Girl Talk: The Female Brain

Disclaimer: The views in this piece are my very own and I am not generalizing myself anywhere. People who disagree may rightfully do so.

If ever there was an Idiot’s Guide to a Woman’s Brain, it would be no doubt, the World’s no.1 bestseller. It would be the biggest hit of all publishing time, a guidebook to unravel the complicated thought process of the feminine mind. But alas! It is one of the biggest natural mysteries I would say. (Being a girl myself, I have to admit sometimes my own brain does things I cannot fathom.).I am mostly clueless to the question “Where in the world did that come into your head from?” I cannot simply understand more often than not my own girl-friends, my mom or even my sister. The least I can do is pick up feeble indications of a storm approaching and hide myself and the others from the wrath.

A male brain on the other hand, I find fairly simple to unravel. Nothing is very unpredictable (unless of course insanity prevails which is a different domain altogether) or uncertain. I haven’t done those numerous researches on male and female brains and seen what they think of or respond (though Sandeep did show me a very interesting piece on sex and the male brain) but from my own experiences here is what I can discover for myself.

A male brain works somewhat digitally. It is 0 or 1, black or white, yes or no, this or that (to the absolute dismay of all the females in the world). The answers are monosyllabic most of the time and conversations are minimal. Women on the other hand believe not in black or white but all the shades of grey in between. (True masters of Fuzzy logic) I truly believe that of the two, women are more sociable and of course the more ferocious too. There is always that pinch of compassion, that slight concern for their image or self-respect, the prevailing memory of the last of such a situation and say five other parallel-ly operating thought processes which make the female brain not only capable of multi-tasking, but also analyzing the situation from every aspect, past, present or future.

I believe that the male brain is the easier one to de-code. Their brain might be closer to a computer than we think. I mean positively too. They are quick at numerical analysis, thinking in terms of numbers or codes or even programming algorithms (Of course girls are there too who are better than them…but again I’m talking in terms of the majority). But give them an abstract situation, a blam! They’ll fall flat on their faces. No wonder all the studies might show that women make better managers or decision makers which needs abstract imaginations, human emotional decoding and person to person connection. Of course, fuzzy logic is something that comes naturally to us women. 😀

I somehow though never understand the concept of the male-female relationship guide books. Though they make good reads on long journeys and their memory lasts long enough for just a chuckle, I wonder how many can actually remember the points and rules they make. But this is what I learnt from my relationships, successful ones and even the ones that went sour, never try to decode the other person’s head. Let it be a woman, let it be a man. Of course, we all rely on some degree of prediction in behavior (again I’m bordering between the sane and insane kind of predictivity). But to a larger extent, I believe the world is a much better place with all the surprises it can spring on you.

Predictivity in behaviour leads to expectations which in turn leads to the ultimate doom in any relationship, between friends, lovers, couples and what not. I never understand the point of boys asking the friends of the girl they are interested in, about the girl and her hobbies and ways to impress her ( trust me, I have been in this situation countless number of times and weirdly I haven’t found too many girls enquiring about the boys but maybe that is because of the skewed sex-ratio), not willing to listen to me that perhaps she should like you for what you are and the way you think of doing anything for her instead of a taught and rehearsed routine which would be too obviously pre-planned and detected. Undeniably, the co-existence of males and females so far owes its success to this guessing-game and thrill of surprises that each spring on each other.

I find it really easy to pick up a fight with boys. I have done that since childhood. I was the ultimate male-basher who started off with physical fights and later moved on to annoying them verbally or intellectually. They called me different names over the years (they became really interesting and colorful in college). But I simply love the disparity in our thinking. The way I chuckle at how simply they can look at things or look at them gawking at the layers we can add to a situation to make it so complicated they simply nod their heads in disbelief. Like how a top or a shirt in a shop would make a girl think all the way to the shades, the closest color she has, if the color exists in her wardrobe, if the people would like it, how many compliments she might receive, which jean she can wear it with, till where will it come, will it make her look fat or thin, if she needed jeans to go with it now, who wore a similar clothing, if the color will wear off, if the color would suit her skin, if she can wear it to college and so on and on…all this in a space of two seconds or less while looking at it. (I don’t know how guys shop honestly and find their clothes very boring to shop for: P) But I am sure their heads don’t travel all around the globe to decide. It is fantastic isn’t it? I love it when everyone I meet tells me “Don’t think so much”, but I actually want to tell them this is natural, I haven’t even started thinking! Some times complicating things helps (like shopping) and sometimes it doesn’t.

