Why Does a Girl Keep Talking to a Guy After Rejecting Him?

Quite frankly. She’s silly. No, she really is. 

She expects him to keep that feeling aside and focus on the beautiful friendship they share. She should stop talking to him as soon as possible because she should know that once she ‘rejects a guy’ she is breaking his heart and/or ego and hence she should not expect friendship or decency from the guy anymore. By doing this, she is giving him wrong hints, confusing him and worse- ruining his life.  Continue reading “Why Does a Girl Keep Talking to a Guy After Rejecting Him?”

When Hypocrisy Isn’t as Bad

India is a land of breaking news. And now it’s not just news channels. Thanks to twitter, we don’t even need news channels anymore. We make news out of who tweeted what. By ‘we’, I mean the non-troll and non-lechers community, whether right or left leaning but people who have opinions, get outraged for the wrong being said and sharing it out there. In the last two days, there were two-three such things. One of them being:

Narendra Modi said, “Our Muslim sisters should get justice too (on triple talaq)”

People said, Narendra Modi talking about Muslim sisters is so ironical. He abandoned his wife.

Snapchat CEO allegedly said that “Snapchat is not looking to expand in India because India is a poor country and the app is for rich people.”

There was such a huge outrage that Indians began uninstalling Snapchat and downrating it. Some idiots also confused it with Snapdeal and uninstalled the app. “How dare he call us poor?”

Yesterday, I began reading Givler Ray’s book, “Don’t Get Fooled!” The book is about Cognitive Biases and Fallacies (now don’t get scared and run away, I’ll explain what it is). A Fallacy is a mistaken belief, generally based on an unsound argument. Argumentation doesn’t mean to argue but it means to have sound reasoning behind what you say and believe. We tend to make fallacies based on our biases about things. Our arguments, negotiations and relationships can be more swift and peaceful if we keep our biases and fallacies. The first step to being a rational person is to learn to keep our biases aside.

Continue reading “When Hypocrisy Isn’t as Bad”

Are We Becoming Social or Anti Personal?

Are We Becoming Social or Anti Personal?

We live in this hyper-social/ultra social world where sharing/posting on various platforms has become sort of a competition. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Linkedin that most people are on. These are the daily sharing ones but there are special ones too. There’s Tinder (and many more competitors) for hyper (blind) dating where you choose to meet random people based on their profiles, there’s similar Grinder but for same-sex dating. There’s Quora-like platform which is about question and answers, and you can’t imagine what all questions get answered with ease and in detail on Quora (I have found answers on Global Economic Crisis to where to find caps in Ahmedabad). There’s SoundCloud for singers and music lovers and there’s Zomato for food lovers. And then some of us also write blogs.

One more major social media eruption and we’ll all collapse.

All this means just so many profiles to manage. There are apps to help you manage multiple profiles at one go, there are books and websites that guide you on how to be popular on each of these platforms. I know people, who maintain at least 4 of these social media profiles, on daily basis. If you don’t post stuff, then you’re the stalker. You have to just keep scrolling down whatever app, staring into the oblivion, deriving nothing in return. Then there are people who are on just one platform but spending a huge part of the day on it.

It’s so ingrained in the system that it has become an involuntary behaviour. An average adult is distracted and complains that he/she doesn’t have time to read books- well obviously. People in offices are distracted. Many corporates have banned Facebook in office time.

Travel has never been so competitive, everyone is in the race of posting amazing pictures of them having fun- whether it is on top of a mountain, or a busy street or a private dinner; and most people want to do it right then. People who can’t travel too much, share pictures of the same trip periodically. Although the caption is something absolutely philosophical, shows or says nothing about the place- we post it and then wait.

The eternal wait is to see the number of likes. The Higher number of likes is always a jackpot; it basically means appreciation- perhaps something that most of us are otherwise lacking in our lives so we are trying to find it online.

Image From BuzzFeed: http://www.boredpanda.com/satirical-illustrations-addiction-technology/

The others click until the camera/phone says memory full. The trip is basically blurred because you weren’t there during the lunch conversations or the quite musings in the forest or the joy of getting wet in the rains- taking it all in- you were just looking for frames, clicking pictures, counting ‘Likes’. We are only giving our partial attention to things in front of us.

It is not enough to be happy, we want to show it to the world and take their acknowledgements on it. It’s not okay to be sad, some people “feel lonely with 16 others”.

