Advocator of Lizard rights

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I never understand why people get creeped out by lizards. They are most harmless reptiles on this planet. I haven’t researched this fact so please don’t quote me.

I like lizards. This is how they make my life awesome.

Female is claustrophobic.

Female loves open doors and windows. Female is obsessed with keeping the balcony door open for ventilation.

Female has to deal with insects and bugs because the balcony door is open.

Lizard eats up the insects and bugs hence, female can enjoy her balcony breeze.

Sounds perfect.

But there is a always a villain. Someone who has an irrational hatred of lizards.

Villain doesn’t care about ventilation or balconies.

Villain only cares about hibernating in front of the TV and under the AC.

Villain is irrationally annoyed by insects and bugs.

Villain wants the balcony door closed.

Villain has no use for lizards in his house.

Villain fights with (awesome) female every night over the lizards and threatens to kill them.

Female stands up for the lizards. In his absence, she makes friends with the lizards and takes the joke a wee (tiny bit) too far. She names the lizards.

Ruby – loiters around the house. The TV and the couch are her comfort spots. She loves perching near female’s shoulder to catch great shows on Netflix. She is ambitious and always goes after the biggest bugs. She is currently hooked to Korean shows and is tempted to move to North Korea.

Paul – Protector of the balcony. He is an outdoors man. Between the bedroom window and balcony, he has it all covered. The female encouraged him to sneak into the neighbour’s house but he loves the new lights in the balcony and refuses to abandon the space.

Rudy – The baby of the family. His favourite haunt is the dining table. He has been waiting for scraps of food but the villain and female are always perched on the couch and hardly move their butt once they are home. Ruby helps him out with his kills. After all, he is just a baby yet.

If you decide never to visit my home, I will understand. Also, mission accomplished.

But my favourite lizards related incident happened when I was in college. I was in the government girls hostel in Ahmedabad. 3 other females who were in boarding school with me were my roommates. We were staying in an old building and it was a little dilapidated (to put it mildly). 3 lizards inhabited this room and it drove my flatmates crazy. They tried everything to drive them away – garlic, peacock feathers etc etc. If there was a nuskha out there, they had tried it. One night the frustration levels went through the roof and they started hitting them with paper balls to drive them away. It didn’t work, of course and they burst into tears. 3 females cried because of lizards and I tried hard not to laugh out loud. Thinking about the incident always makes me crack up.


Men vs Women

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The most entertaining conversation is listening to men justify why they are such chuts. They always turn to evolution and nurture vs nature to normalize their assholic behaviour.

There was a discussion on colours and as usual I was vociferous in my distaste for men’s clothes and how limited their fashion sense is.

X : There is a reason for this. In the caveman days, men were the hunters so they were focused on their task and had no time to notice colours. But the women were the care givers for kids so they would notice the environment and bright colours etc.

My poker face deserves a selfie.

 

 


Foreplay

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During a conversation with a friend/acquaintance last week he made an interesting statement. He said that women like foreplay even in their friendships while men don’t really care. I realised that he was right.

Before all of you will comment with #notallmen, let me put a disclaimer for this post “#notallmen #notallwomen #somewomen #somemen”.

This is what happened a few weeks back. I put my work related travel on hold in April because there were more important things to do. When I was in Mumbai, KC would hang out with his friends/colleagues on weekdays playing badminton or hanging out at the food trucks. This stopped once I moved back. After 2 months of ignoring his friends, he met them when I started travelling.

Me : So, you just picked up the phone, called your friends after 2 months of ignoring them and you guys went out?

Him : Yep

Me : And they didn’t nag you about ignoring them once your wife moved back?

Him : Nope

Me : And they had no issues meeting you after 2 months of complete silence?

Him : Yep

Me : I would NEVER do that

Maybe it is me. Maybe I just have high standards for people. Maybe I like consistency and every interaction should enhance my relationship with a person. Maybe I prefer if the time spent with a person translates into a deeper friendship. Maybe I don’t like the idea that someone wanted to hang out with me because they were bored or because they didn’t have anyone else to hang out with. Maybe the payoff for putting on a bra and stepping out of the house is a big deal. Maybe I prefer it if someone spends time with me because they WANT to; over anything else they could be doing.

I guess this is also why I don’t have too many friends. Because my expectations are too high and intense.

Men, on the other hand, love hanging out with bros. They just pick up the phone and make last minute plans. They don’t compare conversations with friends with the discomfort of putting on a bra.

Maybe that is what it is. Not nurture. Or nature. Just the bra.

