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Sunday, October 07, 2007

70mm annoyance!! 

Yeah yeah! I know I owe an explanation. To the remaining kind readers of this blog and to the kinder commenters (especially XYZ) who I've been bad towards. So what was the reason for the absence - well take your pick - it was either (i) I was being hounded by beautiful exotic women and found it difficult to give equal amount of time to all of them and blog or (ii) I was neck deep (actually make it mustache deep will ya) in work or (iii) the aliens abducted me. I'll give you a subtle hint - it wasn't (i) or (iii) - so now put those gray cells to good use and figure out the reason folks.

So I love movies (duh, you didn't figure that out from my blog yet). And I actually pay and watch them in the true big screen experience. I do not download movies and hardly ever rent DVDs. I do not write movies off before actually watching them and I give every movie a chance. I also have no pretension about my movie taste being extremely base. I don't know anything about difficult to pronounce European directors and I value MTV movie awards more than the Golden Palme. I just watch movies for entertainment. My logic is simple - I'm giving you $10 to make me not think about things I would've otherwise thought about for the next 2 hours (three and a half hours if it is a Karan Johar movie). If you succeed in doing that then you deserve my money. Simple.

So I was in India recently and true to my nature I watched a bunch of movies and the Indian movie goers gave me enough reason to write a rant post. I know, I know. Another Indian specific rant. You think I'm that guy - the one who stays in US for three months and brings soap for neighbors and tells them stories about how backward India is and how he can no longer tolerate India - "yehaan AC nahin hai", "mineral water milega?", "mineral water thanda nahin hain - probably because yehaan AC nahin hai" ... Sadly I'm not that guy and even if I was, I clearly wouldn't admit that on my blog - duh!! So I shall put forward my points as to why Indian movie goers piss me off and then you can correct me - deal?

For starters, what's this with Indian movie goers and the guessing game? Do you get extra points for guessing the next scene in a movie? No seriously, what's the prize? "I think he is the murderer." "No no, she is the murderer." "No no. She is a he." Guess what? I have two words for you - "Duck Odd" and yes I know I got my Ds and Fs mixed up. So if the fifteen over zealous people who were sitting behind me for Dhol (which is a very bad movie btw) are reading this - I really don't care where you thought the Dhol was. I rarely am tense about mysteries in movies because I KNOW THEY WILL REVEAL IT IN AN HOUR. So shut up and let me watch the movie will you. What is it about movies alone that makes us do this? Have you ever seen people do this during a cricket game - "I think Sachin will hit a four." "No No I think Brett Lee will get a wicket". We never do that. But give us a movie and we suddenly put a Sherlock hat on. And it's not just for mystery movies - we do it for any movie. Even while sitting in US I had 4 very annoying people sitting behind me when I was watching Chak De India, trying to guess what will happen in every hockey game. Grrrrr!!!

Ok. My next rant is specific to Indians in US. Children. Yes, children. They are soooooo cute. Awwwwwww. But PLEASE KEEP THEM AT HOME WHEN YOU COME FOR MOVIES. Now correct me here. Have you ever seen Americans bring their one year old infants to movies. NO. They spend on a nanny and make sure that they enjoy the movie and let others do the same too. Now ask your self. When was the last time you went for an Indian movie in US where a kid didn't start crying? I think we all get angry but just keep quiet because its a kid. Would you keep quiet if a forty year old man started crying while you are watching a movie and started telling his wife that he is hungry - no you would beat the crap out of him. So parents of toddlers who bring them to movies - please be considerate towards others. How will you like it if I went to your house and shouted while your kid was trying to sleep - get it?

Talking about kids and movies its time for some digression. What is so sweet about grown up actors and actresses trying to play with under dressed kids from third World countries in their movies? How many Indian movies have you seen where the actor and actress, in the middle of a song, just walk into a bunch of street kids playing soccer and join them. The clip then normally gets into slow motion mode and everybody is shown having such a nice time. Occasionally there will be water in the form of rain or a water hydrant. All the kids and actors will then get wet and dance around even more. Now even American movies have started using this concept. I saw the Heartbreak Kid last night (funny in parts) and even they used the exact same concept. Grrrrrr. I have actually played cricket on the streets and never remember any sweet couple joining us for an impromptu party. If at all anything, all the couples in our area hated us because there was an outside chance of getting hit by a ball while they tried to go on sweet walks. Hmmmm.

