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April 28, 2009

Babe, you SWINE.

They say life imitates art; and lord knows, life and art are both getting spookier, literally.

Two weeks back, an episode of BBC's spy-drama Spooks, had a biological weapon scare. The storyline had a train bombed in Teheran that releases a dangerous virus. The virus creates an international scare as people in Iran and those infected in the UK start dying. The virus is transmitted from person-to-person through coughing, sneezing and merely being in contact with someone infected with the virus.

Sounds familiar?Now we hear about the swine-flu outbreak.

There are 149 dead in Mexico (The Age, Oz), there are 40 confirmed infections in the US; and the infection has spread to the United Kingdom and Spain* (Washington Post, US) as well. According to latest figures, there are 10 suspected cases (ABC News, Oz) in Queensland, Australia. All this has lead to the World Health Organisation considering raising the alert level to a higher digit. Currently, the WHO has declared it a level four flu pandemic (The Guardian, UK).

While the US, UK, Australia and Europe have declared an emergency and are warning citizens and manning airports -- Munich and Frankfurt airports are distributing swine flu informational leaflets -- the Indian government has issued a mild warning.

Before writing this post, I checked these Indian newspapers and news websites: Times of India, Hindustan Times, NDTV and IbnLive.
All four sites are currently reporting wrong figures from Mexico and US. Given that all four sites have staff/editorial on night shifts, it is inexcusable. It is also silly that when there is an outbreak of global proportions, actor Feroze Khan's death has been given more prominence on at least two sites (Ibn and NDTV). The best coverage so far -- though with wrong figures -- is on Times of India, which has at least put the swine flu story on the No. 2 slot on its website.

Many people will say that since the deaths are (currently) restricted to Mexico and reported cases are in the US, UK and Spain, it is perhaps no cause for India/Indians to worry. However, the number of Indians travelling to and back from those countries has been increasing.

According to data published by Euromonitor International, the number of Indians travelling from India is set to rise by 132 % by 2011, with the US being the most preferred destination. Given that soon it will be summer vacation time and families will be planning trips: Should there not be more on the swine flu in the Indian media?

For those readers who live in Canada and the US: PLEASE take care. For those of you planning to travel, if you can change your plans, please defer. First there's AIDS, then Ebola, then the bird flu and now the swine flu. A virus that is still mutating. And we, as humans, the most susceptible targets as our immune system cannot fight the virus on its own.

PS: Just heard from a Mexican pal at uni that Mexico suffered an earthquake this morning. Apparently the joke going around in Mexico is:
What did Mexico city say to the pig flu?
Ooh, I am shaking.

Please be well. For more information, refer to the news reports/links above or check here:
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
WHO Swine Influenza FAQs (pdf)
* Sign-in required for Washington Post.

April 26, 2009

Freida Pinto, one of world's sexiest?

From being the girl-next-door to the Oscars and now on the walls of many a panting man. Freida Pinto is going places. According to one poll at least, Freida's one of the world's top 10 sexiest women.

For the few who might not know -- because they didn't care or whatever -- Freida (not Farida), is the skinny lissome young lady who has recently starred in Slumdog Millionnaire.

While reports of her conquering the red carpet at the Oscars and bagging other meaty roles abound (there's rumour she's doing a Tarantino film. Why?), here's another feather in Freida's cap.

According to the World's Sexiest Woman survey conducted by lad-mag FHM, Freida has been voted the 10th sexiest woman in the world.

For those who might say, "What's the big deal?" Well, none really but I am quite enjoying the fact that Freida has 'beaten' former favourites like Jennifer Lopez and Angelina Jolie.

I do have a feeling though that la Jolie and Jennifer Lowpants's fall in popularity has more to do with their being mommys rather than due to any fall in their 'sexiness'. After all beauty is skin deep and cosmetic surgery fixes everything.

For now though, desi oopmh is getting international 'recognition'. (If being wank material can be called that) The most Mrs Aishwarya Bachchan came to igniting passions -- I'm ignoring the Miss World title, that was eons ago -- was winning the world's sexiest eyes in 2008. Guess even lad-mag subscribing blokes found her cold.

While both Aishwarya and Freida cannot act -- yes, despite the Tarantino rumour -- at least Freida isn't as frigid as Mrs B Jr.

Do you think Freida is hot?

