Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mujhse Shaadi Karogi?

I would forget about my experimental Shaadi.com profile if not for sporadic responses like this guy here:

"I AM LIKE BEAUTI FULL GIRL SO PLEASE CONT MY MOBILE NMBER ANY TIME AND I AM VERY HARD WORKING MALE I AM WORKING TELE COM COMPANY AS MANAGER IN PAKISTAN KARACHI"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not your average brick in the wall

I recently came across my old marksheet from my 10th standard CBSE board exams.

The year was 1997, and I can never forget missing out on topping in English in my entire school batch by one. measly. point. I could've got a medal and a certificate and my name in my school's records, but I didn't!

ARRRRRGHHHHHHH!



It's 2009 and turns out, I'm the author of two English books. Take that, subjective testing; we don't need no dark sarcasm in the classroom.

Okay, I'm just being dramatic. School was fun but impending board exams were soul-shattering. But goes to show, eh? The value of education cannot be stressed enough, but you are much more than your transcript should you choose to be.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dual citizenship

There is an ad that graces the sliding doors of the Muscat International Airport's arrivals lounge. Trouble is, everytime I see the model on that ad...


...I think of this man here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tall, fair, and handsome

I grew up in the Fair & Lovely world. The lighter your skin (or hair or eyes), the more you could get away with murder, ugly features, or even deplorable social graces. In a region where most people were brown as hell, I never understood the tall, dark, and handsome adage. Everytime I read about some dashing hero in some Victorian/Elizabethan novel, the preteen me would wonder, erm, so is the darkness referring to the colour of his eyes and hair? But why is that desirable in a nation of blondes and blue, green, and grey eyes? I mean, in a sea of beautiful skin-, hair-, and eye-colours, shouldn't the dark person be the unfortunate leper?

Generations of women were automatically assigned rungs on society's wobbly ladder depending on aspects of their appearance that they couldn't control. The fairest girls had the most admirers. Grooms and their families shopped for the palest wives for their sons regardless of their sons' physical appearance. If you were a girl and weren't born a certain kind of pretty, then sucks to be you. Better develop your personality in that case because brown = pre-destined loser with no prospects. There was no such thing as fair enough.

So after generations of women vigorously scrubbing their skins in promise of that certain life-altering hue, the launch of 'Fair & Handsome' sparked indignation from certain sections of Indian society. What! Imposing such meaningless standards of beauty on men! Irrelevant! Unfair! Boycott!!



Which makes society revisit the meaningless standard of beauty that had always been matter-of-factly imposed on women and guarded by the sentries of society as a sacred gender role. Makes me think about my opinion that something is an important issue as long as it affects the men. If the women object, however, then they're just being hysterical and hormonal. Come, let us leave the womenfolk to their kitchen gossip while we men discuss important matters. We. Is. Caveman.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Arrival

Tring tring!

"Mitchell Lane Publishers, this is XXX, how may I help you?"

"I'm calling from overseas. May I speak with ABC XYZ please?"

"May I ask what this is regarding?"

"Yes, this is Khadija Ejaz, I'm one of your authors."

"Why yes, ma'am, I'll put you right through."

...

...

...

I'm an author.

O.M.G.

I'm one of your authors.

Open Sesame.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eli Quinto?

Eli Roth burst onto the screen and I yelped, "Zachary Quinto??".

The director and most recently actor of 'Inglorious Basterds' looks a lot like the Heroes alum and the latest alter ego of Mr. Spock. See for yourself.

Shahid Macchio?

I've heard people point out the resemblance between Shahid Kapoor and Ralph Macchio. What do you think?

With friends like that

One Hem Chandra sent me a friend invite on Facebook, and when I asked him in a message if I knew him...well, see for yourself:

Hem sent you a message.

--------------------
Re: Do I know you?

if u r intrested to know about me..................
u will came to know.........
About u .....!
You have to Tell................
Baaaaaaaayyyyyy !!

--------------------


Ohkayyyyy...goodbye now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thank you for smoking

Here's an excerpt from a book I'm currently reading:

"For hundreds of years, most people knew or suspected that long-term tobacco use was bad. Yet its use is still a protected right in our society. The fact that its toxic effects are not generally felt until the person is old and relatively less useful in society (such as the aged in China and elsewhere), makes it a perfect drug and a fabulous moneymaker. The cigarettes you smoke for forty or so years support governments, farmers, retailers, distributors, and on and on. They're good for business. Later, as you finally sicken, the medical and pharmaceutical establishments will make money caring for your last days. And to think, nobody forced you to do it! Smoking is good for you."

