Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's Not So Much About the Royal as About the Wedding

Okay I'll admit it outright - I found the mass hysteria surrounding the royal wedding completely inane. Both among the Brits and Indians. It was just two people getting married at the end of the day. Thousands of couples get married all over the world everyday. And come on, who cares about royalty in this day & age of democratic governments? I fail to understand how Kings & Queens still exist in so many countries across the's such an antiquated concept. And I can't fathom why the Britishers are so enamoured with their royals.

Even more ridiculous was Indians and the Indian media getting excited about the wedding as if one of our own was getting married. Hell, we don't get as kicked even if when one of our national icons gets married, do we? So why the excitement over the wedding of the grandson of the Queen of another country which ruled us for a couple of hundred years? Was it a sign that we haven't been able to shake off our colonial hangover yet?

When my mother and grandmother announced they were planning to watch the live telecast of the royal wedding, I made fun of them. One has to be truly jobless in life to sit & watch two people getting married all day on television. But there was that curiosity within me to find out what Kate Middleton was wearing on her big day. Rather, WHO she was wearing. So I tuned in to the repeat telecast of the wedding just to check her dress out, and ended up watching most of it! Well, till they kissed on the balcony of the Buckingham Palace.

First things first though. That woman didn't disappoint with her wedding dress. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen - an unusual choice given that most of Alexander McQueen's creations are so radical and out there. But Sarah Burton - who was appointed the creative head of Alexander McQueen after his suicide - is known to be relatively more understated than the man himself. And what a dress she designed for Kate! I loved it! It was modern and chic, yet so timeless and elegant. Simple yet so stylish! The plunging neckline balanced the sleeves beautifully, the bodice was very well fitted, and the trail was long without being imposing. Breath-taking creation. And I have to hand it to Kate for not getting carried away by the occasion and keeping her make-up and jewellery minimal. Have you noticed how Indian brides end up looking the ugliest they've ever looked in their lives, on their wedding day? Ironic, isn't it?

What struck me the most about the wedding though, that made me all mushy inside and made me want a marriage (not a wedding) just like that right then & there, were the vibes between William & Kate. They were talking to each other at regular intervals throughout the ceremony, he was holding her hand, helping her climb/descend from carriages, and they kept deferring to each other throughout. Showing in little ways that they really care about each other. It was so heart warming. The way they kept looking at each other, you could tell they're so much in love. It made me, a marriage-o-phobe, crave a wedding with the man I love right then & there :/

It must be such a special feeling. Sigh!

Some of my friends were really stoked about the commoner-marrying-a-prince bit but I was moved by the love between the couple and the fact that they made it after ten long years of courtship and inspite of two break ups. I just wish the kiss had lasted longer. For the meantime, this is what we'll have to make do with...

Friday, April 22, 2011

He's Just Not That Into You

Have you seen the movie? It's got a whole bunch of people in it - Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper (sigh!), Ben Affleck, Justin Long. And it's every woman's story!

All of us women have gone through most of the situations that are shown in the movie. The girl who's been in a relationship with a guy for a long long time but he doesn't want to marry her because, apparently, he doesn't believe in marriage. And the girl doesn't keep harping on it because she doesn't want to be clingy and needy and force him to do something he isn't ready for yet. And she keeps waiting for him to come around, until one day she realizes he's never going to marry her. She breaks up with him and the next she hears of him is that he's getting married to some hot 22 year old, or in the case of Indian men to some "homely girl with Indian values" of his parents' choice!

Or the girl who relentlessly pursues men who aren't really into her or don't deserve her while all along confiding in a guy friend who listens to her and talks her through her heartbreaks and rejections. Till she realizes that he's the guy she's most comfortable with and is meant to be with.

Or the girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend for completely ludicrous reasons such as "it's not you, it's me" (heard that so many times, ugh!). Or "I don't deserve you" (excuse me while I go find myself a barf bag). Or worst of all "I'm so jealous of whoever you end up with" (hello, it could've been you!)

Or the girl who falls in love with a man who's married or about to get married to his long-time girlfriend who he loves very much but need not necessarily be 'in love' with. He wants to be with the other woman but he isn't willing to walk out on his wife/girlfriend either, and it's the women get screwed in the process. Of course, in the movie it's the guy who ends up getting screwed - because movies have a sense of justice. Real life doesn't.

I recently came across a quote that went "Behind every gorgeous woman is a man who's bored of her". Now, that's quite a scary thought! It goes against every grain of optimism in my body, yet the cynic in me yells that it's so very true. And guess what....the cynic wins! For how else do you explain what we see all around with the most gorgeous wives/girlfriends who will not fail to cheat if an opportunity presents itself.

