Indians often draw flak for being among the least friendly people. This disturbs me deeply because it's far from true. Granted, most of us would rather stare intently at our phone than make small talk with strangers, and if an unfamiliar person smiles at us, we immediately start speculating about their mental health. It's more a genetic thing. Somebody forgot to tell us smiling is not taxable. Pushing, jostling and snarling come naturally to us. When we are driving, our middle finger is permanently raised and our cuss vocabulary can make even hardened criminals blush. But in no way does this reflect our lack of friendliness. Okay, maybe not all of us are walking embodiments of congeniality. But our men more than make up for it with their friendly overtures towards the opposite sex.
Ask any woman and she will vouch for it. The time she made eye contact with her colleague as she laughed at his joke -- and he promptly started making plans for their weekend getaway. Or the slightly tipsy woman at the pub who smiled at the wall and now it won't stop pestering her for her number. Or the man she liked talking to and gave her number to at a party, only for him to text her 55 times a day with "Sweeties, I miss you, lets meat!"
Nothing screams inequality more than the disproportionate amount of attention an average Indian woman gets.
Interestingly, the not-so-single men she encounters are invariably victims of a shrewish wife. By some strange, miraculous coincidence ALL of them claim to be married to a woman who does not understand them at all. He's just lonely hardware looking for a software upgrade. Tch tch.
So now you know why the Indian woman is a tad grim-faced compared to her male counterpart. As girls growing up, we felt the pinch of the skewed sex ratio in crowded marketplaces, in the first bus we took, at the local tailoring outfit where our 13-year-old self felt puzzled by the elderly darzi's strange touch.
Pretty soon, we developed a snarl, a well-aimed shove with our elbow, a dead fish look to keep strange men's unwanted advances under control. We discovered that the male has a strange manner of appreciating female beauty. When we walk on the road, we realize we are more effective than the traffic light at the intersection to make cars and scooters slow down. The helpful Samaritans they are, they offer us a ride not once but again and again. Dear Delhi police, I'm not sure why you're wasting money on traffic lights, when all you need is a comely femme, preferably in shorts, to bring traffic to a grinding halt. Some men become so consumed by passion that their grey cells trigger an avalanche of emotions and send furious signals to important body parts. Their hand reaches out for the motherboard, their genitals, and they start scratching violently. Their mouth starts generating copious amounts of saliva which they respectfully direct at our feet. The vocal ones prefer making strange noises that closely resemble the mating call of chimpanzees. Good to know they are in no hurry to forget their ancestors! But this is also a highly evolved species that does not let a woman's age, weight, skin colour, political leanings, dietary preferences, schooling, family background or the lack of it, hold them back. In fact they treat all of us with equal lust and are in turn treated by all of us with equal disgust.
Thanks to the digital revolution, men old and young, recently wed or widowed, black and white, thin and fat, are hello dear-ing her...
Then there's the worldwide network of online Romeos seeking love. Ask any woman and she'll tell you about her enviable collection of lovesick chaps that reside in her "other inbox" on FB. Thanks to the digital revolution, men old and young, recently wed or widowed, black and white, thin and fat, are hello dear-ing her, and losing control of their feelings as they gaze at her profile pic. This besides the eager 20-something greenhorn who wishes her "gud morning" 15 times a day.
If you are looking to start a conversation with a group of women at a party, just say, "I am a weirdo magnet." You will be immediately surrounded by a chorus of "me too, me too", and stories of Hotguy21 and SaxyStud on who WhatsApp admiring these women's "lags".
Every time my husband acts difficult, I show him my carefully curated list of enthusiastic lovers from Nicaragua, Kyrgyzstan, Burkina Faso and New York, serenading me with bad grammar and dishonourable intentions. Or the fella who got in touch with me after I wrote a post on Bengali women's love of sleeveless blouses. "I am a lover of hairy and sweaty armpit of womens. Would like to interact with you about this topic... do you have a Facebook account???"
"See, how many amazing options I have!" I scream at the husband.
[Men] think looking intently at her boobs and mumbling "you are hot" will make her dissolve in gratitude and surrender with a pair of handcuffs.
Meanwhile, I mumble a silent thanks to God for finally paying heed to my prayers. As a gawky teen I had often fantasized about hormonal boys dying to "make friendship" with me. And now She has dropped a bumper bonanza of friendly men of all shapes and sizes in my lap. So what if She's 25 years too late!
Dear men who think that in the struggle for equality, females always get an unfair advantage, you can count me in your team. Nothing screams inequality more than the disproportionate amount of attention an average Indian woman gets. While you're still waiting to make eye contact with the pretty lady at the café, she's already given the thumbs down to half a dozen men. She understands it's not their fault that they are uncouth and awkward. But it amazes her no end that they still think looking intently at her boobs and mumbling "you are hot" will make her dissolve in gratitude and surrender with a pair of handcuffs.
Of course, they are not to blame that their parents were so busy celebrating their fabulous luck in begetting a son that they forgot to teach him that a woman is not a cheez or maal that he can acquire with a snap of his entitled fingers.
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