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Real Women Don’t Cry

They were in the same class. In my class.

She was the quintessential behenji in a hip crowd. Plaited hair, salwar-kameez and a sharp brain. In accordance to her curd-rice genes, she took copious notes, had a near-perfect attendance record and consistently high grades. She told me once that her ambition was to become like ‘one of those Matunga Tamilians’ meaning the kind that preened in a new kanjeevaram at every wedding, pattu-recital, arangaitram and poonal-ceremony. The ones that shopped in Matunga market and had kaapi at Madras Bhavan. The ones whose accent bespoke Tam-Bram-Americana. The ones who worked for multinational software companies in Silicon Valley. Or married someone who did. I didn’t like her. I never liked wannabes and the ruthlessly ambitious ones always scared me.

He was Mr.EasyGoing. One of the many small-town boys who made it big by getting a toe-hold in Mumbai, starting with a college admission. He hated mathematics but managed it better than several of his classmates, owing to his engineering background. Engineering in something quite unfashionable like…instrumentation? Textiles? I forget, it didn’t bear remembering anyway. He was dazzled by the glamour of Bollywood, the smartly dressed girls around, the flashy cars and cool clothes that his Mumbai peers owned. He had a rustic wide-eyed charm along with the sweet modesty of someone who knows he is just a moth in a crowd of butterflies. I liked him. Everyone did.

It seemed symbiotic. She was authoritative, demanding and bossy. He followed her around meekly, doing her bidding, snapping to her orders. And things always turned out well with high marks for everyone. We called him her P.A. Only because we liked him too much to call him the more realistic-but-demeaning ‘puppy-dog’. He bore it in good humour, as he did everything, smiling shyly. And all was well.

An entire year later, we had moved on to more serious things than other people’s admirers. Ardent admirers had metamorphosed into abusive boyfriends, cheating rogues and impossible cads. I looked across the canteen to her, a tinge of envy in my gaze. She had always had him right under her thumb and she wasn’t even that nice! And he was devoted to her.

Later that evening, I wandered back into the canteen for a quick bite and to pore over my books in solitude. The library was always too crowded and charged up with nervous adolescent tension during the exam fever. The canteen, emptied of its regular raucous crowd (now frequenting the library) was the peaceful haven I needed to concentrate.

As I sipped my tea, I looked across to the few occupied tables. They were sitting at a table in the corner. I would have moved on, except he spotted me and waved. So I waved back. And shouted a HI! across to both of them. Oddly enough, neither responded.

She had her head down on the table, turned away from me. I thought I could lip-read him telling her that he was speaking to me and that she might look up any minute. She didn’t. With a surge of annoyance at her impossible rudeness, I looked back into my book. Then he called out my name. I looked up to see him frantically gesturing for him to come over. What a bother.., I sighed and shut my books.

As I walked the few feet over I suddenly had a premonition that something was terribly wrong. He wasn’t smiling. And she sat stone-cold in her seat, head down like she was dead. Only when I neared their table close enough to sit down did I hear the soft anguished voice. I had to force her head up from the table. She looked awful. Hair awry and eyes swollen, alarmingly red. And a voice like I had never heard before. She was murmuring,

He says he is going to leave me. He says he is leaving. I asked him why did you say you loved me? He says he was just joking. And he is leaving.

I looked up at him, frank embarrassment at being privy to a private conversation. And I was startled by something I had never seen in his face before. It was cruelty. Sheer, cold cruelty. He was cutting her up with a knife and he knew it. It was deliberate. And then, before my eyes, Mr.Nice Guy cooly got up, dusted his palms and walked out of the canteen.

For an hour I sat with her, a girl I had never liked, while she poured her heart out to me about the crimes of a guy I thought of as jolly good fellow. The dreams, the hopes, the expectations…everything that had lain under the ruthless ambition. All her drive and zeal to do well and carry both of them out of their lower-middle class status, out of the gargantuan family expectations that they may both be able to stand up and do what they wanted one day. And just before the very end, just before the final exams, he had cut her out. He hadn’t meant a word of it. It had all been a sham. And she was devastated.

