Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bitch central

Now don’t tell me, “I don’t have to read this because I never bitch.” Really now! As much as we love to deny it, we all do. It’s therapeutic. It’s de-cluttering. It’s detoxifying. It’s introspective. Men love it. Women love it. There is enough statistics out there to support high prevalence of bitching in both sexes, so no gender issues there.

But like a famous dialogue in a Hindi film which translated as, “Even if you do something unscrupulous, do it scrupulously,” I believe there are ethics of bitching. There is an unwritten code of conduct, an underlying morality to the whole thing, and hence, I am taking the trouble to write out the ten commandments of bitching:

1. Thou shall have (at least) a mental list of “People I will bitch about” and “People I will never bitch about”. It doesn’t matter how many people are in the former list, but there have to be at least five in the latter. There have to be bitching exemptions for everyone, no matter how many flakes and twerps you know in real life.

2. People from the former list can migrate to the latter, but the reverse should not be possible, unless you’ve had a major fallout or discovered that you have been bitched out royally by a member of the latter.

3. Be consistent. Pick a few bitching targets and stick to them. If they qualified in the first place, they will make sure you always have enough material. Don’t randomise your bitching, because then, no one will take you seriously.

4. Thou shall not bitch about someone and then shower accolades/superlatives about her/him the next day, even if the audience is different. You are not a credible bitcher anymore if you do that. There has to be a bitch quarantine period for things to simmer and settle down before you apply your antidote.

5. Have some integrity: which means, whatever happens, never bitch to the one you bitched about.

6. Never try and undo a bitching in haste. Which means thou shall not bitch about someone and then ‘like’ everything they say or do on Facebook soon after. Have some credibility for heaven’s sake.

7. Everyone has a bitch fatigue point, which means you have to draw the line at bitching somewhere and move on to other stuff, else you will be classified as "one who always bitches."

8. Never put all your bitches in one basket. Which means you should have different people to bitch about different things. One for work, one for social life, several for husband/boyfriend, one for family, one for miscellaneous..

9. Thou shall not bitch about your BFF, no matter what happens.

10. Though shall never bitch in writing. No text messages, no email, no social networking site; nothing that can be printed or displayed. There is nothing more crude than documented bitching. Leave it to the gossip columnists.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What Balooney!

This weekend, lust got the better of me and I found myself (alas, with the husband) at the local multiplex trying to get my George Clooney fix on a Saturday night at 300 Rupees a pop (weekend rates, but it was Clooney and I couldn’t wait).

To say that I was terribly let down by The American would be an understatement. I was devastated. My mood was ruined. I was angry enough to ‘need’ a drink. Here was the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ brooding in the midst of obscure, un-photogenic mountains, giving you a crash course in gun-making, drinking brandy with a priest and espresso with a woman as bland as camomile tea, not smiling, not being endearingly mean, or funny or charming or wicked. Nothing that Clooney does best.

It was like watching one of those terribly arty movies where everything happens in real time, except everyone in the hall was still waiting for a twist till the very end. There was none. Nothing happens in the movie, Clooney notwithstanding. There is no semblance of plot, no distracting backdrops (Italy has never looked this boring), no back-story, no clever capers, no skin even. Okay, yes, he did some crunches in muted lighting, and there was a flash of a tattoo around the nape of his neck, but is that all? Where were the lines, the suave demeanour, the let-me-kill-you-with-that-smile attitude? And I don’t care who gave how many stars, the film is a no-brainer.

The last time I was close to this angry, it was during Kidnap, when, soon into the movie, I got sick of Imran Khan’s flaring nostrils and Minissha Lamba’s nose job and the famously overrated white bikini that never appeared. Perhaps it did long after I walked out of the movie but I can’t be sure.

Coming back to The American, I was going to say why would a producer make such an un-Clooney film with Clooney in it, when I realised that he was one of the producers too. What could this be? Celebrity fatigue? Reinvention of self? Spiritual quest? Then why not go and live in the mountains yourself? Why make us spend our hard earned money and not give us our Clooney’s worth? Why make a Clooney film without Clooneyisms?

There is a reason why Clooney exists. For the men, it’s a reality check on what they cannot be. For women, it’s a reminder of what they cannot have. For both of these to occur, Clooney has to do trademark Clooney stuff. Men as good looking as George Clooney have no business to talk their face away. So, if this was an experiment, Mr Clooney, please do not repeat it. At least for the greater good of womankind.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stick-in-the-mud

I have had it with stick insects always whining about how they are so fat, or not 'thin enough'. Or how they look fat in ‘that’ outfit, or ‘that’ angle or next to ‘that’ person who is allegedly, skinnier than them.

For them, going on a vacation is about losing weight, as they have to look good in all those ‘holiday clothes.’ Coming back from a holiday is also about losing weight as they have to now work out intensely to knock off the 200 grams that they may have gained by eating a cookie too many, or not working out for four-and-a half days.

Now, I have a theory on body image. If you are never happy with your body, the problem is not your body, it’s your mind. Also, if you are not belly-dancing for a living or posing for swimsuit calendars every other day, neither are you a certain actress passing off as size zero, (which no one disputes as no one actually knows what size zero is), there is really no need to be ‘that skinny.’ Or is it just me?

What I don’t get about stick insects is, how come they are always meeting people thinner than them and feeling miserable? Why don’t they ever meet normal people who make them realise how thin they are?

I was a stick insect (blame it on my genes) when it was not fashionable to be one. I spent most of my teen years going to bed dreaming of filling out in all the right places so that I could be a woman instead of a girl. But no such luck for a long time. (Unfortunately, I never had any stick insect friends then, else I wouldn’t have been so miserable). And then one day, I had a decent bra-size and child-bearing hips and life was beautiful.

But what irritates me the most, other than hearing another person’s workout schedule is someone standing next to something edible and saying things like, “I don’t think I should be eating that, it’s too many calories.” Since I eat like a man, and by my homeopath’s diagnosis, have too much testosterone for my own good, my concerns are hardly the same. I just like people who eat well – man, woman, child, and most certainly stick insects.

As for the men, frankly my dear, they don’t give a damn. Dating stick insects would just mean more work for them (like sucking their belly in, or working out as a twosome) which they are happy not doing. Unless, of course they are dreaming of posing with you with a python wrapped around.