So here is a handy tip to all the boys, don’t even TRY decoding the female brain. Just enjoy it while it is cool and run for your lives when it is not! You should be able to survive.
Find ways to cool her down instead! 😀 (Never mind the reasons for the flare up)

PS: All this might seem too abstract or obvious or a waste of blog space to many, but it definitely is not the answer to the ultimate question of the universe: What we are, what is life all about and why do we exist?
The answer to that by the way is the number: 42 *

PPS: Give me work somebody!!!!

* Courtesy: Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams.

Whr hv th vwls gne?

I am sure the title is very clear to many. As clear as being written completely “Where have the vowels gone?”. I really need to ask the necessity of implementing this new sms-lingo which is apparently hep and happening and adopted by everyone even when they are not actually texting. So my question remains.Why have they killed English?

I am a very slow texter myself. I take so long to type a message on the cell phone that my friends actually ask me if I am writing an epic or something. I use the Dictionary because I simply cannot get myself to type words without vowels. Using it for smsing or short-texts is one thing. But EVERYWHERE!? I get so ragged up when people type ‘Frnz’ for Friends or worse short forms. I am not a stickler for Queen’s English demanding that each word be written completely. I am liberal to an extent like for using ‘U’ instead of ‘You’ or even ‘Abt’ for ‘About’.I don’t even mind the usual “Wassup” and other garbled versions like “Wuzzzaaaaa…” But not to the extent of people using them everywhere and for every single word! That is the reason I dislike chatting on gtalk with many people who tend to use such nagging short forms for every word they want to type. Also, I believe that this murder of language is in no way justified by England allowing students to use sms-lingo for their English papers. If I were to correct their papers, I would have failed them on-purpose and marked them zero for such usage.

I believe that all these shorthand forms of writing are actually used when you are really writing things down fast or even the basic purpose of invention of this lingo is perfectly justified. But not for usage everywhere!

I get so irritated. Blah!

Girl Talk: Geek Quotient

Warning : Guys again, can choose to skip. ( Though I know everyone reads it…still its more of a disclaimer)

Every girl knows that geeky girls are not considered dating material. Deny it all you want, the truth and the vast majority prefer the so-called “girly-girls”. C’mon! Who likes to date a bespectacled girl, clad in a jean and loose-tee (just like any guy)with worn-out sneaker speaking of genetic algorithms, planetorial movements or the latest open-source software? It is not as if geeky girls are not pretty. Pretty they might be, but the presence of techo or geeky topics in conversations does turn men/boys off and they suddenly shift in perspective from dating material to friend material.

So I thought maybe there should be a geek quotient or something which would accurately define us girls so as to know where we stand on the geek-o-meter. Sheldon ( The Big Bang Theory does top the list!) but I sometimes wonder if the serial would have been a hit had it been a girl who was geeky and the guy hot. ( Hang on! Its a nice plot for a story na!..hmm..I’ll work on it!). But some amount of geekiness has definitely slipped into all of us girls in premier engineering colleges. Hasn’t it happened that you describe sari colours in percentages? I have. It is very common for me to say ” It has 75% grey and 20% yellow and the rest is semi creamy shade” or described yourself as “My x and y axes are not that tiny but my z axis definitely is”. What about ” I had this awesome dream which felt like a real-life simulation of a aeroplane cock-pit?” or sometimes “The soup was semi-solid, almost like molten metal” or “The probability of that happening is between 0 and 0.005″ or even sworn at people saying ” You are an as***** raised to power n where n tends to infinity”.Have you estimated the length of a floor-tile standing in a teacher’s chamber when he is yelling at you and then googling it to excitedly tell that tessellations is indeed an art and marvel at the way they tile the curves or bends in a corridor in front of an amused audience? I have.
Get my point?