The first exam was the next morning. I kept a watch on the door, wondering if she would make it. She did. Face badly puffy, she drifted in unobstrusively. And across the room he sat, laughing and joking with his friends like nothing had happened. He didn’t bat an eyelid as she walked in, deeply wounded dignity intact and sat down in the seat in front of him. And then the test begun.

In the second week of the exams he was seen chatting up two girls from the other class. And by next month it was rumored that he was seeing one of them. The P.A. joke faded out and was never raked up again, even while other mortifying love-tales were dug up at every alumni meet.

But something shifted for all of us in that one month. All the boys from her “I’m a tomboy!” days seemed to be saying with their sneering glances, “It served her right.”

And what about the girls? She had never had any friends among us. We never discussed it across our cliques and no one ever said anything to her. But none of us ever spoke him again.

She graduated with top marks and found her footing in a job-tough market. Marriage happened a year back, to another man of her own choice. Of him I know nothing more and have no desire to, any furthur. It’s good to want something and wonderful to get what you want; just not at the cost of stepping on someone else’s toes – or heart.

She once introduced herself on stage with –

When it rains, I feel the rain.
The others just get wet.

Perhaps she never knew that there were people who would hold out an umbrella for her. But then again, she probably didn’t need it. Real women don’t cry – they just feel the rain on their faces.

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Real Women Don't Cry

They were in the same class. In my class.

She was the quintessential behenji in a hip crowd. Plaited hair, salwar-kameez and a sharp brain. In accordance to her curd-rice genes, she took copious notes, had a near-perfect attendance record and consistently high grades. She told me once that her ambition was to become like ‘one of those Matunga Tamilians’ meaning the kind that preened in a new kanjeevaram at every wedding, pattu-recital, arangaitram and poonal-ceremony. The ones that shopped in Matunga market and had kaapi at Madras Bhavan. The ones whose accent bespoke Tam-Bram-Americana. The ones who worked for multinational software companies in Silicon Valley. Or married someone who did. I didn’t like her. I never liked wannabes and the ruthlessly ambitious ones always scared me.

He was Mr.EasyGoing. One of the many small-town boys who made it big by getting a toe-hold in Mumbai, starting with a college admission. He hated mathematics but managed it better than several of his classmates, owing to his engineering background. Engineering in something quite unfashionable like…instrumentation? Textiles? I forget, it didn’t bear remembering anyway. He was dazzled by the glamour of Bollywood, the smartly dressed girls around, the flashy cars and cool clothes that his Mumbai peers owned. He had a rustic wide-eyed charm along with the sweet modesty of someone who knows he is just a moth in a crowd of butterflies. I liked him. Everyone did.

It seemed symbiotic. She was authoritative, demanding and bossy. He followed her around meekly, doing her bidding, snapping to her orders. And things always turned out well with high marks for everyone. We called him her P.A. Only because we liked him too much to call him the more realistic-but-demeaning ‘puppy-dog’. He bore it in good humour, as he did everything, smiling shyly. And all was well.

An entire year later, we had moved on to more serious things than other people’s admirers. Ardent admirers had metamorphosed into abusive boyfriends, cheating rogues and impossible cads. I looked across the canteen to her, a tinge of envy in my gaze. She had always had him right under her thumb and she wasn’t even that nice! And he was devoted to her.

Later that evening, I wandered back into the canteen for a quick bite and to pore over my books in solitude. The library was always too crowded and charged up with nervous adolescent tension during the exam fever. The canteen, emptied of its regular raucous crowd (now frequenting the library) was the peaceful haven I needed to concentrate.

As I sipped my tea, I looked across to the few occupied tables. They were sitting at a table in the corner. I would have moved on, except he spotted me and waved. So I waved back. And shouted a HI! across to both of them. Oddly enough, neither responded.

She had her head down on the table, turned away from me. I thought I could lip-read him telling her that he was speaking to me and that she might look up any minute. She didn’t. With a surge of annoyance at her impossible rudeness, I looked back into my book. Then he called out my name. I looked up to see him frantically gesturing for him to come over. What a bother.., I sighed and shut my books.

