Episode 11: Women are ladies, Men are boys?

He says:

Men have always been simple people with simpler needs and basic instincts. (Thought bubble: Sharon Stone cross-legged pose *slurp slurp*)

Think about it. His evolution has been about simple discoveries: fire, food, land, etc. And basic inventions: bulb, burger, computer, etc.

And how did it all happen? Because he simply refused to grow up, he always kept the kid in him alive. The kid who never stopped asking questions, the kid always up to mischief, the kid who broke rules, defied convention. The kid who believed that the only truth was that he knew little. Though they might pretend it, men always know that they do not know it all.

Which is why men exhibit child-like excitement every time they discover something. They don’t lose touch with their innocence when they give in to impulse. They lie out of fear of losing what they really like. They fight for what they want and don’t stop at anything.

They do not want to be in control of everything. They do not want responsibility. They like to sit back and let women mother them.

Men know that for the sake of balance and maintaining equilibrium on the planet, it’s essential for them to let the heart rule. Because, women have taken sole proprietorship of using their head.

Besides, most women believe they know it all. They believe they are grown up, lady-like and take upon themselves the responsibility of raising a child as a mother or a man as his wife.

It’s almost like it is their purpose in life to manage their homes, their lives, their families and take upon themselves the responsibility and reputation of being “practical” and “mature”.

Women simply love to believe that they are in control of their life. They like to believe they are grown up.

So men simply let them believe so. Anything that makes her happy. Because unless she’s happy, how would he get his basic needs fulfilled?

She says:

Men just don’t grow up.

When they’re fifteen, attaching a tin to a cat’s tail is their idea of a sophisticated joke. When they’re in their twenties, they are convinced that water pistols even scores in ways debates cannot. When they’re in their thirties, they battle their children for play stations. Fifty? Sixty? Seventy? They still find gross sexist jokes hilarious. And at eighty, only a man will marry a twenty year old, and steadfastly believe that women are more attracted to wrinkles than yachts.

And then they wonder why women think they’re juvenile.

Why do women marry and date men older than them? Because men take so much longer to mature emotionally and intellectually. Date a man who’s twenty-five, and be prepared for bursts of kleptomania “because we thought it would be kind of funny if we stole that no parking sign,” random fist fights “oh yeah? You think your girlfriend is prettier than mine? Eat dirt,” and stupid spends, “Dude, I got, like, this totally cool new phone. Only, I can’t afford to eat for about a month now.”

So men invented fire? If women weren’t around to make use of the flames, they would have still been sniggering and pushing each other into the coals with `childlike excitement’. “Snort, snort, now it’s your turn to roast.” Luckily, their wives and girlfriends realised that the big, hairy thing in the fire needed to be replaced with real food, so dinner could be made.

Makes you wonder how far civilisation would have progressed without women.

Of course men like sitting back and letting women take charge. It makes their own lives so much easier. The thing is, women don’t mind taking over.

After all, women have allowed men to run the world till now. And just look at the mess their inner-children have created!

Sometimes, you just have to use your head.

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Episode 10: What’s "one of the guys"?

She says:

If you have a sense of humour, you’re one of the guys.
If you don’t fall into a dead faint when you see a rat, you’re one of the guys.
If you like whooping it up on Saturday night with ‘the gang’, you’re one of the guys.

What’s with this ‘one of the guys’ nonsense anyway? It makes you wonder whether every man’s idea of the perfect girl involves visions in frilly pink who smile demurely — and that too only when there’s an exciting breakthrough, like Lakme coming up with a new lipstick colour — about three times a day. (The rest of the time, they are probably expected to look wide-eyed and virtuous). Girls who swoon delicately every time a frog croaks. Whose idea of a wild party involves Earl Grey tea and cucumber sandwiches spread with low fat butter.

I don’t know whether this is good news or bad, but sorry guys, women like this just don’t exist. And perhaps they never did. I, for one, can’t think of a single woman who’s the embodiment of all those dreadfully feminine ‘virtues’ that all of us are supposed to possess.
Because none of the women I know bake cakes and waft on a haze of vanilla all day. They just pick up their snazzy cell phones and order them.

