Daddy’s little girl

A few days ago, while at a friend’s house, I was a witness to a beautiful father-daughter relationship being played out in front of me. This friend is a new father. And needless to say, his 7 month old cherubic daughter is the apple of his eyes. The new mother said that he can’t bear to see his daughter cry. When they take her to the doctor for the vaccines and injections, his eye well up when his daughter lets out a sharp cry at the poke of needle. In the short time that we were there, I saw him playing with her, gently stroking her head, rocking her, comforting her, singing to her, feeding her and even talking to her. I was choked with emotions and transported back to my childhood days; reminiscing the little wonderful, moments that I spent with my father.

How lovely a father-daughter relationship is, isn’t it?

Like father, like daughter

Like father, like daughter

What I find truly fascinating is how naturally the new parents are able to process this whole set of new, complicated emotions that comes with being a parent. How naturally fathers start doting on their daughters! How these seemingly tough men, who have hitherto always shied away from sharing their emotions, become so gullible when it comes to their daughters! How he discovers a whole new side to him when it comes to his daughter! How he becomes a puppet in his daughter’s hands! How he would do anything to hear her little giggles or to see her jumping with joy! How disturbed he feels when she looks sad! How vulnerable and sad he feels when she is sick! How protective he feels when she steps out in the real world! And likewise, the biggest grief in a daughter’s life would be to see her father cry.

“A daughter is a day brightener and a heart warmer.”

I am sure parents love their children dearly, irrespective of their gender. But there is something just so beautiful about a father-daughter relationship. It is extra special. Why most daughters, including me, even look like their fathers!

No matter how old she gets, she always remains her daddy’s little girl.

I love you dad. I couldn’t have had a better dad. (Things I am grateful for: Reason #24)

I cried at the wedding not because mom cried. I cried because YOU cried.

The reason why daughters love their dad the most is that there is at least one man in the world who will never hurt her.


Girl at the signal

It’s a busy Monday afternoon. Cars are zooming past us. We are at the crossroads, waiting for the signal to turn red so that we can cross the damned road safely. The ‘we’ here includes my pretty friend and me. It’s the first day of the week and we are hurriedly out to grab a quick bite.

It is almost impossible for a girl to stand at the signal and not to be noticed. While we are waiting at the signal, trying to shield ourselves from the unrelenting afternoon sun, what I see leaves me highly amused. Inwardly, I chuckle. Almost everyone is sparing a look at us. Every boy, every young man, every uncle, every old man in the cars wheezing past us, on the bikes, in the autos is throwing a glance in our direction unfailingly. Some are trying to catch our attention rather openly, some are peering at us from under their lashes, some are coyly looking at us, and some are shamelessly sticking their head out of their window to get a full view of us, while some others are craning their necks to a threatening degree to get a good view of us.

In that moment, I understood some things, characteristically male. Actually, those ‘some’ things were always kind of obvious, but in that moment they became crystal clear to me. I am listing them down here:

  • Age of a man has got nothing to do with how he perceives a girl or a woman. Most men have that hungry look in their eye. The look that says…oh-so-I-can’t-touch-you-but-what-the-heck-I-can-at least-gape-at-you.
  • Most men, age no bar once again, will not miss out on an opportunity to check a girl out, no matter what circumstance.
  • If a girl is standing in a public place, men feel it’s rude on their part to ignore her. So they feel it’s their right to check her out very openly. They will shamelessly gawk at her, and won’t even take their eyes off her, even when she looks right back in their eyes.
  • Men feel that if she is standing on the road, she is demanding to be checked out.
  • Men will not fail to check unknown girls out on the road, even if they are accompanied by their partners. The partner will in turn sneer at the object of her man’s supervision.
  • Men will even make adjustments and even go out of their way to get a clear view of the girl on the road.
  • It doesn’t matter if the girl is pretty or not. But if she is average looking or slightly better than average looking, things only get worse for her and more interesting for those leeching men.
  • Some men even have innate virtual rape ability. They can rape you even by just looking at you.

No, this is not an angry post. I am just amused. Women are undoubtedly prettiest of the God’s creations. But oh boy! Seriously the kind of attention we get! Most of it is unwanted. It’s just makes me curious how men think. How openly they check us out without even battling an eyelid!

I am not saying attention is not welcome. It is. But only from desirable sources. Girls seek attention, and I will agree to that. No point being two-faced about it. But only from only those people who they fancy. Not from every prick, and definitely not every roadside Romeo.

To me, this has happened several times. Some leeches have even hooted and passed deriding remarks. Wonder if this has happened to you?

FB Chats


This is purely a work of fiction, any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely co-incidental


Chat 1: With an old school friend

10.20 Me: Hey

10.21 Amy: Hey Zinal 🙂

10. 21 Me: Wassup Amy, long time

10.22 Amy: Nothing much, its work as usual. How have u been?

10.24 Me: I have been good, thank you 🙂

10.24 Amy: It’s been ages that we met

10.25 Me: I swear

10.26 Amy: what have you been up to??

10.28 Me:  it’s pretty much the office-home-office routine

10.30 Amy: Hmm

10.35 Me: So what’s happening on the personal front?

10.41 Amy: it’s complicated

10.42 Me: hmm

10.52 Amy: Ok then, cya, gtg ..ttyl

10.53 Me: bye


Chat 2: With that new interesting boy in office who flirts with you

21.06 Arjun: hey lady

21.06 Me: Hey Arjun 🙂

21.06 Arjun: Wassup? Had dinner?

21.07 Me: Just did… How about you?

21.07 Arjun: Well… I am still making it

21.07 Me: Are you trying to tell me that YOU can cook?

21.08 Arjun: Oops, did I just give that away? I thought I will save this bit of detail for later 😉

21.08 Me: haha… well… why should I believe you?

21.08 Arjun: You will see that for yourself, perhaps… someday 😉

21.09 Me: Aah…are you trying to say something here? 😛 Coz, I am reading between the lines

21.09 Arjun: haha 😉

21.10 Me: Btw what?

21.10 Arjun: Did I tell you that ‘purple’ is your colour?

21.11 Me: scratching my head to remember that

21.11Arjun: haha

21.11 Me: no, you haven’t told me that…yet 😉

21.12 Arjun: Well Zinal, purple is your colour then… I think you should change your wardrobe to purples

21.12 Me: haha… well thank you. But if I change my whole wardrobe to purples, it wouldn’t be half as interesting … it will soon be boring  😛

21.13 Arjun: May be you are right… Actually, I think it’s not about the colour.. its about YOU 🙂

21.13 Me: haha…are you trying to flirt?

21.14 Arjun: oh Shit, is it that obvious?

21.14 Me: hahaha

21.15 Arjun J I can sense something

21.15 Me: May be whatever that you are cooking is burning 😛

21.16 Arjun: ouch…

21.16 Me: haha…maybe you should check on your dinner

21.17 Arjun: Wow, we think alike

21.17 Me: lol
okay.. I gtg .. cya tomo in office

21.18 Arjun: okay cya.. I better go know before my dinner burns.. bye

21.18 Me: Bye


 Chat 3: With that irritating guy who hits on you

22.15 Gautam: Hey Zinal

22.19 Me: Hello Gautam

22.19 Gautam: Wassup beautiful?? 😉

22.25 Me: well… nothing much.. you tell me

22.25 Gautam: Why are you taking so long to reply??!!

22.30 Me: Umm.. poor internet connectivity.. I keep going offline

22.30 Gautam: but you appear online to me

22.33 Me: don’t know why

22.33 Gautam: So I was thinking

22.36 Me: please don’t think Gautam

22.36 Gautam: haha funny you

22.40 Me: 😛

22.40 Gautam: it’s been a while we met, why don’t we meet for coffee?

22.50 Me: Umm well… we could, but am keeping very busy these days… work pressure

22.50 Gautam: hmm.. then we should really go in that case.. you can unwind

22.58 Me: well may be some other time

22.58 Gautam: okay J So what else is happening at your end??

23.07 Gautam: Helllllooooooo

23.16 Gautam: you there?

23.19 Gautam: I am sure you are online.. I can see that

23.25 Me: Oops sorry… went off to take a call .. Anyway nice talking …Tc Gn

Zinal is now offline


Chat 4: With your nosy relative

15.03 Pammy: Hello beta

15.04 Me: Hello Auntyji… kaise hain aap?

15.05 Pammy: All good beta.. all good
So long, have not seen you

15.07 Me: Haan Aunty … have been busy

15.08 Pammy: I saw your pictures.. nice you look.. but itni dubli kaise ho gayi tum…Khana nai khaati kya?

(Zinal panics…which pictures is Aunty talking about)

15.10 Me: haha thank you aunty.. I am the same.. not thin .. not fat

15.15 Pammy: Met your mom in the market on Tuesday

15.17 Me: Really? That’s nice 🙂

15.18: Pammy: I have suggested a guy to her, did she tell you about him

(Zinal Groans.. not again)

15.19 Me: Really? No she hasn’t… but aunty I am too young yet.. what’s the rush

15.20 Pammy: Every girl says that… you should marry when the time is right

(Zinal sighs..why am I even having this conversation.. should I just say bye)

15.23 Pammy: You there, beta?

15.25 Me: ya aunty.. I will think about it..

15.27 Pammy: good girl you are…jhappi

15.28 Me: J Okay Aunty.. baad main baat karte hain.. mere class ka samay ho gaya hai.. bye bye

15.30 Pammy: bye beta.. give my regards to mummy

15. 32 Me: sure aunty.. bye









Is fair so lovely?

This Sunday, perched on the window, sipping a steaming cup of coffee, I was skimming through the Sunday paper. The matrimonial section caught my eye. Believe you me, it’s hugely entertaining to read these ads in the matrimonial section, how people describe the bride/groom they want in as few words as possible and at the same time making sure it packs the necessary punch. And below is what I read:

  • Wanted a fair, slim and beautiful girl, educated and homely for our fair and handsome son, age 29.
  • Well educated boy belonging to a rich family with established business seeks alliance from a fair, attractive and modern girl
  • Mumbai based girl, 5’4”, very fair and beautiful, working with a leading bank looks for a US-based educated and good looking boy from a Vaishnav family
  • Bais Rajput, Pune, age 30, 5’8” journalist, 6 lacs p.a seeks a fair graduate girl. Contact..

And boy, was I surprised to read these things!

We might be in the 21st century, where a Sunita Williams is making space journeys and where a Chanda Kocchar is heading the biggest bank in the country but the ground reality is that nothing has changed really. There might be a constant backlash in some elite, progressive Indian circles about the obsession over the colour of skin. But a vast majority, if not openly then secretly, believes that white is beautiful. These seemingly innocuous ads are at their offensive best. While it’s understandable to want a cultured and attractive girl for marriage (to each his own, we are not being moral police here), what is really contemptuous is the fact that being fair is higher on the priority scale for many amongst us than being educated, skillful or interesting. It is as if, all my talents and achievements come to naught if I am not milk-white.

Then yesterday, while I was randomly surfing through the channels, the above theory was reconfirmed. I couldn’t help but notice the kind of advertisements bombarding our idiot box at prime time. Across the channels, all I could really see was advertisements for shampoos (promising me gorgeous mane so that I can impress that boy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence), soaps (promising me fair, beautiful and fragrant skin so that I can impress that boy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence), deodorants (promising me fragrant underarms so that I can seduce that guy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence) and yes you guessed it right – fairness creams ( promising me milk white complexion so that I can impress that guy I am crushing on and who is oblivious to my existence). Ya ya.. I know you get the drift.

After a point my mind became so numb with overload of information about various creams that I couldn’t distinguish one from another. One cream urged me to look beautiful (read milk white) so that I can increase my chances of finding a better prospect, one threatened me to start using that cream with anti aging properties asap, lest it will be too late for repairs later. One cream also came with a fairness barometer that could measure my improving complexion through 7 days. And voila, at the end of 7 days (only if I apply it regularly twice a day), I will be Ms. Snowwhite. Even if I was chocolate brown before. The before-after transition is unbelievable. Now, do they really expect us to be so dumb to believe that? Apparently yes, if the sales figures of these creams are anything to go by.

Does the fairness cream actually hold the potential to change my fortune? Will the colour of my skin alone determine how successful I become in life? And hello, what is the definition of success? According to all these ads, success is met when I get to be with or marry that eligible guy because I am oh-so-fair now. So that’s about how much a girl can dream of. Looking fair and beautiful and landing an eligible guy is THE goal of her life. Career, passion, dreams, ambition are not for the fairer sex.

Our obsession with fair skin is deep rooted. The way our Gods and Goddesses are portrayed (white and radiant) has led us to believe that white-skin is superior. Also the fact that we were ruled by white skinned British for more than 2 centuries and who tried to establish their superiority over us reaffirmed our belief that white is uber beautiful.

To have a preference of skin colour to marry someone sounds disrespectful but it is still digestible (to each his own). But to let the skin colour be the only deciding criteria is downright hideous.

Here are a few pictures for a good laugh: (Courtesy Google)

That 7-day transition i was talking about

even, Obama -President of the biggest Superpower, is not
good enough if he is not fair

The captions say it all

Why should Girls have all the fun?


Okay, so you get what i am trying to say, right? I would love to see your comments and even interesting stories, if you have witnessed any around yourself. About fairness creams of course.

India Shining, really?

Kudos to Aamir Khan! For spreading awareness about yet another brilliant subject. His choice of films has always been unique, and subjects very well researched. And his TV debut was no different. He has always dared to touch upon sensitive issues and portrayed his roles convincingly with such panache and confidence that they never fail to touch the right chords. Be it the issue of dyslexia, be it the issue of rotten education system in India or be it simply the matter of boosting tourism…he does know his craft well.

Satyamev Jayate, I feel and am sure many will agree with me, is a very promising show. And no I am not talking about show’s popularity from the TRP point of view, but am talking about the show from the point of view of its mission. To touch upon issues, which we love to sweep under the carpet and issues we turn a blind eye to… is a great idea, and considering his popularity, his mass appeal and his ability to tell a story convincingly only adds merit to the show.

I was zapped to know the scale on which female foeticide is carried on in India. I was shocked to know how doctors, the-supposed-saviours of lives and who Indians treat next to God, were involved in this racket for the lure of some quick bucks. What was even more appalling is to know that highly educated and so-called elite of the urban areas are shamelessly involved in this.

Though there is in no justification for treating women like baby producing machines and torturing them for producing a male offspring, I can for once still digest, albeit with difficulty, that such incidences happen commonly in villages. But what I absolutely can’t digest is that even well educated, urbane men enjoying a cushy life style, also are treating their women so poorly, tormenting them, branding them with scalding iron, making their lives hell, throwing acid on their faces and expecting them to keep on reproducing until they beget a male child. What these men and their mindless families don’t realise is that it’s not the woman’s but the man’s chromosome that determines the gender of the child.

If I were to just start listing the heart wrenching stories of the helpless women that I have heard in my life time, I will run out of paper. There have been so many embarrassing stories that it makes me wonder if we really are in 21st century. The epithet ‘shining’ in the much talked about ‘India Shining’ dream, seems to be mocking at us.

And the real issue is much deeper. Those females who are not killed in the womb are not really lovingly welcomed into the world either. As they grow, they face discrimination at every stage. At every stage in their life, they are given a secondary status. Why? Why is a girl treated as a burden? For how many more years will she have to prove her mettle?

The alarming statistics of female foeticide in India is a real dampener and leaves much to be desired if we really want to be a first-world country. The sliding sex-ratio is not healthy and i don’t have to tell why. India can truly shine only if each one of us takes it upon him/herself to make this change happen, to stop this indiscrimination, to treat women with dignity and respect and to make this society more friendly for women as well.

Just because we don’t see many such incidences openly around us, doesn’t mean they are not happening. Let us not be disillusioned that it happens only in villages. Because such crimes can’t happen without the active support of the educated people like doctors and chemists who are intrinsic parts of this network.

As individuals, i realise we cant do much. But the least we can do is support people who are taking pains to make this change happen. We can surly vote and actively support this show. We can show sensitivity and help women, who we know are at the receiving end. I am sure, together we can!

Girls and boys….contd…

As expected, my post on ‘Girls and Boys – Part 1’ had all my guy friends nodding in agreement and all my girl friends were furious and snickering at such a shallow typecasting.

Usually, boys/men are not really verbose. They are painfully direct and to the point. They really say, what they mean. Yes, I know that’s a hard truth to digest. Sigh! But that is usually the truth. Unlike us girls, they won’t sugar coat things, and build an entire scenario to come to the point. Hence, there is always the mismatch in coding and decoding between inter-gender communications. We, on one hand, never really say the exact things that we want, for the want of sounding not-rude, understanding, compassionate, reasonable, mature or whatever. They, on the other hand, are typically inapt at beating around the bush. But still there are many things typical of a man to say, when he CLEARLY means something else.

Ok girls, now listen up! Like I promised, we won’t be sparing the boys, and I will keep up to it. I am listing down some of the things that men say and what actually they mean. Please feel free to add to the list and let’s make it a real long one together. Wink!

What he says and what he means:

1. He says: I think I am falling for you/ I like your hair/shoes/etc.

 What he means: You really interest him. You are on his mind more often than he would like to acknowledge, even to himself.

Tip: It’s more likely that he is just testing the waters. It’s a pre-cursor to what he might really have in mind. He just wants to make sure that you are also riding the same wave as him. And if he proposes, he doesn’t want to face an embarrassing rejection. Girls, it’s your hint at knowing where you really want to take things with him.

2. He says: Why don’t you catch up with your girl gang today? Its been really long you met them.

What he means: He is not being very considerate and willing to look after the kids while you have your fun. He really wants to watch that football match over beer with his cronies. And he wants to have fun with his guy gang.

Tip: It’s just that he wants to go anyhow; today or in the next couple of days. If he lets you go out, obviously you won’t stop him from having his fun. It’s a pure bargain. Just calculative give and take. And hopefully no ulterior motive here. So, let him just go and you have your own fun too.

3. He says: Okay, let’s go for that movie.

What he means: I wouldn’t have gone for that movie under any circumstance. I am only going because you want.

Tip: Again a calculative game. He goes with you for that movie willingly so that you can’t put your foot down when he wants to go for some sci-fi or action flick.

Or it could also mean (in rare cases):

  • He really wants you to be happy, even if that means going to that movie.
  • He wants to make you happy, because he really loves you or wants you to take you to bed.
  • He is just of a very accommodating nature and your happiness is his top most priority.

After a dinner date, he comes to drop you home

4. He says: (In case you are one of those girls, who live in their own house, away from parents)

Why don’t we sip some coffee together?

He means: I am sure you know what ‘coffee after dinner dates’ is a metaphor for.

Tip:  Haven’t we all watched this clichéd line in scores of Hollywood movies? He just wants to go to bed with you. Obviously, he can’t straight away tell you, ‘honey let’s just have sex and get done with it.’ So it’s a subtle cue, to gauge your interest. If things don’t turn out the way he thought, at least he can convince himself that he had just come for coffee. Real coffee.

5. He says: Let’s go out for dinner tonight.


What he means: If you are his wife: I am tired of all the inedible things you try to pass off as dinner.

If you are his girlfriend: I really like you and dinner is just to check if there could be any interesting possibilities between us.


Tip: Don’t let all his flattery charm you too much and take you off guard.

Side note: He might just have taken you out for dinner without any specific agenda. May be we should not let our women-minds over analyse the situation.

6. He says: You look different.

He means: He can’t exactly put his finger on what exactly is different. He didn’t exactly notice your hair cut.

Or he means you are looking bad. Different is a subtle way of saying that dress is unflattering.

Tip: Look right into his eyes and dare him to say clearly what is looking different.

If he is really one of those rare sensitive types, he doesn’t want to hurt you by saying that you are looking bad, right on your face. He wants you to take the cue.


7. He says: My mom’s choley/pasta/halwa is out of the world.

He means: Your choley/pasta/halwa doesn’t even come close. You suck at it.

Tip: Ouch! Yes, I know you put your whole evening making that dish. You just take it with a pinch of salt, smile back sweetly and say, “I am sure”.


So girls, I am looking forward to see some more ‘what-he-says-and-what-he-means’ comments down here.


Girls and boys


Wife: I am not upset.