As I walked the few feet over I suddenly had a premonition that something was terribly wrong. He wasn’t smiling. And she sat stone-cold in her seat, head down like she was dead. Only when I neared their table close enough to sit down did I hear the soft anguished voice. I had to force her head up from the table. She looked awful. Hair awry and eyes swollen, alarmingly red. And a voice like I had never heard before. She was murmuring,

He says he is going to leave me. He says he is leaving. I asked him why did you say you loved me? He says he was just joking. And he is leaving.

I looked up at him, frank embarrassment at being privy to a private conversation. And I was startled by something I had never seen in his face before. It was cruelty. Sheer, cold cruelty. He was cutting her up with a knife and he knew it. It was deliberate. And then, before my eyes, Mr.Nice Guy cooly got up, dusted his palms and walked out of the canteen.

For an hour I sat with her, a girl I had never liked, while she poured her heart out to me about the crimes of a guy I thought of as jolly good fellow. The dreams, the hopes, the expectations…everything that had lain under the ruthless ambition. All her drive and zeal to do well and carry both of them out of their lower-middle class status, out of the gargantuan family expectations that they may both be able to stand up and do what they wanted one day. And just before the very end, just before the final exams, he had cut her out. He hadn’t meant a word of it. It had all been a sham. And she was devastated.

The first exam was the next morning. I kept a watch on the door, wondering if she would make it. She did. Face badly puffy, she drifted in unobstrusively. And across the room he sat, laughing and joking with his friends like nothing had happened. He didn’t bat an eyelid as she walked in, deeply wounded dignity intact and sat down in the seat in front of him. And then the test begun.

In the second week of the exams he was seen chatting up two girls from the other class. And by next month it was rumored that he was seeing one of them. The P.A. joke faded out and was never raked up again, even while other mortifying love-tales were dug up at every alumni meet.

But something shifted for all of us in that one month. All the boys from her “I’m a tomboy!” days seemed to be saying with their sneering glances, “It served her right.”

And what about the girls? She had never had any friends among us. We never discussed it across our cliques and no one ever said anything to her. But none of us ever spoke him again.

She graduated with top marks and found her footing in a job-tough market. Marriage happened a year back, to another man of her own choice. Of him I know nothing more and have no desire to, any furthur. It’s good to want something and wonderful to get what you want; just not at the cost of stepping on someone else’s toes – or heart.

She once introduced herself on stage with –

When it rains, I feel the rain.
The others just get wet.

Perhaps she never knew that there were people who would hold out an umbrella for her. But then again, she probably didn’t need it. Real women don’t cry – they just feel the rain on their faces.

Girl talk

I went out with two women friends this weekend. As Dee who called me several times during the day put it, “Spent a lot of money? Bitched a lot about men?” Yes, yes, yes we did. For anyone who wonders what three women talk about….baaah…I hate the fact that three supposedly intelligent, attractive, single women meet and spend so much time talking about men! On the other hand, like the book I’m reading observes, women do talk about men, sometimes disparagingly but with a certain fondness. And who says two women (or even three) can’t stand each other? I had a rocking time! Read on for more…(I know I’m going back on what I said here, by spilling the secrets but…well, what the hell?)

The ‘Do not love me because I’m beautiful’ business

I wish I had your figure!

I wish I had your skin!

I wish I had your hair!

Yeah, if one of us had all three of this, she’d be every man’s dream

Arrrgghh…who gives a damn…who are these lousy men to dictate what we look like anyway?

A question of questionable taste

I remember the last blind date that you set me up for! He looked like he’d just stepped out of a facial, manicure, hair styling and personalized fashion session. I on the other hand was toting a jhola and walking around in flat-pancake sandals. I don’t like men who are so polished, I feel like I’m talking to a uniform, not a person.

Well, I don’t like the guy to look like a slob. I know I’m looking good, why shouldn’t he put in the effort too?

I didn’t say I liked slobs either. But not THIS much effort! I think I noticed my last boyfriend because of his dress sense. He was wearing red pants when I first saw him and I thought, “Oh wow, that takes some attitude to carry off!” And on our first date, he was wearing a tee-shirt and jeans and sneakers. And so was I. I felt comfortable talking to him and suggesting such silly things like a walk on the beach in the hot noonday sun. I wouldn’t have been able to do that with the other guy…I’d have been too intimidated and busy feeling like naughty little child.

