The Day I Learnt that Being A Boy Was Probably More Valuable

I grew up in various parts of India, a fact that I am very proud of because it made me realize how diverse this country is while most of the issues and problems remain the same. My early childhood was spent in Gujrat and we lived in a neighbourhood which was largely middleclass. In the evening all the children would come out and play the regular games of hide and seek, seven stones and chor police.

Most of the girls had dolls but I was encouraged from home to play with all sorts of toys and not fixate on dolls. When I was around 6 years old I got a doll for my birthday. The doll almost came up to half my height and wore a dress, shoes and everything else that dolls wear. One of the favorite games the girls in the neighbourhood played in those days was getting dolls married. Girl dolls would get married to boy dolls like they do in the ‘proper’ Indian society.

The weddings themselves would be fun for the participating friends as some girls served real snacks at the weddings and got the dolls dressed up for the wedding in bridal clothes. One day a girl I vaguely knew came to me with a proposal to get my cherished girl doll to marry her boy doll. I was pretty excited about having a doll wedding and planning a doll wedding till I heard the actual terms of the wedding.

According to norm after the wedding my doll would go to this friends house and be with her dolls and would only occasionally visit me!  So in short this friend of mine would gain two dolls while I lost the only one I had. As you can imagine the wedding got called off quickly and my doll has lived a great life being a spinster with some occasional setbacks like being drawn on her forehead with a marker or losing her ribbons but overall I am sure she won’t complain. The doll still resides in my mothers cupboard like most cherished toys do.

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How To Woo A Woman According to Bollywood

To stand up against sexual harassment, we first need to know that harassment comes in many forms, including these sanctioned by Bollywood.

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#AskingForIt is an initiative by Breakthrough to mobilize communities and get every individual, both online and in the ‘real world’, to speak out and not treat sexual harassment as ‘normal’. The Women’s Web #AskingForIt blogathon asked  readers to share their experiences, suggestions and resources on the topic of street sexual harassment in India and countering it.

Bollywood mainstream cinema has been a vital force in all our lives and has been a great teacher. It has taught us how boys should behave, how girls should marry and other sanskaari stuff. For all matters of the heart, Bollywood has been a ready source of information for countless men and women.

So if you are looking for ways to woo your lady love, look no further. We have compiled a list of ways to win her heart which have been endorsed by all your favourite Bollywood heroes and actors.

#1 Chase her across college along with an army of your friends singing and dancing

Remember the movies in the 90’s like Dil where Amir Khan sang and danced around Madhuri Dixit? Well, he actually did more than just dance in the movie to ‘subjugate’ her, but let’s start with dance. Learn some cool moves and teach it to a butt load of your classmates. Then chase her across campus as you sing and dance to the beat while she tries to get away from you.

#2 Tease her mercilessly

Take some notes from the movie Haseena Maan Jayegi where Sanjay Dutt and Govinda tease their common lady love played by Karishma Kapoor endlessly while the brothers play toss over who should finally have her. Karishma’s character of course does not need to be asked who she loves. She did not have a voice in the movie but she had a great wardrobe.

#3 Invade her personal space

Who can forget the iconic movie DDLJ in a list of how to woo a girl. Remember the scene when Raj meets Simran and in the next fifteen minutes or so goes through her suitcase, handles her undergarments and unceremoniously falls into her lap. Well, girls love this stuff, apparently.

#4 Flirt with her best friend and then dump best friend

The best way to get the girl of your dreams is by flirting with her best friend because best friends are not important to the plot. They are almost always available for a movie or a dance and have lower standards on whom to date than the heroine. This has been tried and tested in countless movies, if it can work for Saif Ali Khan it can surely work for you.

#5 Save the damsel in distress only to hit on her later

This seems to be a great way to meet a woman. Look out for goons in your vicinity, wait for them to harass a girl, then save said girl. Once the girl is thus duly saved, go ahead hit on her, she is all yours. Brawn is better than charm any day.

 

#6 Pinch her inappropriately

You know this one already if you have watched Rowdy Rathore. Women seem to like strangers who touch them inappropriately and it seems to be the running joke in the movie. Who has time for a hello and how are you doing these days, so by all means go ahead and pinch her.

#7 Stalk her endlessly

If you are truly interested in a woman, by all means stalk her. Follow her around the whole day like a love lorn puppy. If your boss, principal or parents object, just show them the latest copy of any Indian movie.

#8 Go to her place of work and sing, dance, disrupt because let’s face it, who wants to work?