None of them sit picturesquely and bat their eyelashes adoringly at the men, called in to wrestle with plumbing/ laptops/ cars. When they need to get something fixed, they either call a plumber/ geek friend/ mechanic, or pull out manuals and fix it themselves.

And none of them are “gentle, compassionate, introverted, submissive and yielding” — the terms commonly used to describe feminity. Honestly, think of the women you know, and try matching them with all those adjectives. (After you stop laughing, maybe you could drink a glass of water to cure your hiccups before you return to this column.)

The bottom line is, women, like men, are are a bunch of very different people. They don’t have a pack of similar virtues, and thank goodness for that. After all, where would you be without your women friends who slap you on the back and tell you not to be a wuss when you whine, and then tell you how to fix your ipod, and your life.

He says:

Yes, the lady wins this one. Hands down.
Of course she has a sense of humour to write whatever she did.
Because, the joke’s really working.
The floor’s sparkling clean. I’m just rolled on it laughing.

A friend of mine suggested a simple test: Make a list of different people who make you laugh. Oh, of course, there are so many women who do that.
But the point is, they don’t intend to. Which is why you laugh.
Call any girl a clown and she’ll frown.

Because, my friends, most women consider the word clown derogatory.
Tell a man that and he’s sure to laugh and say: “Guess what? You’re funny too.”
She’s also right when she says women don’t faint when they see rats. They just become one of them. Jumpy, hiding for cover, lest the frightful monster gobbles them up. Men consider it perfectly natural for rats to co-habit their eco-system and do remember that they are right at the top of the food chain.

And what’s a girl gang? Ooooh, I’m really scared now. Because, the girls are going to drink their guts out and fall over me on a Saturday night. Ha ha!
So what is this “one of the guys” thing men talk about?
Come on, you need to be among the guys to do that.

I could write a check-list of what we dream, lust and fantasise about all day and all night. But I just heard that the list would not be printable. Oh damn!

Men have simple tastes, they are colour blind, so they wouldn’t even notice if it’s a blue lipstick or a black one she’s wearing. So whoever said they like their ladies to be dainty in pink.
Men have basic instincts, let’s just say they are very very basic.

They can laugh at themselves, call themselves clowns, lech at every other woman and perfectly not feel guilty, catch a rat by its tail, get pissed drunk on a saturday night, sport a Salman Khan wardrobe every single day, hit on women shamelessly, make them laugh and be laughed at.
Now lady, if you can do this, you’re one of the guys too. Else, just snigger dismissively, saying: “Boys!”

Episode 9: Women have it easy?

(When I read Shonali’s She Says in response to what I had written, I could see it clearly. Shonali going home making dinner, feeding the pets, sorting the laundry, helping kids with homework, clearing the table, washing dishes, organising the larder, stocking out the fridge and ironing her husband’s clothes so the poor man won’t be late for work the next day. And this applies even if she’s not married huh? Read on to see how easily they play the “Women-make-babies-and-hence-deserve-special treatment” card with ease!)

He says:
Men have to work twice as hard. Women always have it easy.
Maybe that’s how they are prone to laziness. A smile and a ‘Please’ get them places. A frown and a ‘Sorry’ gets them away with murder.
They always get lifts. They get noticed. Men find it so hard to say No’ to them.

It’s a rather unfair advantage. The world is turning into an evil uneven playing field where women most often get to call the shots.

Men struggle. They sweat it out, workdays, work nights, work overtime and go unnoticed. When a girl does that once, she makes sure everyone knows she worked. Soon, she’s a star and is amply rewarded with a promotion.

Why?

Because, men work hard. It’s not surprising to find hardworking men. So, they are taken for granted.
Because, women hardly work. And when they do, it becomes an event.
Because, women press the feminist button only when it suits them.

Otherwise, they expect you to carry their luggage, pay for food, open doors, drop them home, stand in and cover up. They make him type a fortnightly column first six out of eight times when it’s rightfully his turn to write the rebuttal.

