Episode 21: Looks like the topic wont go away

She says:

I was recently knocking back cappuccinos and biscotti with a couple of male friends when the subject of ‘who’s hot and who’s not’ came up — as it inevitably does in any male-dominated conversation lasting more than five minutes.

Why do men worry constantly about the number of ‘good-looking’ women they know, counting and recounting them on their fingers and toes, as if some woman-famine is on its way? And this is regardless of whether they are married, dating, single or desperate.

If you tell a guy that a female friend is coming to town, he will react like a puppy at mealtime: his eyes brighten, ears perk up and an idiotic dreamy expression takes over his face. “So, what does she look like? Pretty?”

That’s always the first question. It’s quite incredible actually, you could be talking to a Siberian Eskimo and telling him your new dog sled trainer is on her way, and he’d mutter through frostbitten lips, “Is she pretty?” Or maybe you tell your hippie friend that you found a new artists who paints scarves, and he’ll say, “Dude, is she, like, a looker?”

Your friend could be a NASA scientist, or an uber-cool tribal artist. She could be a fascinating writer/ stand-up comedian/ hypnotist/ scuba diver, but if her braces aren’t off, or her nose is one inch past regulation point, none of the guys really want to meet her. Because, let’s face it, almost all men are ‘looksist.’ (i.e. A condition where you discriminate between people on the basis of how they look.)

They want to date conventionally beautiful women, so that other men envy them. They also want to hang out with good looking women, so — well — other men envy them.

So, when I ignored the question, and just said “she’s really nice,” both of them immediately guffawed, “so she looks like the backyard of a bus, huh?” And that’s another man thing. You either have to be pretty, or nice. You can never be both, if you’re female.

Women, on the other hand, don’t really look for good lookers. Yes, they’re probably fussy about the men they date, but when it comes to male friends, women don’t care how they look as long as they’re fun to be with. In fact they prefer low-maintenance rugged men. After all, who wants to share their hair gel and lip salve all the time?

He says:

Right at the beginning of the series, in the second episode, I had said: “Would you like to be seen kissing someone toad ugly? Yes? My number is….”

It’s been over 36 weeks, my phone hasn’t rung yet.

I had also said that men find most women hot, whether they are dark (Halle Berry), not all that well-toned (Shakeela), not conventionally beautiful (Mallika Sherawat), short (Rani Mukherjee) and even if they are not skimpily clad (Nandita Das) and their definitions of what’s hot are pretty broad and all-accommodating.

Now think about all the words women say while describing the prototypes they want to meet: “Perfect Gentleman,” “Tall, Dark, Handsome,” “Prince Charming,” “Mr.Right”.

Gentleman = Some guy who’s nice to them, plays with pups, wears a Raymonds suit, picks them up, opens doors, takes them for expensive dinners, opens doors and even pays. Very simple needs.

Tall, Dark, Handsome = Women don’t go for looks indeed. Tall, Dark, Handsome is the description of his inner beauty, Shallow Hal style, no?

Prince Charming = Yes, royalty is incidental. And charm too. That’s why Snow White didn’t pick one of the seven dwarfs to fall in love with and just waited for someone appropriate to show up to kiss her.

Mr.Right = Who could be some guy-next-door who’s just flunked another paper and stalks the girl he loves, right? He’s the guy who is always right when she’s wrong, of course.

Yes, there are also those simple women who settle for the regular, intelligent, witty guy with a sense of humour. Such men are so common-place after all.

Now, if you are a woman, put yourself into his shoes.

Are you going to hope meeting someone new with a big shopping list and checkboxes that go: Pretty, Witty, Intelligent, Sense of Humour, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Princess Fiona?

No you don’t.

You simply decide that most women are hot at some level or the other or at least assume so, because it makes you happy to believe you are going to meet someone pleasant, irrespective of whether you ever get to date them or not.

Men being the simple guys they are, just ask the same simple question before meeting any girl also because he wants to know what one girl thinks of the other.

Irrespective of her answer, he would anyway go ahead and make his moves if she gives him enough attention.

If she’s not his types, he’ll just wait for the next friend to arrive.

