Tag Archives: women empowerment

For the daughters… I never gave birth to

(I have many daughters across cities, continents without giving birth to one. You don’t have to be a biological mother to share love, warmth, knowledge and kindness. On International Women’s Day, I am sharing a note I wrote to Simrita, my niece who turned 18 on February 15, 2019. She is as precious to my heart as many young girls finding their way in this world. This note is personal yet universal. Like love. So, here it goes.)  

Hi Simsi,

You are 18 today. If we were together today, i would have cooked a delicious meal of chicken curry and rice for you. Or probably would have taken you out for a coffee and walnut brownie treat. Or probably we could have talked and laughed over some silly jokes. Between you and I, we have so many years separating us yet connecting us in strange, warm way. As you are far away, I thought of sharing what my lived experiences and years of talking to talented, creative personalities from different fields (as a journalist) have taught me. I know, you will have your own list too. Some time I would love to learn from your list too and add more to my life.
*In spite of not so knowledgeable people leading many countries across the globe,   knowledge rocks. It’s cool to know about world affairs, science, literature, films, music. There’s no limit to knowledge.
* Health is wealth. No arguments or second thoughts on this.
* Aah, it’s so necessary to say NO when you feel like saying NO from within. If your heart says NO, be firm and say it. Standing up to what you believe is cool. People will respect you eventually.
* Cooking and driving are life skills (well, AI is yet to invade our lives completely). Let us not attach ‘gender roles’ to these skills. I am really happy that you are doing both. I can’t drive and still regret it though many people on the streets are happy and alive because of this lack of skill of mine.
* Money is an enabler, so it’s important. Earning money is important and investing money is more important. .
* Being surrounded by people/friends/mentors/family members from whom you learn something or other is very important.
* Lipstick and nail polish can be a mood elevator on some bad days. So, go for it.
* Develop your own signature fashion statement so that years down people will look at something and say “Wow.. that’s Simrita.” They will remember your style. It could be anything but your style should reflect your personality. Brands no matter how big don’t create personalities. Your own signature style does.
* Empathy always works. So also gentleness.
* Giving is as important as receiving. And vice-versa.
* Networking is a good word. Nurture your contacts.
* Stay crazy. Stay curious.
* Be punctual. Respect other people’s time as you would respect your own time. Amitabh Bachchan always arrives on time for an interview (speaking from my own experience of interviewing him). He can afford to come late being AB but he sticks to time.  .
* Goofing up sometimes is fine.
* So also being vulnerable is fine.
* Enjoy your tea/coffee slowly sometimes. Don’t always rush.
* Think of a  larger universe than your immediate one.
Enjoy life.
P S: How about savoring this strawberry cake? (Our gracious male colleagues got this for us at work today.)




Of Angels and Bitches

“That bloody bitch … She’s such a horrible bitch.” All through my life I have heard this about women. And both women and men indulge in ‘bitch’ talk. I have also heard people talking about having an Angel in their lives.



This adorable bitch’s name is Angel.  Abandoned by her mother, Angel survived on her own on the brutal streets of Ahmedabad and came to my house for a brief time before she was adopted by another family.

Angel is playful, deeply affectionate and loving. She had this habit of playing hide and seek with me in the house.

On International Women’s Day, here’s to the Angels and the ‘Bitches’  of the world — playful, naughty, loving and survivors who play a game of hide and seek with life. With a kick-ass attitude

Happy Women’s Day


This piece is a pure work of fiction. Any resemblance to any living/dead character, any place or incident is purely coincidental. Feminists across the world, please forgive me if you think that this piece is anti-women (which is not at all my intention.) I have nothing against the Punjabi community. In fact, I love them for their ‘bindaas’ attitude. They give me much fodder for my sociological analysis (even though I neither get invited to any conferences nor I get paid for all this). Some might find this writing politically wrong but right now I really want to break free. 


