Category Archives: About Men
The day has finally arrived. The rebel in me has waved a white flag and is now on display. The mother has finally won.
So here it is. All that fighting, all those posts amount to Zilch, Nada, Zero. So if I never blog about this ever again let this be my final statement. I am not against marriage. I am however completely against the system of arranged marriage in its current shape and form. This blog is going to start off what is going to be the search of a lifetime (for me ) for that partner for life. I am simply going to write who I am and then hear out your comments.
History first, born as the eldest into an Orthodox Christian Keralite family, you would think I was a goner from day one. Luckily for me, I was born in Libya, to parents who were educated and in a scenario where my mother used to earn more than my father. That changes the way one sees the roles of the male in the family. He need not be the breadwinner, and all life decisions are made by both the husband and the wife. There are fights but they don’t mean the end. So born outside India, in a community that was predominantly Indian, the state wise break up was too small for any group to be independent, which made me fluent in Hindi.( I speak it without the mallu accent.) The school I went to didn’t differentiate between the genders because they couldn’t afford to, I grew up considering all women my equal. Moving back to India was the shocker. Schools seated boys and girls separately. A girl cried because I touched her shoulder. I almost was weeded out because I talked English than Malayalam. I adapted fast. Girl became the enemy, then the object of boyhood crushes and it wasnt until 11th and 12th that the walls started breaking down. Some of my best friends are from that era, the wonder years, when as a unit the class gelled. I have seen friends falling in love, falling out of love and some staying in love still (married and with a beautiful daughter).
Then came the engineering years, 4 Years in a village in Tamil Nadu where Keralite boys are at the top of the pecking order, where the women dont talk to you because the college doesnt allow it, where women 2 years older than you come to teach you and you have the biggest ever crush on them, where we bent the rules, broke them and some times just sometimes got them abolished.
Then came Bangalore, the city that stole my heart. 3 Years that went by in a warm fuzz. I love that city and its people, for Bangalore belongs to everyone that is in it, it doesnt differentiate between the states, it recognizes talent and it gives you opportunity. I plan to settle down in Bangalore and spend the rest of my life in whats left of its gardens. Plus most of my friends live there and I would like to be in Bangalore closer to them than in Kerala closer to relatives that are always trying to find out whats wrong with you.
Then came Hyderabad, a job with a software major that went kaput due to millions stolen by its owner and chairman. The city failed to impress me but again the friends were many. This city taught me what love really is, how it doesnt see caste , creed, color or any other division you name. It also showed me how friendships are often wasted, how someone you trust can have priorities one doesnt understand. This was the city also where I was supposed to be when I had that fateful accident on Valentines day in Cochin. The accident almost took my life. I was in a coma for 3 days, then at home with broken bones for 3 months.
Now fully recovered physically, the only thing that remains is a voice that is straight out of a bad movie. I have only one of 2 vocal chords left in my throat and it cant be fixed. Apparently there is some experimental surgery going on in the US but by the time it can be replicated, I might be dead.
Oh before we forget the important stuff, I smoke but I am cutting down, I drink but I am not an alcoholic and I love to party. I dont dance (2 left feet is an understatement) and I am not a person who loses his temper (used to but now I just go silent). My cousins are close to me and we speak more in Hindi than in Malayalam. I have had previous relationships (Yes , more than one. I am a sucker for love). I have had my heart broken and I have broken a few hearts. I am looking for a woman who will be a friend, a lover and a confidante. A person who will be with me in the good times and the bad. A person who wants to travel the world like I do, who wants to see the arctic lights and also see the jungles of africa. A woman who doesnt have any qualms in staking her claim on me but gives me the freedom to be who I am. Someone who is protective but not possessive. Someone who will love my family and hopefully try to be the daughter they never had, the sister my brother would have loved. Oh and love animals of all sorts because if I could, I would adopt all the strays in the world (am planning to settle for a dog for now)
There you go. That is it. The matrimonial ad that is never written, the truth as it is never stated.