*Rolling eyes*

Oh well, maybe its a good thing that the two of us never like the same guy.

Yes, ma’am…I, unlike you, do not have such questionable taste!

:p You’re just saying that because you didn’t like the guy in question.

Well I don’t like any of your boyfriends.

Why?

Because they are your boyfriends!

The eligible batchelor fantasy

I’m getting tired of this arranged marriage business.

Then give it up, na!

Can’t…you know what the pressure gets to be

Yeah I know…but I’m having fun with it now. First 20 years my parents try keeping me away from everything male and now they’re pushing them right into my life..my inbox, my message box, my mail and my calendar!

Arre…the other day I met a guy and he brought his mother along!

And I met one guy who said he liked shopping, especially for deodorants

Hmph….give it up, you’re never going to find a normal guy, there aren’t any!

That’s not true, I’ve been meeting loads of them

Yeah….where ever do you find them? You seem to have an unending stream of boyfriends

Blog! Party! Join the onliine networks! Make friends! They’re bound to have friends.

Well…I don’t subscribe to that point of view. None of your relationships have lasted.

Yes, that’s true, none of them were the ‘settling down’ type.

Well, I only want a man who wants to settle down.

I wish you luck then. You can either have interesting, ‘normal’ men or you can have the abnormal ones who actually do want to settle down.

I don’t think so.

Well, I hope not too, actually.

And I think you’re selling yourself short.

Yes, sometimes I think so too but other times I tell myself I’m just being realistic. Consider, I’m getting better, now!

How????

See, I started off with neglectful, graduated to abusive and now I’m doing the non-committal route. I’m getting to understand men 🙂

Yeah, you get to know all the ways a man can be a jerk!

They all are!!!

The ‘Which-friend-ditching-situation-is-worse’ question:

She’s my best friend, my voice of reason, my rock of Gibralter

Haan, haan….best friend, my foot, the last time I was sick you were out with your boyfriend!

Arre…c’mon…we were meeting only on weekends.

Boyfriend more important that best friend, now?

Hmph…you should talk, you promised me a girl’s day out today and you had to run off to meet some guy you’ve never met, whom you don’t even like the sound off!

Well….you know I just had to, didn’t you?

Yeah, I do. But are you meeting him again?

I don’t know. His father wanted to know what clothes I wear.

Did you tell him…bikinis and shorts.

*dirty look* Hmph….we said salwar-kameezes and trousers to work.

I don’t believe this…you actually answered that?

Yeah….and then he wanted to know what I wear at home!!!

@#%$&%$

*disapproving look* I thought of saying….saree with a ghoonghat.

I never have that problem. According to my family, I’m a Mumbai girl and that means I’m wanton, reckless, possibly lesbian and likely to kick my ageing parents out into the street any day now, so I can move my useless, pot-smoking boyfriends in!

Well you probably will, you know….you don’t even care for your best friend.

*Sour look*

That look doesn’t work with me, lady. I’m a Scorpio…I never forget.

Doesn’t work with me either….:-D

Yeah…it might work on some stupid man!!!

It should work on the types that pretend they know palmistry so that they can hold your hand…..or at least its catching their bluff!

The ‘same time next year’ promise

I’ll tell you what…let’s meet a year from now and discuss our husbands.

Do you suppose all three of us will be married in a year’s time? Somehow I doubt it….look at the men the two of you have met and the ones I’ve dated….none of them marriageable!

Yeah….

Let’s just get together and bitch then!

Woman’s woman

After all this while it occurs to me that contrary to all my earlier claims, I don’t really like men. Except sexually, that is. I don’t like the people that they make.

The only way I can like something male is if he:

Is less than 10 years old
Is gay
Is a friend

But I must elaborate on this last point. I don’t believe that I can be friends with men. Or let me put that as ‘I can’t be friends with people I think of as men’. The good friends that I talk about are in my mind, genderless beings. I have been accused of seeing people as their minds only. Sometimes people overcome that and if they happen to be male, and more importantly attractive males, then well…it just is doomed from there on.

