The second innings

One of my nerdy friend, have got two divorces and three wives already. I envy his facebook marriage updates. Probably, the planning begins right at time of marriage. While I have been busy looking for an accountant to manage my taxes, he had been much shrewd to hire a good divorce lawyer. 

Its not about talent. Both of us were barely 20-30 ranks apart in college days, now we are 2-3 wives apart. If each wife is given a score of 2, he is at whopping 6, while I have a measly score of 2 with two negative (-) points of kids making it ‘zero’….cipher…..shoonya. Damn! Its all about talent.

While many of my earlier posts (e.g. Desi midlife crisis) does point towards me being in ‘frustrated forties’, I am not. Neither my clicking ‘follow’ on any remotely girlish gravatar proves anything. That reminds me, I once followed a long haired fellow in half-downloaded gravatar on my phone, proved to be a thick-moustached, heavily bearded spiritual guru later. To magnify my embarassment, he would send ‘love and light’ in his comments. 

Anyway, a craving for second innings and to even the score did lead me sieving through unanswered facebook requests. I diligently sorted out wheat from the chaff, I mean women from men. Next step was to exclude ones with many hobnobbing mutual friends. Criteria was set to ‘less than three’ mutual friends. After adding all of them, I just waited, like my wife waits for ‘whistle’ of pressure-cooker. The vibrations, the dancing nozzle, and the warning muzzled sounds culminating to extreme shrillness announces ‘rice is ready’. I too was vibrating and dancing like a cooker nozzle. 

And, it worked!!!

Many, “Sorry! May I know you?”, popped on my mac. 

The question griped me, and pushed me to oblivion. Having spent close to 40 yrs on earth, world doesn’t know me. People win Wimbledon, become bollywood superstar, bomb countries by this age. And me? Sending facebook requests to girls? Is my identity restrained to a mutual friend? Nah!

I just snubbed off, unfriended all of them, and got back to life, wife and rice.

Second innings begin with fall of early wickets. 

Match forecast: Brutal thrashing, innings defeat and follow on, when wifey reads it.

Why Alia Bhatt could be the perfect Indian wife?

In a typical desi pre-nuptial grand analysis,  my friend had to chose among a strikingly beautiful middle-class girl, and a featureless stinking rich girl. He obviously chose the second. His idea of marriage was so flawless and vivid. Right after marriage, he went to those beauty mongers VLCC etc., and ask them to convert his wife to Katrina Kaif in 30 days. After a fortnight, they called, “Katrina toh nahin, kuchh woh Sonakshi-Sonam fusion bana dun. chalega?” [ can we make her sonakshi-sonam fusion instead?] . Whatever, not a bad deal!

Though trends are changing, scepticism about good wife persists. Inspite of all those proven-disproven Alia Bhatt’s dumbness, I believe she would win hands-down in great desi marriage bazaar.

1. A rich family:  Most blatantly flouted laws of India is dowry law, which only props up in divorce cases much later after deal is already done. A celebrity social activist Mahesh bhatt may not give a penny, but still, damaad of bhatt family may atleast get a BMW in vidaai, and some chillar in post-nuptial rituals.

2. An earning wife: Its a growing trend in cosmopolis life since a lone bread-winner can’t manage all EMIs and school fee. So, both bread-maker and bread-winner are poor women (colloquially called abla naari). Even if you are fired, Alia would keep doing shaandaar or some movie to pay the pending bills.

3. A narcissist flatter-loving father-in-law: Indian damaad would love to flatter their father-in-law to get some goodies in return. Just shower praises about his good old Aashiqui days, and his bold moves, Bhatt Saab may offer you something which you would never refuse. May be a movie-contract in sex-loaded murder mystery in exotic locations? You won’t mind a itchy-scratchy dad-in-law boring you with his harangues. Would you?

4. Not-so-hot wife: Indian men drool at  sexy hot women, but would pledge to break your teeth if you ogle at their wives. Maladies of having hot wife can be asked to cricketer Stuart Binny, whose wife is discussed more than his cricket. Alia somewhere fits in that bubbly charming girl who may be spared of lecherous, lewd look probably.

5. Little dumb, as they say:  From ages, the right to grab the newspaper in morning, and switching news and sport channels had been a men thing. Women who do so or get into this social activism etc., end up with divorce. I won’t get into made-up Alia jokes. I am assured she can definitely order things online and get all the household plumbing work etc. I don’t know if she knows cooking a good rajma-chawal though.

6. A stray brother-in-law: Hahahaha! Enjoy! Its all yours now.

Note: Author scribbles satires on gender equality, and this blog is in similar series, and wish not to offend any one. Besides, author doesn’t think any of the male readers would ever get Alia.