And then there are people in this world who've never had their hearts broken. They just cannot comprehend what someone who's recently had their heart broken is going through b/c they've never had to face a feeling of having been hurt and let down. Do I envy them? Of course I to! They live in a state of bliss. They've never had to deal with a feeling of rejection, hurt and disappointment. All that bull about break ups teaching you a lot about life and yourself was designed by authors of self-help books whose books would otherwise not sell a single copy.

Okay, maybe there's some truth to that claim. Break ups do shape the person you become to a certain extent. But I'd rather have a happy life, thank you very much.

So the question really is 'what is true love'? Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France has a very different point of view on love and faithfulness in relationships. In an interview I read recently in The Times of India, he says that according to him being faithful to a woman means not abandoning her, it doesn't mean not straying. So long as a man stays with his woman, he should be considered faithful and his dalliances with other women should be ignored.

It's a very complicated theory but unfortunately that's the way relationships are evolving these days. Men have a completely different view on love and relationships than women, and the two couldn't be more divergent. And the way I see it, this entire thing about men's unwillingness to commit and likelihood of straying will only increase over time. The question is, are women ready to deal with this changing face of love and relationships? Because we WILL need to deal with it at some point. And the answer, sadly, is a resounding 'no'. We're not ready yet.

Will we ever be? I don't know.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Existential Angst

You know that feeling when you're dying to pour your heart out on your blog but you can't because you don't blog anonymously anymore? And your blog isn't read only by your friends but by an assortment of people? And you're now at an age where you start weighing the pros & cons of your actions and you don't let yourself get carried away.

I so miss being in my early 20s. When no problem meant the end of the world. When you were able to just get up, shrug, brush the dust off your hands and move on if things weren't working out the way you wanted them to.

Since I can't - rather won't - crib about certain things on this blog, I'll tell you what I need right now.

A gang of the most fun girlfriends!!!!

I so miss having a girl gang at times. I've mostly had guy friends right through college and my 20s, and while boys are crazy fun too they won't pull you out of an emotional crisis. Most of them at any rate. You can only crib so much to them before their eyes glaze over and they suggest you drown your sorrows in bottles of chilled piss, a.k.a. beer.

Girl friends are so much more fun. They 'understand' and they know just what works when the chips are down - a great shopping session buying things you don't need, watching chick flicks and gossipping! Ah, therapeutic!

My girl friends are scattered all over the globe now and most of them don't even know each other, so I really do miss having a "girl gang". And what I need right now is a week in Goa with my girls, lazing around on the beach in beach hats, oversized sunglasses and floral flip flops, and sipping on unlimited apple/strawberry martinis. With a game of paintball thrown in. Why should boys have all the fun?


Life isn't all gloomy though. I just learnt that my new place of work has the most laidback dress code - jeans! Even for client meetings!! Without rips & holes though. I think I can live with that :-)

And the city I'm about to move to has the most glorious weather - 18-30 degrees (Celsius) in the summer and 5-20 degrees in the winter. I can live with that too! :D

And I've been reading a very funny book that The Knife gave me when I met him last. It's a book by Bill Bryson called 'Down Under' where he talks about all the things that can kill you in Australia. There are thousands apparently! But it also showcases the spirit, niceness and funness (?) of the Australian people. It's a travelogue but one of the funniest books I've read.

So yeah, life is good bits & pieces. But why must it always be bittersweet?

Friday, April 15, 2011

A First

Never before in my life have I heard that stripping in public is a way to demonstrate one's patriotism.

Meet Poonam Pandey - the wannabe model who had promised to strip in full public view if India won the World Cup. Interestingly, she's nowhere to be seen since the victory. But she does manage to give sound bytes every once in a while.

First she said she wanted to strip inside the stadium right after the final. That obviously didn't go down well with the moral police. Then she said she was willing to strip inside the players' dressing room given BCCI's permission. The BCCI didn't agree, so now she's considering Paris as the venue!

Les pauvres Fran├žais! Thanks to their lassez faire culture, they now have to watch some C-grade model bare all.

What amuses me the most though is how she keeps insisting that stripping is not a publicity stunt but her way of showing her patriotism. Next she'll say that she wants to sleep with all the cricketers who were part of the winning team one by one! As a way to show her love for her nation, of course.

I guess it takes all kinds.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Will & Kate

The Brits need to get a life, they really do! What's all this hoopla surrounding William & Kate's marriage?

Like any girl growing up in the late 80s & 90s, I too had a massive crush on Will. How could one not - he was a shadow of his extremely good looking mother, and with that delish smile he could make any girl go week in the knees.

But look at the way he's balding now! And how old is he? 30? Even the smile has lost its charm.

And Kate...She's pretty but have you seen the dresses she wears? All buttoned up to the neck. She's so matronly! Which is surprising since William claims to have fallen for her on seeing her in a see-through LBD that hardly left anything to imagination. But he kept her waiting forever before he proposed, didn't he? Waity Katie, as the cruel British media is calling her. Poor thing. But that's OK, she's about to become very very rich.