We are posting talking to our newborn on Facebook. We are talking to the dead, telling them how much we miss them-On Facebook. We are wishing our parents and partners sitting next to us on Facebook. Our dinners have become quieter and less fun than how they look on the photos on Facebook. Important errand for the weekend is to change Facebook DP and Cover Photo. Whatsapp dp and status need to be changed on daily basis.

There are norms. And everyone who is not following the norm is considered abnormal. There is lesser or value to individual space. Solitude is considered selfish. People sitting without phones, just generally looking at the sky or going out for solitary dinners are spotted with sympathy. The world has gradually become more about what we show to the world than what we truly are.

I had quit Whatsapp around a year back and got instantaneous slapping for people around. They thought I was being crazy. When I said, I want time and space and do not want this kind of communication, they thought I was being selfish, unreasonable and arrogant. Perhaps what bothered them the most was that I was making a statement that I had more work than them and did not have time to waste by chatting with them on Whatsapp. I did not mean any of that. Whatsapp was always a crowded world. The continuous insulation of dopamine (dopamine is a hormone that is released when you’re too anxious or excited) in me, wanting to check my phone so often, even when there was no notification- had become a habit. I’ve always feared addictions. So one fine day, I quit it. I told myself that if I can’t cope, I’ll be back.

Turns out, I survived. I’ve never been happier. I deleted the Facebook app, made a decision to use it only on the browser and on 2G and turned off all other notifications. So when I sit on my work table, there’s no distraction. When I am with my family, there’s no notification. When I’m writing, the internet is off.

Social media- whatever and however you choose to share, is a brilliant place to be if you know what and how much works out for you. You might as well manage 6 profiles if you enjoy it. But if there’s something that is missing, if there’s something you are noticing, listen to yourself. People who love you, will not leave you over quitting/reducing your presence on a social media platform. You have to find your own Zen (peace).

(Find more of such images on internet addiction on BuzzFeed: http://www.boredpanda.com/satirical-illustrations-addiction-technology/)

Quora Answers: Are You Open with Your Indian Parents?

Quora Answers: Are You Open with Your Indian Parents?

This was a question that someone asked me on quora. Perhaps the person wanted to ask if you tell everything to your parents and do they know everything about you. This question comes to us many times. Here’s my answer:

I don’t know what you mean when you say ‘open’.

Daily Communication

I’m not on Whatsapp. We (homies) have a secret, island-like app- mum, dad, dadi and me- which we use to communicate. It works exactly like Whatsapp and better- no statuses, no stories- simple shit. When am I coming home, whether I’ll be late, dinner at home or not, details of a trip that I am planning, sharing photos from the trip, sharing my friends’ numbers, etc. I like to keep them updated with these little things, so they are not unnecessarily worried and know what to expect. Apart from that, my parents are really cool too. Because it’s a once in a blue moon thing that they’d randomly call and ask me, ‘Where are you?’ (which is a regular and hourly think in a lot of my friends’ families). They never call unnecessarily or trying to spy on me.

Morning Conversations

 Most mornings, we end up talking about things. These are very open debates about things around, politics, some social issue, what’s happening at work, etc. There should be scope for such conversations in every home. The parents and the children feel heard and don’t keep their feelings, thoughts hidden or suppressed. This is called catharsis.

Difficult Conversations

 I am one of those emotional people who cry when they are trying to explain something while they are hurt. So I either write down a letter and tuck in their cupboard or I write a long text explaining my side. Recently when I was going through a bad phase, I wrote to them how I know they love me but I need time. Letters can be incredible. It feels awkward initially but it might actually work. On better days (when I don’t begin crying while sharing my emotions), these conversations smoothly happen on the table too.

The Myth of ‘Telling Everything’

 It is a myth that you must tell everything to your parents or to anyone you love dearly. Each one is an individual first and has their own private life. I don’t tell EVERYTHING to them but I make sure I tell them most of the important things in my life that they need to know. After growing up, not just parents, you don’t need to tell EVERYTHING to ANYONE.

Here’s the actual answer. To see what other people answered, go to this question on Quora. I keep giving such answers on Quora. You can Follow me on Quora.

Pot Diaries: Creating a Good Experience for the Woman Next to You

This one is largely an urban experience. For some reason, you wrongly expect that a person who has paid Rs. 300 for a movie ticket will have the basic decency to take a wipe the toilet seat before they leave. I don’t know why. But when I see those 2-3 water droplets on the toilet seat when I enter, it just makes me a hulk. Even the pot is angry. It is disappointed that women don’t have even the basic decency to wipe off the seat before they leave. This is even when paper rolls are right there. Available for use.