April 25, 2009


Just one of those days you know. Or one of those two days you know. Brain is telling something, something is telling to brain. Everything is nothing and nothing is not in the sane. Maketh sense?
PS: All errors in this post have no relation to any one living or dead. This post does not like too many relations. Blurgh

April 23, 2009

Up yours, sister.

Presumptions are the mother of all cock-ups.

No matter what country you are in, some things really don't change. Complete strangers don't think twice about asking personal questions. Or stupid questions. Most people we meet here know that I have moved to Australia with Partner. If they don't know, they are told so when Partner introduces me to them. This is also a country where living together without getting married is not unusual; people know what it means to "live" with someone. It means you are going to stay together. So I don't understand when people ask, "How long are you going to stay in Australia?" What does that mean?

What answers are people expecting? "As long as Partner keeps me?" "Till I don't find a better looking, richer man?" "As long as Partner does not decide to date a blonde, white girl?" Oh yes, I did try the date-white-girl version and the reply to that was, "Ah don't worry about that. You know (wink) 'Once you date black, you never go back'?" Really. Was that wink supposed to make me ignore that you made an ignorant, underhanded comment? Or ignore your stupidity? Because LOOK again. I am B.R.O.W.N. There is a huge difference; like four shades.

Or strangers you've only just been introduced to think it's their goddamn right to ask, "So when are you getting married?" Why? Are you paying my wedding bills? Are you giving me away? Am I in love with your f-king son? No? So shut up. Till recently, I have smiled at that question and answered with a, "Let's see" and walked away. However, it's getting difficult.

At a recent meeting with people, as is the meet-new-people routine, I am introduced to everyone. I understand that people will be curious. It is a different thing to hear about mixed couples and it is a totally different thing when someone you know starts dating a 100 % Indian girl ( as against born-brought-up-overseas Indian girl). I guess it is even MORE different/bizarre when said boy goes to work in India for two years and comes back with a girlfriend. (I wonder if I should have a "Made in India" tattoo)

Perhaps some people were expecting me to wear a sari, a bindi and break into a Bollywood song-dance routine every two minutes. Or sit cross-legged on the dinner table and eat with my fingers. Well, I DO enjoy sitting cross-legged on chairs -- my size allows me to do so -- but I can use cutlery very well (including chopsticks). Though honestly, I am still partial to eating with my fingers. I can even eat pasta with my fingers (learnt in Sikkim). Anyhoo. What I know is that this curiosity is harmless. I am dead certain that Partner will be even MORE stared at when he finally meets my family back in India. Knowing some of my relatives, I am quite sure some of them will also giggle or point at him and say "White man" and perhaps ask him to do some Shane Warne bowling actions...

ARGH, digressing, getting back to the story... So I am introduced to all new people and amongst them is this offensive woman who took it upon herself to just stare at my face. Not like surreptitious looking but outright staring. There was nothing curious or harmless about the stare. It was a "what-did-he-see-in-her" stare. And no, I was not imagining. I am very good with understanding looks and even better at reading vibes. Having had enough of her silent staring, I said a polite hello and walked off. Only to have to sit next to her again. Two mintues of me sitting next to her, she asks, "So, are you going to marry him (Partner)?" This question was even more bizarre than the when-are-you-marrying one. It irritated me and I said, "No I will not." Unfortunately, I played right into her hands. She responded with, "Ah. You must be one of those people from India who come here and then never go back."

No, I did not slap her. But it's making me angry again. The second incident happened in class yesterday. This chick said something on the lines of, "Marry him then divorce him" etc. I didn't say anything to her either. BUT the next time she does, I will ensure I screw political correctness in the bum. Enough.

PS 1: Before any of you say,"Don't worry about what other people say", "Learn to let things go" or "You have a bigger heart than them, move on" etc. I KNOW all that. While I respect all attempts/suggestions at positive thinking, at this moment, I do not give a bloody damn f-ck.

PS 2: Ranted at Partner. He heard, cocked his head, hugged me BIG, kissed my forehead and said, "It's ok for you to be angry as long as you remember I am not them; I love you." Sigh. He good man.
Toon courtesy: The Back Porch Studio

April 21, 2009

Where are you?

"Either you are thinking about what happened in the past or worrying about what will happen in the future. You forget to consider the present. That's the only trouble with you."