But why are the Brits so fascinated and obsessed with the wedding? It's two people getting married. That's all there is to it, people! So what if they're royalty? I thought kings & queens were passe. Surely, the Brits take Monarch adulation to a different level altogether. So you have souvenirs being released...everything from commemorative china to street party accessories, nail lacquer (shimmery dark blue with grey undertones, if you must know), bottle openers, key rings, coffee mugs, coasters. Even condoms which cannot be used (stupidest thing I ever heard of) and sick bags!

Sick bags? Really? Why??? And what a waste of condoms! Imagine having a pack of condoms lying about your house that you cannot use! How frustrating will that be?

My grandmother, who considers herself British by virtue of having lived in England for a fair amount of time but who's as Indian by blood as one can get, says it's a very emotional moment for Brits. Copious tears of joy will be shed. She plans to shed some of her own too, I think. And she is eagerly awaiting the telecast of the wedding on TV.

Yes people, TLC is going to telecast the entire wedding live on 29th April. What I'm dying to know is - which designer is Kate wearing?? Not another matronly gown please! Time for some scandulous skin show for the royals. I'm sure Will won't mind.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Mile High Baby

It was definitely one of the most bizarre things that I've witnessed in my life. A woman delivered a baby on the flight I was in!!!!!

Like how?

This woman was apparently 8 months pregnant. I don't know why she was allowed to fly, don't airlines ask for a certificate of clearance from the doctor? But then, when airlines these days don't even ask for pilots' certificates, why would they bother about a passenger's?

Half an hour after take off, the woman started complaining of "discomfort". Air hostesses started panicking and announcements were made requesting any medical practitioners on board to identify themselves to the cabin crew. Luckily for her, there was a gynaecologist on board!!!!!

The woman was taken to the rear of the aircraft and she delivered a f*&^$#* baby right there!!!! Half an hour before the flight landed. And we didn't hear a scream.

I'm guessing it's not something that happens very frequently.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thank you, Anna Hazare

What a man. I mean, WHAT.A.MAN.

Imagine the amount of selflessness it takes to go on a fast unto death for the people of your country. I was praying for his health everyday, given that he is 73 years old.

'I Am Anna Hazare' was no twiterrati movement, as the government would like us to believe. It was a people's movement that got the government to acknowledge their demands. For there can be no government without the support of its people.

Corruption is eating away at our country. Every day we open the newspapers or turn on the TV to read/hear of some scamster laundering away people's hard earned money that they pay as taxes. And the government instead of punishing them gives them a free pass to go enjoy the cool climes of England, away from the heat they would've had to face back in India.

The timing of Anna Hazare's movement was a masterstroke. He waited for the World Cup to get over so people's attention was not diverted by the game. The fact that India won the World Cup only worked in their favor - people were already high on national pride, and they were feeling an emotional void for the sudden lack of something to root for. It was the right time to strike.

I'm very proud of my country and its people for the way we've rallied around Anna Hazare, particularly the youth that came out in full force to fight for themselves. The success of this movement is a glowing example that at 1.2 billion people, India is the largest and the most thriving democracy in the world.

Thank you, Anna Hazare.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

We Are the Champions, My Friends....

For the part of the world that was once colonised by the British, cricket is a bloody big thing. Particularly in India where it is often referred to as 'second religion'. And what not? Cricket in India achieves what probably no amount of cultural events, speeches by politicians etc. can - it unifies the country. The pains of living in a country struggling to raise it's infrastructure to the level required to sustain its 1.2 billion people, a country with corruption seeping out of its pores, a country where the hard working tax payers' money is routinely laundered in some or the other scam, a country which is relentlessly exploited by some (in power) to further their own gains - all cease to exist. Winning the world cup was the objective of not only those 11 men on the field, but also of the 1.2 billion people who were praying their hearts out. It gave them something to cheer about and look forward to. And that's why it bloody mattered. So thank you MSD. You need to be applauded. I really really like MSD. For one, he's a fellow East Indian. Secondly, because of his ice cool demeanour. That man refuses to crack under pressure. He absorbs it like a sponge. What he did yesterday required balls - to go and bat ahead of an in-form batsman who usually bats at that spot. But it was also a masterstroke - it ensured a left hand-right hand combination, and if he got out there was still an in-form batsman to carry things forward. And thank you Gary Kirsten. You've given us what no one else could for the past 28 years. The other man who needs to be thanked for what the Indian team is today is Sourav Ganguly. He sowed the seeds of self-belief and a fighting spirit in a team that was historically perceived to be meek and a push-over. To a great extent, MSD is reaping the rewards of what Sourav started. The celebrations after our victory were insane. Throngs of people were out on the streets wearing India jerseys, with their faces painted with the Indian tri-color and waving Indian flags. Hell, I didn't know there were so many Indian flags in the city!! And now that we've brought the cup home, the word 'feeling blue' has suddenly got a new meaning. Until 2015...