They so like to have the last word, don’t they? They are lazy to the bone. I’m not kidding when I say they get away with murder. Even been in an accident spot? The woman always has the sympathy of the crowd, even when it’s her fault. A man in her place would’ve been roughed up. Why is that guys return empty-handed from a sponsorship pitch no matter how hard they had worked? Why is it that the girl comes back with a cheque by just flashing her pearly whites? Because, gentlemen, it’s a woman’s world out there. And, they call us male chauvinists for speaking up! Ha!

She says:
It’s shocking really. Women have it so easy, it’s surprising those pitiable, underfed, over worked men don’t revolt.

After all, all a woman has to do when she comes home from the office is to make dinner, feed the pets, sort the laundry, help the kids with homework, clear the table, wash dishes, organise the larder, stock out the fridge and iron her husband’s clothes so the poor man won’t be late for work the next day. And this happens even if they earn the same salaries.

Because, if you think about it, the opposite sex has done a rather sneaky thing.

Women fought untiringly for the right to work and earn their own money, and eventually, they got to work. But that didn’t mean they won.

Because, now women help pay the rent. And they also get stuck with all the traditional ‘woman’s work,’ including exciting things like scrubbing kadais after a day of power talks in high level board rooms. Statistics show that they earn less than men for doing the same jobs. On top of that, many constantly battle the glass ceiling, which prevents them from rising to positions of power in companies.

And then, when a woman has a baby, she either drops out of her professional life or strenuously learns how to juggle her children and career. When a man acquires a child, he opens a bottle of cognac.

As for the new age man? (The one you see in all those ‘complete man’ ads, dimpling over a baby and getting teary-eyed at pretty sunsets.) Well, he’s sniggering into the soap suds everyday, because in exchange for virtuously pressing a couple of buttons on the washing machine to prove he helps out with housework, he’s got his self-sufficient wife/ girlfriend to file the taxes, fix the computer and drive him to work in the morning.

So we get an extra scoop of ice cream in our cold coffees when we smile at Baristas. Or some sweet guy lets us cut a line when we’re in a hurry. Or one of the three and a half chivalrous men left in the world offers to buy us popcorn in a crowded movie theatre so we don’t get pinched black and blue by his ‘friendly’ compatriots.

Those are the few perks left.

Be nice. Let us enjoy them while they last. Please?

Episode 8: Women’s biggest enemies: Women?

He says:
Women are fascinated by other women.

If they like them, you can see them hug, kiss and indulge in passionate public display of affection that men wouldn’t even dream to do to each other. They call it female bonding and its considered cute. (I wonder why don’t they ever bond that way with their men friends? *Evil grin*)

If they (women) hate someone of their own sex, you can see them talk endlessly about the other, make a face at the sheer mention of the name.

Love or hate, women display it with equal passion, against each other. Let’s just say women are very emotional about women.

Men on the other hand, do not feel the need to bond regularly with other men. They don’t cuddle up with each other, don’t promise to go shopping together, don’t get angry for losing touch. You can just call up a buddy after six years and catch up exactly from where you left, with no questions asked. It’s unconditional. Guys perfectly understand each other.

They forgive and forget easily. Haven’t you noticed guys who had dated the same girl sit over a drink and laugh off their past?

When guys don’t like guys, they probably come to blows. But they don’t entertain conversation about people they don’t like because they know nothing’s permanent.

What do women talk about? Other women and their love lives, their clothes, their problems… All talk revolves around women. (And occasionally, about some cute guy they met.)

What do men talk about? Same as above.

Except for the talk of the cute guy.

But, apart from discussing women, men also talk about movies, music, technology, bike rides, places, games, cricket, politics, religion, current affairs, alcohol… but rarely do they discuss other men.

The point: Men do not obsess over themselves. Women do.

She says:
Women are fascinated by other women.

Well, look at the alternative.

The truth is men really aren’t that interesting. Not on their own that is.