That's what Partner said to me two days back... Hate it though I may, he is right.
I don't regret my past, but I do think if I could have taken some decisions differently, done things another way. Perhaps the biggest past factor with me is thinking about people. I don't exactly nurse a grudge, but I find it hard to forget. I might think I have forgiven, but then at unexpected moments I realise I don't know how to forgive. It all comes back.

The future thrills me and scares me to death. I fear losing what I have, but even more than that, I fear that I might stop appreciating what I have. I've run from jobs, relationships, people... What if I do it again? Partner calls it my "second guessing streak". He says I think negative thoughts and either worry myself trying to prevent it or worse, get fatalistic and make it happen.

I can perhaps stop thinking about the past. But the future...? It confuses me, when people say "live in the present, don't think about the future". Will not our actions today affect our tomorrow?
Do you live in the past, present or the future? Try this quiz as well.

April 20, 2009

My favourite ball sport

Dear Gol gappas, You are by far my favourite ball sport. You are my comfort food, my sustenance when broke and the one experience that completes any shopping trip. I love the way the tamarind chutney mixes with the boiled potatoes and chickpeas in you. I love you despite the near-death-experiences of the times I have choked on you. You are the flavour of India to me: sweet, spicy, tangy and yet undefinable. You are also my biggest craving. I miss you.
Love to eat you.

It started with helping out a friend, and now thanks to the good samaritan in me, I am craving. This friend -- the same one who wrote to me from New York saying she loves ghooghni -- is doing a thesis on favourite foods. She has also started a VERY cool website called My Food Valentine. The idea being we all write a love letter to our favourite food.

My love letter was to gol gappas. May I please request you to log in to her site and write a love letter to your favourite food as well?

So now I am seriously craving for gol gappas. Some educated folks have been calling them 'water balls', but that's an insult. A literal translation of gol gappa would mean 'round cheeks' because that's what happens when you eat it. In some parts of India, it is called pani puri and Bengalis call it puchka.

For those who don't know, gol gappas are round, flour pastries, filled with a mixture of boiled potatoes, chickpeas, a sweet 'n' sour tamarind sauce and a very tasty concoction of cumin-fennel-pepper water. It is one of India's most popular street foods. It is meant for the brave. It is also a great equaliser and a test of humility. Why? Because everyone looks ridiculous eating it. There is no gentle, lady-like biting involved, you are supposed to shove the entire ball into your mouth and chomp. I've nearly choked on it and yet, I totally love it.Almost everyone I know has a gol gappa anecdote. It is stuff of legends.

There are love stories that evolved around gol gappas: Guy takes girl out for date and feeds her etc. Most such girls will think they look very cute while eating a gol gappa (while the juice trickles down the sides of their mouths). Almost every neighbourhood aunty will complain at least once that the pani does not taste as good as it used to. Every second person will complain about the rising price of a plate. Every foreigner I have met is scared of eating a gol gappa as they usually think cholera. Contrarily, no Indian has been known to fall ill due to eating one. Most gol gappa loving Indians in fact ask for a plate of pani.

There are also fastest gol gappa eating contests amongst friends. If you ever see how fast some fataunties can gulp them, you will realise it's a sport. Like slurping is a sport in Australia, chomping gol gappas is a sport in India. And no matter how many tandoori chicken and curry joints you have in a foreign country; there are never any gol gappa stands/stalls. Sigh. I miss it.
What is your favourite Indian food/ street food? Please do write a love letter to your favourite food on My Food Valentine.

PS: Since I've not written a word on the novel during the Easter break, am off to the city today. To sit at some cafe, people-watch and finish a chapter.

April 19, 2009


Ok, so I have not read the book yet. However, I am definitely being asked about it a lot. A LOT.

After Slumdog Millionaire, the next FAQ is "Are the things in Shantaram, true?" "Is that really how India is?" "What do you think of the book?"

I had started reading the book, had reached the bit where he meets Karla and just could not read beyond that.

I will try again... What do you guys think about Shantaram?

Good? Bad? Overrated? Give feedback you.

April 18, 2009

Lazy Saturday


Nice Saturday in Melbourne, a cloud cover that might not bring rain, but not too cold. Partner is out to get a washer for the BBQ and chlorine for the spa. I will soon be heading out for body servicing at the salon. Here, they don't 'thread' the brows but use wax instead, so I am in for some pain. My face will also look multishaded as there will be three clear strips of red skin amongst all the brown.

