Poison Pen

don't worry, she doesn't bite anymore.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

ghost writing

Why are you still here, reading this? Don't you know that I'm dead? Or - to be more accurate - I never was, except here... online.

I have been recalled by the creator. Alas! I shall leave for the great blogspot in the sky, where we may find old bloggers, those who faded away, those who gave up, and yea - those who never were.

Here in the hereafter, I seem to have recovered my ability to correctly punctuate, so maybe it is all they said it would be. After all, I was (mostly) a good girl during my brief life. IF I was a girl at all, that is. Or if I even was.

Maybe I wasn't. Except in your minds' eye.


Friday, June 16, 2006

let them freeze

so i saw a video of that song in fanaa. the one thats been shot in poland, even though it looked just like a set to me. anyway, so like many other people, the thing that i noticed in the song wasn't the music or the location or anything like that. it was the fact that kajol was wearing this really sheer outfit in the freezing cold, while aamir was covered from head to toe in a thick woolen outfit.

this is not the first time they did something like this. in pukaar, they got madhuri to walk around in antarctica in a chiffon sari!! and then, they even cut the song out of the movie. all this while anil kapoor was bundled up in thick jackets. if i remember, madhuri was really pissed off about this.

now i know how incredibly uncomfortable it gets in these climates. to spend hours shooting a song in just a chiffon sari must be blue murder. i've never been to antarctica, but its probably ten times worse. and i would be mad to step out in winter without adequate protection.

so why this unfairness? since my mind is always digging up conspiracy theories, it seemed to me that this is some kind of complicated ploy by the men. convince the women that its more important for us to look good, which means baring enough skin, than protect ourselves from frostbite. thats not the case with men, who can be bundled up in five layers and still be hot (pun intended).

if you think about it, this is part of a deeper problem. for women, fashionability and comfort are often at loggerheads. this is NEVER a problem for men. they can wear flat shoes and be warm and toasty under layers of clothing, and never worry about the fact that they're not looking good. they dont need to worry about straps peeking out, or tops slipping. they just button everything in place and are fine for the rest of the day.

doesn't any one else think that this is all a HUGE conspiracy? they keep telling us that we need to be uncomfortable to look good. and when you're uncomfortable, you can't think straight. how are you going to be CEO of your company if the only thing you can think about is how much your feet hurt? its like we've been brainwashed into making ourselves weaker, just so that they can run the world in their smart shirts and trousers.

oh, and you know what else i discovered? men actually have a HIGHER body temperature. so they should need to wear even LESS clothes than women on cold days, not MORE. i demand that any song shot in the snow must involve a bare-chested hero. (unless its anil kapoor).

Thursday, June 01, 2006


by now i guess everyone knows about the return of the hawk, who knows everything about female psychology, and is oh-so-witty; and his world-cup of fembloggers (please see it here, if you haven;t). if you remember the hawk, he used to have this blog which is now dead, where he told us how terrible we were because we were smart and interesting, and not at all like how-women-should-be in hawkworld. back then he was funny in a pathetic kind of way. now he's just funny. i am so impressed by his new avatar, that i've reorganised my sidebar as a tribute to the competition. in fact, i want to thank him for introducing me to so many really great blogs.

aha, i think i see the man's devious ploy. he links to a whole bunch of us. then the word spreads, so we each go and take a look. while we are there, we visit all other blogs mentioned because of shared infamy, and then we like them so much that we keep visiting and that completely ruins our productivity at work. so this is like his long-term devious plan for removing women from the workplace and sending them where they belong, the hawkkitchen.

but whatever his motives are, i love the world cup format. so i propose we organise a similar competition, but this time among the men. so i present (ta-da):-

Team 1

Attention Whore - The Hawk
Spewer of Venom - Kill Them
Misogynist - Pesky but Honest

ok, so this is only 3 members till now, but i'm sure we can come up with more. i'm open to suggestions from people, and then we can make the rules of the competition. cool?

Friday, May 05, 2006

language and breakups

this is kind of a continuation of the previous post. since i wsa talking about not having a word for "having sex" in regular hindi, and that carried on into a discussion on culture and language and someone said that since casual sex didn't happen in india until recently, there was no need for such a word in hindi.

so, i was reminded of a time many years ago when i was in college and i was dating X then. now there were some guys i knew who spoke almost totally in bangla. once it so happened that X was talking to some of these guys and as i was walking towards them, one of them said to X, "ei. tor bou aashchhe". now this got me really really annoyed. because i was not married, and not even close, so i felt it only right that they use an appropriate word. of course, they found it really funny, and for a long time after that, everytime they saw me someone would ask "tor bor kothaye", and then they would laugh at their own little joke.

