In vanity we rust


This is not a diss at people posting photographs of their graduation. This is just a diss at society in general. Here’s a quick test to see if you fall under this category of people.

Question # 1: Are you human?

If the answer to that question was Yes, then unfortunately you are vain. People keep saying man is a social animal and you can’t really function like a normal human being without having friends and family around you. I could not agree more. This constant need for being feeling wanted, need for affirmation that people love you, need to propagate your daily activities and actions to your virtual friends via social media or otherwise, is what is primarily modern day vanity.

“You know why love stories have happy endings? Because they end too early. They always end right at the kiss. You never have to see all the bullshit that comes later. You know, Life.” – Californication

There is a constant barrage of well wishers informing you that you look fat or you are growing as bald as a hardboiled egg. They also inform you that are way too hairy in all the wrong places. So much so that society judges you. Or that your skin is too dark or is too fair or is “wheatish”. Either which way you look at it. People, who quite possibly don’t even know you, are constantly scrutinizing you on every aspect of your life. Every aspect of your looks. Every aspect of your character. Whether it is good or bad, the judgement is still happening.

And I would have my nose grow like Pinocchio on viagra, if I said that I am all high and mighty and I have never judged anybody. That’s an absolute lie and don’t let me convince you otherwise. I have, am and will constantly be judging you on every step of your life. Whether I have complete information about it or not. Do I like judging you? Not a chance. But am I still going to? Heck yeah. That’s what makes me human remember?

This drives a lot of people out of their comfort zones to feel accepted as a part of society. I have to work out because my friends think I am fat. If my friends think I am fat, that makes me less of a person. People just stop being satisfied with who they are. They achieve to become the person they think others will like.

Enter the wonderful world of capitalism. Companies and livelihoods are made and sustained on these teeming insecurities. You are fat. Society loves and adores skinny/fit people. Notice the plethora of gyms around you. Go to any medicine aisle in your local supermarket and you’ll see various products that are now fat free or promise you will lose <insert absurd amount of weight loss> in <insert even more unrealistic amount of time>. You have less hair on your head. Rogaine will grow your hair for you. Balding people are looked down upon in society. You have too much hair on your body. Let’s wax that junk off you. Didn’t you hear metrosexiness is what is accepted. Guys’ bodies need to be as smooth as Amrish Puri‘s gleaming head. I am pretty positive that women face this exact same problem, if not worse.

That diatribe was surely much needed, if not for others’ amusement self reflection, for my personal peace of mind. But I am going to end this by saying,

“Don’t tell me what to feel. All my fucking life, people have been telling me I do things wrong. I’m always the fucking asshole. I look around and I see everybody else is infinitely more fucked up than I am.” – God Hates Us All.

Yet, you will always be judged. That being said though, I hope a few million people read what I have said here and then flower praise, which would satisfy and quite possibly bloat my massive ego..

What do women want?


Any typos in this article are all entirely my fault. Any grammatical errors spotted in this article were put there because I could. The opinions posted are also completely mine and are about 99.4% accurate. The opinions expressed by me, are (usually) not the opinions of anyone else on the planet. Heed advice at your own risk. Phew. Now that I have this disclaimer out of the way, I still harbor a reasonable chance of delving into the complexities that come with trying to understand what women actually want. There is a fair chance that after this blog, I might need to go back in time and have a threesome with Oedipus and Sigmund Freud.

Bear in mind, this post is primarily trying to cater to understanding straight women. My opinions about what women look for in other women for a relationship, would be as useful as Hrithik Roshan’s sixth finger. On his right hand. All I needed to do was to google, and the responses were there. Everybody seemed to know what women were really looking for in their ideal man. Huffington Post, Men’s Health, E Harmony and even Fox News had an opinion. If you listen to Fox News’ opinion on what women want in a man, all roads would point to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly. Both of whom are assholes, but that’s my opinion. Even Times of India had something to say in this regard. According to them, women want a guy who is intelligent, has a deep baritone, drives a cool car, is romantic and not necessarily rich, has a head full of hair, and can dance like John Travolta. Let me go over each of these traits and hope that this topic finally has some much needed resolution.

Intelligence:

Intelligence is an oft used but even more often misinterpreted term. Growing up in a country which places more importance on educational degrees than it does on personal sanity, intelligence was directly correlated with the kind of degree you have and the institution you obtained it from. So if you have an engineering degree from IIT, you are probably hung like a horse on viagra. Or you probably make so much money, the current government wants to scam you out of it. So I would assume girls would flock around them. But getting into and graduating from an IIT probably ruined most of their adolescence and the chance of having a first crush, first love, first kiss, etc. So, I would actually wish that girls flock around them. But when I think intelligence, my first thought goes towards knowledge of things around you, world politics and general wittiness. Granted common sense amongst the general populace is like deodorants. Those who need it the most, don’t use it. Intelligence is also learning not to ever ask Mayawati to speak again, because chances are your ears are still ringing from the first time you asked.