View Larger Map
Then we are headed to the Flemington Racecourse, there's some race on and we shall try our luck at winning some. Since my first trip to the races, I've managed to win three trifectas. A trifecta is when you bet on the three horses you think will come in the 1st-3rd positions. Since December 2008 -- my first bet -- my total winnings amount to $ 1910 AUD. Over the Easter weekend, Partner won another trifecta, I didn't go.

Billy is sitting on my lap as I type. He is an intelligent kitty and has realised in two days that the moment Mamma showers and wears shoes that make noise, it means she is about to leave him alone in the house. Billy thinks by sitting on me and not letting me go, he will not be left alone. Cute, devious little kitty.

Last night Billy puked, his light-lactose solution was too heavy. After that he refused to move and looked wilted. I nearly died. I hate it, HATE it, when pets get sick. They just look so helpless. This morning he's been fine though. The evidence was when he jumped on the bed -- yes, he's figured how to -- then got tangled in my hair, which he thinks is his enemy, and bit my ear. Of course it was NOT a nice way to be woken up, but if it means Billy's all right; I shall live with it.

What is it about little animals that hooks us in a mere seven days?

April 17, 2009

What are you thinking?

In Mel Gibson's romantic/comedy flick What Women Want, Mel gets an electric shock and as a result he can 'hear' what women are thinking. The disaster leads to some funny situations in the movie and eventually happily ever after for Mel.

However, what if the same happened to you? Er, not the electric shock but being able to 'hear' peoples' thoughts. What if you could read minds? Would you want to? Would you freak out?

What will you do -- or how would you feel -- if you learn/hear that your partner thinks about someone else while having sex with you?

How would you react if you knew your partner fantasises about Salma Hayek/ Hugh Jackman/ or both while having sex with you?

Similarly, how would you react if your partner's fantasies involved someone you/he/she knows? Your best friend?His/her boss?

UPDATE: One person says, "There is a huge difference between fantasizing about Katrina Kaif and fantasizing about the neighbour." Thus, celebrity is ok, real person is not.
Waiting for more answers...

PS: Silly Billy insists on attacking my fingers when I type. Argh. At least pups cannot climb tables. Now he is trying to bite me toe. It is always the right, big toe. I don't understand.
Toon courtesy: Savage Chickens

April 16, 2009

The Reader

Currently reading: Sookie Stackhouse's vampire escapades in the small American town of Bon Temps (I'm on book 7). The book has been made into television series TrueBlood and is shown on HBO. I NEED to get that series.
Rating: 4/ 5

Recently read:
Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns (3/5) and The Obernewtyn Chronicles (3/5) by Isobelle Carmody.

This is a Facebook note/forward/tag, but I thought it was a good idea to put it up here. I would love to read your lists and am hoping you'd respond in the comments section with those you have read. I am definitely looking forward to BOOK SUGGESTIONS...

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 books from this list. Copy the list in the comments section. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Delete 'x' from any you have not read. Post the number you have read in the note title.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of ShakespeareX
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier X
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy X
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John SteinbeckX
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame X
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy X
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens X
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen X
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy X
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel X
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas X
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas HardyX
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen FieldingX
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie X
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton X
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas X
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

April 14, 2009

Billy the Cat


1. Billy Batters, the new addition to the family. Age, 6 weeks, weight, 200 gms. Temperament, will have as much fun as possible. And oh, he is sitting inside the car's dashboard.

Billy is what I have been upto the past three days. People get bunnies for Easter; I got myself an Easter kitty. Rather Partner's mom got me Billy.

Partner's parents live on a farm with 16 wild cats and Billy is from a litter of 3. Other than Billy, the weekend has been fun, food and family. Except for the one time that Scroobie the dog nearly ate Billy; everything has been bonny and fine.

He does not cry, he has used his litter right from Try 1, he is happy with his formula and two teaspoons of mashed fish and he is loads of entertainment when awake. He is also a very good alarm as he woke us up this morning at 7.30 am sharp. He was hungry and he lets you know.

Saw hello people to Billy and a proud and happy Mamma. And oh, it's 'Billy' for the Aussies and 'Billi' for the desis. As I've been explaining here, the pronounciation is 'Bill-Lee' without a pause. The cat's bilingual you see. :)

April 9, 2009

Potty Survey: Bowelled over

It is better to have a man who farts and laughs than have a man who farts and blames it on you.