Oh I have sooo much more to rant about. The annoying bunch of teenagers who think they are really witty and fill the movie up with smart ass comments (now that I have seen in US as well). Newly married couples who choose the movie as a way of showing affection - "You want popcorn? You want soda? You want pastry? You want popcorn, pastry and soda ..." People who have business deals on their cell phone while others are trying to figure out where the Dhol is - "Haan Sharma ji. Aaap sign kar dijiye. Abhi khatam hoga picture ... mein adha ghanta mein aata hoon ... aap popcornn lengey ..." So much to rant about but alas the aliens are here for abduction again - so later :)

P.S. Next post will be absolutely rant free :)

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dance with me baby ... won't you dance with me tonight ... 

Aaaah. I repeat myself. Another visit to a night club and another post about the all familiar sights. Only this time, the event was an Indian one and hence the sights were radically different. And no, I'm not saying that because the DJ, after a round of expletives and "Are u ready for some rocking music" roars, finally unleashed a Himesh crooning. That was hardly what made the night in an Indian party different. It was the characters who flooded the dance floor that made the Indian flavor of the night stand out and boy did they entertain me. And this was the second time in a month that I noticed this. You spot them once, they are probably an anomaly. You spot them twice and I smell a trend. So here's to them and here's to them ...

1. Twenty's a crowd.

Those who thought three's a crowd, think again. People from my generation who learnt about singular and plural from the DD spot of "ek anek" would love to see anek single Indian men in groups in these parties. Now don't get me wrong. All night clubs have single people. For some that is the whole reason for hitting the clubs. Get one and get some - that's there hope. For that they come armoured with button opened shirts, an over dose of cologne, money to buy drinks to all and sundry and a shiny pack of protection. Sometimes, the quintessential wingman accompanies them too. But in Indian parties the scene is very very different. We are no longer talking of A wingMAN, we are talking abt a freakin army of wings. A group of twenty single men???? What were they planning, an orgy fest?? And boy do they dance. Groups of men assume roles of women and play the female fiddle to the beats as the remaining men churn out manly moves. Then then pause, laugh, elbow each other, nudge and point out women who had dared to show a little more skin than others and then swap roles of men and women and continue their dance routines. Seriously, if you have no idea how scary this image might be, imagine this with me - ten men playing Madhuri Dikshit, as a remixed version of Chaney Ki Khet Mein blasts. Bad enough for you? No. Well then imagine three shirt opened heavily moustached, libido oozing Indian naujawan playing Helen and sizzling to Piya Tu Ab to Aaa Jaaa. Duh! Why do you think Piya is nowhere to be found. Grrrrrr!!

2. The Desi Dude.

It's all about contrasts. After the anek lets shift the focus back to the ek. Singleton rules. There are some self proclaimed dudes in the desi parties who were major studs in their hometown of Bhulbhulaiya. The same guy who had perverted uncles repeatedly pressing his cheeks in family gatherings with lines like "Arrey, he looks just like a young Dharmenderrr". So Dharmenderr grew up believing all Hemas are waiting for him round the corner but never reaffirmed his claims. The same guy who always thought he has all female attention focused on him but never actually spoke to a girl. He normally has a look; a look that he thinks does best to his chiseled profile. That with the gel. That with the shirt tucked in carefully only on one side. That with the collar raised. Seriously, the guy wearing the obnoxious green shirt last night - if you are reading this (which I doubt because reading this would involve, errrr, reading), you have no idea how many times I had the urge to just go and pull down your collar, especially because you looked extremely uncomfortable in it, tilting your head at a strange angle to avoid the collar from acting as a capillary tube to your dripping sweat. Yanyways, I digress. So there are these dudes who position themselves in various parts of the club, buy the one drink for the night and just stand and there and sip it. I like that abt them. They do not make moves. They are not there to pick up women. They just stand and look at women and give a nod stating "I know you think I am hot". Then they turn towards the towering mirror and go through the checklist - collar - up, chiselled Zoolander look - there, twisted neck angle - there and return to identifying unsaid fans from the audience.