Remember school, or college. Everyone wanted to date the resident jock, not because he was exceptionally smart (hah!) or good-looking, but simply because, well, everyone wanted to date him.

It’s strange but true. Men become more desirable when more women desire them.

The fact is women make men interesting.

Left to themselves, men would have no idea what to do with their days, or their lives. Think of an average bachelor pad, beer cans all over the soggy floor and used socks in the cupboards. Remember the last time you hung out at one of those stodgy men-only bars, all cigar smoke and my-bank-balance-is-bigger-than-yours conversation. Imagine a lifetime of boy’s night’s outs. Makes you shudder, doesn’t it?

Now, women, on the other hand, don’t really need men to keep themselves entertained. When women hang out with women, they really live it up — whether they’re headed for a pyjama party featuring weepy movies and deluges of potato chips, or painting the town a bright pink as they tumble from pub to pub.

And when men do turn up, the girl gang becomes even more fun, as they dissect the men, and yes, the women with them (and, usually, the dreadful things they wear.)

Does a woman complain about her friends? Of course. And then, even after the worst fight, if a friend calls for help, the same woman will leave work, drive miles, pick up chocolate cake, and sit with her till she feels better.

Why do you think even men turn to their women friends when they’re feeling down? Because women are not only better at expressing themselves, they’re also better at empathy. Which explains why women are so vocal about their friends. And why, in spite of everything, their friends remain their friends — for life.

Episode 7: Dress code

(Right in the beginning, we had decided the column isn’t just gonna be about topics but also everyday issues. We had to wait till people got the hang of the column. But now that we do have a topic at hand, we did seem to agree that a University Vice Chancellor prescribing a sexist dress code banning jeans, tees and tops was ridiculous. But agreeing is against the spirit of the column. So I had to disagree… Read on!)

She Says:

Are saris more modest than jeans? Are kurtas coyer than capris?

Are women dressed in skirts actually sneaky vamps out to trick clueless young men into life of reckless lechery?

Sigh. Those poor men. If the moral police are to be believed, all they do is sit, artlessly discussing existantialism perhaps, at street corners. Then, boom. A depraved woman in (gasp) a pair of jeans and T-shirt walks past, and they have no option but to start stalking her, passing obscene comments.

Give us a break.

As any woman who’s walked any street in this city knows, you will be followed. You will be whistled at. You will be commented on. And this is irrespective of whether you’re wearing a tiny pair of shorts or a voluminous cotton sari. Irrespective of your age, or your looks, or your size.

That’s the strange thing about this city’s brand of roadside romeos: they don’t spare anyone.

So anyone who thinks that dressing all the city’s students in ‘traditional Indian wear’ will bring down the crime rate is either ridiculously optimistic, or amazingly shortsighted.

Apart from the obvious fact that karate is more likely to deter those hot-headed misguided young men than kurtas, there’s another fact that authorities in question should keep in mind.

Students are rebels. They will always be.

Sari’s can be made of light-as-air chiffon with blouses that are more itsy-bitsy than any self-respecting bikini. Kurtas can be sleeveless, backless and off shoulder. Churidhars today are slinker than the Oscar ballgowns.

Indian traditional wear can give western casual a run for its money anytime. Check out the woman in backless cholis at any wedding, and you’ll know what I mean.

And to think people are protesting denim and T-shirts!

He says:

I agree with the Vice Chancellor.

He’s absolutely right.

Let’s get rid of jeans and short tight tops.

They are not part of Indian culture nor are trousers.

Neither is English nor engineering.

Hence, the learned officials, must also introduce Sanskrit or Tamil as official language and make students dress up in costumes from ‘Asoka,’ a dress code that conforms to Indian culture.

Considering what Kareena wore (or didn’t wear), the attendance from the boys will be unprecedented.

Given that industrialisation, modernisation and subsequent globalisation is taking away from Indian culture, we need to go back to our roots and embrace agriculture.

Gandhiji said India lives in its villages, remember.

Let’s do away with the evil of engineering and technology that’s converting sacred rural pockets into urban centres.

Let’s get rid of education, it was not part of the Indian culture.