Their eyes met and the surroundings melted into mist.For the length of a few seconds it felt incredible, incredibly so.Then, as always, life pulled them back into its big bountiful, fold. The music blaring from the speakers, the smoke from a hundred cigarettes, the loud clinking of glasses and mugs, all of it made their presence felt. Noone seemed to have noticed how that fleeting moment had touched two lives, possibly forever.He looked for her after, discreetly searching the crowd for one more glimpse. She tried to stay longer, coaxing her friends for one more drink. It didnt work.
Even when he stumbled out of that neon lit universe of a disco, his mind was filled with that single image of the night. That haunting face, that smile below eyes crying for help, that little fringe she was trying to tuck when they had frozen in time. They say such is destiny, it gives you glimpses of something you have dreamed about without knowing what it was all your life. She, Hari decided, was his.
She had been silent all the way home. She laughed at the cues from others, mimicking the rest of the gang. No one noticed that she was replying in mono syllables. As she combed her hair before bed, she saw his face in the mirror: not the usual hunk women faint over, but there was an intensity to his eyes, a confidence in his face as of one who knew where he was heading in life. She slept fitfully, twisting and turning, held in that gaze that didnt break even after all these hours. He, Maya decided, was trouble.
PS: The beginning of my work of fiction which has died and resurrected over and over again. Am hoping this time making it public will make me being it to more than a few chapters. To what end ?? I have no clue
Marriage is a funny affair
A promise to have and to hold
An unsaid vow to care
A simple lie so beautifully told.
I would rather stay alone
Fight the forces that always nag
Get a dog like Luci, one my own
In solitude, in peace, I will lag
I dont need company when I am old
I dont want marriage to make the bloodline flow
I am not greedy for pots of gold
I like this life, a vision in my own kind of glow
My parents wont have to fight the daughter in law
My brothers wife wont have to compete for her share
I will bear this curse, this life of flaw
And the Dog will give me all the love and care
My old age wont be a pain of lonely nights
I wont miss someone I never had
I will travel the world on last minute flights
Be free, be funny, be stark raving mad.
Of the dreams and hopes that I strongly hold
The twists of time seem not to care
As each hand in submission I slowly fold
This game, this life, is definitely not fair
Are you married they ask in mock
I am happily unmarried I tell them all
And as they gape in plain old shock
I walk away, happy until life’s next fall
Ok Enough ! I have read, heard and seen enough laments about how women loose everything after a marriage. The men are often portrayed as evil, conniving sons of b*****s who have nothing better to do but make a woman’s life hell. This here is our side of the story, the average Indian guy.
Lets see, the average Indian boy, is born into a middle class family by some wicked twist of fate and biology. Our parents are all evil and dont abort as often as is propagated (abortions are usually due to medical issues not after screening the gender).
We are usually sent to school where we get our asses kicked by girls in terms of everything academic, and by bigger, meaner boys in terms of everything sporty. We are often nicknamed here, and that carries on well thru adulthood until the grave (Note: The name need not be one we like, but we get used to it). Our parents usually get really pissed when we get beaten by anyone, but more often than not its a girl, hence the phrase ” You got beaten by a girl.” This usually is the only phase where we hate girls. And we make it pretty evident by pulling your hair, fighting with you, throwing things at you etc. But by the time we grow out of those ugly shorts, we have learned to restrain ourselves.
Then we go to college, that most magical of lands. We often get our first heartbreak here. Women who rule our hearts and turn our minds into mulch, don’t seem to be aware of our existence. We learn to drink and smoke here. Mostly from conniving friends and seniors who just want some fun (it is kind of a tradition, one we learn to appreciate). Here some of us get lucky and find a girl who seems to think being with someone like us is not such a bad deal. Most of these end after college, as the women chase bigger dreams. Before you say that is because we dont compromise: We are willing to compromise, if we have any clue where we were headed. Our futures are pretty hazy at this juncture and that hard found job cant be thrown away. All the women here are well remembered, most wistfully, some lovingly and we sometimes name our girls with one of the names from this past.
We are raised, trained, to be the bread earners. We are ashamed when a woman has to pay, because we learn its not the chivalrous thing to do, not because we think woman shouldnt. Most of us know how to cook. We have lived away from family and have had to enter the kitchen more than once. Our menu is not limited to toast, eggs and maggi. We just dont like admitting it. We save it for a surprise for a woman we woo. A home cooked candle light dinner is something we consider the best of all dates. Most of us dont ever have one.
