Thursday, August 20, 2015

Keep your undies on, I was told and I...

This morning while I was busy lazying in the varenda enjoying the rain, my mom hurriedly came and sat beside me. “What is that book Appu is reading. Have you seen her, she talks to herself, laughs loudly and sits thinking and smiling to herself. Go look. She’s still in bed, not brushed as yet, not had her milk, she’s talking to her book.”

Standing by the door, I saw my girl fall over the pillow and laugh. Shaking her head and exclaiming “Oh! my Goodness!” Catching me notice her, she sat up and said, “Can you believe this Mamma, Thomas is asking Brenda to keep her undies on!”

It was a glue-in-my-throat moment. Utterly confused, I blurted, “Who’s that naughty character in there?”

“Oh Mamma, you are so funny,” she replied as she got up to give me her customary hug before heading to the washroom with her toothbrush.

“She’s gone to brush? At last. What craze is this?” My mother walked in pouring fuel to the blaze inside me.

I rushed to my bedroom. The husband was on his mobile. Clueless, I paced the room.

He raised his brows, in query.

“What is she reading?” I thundered.

“Who”, he asked perplexed.

“Your daughter.”

“How will I know. You are the one buying her books…”

“Yeah, I’m the one...”

 “What’s bothering you,” he asked picking up his laptop now and checking his report sheets, making me completely lose it.

“Keep your undies on, she says.”

“So.” He was as cool as only he can be, concentrating on the papers before him.

“What so? Do you even know what it means!!” I didn’t know why I was annoyed.

Now he looked up. Totally with me, with that mischevious smile in his eyes.

“Shut up!”

He simply threw his palms wide and shrug. “Okay. Your command your wish.”


“Whatever that phrase is.”

“We have an issue on hand…” I attempted again, annoyed with his approach, when he gestured me to sit down. “See, he said pointing to the screen. He had Googled, meanwhile. “Keep your panties on; Keep your undergarments on…” 

He read aloud, “It’s slang usage. It means composure. It means keep your calm.”

“Okay now?” he asked, getting back to his work. “I have to send an urgent report. Until then keep your’s on.”

Like a deflated tyre, I shriveled in shame.  

“Hope you didn’t say anything unwanted to her,” he asked throwing a side glance.

“I think I did but then…” before I could complete our li’l girl walked in and stopped in her tracks, “What happened Mamma? Why do you look like you have klunk on your face?”

“Wh…w..at on my face?”

“Poop! Don’t you know that?”

“Can you please speak normal English.”

“Oh my Goodness! This is normal English in ‘MazeRunner’.

The books that kept my girl busy during the holidays

“Stop reading those crap books of yours. Don’t you have anything better…”

“Okayies, okayies, chill Mamma, keep your undies on!”

“I said stop it, will you”

“Papa,” she whispered, “What happened?” she asked snuggling beside him.

“Mamma got up with a migraine. Leave her alone!” He whispered back.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

... a contraceptive that got people into overdrive

The government does it again. Portrays taking a U-turn on porn ban following public shaming. However, ISPs continue with the ban until they hear the order loud and clear. Blaming rapes on such websites was a lame and foolish excuse… they might be considering the latest UN population report to shade their morality, instead. 

So let’s have some action, please. Let’s protest against those who helped the government ban 850 sites. As for the banned content, there always has been ways around. Bans are like contraceptives, they make users go into a reckless overdrive [pun intended]. 

How can we let such a conscious step initiated by our sacrosanct government fizzle away. So for purely moral reasons, legal procedures must be initiated against those who short-listed these websites. How could they have zeroed in on selected sites without having poured over thousands of porn websites to decide which among them are the worst! 

Bans are like contraceptives, they make users go into reckless overdrive

And as if on cue to demonstrate the idea of the governments’ decision, leaders expose their dirty minds. Bharati’s sexist remark about Delhi becoming safe for ‘beautiful women’ to walk at night is sad. If we can take solace that he represents the average filth of just a party or a certain section of society, I fret to think of what to make of PM Modi’s ‘despite-being-a-woman’ comment, and that, too, on a foreign land. Now, that's crossing the boundaries! 

To term these as ‘gaffes’, ‘slips’, or merely ‘irresponsible’ is gross ignorance. Such expressions are toxic fumes emanating from the growling reaction of the mirth of their deep-set conditioning that begin frothing on the slightest trigger. 

We are a nation that looks ahead so we will let bygones be bygones… we will not mention MPs watching porn in the House, but henceforth we will not tolerate laymen exercising their choice within their own homes. Phew! 

Internet censorship is a terrain that needs to be handled with care

Generalising judicial orders to accommodate selfish motives and applying it on parallel grounds should be contempt of court and punishable. By using child pornography as a bait to buckle in ulterior motives is missing wood for the trees – to be modest – and rudimentary at the least. 

Again, it’s not only about people’s freedom of expression that is curtailed here, rather it’s about what such holier-than-thou attitude can lead to. Internet censorship is a terrain that needs to be handled with care.

Isn’t the government aware of erotica forwarded on mobile groups for a laugh or that instant stress-busting pleasure? WhatsApp debauchery is also appalling, if we consider the fact that mere words can set minds ablaze. Will the government screen through the varied lexicons to ban words? Mere gestures can arouse people. Will the government appoint moral polices on streets? From Kamasutra and Ajanta and Eloro caves to 50 Shades of Grey, Indians have lapped it all up. But now, websites that portray the same are blamed for rapes and pervasive males’ sickening traits.

Mere words can set minds ablaze 

A progressive government’s regressive act! But then, knowing what an ambitious leader we have in our PM and his record-breaking vision, would it be far-fetched if the government considered the UN report stating India will overtake China by 2022 in population, seriously.