So rating myself, I’d call myself a decent 7 on a scale of 10. I guess the worst I have done is remembering all the rice,chess board and probability questions sitting on the dining table at a restaurant using the table cloth as the chess board. Needless to say, I am without a date! 😛

Cell Phone Ethics

I salute the pioneers of communication development and technological transformation. Yes, there are many things in life made simpler because of this amazing device. Today, as many of the advertisements claim, we can reach anyone, anywhere at any time (yes there is a slight glitch of network availability) but apart from that very big if clause, there is virtually none. It’s not the cost, or the availability or the dearth of those devices, but today there is one thing missing from the social communities i.e. ethics of cell phone talk.

Sounds weird, I agree. No, it is not another flow sheet or chapter to be written in the management books, but it is something which I think should be included in the primary school education. Something like hygiene or moral science (uh-oh…I guess many people have missed out those chapters too), but nevertheless it deserves a mention. Currently bearing the brunt of living with a set of people lacking in these very ethics makes life of those aspiring to live a normal life also perhaps as bad, if not worse.

Yes, talking is the key to relationship building. I wholeheartedly agree. Many being excited about their budding love-lives tend to spend eons of time on the device. No harm at all. But what if you have a room-mate? Do I have to bear all the giggling, hush-hush talk, sweet nothings lying on my bed (sadly in the same room) trying not to imagine vivid depictions of throwing out my phone-addicted room-mate’s phone and strangling her would-be lover. You sleep listening to their laughter and conversation (how I wish we also had some ear flaps or something). You are tired of asking her to go to the next room. (“My legs hurt man…I want to lie down and talk”) You are woken by that irritating love-laden ring tone with some singer crooning “Tu hi meri shab hai” and her excited “Hi…” before plunging into her razai with it in the vain attempt of blocking out the noise and voices.

If you thought this was bad, there is worse. When the talking changes to singing and the person in question is not a good singer, life seldom goes on normally. First day you try to rack your brains about which song it is. Once you discover it’s not even worth listening to, and then you try and distract yourself from the voice. By the third day when her boyfriend asks her to sing again for him you wonder if he is really listening on the other side. You make pitiful faces, pretend to be sick, have a headache but all that falls flat in front of love I suppose.

Have you sat in a room full of people watching TV? Oh yes, I have. Except here when I actually entered the room, everyone was on their earphones talking excitedly on their respective phones and the TV was mute! Has it happened that you actually think the person is talking to you only to sheepishly discover you have been replying to things not targeted at you in front of a very amused cell-phone user? It is almost habitual for me to be the target in such instances.

Girl on (invisible)earphone: I know this is your favorite color.
You: Arre no no…I just got this last…
Girl madly gesticulates towards her phone and you give that “Oh..Im sorry” look, wondering why you didn’t notice that thin grey wire coming out of her head before.

You awake to the sounds of a ring tone…sleep with them talking. At the most absurd hours you are amazed to find people still walking and talking on the phones .Full CAT papers are solved on the phone and accurate dress descriptions including the nuances of its fittings or ill-fittings are conveyed most vividly. People become one handed and the other hand is more often than not, yours. You close bottle-lids, cupboard doors and even pick up heavy stuff. The phone follows them everywhere and nowadays due to its limited battery capacity being exploited beyond words, the charger also follows. Every cell phone scheme is learnt by heart and all the recharge dealers are known in the vicinity on a first name basis.

You might argue that everyone in love (or its many forms) does that. But let the other person live! I don’t think I have ever gotten myself addicted to the device like people nowadays have. From being hyperactive messagers to all-time talkers, today’s youth are now totally INTO their cell phones. Forget being INTO music or INTO someone, you are actually INTO your goddamn phone!

Live and let live.
Talk but Let Sleep.


Current Affairs and I

This has become one sad relationship. From being a person, keeping herself abreast of every happening, national or international, sports or entertainment, I have become one who has completely given up on national politics. Elections are perhaps the biggest reality show of India. Parties buying seats, bribing, anticipatory bails, the history of politicians are so mind-numbing, especially their crime records that you shudder to call them a national leader.