Then comes career. We have no issues with a female boss or a colleague. We often appreciate the fact that a woman adds a different side to our arguments. We also love it that we get to see a person of the other sex around. Yes, we like both the intellect and the presence of a body that smells like sunshine. We are awkward in our interactions, because mainly we just dont know where to draw a line. We dont know what is ok and what is not. And we dont want to lose our jobs on some insane charges of sexual harrasment. We just go along, trodding the well worn boring path, saving money for a car, a flat, and many other invisible somethings in the future. Women who we come across are completely appreciated for that added dash of color they bring to our lives.
Then comes marriage. Ok Lets be honest. We are not the best of the lot. The only criteria we are judged on is usually some invisible reputation that our forefathers left behind and the package we earn. We also face the unrelenting aunts and nosy uncles who make us feel impotent because we arent married. We are constantly questioned about our choices, our dressing sense, our next salary hike/job change, our plans for the future, our drinking habits, our account balances. Any woman who through some stroke of fortune considered us good enough to be friends with disappear here. After a lot of third degree questioning, they find someone they think is a perfect match. By now, most men have no clue what they want. So much psychological wear and tear plus emotional blackmail happens that we leave everything in the hands of our makers. Our parents cant be wrong can they?
Finally a girl, luckily or unluckily gets approved. Please note, we understand the rejections. We also have been rejected. Then comes the whole band, baaja, baaraat. The girl gets to dress up as an angel while we get a new suit. We dont complain. We consider ourselves lucky that a woman gets decked out with so much effort for us. That probably is the only thing we notice. All other times we are just smiling our jaws off and trying to figure out how much the wedding has cost us. We hold big bachelor bashes coz married life is supposed to make us responsible. Because that might be the only night we can black out and sleep on a friends couch with no worries about whos at home.
Yes, we worry. We arent experienced in dealing with women. The ones we have dealt with seemed pretty capable of taking care of themselves. We would love it if you also had a job. We dont mind doing the dishes. We will happily do grocery shopping. The only problem is we have no clue how to. Our dishes were done by a maid that often went absent for days. We shopped only on the nights we cooked and often forgot something and invented new combinations in the kitchen. We do clean our houses, we just dont do it as often as women do. If you also dont mind a mess, let it be. If you need a patient listener when you come home from work, let us know. We dont sense that something is wrong as well as women do, mostly because we dont knw the body language. When you cry, it breaks our hearts but we often dont know what to do.
We arent color blind but we dont know what color matches you. You always look beautiful to us. We hate shopping for exactly this reason. We dont know curtains, we never needed them (we often covered our windows with bedsheets). We seriously dont notice when you put on a kilo here and there. We are often busy trying to hide the fact that our pants dont fit anymore. We dont mind you having friends who are men. We are often a lil jealous coz we arent that cool. We hope against hope that you wont mind us drinking. That male bonding to us is like shopping to women. Stress release. We would love it if you can share a drink. We just havent seen many women drink. So dont be surprised if we gape when you say yes to a shot.
In finality. Men dont take you for granted. We do seek your approval but we dont know how to express it. We love you in a million ways but just dont know how to show it. We often dont notice new earrings or jewellery coz we were never taught to look. We are also just learning, bear with us. We really do appreciate that you put up with the crap that our parents sometimes dish out. We get angry often for no fault of yours. Its ourselves we are cursing internally.
PS: If i missed anything thats coz I am a total idiot. Also, please note that i have wonderful female friends who drink with me, dance with me and are just the same to me as men are. But the above situation is the more common Indian man, before I saw Bangalore. If the above doesnt meet your stereotype that is because, we are not noticed. If you differ to something, leave a comment. If you think I need to explain myself somewhere, I wont.