Those who have been on this blog for long will remember that in January 2008, we all participated in something called The Potty Survey.

Based on the answers given in the survey and answers received by way of random shit-talking, here are some potty myths and truths.
  1. Everyone has experienced the feeling of really wanting to shit but not finding an appropriate place. Unfortunates have experienced it more than once.
  2. Depending on geographical locations – and cultural sensibilities – everyone has had at least one experience of no toilet paper, or no water or no mug for the water.
  3. Everyone has felt the pressure in impossible-to-leave situations like church weddings, presentation before the CEO or funerals.
  4. Everyone, at some point, has looked at their shit to see if it was "all right".
  5. Most people are really happy talking about shit, literally.
  6. Mostly it is women who go, “Eww, I don’t talk about potty.” Such women are lying because everyone talks shit some of the time.
  7. Any man who goes “eww” about shit is to be completely avoided. Research has proven that it is not a natural man.
  8. Most women have had to go to a men’s toilet at some point in their life.
  9. Most people have realised that it is really not easy shitting under an open sky. How did the ancestors do it?
  10. All men think their poo does not smell. Most women deny it.
  11. A man’s urgency to shit increases with the frequency of morning farts. The louder it is, the prouder they are.
  12. Increasing number of women also think it is cool to fart. It’s part of a new movement called fart feminism.
  13. Most men take 20 minutes or more for their morning shit.
  14. Most women finish the job and are gone in 60 seconds (or 5 minutes).
  15. Most men will go once in the morning and be done with it.
  16. Most women have more than one potty trip. Maybe it has something to do with Point 14.
  17. Women talk about shit as much as men do; only women call it “bowel movements”.
  18. Most people have wondered why a baby’s shit smells as bad as it does...
  19. Constipation causes more trouble than heartbreak.
  20. Most smokers will always save a cigarette for next morning’s poo.
  21. Most smokers have dropped a cigarette/ lighter/ matchbox in a shitpot at least once.
  22. Perfectly working toilet flushes will mysteriously stop working at a party.
  23. Someone will always leave a decorated dump in the above situation.
  24. It is easier solving a murder than finding out above mentioned dumpster.
  25. Majority have had the uncomfortable experience of shitting in their pants; almost everyone thought it was a fart when it was much more sinister…
  26. All parents have at least one embarrassing potty story about you. They always choose the most populated family gatherings to narrate such stories.
  27. Most people who say other people are full of shit are in denial about themselves.

April 8, 2009

Week 6: Uni

Nothing, nothing beats the relief you get after a good morning poo.

Have you noticed that you can have a really awful day if you have not had a good shit in the morning?

Feeling light today, will see you after class.

PS: For those who asked, I'm doing a Masters in Creative Media.
Apparently it is one of the best courses of its kind here. Allegedly, it does not get you jobs.

Gotta get ready for uni, later gator!
Cartoon = See Mike Draw

April 7, 2009

How to look like a man

(click on the above picture to see greater detail. Ahem.)
So much for metrosexuality and shaved chests. It's official now; with the worsening global economic crisis, research says that women prefer the "more muscular, primal, hairy male" to the ones who go about getting their eyebrows tweezed.

I had always known it. My first recollection of having a crush on any man goes back to Amitabh Bachchan riding a motorcycle and singing Rote huye in Muqaddar ka Sikandar. I clearly remember him wearing a white shirt, button undone and looking bloody delicious. <--- This picture is from Deewar, and you can still see some of his fuzz. Now of course grandpa B wears covered tees since I suspect his chest hair must be turning grey.

My second Bollywood crush used to be Salman Khan. Rather the Salman in his Maine Pyaar Kiya days... I was 12/13 and he was the 'boy' who dared to fight for the girl he loved AND had chest hair. My adulation quickly changed as Salman turned into Bollywood's biggest prick who now looks like a sausage walking around in tight jeans. (Hmm, in retrospect, this ---> poster is quite servile, isn't it? But then Rajshri productions has never been known for strong female characters. They always whimper.)

As for Hollywood, my first, fierce crush was Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele. Oh, how I loved him. I was insanely jealous when I first saw the episode where he kisses Stephanie Zimbalist's character. So heartbrken... Pierce was so handsome AND had a hairy chest.