#kidding #justajoke #pleaselaugh #italktoomuchaboutbrasandchaddis

Basically, if you ask me to “hang out”, I will have the “where is this going?” conversation in my head. And with you. Because I got no chill. And foreplay is the best. Even in friendships. And it is important. Sometimes as important as the orgasm. Actually, there is no orgasm without foreplay.

#italktoomuchaboutsex #day30withoutsex #justkidding #hashtagsruinedlanguage #thisisaddictive #icouldtypeawholepostlikethis #someonemakemestop #iamoutofcontrol #hashtagswhore


Things I have in common with 5 year olds

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  • We love candies and sneak them from the fridge right before lunch
  • We love winning bets. The simpler, the better
  • We get easily manipulated by adults
  • Simple things make us happy – playing with water on the terrace, firecrackers, windchimes
  • We hate being disturbed when we are glued to our favourite TV shows
  • We get cranky when we are hungry, haven’t pooped or slept well
  • We have so much energy that adults find it difficult to keep up
  • We love cuddling with our soft toys and are insanely possessive about them
  • We hate losing at board games
  • We prefer home cooked food over anything else
  • We are very transparent with our feelings. If we don’t like you, we let you know
  • We love the city we live in and let everyone know that
  • We LOVE speeding while driving. Speed limits are for sissies
  • We love our shorts and hate covering up
  • We are awfully fond of our biceps
  • We suck at art projects but our imagination makes up for it

Netflix is bae

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Something in the Rain

This Korean series on Netflix has my heart. I was all mush and jelly while watching the lead characters. It is the story about Jin-ah and Joon-hee. She is a 35 year old supervisor of the franchises of a coffee chain living with her parents and dating a creep. He is the 22 year old brother of her best friend who works at a gaming company and has returned from the USA after 3 years. They banter. There is chemistry and they fall in love. The build up to their affair is the sweetest thing ever. From being aware of each other’s physical presence to holding hands to their first kiss, it is the kind of foreplay we feel only once in a lifetime. Korean society is very similar to India. So, the age is a factor in the resistance from their family and friends. But the bigger issue is that Joon-hee is from a broken home and Jin-ah’s mother wants her to settle down with someone well connected.

I would highly recommend this series if you are in the mood for something romantic and slow. Sure, the series isn’t perfect but I would ignore everything for more than 16 hours of Joon-hee’s perfect face and smile.

Sacred Games

I was supposed to finish reading the book before the series started but at 900 pages, the book is slow and very detailed. I haven’t progressed beyond the 100th page and was torn between finishing it first or binge watching the series. I wondered how the writers (hats off to Varun Grover) managed to compress 900 pages into 8 episodes of 1 season. So glad it ends at a cliffhanger and I can finish reading the book before the next season.

Of course the series is brilliant. After all, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane are the directors and producers. It wasn’t going to be anything less than perfect. When something is very, very good, the internet goes into an overdrive finding faults. Here is some of the criticism that has come it’s way:

  • A marathi actor should have been cast instead of Nawazuddin. Can these people please go fuck themselves? Enough with the regionalism. Nawazuddin is perfect and deserves all the accolades coming his way. Who would have thought a dark, ugly actor would get such prominent roles in Bollywood and pull in the crowds? And he has sex scenes. I am just so happy he gets (half) naked onscreen and has sex with so many women.
  • Nawazuddin is only doing gangster roles. Well, what is he supposed to do if nobody is offering him a lead romantic role? By the way, I would watch that movie. He is perfect, ok? Stop criticising him.
  • Radhika Apte is the go-to actress for Netflix and playing the same kind of roles. I love her. I think she is hot and a brilliant actress. She is one of those women I could sit and stare at while she talks non stop. She can do no wrong in my eyes. I loved her in the series. She blends into her character so well that you almost wish she stood out. All you haters, please leave. Just leave. Now.
  • Why didn’t they cast a transgender in Kukoo’s role? I get it. Representation matters and this was a big opportunity for the producers to have sent the right message to the industry. It would have given them good PR for free. But then the argument that only Marathi actors should be cast in Marathi roles stands. Where does it end? Where do you draw the line? Does this mean that a white, straight person can only play roles written for white, straight people? Kubra Sait was brilliant in the role and looked the part. And it was brave of her to play this part. Let’s not take that away from her.
  • The female characters were given a raw deal in the series. This criticism I do agree with. Maybe the book only has males as lead characters and the women are insignificant but the book was published 11 years back. Maybe Vikram Chandra would have added stronger and more central female characters in today’s times. The series wouldn’t pass the Bechdel test (a test which asks if two women in the soap/movie/book talk to each other about anything apart from men). Hopefully, they rectify this in season 2. After the disastrous segment by Anurag Kashyap in Lust Stories, he owes us better female representation in this one.