Whatever we need to know is there in the vedas, the scriptures and also recorded by our own great great-grand-fathers.

Let’s all learn to shoot with bows and arrows, walk around in loin cloth and hunt for our food.

Let’s get rid of the concept of money, it is not part of the Indian culture. It distracts.

Let’s get rid of democracy, it is not part of the Indian culture. Call the kings, let there be courtesans. Let there be war to decide who rules who. It’s part of our heritage after all.

One billion Indians arrived on this planet because of indiscipline and distraction.

So yes, let’s get rid of sex and embrace abstinence.

Adam and Eve practiced it with much discipline until the apple came in between.

So let’s get rid of all apples.

And peace will prevail, and maybe our dinosaurs will live happily ever after.

Episode 6: Watching your weight

(Shonali initially refused to write a response to this saying it was extremely distasteful and not worth replying to. I’m glad she did! Aint she good?)

He says:

Ever heard of a girl who eats her heart out and your whole wallet along with it?
In all probability, very unlikely.

Even if she did, it’s incredibly simple to get her to stop.

Pssst: Move romantically closer to her ears and whisper the magic word: Calories!

Then, just sit back and watch: She’s sure to jump out of her chair, pull her stomach in and rush to the restroom. No prizes for guessing, she’s in there checking her waist praying: Mirror, mirror on the wall, can I ever reduce at all?

I don’t get it. Why are women paranoid about putting on weight?

Yes, agreed, there are guys too — the types who believe that the gym is the temple that makes you God.

But that’s just a minority really. Men don’t seem to mind having a little paunch. Some of them, in fact, flaunt their pot-bellies like proud pregnant mothers before the delivery.

The health-conscious decide to burn the beer and the beef by working out the very next day. And the rest know that a few smart lines is all it takes to get the woman find you attractive because women go for brains remember? Or at least they claim so.

Besides, when men are fat, women do seem intelligent enough to realise that there is “more of you to love.”

But to be honest, it’s great that women are figure-conscious.

Men do think that women who watch their weight are super smart. Because, they appreciate and totally dig beauty and attractive women. Besides, what will we men do every time we need a date, but for that adorable babe in the hot dress all dolled up and looking like a billion bucks? Ha ha!

She says:

They say that if Barbie had been a real woman, the only way she would have been able to move with that body structure would have been by crawling.

She must have been thought up by a man.

And she proudly goes on to give women complexes about their appearance even today. But what a lot of men don’t realise is that air brushed magazine models, anorexic ramp walkers and perfectly proportioned movie stars might be the stuff dreams are made up of, but are very likely complete nightmares to date, or live with.

After all, how sweet can you disposition be if you’ve live on a diet of celery, obsess about your skin and hair all day, and spend every waking hour pulverising your body into shape.

No lazy weekends on the beach, no heading out for icecream and hot chocolate after dinner, no sitting up late with cappuccinos and friends. Because, getting sunburnt, putting on a hundred grams or gaining the faintest shadow under your eyes could just be a fate worse than death.

But then, any man who thinks that he’s achieved his very purpose for living when he gains a ‘babe in a hot dress’ hanging off his arm probably isn’t really looking for a girl friend. He’s looking for a trophy.

And as any intelligent woman knows, we’re not trophies. And we’re not decoration.

A beautiful woman lights up a room, not because of her measurements, or an itsy bitsy dress, or because she’s steadfastly refused herself chocolate cake for the past ten years. She’s beautiful because she’s funny, intelligent and glows with self-confidence.

Intelligent woman don’t count calories. And intelligent men don’t expect them to. Beauty, after all, is not only subjective. It’s also just skin deep.

Episode 5: Is shopping rocket science?

(For a change, we let the lady fire the first salvo, instead of just responding every time, we decided we would take turns every week in going first because the person answering always seems to have an unfair advantage of just replying.
Also, people may be reminded that this is just a humour column. Not to be taken seriously or emotionally. But then, many women do not have a sense of humour… ha ha! And the intention has never been to be politically correct, it is purely to be irreverent and get a good fight out of manipulating existing stereotypes! So it basically means, I do (sometimes) pay for my food, and even open doors and so does Shonali!)