Since Steele, I have really liked Mel Gibson and George Clooney. Both men have chest hair. Hmm. All my screen men have also had good voices and strong chins. Now of course I am simply crazy about Hugh 'Wolverine' Jackman. If my chances of meeting Jackman -- as Wolverine -- were not nearly-nil, Partner would have great cause to worry.

Boys/men need to understand that not all hair on men is unattractive. For instance, both Anil Kapoor and Akshay Kumar had body hair as well. Just a little too much of it.

The rule for Male Body Hair is simple: If you have a monobrow that hides your eyes, please do get them re-shaped. If your chest hair looks like a carpet, please feel free to shave. If your body hair covers every inch of you -- including your neck and ears -- it is wise to get a wax or something. You don't want your girl reaching for a toothpick each time she kisses you.

Other than that, men who shave/wax their body hair -- unless you are a porn star -- LET IT BE. Some fuzz on a man looks good. For instance, I simply cannot understand how grown women can swoon over the likes of Toby Maguire and Zake Ephron. Despite the ripped bodies and all, both look like they'd cry if slapped.

While Daniel Craig is also being touted as a macho man, I find him quite putting-off. Firstly, it's that pout. It makes him look like he really needs to shit and is holding it back. Secondly, it's his much written about body. To me it looks quite rubbery; like if you ran and hugged him, you'd bounce right back.

The idea being a man does not have to be hairy; but neither does he have to look like the human version of a poodle. If you have some naturally, show it off.

That said, I shall go perv at Jackman some more.

PS: Partner caught me staring at Jackman's pictures. He asked me what I was doing. I solemnly said I was researching how chest hair makes men look hot. For a minute everything was all right. Then Partner looked at me and said, "But I don't have chest hair." (grin) He does and just the right amount. Let's just say I proved it to him that I find him really hot. Sigh. Can't wait for return-from-office-time.

April 6, 2009

Baapre, baby?!

Mothers are like politicians. Their ideologies change according to their point of view; rather when they want you to agree to their p.o.v.

At 13, my mother's pet phrase was, "Don't think about makeup, don't even think of thinking about boys, only concentrate on your studies."
I wondered about Doogie Howser and when I'd have my first kiss...

At 18, she would say, "Not all cosmetics are bad. That fairness cream would not hurt you, it also clears pimples. And please don't think about boys/men right now, concentrate on your studies and finish college first."
I wondered if being dark was the reason I didn't have a 'steady' boyfriend or maybe it was because I was not slim...

At 24, she started saying, "Why don't you wear some lipstick? It adds colour to your face. If you keep your head buried in books, life will pass you by. Here, look at this boy's photo at least; finding the right one takes time you know..."
I wondered if I would find someone who didn't mind me smoking, or who didn't try to control me, who would understand me and who I didn't have to dump...

At 27, she would insist, "Are you applying that herbal face mask I told you about? Smoking has made your lips black and is killing your skin and hair. Think about your father and me, all our friends' children are settled. Do you at least have a man in your life? We will be happy with that. But don't do anything that will get you pregnant ok? "
I wondered what was "anything"... and if everything had to be about love, marriage and how it was all bullshit anyway because all bastards cheated on you.

A month-short-of-30, last evening she said, "Beta, age is passing you by. How long will you wait? I don't mind if you have a baby and marry later; the biological clock does not wait you know."

I am wondering: Do all mothers do such an about turn in a matter of 17 years...

PS: And does it hurt when your children make you do such about-turns? Cartoon courtesy: See Mike Draw

April 5, 2009

Emancipation of Eve?


A 17-year-old girl is mercilessly flogged in Pakistan's Swat valley by barbarians we know as the Taliban. That story is the headline/ front page story in almost all major newspapers and news websites across the world. Yet, will it make a difference?

And thanks to certain women-hating-pro-Hindu political parties, will we be seeing the same in India soon?

April 3, 2009

Stale, Mate?

Inspired by File Magazine's A Collection of Unexpected Photography.
Pic = Kotryna ula kiliulyte

The Impasse

Her: I can't do it anymore. Not here, not like this, not right now, not with him. Not to him.

Him: What is she thinking? Does she know? Is she going to cry again?

Her: Again. I am here again. He will take the towel off and look at me. Look at me with disgust. And I will look at him looking at me with disgust.

Him: She is going to cry again. If I ask her what she's thinking, she will lie, as usual. Why does she have to make me feel like a prick each time? Why doesn't she understand it was a mistake? A stupid mistake?