Modiji can begin re-arranging his brimming plumes of records, to use 850 sites for another first-time act. Seven years later headlines will scream: "This is first time in India’s history a Prime Minister has defied UN prediction by banning porn sites.” Whoa!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

When the husband went footloose with lady friends... I took selfies

Okay, so here's how I was stranded in the car park...
The husband's lady friends planned to hit a pub this weekend. And I decided to tango, only because I've been wanting to check out Dubai's night life since long. Now that our li’l girl is holidaying back home, I considered it the opportune time.
As run-up to the night, the frenzied WhatsApp messages made me wonder why these ladies are so excited about a pub outing. But then, they’ve been such - a bunch of lively, chirpy souls loud as only they can be. So I let him and them be. By 11.45pm, all of us [with our respective spouses] collected at the car park and began greeting one another.

I felt like the ugly duckling trying to fit into a quaking brood 
One friend, in a shimmering black top standing on almost 5-inch stiletto, lips painted cherry red, gave me an up-close 'hello'. If I felt stripped, I only had to wait for the next couple. Their men were fine. But the ladies were clearly overboard... or so I thought. Each outdoing the other figure-atively! I suddenly felt like the ugly duckling trying to fit into a quaking brood. I looked around for support... the husband was already in his elements walking ahead, even cars whizzing past seemed cockily gleaming. So I told myself, "What the heck, I'm here to see what happens inside." And strutted ahead.
Walking towards the entrance flanked by - whom I thought then - were over-dressed friends
"You can't go in", said the security screening eager-beavers. "You need to wear closed shoes."
I was in flats. For the life of me I can't stand on heels, forget walking on one. Am I insane to strap myself on to one when I went to have 'fun'? Well, one friend's husband attempted to reason it out with the security. I don't know what they spoke. But the security turned to me and said with more sternness than earlier, "Jeans also not allowed. It's rules."   

Like an endangered animal I was let loose into the wild!
Honestly feeling bad for spoiling it for others, I volunteered to wait outside. I guess that did the trick. I told the officer, "I understand. Rules are rules. No worries, I'll stay in the lobby."
"This time, we will allow," he said pointing to the hoarding that mentioned dress code.
Pub Rule No. 1 Learnt: No casuals.
Thus I was stamped on the wrist and allowed in...like an endangered animal inserted with a tracking chip and let loose into the wild. 
Clarity dull because I clicked this the following morning
The din, jarring music, smoke, lights, drinks... I saw couples molly-coddling, a few silently sipping their drinks and one in serious conversation. I envied the power of their eardrums! Not only did I turn deaf, I had lost my sensation, too. People had to tug at me to call my attention. All I felt was my heart thumping with each beat. I decided to make the most of the uncomfortable night, though.
I began video shooting. Suddenly, a fluorescent green beam of light blinded my eye. I moved to shake it off and continued, when the sharp light danced all over my face. The security personnel came over, "No taking pictures inside. Mobile off please."

At 1:15am I stepped out into the almost-empty car park 
Now what do I do? I looked around and lo! I see a tennis moment. This woman was unstrapping her sandals and she took an eternity doing so. Was she so drunk that she couldn't find the buckle or was that a rented shoe, she wasn’t familiar with? Well, I quickly looked away. Her's was a shame to womenfolk. And I caught two men gawking - one swallowing the smoke. Interestingly, their women were also giving them company. And, yes, I counted four girls kick their heels off before stepping on the dance floor. So much for rules!
Pub Rule No. 2 Learnt: No recording on mobiles. Capture it all in your eyes.
Well, half-an-hour into the wild, I called it quits. I left the husband with his lady friends and returned to our car and switched on the music. Ah! I can’ describe the peace I felt.
I noticed two women strategically poised, measuredly smiling to no one in particular and yet to all.
Okay, since my aim was to check out the night life, I decided to do some  research on what exactly transpires. So at 1.15am, I stepped out into the almost empty car park and strolled around at hearing distance from the two women. But when the second man who stopped by them also sneaked a look my way, I walked away and stood on the opposite pavement far away, where I could still figure out their conversation.

Racked my brains for a sensible action after an idiotic move
A little later, I noticed a person who hastily walked by, phone glued to his ear, slowing down and turning to look back. This gentleman-looking male walked back, this time slower and clearly looking at me. I ignored. He took about 15 steps and returned again, this time walking closer to the pavement I was standing on and staring at me. At that point, I thought it was better to end my night-life research and walked back to my car.
He followed and stood leaning on the car parked opposite mine. Idiot! [He or me?] Cursing myself as I racked my brains for a sensible action, my phone rang. The husband: "Did you lock the door?" Like to a child, he explained, "Lock it from the driver's side. I'll be there in say 20 min.."
Was it his common sense or sixth sense? But he's an over-protective husband - at my rescue always without me having to even utter a word.
After that quick distraction, when I looked in front, I saw him walking towards me. I did miss more than a few heartbeats. But he got into the Lexus to my left and drove away. Yes, he did give me one last close look while reversing.
Well, I had to capture the night. So took a few selfies until my man came. From there  we headed to a sheesha hangout. Food and gossip followed until the wee hours!
The sheesha hang-out gossip demands another dedicated post... so for now this spread should suffice

The next morning, I was late in calling our li’l girl. "Why are you so late, mama?"
"We returned late. Had been to a pub with all aunties from Papa's office..."
"What exactly do you do in a pub, but?" She wanted to know.
"Well darling, nothing just booze and dance and songs..." She cut me short, "So what the hell were you doing there?"
PS: If the title is misleading, then blame it on your reading!