Men, live in hope, but on Planet Earth. Women live in Wonderland and in trashy romance novels.
Also, why invent a new word when you can simply say men are lookers? He he!

Episode 20: Who’s more funny?

He says:

A friend had this theory. He said men are funnier than women. They have this knack of making people around them happy. And not in the gay sense of the word.

Yes, we are NOT talking about the four men in the car who were feeling Happy until Happy got up and ran away. He he!

See, see… you say He He, not She She!

What I’m trying to say here through these really sad jokes is that men don’t mind playing the fool. They don’t mind being called the clown.

So my friend said: “Think of one person who makes you laugh the most.” I did. “Now, was that a girl?” he asked. And No, it wasn’t. I must admit here that I do have a few women friends who make me laugh. But only because some of them, like ‘She’, often are victims of the practical jokes.

I play on them and some others, because they do not know they are funny in a bumbling-goofy sort of way. But no woman is as funny as any guy can be. Being funny is a guy thing. That’s because men have a bolder sense of humour. They are more adventurous in going for the jokes. They can be quite irreverent.

Like Cyrus Broacha once said (like he would remember even if he did): The reason you find me funny is because I try hard. If I try 100 lines in an hour and you laugh at least 10 times, you find me funny. How will you be funny if you don’t even try?

That’s the problem with women. They like to play it safe. Yes, She would like to believe women are sophisticated and classy. But there is a difference between being witty and being funny. We’re talking about the funny here. Let me now demonstrate that women cannot be funny and can make you laugh quite unwittingly.

Read the following.

She says:

And that’s precisely the problem with men. Their dreadfully juvenile form of slapstick haw-haw humour. (No one says ‘hee hee’ unless they’ve just had all their teeth knocked out.)

Want a classic example of male humour? My ‘funny’ co-writer slunk off with my cell phone at a recent party, and text messaged a random collection of people, including official contacts, saying “I think I’m falling in love with you.” Now, about one dozen men are convinced I secretly carry the torch for them, and I’m getting exceedingly strange looks wherever I go. The last time he hijacked my phone, he messaged ‘Burp!’ to half my contact list. Think that’s funny? You must be male.

Hit yourself on top of your head with this newspaper for me, please.

Groan. Why must all men be boys?

The difference between men and women, when it comes to a sense of humour, is the fact that women are far more grown up. I know a number of really interesting women, who are simply hilarious when they start telling stories — a number of which, by the way, are centred around men and the ridiculous things they do.

Because, women are funny in an intelligent sort of way.

And it’s not always bookish humour. I went to a girls’ boarding school where an average prank took at least half an hour of careful planning, whether it was the creation of a bewildering ‘apple pie bed’, which included zanily folded sheets to confuse the victim, or midnight feast replete with talented mimicry. The equivalent at the boys’ schools was grabbing a junior and flushing his head in the toilet.

And that’s the difference between men and women, when it comes to humour: women are funny because you laugh with them.

Men are funny, because — well — just look at them.

Episode 19: Why are women so choosy about friends?

He says:
Ever noticed how women are choosy about friends?

Men just about bond with anybody and everybody. Men and women. Women are picky. Men do not stay away from women who aren’t that attractive or smart. Women are snooty.

Men do not assume that every girl who talks to them is hitting on them. Women can be so vain.
Men don’t see why they need a reason to be friends. Women need a reason.

They need to either find the guy intelligent or attractive or entertaining or helpful and caring and sensitive and all that you find the shopping for in matrimonial profiles and dating lists.

Isn’t it rather strange that most women try to find reasons to be friends after you break up with them? Of course, it is difficult for two people who loved each other to be friends even if one of them still loves the other. But once they’ve broken up or decided against a relationship, it’s probably because they don’t really love each other any more, or, at least one of them doesn’t love the other enough for the relationship to survive, and hence, it becomes a pointless one-sided exercise which one must get over before they can be friends.

But the point here is, once you are over it, it doesn’t take much to be friends. Unlike a relationship which requires people to share lives, time and space, friendship comes with no strings attached.

