Blog Archives

Manguide 4: States Of India

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? 😉

Superwoman

I am the only kid on the tree in pigtails
I am rejection & peer pressure superimposed on intelligence & expectations
I am the daughter who will one day be the ‘man of the house’

I am the big attitude-no boyfriends Alanis Morisette of the peer group
I am the feminist preaching to ‘the boys’ in between hanging out with them.
I am the second lead in an ‘all-male’ rock band.

I am the token female candidate in a job selection group discussion
I am one of two women at a client meeting, six months later
I am the slender figure balancing a laptop, files and a mobile phone and refusing a seat on the bus.

I am a solitary memo marked “Dear Madam” atop of a pile of “Dear Sir” notes
I am one who knows which detergent brand sells highest but not which cleans best
I am a woman who hates cooking and is proud of the fact

I am the one publications write about when they describe the new work ethic
I am the inspiration for a new wave of soap operas and talk shows
I am the author of a scathing article on fairness creams

I am the center of a marketing model titled “High income single decision maker”
I am the brief given to fashion houses when they design the new Prada suit
I am described as ‘Joan of Arc meets Helen of Troy’

I am a social butterfly, the party animal, the cool lady who always leaves alone
I am a modern day Cinderella looking for a perfect foot to fit her shoe…and none ever do
I am the last of my friends to get married but mine is the grandest wedding of all

I am an overflowing inbox of memos, bills and ads after my 2-day honeymoon
I am the ‘expert cook in 10 days’ since I am always the best
I am the 5 am alarm for the milkman, the 10 am board meeting, the working lunch and the home cooked gourmet dinner on my first anniversary

I am a romantic SMS keyed in surreptitiously at a meeting
I am two daily planners to be co-ordinated for any family function
I am performance anxiety, loneliness, guilt, fear and ambition all masquerading as PMS

I am the ‘equal half’ of a DINK
I am the face that receives a slap for being better
And only sometimes, am I the fist that hits back

I am the luggage with a tag from every single metro in the world
I am the signature on the exclusive gold card
I am a posh address that is more a museum than a home

I am the employee code on a maternity leave application tacked to the bottom of a report
I am the voice on a conference call from home to 2 countries
I am the emergency Ceasarean operation due to hypertension

I am the lovely lady at the end of the day while my mom is mom to my kids too
I am the signature on a delivery receipt for a dollhouse and an encyclopedia set
And on a resignation letter that speaks of ‘time for family’ and not a word about sacrifices

I am music lessons, art classes, camps, sports teams and tuitions after school
I am the good manners, language fluency, social etiquette and grades all at 7
I am the hands that dress the star of the show in a kindergarten play
As also the signature on a report card that says “Shows aptitude for figures. Is very quiet and withdrawn”
I am the mother of a brilliant, talented 3-foot stressed know-it-all
….…..the wife of a resentful, guilt-wracked escapist
…….…the lover of a ‘new-age’ sensitive weakling
and the owner of a picture perfect 40 going on 25 face

I am the compartmentalized fragments of what was born a human being
And lives as ..and will one day die as…..Superwoman

—————————————————————————————————-

A version of this post appears on Yahoo! Real Beauty.

%d bloggers like this: