Some Food for Thought

Few days ago, I had a chance to travel by our Mumbai local after quite a long time. It was crammed and noisy as usual and after a couple of minutes of wriggling and fighting to breathe, I finally did manage to get a place to sit. I had my music plugged into my ears, but the din outside was way too loud to hear the music without risking loss of my hearing. I turned it off and did the best thing that you can do in a train; stare randomly and kill time. Everyone was jostling for space and everyone was pushing everyone, and I sat between two tightly pressed bodies on either side. I couldn’t help overhear what the ladies, apparently two fellow commuters, were talking.

Lady with the yellow dupatta (hereafter referred as L1), ‘It’s really sad, how low one can stoop to make money.’

Restless lady with an irritatingly noisy polythene bag (hereafter referred as L2), ‘Yes indeed. These women have no morals, no dignity and absolutely no self-respect.’

L1: Exactly, how can you sleep with someone for money? It’s unimaginable to me.

L2: How can anyone choose prostitution as an option for making a living? There are hundred odd jobs these women could do to earn a respectable living.

L1: And because of these women, there is so much filth and dirt around us, the dark secrets of the city, the hidden alleys which are frequented by men who don’t think twice before cheating on their wives, for few minutes of their filthy pleasure.

L2: I would rather die than resort to those means, if it ever came to that.

L1: And I wouldn’t want to associate myself with any of these women, in anyway possible. It’s way too below my dignity.

L1: Anyway, to each his own. Did you see that movie Rowdy Rathore?

They continued their conversation but my mind had wandered off by then. These women seemed educated and respected, yet I was appalled to hear how shallow their views were. With all due respect to L1 and L2, who were nice respectful women and who had opportunities to choose a respectable life, they still didn’t have a right to talk about some other women without getting all their facts cleared. I didn’t like the tone of their conversation, or even their attitude, for that matter. Who were they to give character certificates, and who were they to decide who should die and who should struggle to survive. And had they ever bothered to get the other side of the story?

We live in a dynamic society and the societal labyrinth is as complex as complex can be. Just like in a food chain, everyone is playing their part here. Think of it as a movie, where everyone is assigned a role, however small. But until everyone plays their part to perfection, the movie is not quite complete.

Before we ridicule prostitutes and write them off as a mere speck of dirt mark on society, take a moment ladies, and realise that they might actually be doing a favour on us and to the society. If not for them, the other respectable women in the city might probably be living in the constant fear of being raped. If not for these women, the labourers and the drivers who are rarely home and always travelling and who are notorious for frequenting brothels and prostitutes would be roaming around freely looking at every woman as just a sex object. If not for these women, thousands of horny men who have no other option to satiate their hunger would be objectifyng every woman that crosses their path. Imagine what would happen if no body was playing that part. The balance would be disturbed and the repercussions would definitely show in some other part of the society.

So L1, you have an option of not sleeping for money, be glad, count your blessings and don’t sleep.

And L2, you would rather die than offer yourself for money; that is easier said than done. Be grateful that you never had to choose that. And if these women are valuing this wonderful gift of life above everything else, and are surviving by whatever means that they deem best, it’s their bloody right to choose LIFE above everything else.

By saying this, I am not advocating prostitution. I am not saying that we should honour these women with medals or that we should all befriend them. All I am saying is, at least let’s be tolerant of them. At least let’s not talk about them as if they have no more dignity than an insect. These women would have been at some sort of crossroads in their life when they decided to take up this profession (which by the way is very legal in many nations and rightly so). They would all have a story, they would all have been utterly helpless or out of all options to choose this. Many might have been forced into this by lecherous men and pimps. Many would want to go back to their old lives but they are unable to see any way out. Agreed, some women would do that out of choice, for money or for other reasons. So just as L1 rightly says, to each his own. Their life, their worry. Why should we also take away that little benefit of doubt as well? There might be reasons: lack of education, no opportunities, no guidance, they might be shouldering family responsibilities and feeding hungry mouths. In fact, we should salute their spirit to live and their desire to make best out of whatever life offered.

Not all human beings are good, just like how not all prostitutes are bad. We are a judgemental lot. No really, many of us are. We, Indians, love to jump to conclusions. We have always loved to compartmentalize and classify things/people into the boxes we have created in our mind over the years. These boxes have been created so that we can conform to the societal norms and common practices. So that we can all live together in a civilized, regulated society. And that is how it should be ideally, no arguing that. As long as these boxes or norms are aiding the progress of the society. All is well till we are able to do so. But hell breaks loose when we are not able to put those things/situations/people in to one of those boxes. When something doesn’t adhere to the normal, acceptable standards, it’s funny to see how we react.

My only urge, through this blog is, never rush to judge someone. Because we don’t know what life that someone is living or what situations that someone is facing. We hardly ever know the other side of the story. Thinking good, healthy and positive thoughts about others conveys nothing but your own positive disposition towards life.

Some food for thought, isn’t it?

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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?

ROFL

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.