Strewn all over the internet, print and radio are quotes by men drooling over how, many women shaped their lives and how unjust it is to celebrate their contributions only for one day of the year. Most of the quotes are gibberish for they know it is the most politically correct thing to say. Not long time ago I would have contributed to this heaping pile of shit.
However I shall not now, not because I am a "better" man, only because I have better things to do---better than burdening the opposite gender with plastic compliments hoping to be a face in the crowd. So I would take this opportunity to recollect my first experience with the other kind--- Women. They changed my life in a million ways back then. And I did not like it one bit.
Except for those who were related by blood, there have been far and few instances of friendships and love. A bane which comes with being a student of a convent boys school.
The first time I ever talked to a female who was not my mother/sister/aaya/teacher was probably when i reached the age of 16. (I asked the girl sitting next to me in an exam if I could borrow a pen. Once she lent it to me I looked around the examination hall with utter respect for myself, proud, almost arrogant. Other boys watching me make every "move", were genuinely impressed.) My schooling had a touch of gender centrism to it, everyone around were males, there were fathers, peons, boyfriends, autowallas, canteenwalas, masters, students. All of them bloody males. I walked around my world with collar up, abusing, flaunting my middle finger as if it were my Damocles sword.
Then boom!!! The school went Co-ed. Enter, very beautiful girls.12 of them in a class of over 50 boys. Simple mathematics puts the equation at 1: 4.1.
Till 24 hours earlier, all we boys were blood brothers, knowing each other inside out, having made lifelong friendship promises a million times over, in different accents, moods, venues
and intensities. Life was so beautiful (Tears in eyes, nostalgic, sarcastic).As those miniskirts started skirting around the school corridors, promises started flying out of windows, doors, crevices, keyholes. Boys were very sure they were now men. How a simple change in the class-mix had triggered this belief remains a mystery to date. No apparent physical transformation or emotional maturity could verify the "Boys to Men" claim.
From conversations about cars, cricket and porn cd allocation there was a tectonic shift to F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Brad -Aniston Chemistry and shit like that. All the while this was happening, there were a group of boys who unfortunately were unable to make sense of the anything going around. It was almost like time had flown us by and had forgotten to take us along. These handful of boys (me included) were to become outcasts very soon. Boys started mingling with girls and vice-versa. These cute sparrows(Read-Boys) discussed things like sitcoms, latest fashion, studies and about what they did last night (All they did was lie on the couch and watch cartoons and Baywatch. But they cooked stories to the effect of being in a fight with a bouncer. There are no bars in Ahmadabad, bouncers are in Bars. I do not know why girls chose to overlook this minor, nevertheless relevant fact, and then re-chose to get impressed). On the sidelines the outcasts were scratching heads wondering how come we did not know about so many things in life. I will point out to some revelations that we had:--
1) Coke is better than Pepsi.
2) ONLY Jerks/Desperates/Rowdies/The “Do-not-talk-to-them” guys, watch porn.
3) Studying is a very important. Everyone must study.
4) Males who do not look into the eyes of a girl while speaking are perverts. (This rule managed to eliminate a major chunk of shy boys from the race. Poor ones attempted suicide by trying to eat too many burgers)
5) A hair gel is better than hair oil.
6) Talking over the phone with a girl makes you eligible to stare Hugh Heffner in the eye. He may probably blink.
7) One must have facial hair to be eligible to be called a man. (I thank my dad so much for this. I only managed to pass this one test but was bogged down and beaten hard from the battery of tests which followed, for me to "qualify")
8) Chewing gum is cool, but sticking it up your bench is not. You should take it out, wrap it up in a piece of paper and throw it in the dustbin. Then go to the washroom to wash your hands with Dettol. Only when you are back in the class must you, almost magically, withdraw your kerchief and dry your hands in a very sophisticated way. The kerchief must be clean.
Only then can you go back sitting next to the girl you were and continue your conversation about how heart-touching the movie "Waqt" was.
9) """Tiffin box is not "kewl". One must "hang out" in the canteen at lunch time with "gals". You get that, "dude""""???---Was a retort when I asked Asoka (This particular name has been chosen as a alias to depict the intensity of radical change that he had underwent) a simple question---"Lunch ?"
10) There is much similarity between the words cute and fuck. Both can be used irrespective of whether they fit into a statement or not. Everything around you can be cute. There can be cute pens, cute erasers, cute cats and dogs, cute fans, cute fingernails, cute slippers, cute nostril hairs, etc (O.K, the last one was an exaggeration. Sympathize if you can).
Unable to cope with the pressure of keeping up to the expectations and abiding by the 1056 page rule book many of us quit trying. We then receded to distant corners of the classroom and made ourselves at home under a tube light which did not give any light (7 years hence, it still does not. The respect the light had for us, I tell you!!!).We called that place the "No-Light Area". We went back to our routine lives. There was only one change. We got to a lot of "happening guys", stripped them to the bone by insulting them, challenging them to arm fights, calling them and their daddies by weird names, throwing away their bags into dustbins,etc We did all of this when there were girls around .We knew they would never fight back. You know, Fighting was "Not Kewl"!!!
P.S--24 months later, i was to indulge in the same-misdoings and take leave from the outcast clan. That was in college, this was about school. So, will not talk about that.
Happy Women's Day, Ladies.Not Food,Water or Oxygen.Its you who make earth the only habitable planet in all of space and beyond.