I can finally go back to reading after ignoring the 3 books am reading currently.


Compartmentalising people

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“Hey, I didn’t know you had a sister or a brother”

“Well, they don’t know you exist either so I guess it’s all even”

On a serious note, I get this ALL THE TIME. “You never talk about your family”. To be fair, I don’t talk about most people in my life. My close friends in Mumbai do not know about the existence about my closest friend in USA and vice versa.

When I was in Bangalore over the weekend, a close friend messaged “What are you doing there on a weekend?” I realised that I have never told him about my close friend who I meet in Bangalore every year. Sure, I hadn’t travelled to the city in 2 years and we weren’t that close earlier so the topic never came up.

I wouldn’t call it compartmentalisation. It is like all these people live in different dimensions and unless their lives are going to intersect, there is no reason for one to know the other person exists. Like, my parents know my friends from school but I can’t just tell them who my friends are now. They would want to know the back story – how we met, where is this person from, what is his/her caste, who are they married to, their jobs etc etc etc. It is easier to pretend I don’t have any friends. Also, maybe I should start by getting KC to meet them first and then other people can be introduced. What say?

Maybe I started doing this when I had to keep my life with KC separate from my life with my parents. And then it spilled into every other sphere. Or maybe this is how it is once you get older. Your flashbacks don’t go back more than 5 years and even then the origin of a conflict has to be in those 5 years.

I met an acquaintance in Bangalore I had a conflict with 11 years back. Thanks to social media we could put the differences aside and find other things in common, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise in real life. The only person I discussed this with was someone who was aware about the context. Telling KC would mean giving him the long backstory which wasn’t even relevant anymore.

Every story of your life isn’t interesting to every person in your life. You have to pick and choose and only introduce them to what fits for them. What they are going to be understanding about. Issues in marriage are only discussed with married friends. Single friends won’t get it. Issues with kids should be discussed with those who have kids. Career problems should be discussed with those who work for a living. Etc etc etc.

Is this manipulation? I don’t know. That isn’t the intention. It isn’t lying or whitewashing either. There is only so much time we spend with our friends having a conversation. There isn’t enough time to tell them everything. And hanging out doesn’t equal having a conversation. They are two very, very different ways of spending time with people. I prefer hanging out alone but love one-on-one conversations with people.


Training in the summers

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Summers have ended so this post does not add any value for this year. But if you are like me, you have already started planning for next year.

The half marathon season starts in autumn, in the month of October. Till September, the high humidity levels make the weather quite unpleasant. Specially in places like Delhi NCR where rainfall is lower than other parts of the country.

If you plan to run a half marathon, the training starts before June. If you are beginner, the earlier you start the better it is. The summer months are crucial training months. And as a runner in India, you have to get accustomed to all weather conditions. After all, how many good weather months do we have in a year?

When I moved to Mumbai 2 years back during the monsoons, I asked runners on Twitter if they run during monsoons. In Mumbai the monsoons last for 4 months and the rains are incessant. It never stops raining. Not for a minute. What do runners do? They run, of course. Without or without rain ponchos. But definitely with a plastic cover for their phones.

I started my training regime after a break of few months (due illness and injury) at a pace of 8 mins/km. Though I wasn’t trying to go faster and all runs were less than 10 km, the pace went up to 7.5 mins/km. When the good weather rolls around, a slight push will take me to 7 mins/km and even faster.

If I would have waited for good weather to start training, the effort required to get to this pace would be double.

But weather isn’t a priority for regular runners. If I move to a country where it snows, I will figure out a way to run during winters. It will be hard but if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

Fuck easy.

The only run I regret is the one I didn’t get out of bed for.


Mann’s evil cookies

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I am not a big cookies fan. Like, cookies aren’t a food item you could bribe me with. I don’t even walk down the biscuits aisle in a store. On Sunday, Mann handed me a birthday gift – blue cheese cookies “inspired” from Nigella Lawson’s book that I gifted her. This was O Henry’s ‘The Gift of Magi’ in reverse.

(Mann modified the recipe because that is what an expert baker she is now).

I looked at the box of the cookies and gleefully told her am off sugar, while pouring extra condensed milk into my cold brew coffee at Perch. She rolled her eyes, made a snappy comment about the amount of sugar in condensed milk and told me the cookies are made of blue cheese. “Meh”, I thought. They are just cookies.

