Where is the Love?

Disclaimer: This is a long, detailed, analytical piece about dating, relationships and marriages in India. I am solely responsible for the thoughts within.

Right at the lunchtime, the office bell rings. When the door is opened, you see a handsome dashing guy entering in, with a tiffin in his hands. He hands it over to one of the girls in the office. What follows next is a series of Whispers and giggles. As kids, we used to play this game called ‘Chinese Whispers’ where a phrase was to be told to one person, and a chain of conversation was to be formed with the same phrase. In this case, the phrase that reached me was ‘She found him on TrulyMadly’, giggled the person next to me. The phrase sounded like it was about a product on Flipkart but it was indeed about the guy. TrulyMadly is one of those dating apps. The app offers a number of games like ‘Foodie Funda’, ‘Hocus Pocus’, and vivacious stickers to express things you might or might not be able to ‘describe in words’. TrulyMadly is not alone in the race. Continue reading “Where is the Love?”

Save the Romeo, the Majnu and the Krishna

Love is against Indian culture suddenly. Eve-teasing, Molestation and rape aren’t but two consenting adults falling in love is suddenly a national issue to be solved. Love is a problem. Like Trump’s MakeAmericaGreatAgain, Uttar Pradesh CM, Yogi Adityanath on his on-the-job-training has begun his magic tricks to make UP safe again. What has followed is banning of Tundey kebab, closing, burning of slaughterhouses and of course beating up couples meeting in public. Various morality guardians like the principal of Meerut College have come out and said,

‘It is against Indian culture for girls to have boyfriends.” (How about girls having girlfriends? Well, that’s not even “natural”, right?)

Lovers talking to each other are being captured on camera with their faces blurred like they are committing some crime out there. Such moral shaming is to be condemned. Not to give undue credit to Yogi, this is not the first time this is happening. But this is a good way to distract the qualifications and the clear contradictions of the UP chief minister about whom the PM has said that he needs experience and knowledge and will be guided further.  Continue reading “Save the Romeo, the Majnu and the Krishna”

Dear Nahid Afrin, Here’s a Short History of Fatwas on Indians to Cheer You Up

Nahid Afrin, a 16-year-old girl from Assam, who received fame through her singing talent displayed in Indian idol, has a Fatwa issued on her name by some Muslim clerics. This fatwa bans her from performing at any public entertainment event. She has come out boldly against the move saying ‘Singing isn’t anti-Islam’ and has confirmed that she will never stop singing. She has also been supported by the CM of the state.

Nahid Afrin Receives Fatwa

Feeling like an elder sister in this scenario, I thought to compile a list of Fatwas for the unstoppable you, Nahid.

What is a Fatwa?

It is a religious ruling passed by a qualified jurist or a mufti against someone who goes against the Islamic principles. A fatwa cannot create a judicial havoc, though. It gets dangerous when a fatwa states that a person may be killed if it is not followed.  Continue reading “Dear Nahid Afrin, Here’s a Short History of Fatwas on Indians to Cheer You Up”

Tell Me Your Dreams, Girl

In my experience of interviewing freshers, I struggle to take out important information like ‘what are some of your goals’. They just don’t know. Our education system doesn’t motivate us to ‘think’. Here in India, we are just taught to believe in what is being told. While interviewing girls, most of the times, their goals are defined in the next few years (before marriage). We have an increasing breed of girls, who do a post-graduation only to postpone marriage.

“What do you want to do in life?” is a daunting question for most. Having that answer is a luxury, they just hope they get a family which ‘lets them work’.

“The guy is very ambitious” is generally a compliment. It means that the guy is focused towards career and wants to grow. Ironically, “The girl is very ambitious” means she is rude, selfish and family is not her priority. To prove that she is not selfish, she will quit her job for her brother/sister’s wedding preparations/quit her job before marriage/quit her job to “settle and plan for a baby”/quit her job after she’s had a baby. And a lot of people are too petty to link it with money. “We have money so she need not work.” If a person from marketing background comes for an HR interview, we ask them an obvious question, ‘Why this sudden change of field?’ We don’t ask the same question to our daughters. Why does she want to quit everything and be a homemaker? Even though it reflects heavily on our societal culture, there is nothing wrong in wanting to be a homemaker. It is everyone’s personal choice.