3. Uncle and Aunty - ahoy.

Please. Please. Please. And in case that aint enough for you - a fourth pretty please. Can you please stop wearing sarees to night clubs. The saree is less sorry if it is an Indian Mela. It is ok if it's Patel Bhai's daughter's birthday and you want to look all traditional. But wearing a saree (and no, not the chic ones but more like a bridal one) to an event where the DJ is called Percussion is just WrOnG with a capital W O and G. I mean there were some young ones dancing last night who made me feel old but then when I spotted the throng of uncle jis and aunty jis doing the jhatkas and the matkas, I felt like a toddler and almost felt guilty being in a club instead of getting my homework done. Seriously did you have to take the ChaCha part of One Two Cha Cha Cha literally. Also, I would like to add to this list the newly wed wives who HAVE to wear a salwar with way too many bangles adorning them to prove their nouveau married status. I mean come on, I am happy that you found someone to dance to your tunes but do you really have to make that statement when dancing to somebody else's tunes (or is it beats)??

And then there were so many more. The one solitary guy who hasn't learnt a move since Mithun rocked with I am a Disco Dancer. He is always there. Churning out one 80s move followed by another. Then there are those first time visitors to US who have heard fancy tales of how clubs are great places to get laid. That's their game plan. They just think they'll come and get laid. They come with so many stories they've heard from friends who returned back to India and during the course of the night their expressions change from that of lust to boredom. They even raise their collar as a final measure of desperation but alas nothing helps. I can write on for a while or maybe I can't and just want to use this as a way to end this post. Whatever it is - I have written a long post and homework awaits me :) So bye.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Anatomy of a bad joke 

It all started with this joke. We were at a party at our PM(Product Manager)'s place. T and I were as usual occupied in various useless conversions.

Me: Isn't it funny how adding an O at the beginning of PM makes it sound like Opium.
T: You know what. We should have a rank called OPM ... maybe Organizational Product Manager or something like that.
Me: You know what kind of a rank that'll be?
T: What?
Me: A very "High" rank.

Arrrrrghh! Another sad joke bites the dust the queen would've said. But somehow the joke sounded so much better in my mind. But I have to accept that the joke when cracked, lacked the punch of a classic and that made me think back abt all the failed jokes I've cracked and the idea for this post came to mind.

Now come on. To the readers of this blog (to who I'm extremely apologetic abt the long delay) it should come as no surprise that I know a thing or two abt bad jokes. Hey! I almost completely own the right to really bad jokes. So why (and how) does a joke become a bad joke? Let's get into the skin of it - shall we?

No joke begins by being a bad joke. Even when you begin your sentence with "Ok, wanna hear a really bad joke ..." what you really secretly mean is "Hey, I found this joke funny but in case you don't then don't blame me later." So why then does a joke that was good in your mind become bad suddenly??

The number one reason for the annihilation of a good joke is context. Without context a joke is like a woman's short dress. On the right person and situation it would be a treat. But then give it to someone not meant for it and you are inviting visual harakiri. Take this joke for an example. I was talking to a friend and she showed me the photograph of another common friend's boyfriend who the common friend thinks is very good looking (whoa. what a confusing background). The first thing I noticed was the really long nose the guy had and my first reaction was "Wow. He makes Pinocchio look like an honest man." Not to be overshadowed by me, my friend chipped in with "Right. And the wooden expression just adds on to that." Now, I know what you are thinking. That it is wrong to make fun of ppl. And that's where context comes in. The guy in question is rumored to be a jerk and so we didn't feel any remorse while taking a dig at him. Also the images were posted with gooey captions that screamed for our comments and hence not only do I not feel bad abt the joke, it was indeed quite funny given the context.