The Jaago re guy will probably not say I’m sleeping, he’ll say im dead or in a coma but I do feel a little guilty about my disinterested behaviour towards the elections. This is probably the most ‘happening’ time in India. But I do not know how my interest has died now. Now I’ll wait for the results when the Prime Minister will take his oath and a new government, alliances will be formed. I have lost track of the political parties ( the abbreviations are killing!) and their quest for power. It all seems like one dirty game. I don’t even feel like reading the front page and entertainment always came the last.I scan the front few national news pages like a scanner without registering much and grinning at the occasional mud-slinging and contradictions.

Sad na, now that I am officially eligible to vote, I have lost all interest in the government making process. It is a very bad thing I know. People should remain interested and perhaps take initiatives also. But no one is perfect. Me included.


(The reason there are two posts on the same day is because I wrote the last one 3 days back and forgot to publish it!)
I recently took this quiz on facebook “Are you weird”. Never mind that the quiz asked some really bizarre questions like “Do you say idk often”. (Don’t ask me what idk means) The answer was “Yes, your family and friends were right, you are weird”. Not that I believe a word of those facebook quizzes which have some rather interesting ones like “Are you a jackass? “ (My fav, despite the answer being I’m not) or “What is your real Japanese name” (as if I wanted to know which by the way told me I belong to Okinawa), this is true in some departments. I agree I am weird particularly in the things I keep noticing apart from music. It is not the same everyone spots (at least most don’t) regularly. ( The facebook and its new avatar and plethora of quizzes is a different story altogether).

I remember one boy in my school for the beautiful nails he had. In fact whenever he used to distribute notebooks, my eyes used to stare fixedly at his beautiful nails. ( Okay, someone caught me staring and immediately the teasing began, typical of middle school). But he really had pretty nails. The most pretty I’ve seen till today, even among girls! Or I remember appreciating a particular shirt’s buttons more than anything else. Like how I liked my friend’s spectacles for the font with which the brand was written. I like tops for a nicely cut small slit somewhere or a pant for that tiny slit near the ankle. I liked shoes for one tiny flag stitched on the sides or picked bracelets and earrings for one tiny pattern I loved, which would be oblivious to most. I find odd things in people too interesting. Like in my coaching class, I used to be the only one in love with my teacher’s shoes. ( Hey it was bright yellow and he used to contrast it with black pants).I liked the way someone’s hair curled only in one place or the unsymmetrical nose. I liked those huge turbans which the Rajasthani men wore. I love lightning and thunder and used to get super excited when a cyclone would approach Chennai (mostly it missed) to the dismay of my parents. Like I watching the smoke swirl in the air or even the condensed milk (Milkmaid anyone?) drop slowly in curling fashion from my spoon into the bowl or the noise my dog makes when he crunches potato chips or his ear-smell or watching him eat bhutta (corn cobs). Like I love the stiff way the goats hop or the cute way the pigs’ tails curl up. There are so many words I just love looking at in print in books or the one word written on the dedications page in a novel. Weird stuff, you’ll agree!

It is funny when you appreciate things that most don’t. Mostly dismissed hilariously, some choose to look at you questionably! Anyway, it was a random post which makes no sense, written because I am getting very bored testing the program I wrote for the last three months. I can only hope to be challenged soon with some work that’ll require me to use one small fraction of my tiny brain rotting for months up there or fed on redundant useless information.
Hope is eternal 😀

Book hunt

Ever laughed incredulously while looking at the cost of a book in a book store? I have. In fact I laugh everytime I look at the prices! Use e-books, millions have suggested. But I simply cannot read a book scrolling down using a cursor key on adobe. I need to feel it, to look a the print, to smell the freshness of the pages, to appreciate the artist’s work on the cover page and most importantly, I find it more real. I know it is tough to describe this intangible sensation. But for an ardent book lover like me, a book is better than any electronic copy of the same text. It has its charm.

But I find most of the books heavily priced. Exorbitant amounts are written on that little yellow or blue sticker on the back-cover. A book just worth a one-time read is definitely not worth shelling out a winsome 300 odd rupees. You know, the best thing I liked about Chetan Bhagat’s books (the second and third since there wasn’t much in the text to like there) was the price. Today there are so many of these books based on IIMs and IIT’s that it gets very repetitive. They are the only ones available for less than 100 bucks today! I’d say that most of the books on those shelves are worth even less. But then who will pay the publishers!