I instinctively mistrust men. I am less sympathetic and nice to men. The ones that I’m playing some kind of flirting game with, this serves to add some spice to the interaction. But it doesn’t lead to friendship.

Women on the other hand, I relate to….well some women at least. I am definitely more respectful and accomodating of another woman, no matter how different she is. It is an odd but perfectly correct situation for me to loathe my ex-boyfriend but completely respect and even like his wife.

Perhaps its just that I’ve been generally attracted to ‘the wrong kind of man’. So there then. The kind of men I’m attracted to, I don’t really like and can’t be friends with. So much for wanting to be best friends with my soulmate then.

I’m a woman’s woman after all. Who would have thought?

Woman's woman

After all this while it occurs to me that contrary to all my earlier claims, I don’t really like men. Except sexually, that is. I don’t like the people that they make.

The only way I can like something male is if he:

Is less than 10 years old
Is gay
Is a friend

But I must elaborate on this last point. I don’t believe that I can be friends with men. Or let me put that as ‘I can’t be friends with people I think of as men’. The good friends that I talk about are in my mind, genderless beings. I have been accused of seeing people as their minds only. Sometimes people overcome that and if they happen to be male, and more importantly attractive males, then well…it just is doomed from there on.

I instinctively mistrust men. I am less sympathetic and nice to men. The ones that I’m playing some kind of flirting game with, this serves to add some spice to the interaction. But it doesn’t lead to friendship.

Women on the other hand, I relate to….well some women at least. I am definitely more respectful and accomodating of another woman, no matter how different she is. It is an odd but perfectly correct situation for me to loathe my ex-boyfriend but completely respect and even like his wife.

Perhaps its just that I’ve been generally attracted to ‘the wrong kind of man’. So there then. The kind of men I’m attracted to, I don’t really like and can’t be friends with. So much for wanting to be best friends with my soulmate then.

I’m a woman’s woman after all. Who would have thought?

Shoulder to cry on: Men keep out!

I want to murder some men. To be specific certain men (four and counting..)

I’m going through a ritual that happens at least once in a relationship (all of mine followed it!!!) The break-up. Now put aside all the images that this statement conjures up for a minute…I’m not crying my heart out…I’m not much given to crying anyway.

Consider now the reactions of other people.

Not too many people to start with since it was a brief liaison and I didn’t talk about it. (which is why we will discount what his friends say, given that he has talked about it). In fact quite a few people in my sample have been made aware only recently of ‘him’ and ‘us’ and the ‘not-us-anymore-status’. Here is what they all had to say:

Friend 1 (female): Awwww…..if I were in
India, I’d take you out to eat lots of chocolate ice-cream. (To which I said, “I ate a lot of that in this past month, with him!” More..”Awww…” and a couple of smiley hugz)

Friend 2 (female, also bestest friend): Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Meet me for lunch this weekend. (And she also called in 12-hour intervals with a “What are you doing? How are you doing?”)

Friend 3 (female): Oh, that was fast! (and then…errr, gulp…sorry) 4 hours later in a quiet tone “Was it very painful?”

And here is what the super-smart studs say:

Bloody male 1: You want commitment in a month????

Bloody male 2: I thought you didn’t like coffee. and after I raged on that…”Okay, don’t fight with me”…and then…”Your blog isn’t interesting anymore since you don’t write about me. I know what you must be writing about now.”

Bloody male 3: Wanna come over to my place tonight?

Bloody male 4: You are so superficial. I rest my case. This man is never going to be seen on this planet.

On the same side

One of my friends was telling me about his former room-mate (also once a classmate) and how they got along really well. He said he’d gotten up early one Sunday to make him a nice breakfast and the maid servant was rather scandalized when she discovered it wasn’t for some girlfriend but for another guy!!! I think it was a nice thing to do, nevertheless. Especially because my best friend once woke up early on Sunday morning to make me breakfast too. And I adored her for it. While we spend sooo much time talking about (and trashing) our relationships with the opposite sex, we rarely ever acknowledge the value of our bonds with people of the same gender.