The next biggest reason for a mutilated joke is kind friends. And by kind friends I mean drunk friends and luvahs. Drunk friends should never be trusted as a yardstick for jokes. Get a guy sufficiently drunk and he will laugh at anything. "This hot dog is so bad that they must have cooked it with the dog's poop in it." Now come on. That's just sad. A single line offending pet lovers and food connoisseurs. How bad is that? And yet your drunk friend will laugh hysterically. Not only will he just laugh, he will also repeat it to all the other drunk friends. "Hey, hey, listen to what he just said. Ha ha ha ha. So funny man. Ha ha ha. This hot dog is ..." And before you know every one in the party is laughing at your joke and you are convinced that it is a masterpiece. Next morning the same drunk guys are sitting there and having hot dogs for lunch and you come and crack the same joke and they shout back at you. "Why would you do that to us Raj? You just freakin spoilt lunch for me man," they yell. "What the fudge. You thought this joke was hysterical last night ... and my name is not Raj."

And yes. Never judge a joke based on what your luvvah thinks abt it. I have laughed at some reallllly bad jokes in the past just to make people I was with then happy. Some of those jokes damaged me permanently but I still laughed and I am sure the favor was more than returned. Like even now my mom cracks the lamest jokes in the World and my dad laughs like it is a Tom and Jerry skit. Then he asks her to repeat it one more time. And my mom does. On one hand I feel happy to see my parents so much in love and on the other hand I feel sad for my dad. Sob!

To end this post, another conversation that when taken out of context is just dumb but was quite funny if you were there.

Me: I feel most movies have stories that can be said in a line.
T: Like?
Me: Give me a movie.
T: Terminator II.
Me: Bad robot. Good robot. Good robot wins.
T: Harry Met Sally.
Me: for i = 1 to 10 { boy and girl meet; } They get together.
T: Arrrrrgh!
Me: Hey, there is a movie where the story is the same as the name.
T: What?
Me: Robo Cop.
T: That I will give you.

Peace.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Nostalgic Foreign Affairs 

Ta Ra Rum Pum was watched yesterday. For starters, the movie makes my previous post even more relevant. Please go and watch the movie as a complete validation of my post - every word of it, including Mama Shona's nice advice "Khushi ho ya gum .. blah blah karengey hum ... ta ra rum pum pum, ta ra rum pum pum ..."

But the movie had something else too. It was another entry of India's recent obsession of basing their movies in New York. Manhattan, Queens and other parts of NYC was used aplenty and there were lots of international artistes jigging their booty. This made me remember two stalwarts whom we, as Indian movie goers, never gave their due. It's still not too late - lest we forget later - let's talk abt my homies Tom Alter and Bob Christo.

For starters, if you dont know who these two ppl are, you should be ashamed of yourself. You know the guest list of ASh-Abhi's wedding and the fact that some sweet seller distributed tons of sweets to bystanders, but you morons couldn't care a little bit abt your heritage and the role Tom Alter and Bob Christo played in it. How will you feel if your children ask you fifteen years later, "Who's Rakhi Sawant?" Will you be able to look into their eyes ever again - NO, right? So in case you don't know who I'm talking abt - put your favorite search engine to good use and figure out first, will ya. Yanyway, back to reminiscing.

When I talk abt TnB (Tom and Bob is too monotonous to type every time), I talk abt two really talented business students. They were the fathers of market analysis and emerging market studies. The Britishers forgot that they ruled India for a few hundred years and it was just a matter of time before Indians would get back at them in their movies. But who would play the British baddies in these movies? TnB saw a gold mine here and stepped in. T had a square jaw and B had a clean shaven head - and we all know that in Bollywood these are the best assets after a padded breast size and carved torsos. Shetty had retired. Hindi movies needed a new menacing baldie who could get beaten up by Dharmendra and the angry B. Bob Christo volunteered. He had it all in his favor. Tall, muscular and zero knowledge of Hindi. So when he uttered "Kutte ... kutte ... baccha kutte" (yeah, his Hindi sucked), Hindi movie goers relished him getting bashed up. T on the other hand did not look very physically menacing and was also more gifted with his Hindi. So he became the shrewed higher ranked Brit baddie who got to speak more lines and play the scheming strategist. The one who would actually get a close up shot; the one who would then say "tum ha ree mummy hum ar ee pass locked hai ..."