Today, good plots are rare. Rarer though are books worth a second read. There are books like ‘To kill a Mocking Bird” or “A Catcher in the Rye” or “Kite Runner” which can be read and re-read. Even the Jefferey Archers or Agatha Christie’s do good justice to their time and money. But the other run-of-the-mill titles which even the authors perhaps pen out of a lingering contract from the publisher or strive to meet the stipulated number of books to get that staggeringly huge cheque, are perhaps best read once. Then how do you spend so much of your precious money on such a colossal waste!

So the hunt began for a second-hand book store. Not having the comforts of a library anymore, I began the hunt for those little shops, tucked away in corners of this city to find those second hand books. I asked people (it is tough to find devoted readers nowadays) and google sadly wont list those kind of shops I am looking for. I walked around colleges here ( the F.C in particular) and peeked into every small by-lane. Find I did, with great difficulty on one street (which I later came to know was called Hong-Kong Street) and it was famous for the accessories more than books. But at the fag end of it, I spotted two shops which stored those books I wanted. I heartily picked out the ones I wanted though not everything I wanted was available. Even he quoted exhorbitant prices looking at my genuine interest. I was surprised when a battered copy of Doctor Zhivago that I extricated from the back shelves with sparkling eyes, immediately costed me nearly the price of an original one. “You didn’t even know this book was worth anything till now!” I protested. He replied with a business-like grin, “Rare copy madam! Naya hee le lo!” He even called up his boss who perhaps asked him how keen I was to buy and asked him to quote the price. That was another book I missed reading in my college library! Everytime I asked for it, it was always issued. So many such books I haven’t been able to read and circumstances don’t help either! Sad.

Gargi helped me out by showing me another one which was in the basement of a bag-shop on the same road.! I am planning to explore that next. I am lucky to be in Pune where there is a section still devoted to books! But still I cannot stop thinking about Delhi and its markets filled to the brim with books. I remember how I used to carry only half my luggage form home and fill the remaining half with books on my way to Goa.

So I continue to hunt for books. If people from Pune are reading this, do help me out. If nothing else, Ill be happy to get some sites for downloading e-books (sigh!).

Girl Talk: Weight loss

Warning 1 : Girl rant. Boys feel free to skip the post.
Warning 2: The ones-who-can-eat-all-they-want-and-remain-skinny or the fit-naturally types, DON’T READ THIS. This is not for you folks!

I recently took up this whole new project of getting back into shape. In fact, that is the only thing Ive been upto for the last three odd months spent in Pune. The tons of free time, the availability of good, non-greasy food and the most important motivating factor being the absolutely skinny people (girls mostly) in the whole of Pune drove me to doing something about myself. Shopping in India is a torture for not-skinny people especially if you are fond of dressing up! I was frankly sick of searching for the L sizes or the 30+ jean sizes where you never get choices, just the one colour and cut. It was almost like a punishment for eating food!

This is not a new project. In fact, those who have seen me in my 11th and 12th (the two very crucial, terrible and hectic years of my life.) would definitely gasp at the oodles of flab I’ve already lost. But its been a slow process. It took me 3 odd years to cut the flab I already have removed from my body. Those years I spent in Kota ( Oh yes…let me not go into further details of that horrid concentration camp), I ate very oily junkie unhealthy food and had almost nil physical activity. Sounds like the perfect recipe to obtain that rotund figure and I did! In college, the return of physical activity and some slight moderation in eating..(though events like opening of Monginis and Nescafe did nothing to help) did bring me down a bit. But it is nowhere close to what I was (fit as a fiddle, swimmer and tennis player) but it definitely was a start.

But losing weight has seldom been easy for food-lovers like me. All through my days in college, I was surrounded by people who either never put on weight after eating all they wanted. (I realized that I was not of this variety) or people who managed to fast themselves onto death and look skinny. ( I know a girl who survived on a single bread-pakoda for three days!). I never quite understood how people claimed to be full after eating half a roti or just plain tomatoes for the entire day! Although this is absolutely non-healthy, it did show effects. I know girls who live on mugs of black coffee or endless chai and eat morsels of food just to look hot in that size 26 or 24 jean. But everyone has a different body composition and requirements. It would be unfair to compare two individuals on any basis (the body especially) but that’s what we Indians love to do! Compare!