Now that you are jobless, go to her place of work and do what you have to do. You could choose dancing and singing in her office to express your love and chances are that her colleagues will wear matching clothes and groove to your music.

#9 Pelvic thrust around her as she tries to escape from you

This move is a classic; it has been used in Hindi as well as regional films. There is nothing that makes a girl fall in love with a man like a pelvic thrust. To practise this move download any Amitabh, Rishi Kapoor or Anil Kapoor movie – now find a neighbourhood park preferably with flowers and bushes and go bonkers.

Now that you have all these tips from Bollywood under your belt keep a look out for cops and a possible arrest warrant because all these wonderful tips are the basic definition of street harassment.

Stalking a woman, accosting her on the street or at her place of work, gestures such as pelvic thrusts and verbal harassment are all punishable offences and can also lead to some jail time. Bollywood probably did not get the memo.

This post was originally published here

Photo Credits to Razor Rasu. If you are wondering why there is an image of penguins? It is simply because in this regard they know better!

25 Hilarious Indian Reasons to get Married

More often than not, Indian parents are more excited about marriage than their kids. Here’s a list of 25 hilarious reasons why Indian parents want their kids to marry!

In our culture, marriage is seen as the cure for all problems, real or imagined. Marriage seems to be the ultimate aim of most people. Their life starts and ends with the aim of getting married. Daughters are groomed to become dutiful wives and sons are taught to get good returns on investment when they get married.

The whole community gets involved in getting a boy or girl on the brink of adulthood, married. Chacha, chachi, distant cousins – all look at the girl or boy (who has just completed education) as prospective brides or grooms at the wedding they would like to attend soon.  Getting married is also termed as ‘settling down’ but how can anyone be settled when they are in the 20s or even 30s?

Marriage is an age-old tradition, and comes with its share of benefits and problems, but the reasons why Indian parents want their wards to get married are often hilarious. So here is a compilation of 25 hilarious (but often real) reasons why parents want to play match-maker to their kids. Read More

 Photograph credited to Razor Rasu.

Of a Woman Scorned

Indian women do not have to look far when looking for role models. Just turn the pages of Indian mythology and stories of women and goddesses who made a mark can be found. Each of these women had a powerful tale and their story was told because they did not conform. They all had flaws and refused to be on a pedestal. They loved, lost and conquered. Sometimes they faced compromises which they accepted but at other times they fought back.

Durga, Sita, Draupadi, Savitri and Radha are celebrated because they did not follow societal norms. They broke free when they found oppression. They are epitomes of love, anger, determination and jealousy hence being a complete human and not just a perfect being. It is the flaws that make us interesting and not perfection. Most importantly they were fiercely independent, they are known inspite of the men and not because of them. They loved with abandon but once scorned, their fury knew no bounds.

Durga or Parvati mercilessly pursued and vanquished the demon Mahishasura in her anger. Savitri refused to let her husband die and fought with the God of death Yama with her intelligence and wit till she won. Draupadi though a princess faced her share of hardships with a brave front. She was always known to speak her mind and live the way she wanted. Sita loved her husband and followed him to the forest on his exile but once scorned she did not let him determine her self-worth when her loyalty was questioned. The love story of Radha and Krishna is a celebrated one even though both went on to marry other people.

India celebrates Navaratri (nine days festival when the Goddess- Devi is celebrated) with abandon. Durga Puja in Bengal, Saraswati Puja in Kerala and Navaratri celebration with dandiya-ras dance as tribute to Ambe Mata in Gujrat. Culminating with Dashera or the tenth day when the victory of good over evil is celebrated across the country. When we celebrate the Goddess are we awarding the same respect to the women in our lives? Not just men but are women respecting each other as daughters, colleagues, bosses, mothers or as daughters in law. Do we have varying degrees of respect allotted to a woman depending on what she wears, if she is married or single or if she gave birth to daughters or sons?

Once Navaratri is over, is the Goddess to be abandoned and forgotten? Is this a festival only for nine days of revelry and nothing more? When we celebrate the Goddess are we forgetting the live woman and taking her for granted. Women are not always Goddesses and might not rise up to the challenges posed by society. She might need help to rise from the effects of generations of playing second fiddle to the men. A little bit of respect will go a long way for the women in your life. She does not want a pedestal from where she can’t get down neither does she aspire to be a foot-stool from where she can’t rise. Do not abandon Her after nine days only to resurrect Her next year.