There is a popular saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, which is only partially true, because women are from everywhere except East Delhi. It’s not easy to imagine a world without women, and I live in this part of the city where ‘ladies night’ in a bar is an event called ‘HAHAHA LADIES WO KYA HOTA HAI?‘ and also, the term bar in East Delhi means the illegal, dirty (not in a sexual sense) and shady little place with plastic furniture behind the govt approved alcohol shop. Hence, this town forces its inhabitants to introspect and connect with their inner woman, which is fine by me, because that is the only female contact I am ever going to get before my parents force someone into a marriage with me.
Such estrogen-less environment forces us to search for our own feminine side, which usually starts and ends at our love for gol-gappas. Though we kind of spoil it for ourselves by trying to be manly even there, because when we say “bhaiyya meetha mat lagaana” and look around us for validation for our manliness, we usually find that only the bhaiyya noticed that, and is giving us the unofficial “Saala Chu***a” look now.
Fun fact: the popular saying “Everyone loves Gol Gappa” was started by East Delhi men, because it seems uncivilized to say that we go there to ogle at women.
The concept of ‘macho’ seems old-fashioned now. We live in times where women want sensitive, caring men who are good listeners, which may just be another way of saying ‘a man who would get me Belgian chocolate ice-cream when I am PMSing’. Such expectations have led to distressing epidemics of gym trainers wearing pink T-shirts and an increasing number of guys saying Awww without the sarcstic tone.
During the 80s (I wasn’t born then but such a start to a sentence makes people seem intellectual), hairy and sweaty chests were the hallmarks of an angry young man, or as the people of that era used to call them, unemployed bidi smokers. Nevertheless, that used to be the symbol of manliness in those times. With the discovery of Gym machines and Jaat culture in India, the tall-lean-hairy look lost its appeal to the pumpkin-shaped body with a chest smoother than Tiger Shroff’s face. Men have also started using grooming products like gel, shampoo, conditioner, smoothening wax, lotions and I’m not kidding all these are just for beard. So the next time you appreciate someone’s perfectly groomed face, be cautious, it may be radio-active as well.
The moral of the story is that every guy has a feminine side, but with different ways to express it. Some cry like Karan Johar in a Karan Johar movie, some drink breezers or cocktails at a bar, some take more than two hours for shopping, some like Bollywood rom-coms, but more about Imran Khan some other day.