I came home and bit into one out of politeness and all the happy memories of my childhood came flashing by. I like cheese. I really, really like cheese. The best breakfast buffets are one which serve different kinds of cheese. I would hoard Amul cheese cubes as a kid and eat them over the course of days and weeks. That is how (pesudo) Gujju I am. The cookies touched a raw pulse and I realised I had to ration them out and test my adult will power. They were too many to binge eat in one day and could end up ruining my daily nutrition for days together.

2 nights back I asked KC to bring me 1 cookie. “Bring only 1 cookie. Not more. Just one. I don’t trust myself around the box. The box is quite pretty too, which means I have to return it”. KC brought the whole box to me and I binged on 3 of them. The box had to be physically pushed away to resist them. Normally, I can eat a bite of something delicious and not be tempted by more. I am all for eating whatever you want in small portions. But there is something very evil about these cookies. They are like the apple Eve ate. The first bite is all it takes to ruin your life. As long as I can resist that first bite, I am good.

So far, it has been 48 hours since I was tempted to consume the cookie. If I get to the weekend with similar control, I shall be allowed to treat myself to one cookie. Of course, someone will have to physically restrain me from consuming the 2nd and the 3rd. I am not even ashamed to admit that I could possibly eat them till I puke.

I am afraid to shag these days because the only porn in my mind will be these cookies. Are there any cookies de-addiction centres? Please share contacts.

All this drama for a box of cookies. Everyday am surprised when I come home and my partner hasn’t packed his bags and moved out of the house and my life.


Nostalgia

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  • For the early morning rides to Peddar road, spotting the sunrise on the freeway
  • For being just another faceless person in the crowd
  • The raindrops banging against my windowpane. No worries about how I will get home.
  • The chai at Mee Maratha, a 10 mins respite from the drudgery
  • Wine and late night chats with best friend. The darkness inside mingling with the darkness outside her window.
  • A lonely dinner at LPQ
  • Empty gyms and friendly faces
  • Long drives to and from work, too used to traffic to even raise an eyebrow
  • Local train rides to Sobo to catch a play at NCPA
  • Late night hangouts at Worli sea face. Something magical about the sea trapped against the city. Just like all of us.
  • Friendly faces at home, a balm for a lonely day
  • Offsites with awesome people. Goa… Madh island… Gir… Karjat…
  • Meeting bestie in Jabalpur. Long drives in Ahmedabad. Morning runs at Baroda/Bhopal. Lonely hotels. Reliving memories in Rajkot. Twitter friend in Indore.
  • Chai and gossip breaks near office
  • Always, always, always having a friend within a few miles

Zoomcar

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Despite all the negative reviews online, we decided to try Zoomcar on our recent trip from Bangalore to Coorg because some friends recommended it. I was very impressed. The booking process was hassle free and without any manual intervention.

This is how it works:

  • Go to the website or app and pick the car. You have to book basis the number of km, which includes the price of fuel. Depending on the car, the prices vary. The prices are lower than what I would have paid to a local vendor for a cab with a driver or to Ola/Uber. I hate hiring drivers for long drives. Hotels don’t have a room for the drivers to stay in so they end up sleeping in cars and may not even be able to manage food. I feel guilty because of my privilege and avoid hiring cabs as much as possible. Plus, I love driving.
  • Upload your license. The pic on my license is not very clear and Zoomcar rejected it. I gave them my passport copy and that worked.
  • I went to the address to pick up the car. You have the option of getting it delivered but there are extra charges and the number of cars are limited. The drop off point is same as the pick up point and I wish there was an option to drop it off next to the airport. So much more convenient.
  • When I reached the basement of Garuda Mall where there is a pick up and drop off point for Zoomcar, I had to open the app and check the exterior of the car. This is important so you don’t get charged later for scratches on the car.
  • Once I ticked it off, the car unlocked through the app. The starting km reflect on the app and are automatically updated.
  • The keys and documents were in the dashboard. Off we went.
  • On our return, the same process was followed. I was charged extra for 1 hour’s delay in dropping it off. I had the option of extending the booking but forgot to do it. There were additional charges for the extra km too.
  • I uploaded the fuel bill on the app and got the refund within 2 days which was a pleasant surprise. No follow up!!!
  • All in all, we paid around 9k for 480-500 km of travel and kept the car for 3-4 days.

Zoomcar also has the option of dropping the car off at another location. Like, you could drive from Bangalore to Mangalore and drop off the car at Mangalore.

This isn’t a sponsored post. Innovative businesses which identify latent needs interest me. The number of times I wanted to drive from Mumbai to Goa but didn’t have a car. We had even planned to drive from Gurgaon to Mumbai if KC moved to the city. It didn’t make sense to drive the car from Gurgaon to Mumbai and back when I shifted back.

I am definitely going to use their services again.