Here's an interesting fact from thetruth.com:

"Problems with self-esteem. Has menial, boring job. Emotionally insecure. Passive-aggressive. Probably leads fairly dull existence. Grooming not a strong priority. Lacks inner resources. Group conformist. Non-thinking. Not into ideas. Insecure follower. These are all terms taken from Big Tobacco’s files that have been used to describe different groups of potential customers for their deadly, addictive products."

Click here for some more facts about the tobacco industry.

White Girl

I had a job interview to go to that morning, and I was nervous. It had been a while since I'd last interviewed, and I didn't feel too confident. Plus I hadn't slept very well the whole night because I was worried I'd oversleep. A hundred thoughts were running through my mind when I noticed my arms.

Milky white discolourations were splattered all over my arms, like paint splashed upon a canvas by a bohemian artist. The pigmentation was fresh, I could see its sleepy pink borders inflamed upon my skin. The blotches looked violent, like an invasion racing up my arms to my face. I could hardly breathe. These were not my arms, they couldn't be, what happened, how did my skin get assaulted overnight??

Then I noticed my legs.

The same discolouration. The same insanity. An overnight conspiracy. Oh God. Oh God. Whose legs are these?

My breath cut my throat like a razor, my mind raced like an overheated car engine, my dry eyes burned from the lack of sleep suddenly set ablaze with hot panic.

My job interview! How can I step out like this?? People will stare at me, they'll think I'm a filthy freak. They'll look away when I catch them staring at the ugliness I want to hide. No one will shake hands with me or sit near me. How will I try on clothes in trial rooms, they won't let me with these frightening marks on my body. They'll think I'm unclean, contagious, infested with bacteria or fungus. Will I have to wear full sleeves and full pants forever? Do I have any full sleeved and full length clothes that I can wear to my interview right now?? Oh God, what is going on, how will I step out, I have no control over this body that's been hijacked that I'm a prisoner in...

I wake up drenched in sweat. I have an interview to go to. I look at my arms and my legs. They are like they've always been. I feel so depressed for Michael Jackson who died two weeks ago.

The Circle of Life

Toronto, Canada
2009

I was taking Shaheen Chachi for a check-up at her doctor's. Her cataract surgery had only been a week ago and her right eye had a patch on. We stood at the zebra crossing at the busy intersection, waiting for the light to turn green. The red hand gave way to the green walking man, and we began to cross the wide street. I saw Shaheen Chachi tremble, nervously eyeing the traffic with her one free eye, trying to compensate for the peripheral vision on her right. Her shoulders had a slight hunch, and she was chewing her lower lip. I gently took a hold of her hand. She seemed grateful and relieved that she hadn't had to ask. We slowly crossed the street, a short young lady leading an older tall one.

Muscat, Oman
1988

Amma and I had just made it out of the airport. Abbu met us at the entrance and took us to his car. I trailed behind the two adults, holding the hem of Amma's qurta as we made our way to the parking lot. Abbu and Amma were busy talking, and I was too short and uninterested in what adults had to say to each other. I wobbled along behind them in my summer frock and sandals. I suddenly saw Gul Chachu standing by our car, and wings sprouted from my ankles. I was about to squeal at my young uncle when I noticed a tall lady standing with him. I froze and retreated behind the safe heights of my parents. This woman was unlike anyone in my family. She was tall, had strong square features, and big curly hair. My mother and aunts were shorter and rounder with straight hair. This woman was wearing a party sari and makeup in the middle of the day. I eyed her suspiciously and wondered why she was standing with my favourite uncle. The adults began to talk over my head, and Abbu introduced Amma to the tall woman. I looked up at all their faces like a tourist surveying the towers of a new city. Amma nudged me towards the tall woman. "This is Shaheen Chachi," she said. I stood next to her, uncomfortable with this new person standing between me and my uncle. The cloth of her blue sari was soft against the side of my face. She took my hand in a strong grip and held it for a long time, a small child with a tall woman.

A thousand words