It's really tough being a love jihadi. If you're considering it as a career option, I would strongly advise you against it.
Right from the days when I was a young man, I knew my community and religion were in terrible danger from evil forces. I had to become a jihadi to protect them. And since I blushingly confess I have always been rather handsome, the obvious choice was to become a love jihadi.
I did very well at the School for Seduction, to which I was sent. I studied how to impress girls and woo them. I read tonnes of romantic poetry and Urdu couplets. I memorised all the best pick-up lines from the internet — lines like 'Life without you would be like a broken pencil ... pointless' and 'Did you fart, because you blew me away'.
In fact I did so well that my instructor fell madly in love with me. On graduation day, he held my hand and whispered his guilty secret. I was sorely troubled. 'Is gay love ok in love jihad? And if it is, surely I should love boys of other religions?' I asked. He agreed sadly, the tears running down his cheek, but said 'My love for you is like diarrhoea, I just can't hold it back.'
Anyway, I went out into the big bad world, determined to put my skills into action. I pursued girls relentlessly, whispering sweet nothings to them. It was a highly dangerous business. I got slapped, kicked and bashed up several times. You can never be sure how these weird girls of other communities react.
I also once wooed a girl of my community by mistake. I had to let her go, of course, although we were both heartbroken. 'How can I marry you, we belong to the same religion?' I told her sorrowfully.
I was miserable after that, which is how I finally managed to get a girl. I couldn't remember any of the romantic stuff and all the smart one-liners eluded me. Strangely enough, she didn't seem to mind and we got married.
But my initial euphoria vanished rapidly. Whenever I talked about converting her to my religion, she told me to stop spouting rubbish. Instead, she made me read aloud from Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion' every night. And anyway, who has the time to bother about religion? I work long hours in the office to make ends meet. Whenever I'm free, I am handed an endless list of chores, from buying groceries to fixing leaking taps. Talking of money, you should see the credit card bills she racks up. My in-laws now stay with me. And then there's the ceaseless nagging: 'Why do I dress so sloppily, why can't I get a promotion, why don't I carry an umbrella, have I taken my vitamins'? Worrying about paying instalments on the new flat, carrying the bags while my wife shops, making breakfast for my in-laws — is this any way for a proud jihadi to live?
So far, I have endured everything in silence, because they say suffering cleanses the soul and, let's be honest, because my wife makes heavenly idlis. But I can't take any more of this. I mean, have you ever heard of a jihadi forced to carry an umbrella? I have written to my leader, asking to be transferred to a suicide-bombing unit.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
The views expressed by the author are personal