Another male hero is off the pedestal

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A recent anonymous article detailing Aziz Ansari’s sexual misconduct is going viral. Everyone is debating furiously over it.

Here is a gist of what happened:

A female bumped into Aziz at a party while she was on a date with someone else. They exchanged numbers and met for a date. Aziz rushed through dinner and took her home where he kept pushing her for having sex with him. She obliged by giving him oral and trying to give hints that she didn’t want to have sex. He persisted. Finally, she managed to leave but ended up feeling shitty about the whole experience.

What Aziz did isn’t a crime. But it isn’t consent either. I have heard similar stories where a guy pushes too hard and a woman gives in because it is just easier to get it over with. It is just one blow job or just a fuck. Considering how often women have to keep their views to themselves, this is another time we’d rather shut up and conform instead of trying to explain to a man how it makes us feel shitty. Like, I went out on a date in college because the guy kept pushing for it. My logic was that if I spent 1 torturous hour with him he would leave me alone for 1-2 months. It was the worst date of my life but my companion had no clue. In such cases, the woman isn’t a human being. She is just an object and the man has a purpose. If the purpose is to fuck her, her hints will not even be visible to him.

If it isn’t an enthusiastic “Yes”, it is a No. If you have to plead, whine, beg for it and the woman gives in, it isn’t consent. It is a pity fuck.

This is a bad news for men because they have been getting away with it till now. I can narrate so many instances where I wasn’t an enthusiastic participant in the act and the guy didn’t care.

This article has opened up a Pandora’s box and am glad this is how 2018 has started. There are sexual misconducts which are crimes and there are those which aren’t. A rape is different from a sexual encounter which leaves you in tears. But they are both unacceptable.


Clean underwear

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It has been a long, long, long week and will end on the most hectic note.

I am travelling to reach Ahmedabad after 10 hours of work. Draining work. Negotiations with a distributor. Appraisals which include carrot for one person and a stick for another. Followed by an intense, emotionally draining conversation with a distributor who compared our partnership with his love marriage. It was a breakup conversation I have never had.

The hardest part is never being able to bunk. Nobody told me this is what the job entails. I can never leave work early. My phone can never be switched off except on Sundays. Muting WhatsApp is the only way to stay off work after official working hours. From being responsible for a few people who rarely travelled, am now accountable for 45 people who are always on the move. Am either talking to them or talking about them.

Appraisals are my least favourite activity. Getting feedback feels like fun compared to giving feedback to 5 managers and sitting through feedback sessions of 40 people. My mind can’t wander for a minute. I have to be attentive and evaluate every person basis my limited interaction with them.

And am not even thinking about my appraisal at this stage which won’t be easy for my reporting manager.

All I want to do is sleep for a whole day but no chance of that happening any time soon. I don’t have one day to rest and relax.

Atleast I have clean underwear because I got laundry done at the hotel. That is the only silver lining on my mind right now.

Jagran diaries

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My mama (mother’s brother) had been trying to reach me frantically. I didn’t answer the calls because it was 1st Jan and that isn’t how I want to start any new year. Sure, he has genuine affection for me and I have fought with parents to defend him. (My mother claimed his wife was using witchcraft against her. Whose side was I to take in that discussion?) 

But he is a manipulative jerk and I feel zero guilt for ghosting him every few years. 

Thankfully, he had the basic courtesy to Whatsapp me the reason for the call. He was inviting me for a Jagran in his hometown and wanted me to attend with my plus one. 

Jagran is how religious people party and shake their booty in a dry state.

Flashback to college days

I was on my annual vacation to maternal granny’s house where the whole family had gathered. Everyone was going crazy talking about Jagran. Studying in a boarding school meant I was completely out of touch with traditions. Someone explained that Jagran means dressing up and dancing all night to a professional singer’s beats. That sounded like fun and I put in hours into my traditional dress (lehenga and choli) and make up. 

When I reached the venue, it took a few minutes to understand what was happening. There was a professional singer surrounded by pictures of Gods. Jagran meant singing and dancing along to Bhajans. Even at that tender age of 18 years, I was a true rebel and walked out of the venue and went home to sleep by 10 pm to the horror and embarrassment of my mother. 

Flashback over

And it is memories of such ‘parties’ that make me palpitate every time am invited to one. 

Completely oblivious to my allergy to anything remotely religious, mama tried to make the proposition exciting by telling me all my relatives are invited, it is on Holi which is followed by a weekend and he wants me to bring KC. Why would I willingly walk into a nest of vipers? 

I started counting the number of Salman Khan movies KC would make me watch in a theatre to get even for this kind of torture. Worse, he would send me forwards on Whatsapp from his Whatsapp groups. Nobody deserves that kind of negativity in their life. Not even me. 

I told him I would see. Making concrete excuses is difficult 2 months before the event.

I miss being banned from the family. 

What am grateful for in 2017

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  • Getting my health back on track
  • Running at ADHM 
  • Having not one but two mentors who are always a Whatsapp and call away for professional advice 
  • Not losing any friends 
  • Having the energy of a thousand Devils 
  • Eliminating people who were taking me for granted
  • Despite all the issues and challenges, marriage is still intact
  • Taking 3 treks
  • Finding a great house in a superb locality in Mumbai. It is a dream come true to be living in such a good place
  • Living with amazing, non interfering flatmates. Having someone to talk to at the end of the day is underrated 
  • Not quitting my job out of frustration. Because one must always quit at one’s own terms
  • Doing fairly well at work
  • Being able to stay far, far away from politics and pettiness at workplace 
  • Being able to make friends feel special on their birthdays 
  • Building a great rapport with team and earning their trust
  • Reconciling with parents after 3 years of zero communication with them
  • Being able to meet younger brother once every month 
  • Making awesome friends on social media 
  • Being fairly consistent at workouts despite all the travel and stress
  • Not falling apart
  • Never passing on the frustrations onto the team, absorbing pressure from all sides, staying positive at all times and boosting team’s morale 
  • Not licking anybody’s ass to move up the corporate ladder. Metaphorically and in actuality 
  • Picking up new skills like baking 
  • TRX once or twice a month 
  • Juggling every ball in the air and not letting it drop
  • Managing to have a work life balance and ensuring everyone around does too 
  • Hating Mumbai a little less. Maybe even liking it a little. Just a little. 
  • Having a loving partner who will keep his fears aside and try anything new with me- from scuba diving to trekking. Who is brutally honest and yet supportive. And who is holding on through difficult times
  • Being able to travel to Ahmedabad and go for a run in college
  • Friends. Online. Offline. In Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Delhi, Ahmedabad and so many other places