The movies in the 80s only helped the cause of these two greats further. These two were the NYC of the 80s. That statement doesn't even make sense you say??? Hear me out. Today film makers show that they have great resources by moving the story to NYC and giving the audience an international feel. In the 80s money was scarcer and the only way to infuse internationalism in the movie was to infuse a "foreign smuggler" angle. Remember, the baddy whose face would never be shown till the end of the movie but whose accented voice could be heard from behind a silhouette. The one everyone referred to in awe and say "Mr. X India aaa rahey hai". Yeah, that's what I'm talking abt. What this meant was unlimited roles for TnB who lapped up every foreign character that came up. Also, something that fascinated me abt these characters is that they never had full names. They were always referred to as Mr. something. We never heard of a baddie called Peter Andrews. It was always either Mr. Peter or Mr. Andrews. Why were we so parsimonious with our names :(( The least we could do for these people is give them full names, right?

Incidentally, as an uber interesting aside, a point worth mentioning here is the importance of our very own baddie Prem Chopra in these movies. In all these movies where we needed foreign villains, we never gave up the central villain's role to TnB. They were always there but the main bad guy was someone else. And that someone else was more ever that not - Prem, Prem Chopra. There was something very malleable abt Prem uncle's face that could be twisted to make him look like any race. I've seen him play Chinese, Brit and even Portuguese characters in various movies. Does anybody remember that??

Anyway, TnB flourished in the 80s and early 90s. While B was better suited for leching at the women, attempting molestation and getting the crap beaten out of him, T was more suited for roles that required him to be sinister and shrewed. And then Aamir Khan and Salman Khan appeared and brought along a fest of mushy romantic movies - movies where the foreign baddies were replaced by evil uncles and aunts and feuding families who wouldn't see eye to eye (somehow that sounds like someone who is dyslexic - he he). Yanyway, these family mush fests had no scope for TnB. There was no role for Mr. Peter in a movie that was abt Khanna Uncle and Kapoor uncle's feuds over who is richer. Yuk!!! I remember the last big role I saw B in, was where he was reduced to playing a lusty villain in Sridevi's Gumraah. As he lecherously looked at the heroine and made passes her, I sadly shed a tear - realizing that this might be one of the last performances of a great!!

The final blow came in early 2000s. The new millennium brought in new cash flow in Hindi movies. We could now actually afford second tier foreign actors for actual roles. Lagaan started this trend and a bunch of movies (Dil Chahta Hai, Salaam Namaste, Rang De Basanti etc.) continued this trend. Take a second and imagine Tom Alter playing the evil cricket captain in Lagaan. Or Bob Christo playing a gay man who replaces the girl to play the character who teaches Aamir Khan how to play cricket - wouldn't that be cool? Or imagine Rang De Basanti to feature a Mr. Tom who wants to shoot a documentary in India. How nice would that be? But NO. We had to spoil it. We had to get pretty women and Shakespearean actors for a niche market that was once dominated by just two guys. Aaaaargh!!

TnB - no matter what they say. I will miss you.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

No Kidding! 

Me and Hemo were having our standard "once a week movie catch up" session and today's topic was kids in Hindi movies. We both agreed that we hated Hindi movie kids. They are disgusting. Yeah, we both liked Masoom and I think the kids in Mr. India did a great job too but barring these handful of exceptions most Hindi movie kids are as pleasing to my senses as someone dressed in red and yellow polka dots with a silver tuxedo is.

For starters, Hindi movie kids are way too wise. I think it might be my lack of intelligence but these kids are way wiser than their age and always have a lot of knowledge to impart. And you know where all this knowledge comes from? Yup! Their over pious folks who were either (i) separated from them at birth or (ii) killed or (iii) never paid their remuneration and hence chopped off from the script even before they appeared. Hence it is always either "Meri maaa kehti thi ke sab log blah blah" or "Mere papa kehtey thein ke har insaan blah blah ..." You know what my dad told me and my sister as kids? "Don't mess with other kids. Chances are they'll kick your ass. And if they do I won't defend you coz chances are their parents will kick my ass" My mom was a tad bit more protective. Every activity of my childhood was peppered with the one advice of being careful lest I get kidnapped. "You are going to play cricket? Don't play with anyone you don't know. It might be a kidnapper" "You are going to your aunt's house. Don't eat anything anybody else gives you. You might be kidnapped." Come on mom. It's our aunt's house. We'll go in the car with you and come back the same way - so unless you want to kidnap us - I'd say we are pretty safe. So you can imagine why I hate Hindi film kids all the more - coz I can't share no "Meri maa kehti hai" advice coz the line "Meri maa kehti hai ke beta kidnap mat hona" is not the best line for an adult conversation.

