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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

This Valentine’s: Ask and ye shall receive

Ashish Shakya, Hindustan Times   February 17, 2013
First Published: 01:11 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:12 IST(17/2/2013)

This Valentine’s Day, I told readers I’d offer them useless advice about their love problems, whether it be the usual ‘How do I tell her I like her?’ to the offbeat ‘I’m attracted to a beanbag because it looks like Sonakshi Sinha’. Here are some of the responses that came in:

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I’m an engineering student and I really like a girl called Niharika Sareen. It’d be great if you could include her name somewhere in your column. Please. This will give our relationship a push. Please.

Always happy to wingman a fellow engineer. Here goes: Niharika Sareen, this guy really likes you, because he thinks you’re smart and pretty, or maybe because the only other female on campus is a cow. Either way, the sight of your maximas makes his logarithm really happy. (Hope this helps.)

Do all guys end relationships via email/text messages? Why do guys ALWAYS choose the chicken way out? — Frustrated!

Ah, that is cowardice. One should have the decency to end things like a real man – by attaching a break-up note to a flaming arrow that goes THUNK! in your front door. Kidding. Even regular arrows will do. (PS: Stop dating pussies.)

How do I approach a girl on a bus journey or in a restaurant? It might be common in big cities but how to do it in smaller towns without it being awkward? — Shubh

All women, regardless of city size, just want the same thing - a man who is funny, handsome, honest, kind, ambitious, telepathic, and worth at least 0.25 Sharad Pawars. So if you take the bus, you’ve already lost. You might as well go up to her smeared in vomit, introduce yourself as a Khap enthusiast and then compliment her on her child-bearing hips.

But you do highlight an important point. As Indian men, we aren’t really smooth. We tend to react in extremes. We’re either painfully shy, content with shooting furtive glances at the girl at the next table, convinced that she’s our soulmate, until she leaves, after which we tell ourselves that she was probably a lesbian who eats babies for breakfast.

Or we go over the top, like a certain Shah Jahan. Because nothing says true love like, “I made thousands of people build a monument dedicated to fleecing white people, and then had their hands cut off so yeah, THAT’S HOW MUCH I LOVE MY WIFE WHO DIED DELIVERING MY FOURTEENTH CHILD BECAUSE THAT IS TOTALLY A REASONABLE NUMBER OF HUMAN BEINGS A WOMAN SHOULD POP OUT.”

I’m having a torrid love affair but only in my head. How do I best tell a guy I just want a good time with no strings attached? Yes, I’m a woman.

I know that feeling. Mila Kunis doesn’t know about my affair with her either. You should let the guy know of your interest through subtle hints like showing up at his place wearing nothing but a legal document stating that you only want to have a good time and nothing more, co-signed by a reliable authority ranked no lower than the Chief Justice of India.

I have a large group of friends. People have told me about a billion times how great a guy I am. But I am NEVER able to find a girlfriend. No matter how funny and caring I am, no matter how many girls I ask out, I always get friendzoned. What do I do?

— Nihal Gesudraz

This is a problem often faced by funny, caring men who are not George Clooney. All you can do is be yourself, and eventually, you’ll meet a woman who wants you for the right reasons, like her being worried about her biological clock, even as all her girlfriends — even the ugly ones with the golden bleached facial hair that reminds you of sunlight bouncing off a spider web — troll her by posting wedding pictures on their FB all day, causing her to recollect all her messed-up relationships, until she finally succumbs to societal pressure and settles for you, and you guys throw a stupidly lavish party to celebrate the boredom, resentment and second-guessing that the future is sure to bring, but hey, that’s only till the baby comes in, after which you actually begin to enjoy the Stockholm Syn-drome. And then you die. Cheers!

Ashish Shakya is a writer and a stand-up comic. He co-writes the TV satire, The Week That Wasn’t. Sometimes he’s even sober while doing so.


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