I am Mrs Rich(a) Kapoor married to Mr Raj Kapoor who is the President (now corporates have Presidents, Vice-presidents which was previously reserved for nations. Anyways, this is the age of multi-nationals) of Bigggsupport (which is into retailing). We live in India’s dream capital called Mumbai. I grew up in Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi and mind you my parents are quite well-off. I went to Janki Devi Women’s College in Delhi to study political science. Please don’t think that I was aspiring to be another Plato or Socrates. Or I was going to change the way the world thinks or lives. Only losers think that way.
Was I good in studies? Don’t even ask me. I only knew how I sailed through my graduation. I managed to clear my examination thanks to Seema who was staying in a hostel and always craving for home-made food. So there I found my savior in the form of Seema and her notes (see we Punjabis are very good at this art of determining ‘profit-loss’. For nothing we rule Delhi even though half of us came with nothing during partition). Thanks to my mom’s endless plates of chhole bhature, aloo paratha, gobi paratha, mooli paratha, matar paneer and butter chicken, Seema was forever willing to come to our house and help me in studies. Every time Seema came to my house, my mother just vanished into the kitchen. Within fifteen minutes, (like the spiritual guru who produced apples, oranges and gold necklaces out of thin air), my mother produced gobi parathas anda aloo parathas in endless numbers. Seema just couldn’t understand this quick magic, But never mind, we Punjabis are like that. We roll parathas the way One Mr Tendulkar scores on a good day (only difference is that we are more consistent than Tendulkar).
As in our family, studies are linked to bidding time for marriage, nobody really took mine seriously. My father offered motichoor ladoos to everybody in our entire neighbourhood the day my results were announced. I was not a university topper, never mind we Punjabis always look for a reason to celebrate. We open a bottle of whiskey even when a hen lays eggs. So, it’s perfectly fine. Not like those South-Indians who serve rice-sambar even in a wedding feast. We live life king-size. We gave ‘Patiala peg’ to the world. Have you ever heard of a ‘Kolkata peg’ or a Kerala Peg? I tell you, nobody can match us.
I knew that I would be married off after my graduation and I was happily waiting for Mr Right. Do I need to explain what men want in this country? It has been always three Bs ‘Boob, Butt and Belly’ (Didn’t somebody say, take care of a man’s stomach along with his libido, he will be like a mouse in front of you). Men from my community have a fascination for another B: Bhangra or Balle Balle. They just need an excuse to break into a balle balle. My mother was a wise woman. Just before my marriage, she told me, “Never keep him hungry— neither in the day nor in the night. Give him what he wants. He might wander once in a while but that’s ok.” That was my mantra.
Being well-endowed (In many ways I can give competition to Pamela Anderson or JLo) has its advantages of keeping the man under control. My marriage happened with lots of shor shar. I was looking like a million bucks bride. Those pseudo intellectual friends of mine who were pursuing their Masters in JNU raved about my ravishing looks on my D day even though they also gave me lectures on how I should have pursued a Master’s degree and then a career. Hello, am I crazy to work on double shifts —- both at home and office? All this independence or women empowerment talk is western concept. You just have to know how to play the ‘power’ game.  Don’t you all read how all these Bollywood star wives in Pali Hill, Bandra, Juhu behave? Well, in today’s world if you have money, you can be anything from being an interior designer, fashion designer to a jewellery designer. And then you can come with that killer line : “I was always passionate about it”. Move over Coldplay (I hope, you know it’s a music band. My teenage son is crazy about Coldplay), it’s wordplay now.
Did you utter that word boredom? How foolish can you be? Didn’t Hrithik Roshan’s character said in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, “Agar mere paas 100 crore hoga toh boredom ka baat bhul hi jaao (I will never be bored if I have Rs 100 crore).  I am smarter than him. I have my husband’s money to blow up. Money is sweeter when you don’t have to sweat to have it. What financial independence these career women are talking about when all the while they are working like honeybee. See me, I am living life like a Queen Bee. You just have to make right moves in life. And look after a man’s need. In the end, a man’s needs are so simple. In case of a man from my community, it’s more simple : kukkad (chicken) and kudi (gal). That’s it. It got to be legs in the end. As simple as it can be. No high funda stupid Marxism theory that Mrs high-voltage Banerjee taught us in college. Remember Neha Dhupia’s famous statement, “Only Sex and SRK sell.” In the end, it’s all about sex. Only foolish women (I mean those so-called thinking women) keep on talking about love, intelligence, humor, compatibility and all that rubbish. They need to read Richa’s philosophy to live life like a queen. If a man wants humor, he can very well make Raju Srivastava his friend. Or watch those innumerable comedy (read horror) shows on television.