Next comes the songs. How come every freakin family in Hindi movies has a family song. As a kid everytime I sang, my mom would gently rub my hair and nod sadly, accepting that indeed the musical talent was missing. Sometimes she would add "Don't sing too much. You might get kidnapped ..." Arrrrgh. Seriously, I don'y even remember us singing the Indian National Anthem together as a family, forget any "yaadon ki baraat" type trip down memory lane.

And finally all the Hindi movie kid romance. Yeah sure. Every time I see a movie where they show two kids share an innocent childhood lovey dovey moment I get yukked out. Remember the 80s when kids would fall in love in their childhood itself, get separated and then grow up and actually find their childhood love (Betaab, Disco Dancer), or the 90s when kids would innocently hold hands and occasionally peck each other's cheek (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) - a trend that seems to be continuing even now (Honeymoon Travels). Yeah sure!!! As a kid my parents sent me to an all boy's school. I was told if I talk to girls I'll "have a baby" - a thought that I thought was true till I left school. By then all my classmates had talked to multiple girls and some of them I think even had babies (hmmm, so maybe my parents were right).

So yes. You might shed a tear when the obnoxious kid from KKHH holds on to SRK's hand and says "tusi naa jao". You might even say a "cho chueet" to make the moment even more gooey but all I can think of then is "Tusi jao and saath mein in saarey bacchon ko bhi le ke jao".

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Straight talk! 

So over the weekend me and a male colleague of mine decided to go shopping. "What and Why?" you question with a raised eyebrow. Brace yourself - you aint the first person to question the activity. Another friend of ours raised similar questions too with the "Aren't both of you confirmed heterosexuals" look. So I did what any sensible man facing such a question in this century would do - post on my blog abt it.

I think the society is strangely skewed in its choice of activities the sexes are allowed to do together. Every time I hit the malls, I see tons of women who come to shop by themselves. Two women, all dressed up, giggly, trying out different clothes and asking each other questions like "too short?", "too low?" "does my stomach show?". Perfectly fine. No one questions them and their motives. Now imagine two guys doing that. Imagine me walking into a store with my male friend and trying out a shirt and asking him "too tight?" "will this go with green?" Yeah!! You can't imagine that - can you?

So let me spell it out again - two fully dressed men in an attempt to dress themselves further will appear queer in our society but (yes, the quintessential but) boxing - that is just fine. Seriously. The act of two almost naked men, wearing nothing but literally boxing shorts, touching each other while sweating is perceived to be an act of oozing machoness but the thought of the same two guys buying shirts together is strange!!!! The same holds true for working out. Two buddies pumping those heavy weights in the gym is completely fine - where one man in his sweaty T shirt standing right above his buddy's face, helping him do bench press is fine - but the same two men if seen in a classy restaurant, eating dinner together in formals, will be questioned. Oh yes, that brings me to restaurants. Isn't it strange that we draw the line across some special kind of restaurants - two men having burgers in a fast food restaurant is cool (coz they are buddies grabbing a quick snack) but if they go to a sushi bar by themselves then it is not (coz then people think that they are just buddies try to grab each other while they snack).

Which is why I love Indian men. Coz we all know that Indian men hate it more than anybody else to have their sexuality questioned. At the same time most acts Indian men (or Indian men I bump into) do together are ... err ... quite questionable - going for Friday night movies together, always having their arms around each other while taking photographs, going to the sea beach all by themselves and then running into the water and splashing each other??? Sounds familiar? Yes, these are some of our favorite bonding moments. But we never come across as questionable because Indian men follow the rule of the jungle - whatever you do, DO IT IN HERDS!! Yes, Indian men flock in large quantities. Coz we know that two men hugging and taking photographs is queer but twelve of them doing it is just plain old weird and we are fine with weird!! This is the same reason why you can safely go to any night club in areas with high desi population and see a dozen Indian men dancing together and still not question their sexuality. Pretty neat, heh?

