Menstruate at your own risk. Period.

I try very hard not to pun when I’m writing. It’s just such an easy trap to fall into, most of us can barely avoid it. And for that reason, I’m sorry about the title of this post. And now, to the post.

I’ve been doing a little gender-related research lately, and so, stumbling across some of the most profoundly dumb (and insane) beliefs the modern Indian society seems to hold. Almost always against women. One such article that gave me pause was about an Indian actress Jayamala being booked for hurting religious sentiments. And she did this by entering a temple while on her periods.

I don’t believe I want to talk about a ton of politicians actually hurting religious sentiments. But a woman doing that by walking into a temple? How does one not talk about that? And how does one not feel an urgent sense to claw at faces?

And the more I research the subject, the stronger my urge to claw at faces. How is it that we boast a massive GDP every year (which we don’t really have) while not bothering about our own women? How is it that while on the one hand, we bow down and pray to goddesses with multiple hands, and on the other, beat them with our fists at home? How is it that we touch our mothers’ feet and rape other people’s daughters? What is this bigotry towards woman? And where does it come from?

And most importantly, how do we get rid of it?

Just last night, I was telling someone about a most stunning (and lesser known) John Lennon song called Woman is the nigger of the world. And it would appear that I’ve found just the right place to tell a lot more people about it.


P.S.: This is an article from nearly three years back. But that doesn’t say much about how far we’ve come since. Because we haven’t.

Categories: cops, India, observations, religion, strange people | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gary Larson – The Far Side!

Hello and good evening / morning / afternoon / late night to everyone who’s reading this right now. About an hour ago, I had a meeting with a software company who wanted their website completely overhauled – new design, new content, new everything. (New and improved, if you will.) So I got home and got a drink. That’s generally what I do before I start thinking of what to write. And that’s when the brief, let’s say, is absorbed. So, while Mr. Jack hung around the coffee table, I remembered that they wanted the website to have a very comic strip kind of feel. I still don’t know why they want it that way, but they do.┬áSo I did the next thing I do when my system absorbs something from the brief. I poured myself another small one, and sipped gently.

It was this gentle sip that reminded me of my favourite cartoonist in the whole wide world. Mr. Gary Larson. I remember a time when I was much younger when I’d spend most of the time in my then day-job lapping his cartoons up. He was so irreverent. He cartooned everything from religion to politics to people to superheroes. He spared nobody. And I’m glad he did.

This was a wonderful evening – with Mr. jack and Mr. Larson. I thank you both dearly.



Categories: books, politics, religion, strange people, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy birthday, John.

I know, I know. I’ve probably been doing one post too many on John Lennon and The Beatles, but it’s the man’s birthday today, you know. So I had to, nay, really wanted to write this one.

Here was a man who came out of nowhere and formed a band that changed the way the world heard its music. A man who believed in his ideals and ideas. A man who was not afraid to stick his neck out for what he believed in. A man who was at once open as a book and closed as a locked trunk. A man who chose the handshake over the fist. A man who loved peace more than war. A man who was at once vulnerable and witty, loud and introverted, calm and cantankerous. A man who died too early. A man I believe in.

Happy birthday, John.


Categories: books, music, politics, religion, strange people, writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why bearded folks should not eat Dosa

Since this is a fairly new blog without a picture of its author up, let me tell you good people that I sport a beard, scraggly though it may be.

Good. Now that I’ve told you an intimate secret of my life, I feel up to telling you about something that happened no more than 15 minutes back. I was feeling a bit hungry and decided to walk to a nearby Dosa place to grab a quick bite. While I was going at it, fingers dipping in chutney and all, a couple walked up from behind me and asked to be excused. I moved away and continued eating my dosa, unaware that a small-time communal riot was about to begin.

So, they ordered their whatever-it-was-they-ordered and started filling their tummies. And through the course of these three meals, I felt a couple of eyes, well, eyeing me. So I looked in the direction of newly arrived couple and caught them making a very pinched-nose-and-crumpled-eyebrows face at me. Offended, I asked them what the matter was. But they told me nothing. In fact, they positively ignored me. That, need I say, offended me further. So I took a step in their direction and asked them again why they were making that face at me.

Then, something happened that I’ve never, with all my imagination, been able to think up. The man took an aggressive step towards me, nudging his woman behind with his forearm and yelled, “Ae Musalman! Door raho, samjhe.” (Hey, Muslim. Keep your distance, understood?)

It was now my turn to make a face, a confused one. I asked him if he was out of his mind. Not because I was offended at being called a Muslim. But because he was insulting Muslims all over the world by talking to me in that you’re-an-untouchable kind of tone. I asked him to take it easy and was about to dig into my Dosa again when the wife said, “Please rehne dijiye. Yeh log bohot khatarnak hote hain.” (Please, just let it be. These people are a dangerous lot.) At which, I thoroughly lost what little was still left of my temper and I shot my tongue off at them about how ridiculous they were and how they should grow a couple of brains between the two of them.

Needless to say, a crowd had gathered around us to cheer at the impending fight. And I noticed that not one of them had a beard, not even the men. So I decided not to push my luck much, pay up and get out of there before I was beaten to a pulp for being a Muslim which I actually am not.

But it’s amazing that in these times, we still have people like these. People who believe that Muslims are dangerous, and that they should be asked to keep away in a social setting. Where are we headed? Are we still stuck in the debris of the Babri Masjid? Are we still bleeding from the wounds of the Bombay riots of the 90s? What is it? I clearly can’t seem to understand why we behave so.

Can someone out there give me a plausible answer?


Categories: politics, religion, strange people | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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