Let’s go to the worse possibilities. You enter the washroom and you find a bloody pad (literally bloody) lying in the corner. This is, of course, common everywhere in the country- public toilets, highways, restaurants, malls, everywhere. This is a very unique way of leaving your mark in a territory. First I used to wonder, poor thing. She did it because there was no dustbin lying around. But then I saw it happening even where there was a dustbin.

Woman, it’s simple. Carry a pad wrapped it in a double or single sided newspaper  when you leave from home. When you happen to use it, use the wrapper of the pad to cover your used pad then wrap it in a newspaper and then dispose of your heritage. It takes 9 seconds initially, 5 when you practice with time and get pro at it.

Yes, of course, there are places where the dustbin is not available inside the bathroom. It can be very embarrassing on a highway where a male colleague is waiting for you outside the washroom area. But it’s okay. It really is. Spot a dustbin before going inside and use your secret FBI agent skills to dispose it.

For FAQs: If you are out the whole day, yes carry 2-3-4 pads and wrap each one of them with a newspaper. If it is Ahmedabad Mirror, it takes a double sided paper. TOI takes single sided, so does any other Regional paper. It takes 15 seconds in the beginning and 10 when you have practised. So 30 seconds for womanhood and the greater humanity. Go for it.

There’s, of course, the government to blame for everything. They must have people to keep toilets clean. The owners to blame for not having enough water (carry a plastic water bottle inside with you, also to save infection risks and keep the toilet clean) and dustbins. And other women (of the world) to blame when we discover potty remains or bloody pads in a public toilet. But when are we going to look within?

In the malls, I have seen some women spend infinite amount of time looking their face, setting their hair, applying perfume, combing their hair, using the hand dryer; and I wonder, “Would she have flushed properly or cleaned the toilet seat?” There is no correlation. It’s different to forget once or twice but not having these habits can be grossly dangerous. There’s no way we’d have left it like that in our own homes. Public places are our own spaces. Own it.

Please be lovely. Don’t be gross. 

1932: How Sports Made Skirts Shorter for Women

I generally don’t read or write about fashion. It’s because I feel it is a very intimate thing. To each its own. But we know that the world runs the other way. There are trend setters and the trends change. In the past few years, we’ve seen cinema, film stars and fashion weeks changing the trends drastically. There are a lot more individual store designers than before. But do you wonder where did all the classic clothing come from? As far as we remember, women in the western world for a long time were dressed in long, elaborate (sometimes heavy) gowns.

When and how did they move to short skirts?

I was lucky to find a precious Fashion Anthology from a second-hand bookstore in Mumbai. It is called ‘Fashion’ by Madge Garland and it was published by Penguin in 1964.

Apart from being a lucidly written book about various aspects of women’s fashion, how it evolved, its response in the market, how Paris is the mecca of Fashion, etc; it beautifully talks about ‘How Sports Influenced Fashion’. It has pictures and illustrations too. Here are some of the excerpts:

The most important single influence of fashion during the past half century has undoubtedly been sports. As women began to live more active lives and take part in more sports, so their wardrobe changed drastically, and it might be said with truth that sport influenced clothes even more than fashion influenced sports clothes.

In the 19th century, the out-door pastimes of women were confined to hunting and archery, both of which had their own costumes, or to croquet on the lawn, with tennis for the more emancipated young ladies. How the ladies managed to serve in such clothes, encased as they were in corsets and hampered by high collars, long sleeves, and petticoats, is a painful mystery.

Continue reading “1932: How Sports Made Skirts Shorter for Women”

Whom to Love: When Women Love Women

Whom to Love: When Women Love Women

Last year in September, two women in Mumbai, who were said to be in a relationship and attempted suicide after they were spotted on Marine Drive by the girl’s father and were forbidden from seeing each other. While one of them died, the other survived after she was rushed to the hospital.

People ask questions like, “Are there any lesbians in India?” This sounds similar to, “Do we still have chicken pox in India?”

India is a land where women’s bodies, sexuality and life choices are tightly reined in by familial and social pressures. If you’re a lesbian, it is a double trouble: You are a woman and you are homosexual. Section 377 of IPC criminalises homosexuality and hence cases of extortion, physical abuse by the police, discrimination in schools, hospitals, mistreatment by goons in public, in general, are not uncommon. Indian parents see it as a question on their sanskar. And then comes fear: What will the society think? They take them to psychiatrists who would prescribe electric shock treatments and drugs to cure them. Continue reading “Whom to Love: When Women Love Women”