A friend wouldn’t even care if you don’t call him for a week. He knows you care even if you call him after two months. Because, for a man, being a friend is as simple as simply being there. Unconditionally.

Men are willing to be friends all the time. With anyone and everyone.

Can a woman dare say the same?

She says:

Dare? We wouldn’t dream of it. Of course we’re snooty about our friends. We have every right to be.

Friendships between women are very different from friendships between men. The most intense conversation I’ve seen between two men involved a certain scene from Star Wars.
Most of the time male bonding involves the sports channel, chips and beer. Guys rarely have deep meaningful relationships with each other.

Heck. Guys barely have conversations with each other — unless you count grunts and glugs as conversation.

Which probably explains why men need a ‘boys night out’ only once a month or so. Why telephone conversations between men rarely last more than five minutes. And why men always, and I mean always, want female company — whether it’s in the form of girlfriends or just girl buddies — no matter where they are.

Try looking for a straight man who will willingly go to an all male party and you’ll be circling the globe forever.

Women, on the other hand, love Girls Nights. And this is regardless of whether they’re pig-tailed horrors in flannel pyjamas encrusted with chocolate at a pyjama party; perfectly turned out, cocktail drinking hipsters at a nightclub, or dignified greying friends gathered around a card table sharing gossip and Darjeeling tea.

Because women truly enjoy each other’s company.

We do things together, whether it’s going for group beauty parlour binges or shoe shopping sprees. We make sincere efforts to keep in touch, even if it involves trans-Atlantic phone calls or taking a train, bus and autorickshaw to share a pot of tea. And we depend on each other, being supportive though break-ups and bad hair days.

Which is precisely why we’re picky about who we count among our friends. Because we need to have people we can count on. Not just go fishing with.

Episode 18: Why would she want to be picked-up?

She says:

I clicked open my gmail inbox, and almost fell off my chair. There it was, boldly printed across the page. “If I were stranded on a desert island, I wouldn’t need three things – I’d just take you,” from some guy I didn’t even know.

And I thought Austin Powers was the only person with enough chutzpah to use pickup lines in this day and age!

A pickup line (and this is to all you squares who’ve never feverishly browsed the net, or taken down lines from movies to impress a girl) is an outrageous icebreaker, used by some smooth operators. And many, many complete klutzes.

But, no matter how witty or pathetic they are, they always achieve one thing. They give women a really good laugh.

And sometimes, that’s the best icebreaker you can possibly have.

After all, most of the best lines are the funny ones. Like the guy who beams, “You know, I’m not really this tall. I’m just sitting on my wallet.” Or a simpler, “Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?” Besides, who can resist someone who saunters over and says, “You see my friend over there? (Pointing to friend who sheepishly waves from afar.) He wants to know if you think I’m cute.”

Well, provided he’s cute.

Because a pickup line is a conversation starter and is therefore only as useful as the conversation that follows it. So if you’re going to be a duck anyway, don’t bother swaggering about with just one line in your head.

Especially if it’s the Dumb And Dumber variety: “So yr a girl, huh!” or, “I’m not trying to pick you up. You’re like too heavy. Huh huh huh huh. Get it?”

If you think that’s bad, try being on the receiving end of lines that make you wonder how he manages to walk without melting into a mess of gooey pink slop. Like “I didn’t know angels could fly so low!” Or “Your beauty makes the morning sun look like the dull glimmer of the
moon.” Ew!

But even they’re better than the stock, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” Or even more yawn-worthy, “What’s your sign?”

They might trigger a response, but – trust me – she’s far more likely to remember the chap who murmured, “Was your father a thief? Because he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes.” Even if it’s only in a hysterical bout of laughter.

He Says:

Yeah, right.
If pick-up lines were the only things you needed to break ice, man would have bought real estate in Antartica. And built castles the size of skyscrapers.

It’s no big deal really, after all, pick-up lines (all the good ones she listed) are just a website ( http://www.linesthataregood.com has 1200 such lines) or a Google search away. Why would a girl fall for a pick-up line? Unless she wants to be picked up.

