The last fight

Feminism had been talked about in almost all domains of her life. If one claimed to be from this century, one had to be aware of the term and all that went with it. Since play school, kids were taught the theory and by the time they reached middle school, they were expected to know how to treat the other sex fairly. However, the country she belonged to had a different story altogether. The theory was taught but the practical was skipped.

She belonged to the modern world and was an extrovert on most occasions. This trait gave her the access to the homes and private lives of people from her race. After a lot of consideration, she observed on a social media site that: In India, men love feminism only till before marriage (in most cases).

She had been prepared for outbursts from the other sex and even had her retorts ready. No sooner than she had put up this status, comments began to flood in. To her delight, most people seemed to agree with her but as in any story, there had to be a villain.

Our villain was an obnoxiously rude male who seemed to be very offended by this statement. He began his argument with a string of profanity stating that women were the culprits and pretended to be victims of a patriarchal setup. They had brought the tags of ‘delicate darlings’, ‘favourite rape victims’, ‘weaker sex’, etc. on themselves. Our man was quite a poetic soul. He went on to say that women were like the beautiful pitcher plants that trapped unsuspecting insects in its web of lies and deceit.

‘He must have had terrible relationships with the women in his life,’ she thought. By the time she could reply to his argument, another comment had come in from the same soul. This one, however, had a calmer tone and stated the example of an article in ‘Business Insider’ where Naina Lal Kidwai (the country head of HSBC) spoke about how feminism had empowered women and went on to sing praises of her husband’s support.

‘Well, all of that is good but how much of India consists of CEOs and CFOs. These folks to whom you refer have enough money to get their household chores done by others. But what of the rest of the county? How many husbands help their working wives at home,’ she asked.

The answer to this took time to come. After about two hours of waiting for a reply, our genius man stated the example of a ‘real life couple in a Bengali locality where the wife controlled the husband.’ ‘Ah, my friend. That is not feminism, that is oppression,’ she replied. Then she went on to explain how the word was not about one sex dominating the other but equality between the two and so on.

The person in question now had nothing more to say. He ended his argument with a private message to her saying—I hate women. That, for you reader, is what feminism leads to in our country.

Habits

The fragrance of Davidoff Clearwater and sweat mixed on fabric was divine. He had just come in from his football match and had hurriedly taken off his shirt to go wash up. I had picked the piece of garment in my hand, got the atoms close to my nose and smelled. It was heaven.

That was my first encounter with smell. Prior to that, I had never thought of using my nose to such an extent. That hot day I realized the pleasure my brain got from breathing different odors in; especially sweat mixed with perfume.

Ma’s sari was kept in a corner. She had worn it the night before her sister’s anniversary. There was a lot of dancing that night and I naturally assumed she had perspired. The thought got me excited. I crept towards the sari from the other corner of the room like a thief walking stealthily to steal the object of his desire. Ma did not like me smelling things, so I had to do it quietly. Her smell was different. It was Chanel no.5 and sweat. I realized Davidoff was better.

Only yesterday I got caught smelling my dog. Her wet dog smell was oddly comforting. She smelled of old shoes, rotten eggs and strawberries. After her bath, she even sported some jasmine in her scent. My cat smells different though. She reminds me of raw fish, baby powder and milk. She has a very indifferent smell.

The first thing I do before I put my clothes on me is to smell them. Every fabric takes up the smell of the detergent differently. Jeans, for example, has a fresh citrus like smell when washed, whereas cotton tends to take up the same smell in less intensity.

My favorite is satin. I have a hilariously expensive satin bra that I gifted myself on my twentieth birthday. The best thing about it is the way it smells after a few day’s wear. It smells of me and sniffing it in the middle of the night or early in the morning give me the consolation that whatever might change, my smell will remain constant throughout the worst apocalypse.

Farewell childhood

Disclaimer: Being a writer is terribly hard. I suggest the reader to take my criticism in a comic light. Don’t listen to me. Read the play for what it is. I am just overwhelmed at the moment. Happy reading!

 

Summer of 2007 was memorable. That summer was dedicated to JK Rowling and her magical world. There was no end to the discussions. I was reduced to tears when the otherwise cruel Snape’s secret was out. His patronus was the same as Lily’s. ‘After all this time?’ was answered by ‘Always.’ That’s all it took to melt my stone like heart.

Harry Potter had defeated the Dark Lord and there was finally a happily ever after. The wizarding world and the muggle community could rest in peace. Good had triumphed on evil. We could all sleep well. Harry had grown up and now it was my turn.