I have a lot of friends, male and female. I myself spend most of this blog talking about men. But the fact is that there are so many of the wonderful people in my life are women. Some of my dearest friends. I had this great pal back in college. She was different from me…..sort of a complement. Exactly one year older than I was, we even celebrated two of our birthdays together. It felt like she was the ‘other side’ of a Cancerian……the quiet, tender, gentle aspects that I never admitted to publicly, she was while I was the headstrong, no-nonsense, spotlight-loving Cancerian side that she hid. She and I…we were perfect and complete. We’d spend hours and hours on end together. People started to murmur that we were lesbians. I laughed till my sides ached while she looked at everyone else contemptuously and continued our talk. In time we parted ways for reasons I won’t go into, in this post. But it was a very painful parting for both of us. A couple of days later one of my friends came up to me and said, “I wish you’d tell her to stop going around telling people that the two of you have ‘broken up’. That sounds unbelievably sidey.” I didn’t say a thing. To him or to her. That break-up hurt just as much as breaking up with my boyfriend did. Perhaps more.

The lady I call my best friend today probably loves me much more than any man ever did. And I am far more committed to her happiness than to that of any man, at least as of today. If it ever came to it (and I hope it won’t) and I had to choose between her and a man, I’m quite certain I’d pick her. She’s far more important to me than any romantic/sexual partner is ever going to be. I won’t go into the science of why we bond with people of the same sex. Somewhere that kind of friendship, to me, acquires a level of ‘purity’ that friendship with people of the opposite sex can’t have. I’m speaking of course of a completely asexual friendship here…there’s something deep and pure about such a bond. Is it because I’m a woman and supposed to live in the realm of the emotional rather than the physical that I value a 100% emotional relationship above a physical/emotional one? I don’t think so. Men bond too. And in some ways, even better than women do. Allowing for stereotypes, I think most men get along better with each other, irrespective of the nature of their links, than women do.

And yet, it seems like they have even less social sanction to do so than women do. I can still talk about really loving my best friends and being so close to them. I imagine most men would shy away from saying such things even about people they are really very close to. Why, though?

Not a feminist

The next time someone calls me a feminist, please remember you read this here first. Also, credit where its due, I got it from this guy, who has made some pretty piggish remarks but like most men, has his sane moments I suppose.

I’m putting this up because
a. I wholly subscribe to the thought (the first link)
b. I’m fed up of being slotted into a man-hating feminist image

I crib a lot about men, but well I also crib a lot about my friends, my job, my family…and hell, I actually have no complaints about any of them! I don’t believe in equality. When each of us is unique, how on earth can we be equal? Its individuality I’m talking about and the freedom to express it.

And just for the record, I think that men:
– make great friends
– are terrific to work with
– are the ones you do fun, adventurous things with (picnics, treks, arguments)

And women:
– also make great friends
– but better listeners
– are terrible to work with (mostly….)
– are the ones you do fun, sentimental things with (conversations, giggling, shopping)

Having an opinion doesn’t make me a feminist. It makes me opinionated.

Vanity Unfair

Ally McBeal

Image via Wikipedia

My jeans are too tight for me to breathe. I’ve put on weight. *Groan*. Why, why, WHY should it matter? I am not fat. I have never been fat. I am not going to be fat. And if I do, will it matter? Yes, it damn well will.

Mum beams with pleasure when someone tells her that she looks like my older sibling. Dad on the other hand squirms uncomfortably when someone runs that line on him.

I read (in Mumbai Mirror, where else?) that the cast of ‘Desperate Housewives’ are vying with each other to be the thinnest. Ah, doesn’t that sound familiar? Oh yes, that happened with the cast of Ally McBeal and Friends too.