Desi mid-life crisis

“Sir, you look pretty young, must be in twenties!” The callous bubbly girl remarked.

I never realised how swiftly I entered into 30s and close to heading what they say ‘midlife crisis’ or ‘frustrated forties’.  Could have been a genius-in-day-hoodlum-in-night kind during my college days, and then the pursuit of Dilli-waali girlfriend (read my old blog). Unbound uninhibited. For most of the born middle-class, this fool’s paradise gets over with a simple-yet-effective word called ‘marriage’. Its a symbolic end to any imprudent or luscious desire.

For many mischievous incorrigible young goons, marriage would be ultimate weapon to bring them on track. “Beta! Abb to shaadi ho gayee. Abb to sudhar jaao.”  (Now you’re married. better fall in line!). Even people like Ajay Devgn began doing movies like ‘Bhagat Singh‘ and ‘Singham‘ after marriage, while skimpily clad gyrating Kajol decimated her career to kid movies and Alpenliebe chocolate ads.

So, it wasn’t inapt for me to ignore the lively charming girl. Given a choice between Katrina Kaif or Konkana Sen, I prefer to go for Konkana’s movie which carries some substance-as they say. Wonder why these calculative producers pay so much to Katrina, a woman without substance? These ‘hot’ and ‘oomph’ don’t quite register in mind……anymore. The definition of ‘substance’ for me has flipped for good, like ‘Congress-to-BJP’, a character reversal, moderates to hard-core rightists. No other women. No indulgence. No freedom. No wits. Restrict to roman code of ethics and the supreme boss- your spouse. Konkana couldn’t hold me for long, and gradually the interest for movies died. TV soaps or those millions of singing idol shows were equally brutal.

Aren’t men cheering up Sachin and Yuvraj while gobbling on chips and drinks becoming rarer? I don’t remember when I last watched a test match. What would men do if they are stripped of historical ‘couch potatoes‘  status? With women conquering the couches watching all TV shows, should we begin calling rather ‘couch tomatoes‘?

To make it worse, era of ‘bigbasket’ and online shopping confiscated the lone birthright of indian husbands- shopping vegetables. I remember men enjoying evening walks to shopping ‘haats’ and fish-markets, a healthy respite from family woes. They would drift around, have long chat with buddies, have a ‘bhang-sip’ or a small ‘drink’ based on local preferences, discuss women may be or an unchaste joke. And there was no mobile to track you down either. Deprived of this casual pleasure, I have slowly forgotten the contours of gourds, and colour of flours. Big Bazaar revolution eliminated the pleasure to explore.

While driving back home, I was crooning an oldie, “O bade miyan diwaane, aise na bano” (an old song based on a moonstruck middle aged fellow). The girl who complimented in morning suddenly flashed in the rear-brain. She must be in her twenties or could be even younger. Huh! a kid. Yet, she brought in me a conceited grin, a quick look on car mirror and a stroke through own beard. May be I am still so young and charming! Day-dreaming I reached home. My spouse was surprised to see an exuberant beaming face instead of routine insipid fatigued profile. Mirror was even more surprised to find me staring at it for long. Everything seemed in tone, except the bulging tummy. I began coming home early and rushing to the gym. After lifting plenty of married life burdens, those weights and dumb-bells looked so wispy and light. Soon, my gait transformed from kyphotic bent Neanderthal to a Modi-style bold bloated stance.

Funky T-shirts, kamaal-khan sunglasses, a goan rejuvenation escapade and counting female stranger ‘likes’ on facebook. The new life had begun. Essentially, a suave doc was turning into a silly lampoon.

The tummy kept its contour intact not even budging for an inch. I sweated, panted, pushed up, tread-milled. Futile attempts of revival. God pushes you into such a karma-cycle that the only girl who would ever genuinely appreciate you, is your wife, sometimes more imposingly termed ‘life-partner’. A sacred elaborate marriage ritual and those seven-pheras glue you forever to somebody. Bond becomes even stronger with kids stepping in. The concept of ‘yours’ , ‘mine’ and ‘ours’ kids never crept much in Indian familes except a few like famous Mukherjeas where family lived like a riddle never knowing which son or daughter have come from which womb.

Coming back to the bubbly girl. She deserves some credit for bringing a sense of revival in me. A life lost in undesired burdens and imposed routine. A much early mid-life crisis which engulfs most of the married, divorced, or never-married people, is simply unwarranted. A ball-room dance with spouse may be extreme for many, but may be a bunch-of-roses would do.

What nonsense is buzzing in background when you write such a serious blog? ……Daddy mummy nahin hain ghar pe…….uncouth lyrics, oafish gestures.

Note: All characters (including me) are fictional and any resemblance is mere coincidence.

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