Let’s face it, if women went only for men who make them laugh, Senthil, Goundamani, Loose Mohan, Johnny Lever, Vadivelu, Vivek, Crazy Mohan and Cyrus Broacha would be grinning away on a water-bed in some beach-house in Ibiza with a hundred bikini babes around them doing the MTV Grind.

So what role to lines play anyway?

They work as a mere excuse, if she’s waiting to be picked up. She would laugh even if you told her that she needed a dentist appointment, instead of saying “I need an dentist appointment. I just dropped my jaw and need to fix it.”

(Psst: Now, if her theory is true, for that line above, I should be having more dates than the calendar. Instead, my life is the sort of desert where even dates of the edible variety refuse to grow.)

So are there better ways to make her remember you?

Yes, of course.

Sit next to her, make sure the bartender sees you talking to her (What do you talk? Ask her what time it is and leave saying: “See you soon” ) and when she’s not looking, tell the bartender she’s paying and walk away. She’ll find you. If she doesn’t, how does it matter? You just got yourself a free drink. *grin*

Episode 17: Do the Chance Pe Dance like a Man!

She says:

Macho men don’t dance. But that’s why they’re so dumb. Because even as they skulk manfully beside the bar, looking snottily at the dance floor as they flex their muscles picking up ice cubes, some smooth operator with gel in his hair will oil in and impress all the women with his John Travolta moves.

Women adore men who dance. And who can blame them? It’s a choice between standing like a wallflower besides Rambo all night, as he tries to make small talk over loud addictive music, or being swept onto the dance floor by a hunky Ricky Martin look alike, (and men with dance moves somehow always seem hunky) who then proceeds to teach you how to salsa like some groovy girl from the movies.

Yeah. You can blame it on the movies. Every girl who’s ever been brought up on a balanced diet of dance movies, from John Travolta in Grease to Patrick Swayze in that all time favourite ‘Dirty Dancing,’ dreams of someday meeting The Man Who Dances.

However, he’s as rare a species these days as The Man Who Opens Doors. And the whole problem is the fact that a large number of men think dancing is effeminate. Which, in other words means, they look like idiots on the dance floor.

Fortunately, help is at hand. Dance schools are opening up in ever city. And are they drawing people? Well, does Puff Daddy like jewellery?

Women flock to dance classes. And, as everyone knows, where women go men will follow. The smart men who learn how to dance have a never-fail opening line at parties, “Shall I teach you the Samba/Salsa/ Lambada/ to Jive?” I’ve seen parties where women queue up to dance with these man.

And for Rambo? Well, let’s hope his ice keeps him warm.

He says:

Going by her account, there are only two kinds they notice in a disco: A Rambo or a Disco Dancer.

I won’t bother taking Stallone’s side because she’s anyway explained why he’s boring.
What I would talk about is the disco dancer: Yes, yes, the Mithun Da types. (Then what? You thought you ll find Patrick Swayze or Travolta on the dance floor? This is India, madam. Here only hero-tapori or dance master types do dance-wance on the floor.)

Actually, I CAN imagine her match step to step with the likes of Prabhu Deva, Raju Sundaram, Govinda, Mithun or Simbu, all reputed to be the best dancers around. Or occasionally, the Michael Jackson look-alikes doing the moonwalk after a couple of rounds.

Since these guys are obviously unattainable, the women settle for lesser dancers. Like that one guy on the floor who can dance, the smooth operator who has more dates than the calendar itself. What does this guy do? He entertains yet another woman who fancies her chance with him for a dance or more. Does the ‘dance’ when he gets a chance or more.

Before he can move over to the prettier, hotter, item number on the floor. Like she said, there’s a queue to choose from.

Before he can arrive at the best of the lot, he has to be polite enough to entertain scores of other women with two left feet, bad breath, body odour, terrible sense of humour, alcoholics and the other single lonely Bridget Joness who fancy him.

While one out of these 100 get the man that evening, what happens to the other 99? They go hunting for others who can dance, wait for their turn or drink their blues away. Three drinks later, when they can’t tell whether they are dancing or not, our man with the ice-cubes steps in. Now our Stallone has a choice: 99 desperate women!