So yes, we agonize over pimples and pounds (too many!), inches and shine(not enough!), long hair/short hair (whichever we don’t have), height, eye colour, skin tone, body shape, facial features….the way clothes ‘hang on/stretch around’ us, the way colours and stripes and polka dots look on us. A couple of my close friends are perfectly happy spending hours primping and shopping and pouting and look destined to spend the rest of my lives doing just that. Not that they are dumb air-heads. I pride myself on the company I keep and certainly I keep the company of intelligent, independent, strong people (well…the women at least!). But nooo…..there is all this about bad hair days, water retention, easily tanned skin and all that mumbo-jumbo. I’m trying, I’m trying frantically to hold onto my sensibilities…If you can keep your head when all about you..but then I get accused of being too tomboyish. Again, does it matter? Well…..I hate the answer to that but we all know it.

This weekend was exhausting and fun. I spent a lot of time and money on food, clothes and books. 3.5 hours of this fun weekend was spent in my favorite store trying out clothes (not even accounting for the 2 hours it took me to get to the store and back). With two female friends. Did we have fun? YESSSS! And tomorrow I’ll get a facial…just the thought of it is enough to bring back a glow to my face (okay, oily sheen perhaps…).

Rambling apart, are we really that shallow? It is very important for a woman to look good, in order to feel good. Well, also to feel good in order to look good. But yes, every female from age 3 upwards preens, poses and shows signs of vanity. So much for male egos…the female vanities match them.

Perhaps it boils down to the centuries old premise of the value of a woman being in her sex appeal and child bearing qualities. Of course there are statistics to show that good-looking people generally do better than their average looking counterparts. Have women known that always? I don’t think that is quite it. The underlying assumption is those studies is that a person whose ego is well-nourished enough projects that level of confidence which can make the difference between sucess and failure (all other factors being equal). Yes, feeling attractive is a big plus. There is something to be said about having a healthy body image.

With the boon comes the curse and so we’re also riddled with complexes, anorexia, disorders and annoying obsessions. Do you know what I think about The Metrosexual Man? I think he’s a fool for falling prey to the same monster that has been chewing on the long-limbed, silky-haired, even-skinned carcasses of women. Vanity.

How I celebrated Women’s day

It was just another day. Of course it was….was I expecting a red carpet and garlands? Yes, I know every day should be a celebration like Sushmita Sen says. A day like this is only symbolic. But well, what wrong with symbols? Symbols are reminders. And I remembered yesterday that the world is changing. Some women somewhere demanded a vote and years later they got it. Somewhere someone decided that education should be made available to everyone, irrespective of gender. We got that too. I am living the benefits of their struggles. I don’t claim to be driving the cause today. But by making use of the voice that I have today, maybe by making somebody think, it just is possible, I have helped move something. Didn’t someone say…”If one robin should be saved from dying, my life would not have been in vain”. Ah, well big thoughts. Suffice to say I’m so grateful, so very thankful to be alive in the world as it is today, where I can demand and reasonably expect that my voice will be heard.

On another note, Blank Noise Project has been a sucess. The organizers inform us that participants are flooding in. My mailbox has been flooded for the past two days with other participants sending in their links and their thoughts on this. I’ve never participated in anything like this, in the blogsphere or the real world…it was a thrilling experience. I’m still reading the posts that have been put up. Here’s my favorite one so far…because it goes beyond talking about the problem and offers some suggestions.

I put up my posts on the weekend since I knew it was going to be a killer week. Yesterday was so busy I almost forgot what day it was. Morning began with an unscheduled yoga class where my instructor made me laugh. Apparantly her 17-year old son has joined a gym, much to the astonishment of the instructor who knows that his mother is a proficient yoga teacher. According to the young man “I don’t like to sit in one place and say ‘Breathe in-breathe out!!” Ah well, kids today! Later during the day, his mother gets a call and Mr.Dude coolly announces that he is “in the hospital and the doctor is going to start surgery”. Turned out to be a painful corn on the foot which Dude didn’t bother informing family about. Independence is good. And it made me smile.

Only in the train when my cell flashed a missed call from my best friend did I realise it was Women’s day. Ah…what would I do without my lady Friday, my island of rest, my best friend? I don’t tell her how much she means to me but she understands. Just like I understand what she’s telling me from one missed call alert.

The best moment in my day came from the first lady in my life. A message said “Happy women’s day to the young lady who elevated me to motherhood:-)” Ma, anyplace you are, feels like home.

Just another day. But a very nice one.

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