She says:

I suppose they think it’s macho. As they stand around, idly tossing back beers and burping, somebody or the other will bring up the topic of ‘women and shopping.’ And then, it’s like the floodgates have opened. One guy will make smart cracks about his wife’s shoe collection, the other will discuss a girlfriend who stocks up on soaps. Someone knows a girl who has… gasp… six pairs of jeans. And someone else has it on good authority that no woman is satisfied unless she owns at least 12 different types of daily wear hair products – each of which need about an hour of intensive pre-purchase research.

What the guys don’t reveal, or perhaps even realise, is the fact that men shop too. And, in many ways, are far more obsessive, extravagant and indecisive shoppers than their female counterparts.

For every woman with a shoe addiction, there’s a guy with a, well, shoe addiction. (At least women need to match their shoes with outfits, colours and occasions: sneakers for a barbecue, low heels for the day, stilettos for dining out. But why in the world do men need twelve pairs? Brown from breakfast, black for lunch, brown for dinner, black for brunch?) For every woman with a soap, or scarf, or ear ring collection, there’s a man, who collects CDs, or belts, or, um, ear rings. Or maybe, if he’s really ‘macho’, whiskeys, cigars or electronic non-essentials. For every woman who buys 12 hair products there’s a guy who buys an equal number of aftershaves. And trendy ‘metrosexual’ hair gels.

And if you think women take a long time to decide on which outfit to buy, ask a male friend to take you shopping for a cell phone, or laptop. Besides the fact that you’ll have to listen to lengthy lectures on tough concepts like ‘battery life’ and ‘blue tooth technology’ (because, of course, we women operate computers with will power and lipstick alone), you’ll be lucky if you get home before your hair turns grey and you’re forced to borrow some of his spiffy new hair colour.

He says:

A man with 12 pairs of shoes must be gay. Or an actor/VJ/model/someone in showbiz/someone who wants to get there.

Well, most women have a wrong notion of men probably because they hang out with only those kind of men who remind them of themselves. Most men I know just have formal shoes and/or casual shoes and then, they have chappals – one for the bathroom and one for the road. Because, they do not feel the need to colour co-ordinate shoes with their clothes like women do.

As women often allege, men are colour blind indeed. Because, men believe it is adequate to know that coffee, cocoa, chocolate, beige, khakhi, auburn, hazelnut are all just brown. It helps decision-making easy. You walk to the rack and it doesn’t take rocket science or research to figure out what’s best. You don’t need to know what colour it is when you can simply point it to the salesman and say: “I want that one.”

Men have very basic needs. We are simple people. And if they read up on gizmos, it’s because these are expensive investments. Research not only makes for a wise investment, it also helps you make a wise choice much ahead of your actual purchase and thus, helps you save valuable shopping time that can be used for wiser purposes.

Like, checking out an interesting, definitive book or magazine or movie on women, or just the real thing: people-watching in a mall. Who says men don’t like women for the time they take at the store? Men do like checking out anything remotely interesting at the malls. Let them make their choice while you make yours.

(Men could do with a mental note: There’s a price to pay for anything you pick up at the mall and it’s directly proportional to her purchase.)

Episode 4: The first move!