Fast forward to 2016.

I don’t really know how to be an adult. All I know is that I am one. Young adult fiction is out of bounds for me now. It’s time to read the grown-up books. But I couldn’t contain myself when Rowling released her Cursed Child.

Childhood was back. Comfort was back in life. Harry had grown up and he could give me pointers on how to do it. I started reading the book as soon as I laid my hands on it. The black hardcover felt like home.

I had been warned previously that the book was a disappointment. But how can Rowling go wrong, right? It took me just 4 hours to get done with the play. The fifth hour saw me pondering.

I was definitely going to the wrong person for advice on how to be an adult. I didn’t recognise Harry. Hermione is a person easily swayed by a kiss. And Ron…well poor Ron has no part but to crack jokes here and there. Rowling did you happen to forget that there is no Harry and Hermione without Ron? Or did you just make up their friendship to make us kids feel good about our peers.

Sibling love doesn’t exist in the story. Where are James and Lily Potter when their brother needs them the most? It’s not like they are sitting in a boarding school in Hawaii? They are both in Hogwarts for God’s sake.

Since when did Dumbledore become such a weepy person? His portrait seems to pour out more tears than the Niagara falls in one day.

Let me not come to the racism in the play. I might just punch the playwrights. Since Panju is a proper noun, the next possible names of people from around the region should be Gujju and Mallu. Lesson to aspiring writers- you don’t need to research anymore, as long as there is a diversity factor in the story.

Rowling doesn’t seem to remember her characters. If she had, the story would be utterly different. The book is a recap of what happened in the past 7 books and then some.

Oh and Voldemort is a joke (the man without a nose), as is his lineage.

Why Rowling? Why did you do this to my childhood and to the way I look at the wizarding world?

Sigh. Looks like the grown up books are what I need to turn to now.

Miss Fake Cake

The past year Miss Fake Cake bid adieu to this world after swallowing a fly. This lady, if you can call her one, was sitting by her French window in her very elite town house, admiring her situation in life when a huge fly flew in through the window and started chasing her all around the house. After 20 minutes of running around, her temper got the better of her and she decided to eat up that ‘black-blue pest’ whole. She opened her mouth wide and that poor soul flew straight in, as if it had always dreamt of exploring the interiors of her large mouth.

The fly had expected to come out of her alive, however she was persistent in swallowing it. But our hero was a fighter. It bit her digestive tract as it journeyed down the gastric lane and did the tango in her stomach. By the time it reached her intestines, it had become a martyr. But good for it, it caused internal bleeding in Fake Cake, which resulted in her untimely death shortly after.

I knew her since college days. She was one of the biggest ass-biters in the history of ass biting females- the kind of person who is sugar sweet on your face and has a truck driver’s mouth when your back is turned. She was Little Miss Perfect to the world- always the best dressed; having all the right things to say; the teacher’s pet, etc. Back in college, she used to apply a thick layer of bright red lipstick and it resembled a traffic signal light.

All of us knew that it was our queue to run when that red thing opened to give way to black. The insides of her big, fat, mouth resembled a rotting corpse, metaphorically of course. Her tales of owning five villas, 6 Lamborghinis, Gucci- Prada and all of her pretty things, sounded like chanting of ABCs to us by the time we graduated college. Her boyfriend was the perfect guy, in her twisted little mind- tall, dark and handsome- straight out of a Mills and Boons novel.

After she married him, she got to know exactly how repulsive that creature was. She recalled, in one of the gatherings, that he barely ever washed his underwear and wore the same inners for days on end. Also, he slept on a bed of rotting bananas- one of his many fetishes and she had to do so too, by unofficial laws of holy matrimony. In the same breath, she sang his praises and gloated that he gave her a 50 carat diamond necklace every month and so on.

One would make the biggest mistake of their life if they asked her to speak about herself- she could fill pages which if stacked upwards, towards the sky, would reach the sun. The word ‘privacy’ did not exist in her dictionary. Our conversations were more of monologues during which she bragged about her parents being the richest folks she knew and filled it with unsolicited advice on my life.

In short, she was a pain in the buttocks whose only aim in life was to feed on other people’s grey cells. One could see the pleasure in her eyes when she bitched about some poor, unsuspicious soul. She got high on gossip and fed on other people’s life stories.

Since this is an obituary, I am required to say some good about her too. The best praise I can give her person is that she closely resembled Homo sapiens. Last but not the least, I am indebted to the fly for its courageous deeds.