But we must genuinely ask her, “‪What are your dreams?” to be sure, we are not walking on the debris of someone’s dreams.

This piece was first published in City Bhaskar, Ahmedabad. It was translated in Gujarati. I keep writing things on Gender, Social Issues, Travel..and sometimes Poetry too. If you like my writing, FOLLOW my blog so you can get it on mail every time I post!

Stuff You Don’t Say About A Molestation Case

I remember talking about TVF to one of my older friends just yesterday. I was talking about Permanent Roommates (an online fiction series about a quirky couple in a live-in) and how it struck the right cord in the right places- it was gender sensitive, even feministic at a lot of places. There are several other concepts by TVF like tripling which is either gender neutral or very sensitive. And then I opened twitter, only to discover there was a huge controversy going on. Early morning yesterday, there was an anonymous post on Medium alleging TVF’s founder of molestation.

What began was a thread of responses from comedians at AIB, other comedians and inconsequential people like me. But what’s more shocking is that even other girls from random places came out to say that they had gone through molestation by Anurabh Kumar on varying levels. The Quint has done a compiling piece on the other allegations by different women.

Anurabh Kumar, TVF CEO and Founder

We don’t know if any of these women have filed a police complaint yet and investigations will happen. But I could compile some of the disgusting responses that people/mostly men gave in response to what happened. I even got into arguments with a few of them.  Continue reading “Stuff You Don’t Say About A Molestation Case”

Quirky Relationship Questions People Ask On Quora

Quirky Relationship Questions People Ask On Quora

I was a curious child, a little more than usual kids. Having a very patient father, I remember myself (and he reminds me at times) asking him a lot of questions, all the time. Why is the moon travelling with us? Why do we stop seeing the red lights? Why does the dog bark at our car?

Why is the moon travelling with us? Why do we stop seeing the red lights? Why does the dog bark at our car? How come I can’t do a full split? Can you pull this truck with your bare hands like we saw in the tv show yesterday? What do people do after they die?

Never in my earliest of the memories do I remember my father getting angry on me. He would answer all the questions patiently without a word. Then I grew up and like everyone else, resorted to google. Especially Quora, the platform where you can find, ask and answer any question on this earth. Anyone can ask a question and anyone can answer. People also mention if they have a relevant context/experience to answer a particular question. People also give links to other websites/studies. The truth is that I have not yet asked a single question on quora because I’ve not had to. Every question that I have wanted answers for, was always listed on it. But I love answering questions on quora. I’m proudly one of the ‘Most Viewed Writers’ for Ahmedabad on Quora. Another section that I find interesting is Dating Advice. Because people ask really weird questions when it comes to understanding the opposite sex. Here are some of the questions and my answers to it:

I wonder what kind of lingerie can make men crazy?

Are men monkeys or snakes? No, they are not. Hence there is no sure shot way to make them go crazy. There can’t be one brand that beats all or one kind of lingerie that will seduce all men. However if the man loves you, and if you love that man back, anything would work just fine. If he doesn’t love you, LaPerla or whatever Victoria’s Secret wouldn’t work. Continue reading “Quirky Relationship Questions People Ask On Quora”

Startups That Should be Present in Ahmedabad But are Not

Startups That Should be Present in Ahmedabad But are Not

They say Ahmedabad is going rapidly and many startup accessory companies are lining up here but we still don’t have many success stories here. ZoomCar, a startup that rents cars for self-drive, kick-started in Ahmedabad some time last year, which is around 3-4 years late. Even some of the MNCs such as Starbucks haven’t entered in Ahmedabad yet.

From what I have noticed and how I see things today, these are the startups that should be there in Ahmedabad but are missing for one reason or the other:

Continue reading “Startups That Should be Present in Ahmedabad But are Not”