He says:
It starts from the very beginning. From the day she says: “Yeah, he’s cute. But let him make the effort.”
Ever heard of a girl using a pick-up line on a guy? No, because she’s the quintessential “good girl.”
Finally, when the guy makes the effort, whether she likes him or not, she squeals: “Look, look, he’s hitting on me.”
If she likes him, even the corniest of lines seem mushy to her. If not, God help the guy, she finds even the best lines corny. Sidey, even.
Next thing you know, she expects you to be romantic. And she wants originality at that — THE prime reason why most guys end up writing yucky, sucky poems. They try to rhyme, all the time, that it’s a crime, and far from sublime. Well, you get the picture.
I fail to understand: Why should a girl be, or expect to be, wooed?
Can’t she just walk up and kiss the guy she likes? She wouldn’t even have to apologise if he’s taken. No guy is ever going to complain. He would probably reward the investment with double the effort.
Look at this objectively. No guy expects a pick-up line. He will happily buy the kiss-at-first-sight proposal. If he doesn’t like you, he’ll still kiss you goodbye. It’s that cordial. Now can you expect a girl to do the same?
No. Because, they are brats. Women have been spoilt with attention. So, they expect men to take the effort all the time. They are lazy. They are creatively challenged, for, they cannot come up with pick-up lines themselves. And, they definitely do not have the guts to use them.
That’s why men are so cool. They put in the effort, what it takes to make it work. Right from the start.

She says:
There was a young man called Cupid,
Who constantly felt rather stupid,
His job was to lob,
Arrows into a slob,
And try make his reasoning lucid.
Because that’s what happens to a man in love. He not only starts indulging in uncontrollable bursts of verse that reads along the lines of `the grass is green and you are my queen,’ but also begins to swagger about with an `I’m the man in charge’ attitude.
What men don’t realise is that women don’t fall for them because of the `effort’ they take to `make it work’. Women fall for them in spite of it.
Because here’s the big secret, guys. You aren’t in control. Not ever.
Remember the first time you saw her across that crowded room, and cunningly positioned yourself so you could make eye contact? Well, she saw you first. And she probably positioned her face in such a way that she could lock gazes with you — without it looking like she was actually making an effort. Which also explains why you can’t ever catch the eye of a woman who’s not interested in you.
When you went to chat her up, she kept the conversation going… till it reached a `let’s meet for dinner’ stage.
She probably chose the restaurant. She wore that irresistible perfume. She smiled mysteriously, forcing you to ask her out again.
You’re just the big fish she was out to hook. Your only job was to prove you’re entertaining enough to keep working on.
And you’re complaining about having to think up a lousy line like “your eyes are blue, true and make me stew”! Get with the programme. As any intelligent woman will tell you, the chase is far more fun than the kill.
And you’re just walking prey.

Episode 3: Who should pay?

He says:
No doubt about it at all. Women must pay.
Men have been paying for years now. Time for payback.
Yes, man was an ape once upon a time. Just like how he used to pay once upon a time. But here’s a word, ladies: It’s called evolution.
The modern man no longer wants to pay.
He might buy you a drink when he’s high or buy you coffee to make you feel special — once in a while. Which is why and how it becomes `special’. If he did it everyday, he would be such a bore and of course, broke, unless he’s got a sugar daddy.
Also, it has something to do with empowerment.
Come on, shell out the money. Show us who’s the boss. As Rod Tidwell says in “Jerry Maguire”: “Show me the money!”
Bad enough you make the guy drive you around most of the time. And, the number of times we drop you home. Do you, like, even know about the escalating cost of fuel and maintenance?
You give the guy a heartache every other week, are you aware how much a night out with the boys costs?
And, those endless mushy phone calls in the middle of the night. Who do you think pays? It’s a man or his father. Or the girl or her father (if she calls). Which means that the probability of a man paying the phone bill is three out of four.
So the next time you go out, be a lady. Pay for the guy. He always entertains you with his romantic services.
Also, he’s probably broke and borrowing money just to make you feel good.
Coffee: 50 bucks.
A full-course meal: 150 bucks.
The pleasure and satisfaction of taking a man out: Priceless.