Update: I just realize this is going to get a lot more attention than earlier expected. But please think about it before reacting. Its true if you are willing to open your eyes to it. ” According to your faith, let it be to You” ( I am an atheist but cant help quoting something so apt here)
A glimpse is sometimes all you get
of a dream, an angel, a moment just before sunset
This is it you say to yourself
and then it passes, its gone, it never was
The search begins from then on forward
For something that defines you but cant be expressed
Such is life, This is It
This is what a 55 er is; information from Usha’s post
A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:
- Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
- A setting,
- One or more characters,
- Some conflict, and
- A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)
I dont have a heading for this one and am not sure if this one does justice to all the above rules. But if it doesnt, then maybe i can write one again. 😀
I have always hated stereotypes from the first ones in school (the foreign return, the english punter, the math guru) to the ones in college (the mallu gang, the football player),from the ones at work (the go to guy, the party animal, the player) to the everyday variety (Malabari, Saala Madrasi, etc etc..) While on hindsight some were pretty accurate (was a football guy all thru school and college in a cricket crazy nation, still can do math in my mind) I hated them coz they limited me. Being born to a passionate communist father helped in creating a belief system that everything can be challenged and the divisions are all crappy. Later realising that the same person also had kind of stopped fighting about it was disheartening. Now, residing in the Middle East, the divisions are stark. The country is divided on the basis of skin color, religion and nationality. The locals obviously are the kings of all creation, with hardly any offenses being punished, the English are accepted as a necessary evil, responsible for creating a fake image of a country that is embracing everything western, the Indians most populous of the expats are considered nothing more than cheap labour and rarely appreciated, the nepalis are completely ignored and the srilankans dont stay long enough to create any issues. The filipinos are used mostly to fill up the malls as sales people and all other arab expats use islam and their neighbourly status to pass off as locals.
The magic of it all is that it seems to be working, everybody seems satisfied in his place. add to that the fact that education is being recognized, talented people get better pay and on the whole language barriers are breaking down – Arabs speak Hindi, Nepalis talk English and the English speaking are learning a smattering of Arabic words. Me, I am waiting in the wings, looking for my next opportunity to pack my bags and move to Bangalore.
The madness of it all is the way people react to it. They dont. They silently sit by earning their two pence, sending it home, building an empty house back in India for no one in particular, educating their children, getting them married and then retiring to a country they left 40 years ago to live out their days with more empty houses for neighbors. I cant think of such a life, such a waste. All the promises of a life ended behind a desk in a foreign country, earning and saving more than Indian standards with no opportunity to spend it, making friends with people who you wouldnt give a second thought about in India because you have no choice and then complaining together about how India is going down the drain.
The marriages are the funniest here, everyone looks at a potential bride / groom based on their employable skills, anything more than that is a bonus. The women who work here as nurses are luckier than most, becoming rich overnight and being courted by hundreds of prospects just because it means a bigger package to send back to India. Which works fine for me, coz i just told my parents i am never marrying a nurse 😀 Leaves me with even more of a single life than is acceptable back in India, much lesser pressure from parents and family, and a lot more free time than is healthy.
Have decided to start jotting down the random things that suddenly enlighten me to some very big truths. So, here goes no. 1 on the list
1. Most men do not understand a word when two women are chatting (we prefer it that way), until and unless they decide to use a code trying to make it difficult to understand (often making us perk our ears up and take notice, often to find the so called code so easy to break that it makes us feel secure to go back to day dreaming).
Special thanks here to Bella.
” You are not a bad man, its just that you are not really good” – from the movie Matchstick Men..
This line from the movie somehow , somewhere in the deep dark recesses within me let something free. I had always wondered why people always considered me a nice guy (point to be noted: Never had anybody call me a good man.)
I always thought guys like me were a dime a dozen and am slowly realizing thats not entirely true. So i looked around to find what was it that made women think i was any better than the average Joe. The amazing findings (with no statistical proof whatsoever) are the following. I still havent decided if I can gloat about it or need to fix them.
The reason for the same being that I cloak the abnormal better. I can fake a smile and show enthusiasm at things that i dont care about in the least. Plus after the accident, my already good listening skills went up a notch and it now borders on pretty awesome.
My memory sucks, i mean i cant remember faces or names from a childhood that was pretty damn awesome. I play along for the most part nodding my head as the stories come along, painting vivid pictures in my mind, turning what was already pretty awesome into something legen- ” wait for it ” – dary.