Come on guys, who would you rather be? A guy with the arms to carry her home? Or the guy mobbed by women you don’t want to dance with?

Episode 16: Can a guy and girl be just friends?

He says:

“No man can be friends with a woman whom he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her,” said a wise man called Harry Burns when he met Sally Albright.

“Yes, that’s right, they can’t be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people, then they can,” Harry explained.

It’s been 17 years since he said that and yet women don’t seem to have really got the hang of what he means. They actually believe that the guy who calls every single day and goes out of his way to help her is “so sweet” and (wants to be) just friends.

Oh! Please! Men surely have better things to do than play guardian angel. Like it’s their new full-time job or mission statement for life.

Now, let’s consider for a minute the profile of these guys who do that.

a. He is single. Obviously, otherwise, he would be running around to get his own girl to like him.

b. He is not her type. Because, if he was, she would have seen through his desperate attempts to woo her.

c. He has friends who believe, or in some cases, KNOW that he likes her more than a friend.

d. He does not have another girl that he finds attractive as a friend. Because if he did, he would be doing that for her too.

e. He is the initiator… the guy who takes the effort to make conversation, at least most of the time.

Is that some sort of a co-incidence now that they somehow meet all those traits?

Fat chance. The truth is women like the attention they get, they don’t want to say `No’ to it or confront him because they don’t want to lose the benefits. Besides, till the guy has said it, you can always just be “friends”.

It is high time these do-gooder gentlemen woke up to see that if she hasn’t seen his love in all that he has done for her, she’s probably blind. Or plain dumb.

She says:

And men, of course, are assuming that women are really taken in by the `let’s be friends’ gag?

`Friendship,’ my poor misguided young male puppets, is sometimes just a convenient way for women to make cow-eyes at you over canteen Cokes, or three course dinners. You might think you have the upper hand, but you’re just being checked out to see if you are date worthy.

Because when a women is `just friends’ with a guy, she gets a sneak peek at how he really thinks, behaves and relates to other people. (Pssst. A word of advice. Act snotty with the waiter and you’re out in the cold.)

More important, being able to say, “we’re just good friends, ya” lets you off the hook, when nosy friends start prodding you for details, and your mother begins to plan a June wedding in her head.

In fact, Indian ingenuity has come up with an even better way of concealing a relationship that’s too young and unsteady to announce. The “He’s like my brother,” and `She’s like my sister’ story makes it so easy for all those totally unrelated siblings to watch sunsets hand-in-hand with nobody getting suspicious and tracing family trees. But, please remember, it doesn’t work this way with everybody. Of course, men and women can be friends. Otherwise, imagine what a warped world this would be.

Men need their women friends. For one, men have terrible taste when it comes to picking out clothes or solitaires for their girlfriends, and can always do with some female guidance. Besides, female company keeps men civilised. Look at what happened in William Golding’s “Lord Of the Flies”, where a bunch of boys abandoned on an island began to eat each other!

And yes, women need their male friends too. They give us a man’s perspective on life, making it easier to understand boyfriends. They are generally completely chilled out, which makes them easy to hang out with. And they’re useful at times when you need someone to carry your shopping, help you move furniture into a new house, or get rid of an over zealous admirer.

Boyfriends are nice to have around, but guy friends are essential.

Episode 15: Who’s more commitment-phobic?

He says:

Who’s scared of commitment?

Women. At least, initially.

And, only after women get over that phobia do men catch it.

Because, being all heart, men like to dive head over heels into romance. They love the courting period. The honeymoon phase when she dresses up for him gives him his space and does not ask too many questions. In fact, she doesn’t want to label it anything.

It can’t get any rosier than this with an unlimited supply of love, no strings attached.

You ditch your buddies to spend time with the girl and suddenly, you’re not one of the losers at the bar. The girl’s friends want to get to know you too and before you know it, you’re a stud. You like it when she actually blushes when her friends talk about you to her. You are always at your best because you’re trying to make her fall in love with you everyday. It’s easily the best phase of romance because it is unconditional love.

Fast forward: A few months later.

