekdays reading every single post I’ve ever written, and writing deep, meaningful, page-long comments for each one. To him, I want to say:
JIYO PAGLA!!! Kheer Kha!!

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Near my window

Silvery white flowers

Nod sleepily.

My neighbours' windchimes

Sing to each other

Of a coming Storm

But for now,

The wind herds the clouds

And straight in my eye,

This big, angry moon

Just wont let me sleep.
Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Really Really Wish

I could have a software that would go through my mail, locate all the forwarded mails that are not funny, naughty, or disgusting (it would simply have to search for key-words like love, friendship, God, cancer, happiness; and diabetes-inducing pictures of babies, teddybears, and puppies), delete all such mails automatically, block the sender from mailing/chatting with/scrapping me FOREVER UNTIL ETERNITY, and send a mild non-life-threatening-merely-paralysing-for few weeks electric shock through the internet back at all the sadistic creeps.

If i can't have that, then dear fruit of god's loin, please let me have a feature on my mobile phone that will permanently lock the SIM card and also render unusable the handset of any person who sends me another forwarded sweet friendship message in the middle of the night, or any other time for that matter.

Its a long week ahead.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!