So coming back to me, I love food. In fact, my loving food perhaps has had nothing to do with my weight. It was unfortunate that I put on weight because of eating trash(no other option there!) and not having any exercise but I never over-eat. I have never been choosy about any type of food (though I wished I was…not anymore!) and I love experimenting with cuisines. I love to eat Missal-Pav, Bebinca, the all-time idli-chutney, the chole-bhature and the naans and the tandooris and the pasta, the thai food, the crepes, the wraps, the pizzas, the paneer, the cheese varieties, the Chinese noodles, the pastries, EVERYTHING! So it was an uphill task for me to actually lose weight since extreme diets were never an option. So what do I finally do?

Well, I don’t want to sound like one of the millions of dieticians posting their columns and writing books all around the planet but there is great news for all those unsuccessful-at-dieting plump people like me! You can lose weight just by applying common sense. Now that I wasn’t restricted to eating just mess-food or insti-cafeteria food, I had the freedom and I needed to use it wisely. Most of the principles of dieting are known to all through the numerous interviews of bollywood actresses or health mags. Drink loads of water, eat fruits and sleep well. I just followed that with a little help from Rujuta Diwekar author of “Don’t lose your mind, Lose Weight”. (It’s a fab book, I tell you).

The only art I had to learn was to eat in sync with your body. To not eat while watchng tv, or reading the paper or listening to music. To eat the food as a task in itself. Trust me, if you start doing that you will end up eating less than half of what you ate previously. The second thing is to follow a strict disciplined life. Tough I say for college goers and youngsters like us, but it helps a long way man! I have it easy since I don’t have any distractions here or hangout spots. Fitness is not a short-term investment but a life-long one I realized. Sleep early, wake up early, exercise ( running is the easiest and best thing to do…nothing like watching a city wake-up in the morning) and eat on time and sensibly is my only recipe and it has worked!
By eating sensibly, I mean that we should listen to our bodies. Never starve and never deprive. A very important point I realized was to check the nutrition value and not just the calories. As Rujuta says, a hot aloo-parantha is way better than cheese pizza. She also trashes the concept of fat-free foods.
There is this excerpt in the book which asks a choice between fresh peanuts and calorie and sugar free biscuit and she asks to choose peanuts. Processed food is deadly. It is like raping a girl ( read stripping a food item of all the nutrition) and then marrying her to justify the rape (the excessive fat-free publicity). An eye-opener of sorts!

She does tell a lot of other things too. Firstly, to feel good about yourself no matter what you are! To eat everything, but fresh and if possible home-made.( I try to compensate for the home-made part by eating minimal hotel food…one meal a day is unavoidable but the others can be taken care of!) To sync your body with the season (like sleeping early in winters and relatively late in summers) since our digestive cycles and capacities are affected by it and to eat seasonal veggies. My favorite part is the one where she clearly shows how we actually treat our cars better than we treat our bodies!

Okay, this post was not to promote her book but it is something which I have done for myself this year and I wanted to share it with those who have grudgingly read this post till here thinking ive gone bonkers or something. But I feel great. Those who see me might feel I haven’t lost any drastic weight and don’t show too much reduction right now, but most importantly I feel great man! I feel energetic and in control of myself. Im no bollywood actress or a home-maker with all the time in the world just for this task, Im just like any of you who has discovered the wonders of eating scientifically and correctly (early or late I don’t know). I don’t deprive myself of any type of food, no dieting and yet I managed to do this to myself. Losing weight permanently is a slow process (it takes half a year or so) but it has happened!

It’s a pity, we have all learnt the basics in school and none of us apply it to ourselves. Even I needed so much motivation to do this fundamental thing for myself! This truthfully is my PS Project. As I am typing my mid-sem report in another window, I thought I might as well write my real mid-sem report!

PS: Ironical it is, but I have written an old post where I have described how the world has no place for people who eat and don’t diet, like me of course. Little did I know then that diets (as most of us know) are not starvation or deprivation but just sensible eating!