And mind you, I lead a very busy life even though I have Ramu and his wife Savitri at my home to cook, clean, wash and do any random work that I fancy. As we are ‘loaded’ people, so we have three cars with three driverjis to ferry us all around. The kids are grown up now by both American/Indian standards. Even now, we judge everything by American standards. Never mind even if that land has lost its glory and struggling hard to beat economic recession. Thank God, for giving Papaji some sense to say ‘No’ to that Mr Chopra (for my marriage) who lived in New Jersey. No matter how much dollar you make in America, you can never afford Ramu or Savitri. And just forget about driverji. See my cousin sister Dolly who’s forever washing dishes (of course in the dishwasher), cooking, taking her children to music classes, karate classes, kumon classes (the list is endless) and in the end even mowing the lawn. India is better any day, recession or no recession. These days you get everything in India from Louis Vuitton to Jimmy Choos. Moreover, once in a year we definitely go to either Europe or USA for family holiday (Singapore, Bangkok is for low-class people. You see we are high-class Punjabis). As a family, we all love Bollywood especially one Mr Johar. He’s soooooo our kind. Believing in family dramas unfolding in Swiss Alps or London.
I am busy all through the day. These days the kids are busy, the husbands are busy, the wives are busy. Everybody is busy. The Great Indian Family is very busy. The kids are forever busy  watching Big Bang Theory/ Two and half men on TV, downloading songs or talking over the phone. Anyway, they want their share of ‘space’ (did some philosopher talk about ‘personal space’ in 21st century, really can’t remember…. you see it has been almost 20 years since I graduated from college). My husband is busy in the boardroom. God knows what happens in those meetings? In India, people are only good at meeting and eating. And when are not doing that, they are busy ‘mating’ (even though nobody talks about it openly).
I am busy looking after my self. I love spending time in a salon doing my manicure, pedicure and all kinds of cure. I love to pamper myself by going for that sea-salt therapy at this ‘O’ spa. The modern times is all about looks and packaging. No wonder, V magazine recently did a story on how 40 is the new 20, 60 is the new 40 and 30 is the new 10. I am now thinking to go for that ‘blood group’ diet my friend was talking about and  then look absolutely chic (as my cool son says). My mother always told me, “Keep him hooked to you.” I am extra smart than my mom. I always ask hubby dear to buy that diamond necklace or that Prada bag when he’s enjoying on the top. See, I know how to keep a man under control even when I am lying below. In life, it’s all about giving and taking. I am generous while ‘giving’ and I take it through those credit cards of my husband. Mumbai is full of malls. Phoenix mall, Oberoi mall, In Orbit mall… the list is growing every day. With shopping, time just flies. There’s so much to see, try and buy. Only if days were lots more than 24 hours.
I am not like those ordinary housewives (oops now they are called home-makers) who only attend kitty parties or organise havans at home. I am cool, I am tech-savvy. I am on Facebook and I simply love it. Being on Facebook is the best way to beat mid-life crisis. I don’t know why all these sociologists are targeting the teenagers for being FB addicts. Women of my age really need Facebook to boost our egos. Every morning I thank God (Read Mark– sorry I can’t remember his difficult surname. See if he were a Chopra/ Khurana/ Kapoor it would have been so easy to remember) for this wonderful thing called Facebook. Now I don’t have to host a party to flaunt my Shiraz or Merlot or talk about my last trip to Prague. I just have to upload my pictures and there will be 10 likes immediately. When I am utterly bored then I just put my camera on ‘Auto’ mode and there I go. Standing prettily in my cocktail dress  or holding that ceramic tea cup which I recently bought from Good Earth. From my Blackberry (Now I want  an iphone… may be tonight is the night to ask for it), I log on to Facebook once I say my ‘love yous, bye byes’ to hubby dear and kids. From our Honda Accord to my little adorable pug named ‘Muffin’ — everything is there on my Facebook. Once in a while, I cling to my husband or throw my arms around him and show the world that our romance rocks.  And of course thanks to one Ms Kapoor who takes care of my evening needs. I love her for making my evenings so entertaining with all saas-bahu kahani. If I would have my way then I would have given her a ‘Bharat Ratna’. Believe me, my life is so  much more fun than that of those intellectual (read pseudo) friends of mine who are still discussing Plato’s Republic in some goddamn seminar.
But you see, I am not the one to call it quits. To show that I have also brains (in addition to boobs and butt), I once in a while put a line from Rumi, Gulzar etc etc as my status message on FB (Google is mankind’s best invention). You don’t have to read any book. All that you have to do is copy and paste. There are always 24X7  ‘free souls’ to ‘like’ these lines. I am the smart one to like my own status. If I don’t like myself then who will? Didn’t wise men say, “Self-help is the best help.” Most Indian men know the value of ‘self-help.’
No matter what people say, I am a truly liberated woman. I know how to keep power in my hand. I know how to keep the ball in my court and serve it perfectly. Last week, when I met one of my friends from Delhi at this upmarket SoBo restaurant called Moksha, she (who was flaunting her Mangalgiri cotton sari as if she were wearing a Sabyasachi, I tell you these JNU intellectuals) asked me ( trust the pseudo theory-expert bitch she’s), “Why am not I doing something meaningful? Am I not bored?” I looked at her as I twirled my wine glass and said “Honey, it’s so tough to be a mother of two kids. I am so busy, where’s the time?’”
Well, it’s a different thing that my kids’ doors are always closed once they are home. After all, they all want their space and they have a life of their own. But then my mother had told me long back, “When you are a woman, keep the truth in the pit of your stomach. You will never go wrong.” Like my mother, I never go wrong.