Before I start, I’ll have it known that I am strapping young man of thirty-some years, with bulging biceps, great pectorals, and if not a six or a four, definitely a two-pack chiseled upon my abdomen. Not that long ago, women of all ages ogled at me.
Before you jump to the defence of women, organize a rally at Jantar Mantar, and burn my effigies, I would like to submit that women indeed ogle. Of course, their ogling is dignified and subtle. It doesn’t fly into your face like the ogling practiced by men, which is characterized by an open-mouthed, tongue-lolling, drooling-down-the-shirt-front look.
I am of the opinion that it’s pathetic to watch a man ogling a woman. It reminds you of a dog in pursuit of a bone that he can’t have. I don’t blame women for hating to be ogled at by men. Think of it – who wants to feel like a bone?
Women, on the other hand, indulge in this craft selectively. They don’t ogle at every Tom, Dick, and Harry. They choose the finest specimens they can find, and then they caress them with a soft sideways glance. It’s the delicate touch of a feather or a falling raindrop and it soaks into your heart and soul.
I am grateful to have experienced those glances.
But then how long could I have kept those 50 shades of grey at bay?
It happened when I was in Big Bazaar (at the Great India Place mall) – diving deep into the pyjama-basket, trying to find one that would fit me.
A giggling gaggle of young twenty-something girls stood nearby. One of the girls wanted to buy a couple of boxers for her boyfriend. (I refuse to share my visualization of the gifting event on moral grounds.) While I was still shoulder-deep into the pyjamas basket, one of the girls approached me.
“Uncle, are there any boxers in size 40?”
Not the fact that she had a boyfriend who wore size 40. I could’ve dealt with that. These young girls – they have no taste in men. I don’t blame them. I blame the movie Godzilla for it. “Size does Matter!” and these girls assume that unless their boyfriends were bigger than Godzilla, they weren’t worth their attention. All these were valid points, and had the potential of hurting me, but at that moment…
what actually hurt was the term, Uncle.
When someone punches you in your gut, you become mean.
I pulled my torso out of the pyjama-basket and looked at her squarely in the eye.
“Size 40? For your dad, I suppose?” I asked with an innocent wide-eyed look and what I think was a nice smile.
I could tell that she didn’t like my question, because she turned and walked back to her friends, and for rest my time in the pyjama-basket, she had her back conveniently turned to me.
I ask my fellow bloggers, does it have to be that the first grey strand that sticks out of a man’s head should turn him into an avuncular idiot, unworthy of a sideways, checking-out glance?
To sum up the despair I feel when I am forced up the ladder of uncle-hood, I would like to share two lines by the renowned 16th century Indian poet Keshavdas. It’s a 35-second or so audio. (My first attempt at a youtube video.)
First the original two lines in Brij-bhasha, then the Hindi translation, followed by the English translation (all in my deep bass voice.) What he said 500 years ago is an eternal truth. Do switch your speakers on (This may be a futile warning because my audience solely comprises smart men and women from around the globe.)
Nobody could’ve said it better than Keshavdas, right?
————————————— ~o§o~ —————————————–
If this post amused you, read a litany of my trials and tribulations in the QSM Magazine.
(If you have an ISSUU.com account, you can also download a free pdf for offline reading.)
————————————— ~o§o~ —————————————–