Who said to whom?

Posted on August 31, 2010. Filed under: Essay | Tags: , , , |

Below, we have excerpts from three conversations, each between two individuals. Let us call the first pair A and B, the second C and D and the last E and F. (Yes, highly imaginative names!).  Anyways, here goes!

A saying to B:

“You know the way he cooks potatoes. He does not peel them. Just dices them as is and puts them in the pan. At home, we don’t make them that way. We peel them carefully first ..” (What A meant: The potato peeler and thus his family are so stingy that to save a few slivers of potatoes, they don’t peel them and A’s family does not worry about such trivial details.)

C saying to D (D was soon to be married):

“So, (in your wedding) wearing a pure silk madisar and all huh?” (madisar a traditional nine yard saree worn by the bride in a Tamil wedding.) (What C meant: Apparently a pure silk madisar is the sign of great affluence. So, C wanted to find out if D’s in-laws/parents are rich enough to buy her one.)

E saying to F:

“Oh this t-shirt that you are wearing, is it new? I’ve never seen you wear it before. Did you buy it from Bebe?” (E asked me this, because the t-shirt that I was wearing had the graphic of sparkly stuff on its front, common to many Bebe t-shirts)

Now comes the question. What are the genders of A, C and E?

I am sure if you had to guess,

  • A would be a lady in her 20s-30s, probably dishing out the typical invective against in-laws.
  • C would be probably be in her 20s again, jealous of the ‘alleged’ affluence of D.
  • E would be one of F’s girl friends keenly observing F’s daily attire and drawing surmises.

What would you say, if I were to tell you all the above guesses are WRONG! Yes indeed they are all wrong.

B, D and F are one and the same person, and that person is me. That was easy enough. A, C and E also refer to the same person, but it is not a She. It is a He!  He is my age (late 20s). He is educated, works for a highly respectable software firm in the USA. He is not a figment of my imagination but is someone I know personally. The potato peeler in the first conversation was his roommate. All these are true conversations between the two of us.

So why were none of us able to hazard the right answer? It is because of the society we live in and because we are so tightly wound up in prejudices. A woman only talks about fashion, petty gossip and always is jealous. A man only talks about his accomplishments at work, trekking, gadgets and cars.  A person’s being spiteful, hysterical, gossipy, competent is not related to his or her gender or race or sexual orientation!

None of these stereotypes hold true today. Alas, we the people, are still wound up in them as before!

PS: So since I blogged this, many of my friends (needless to say male) are asking me if I have decided to take up activism to build a political career.  1 post about gender equality is enough to qualify me as a pot throwing, belan toting, man eating activist. Jeez!

PPS: Inspired by this post from IHM.

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The Battleship Battle

Posted on May 20, 2010. Filed under: Funny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When we were young and carefree (sitting in the college canteen having bunked lectures), often we would wonder ‘who amongst us will get married first?’ I would always get picked last. Heck, I myself thought I would be the last. And then a few months ago, I had a Sheldon Cooperesque moment – “Bazinga! I am getting married first!”

I married #win on January 21, 2010. No, I did not marry a hashtag, I wanted a cool alias for my husband and this one makes me a perpetual winner (Tilo weds #win). Since then, my single friends caught in the conundrum of horoscopes and arranged marriages have asked me the question – How do you know he is the one? Well, to illustrate how, let me start by relating to you the tale ‘The Battleship Battle‘.

Once upon a time #win was at work and I was at home and I was bored out of my wits. Therefore, I reverted to my favorite pass-time (timepass) bugging #win. I called him.

#win: Hello?

Tilo: Hey, whats up are you busy?

#win: Yea I am a bit. Meeting with my advisor (Yes #win left his high paying corporate job for drudgery at grad school. All his friends thus think he is #nutlose).

Tilo: Well, I really had a very important thing to tell you.

#win: Ok tell fast fast.

Tilo: Wait a minute forgot! (Had not :D)

#win: QUICKLY (Almost at the end of his tether now)

Tilo: I had 2 important things to tell you – 1 was that your friend #ok was pinging you “Maga, did you see the race last night?” …

#win: And the other important thing .. FAST!

Tilo: And the second thing was (almost choking for trying to stifle laughter) can you get us some paper from office for us to play Name, Place, Animal, Thing or Battleship?

#win: (Hangs up)

At this point I am hysterical with laughter. Tears are streaming through my eyes. After a while, when I had calmed myself, I switched on my laptop. I had a feeling that this time I may have gone a bit too far. So I pinged #win.

Tilo: R u anger? (We dont use grammatically correct English with each other for some bizarre reason)

#win: (Unresponsive for 5 minutes)

Tilo: R u anger?

#win: Yes.

Tilo: How much lil bit or lots?

#win: Why don’t you understand that there is a time for playing the fool and that was not it. (Uh oh! Correct grammar = BAD mood!)

Tilo: (Bristling a bit, no one calls me a fool) Oh come on lighten up, it was not that bad.

#win: It pretty much was. My advisor just walked away, after all I had gotten a hold of him after a month almost. Now I have to wait  another month before I can talk to him.

Tilo: Bla bla bla … talk to my hand

And this continued. #Win got mad and I got mad. Then both of us got madder. And after half an hour the fight ended thus:

Tilo: Ok fine, henceforth I am not going to talk to you.

#win: Great, that is good to know.

In the evening, #win was about to come home. I was dealing with the situation in a very mature way by banging pots and pans in the kitchen. I heard the door open. I tried to feign more disinterest, lack of enthusiasm and anger by banging pots to the accompaniment of ‘Tum to thehre pardesi …‘. I heard #win‘s movements in the other room. I did not bother for a long time and nor did he. I realized that we had come to an impass. I finally went to the other room, in the mood for another battle. And there was #win sitting calmly with pen and paper in hand. Another set of pen and paper was beside him. He already had drawn a grid on his paper. He looked up as I came in and said – “Name place is too childish. Let us play Battleship.”

So girls, look for a man who shares your sense of humor (more or less) and even if he is quick to anger, he should be quick to forgive. That sure is a #winning combination.

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And if you have any stories of similar battles with your spouse or your sibling or anyone really, please let me know. Still looking for guest bloggers 🙂

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