She stops dressing up, wants to know where you are every time she calls and why you didn’t take her call in the middle of the night, while you were sleeping. She thinks getting a gift from you is too routine and soon enough, you realise the futility of pampering her. You are taken for granted.

Her life completely starts revolving around yours. She loses touch with her friends because they are busy trying to keep their respective boyfriends on a leash. So much so that now you have to ditch her if you want to spend an evening with friends and if you don’t, you become a hen-pecked loser.

A serious relationship mostly spells the death of freedom for men. Maybe that’s why they turn commitment-phobic.

For the same reasons no one wants to go to prison.

She says:

The thing is men are a little like cell phones.

As soon as you settle for the best looking model in the market, a nicer one comes along. It even has many more features than your old model. And before you know it, you’re thinking of trading it/him in. Especially when the old one starts to malfunction (i.e. It stops bringing you flowers and starts walking around in sloppy old T-shirts).

No wonder commitment is so difficult. For women.

Which makes you wonder why every other man you know seems to be whining about how his girlfriend is getting obsessive.

Take a case study. An average man will walk around for weeks with a face as long as a horse, begging for an introduction to some girl he’s probably just heard about.

Once he meets her, he goes overboard, gushing about how wonderful she is, sending her flowers, ringing her up twenty times a day, introducing her to all his friends and insisting on meeting all her pals.

If she stays cold and aloof, that’s wonderful. He’ll climb every mountain, search every stream, and follow every rainbow till she gives in. But, if she’s stupid enough to admit she likes him, puts his number on speed dial and starts treating him like a boyfriend, that’s the end of the relationship. (Ever wondered why `playing hard to get’ is every woman’s favourite game?)

But just as things start working out, he’s walking around with that hangdog expression again, complaining about being “tied down” and calling himself a hen pecked loser.

A guy like that’s a loser all right, but it has nothing to do with the `hen’.

And it’s exactly at that point his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend starts her market research again.

Something every woman is forced to keep doing till she finds The One. And, the thing is, he may not really be the richest, or the smartest, or the funniest man she’s ever met.

But if he’s grown up enough to realise that freedom is just a state of mind, and that he’s found a relationship he’s happy enough to stay in, that makes him an irreplaceable model. One that never gets outdated.

And that’s something even Nokia can’t top.

Episode 14: Diamonds, girl’s best friends?

He says:

Which girl will actually go on record and agree `Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’? It’s another thing that she will feel on top of the world when you get her that stone. And proverbs do not happen for no reason unless there’s some universal truth attributed to it over the ages. Whether they agree or not, women do have sophisticated, exquisite (read expensive), classy taste. Some are good at concealing it, some aren’t as smart.

But seriously, there is nothing wrong about it really. It’s completely ok to admit you have classy, sophisticated, exquisite taste. After all, if they did not have a refined sensibility, why would they go out with men in the first place? A man, on the other hand, does not really need a diamond for a best friend. He will be equally happy if you buy him a beer or better still, if you just give it to him in any other kind. The kinder the better, actually (wink wink). Yes, it is much easier for a woman to please a man than it is for a man to please a woman. Men are happy with the simplest of things.

Whether it is a thoughtful SMS in the middle of the night or even when they are pulled up for coming late or returning her call late. They feel good to be wanted. To be loved. The smallest of gestures are enough to make him happy. The question, however, still remains as to why do men move heaven and earth to please the woman? Because, men remember that wonderful credit card campaign: One five-star dinner: 1,000 bucks. A diamond: 10,000 bucks. The smile on her face when you give that to her: Priceless.

She says:

That’s a totally untrue — not to mention appalling — statement to make. Diamonds are certainly not a girl’s best friend.

There’s also platinum. And antique gold jewellery studded with rubies and emeralds. Oh, and we mustn’t leave out designer crystal necklaces. Or… gasp… shoes. Stylish sneakers for the day. Strappy red stilettos for the night. Handbags for lunching. Evening bags for clubbing. That 12th pair of must-have pink Capris…

To reduce it to diamonds just seems so insincere.