She says:
And I always thought they enjoyed paying. Honestly. I’ve gone out with guys who are completely rabid about picking up the cheque.
Through dessert, they make eyes at the waiter. Drum their fingers on the table. Flex their credit card holding fingers. And when the bill arrives, they jump up in one beautiful swoop and grab it.
So, what’s a girl to do? I’d pay, but I really don’t want to break a nail. After all, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. And maybe, someday, I’ll pay him back by baking him a basket of cookies. (Snort. Yeah right! Only if I can hire someone to make them for me.)
Besides, when a guy asks you out for dinner, he has to pay for the pleasure of your company in some manner. You’re doing your job by looking nice, and listening to his boring office-and-sports stories with an appropriately wide-mascara-eyed admiring expression.
Oh, all right. I admit it. Gender roles have changed. And men don’t have to pay anymore, just like I don’t have to bake cookies anymore. (Give me a moment to recover from a bout of hearty laughter caused by the image of myself in a kitchen.)
But it’s still a charming gesture. It’s not about the money. Two cappuccinos cost less than a pedicure. Paying for them is no big deal.
However, when a man pulls out his wallet to pay at a restaurant, it tells you, he’s generous. When he fights through a crowded bar to get you a fruit juice at the disco, it means he’s thoughtful. When he picks up movie tickets, it means he’s considerate.
And that’s why you date the guy who takes you out for dinner, and just become backslapping buddies with the chap that makes you pay for his pizza.

Episode 2: What’s hawt?

He says:
A question to all women out there.
Would you like to be seen kissing someone toad ugly?
Yes? My number is… .
Kidding!
But the point is that just like men are hesitant to date… well… aesthetically challenged women, women too stay away from the uglies.
So why just blame the men for being Shallow Hals?
Who would you date if you had to choose between Abhishek Bachchan and Yoda?
Abhishek Bachchan obviously, because he’s a great guy irrespective of how good he looks.
So if you can find men who are good-looking, smart and nice at heart, isn’t it inaccurate to assume that all good-looking women are dumb?
Most good-looking women are smart because they know how to get their men.
But first, what kind of women do men find “hawt”? What do men consider “hawt”?
The fair? They like Naomi Campbell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Halle Berry.
The well toned? They love Shakeela and Tamil heroines of the 1990s.
The beautiful? Why do they like Mallika Sherawat then? (wink wink)
The tall? Rani Mukherjee is a five-footer.
The skimpily clad? Then, why do they love Nandita Das?
The point is: to be “hawt,” a woman need not necessarily have any of the qualities listed above.
Any intelligent woman today knows that being smart or well dressed is paramount simply because she applies the same rules to a guy.
Smartness is defined by the way a person carries himself.
If it means men need to shave, it means women also need to er… file their nails.
If it means men need to smell good, it means women need to smell better.
If it means men need to look “hawt,” it means women too must.
If it means men date smart women, it just means smart women are dating smart men.

She says:
And, in their spare time, men like reading books on intelligent female space scientists. Oh, and watching action movies that comprise women mathematicians breaking impossible codes.
Give us a break.
Everyone knows that men, (ok, most men) have a weakness for beautiful women. And, given half a chance, would date only stunners. Even they admit that. “Um. Yeah. Of course. Anyone who says they’re more interested in what and how a woman thinks is probably just trying that line out for a date. And he’s probably angling for a pretty woman, anyway,” says one of the many men I poll for this column. (Sorry. Betrayed by your own gender.) (Evil laugh)
Because, while women go for men with brains, and a sense of humour, men go for women who are… um… hawt.
And what is hawt? Usually, a lot of lipstick, a gym-toned body (and please, let’s leave Shakeela out of this!) and a tendency to lisp. Especially during, I-love-you-cho-muchee conversations in the middle of the night. (Shudder.)
I’m not saying all beautiful women are dumb. But, a woman who thinks a new shade of hair colour can bring world peace is far more likely to find a date than a man who has more hair gel than grey matter between his ears.
Because, if you’re a man, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym working on those pecs in the hope of impressing the `gals.’ You far more likely to have hoards of them putting your number on speed dial if you can make them laugh, and treat them with respect.
What else explains the beautiful-woman-dating-very-ordinary-looking-guy syndrome that you see at every shopping mall, and every party?
And would we kiss a toad? Of course. Ever wondered what the significance of the story of the Frog Prince is? Well, when the princess kissed the frog, it turned into a prince in her eyes. And that’s because he was a prince deep inside, and how he looked just didn’t matter.
(This is a fortnightly column on the battle of the sexes.)

Sho-Buzz

November 2022
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