Deep Baritone:

Speaking of Mayawati, apparently another trait that women look for in a man is a deep voice. Let this not be misinterpreted that I called Mayawati a man. Mayawati is as much woman as Riteish Deshmukh is sexy. In the words of Times of India, “Women are approximately seven times more attracted towards a man who has a deeper voice and a superior position and a dominating work style. High-pitch voices hint towards a pro-social behaviour, so women find such men more reliable. A research suggested that women prefer men with deep voices because it signals strength, dominance and good genes.” I think it was Bill Cosby who once said, ” Women want to hear what they think – in a deeper voice.” That would explain the need for a deep voice. And if that’s the case, Mimoh Chakraborty will probably never be in a relationship. Ever. Only because he is a shitty actor might I add.

Cool Car:

“Cool” is another one of those words that is so often misused. Cool is also something that is time sensitive. Like, for example, when I was 4, I thought growing up to be an adult was cool. Now I regret every minute of it. Except for the money that I make and spend. That’s cool. Wearing your hat backwards, wearing your bag on one shoulder and saying “Waaazzaaaaaaaaa” are some of the things I used to consider cool back in the day. But speaking of cool cars, I wonder if a reliable Japanese vehicle, which gives great gas mileage and probably lasts longer than you, is considered cool. Or is cool the new word, for an expensive, two seater convertible sports mobile that travels 0-60 mph faster than Manmohan Singh can say Soniaji. Or is playing loud, obnoxious music from your car when you pass a couple of good looking girls and nod your head up and down once to try to emulate Joey Tribbiani and say, “How you doing?”. Whichever way you look it, if you offer a girl a bullock cart as a viable eco-friendly replacement for her Toyota Prius, chances are she might not find that cool.

Romantic and not necessarily rich:

This one I actually have a lot to say about. Well actually probably not, because I am as romantic as, well, a paper bag. When I use lines such as I love you as much as pig loves mud, I get the look that practically says, “Get outta here before you’re 6 feet under said mud.” But apparently, women want a man who can sweep them off their feet every single day and make them feel like a queen. She wants material goods, but she also wants somebody who would appreciate them with her. Said material goods can be obtained only with money. I tried haggling with a shop-owner and told him I would pay him in love and hugs. The tilt of my nose is now 15% to the right. So, may be you need to have enough money to buy said material goods, but also you need to have enough romance left in you to woo your better half. So if you think you are like Emraan Hashmi, then score. You just got paid a few crores to smooch your partner. Wait you didn’t? Ha ha sucker. Oh wait, neither did I. The joke’s on me.

Head full of hair:

That’s got to boil down to your luck. Or your genes. Or both. Or your razor. But apparently, a balding guy is a major turnoff for girls. If hair was anything of a reference to how popular you were with women, Anil Kapoor would be the most laid man in the history of the world. Or, for that matter, even me. So, apparently, the metro sexy look is not what girls want. According to the world-renowned doctors at Times of India, “In the past, men were never into makeovers and beauty treatments and they were simply crude. And women have grown up seeing their dads and brothers in a typical macho man look, so this orientation of preferring men with more hair has been there with them since childhood.” God damn it. And here we are, as men, trying to manscape everything that grew naturally. So that women might actually find us attractive. Clearly we were misled. Fuck you, Anil Kapoor.

Dance like John Travolta:

This is something I can not give you any advice on. I have 2 1/2 left feet and none of them can dance. Not even form a semblance of rhythmic repetitive steps. So when girls expect that their guy can do the moonwalk like Michael Jackson, and the guy actually practises and pulls it off, he is a keeper. So I am going to have to use my other magnificent talents such as drinking an entire 6-pack of beer and a bag of chips in one sitting, to market myself as a viable mate. That’s not an accomplishment? Then, I am sadly out of talents to market.

Mulling over all these requirements, not only do I feel grossly insignificant, I also see myself uber single for the foreseeable future. So for all you women out there looking for this ideal man, good luck in your search. I would happy to hear your feedback if you think that I am full of shit and I have no clue about real women want. It is a very real possibility and the fact that I check none of the above boxes in terms of requirements, makes me want to learn about this even more.

Did I mention I was single?

The Devil, Deep Sea and everything in between


There is an old Indian (not Native American) saying about a washer-man’s donkey. Neither here nor there. To quote, “Dhobi ka kutta, naa ghar kaa, naa ghat ka”. A similar plight befalls me, and may be other Indians who come to the USA, or any other country for that matter to pursue an education and then, probably, a career.