Yeah. Yeah. I know that at this point I’m supposed to sigh endearingly and say the material world just doesn’t matter. And a woman is only interested in the heart that beats under that Tommy Hilfiger shirt, not the wallet that accompanies it. Gag.

But honestly, a man who believes that probably reads Mills and Boon romances in his spare time, even as he waits patiently for a `demure rose’ to flutter her eyelashes at him across a cappuccino bar someday.

The thing is every Rose, Renee and Reenaa sipping a low-fat caramel macchiato in a coffee shop is waiting too. But they’re looking for the `complete man’ and any old thing with a warm heart and last season’s trousers just won’t cut it.

That’s what happens when you have sophisticated, exquisite (read expensive), classy taste. (By the way, the Bluebeards among us needn’t start popping open their Moet Chandon just yet. A nice guy with a skinny bank account is still far more attractive than a shallow, mean or nasty man with a yacht.)

Sure, women are materialistic. And most men, I must admit, aren’t. Give a guy a two-paragraph limerick for his birthday and he’ll be thrilled to bits. Try passing that off on a woman and you won’t remember what happened after her Prada handbag crashed through the roof of your skull.

The good news? Today’s girls aren’t really waiting for you to wrestle open your wallet and start buying solitaires. They buy their own diamonds. And platinum. And cars. (Mostly because they don’t trust your taste).

You just need to stand around looking stylish and reasonably rich. Now that’s not too much to ask, is it?

(A fortnightly column on the battle of the sexes.)

Episode 13: New Year Resolutions!

She Says:

The clock struck twelve. The champagne popped open. The lights went out. Fireworks exploded. And then, people began to discuss their new years resolutions.

Someone talked of saving money. Someone else swore to turn vegan. Start exercising. Stop buying shoes. Start writing home. Stop getting drunk. Start helping out at an animal welfare centre. Stop complaining about work.

There’s something so profoundly inspiring about the New Year at midnight.

Are women are better at keeping new year’s resolutions that men?


Are women more likely to make New Year’s resolutions? Oh yeah.
Women always work on changing the way they are. While their male counterparts dunk their faces into the party punch, they’ll plan to work out and detox, start computer classes and learn driving.

If the men make resolutions they’re more likely to plot for cushier circumstances: a bigger car, heftier salary, more powerful job.

Women want all these things too. But when it comes to resolutions, they tend to focus on more personal things: writing more letters to friends, spending more time with their families, keeping a cat. They also realise that resolutions aren’t a wish list to Santa, and keep their goal realistic. Well, ok. Semi-realistic at least.

Now, nobody’s asking you to become one of those cloyingly cheerful types that hits the sack at 7 p.m. with dabs of anti-wrinkle cream under their eyes, so they can start their yoga at 4 a.m.

But making a resolution, and not necessarily a New Year’s R, is not always a bad thing. Those Mercs make their way to your garage eventually, if you work hard enough, and are smart enough.

But if you don’t at least attempt to make to work on yourself, you might just be the fat guy in a sloppy T-shirt that takes delivery of the vehicle.


He Says:

There are two ways to spend a moment.

Either spend it instantly — fresh and live — celebrating every ounce of the present.

Or waste it designing, planning or figuring out the future.

Men do it the first way because they don’t feel the need to remind themselves to write letters to friends (when they can just call the bugger), spend time with families (duh? Isn’t that what they do when they are bumming around at home, when the woman is away shopping?) or to keep a cat (for what joy?).

What are resolutions anyways but a things-to-do for the future?
What if the biggest-thing-to-do is life itself?
What if the larger resolution is just to be happy!

The resolutions men make are just more attempts at the sky and reach the tree-top. Men do aim big, you know. They are more imaginative, they do want Santa to keep his job and keep the faith alive in this growingly cynical world.

Besides, men don’t wake up praying to God saying: Oh God, send me my Merc.

They wake up grinning about what they did last night and proceed to things that are right in front of them. They enjoy the present, savour it it to the fullest and live life moment-to-moment.

When one step at a time does take them places, why would they waste precious moments speculating how many steps it takes and then some more frequently comparing if they are as per schedule, in sync with earlier plans?