I cant say no to women (there I admit it) and whenever I do, i cringe inside feeling useless and so the constant saying Yes and then getting things done makes me pretty handy to have around.
I can write better(not speak better) than most of my friends ( in the casual unofficial manner like this blog ) and it impresses most people i meet. I rhyme on demand and i still cant figure out why that is so incredible.
The thing is there are a lot of guys like me out there and it is not a dying kind either. But women dont see most of them i guess.
To sum it all up, Men – do something about it (move out of the comfy chairs at home drinking beer with buddies and be a lil more active. Bathe and shave first please ). Women (there are quite a lot of these guys around, if you really like nice guys – go find them). Tito – You just exposed something you are going to dearly regret and could end up ruining the above said reputation. Good luck with that !!!
Being back in Bangalore feels great but being reminded over and over that the city has changed is kinda freaky.. Over the last fortnight, i have met very happily gay and proud guys, an always improving standard of beautiful women and more coffee shops than anything else. The funny thing is they are all full.
The people seem as always very welcoming, the auto drivers as usual impossibly conniving and friends as always late. The drizzlings rains add that hint of romanticism to most souls around and everything feels right.
But as always reality hits u in the face, i read of 15 year olds being stabbed to death over pigeon races, unbeleivable prices at the latest hotspot in town and the fact that commercial street is somehow a lot more expensive than it once was.
But more than anything else i hear repeatedly of young girls being beaten up by their so called boyfriends. I met one such girl a couple of days back and it evokes a wide range of emotions. An anger so dangerous i still dont know if i’ll end up kicking this total strangers butt, disbelief at how a girl could take so much and still forgive him, some more of the same when the guy thinks he can get away with it by saying sorry, an unfamiliar pride that i have brothers, cousins and friends actually think he should be castrated and a long lost feeling of concern for a total stranger.
I mean i am a big supporter for the PETA cause but i always thought educated women could always take care of themselves. I stand corrected. I see a new side of women which i wasnt aware existed. A total almost blind devotion to the person you love (no marriage yet remember). I had failed to understand it earlier i guess, maybe because i was too close to see things objectively. Here it was crystal clear that this young lady was head over heels for a guy that didnt deserve it. And she still blames herself for some of it.
To all the women i have met, i salute your undying spirit to move forward against all odds, to try and keep a relationship alive surviving mental, emotional and physical abuses. I salute you for what you achieve in spite of all that and i salute your humility. Suddenly i have a liking to the women who step forward, to those who claim what they deserve and walk as if men are below them.
To Men, mostly the young ones wh0 believe the world is their oyster, you are up for a surprise and sooner or later you are gonna get your ass kicked, by life and if you are not careful by the woman you love or pretend to.
Come to think of it, if you believe the bible arent women like the beta version of the first version of human beings called Man – Food for thought !!
Ted Mosby, Architect. I dont know how many of you have even heard of him. To the uninitiated Ted is the protagonist of the sitcom on Star World ” How i met your mother”. Its hilarious, and anyone who doesnt compare every sitcom with Friends will enjoy it. This post though is not about Ted or the Sitcom. This post is more on the lines of a single dialogue that Ted says half way through the first season, ” Right now, the roof seems to be as good a place as any other.” He is hoping to meet a girl he had met three years ago at a halloween party becuase he felt he had a connect. By the end of the episode he accepts that he didnt really expect her to turn up. But it seemed the right place to wait for the right woman.
Its amazing how much men actually keep hidden inside until the right woman comes across. And how long we can wait, in our cynical, macho , rugged masks. Every one needs love, there i said it. Some more than others , more at some times than other times, sometimes from a friend , sometimes from a lover , sometimes a parent, sometimes from a child. When a guy looks for the lady to spend his life with, he expects her to fill all these roles at different times. Because sooner or later the above said instances are going to come along when the only one around is the girl.
Whats my point? Well nothing really , am typing in a thought hoping that it will make sense to some of u sooner or later. Plus, online seems as good as a place as any to wait. 😀