Maybe you aren’t one of those who suffer from this state of indecisiveness and confusion about your identity. And to you Sir/Ma’am, I tip my proverbial hat.

However, I still face these dilemmas and occasional moments of anxiety, more Idle Mind, Devil’s workshop and what not, regarding my identity. Who am I? What on earth am I doing here? Is it all worth it? Is this what they call a mid-life crisis? Am I already in my mid-life? Will I die soon? AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

The story began around 6 years ago, when thoughts about studying in the USA were triggered by a bunch of wanna-be engineers and encouraged by a couple of seniors, who called it the best thing since sliced bread. I like Sliced Bread, the lethargic <insert dignified word for asshole> that I am. Ideas about “The American Life” portrayed by actors in the legendary series “American Pie” did make the choice relatively easier. One thing led to another, and I was a GRE and TOEFL exam in, with reasonable scores and a substantial amount of moolah invested. Little did I know that was a drop in the ocean. Ha ha sucker.

To make a long story short, I chose my destination and Missouri it was. Visa acquired, flight tickets booked. One way ticket to paradise. Couple of cronies alongside. 16 hours of non-stop flying. A few tears shed. A few blessings granted. Jet-lagged, exhausted, sane-ish but still alive. Let’s get this show on the road. Arrived at St. Louis. When white people come to India, they are greeted with flower garlands, Vermillion powder and general merriment. It was only fair that I should expect the same. No? Ha ha ha.. Sucker…. A few Indian people from the University’s Indian Association picked us up, and I am truly grateful. There is no better sight to weary eyes than to see somebody similar in a foreign land.

Then begins the rat race called Grad School. The first few days are spent in trying to convince a professor that you are good enough to work for him (read open to Slavery). It’s not just you though, who is open to slavery. Slaves are aplenty. Ask any Indian Grad student who drools at the prospect of being “funded”. Fiendish tricks and behind-the-back business taught me a valuable lesson. There are no friends till you/they get funded. Jealousy is but an emotion. Then there is the career fair, where free stuff aside, students are pitted against each other for that one elusive internship. I can only imagine the evil corporations rubbing their hands in glee. A couple of Indian festivals celebrated, Diwali, Holi. A few photos with new found pals, lots of traveling with those pals. Yeah. Being an Indian away from India with other such like-minded people isn’t half-bad now is it? Ha ha ha sucker.

Graduated with the whole “Shabang “, another few photos with the pals, all dressed in graduation attire. Congratulations all around. This is what it was all about. I am making something of myself. Get employed, by hook or by crook, pray to all those Gods you never knew existed. The one thing you never want to happen to you is, Going back to India and work there. OH MY GODS!!! That’s the ultimate blasphemy. That situation must not befall upon my worst enemy. In case, you missed the tone of my text, it was sarcastic. Then, you are in a new place, new city, new people, new environment. You are a part of the corporate world. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?

And then. It happened. The first trip back to the Motherland. Swadesh type emotions running through your mind. “Yeh jo desh hai tera” is on replay. I still expected flower garlands, and Vermillion marks on my forehead. Ha ha ha.. Sucker.. Parents, and maybe a few close friends at the airport picking you up.

Question 1: You came alone? We thought you would have a white girl and a kid in the cradle. Response: Indian advertisements have taught you well. I am now, officially, a stereotype.

Question 2: You are so chubby. And have also “put on” (read you grew fat). Response: Ummm Ummmm… Shit happens?

Question 3 (Friends only): So, how many chicks did you nail? Did you lose your virginity? What was your first time like? Response: Yes, Work is fine but a little hectic. Thanks for asking.

When you get home and start unpacking. “What did you get for me?” is the question of the day. Then you begin to surface in the streets, meeting people you hadn’t seen in a while and then it begins.

“Oh my god. I can see you live in America. The burgers and pizza are starting to tell.”

“You finished degree, and are working now. Are you going to get married?”

“Tell me the truth. You are dating some white chick, right?”

“How much money do you make? What does that mean in Rupees?”

My question is How is this any of your business. Apparently, privacy and space are unknown terms. One remark from me questioning their questions, leads to taunts about how I have been Americanized. My mistake, asking when the KFC opened in Bandra. The responses being we have the same chains of restaurants as you guys do. We are on par if not better than you guys.

The line between an Indian in India and an Indian abroad had well and truly been wiped out. I had been disowned by my own country, my own people. And I sure as heck can’t be considered an American, the fact that I am brown with an accent does me no favors. So fitting in is always going to be a challenge.

So eventually, who am I? JUST ANOTHER FOB!! (Fresh Off Boat)