Monday, June 28, 2010

What Women want - a @blogadda quest

Blogadda is on a search for the answer to a question as old as the mountains.

What do women want?

While I do not claim to know the perfect, one-word answer to it, over the years this Q has been tossed around me several times in emotions ranging from wonder to frustration to sarcasm. Allow me to share a few of my thoughts on the issue. For all the feministic arguments it raises, I've warned you - you can quit reading now.

Why do you think such a question has found no answer in the eons of its existence?

Because dumb questions do not deserve any sensible answer? Because wise folk don't waste their time on non-existent issues?

Does no one ever wonder what men want? Is it because men know what they want, and women don't really care? Implies, the question of what women want has been originally raised by men? So, does it matter to them that much? Wow. I'm impressed.

By the way, is there only ONE thing that a woman could want? Whereas men could choose any number? Just wondering, no offence.

Let's go through one by one, the simple possible answers to the 'million-dollar' question.

What could a woman want? Listing a few that came to my mind, in no particular order.

- Love? Naturally. Don't men seek love, and all the guises it goes under?

- Marriage? Yes, balanced and settled life, that sort of thing. Of course, men claim to regret it the moment they tie the knot, and make a hue and cry of their endless miseries, so I'm sure they don't want to get married.

- To wear good outfits, jewels? Of course. Do men still wear the shirts they bought in their teenage? Besides, don't they expect their women to look their best before their buddies?

- To look beautiful? Sure. Do men not go for a six- or eight- pack abs? And flaunt it?

- Shopping? Where else do you think the perfect tapestry for your beautifully-maintained house appeared from? Oh, you thought God gifted it when he made such a handsome being as you?

- Children? Wait a moment, did you say men don't want a family? Sorry, that's news to me.

- Success? A climbing career graph? Any surprises? Or is that allowed only for men?

- To have fun with friends, gossip? Is the partying, socialising thing meant for men? And don't tell me men don't gossip. I think, for them the right term is not 'gossip'.

- To spend time with her man and to listen to him? Tiring, isn't it. After a hectic day at work, you are supposed to go home and talk?

- To hear that she looks nice? If three little words, 'you look nice', makes her day, is it too much to ask?

- To have some time to herself, pursue her hobbies? Does that sound sacrilegious??

Of all the possibilities I listed here, is a woman expected to pick one up and say that is all that she wants her entire life? Do her likes keep changing? You don't expect her to hold on to her Barbie doll all her life, do you? After all, you graduated from toy-guns to tennis racquets to sports cars to girl friends to...

Well? What did you expect? Did you think a woman would want something quite out of this world, so that you can say this Great Big Question is justified?

Repeat, the question is as foolish as the people who raise it.
I rest my case.

If you have any other opinion or an award-winning answer, you can participate in the blogadda contest here, sponsored by

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thoughts for the Weekend

1. The difficulty with neglecting an opportunity, however tiny, is that, if it ever comes back, it would be of no use.

2. Almost every problem has a solution, but it doesn't make its appearance till the time is ripe, however hard you try. But one should keep trying, lest the solution should find a closed door when it finally does materialise.

3. There are times when people need a taste of their own medicine, just to make them open their eyes - if not for anything else.

4. Cruel irony of life: You receive a message full of promise in its every word, yet you have the sinking feeling that one more door is closing on your face.

5. Little four-year-olds ask questions we have long forgotten to ask.

6. Every journey begins with a single step. Some end with it.

7. Whether you want to pluck flowers or get pricked by a thorn defines your way of seeing things.

8. The best part of writing a story is choosing its title.

9. Anyone who does not let you be yourself is not good for you. Or, they are so good that they want you to change for the better.

10. Good intentions don't always imply satisfactory outcomes.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Artist

I almost got into a row over him. Twice, actually.

The first time, someone had sent a cartoon, supporting him and the award that was to be conferred on him, to the group. When my friend lashed back, I chided him, to not take it too seriously. What followed was an email bombardment of links from my friend, for me to read (to the tune of 'you better know what you're talking about!'). The URL and the titles clearly conveyed that this could be a very biased view against the artist. I read some of them, nonetheless. After all, I had not bothered to see the paintings or form an opinion myself, till then.

The second time I do not even recall how I got into a discussion I could easily have avoided. With a colleague. I remember him telling me, "He has no right to paint our Gods and Goddesses that way. What would he feel if someone portrayed one of his Gods in a vulgar manner?"

I did not answer him then. I thought, Would my Gods become beautiful or tainted because someone painted Them so? Would They not always remain pure and holy in my mind? But the argument, had I offered it, would have sounded shallow to his zealous ears. He had already set his heart against the painter, it would take more than a philosophical viewpoint to move him.

It was not completely about the religion of the painter, but mostly it was. Why else would someone dig up a painting done about 25 years ago, and go on senseless rampage in its name?