Society and its biases - I will never understand :(

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shhhhhhhhhhh ... shhh!!! 

Oh a million thanks to the kind woman who recommended the subject of this post. The "famous silent treatment" that women have forever ushered on the male specie. The weapon that can penetrate hearts that even generous bottles of free alcohol couldn't. The weapon that my grand mom used effectively and passed on to my mom. The same weapon that my sister uses on her boyfriend now and my mom secretly smiles, revelling in how the student has caught up with the master. If the bard was here today he would've said "Oh what a million words could not attain, a moment of silence did ..." Ladies and gents ... my one fiftieth of a dollar on one of womankind's most lethal strengths ...

No trick of the book is as deceptive as this one. All you have to do is keep mum!! Say nothing. It's that simple. Ideally all of us should be able to do it, right? This is when the buzzer rings and the red bulb flashes. Wronggggg!!!! The Silent Treatment is a master's art. One which is subtlety at its best. There are so many parameters and nuances - how long do you keep quiet, when do you start, how do you make the man realize that it's the silent treatment he is being subjected to and not just a peaceful day, what do you say to finally break the silence ... get it? What seems like a simple two step process (keep quiet, speak) is actually more complicated than tying your shoe laces with your arms tied behind your back.

For starters, silence will not buy you the reaction of remorse you want to see in your man. Because just silence will reveal it instantly that you are upset and the man will start with his acts of seeking (or is it pleading) forgiveness pronto. The silent treatment is like coffee - real pleasure requires prolonged simmering. So the trick is to not be completely silent but instead, be decreasingly vocal.

"Wanna go out for dinner?" the man would ask.

"No," you reply. Not a word more. Don't explain anything. Make him wonder if it's actually the beginning of the silent treatment or if it's just a terse reply.

"Wanna go for a movie?" he'll ask you soon, to reaffirm his fears.

"No," you reply again.

That's when the man gets freaked out. He's almost sure that he is being served the mother of all doses but he still has a spec of doubt.

"Are you angry?" he'll ask. Now you will be able to sense the urgency in his tone.

Don't say NO this time. Just nod your head. Maybe add "No, I'm fine."

This is when the man officially freaks out. See the reason why the silent treatment is so effective is because men never know what the woman is so angry for. It's the suspense that drives us nuts. Now all men know they screw up. More times than they should. So there is the guilty moments playing medley in their mind. However, they are just not sure which one blew his lady up.

"Is it because I called up your friend?" "Is it because I did not wash the dishes after eating?" "Is it because I called your mom fat and dad fatter? WHAT IS IT? Tell me. Tell me." They go berserk in no time.

And that is amazing for the ladies. Without saying anything they figure out all the things they should've been angry for - and that just adds on to their aggression.

At this point ladies, turn up the volume of the act. Gesticulation is thrown in. Start twitching your lips. Do the fake "I'm abt to cry and my eyes are almost red" eye motion. Maybe even sniff and breathe a few sighs. That'll scare the crap out of the man. Coz as I mentioned, the beauty of the Silent Treatment is that men have no clue how severe their blunder is and how long the ordeal will continue. It's like watching a Hindi soap on TV - ever week you think that the drama has reached it's peak but things still go on for fourteen years!!!!

And finally the outburst. Don't mess that up ladies. Then you have a great movie with a lame climax. Don't just blurt out "You forgot our five month three day anniversary" and spoil the classic moment. Either shout out loud or shed a few tears when you finally speak - but whatever you do pose the crime back to him as a question - "You don't know why I'm angry? Right? Ask yourself ..." Yes, this will just blow up your man. Then he knows that he is standing in the face of a canon - just waiting for you to blow it up!! And then .... go for the kill.

Sorry men. The silent treatment does NOT work on the ladies. They just think it's blissful silence. Also if done for long enough they don't serve you dinner and just say "If you were hungry, you should have just asked for food." So face it - we might score one up on them by peeing while standing - but when it comes to winning the battle with minimum words - they say(?) it best!!!

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