Do you guys remember me obsessing over Kavish’s Nindiya Re (Coke Studio) some months ago? In fact I wrote long emails to her of the elephant loving fame (just like the Bean!) obsessing over the way he formed the words and how beautiful his hands looked as he strummed. Yes, okay, judge me, I’m human. Anyway, I got over him (hah!) and then got back under him (anyone get the reference? anyone at all?) recently.
Which made me ponder ( I do that sometimes) and wonder, and scratch at my beard (okay maybe not) and puzzle over why a bleddy lullaby would make my toes curl and make my knees go weak. And finally it struck me that it was the combination of a warm, masculine voice singing a lullaby that bowled me over. How rare it is to find men singing lullabies, and yet isn’t that what most women look for in a man when they’re ready to settle down (Research says that, not me!)? One who will make a good father. And what says good father better than one who will take time out to sing his precious spawn to sleep? Yet, it is rare that you come across lullabies being sung by men. Why is that? Because it is the good Indian mother’s job to sing loris, not the father – no sirree, his job description clearly states hunter-gatherer.
Speaking of Good and Indian in the same breath, have you read Annie Zaidi and Smriti Ravindra’s The Bad Boy’s Guide to the Good Indian Girl? (Click here to join the Facebook page.) I was privileged to attend the Gurgaon event some weeks ago and have really enjoyed the book. It tells it as it is and I loved the style of writing. Eighty per cent fact, the book is based on numerous interviews that the authors worked into a smaller set of characters to avoid it becoming unwieldy. It’s easy to recognise yourself or your friend or your small town or big city upbringing in the stories. The not-being-allowed to wax and most definitely wearing a slip under your school uniform, the skirt length two fingers below your knees, the not smoking in front of people you know, the girl whose phone number all the boys had but nobody had ever really dialled, the doing everything but IT, because you know, it’s important to be a virgin. Who is this Good Indian Girl and what is she made of if not a bundle of contradictions? Is she necessarily the opposite of a Bad Indian Girl? To find out, pick up a copy.
Or you could just answer this question and hope to win a copy of the book being given away by Zubaan books (the publisher). The three best answers will be chosen by the authors, so take it away girls (and boys!) – What do you think the GiG (Good Indian Girl) did on Valentine’s Day? Go on, be as witty, honest and creative as you can.
As for me, I’m home with an asthmatic Bean so although I’d love to be out dancing, we’ll instead be in bed watching Sherlock Holmes and pigging out on something calorie rich. But what I can do, is tell you about a rather funny GiG experience back in the good old day when I was a small townie. The then boyfriend showed up at my place on Valentine’s Day with the requisite cards but went unnoticed by family because I came from a Christian family (*Gasp* they drink and their women wear short skirts and smoke) where girls and boys alike were allowed to visit. All the very busy working members of my huge joint family didn’t even remember or care that the usual bunch of kids was hanging out in the garden and raising Cain so the exchange of cards that denoted we were ‘seeing each other’ was accomplished without much fuss. At this point friend B who had a carefully selected card for his sweetheart tucked into the back of his jeans and hidden under his tee-shirt, begged me to help him get it across. Hers was a Good Indian Family and boys were not encouraged to drop in uninvited, definitely not unless they came as part of a group. And she was most certainly not supposed to have a boyfriend, dear God no!
I phoned her and after much debate it was decided that I’d give the matter legitimacy by coming with him. So my brother (always my chaperone) and the two guys and I, begged the car off my parents and headed off to her place on this very important mission. Her parents weren’t home and the idea was to get it all done and out of the way before they returned. She let us in and we all stood at the door awkwardly staring at each other. The rules were clear, it was just not right to leave a boy and a girl unchaperoned in a room and we weren’t going to be encouraging it. And then I don’t know which one of us buckled and walked out, the rest trailing behind, leaving the two of them alone. I’m not sure how much later we heard a gasp from the room and we all panicked. THIS is why boys and girls should not be left alone in rooms was the look we gave each other as we rushed back in. Only to find out that the crisis wasn’t as large as what we’d imagined. It was larger – the card had been full of little tinsel hearts that fell out and scattered across the room the moment she pulled it out of the envelope. Innocent problem, yes, big problem – damn yes!
The 5 of us were on our knees in seconds, frantically crawling around the big old room, collecting the red shiny hearts when we heard her parents’ car pull into the driveway. It won’t be an exaggeration to say I began to say my last prayers. Bollywood style, we collected the last heart the moment the front door opened and were the picture of guilt the moment they walked in, although they couldn’t really have guessed what it is that we were looking so guilty about. Excuses were made and we left as soon as possible, getting into the car, getting out of their driveway and parking on the road to laugh and cry hysterically at what might have been the biggest disaster of our hitherto uncomplicated lives.
I’ve spent many romantic Valentine’s Days since, but this one lives on in my memory for the way it exemplifies GiGness. So then, how about joining the fun and telling us what you think the GiG did on Valentine’s Day. Contest closes on Friday so hurry!
And Bangalore boys and girls, here’s yet another giveaway. The super-talented Monika Manchanda of Sin-a-Mon Tales is giving away a hamper of cupcakes – champagne infused or red velvet (slurp!). Head over to her page for details.