Ooooof! Bit of a relief.... bit of an anti-climax. Lokpal lives! Between the fiery Sushma S and the erudite Pranab M , viewers witnessed Parliamentary proceedings at their volatile best. A reality show on 'democracy at work'. Splendid! No matter what the political ramifications and implications, at this point, it's all good. A big, historic step... no, LEAP, forward in the right direction. Time for Team Anna to take a breather and let the poor man eat!
This appeared in The Week...
Santa Baby…. hurry down the chimney…
I think of Marilyn Monroe every X’Mas. Why her? Oh, for a whole host of reasons. I’m thinking of her again as I write this.Her breathless, little girl voice is ringing in my ears as she warbles, “Santa Baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight…” There is so much pathos in the way she sings… and to think the world mistook it for sexiness! Pathos defined the life of a woman known for her curves and little else. Perhaps nobody will ever figure out what she felt about her body, her sexuality. Or even why she had to die so early. The mystery around Marilyn Monroe’s extraordinary life and tragic death will haunt fans for generations, but it is also the same mystery that has made her a legend. It is said, there can be just one M.M. – the ultimate fantasy- woman. The greatest sex symbol ever. One wonders, given the chance to be herself, stripped of all that glamour and clamour, what would Marilyn have asked from Santa? More diamonds( she did sing a song about diamonds being a girl’s best friends!)? More money, fame, furs, fans? Or just more love? Genuine, unselfish love? What would any woman want from Santa today? Pretty much the same thing – love. Or am I being totally naïve? I decided to ask a few accomplished young women I know. ‘Make a wish list for Santa,’ I urged. And they did just that. Were there several common factors… or none? Had they pegged their expectations a bit too high? Did they even know what they wanted? The not-so-surprising answer is that most of them were clear-sighted and practical when they stated their desires. Like poor Marilyn, who instinctively knew the true worth of diamonds ( nothing but glittering rocks , if they didn’t come with a life time guarantee of love),most of these urban ladies rated that four- letter word (love) as priority number one in their lives. Next was security – financial and emotional. Then came the twist – they wanted Santa to ensure their physical safety. Now we were talking!
Strange that today’s far more empowered woman is feeling insecure about her personal safety. On the streets, at the work place, even in her own home! In an age when there are so many women in the work force across India, one would have imagined they were in a position to take care of themselves. Not so. Single women in particular expressed their fears on several fronts. Getting decent accommodation was just one of them. Most landlords were either unwilling to rent out their place to women or downright hostile towards them.Working women felt they were unnecessarily placed under scanners and regarded with suspicion while their male counterparts didn’t have to undergo any such scrutiny or humiliation. Santa needs to seriously look into housing issues for career gals. On a lighter note, women are begging of Santa to send a few good men their way. “Do they not exist?” a woman moaned. She was an attractive, educated and ambitious woman, at that. Another said she wouldn’t put extra pressure on Santa, knowing it’s unfair, adding, “Poor Santa… how many good men can he locate and stuff inside those stockings? Let’s face it, there is a worldwide shortage here.” Children featured high on the list - with or without a marriage certificate attached . “I want to be a mother – not a wife,” stated one woman firmly. Others agreed. Another one wondered whether a “Three year itch” was justified, since her marriage had hit a serious downer after the birth of her first child. Was she asking Santa to produce a lover? “Why not? I am depressed and bored,” she shrugged. Other items on the list were easier for Santa to deliver. More Botox. Slimmer hips. Fuller lips. Magic pills to lose weight.And – get this – a stronger sex drive. Yup. Today’s over worked woman has no time for sex. And in any case, is much too exhausted to indulge enthusiastically in any such activity (“I prefer hot yoga”). Goodies of the material kind? Those came lower down in the list. I get the feeling Marilyn would have approved of this shift – from diamonds to detoxing ones mind, body and soul. Santa sure has some heavy duty tasks ahead of him.
As for what men want this X’Mas - isn’t it always the same thing? And what would that be? I’m not telling! Your guess is as good as mine. Hint: it’s a 3 –letter word.
Merry X’Mas, readers. And a spectacular 2012!