Alcohol is like a man. In its many variations, delightful or otherwise, it mirrors the vagaries of my favorite vice. Here’s how.
Breezer – This is the boy you grew up with, the one who sat next to you in fourth grade and helped you with your homework. You don’t really stay friends (unless you are a part of Orkutoholics Anonymous) but if you bump into each other at a party and don’t have any other choices, he’ll do to while away the time.
Liquer – Sweet, comforting, ladylike, can this one be anything other than the gay guy? This is the snazzy, sharp-dressing man-loving man who’ll understand you better than any of your boyfriends ever will. He’ll even understand why you just have to rush through a fun lunch with him, when you spot one of his sex (especially a particularly rough one) at the bar.
Beer – This is your buddy. A guy, who even though he’s straight, you can lounge about with minus make-up and in your PJs. He’s comforting (as much as a straight guy can be, anyway), he makes you laugh, he won’t mind if you throw up occasionally. You can fall asleep next to him but you won’t be sleeping with him, if you get my drift. You’ll also never fall in love with him.
Wine – The charmer, the one who woos you with chocolates and poetry. He’s most likely to bring you flowers on a date and also why women love to be spooned. He’ll slip up on you covertly like a sudden waist-hug from the back or a kiss at the nape of your neck. If you’re going weak in the knees already, stay away from this one. What’s the catch? No matter how much time you spend with him, you’ll never be able to tell when the power balance shifts and exactly when you’ll be at his tender (and cruel) mercies. And if you aren’t careful, you’ll be the one waking up alone with a pounding headache.
Vodka – The party guy, the metrosexual man. He’s hip, he’s what you want to be seen with if you want to get with it. He’s dazzling and upbeat and high-voltage. He’ll also be heavy on your wallet and your head, the next day.
Whiskey – The older man, deep, slightly mystifying and occasionally scary. Only if your tastes run to that type.
Tequila - The Bad Boy. The guy every woman must date at least once in her lifetime. He’s rough, he’s bad news right from the start and he’s irresistible! Take a chance and ride with him at least one night of your life. You’ll wake up feeling like your head is split right in half and your insides are screaming to take off to different galaxies. But you’ll never forget the experience and all the other moments of life will seem like background music in comparison.
Rum – The man you’ll finally want to come home to after you’ve gone through the rest. He’s subtle, something you’ll mistake for weakness if you come to him too early. He’s potent, also sometimes misunderstood for roughness. But if you take it slow and easy, you’ll find he’s just as good with fruits and chocolate as he is with coke. And finally, he’s in a class of his own if you’ve gone far enough to get him on his own. Fall in love with him, he’ll be just the right mix of steadiness and adventure that makes a perfect man.
* But remember, metaphors apart, NEVER drink and drive. It’s plain stupid, no matter who you are, no matter who the guy is, no matter what the drink is.
A version of this appears on Yahoo! Real Beauty.
And now that we know them by the cities they live in, the professions they pursue, the interests they devote their time to and the languages they speak, what’s left? The women they love of course! Here’s a look at what you can tell about a man by his favorite Bollywood pin-up.
Sushmita Sen: Isn’t it really obvious that is this a man who likes strong personality in his woman? I’m inclined to think that he’ll also be a shy sort, the still-waters-run-deep kind but also a tad laid back. He has no qualms in letting the woman run the show and what a good job she does of it, too!
Rani Mukherjee: She played a prostitute in a number of movies and yet she retains the image of a ‘good girl’. She was also the glam-ma’am who settled down to matrimony, motherhood and err..mortis. I’m hardly surprised that she’s one of India’s top actresses since she personifies the most common Indian male fantasy – the Barbie/Behenji. If the Munch girl is on his walls, you can be sure that Mr.Munchkin ain’t going to like your mini-skirts post marriage, even if he chases you only when you wear them!
Aishwarya Rai: I’m no fan of this green-eyed diva. But she sure is popular with the boys. This one appeals to the kind of man who wants a trophy partner, the kind that will be delighted to turn cartwheels for his marble princess but freezes when he realizes that she breathes, feels, talks and – horror of horrors – thinks too! Freeze in place and don’t even adjust your mascara till he’s out of the room, ladies. This man doesn’t believe that a real woman should perspire, shed hair or do anything that a marble statue wouldn’t.
