The World Is What It Is: We Are What We Are

My favorite Naipaul story has sexist undertones. My mother doesn’t like me arguing when my father is driving. This is not because that’d distract him. She just doesn’t like it. She usually changes the subject or turn silent when I argue. Or she looks here and there. When I ask why, she wouldn’t answer, or say that she knows I’m wrong. Women hate arguments. Usually, when their husbands debate me on some abstract topic, women ask them to stop. They won’t say this, but they see debates as a sign of conflict. It took me so many years to see this. Read More

The Brilliant Marketing Campaign: The Times Of India And Deepika Padukone

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Cuteness Is Not Negotiable

Cuteness is not negotiable.
Cuteness is not negotiable.

I gather that an actress was arrested for selling sexual services to moneyed people. She was sent to a rescue home where she is entertaining the inmates with tales of her illustrious past. Her full name is Sweta Basu Prasad. Now, many people in the film industry ask: “Why is she held up for our titillation while her rich clients are still walking the streets—and perhaps has many mistresses tucked away somewhere?

She is punished for prostitution, but her rich clients are still paragons of decency in the eyes of their wives and children. Yes, the Indian society is so damn sexist!

Now, Imagine a country “Ruritania” where selling your house is a crime.  A wealthy woman decides to sell her million dollar house. The real estate broker pockets his modest share. Soon the police hears about the deal, and locks up the male broker in a prison room. The home owner is sent to a rescue home where she entertains the inmates with tales of her struggle—with detailed descriptions of how she built her fortune. But, we hear nothing about the man who bought the house. The media reports this, and soon there is an outpouring of sympathy toward her. (Oh, the tragic fall!)

Now, is it true that in Ruritania, the police and the media are unusually biased against women? She was treated tenderly by the cops, but her male broker suffered some rough handling in their arms. He was locked up in a prison room while she was sent to a rescue home. People find the perils confronting women under the pressure of poverty heartbreaking. But, they want her male broker and client to be shamed and horsewhipped out of Ruritania. Misogynist, indeed. Isn’t it possible that they too have a story to tell? What if the broker had hoped to treat his ailing mother with his modest commission? What if her client was homeless? After all, this is a country where people are not allowed to sell houses.Hypocrisy can be so inane. This is what my mind says.

But, what does my heart say? What a cutie! If I knew that she was in so much trouble, I would have promised her a large share of the proceedings from the sales of my yet-to-be-published novel. She says that this is common in the film industry. We need betting markets to pair up talented men with cute girls. Seriously. Cuteness is not negotiable.