Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Feminism ..and something extra

I know am treading upon a topic which has never seen light beyond controversies, and on a blog like mine where the stuffs that I talk of are so subtle and 'non-taboo' such a topic is the last thing one should think about writing! But at times, the things that you read or certain people whom you interact with forces you to delve upon such thoughts. And added to it the idle-time you get in the office cab while you commute to-and-fro.. thats one time you don't want to think about your work in office or home, and so such thoughts creep in.

That ends the disclaimers :-)

It was probably on one such mid-week cab-drive did my mind wander to the word feminism. My dictionary here screams that it means "A doctrine that advocates equal rights for women". Now,don't start panicking. Neither am I going to talk of Parliament and Women's Bills nor am I going to narrate some incident where I was fighting Woman's most-hated enemy named Man and was made to feel that I was not given any rights.

If the dictionary is anything to go by, I would be proud to say am a hard-core feminist at heart. Any woman for that would be proud, ain't she? But calling myself a feminist makes me as uncomfortable as a baby in wet diapers. Now why is this so...I probed.

Would I mind if a guy opened the door for me? No, I wouldn't.
Would I mind if a guy opened the door for me EVERY TIME??? I wouldn't. Seriously I wouldn't!! I mean, why should women make such a hue and cry for such a small thing and tag it with feminism and adulterate the very essence of the word??? Off late, this is just what women talk in the name of feminism! If a man does some(any)thing for her which probably she can do it herself, she screams to the world that her rights are violated, that man sees her as inferior, writes blogs on her strengths, writes columns in magz...phew! C'mon darling-women, let them pamper you, what difference does it make on who opened the door??

Women are so much obsessed about giving new meanings to feminism that they themselves forget what they are there for! Independence, freedom, liberation and other fanciful words have been etched to their thoughts so much that feminism probably now means "A doctrine that advocates women do not need men".

If moving out and "living independently" at the age of twenty-something, blogging about your sexuality so loudly that it makes it seem so obscene and still claiming you don't need a man for anything, even for reproducing is considered the classic epitome of new-age feminism..then sorry, no, am not a feminist! Wake up women, Please don't over-do things!! This ain't the stuff that the dictionary says!

Disclaimer 2 : Please understand, I am a women too. I wouldn't want to be a down trodden. But the essence of this post is I wouldn't believe that any man would think I am down-trodden if he opens the door for me! This is my opinion, my blog and if you think I have disappointed you, so be it!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Fry till Golden Brown..

Take any culinary book, am sure these lines would never be missed. Its there all over like a punchline!

Talking about recipe books, writing it is as much as an art as is cooking itself! You need to choose words with utmost care so that it tempts the reader to try it. Once the reader runs through all the ingredients required and is satisfied that (s)he has all the stuffs ready she is automatically drawn to the Method section. Now once (s)he starts reading the method, the author should hand-pick and present the words in such a way that he (more than often she) actually starts smelling the aroma of the spices being lightly fried in oil!!

Some tips (read as "culinary jargons") used to draw the readers attention are -
(Use these phrases in case you are looking for an alternate career in writing cookery book/online posts)

1) Onions are always fried till golden brown. Am sure many a times all of us would have wondered what exactly the golden brown colour was, but sure enough we have been made to believe that onions taste best when they are "fried till golden brown", a thing never achieved !!

2) Garnish with fresh mint leaves and blah blah... mmmm sounds so appealing! The readers would fall head over heels for this!

3) If you observed, recipes with simple names rarely catch your attention. Instead see the increase in page-hits you would get if you posted the simple recipe of prawn fry to Golden Fried Prawns in Sweet-n-Sour Vinegar Sauce.

4) Not to forget that colourful picture of a juicy chicken ready to be dug into surrounded with "garnishes from point# 2", a checkered napkin in white-n-red! Yeah man, its going to be nothing without an eye-catchy pic of the (supposedly) real thing

5) If its an online post, get your friends and parents to comment on your recipe. Bribe them to give you as many stars as possible for your ratings and watch the magic as some naive unassuming user(read: prey) searches for something and your recipe gets another hit!

Now who cares if your prey ends up skipping his dinner coz of half kilo grams of burnt prawns with a vinegar sauce that doesn't taste half as exotic as it sounds! You receive your hits (pun intended ;-))

Happy Writing!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Wheels of Change

I wasn't believing myself when I saw myself type on a chat window "Yaar,go for santro, it perfectly suits your budget and is a really good value-for-money car. If in case you can stretch a little, try Swift." and the guy (ok, mark this word, its a GUY !!) at the other end asks "What about i10? Hows the performance? " and I type without thinking twice "i10 is very good, but then don't you think its over-priced? " "Aur WagonR? kaisa hai? " and I reply confidently "Thats the ugliest looking car ever produced by man.. absolute waste!" We exchange a few more pleasantries and I end the conversation.. beaming like a first rank holder! Guess why..

Barely 2 years back, a car for me would be as simple as something that runs on the road, has 4 wheels and a cover on top. My knowledge of car (or any automobiles for that matter) was an absolute zero even though I had a valid driving license. And that I possessed coz I thought it would look odd in today's world not to hold one once you complete 18 yrs of age. After all 18 is the age to scream aloud to the world am finally officially an adult!

I think we are deviating from the primary topic of interest.. cars.. yes, I was mentioning how ignorant I was about cars. Back in school, I had this friend N, an absolute tomboy, who used to be such a car-lover that it was hard for me to resist all the gyan she gave me then! So though I despised that topic as much as Social Studies, I knew Celio (or was it Ceilo?) was a car which was big.

After school, it was again a state of pure bliss (read ignorance) about automobiles. And in I walked into the hustle and bustle of bangalore city, I meet this dude. He loved traveling, enjoyed having all kinds of food at all sorts of places, was ready to take risk and sit through many super-duper bollywood flops and.. loved his car (then an Indica) n bike (then and now a Pulsar 150 cc) like crazy!

Harmless, I thought. Though interests were aligned in exactly opposite directions we got along like a house on fire.

Unfortunately I didn't realize that spending a year with a car-lover means you might subconsciously expand the thesaurus meaning I had created for a car to little more than what a normal human being would.

The car-word got bigger and bigger and took different shapes in its meaning. Today I attend Auto Shows (huh!!! I would have committed suicide had I the power to predict the future 2 yrs ago!), can tell between different kinds of alloy wheels, can even imagine how they would look and hence choose between them, confidently comment that small cars look bad with a spoiler, and that European cars have extra performance and power and US cars, like any other market fall under the age-old "just looks" categories, watched the Tata Nano videos like some crazy car-enthusiast ;-)

Man, whatta transformation... now I read all the car columns in newspapers, and guess what, when a reader pops a question of which car would suit his requirements I am already ready with the answer that is usually in line with what is given by the professionals :-))) lolz...

And I still don't know if I ever loved cars... or even driving one!