Mallika Sherawat: Now I bet you won’t find too many men who admit to liking her. For that matter how many men actually admit to watching porn? You know I think the lady does have quite a nice face but well, who ever looks at her face? Watch for the dude whose eyes are permanently fixed a few inches beneath your chin. That’s not shyness, that’s a Sherawat fan. Quite likely he’s comparing you with her…down to the last millimeter. On the other hand, if he openly admits to liking her, he might be the ‘I do it differently’ sort. Fun boyfriend to have if you run with rebels. For all that though, a man’s basic instincts don’t change.
Kareena Kapoor: Now I don’t actually know a single man who professes an admiration for the Kapoor babe (except Saif and he doesn’t count since he doesn’t know me). And yet as reigning queen in Bollywood, she must have her share of hearts. I imagine she’s the kind that a lot of men fantasize about but won’t talk about it since they don’t think that she’ll ever ‘ghass-dalofy‘ them and what man would admit to that? The average Joe (or Janardhan, Jaani etc) who sniggers at the mention that he could have an eye on the firebrand is probably mixing some nervous laughter into that as well.
Bipasha Basu: This is one surprising one. A dusky woman who rules the roost in a country obsessed with fair skin. Raw sex appeal meets ubercool. But ooh, I’m nearly drooling. Hmm, what can I say about the man that likes her? They all do! If he doesn’t, assume he’s gay!
This might seem to overlap with this chapter but it doesn’t really. That was about the place they live in, this is the colour that runs in their blood (it’s neither red nor blue!)
Gujjubhai : Now I’m going to run against the tide in this city when I rate this man top of my list of good prospective partners. Indeed it was a Gujju who made it clear when he explained,
For a Gujju man, you are an investment. He invests his time, his money and his emotions in you. He doesn’t make stupid desicions in these matters and he will never let an investment go waste. This man knows what he wants and he will get it.
That last line clinched it. How many other men, degrees, dollars et al can say the same thing? Never mind the implied cold-heartedness, I’m all for unshakeable loyalty over fleeting romance any day. Hand me a thepla….
MalluMan : For some weird reason, all the funny men I keep running into, turn out to have a lineage tracing back to ‘Gaad’s worrrn country’. I’m just being a friendly neighbor but I like these men who can laugh at themselves. And yeah, that curly mop hides a quick ticking brain.
Tamizhan: Okay, you already know my opinion on this breed. Familiarity breeds contempt, perhaps? I usually seem to like the stiffy, stodgy, pedigreed types. And that certainly describes our Tamizhan to the T! Of note, if he doesn’t swear by thair-sadam, he isn’t authentically Tam. Even if he is a software engineer in the U.S. with a pedigree and a state rank thrown in for good measure.
Punjab da puttar: Hehehe, you would think I would lurrrrve the male equivalent of this species. Not, however. I guess I prefer to be the star of any show. On the other hand, these guys make for great, huggy-teddy-bear type buddies for girls like me. For the rest of you with tastes different from mine, look for Prince Charming, complete with slick dressing, drenched in perfume (yes, not cologne unless he’s a Dilliwalla) and flowery language. Are you willing to be pretty Cinderella, though?
Bengali babu: Now I really hate this man. He’s the one with lofty ideals, who can throw patriotic fervour with even more panache than romantic poetry. There’s something quite sweet-as-roshogolla about him. And then again, as my heart breaks over the nice temperamental Bong dude who looks like he’s perfectly content being bossed over by women, I’m reminded of another Bong who smirked,
We just let everyone believe that. Who wants to run the world? The women can do it.
Huh. That takes the joy out of the fight for equality. And there’s something quite vile about a man who does know how to use his words. Stand warned, fellow romantics!
Marathi mulga: This one is astonishingly similar to the Tamizhan, minus the curd rice. Unlike the Bong though, he isn’t impressed simply by the fact that you can speak his mother tongue. Hardly impressed by your smart talking. Not visibly anyway. Not exactly a male chauvinist and yet…there is something faintly old-grandpa-like. Yes, even the cool Savarkars.
Quite stable though, if that’s what you’re looking for. Forget the flash though.