X would try and pacify me on these occasions. he told me that they didn't mean anything. its just that they used the words "bor" and "bou" to refer to any couple in college, mainly because there really wern't any better words in bangla for "boyfriend" and "girlfriend". and while i insisted that that wasn't an excuse, they could just use the english words instead since it wasn't like they didn't know english, at some point i also asked why bangla didn't have functional expressions for these concepts, especially because its not like its entirely new. my parents and most of their friends had love marriages, so for some period they were all girlfriends and boyfriends. how come nobody ever came up with a good word or two?

but then X said "well, they all got married eventually, right? so it wouldn't have been wrong to call them 'bor' and 'bou'". of course this seemed like very silly logic to me, and i said so. its like once you enter a relationship, your fate is sealed. of course, this caused another fight, where X asked whether i was saying that it was stupid of people to expect to get married, and so on. but thats not the point.

now when i think about it, a large number of those relationships did end in marriage. so many people i know just married the first person they went out with. i'm not trying to suggest that the marriages were ill-advised, but i can't help wondering whether they might not have had the courage to break up, just because once they got into the relationship, they got swept away by the tide. that because everyone started assuming that they had to get married, they did and not because they particularly wanted to. whether they might not have been happier with someone else.

but then, we'll never know.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

whats love got to do with it?

so, i was watching a hindi flick after ages. A decided he wanted to watch a real masala bollywood movie, but there was no way i was going to waste an evening watching garam masala. so we compromised and watched 'hum tum', which i'd already watched. but i didnt mind seeing it again. he quite liked it, and i told him how this was pretty bold by bollywood standards, because they actually showed a couple who had premarital sex, and didn't moralise about it. but he said he thought it was kind of conservative, since they never used the word sex, which was an important part of 'when harry met sally', but instead kept using the word "pyar". and that started a discussion.

you know, i've always found it odd that there's no polite word in bangla or hindi for the act of sex. there's "jouno" which is a general prefix for sex-related concepts, like "jouno-rog" for std's. but jounokormo is just too obscure to use. my hindi isn't great, but i think the hindi word for sex is kaam, which is funny because its similar to the word for work. and "kaam karna" is so inappropriate for "having sex". of course there's the ch** word which just sounds terrible, and you really can't use it in polite company. i don't use it at all, because its just downright offensive.

so the choice is between really obscure words which no one uses and rude words which you shouldn't. english is so much better in that regard. you can f***, you can have sex, or you can make love. all of them are very different ways of doing basically the same thing. i guess the hindi obsession with pyar is equivalent to "making love". but one doesn't always "make love". sometimes one has casual sex. or even when you're with your boyfriend/partner, you can have sex of a kind that can under no circumstances be called "making love". what do you do then?

imagine a conversation where one friend asks another about a date she had - "so, did you guys have sex?". its a simple question without any judgement attached. how would you say it in bangla? "tomra ch***"? "tumi oke bhalobashle"? that's just funny. i guess you could literally transalate "sleeping together" but "tumi ki or shathe shule"? is just bleah!

so, until someone comes up with a better word, men and women in india will just do pyar, no sex.

Friday, March 31, 2006


yes, so i have finally decided to stop being a lazy bum and prettify my blog with some pictures. and today i was sent some photos by star blogger antara, who i bumped into at harvard the other day. i was lucky because she was leaving for the uk in a day or two. so, anyway her friend took some photos of us and they were then mailed, which was nice of her since she's already a continent away. so to show my gratitude, i have decided the first pic on my blog will be hers (i have her permission to, so dont worry).

and since she makes a very nice subject, here's a blurry shot from a chance meeting at the aquarium.
and since we are talking about harvard, here are some pics that i took last summer, when i had met her for the first time during my tour of cambridge. i think i had promised to post some pics back then, but better late than never, you know.

so the second one is a bit blurry, but i blame it on the setting sun :)

ok, enough for now. maybe i'll post some more later when the mood strikes.

Monday, March 20, 2006

its a small world

so A and i were talking the other day, and i mentioned my old friend B, and how i recently got back in touch with him. he's moving to houston, and was had asked me to come visit him once he set up his place, and then all of a sudden A asks, "is this B who studied at so-and-so college?" so, it turned out it was the same person. that is not surprising. what is is that A has never been to india and his only knowledge of india is through scattered relatives. turned out that one of his friends met B while B was doing a summer project in spain. A met B at heathrow airport of all places, and they exchanged messenger ids and that was that.

but that wasnt the end of it. i probed a little more and i found that A knows a whole bunch of B's friend, or at least has heard of them, and i know many of them too. and i was thinking how is it that in a country so huge, you still can always find people who know people who you know. but then i realized that all the indians here are from a handful of cities and maybe 20 colleges. in fact, theres only some 40 or 50 schools from which they come from. its really scary to know how incredibly small "our kind" of indians are relative to the country as a whole. and its true, no matter what group we talk of, no matter how many we are, we are just a miniscule proportion of the whole country.

and this reminded me of why i dont like stargazing. just a little bit and i realize how tiny the earth is in the universe, and how tiny i am on earth. the idea that my living or not couldnt make any difference to anyone at all makes me quite depressed.

this wasnt much of a post, but i just felt like saying something. blah!