The thin line, or curve, that divides beauty and vulgarity (in this case) and other differences is often referred to as the 'artistic licence'. Which is by no means carved in stone - it often adjusts itself this way and that for the artist. After all, he himself develops his licence: it is not awarded to him by any certified authority. It probably takes one artist to comprehend what another is trying to say. If it is beyond comprehension, or if it reduces one to violence, it is perhaps best to keep farthest from it. After all, no good ever came of rage.

It is easy to find something offensive in any and every kind of expression - paintings, writings, even music is not exempt. However, it takes a certain amount of sense to not react to it. Yet, religious sentiments are very sensitive elements, one can never be too careful about them. Especially these days.

Monday, June 14, 2010


His name was Nagaraj. The man who made tea and coffee.

Among his many qualities, two stood out - Punctuality and Memory. Tea and Coffee were served exactly at half past ten in the morning and at three in the afternoon, no excuses entertained. You only had to tell him once in your life - the day you first met him - which you preferred, tea or coffee, and he would never forget. In fact, if one day you changed your preference and held your hand out for the other, he would smile. He would always smile at everyone, but never stop to chatter while on duty.

The entire building, consisting of two hundred-odd people, waited for the light, quick step that heralded his arrival at their seats with the beverage that kept them going till it was time for the next one. Settling down to work in the morning required a sip, so did warding away of inevitable post-lunch drowsiness.

There were days when people grumbled at the taste, the sugariness or the absence of it, and so forth; however, twice daily, their ears cocked for his footsteps.

Then one day, to everyone's delight and awe, arrived the coffee vending machine. Folks drank five or six cups of tea/coffee per day, just for the heck of it, if only to punch the machine and watch the steaming liquid flow out. Nagaraj was soon moved to other responsibilities as there was no need to 'make' tea anymore. People began to forget his light step, and the longing for his tea vanished since one could get tea whenever the desire arose: the machine knew no timing. The vending machine quickly became a corner where crowd gathered for socialising.

Weeks and months passed. The obsession with the machine grew lesser and lesser. The 'machine' taste began to lose its charm. It broke down on days when someone badly wanted tea to keep himself alive. People drank only when required, sometimes when there was nothing else to survive on. Some discovered a small tea shop right outside the gate, by the road, where they made excellent tea - by hand. "Nothing like man-made tea," they said.

Some of the veterans whose memories stretched far back, asked among themselves... I wonder where Nagaraj is?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fever begins today!

In 1982, a little girl was seen marching around, holding aloft a leaf tied to a stick like a flag, and yelling, "Paolo Rossi Zindabad! Paolo Rossi Zindabad!" Not knowing much about football, even less about Paolo Rossi, she must have caught the fever that gripped her parents. The fever was called World Cup.

In 1986, when Mexico rose to the occasion, the little girl, her sister and her parents watched it live for the first time, in TV. It was an experience that changed her forever.

Italia-'90. As a teenager, she lost her heart to the blue jerseys of Italy. They were not the best team, but they had the advantage that no other team had - they were at home. Nevertheless, their luck did not hold past the Quarter Finals. They lost to Argentina in the Semi Final. The World Cup that year was lifted by a team that played consistently throughout the tournament - West Germany.

For those who remember Italia-'90, here is the Official song, English version, "To Be Number One" and the TV Opening of World Cup Italy '90.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Twirling Chasm of Stillness

Past, Present and Future were all entwined among themselves. There was no beginning, no end. It was a maize. What I saw today began three years ago. What I found yesterday belonged to tomorrow. And Tomorrow? Who knows, I may come across Today.

Everywhere there were colours. They merged, became new; they parted, became themselves again. And words. Lots of them, interleaving to form jargon. Some made sense, some didn't.

There were stories I listened to, unblinking. I would believe them one instant, the next brought me evidence that they were untrue. There was nothing to do but feign indifference in the knowledge.

Time travelled in circles. People, faces, thoughts, lies, revolved around it. Nothing made sense any more. What remained amidst the chaos was Trust. Shattered beyond repair.

Demands flow in with no mercy. The overwhelming futility of it all threatens to unsettle the balance, yet with no credit to anyone, least of all one's self, life still perches on the razor's edge and survives. 

Wish there really was a Pensieve like the one Dumbledore has (had?), where I can pull out the silver threads of thoughts and memories from my head and drop into, swirl, and... throw away. 
In the absence of which, blog posts such as these are deigned to serve the purpose. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ramblings of the season

Sparkling silver threads. At all possible angles to Earth. Quiet, gentle and beautiful at times. Loud, unkind and pattering at others.

Breeze - soft, caressing. Wind - brutal, lashing. Alarmingly close flashes of Lightning. Roof-shattering rumble of the thunder.

Rumble. Flash. Black Sky. Sun peeping through. Downpour.
A mug of hot tea.

Chill. Shudder. Slush. Splash. Getting drenched.
Sniff. Sneeze. Cough. Cold.

Schools reopening. Water-logged. The fall of the mighty trees. Road-blocks. Traffic congestion. Flood.

And so goes my Monsoon vocabulary...