I’m obviously missing quite a few states here. Let’s just say the list above comprises the people I seem to keep running into? Ah, and what of a certain other state that’s big in the news and I undeniably have some experience with? Ah, well, enough written about them, lets just let the babus lie, shall we?
Having looked at men by places, let’s classify them by profession now. After all what you do/study does as much influence you as where you call home. Once again I pull from my varied experiences with men….mostly men I’ve dated but also men I’ve been friends with, studied with, worked with and oh…not to mention the ones my friends dated (ah yes, I know a fair bit about this group too, even while they mayn’t even know that I exist. I’ve spoken of the Formidable Friend earlier.)
So here are some of the types of men you’re likely to run into:
The Engineer: This describes most of the men I’ve dated so it might follow that I particularly like this type. Or that they like me. Well. Mostly this lot likes to pretend that they’re starved for female company. The nice thing about these guys is that they are generally bright and interesting. At least initially they’re really nice to you, on account of being in the company of a ‘non-male’ as they like to describe their female classmates. Sub-classifications: Mechanical/Production – the rawest of the lot in their language but in my esteemed opinion the most intelligent. Right after that Civil/Electrical. At the bottom but smart nevertheless are the flashy Electronics/Computers guys.
The Software Geek/ Techie: Since I hail from the land of idlis, kanjeevarams and the Great Indian Software Dream, it follows that I’ve so much interaction with this sort that I should practically exhale code. Black sheep I am though and I’ve managed to neatly evade marriage by shutting out this specimen altogether. That doesn’t stop them from swarming all over my life. So this is a man who can give an opponent a tough run for his money….except computers don’t have wallets. In a study done somewhere by somebody, they asked a group of different people to draw an image of how they saw themselves. All the IT nerds drew a computer monitor. They have money (and paunches straining under the Infy tees), the drive too…but oh well, do you want to date a machine?
The Artist: I’ve never actually dated this type but they make for really interesting conversationalists. Well at least, they’re emotional men or they do a damned better job of pretending to be than the rest of their clan. Musicians, actors, painters, writers…..men who create are certainly worthy of respect. The bohemian garb appeals to my non-conformist side but an occasional shave would be much appreciated.
The Accountant: Blech. Blech. Blech. Need I say more? I’d like a guy to admire my figure, not tell me how much I’m worth in rupee terms.
The M.B.A.: Ah, this is the sort I run into most often……the country is swarming with them!!!!!!! Of course I should probably sub-classify them. The smooth-talkers have to be the Marketing guys, the silent (and often interesting) types studied Operations (yup, that’s a b-school degree too), the yawn-yawn ones are Finance and the Systems guys are well…refer to the Techie.
The pedigreed pup: Okay, have the IIMs developed a special lab and began breeding like crazy? I’m jumping into hot water here since every third person I meet (and who reads my blog) seems to have a pedigree. I should caveat (don’t we love that word? Aha…I learn something from my boyfriends after all!)….I do know a few rare exceptions but most of the pedigreed pups I know are insufferable jackasses. Please sir, a degree does not make you God’s gift to womankind. I inevitably gravitate to some of these types myself….after all we do like men with ambition, drive and success. But the overcompetitiveness really gets to me. When a pedigreed sort told me recently that women loved him because they thought he was rich, I thought twice about dating him…..I’m neither a gold-digger nor an carefully evaluated-for-worth showpiece.
The agencywalla: These guys are fun. And fast. Ask me, I know more of them than my fair share….like calls to like doesn’t it? They party hard…but its a common myth that they work hard. And well, if you looked up the dictionary for ‘burnout’ you just might find a picture of your beau there. Oh but wait, did you have a chance to look at his face before he whizzed off to the next coffee shop/restobar/pub/DJ contest/concert/rave party?
The Architect: Ah, my second favorite! This guy combines the best of the Engineer and the Artist. He understands science and art (or at least has been taught to). He does have an opinion and is generally confident (watching your entire week’s effort getting ripped apart in front of the class and thrown into the bin has a way of toughening the weakest, I presume). I’ve liked every single architect I’ve met. They’re all strongly individualistic, intelligent and deeply practical. Takes a lot to survive in this industry or so I hear. You mayn’t have enough left for quality time or even big money, though.