Her: I am tired now. I've been tired for a long, long while. I can see what he sees in me each time I am naked. I don't match up. I don't excite. I don't seduce. I don't satisfy. I...

Him: I hate it how she stands in the same room and cries... and pretends she is not crying. I can hear her. She is whimpering now. Anytime now the accusations will start. Why can't she see? It was a fucking mistake...

Her: How can I match up? I don't have the breasts. I don't have a shaved p****y. I don't wear fishnets. I don't moan. I am not a pornstar. He wants a pornstar. A glamour doll. A woman who takes everything, takes in everything. How can I match up? Am I to blame for...?

Him: Why was I so fucking stupid? She asked me about my fantasy. Why didn't I see the trap? Why did I open my mouth? Now she only sees what she wants to see... And she cries. She hates me. I don't match up. I don't excite. I don't satisfy. She accuses... Why can't she see?

Her: I am breaking inside. How do I tell him? Here? Now? Not? When?

Him: Why can't she see it was a mistake? Why can't she it was only a fantasy? Why can't she see I love her, the way she is?

Her: I can't do it anymore. Not here, not like this, not right now, not with him. Not to him. How can I tell him I am pregnant with another man's child?


PS: A picture speaks a thousand words; and each word can be interpreted so differently. What do you think is happening in this picture? If you can write a short story -- however short -- to go with what you think is happening in the picture, will happily publish it here with a link to your blog/site.

April 2, 2009

Two reasons to eat your dog


Did you know that the USA is about to add 'puppy' and 'kitten' to its list of things that threaten America?

If latest research is to be believed, it seems house pets are extremely dangerous creatures. Or it could just be Americans...

According to the researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 88 per cent of all fall-related injuries in its emergency departments are caused by dogs and cats. Point to be noted here is that unlike India, where stray dogs and cats equal the number of stray human beings, the USA has strict regulations about strays. The dogs and cats mentioned in said research are pets and are supposed to cause about 86,600 injuries per year.

No, the pets don't bite their owners, but 66 per cent owners do seem to be in a habit of tripping over their pets. The Centre for Disease Control has apparently recommended pet obedience training. But who will train the humans?

However, not all is lost for the Americans and there is a silver lining. The dangerous pets research has allegedly lead to an improvement in US-China relationships. Unnamed sources in the US foreign secretary's office say China will now start importing these dogs and cats...

On a slightly different note though -- still talking meat -- it seems there is more bad news for India's resident vegetarian mascot, Maneka Gandhi.

For those who need reminding, Mrs Gandhi -- aka Maneka -- is known to be a rabid vegetarian and has been seen/heard on television berating non-vegetarians/meat eaters and calling them murderers etc. According to Mrs Gandhi, vegetarianism is the path to true salvation. The tagline of her advertisement has been, "Accha hai" (means "it's good.") Maybe not so.

According to latest research published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, being a vegetarian can put you at risk of binge eating and "other unusual behaviour". The research says that "20-25 percent of current and former vegetarians in the study displayed unhealthy weight-control behaviors such as taking diet pills, vomiting, using laxatives and diuretics and binge eating."

As for the "unusual behaviour", I wonder if it is perhaps the reason Maneka's son -- and BJP youth-leader -- Varun Gandhi says strange things like, "...What I have said I have said but what I have not said I have not said." and is currently in jail. Given that Varun Gandhi's recent anti-Muslim comments simply not be allowed in the biggest secular, democracy in the world; I wonder if it perhaps had to do with eating too many leaves.

For those who don't know, Varun Gandhi is the son of Maneka Gandhi, who was married to the late Sanjay Gandhi, who was the son of the late Indira Gandhi. (phew) For non-Indians who might wonder, no, none of them are related to Mahatma Gandhi.

Personally, I've always believed that if human beings were meant to survive only on grass; we would be called cows. On that note, I shall go and fry Toto.

PS: Given that I am accident-prone, should I get a dog?

April 1, 2009

Thank-you, you're ugly.

Don't you just hate it when people meet you after ages and say, "Oh, nice, you have put on weight." WTF?!

Next time I shall say, "Thank-you, wow, your nostrils look smaller today."
Or, "Gee, did you get your stomach stapled? It almost looks flat."
Or, "Do share your secrets in bed, if your husband is screwing you despite your face, I wanna know what you do!"


PS: Uni today; am off.