Arrey… itni maar padi, itni saari maar padi, in the form of taanas from girls over last week’s column that I don’t know how to begin. Reliance and Tush have applied for anticipatory bail, gone into hiding (a blessing indeed!) and their parents have informed mine that they are severing all ties with us. Anyhow, here I am, reporting from an underground bunker and loaded with ammunition supplied by the femme fatales to counter the ‘un-fairer’ sex.
So, first you victimise us over centuries, deny us our rights, treat us like objects, and now you have problems with us getting a reserved coach in the metro or a separate queue at the movie ticket counter? (Have you noticed how nicely I’ve used ‘us’ there? Thank you, thank you… I WILL join politics). A record number of you pointed out that if girls get a partial treatment, a la, more responses on Facebook etc, it’s mostly from the guys themselves. So, they really do not have a basis to complain. As for parents not being as rough on a daughter as they would on a son, it probably stems from their inner guilt of not being able to give the exact same privileges and freedom to girls, for practical reasons, as they would to guys. A reader (not taking names here because not sure if I have your permission to) wrote how, when she wanted to invite her school friends for a sleepover, permission from parents became a big issue. When her brother did, no one blinked an eyelid. The same goes for going out at night, curfew timings etc. Therefore, after denying girls so many things, for right or wrong reasons, if they treat them with a little more compassion, the guys can go take a hike if they complain. And for that matter, just because the guys have given us so much grief by playing the victim card when actually they are the ones behind most restrictions that girls have to live with, here’s what all the female readers of this column wish for the guys, before this debate can go any further.
1 Periods. Don’t be so shocked. We want you to have them… all of you, EVERY month. And then we’ll talk about whose life is easy. When the dancing hormones inside your body will force you to have wild mood swings, we will also roll our eyes, make a face and ask you if you are behaving oddly because you are PMSing. Please God, just do this one thing to set them right. You anyway haven’t made any big evolutionary changes since you made us go erect. (All you giggling creatures, I meant ‘stand erect’. Read Darwin, and go see a psychiatrist!). And abhi toh it’s just this. We are not even talking childbirth. Be scared, and stay that way.
2 Waxing. Just agree to all guys going for it every fortnight and we’ll withdraw all our demands for separate queues. Why should girls go through this ridiculously painful process week after week just because some guy centuries ago decided that hairless skin makes women look prettier. Why couldn’t the rule be that the more hair a girl has on her body, the more beautiful she’ll be considered. Even Anil Kapoor would have qualified. Anyhow, girls go through this mini-trauma every few days and just because of that, they have a right to tell the guys to shut-up. I know what the guys are itching to say. Don’t even think about trying to equate it with you having to shave everyday. You know it’s not the same. If you insist, we’ll also start shaving everyday and make your life an itchy, prickly, miserable hell. Soch lo.
3 Pretty up. From now on, it will be mandatory for guys to also take the pressure of dressing pretty — and different — on every occasion and in fact, every waking day. No more wearing the same jeans daily and the same T-shirt every other day. You will henceforth be under tremendous stress that your dress should make you look slim and that no other guy within 35km of your territory owns the same outfit. Kar ke dikhao.
4 And finally, henceforth, we will Stare. At. You. For no reason, everyday, at all public places. Without any discrimination of looks or age. You will also feel as if the eyes of some lecherous stranger are piercing through you, as if they’ve never seen a guy before. I would’ve said we’ll whistle when you pass by, but most of us don’t know how to, so we’ll let that be. And occasionally we’ll brush past you in buses or trains. Don’t grin, it’ll be only after not bathing for five days straight. We will continue to do this till YOU will ask for a separate queue at the movie ticket counters.
So, you see my dear guys, the cakewalking that girls do in life is also full of potholes. Both genders, wrapped in their own miseries, live under the illusion that the others are having it easy. You can see the same situation, very differently, depending on where you are viewing it from. On that note, let me recall an old anecdote about an English teacher, asking a class full of boys and girls to apply punctuation marks on the sentence — ‘Woman without her man is nothing’. All the guys’s answer read, ‘Woman without her man, is nothing.’ And all the girls read it as — ‘Woman! Without her, man is nothing.’ And the debate continues…
Sonal Kalra realised that both guys and girls feel, equally strongly, that their lives are tougher. No one’s cakewalking. We’re all just trying to have our cake, and eat it too!
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