The Entrepreneur: Uh, where did you meet this fella? Oh, when he was standing behind you at the billing counter? You thought he was checking you out? Well no, I’ll bet he was trying to figure out what billing software they used so he could try out something like that himself. This is a man who is driven, very, very strongly by a dream. No let me re-word that. He’s in love with that dream. You can be an accessory in his life and maybe he’ll be really nice but you’ll never be the love of his life. He’s already married to it. And believe me, its almost as bad as another woman. You can’t even throw catty comments at his work….they’ll just bounce off him or he’ll get fed up of the nagging and stay later at work.
The Hotelier: Why would you want to date a guy who works when everyone else parties? Late nights, weekends, holidays, festivals? Oh could it be because he looks dapper all the time? Or his smooth manners and courtesy? Well, if you’re looking for a James Bond who knows about housework (but doesn’t necessarily do it), I suggest you plan on becoming Mrs.Hotelier.
The Family Business guy: Umm…..this sort is generally married and papa to two kids by his late twenties, so what on earth are you doing with him?
Here are my stereotypes of the men I seem to keep coming against:
The Bangalore guy: Ah, this one is my favorite by far. He’s not as snazzy as the Dilli chappy, not as driven as the Mumbaiker and way too laid back to be the staid Chennai-ite. He seems to give off the air of enjoying being dominated, which I as a Mumbai girl, excel at. On the other hand, one of my dear friends from Bangalore described Rahul Dravid as
The typical Bengaluru boy….goodlooking and so duhhhh
I don’t know if that is true but ah well, I like them anyway. Maybe I’m chauvinistic.
The Chennai boy: Very polite and courteous but he doesn’t open doors or pull out chairs for me…he doesn’t seem to realize that’s what passes for chivalry in some places. He also apologizes each time a friend of his mentions alcohol or meat. And then after a long conversation with this Mumbai girl, he figures he should treat her like one of the guys so he lets me in on the secrets of his booze binges and parties, cooking chicken in buckets behind the hostels. I finds all of that very funny but I’m not in the least bit amused to know that he thinks of me as the wild, wanton Mumbai girl….and tells his family (and soon my family) that.
Mumbaiker: I wanted to call this an alliteration-ical ‘Mumbaicha mulga‘ but I realize that this species cannot be called a boy. These are the babies born with wheels on their feet. I loves this city and its mad men alike but I wish that they would have some time to think about things other than work and success. I get along well with this type, obviously since I am their female counterpart. Still, birds of a feather do not flock together always….and I am rather bored by these men inhabiting the same self-centered islands that I do, believe that the sun rises and sets on Mumbai.
Dilliwallas: Aaaarrrggggghhh….I loathe this type and not just because the worst of my exes was one of these. Objectively speaking, look for the smoothest shaven cheeks, the suavest talker….the one who knows all the right moves and how to charm you (Mumbaiker would reduce all that faff to the functional ‘patao-tactics’). The reason I do not like this type is that they’re so blatantly MCP and that for all their polished English and modern clothes, I get the sneaky suspicion he admires my figure more than my intellect, that when he compliments my hairstyle, he’s just imagining that its easier to drag me by the hair into the bushes. I do have a few friends of this variety but the reason they stay friends is that they have not tried the above tactics on me…..which brings me to the conclusion that Dilliwallas are very focused when it comes to women and don’t waste their time (and charm) on leads going nowhere.
The all-over-the-place: For whatever reason, I haven’t been in a relationship with anyone who fits this type. But I am enormously fascinated by them. I think they’re very lucky for the multi exposure that they have. I find that they are usually easy to get along with, quieter with no burning need to express their opinions. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t dated them as yet.
The non-metros: Some of my close friends are from the non-Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai places. Several from cities and towns which are nonetheless not metros. I like them but I wish sometimes that they wouldn’t try so hard to prove they’re like me…..it really isn’t such a great thing to be a citizen of the metros. Easy for you to say…one of them said. But he’s the one who saw poetry in the high-rises here while I could only see concrete jungles…..in my mind that makes him a higher order human being than me. Oh, if only he understood!
What’s missing? Kolkata….ah….I have never visited this city or dated anyone from here. But updates will be up, when applicable! I don’t t know too many people from places other than the ones mentioned here so inputs would be much appreciated!