Husband (believes that and sighs, thinking he is gonna get lucky tonight): Great, what are you making for dinner tonight?

Wife: #$#% #$%#%$

Husband (totally confused): What?


It’s a known fact that the way men and women communicate is different in more than one ways. A slew of research proves this. There is a sea of difference in what women say and what men understand; and it holds equally true vice versa as well. Interestingly, more often than not, the intended meaning behind what they say to each other is always something else; something vague and unfathomable. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus might be true after all.

What she says and what she means:

1. She says: There is nothing wrong.

What she means: Obviously there is something wrong, you jerk. Can’t you be a little sensitive for once?

Tip: Boys, on hearing this sentence, don’t just feel all is right and go back to your football game. Because if there was a negative marking for such a thing, your score which managed to be in double digits after years of understanding, could hit an all time low and come down straight to single digit.

The best part for you boys is that you don’t really have to have a dia-logue, or give any suggestions. You just have to listen well (or at least pretend), and let her cool off her steam. And look empathetic, nod in between (but don’t overdo please) and just agree to what she says. You might really get lucky at night.

2. She says: I think we need to talk.

What she means: Brace yourself up for a serious discussion. I am going to talk and you are going to listen.

 Tip: You thought you would be talking about how that movie is faring at the box office? LOL!

Boys whenever you feel that she has been letting you have your way for some time now, you can be assured that a silent storm is brewing. As the years go by, you will become instinctively tuned to this; and will be able to predict impending explosions almost correctly someday.

I wish I had a real tip to give. But I guess it has to be a gradual learning curve.

3. She asks: Am I looking fat?

What she means: She wants an assurance form you that she is not looking fat, and does not really want an honest answer.

Tip: Men, she wants to be assured that you will love her, no matter what her weight is, and that your love for her is not superficial. So even if she looks like a red box in that red dress, you can’t/ should not give an honest answer; even if she is looking at you with earnest eyes.

What you do instead is, say:

  • You look great the way you are, and I wouldn’t want you to fret about your weight.
  • You are not looking fat, you look curvier and I like you this way (White lies!!).
  • Who said you are fat?? (feign total disbelief) (If you are convincing, she might get you back in double digits)
  • You are not fat, you are just pleasantly plump. And there is more to love. (Men, this answer doesn’t work with every woman, know your type well or avoid this answer)

4. She says: I don’t know where the relationship is going.

What She means: I have had enough of cleaning your laundry and obliging all the time. You can’t treat me like a doormat and behave like I-can’t-be-bothered.

Tip: If she is your wife, you are in deep sh**. Probably you want to offer doing laundry henceforth or cleaning dishes. The smart husband is the one who chooses to do the chore his wife hates the most.

If she is your Girlfriend:

  • She is either asking for a commitment (tell her that you were going to suggest this yourself, and you are glad that both of you are thinking the same.)
  • Or she is so fed up of you that she just wants to dump you. (If she has made up her mind, I am afraid boys it’s too late. Nothing you say will make her stay.)

5. She says: Isn’t my friend Sarah really pretty? 

What She means: She wants to know if you are checking out her friends.

 Tip: it’s almost a catch-22 situation. And there can’t be perfect answer to this. If you say, she is pretty, that obviously means that you mean your own girl is not as pretty.

If you say that you never really checked her out, because you had your eyes glued on only her (your own girl), she will obviously figure you are lying.

Your best bet would be to divert her mind or excuse yourself.

Real meanings for her seemingly harmless words:

  • I am really sorry – But you will be sorry soon
  • Fine – nothing is fine
  • Do what you like – Means you do what she told you to
  • Aren’t these shoes pretty – my birthday is round the corner, make a mental note.
  • Give me 5 minutes to dress up –  you may take a small nap
  • Do you really love me? – I have something to confess.
  • Did you like this dish – say yes, and if you say no, be prepared to eat out.
  • Don’t argue – I am PMSing, leave me alone. Or just hug me and say you love me.

I would like to clarify, before I get a backlash from any of you girls, all is written in good humour and is highly stereotyped. 🙂 I know my friends are different.

Boys wait on: the next blog is, “what he says and what he means”

Girls: Wink, Wink.