Yeah, it’s not the destination that matters for men. Or calculating how to get there. It’s the journey of taking different routes, driving different cars or just exploring the vibrant walks of life.

A fat guy in a sloppy T-shirt is a man at peace with himself. He can help himself to yet another beer without having the need to watch his paunch, eat a few more chocolates and make the buffet true value for money. And maybe some day, he would wake up for the walk to the gym.

And hey, not all those who are alone are lonely. The explorers that men are, some like to keep their baggage light.

Besides, it’s more fun driving a different Merc everyday, just to go see the face of the loser — the loser who just spent half a fortune to stick to one Merc just to drive his pampered wife to work and back, with an annoying cat in the backseat. The loser who will probably spend the rest of his life writing letters to friends.


Episode 12: Clash over supermodels

He says:

I’m tired of people saying supermodel women are dumb.

Come on, women think men, who have a sense of humour, rule. Does that mean every man with no sense of humour is a loser? I think models with great bodies rock.

They are certainly among the most intelligent women ever created. They are management gurus really.

Models really do their SWOT analysis pretty early in life. SWOT, if you are not a model or a management person, means a detailed review of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Strengths: Their basic natural resources. What God blessed them with and what they can possibly boost up with man-made technology with a little investment? They know the short cut to success: showbiz, which has very basic eligibility criteria. Their basic intelligence tells them they can put the rest of it (the intelligence, that is) to better use, in real life projects that have to do with the actual application of beauty.
Formula one: Beauty plus attitude equals sexy.

Weaknesses: They know that whatever they do, they are going to be considered `bimbos’ because they are so hot. So they decide to ignore what other women and loser-men think. And capitalise on their weakness too. They play dumb.
Because, formula two goes: beauty plus dumbness, for any man, is cute.

Opportunities: Training that does not cost as much as your management degree would. They just need a cat around and follow its footsteps. This walk comes in handy, because it not only helps you climb the corporate ladder in the long run because beauty pageants are called personality contests and winning one does make you an official authority on Mother Teresa and a messiah of social consciousness. So even after retirement as a model, the catwalk would help in climbing up the corporate escalator.
Formula three: Beauty, plus purpose and personality, means project leader/marketing head.

Threats: Other women. And THAT, they can deal with. Because, the competition is really not that much and the world, is surely, more than enough for all of them to rule.
Formula four: Beauty plus beauty, is, a joy forever.

She says:

I’m tired of people saying that supermodels are dumb.
But for completely different reasons.

I don’t think women with great bodies `rock.’ As for male models, they’re not even tempting. Which woman wants to share her hair products and under eye creams. Or be elbowed out of her mirror-space every morning and evening. Besides, there’s something distinctly eerie about a man who uses more makeup than you do.

But supermodels. You have got to hand it to them. They do a pretty good job of working on what they’ve got. Though, of course, only a man could say it’s done with `a little investment.’

I hate to break this to you guys, but those girls on the cover of glossy magazines didn’t just tumble into the photo studio straight from… um… management class. Their hair’s been coloured, straightened, tinted, glossed, styled and sprayed. Their pouts are often perfected in expensive clinics. Their teeth are whitened, their noses tweaked. They have personal trainers, beauticians, masseurs, shoppers…

Not that it matters, really. It’s tough work, and if it pays off, it’s worth it. Otherwise, you’re just a pretty girl standing in line with a whole lot of other pretty girls at some lecherous B-grade producer’s office. Especially if you’re not the brightest lipstick in the make-up tray, and therefore can’t plot, plan and claw your way to the top. (The only way you can catwalk up a ladder is if you are actually a cat.)

Not surprisingly, real women don’t hate models. So that spirited defence of them and their management skills is really quite unnecessary.

We think they’re nice to look at too. And they make brilliant clothes hangers. And we’d be the first to complain if men started running around trees with each other in soggy songs and dance scenes in the movies.

But — and I think I speak for a large number of women — we wouldn’t want to be them.

It’s means too much hard work. And too few chocolate covered doughnuts.

Because, beauty plus beauty isn’t really that much fun.


October 2022