The two pics are unrelated, but I wanted to share them. The magnificent door, based on M.F.Husain's most celebrated motif, has been especially crafted for his daughter Raeesa Husain's main door.
The second image captures the glamour and oomph of the grand Lahore Lit Fest, especially the lavish evening for invitees hosted by Sehyr and Nasim Saigol at their fabulous bungalow. I am with one of my all time favourite women, the writer Tehmina Durrani - bruised and beautiful, as she braves countless storms.
This appeared in Mumbai Mirror yesterday.
Why women sulk…we get it, Sushmaji
So… Sushma Swaraj has won by a staggering lead. Or… has she? Well, she has won her seat convincingly, enough. But she has lost her cool. Her core constituency expected better from her when she went into that great big sulk, feeling slighted and snubbed by the BJP bosses. I wish she hadn’t revealed her misgivings to the world. But now that she has conclusively proved her worth to the top brass, will she please stop brooding behind closed doors… and start lobbying for a plum cabinet post for herself ( Home, Finance, Defence, External Affairs)? That’s what any man in her position would do after a win. Do it, Sushma! For us! Here we were under the impression that Sushmaji was not just another Behenji. She came across as ruthless, as tough, as any of those men she routinely decimated during fiery Parliamentary debates. Then look what happened to that tough façade ! Phut! Sushma cracked … she behaved like…. like…. one of us! Us,ornery women who sulk! In public, at that! And why was Sushma sulking? Because she felt she was being side-lined. Because she wasn’t being given sufficient ‘bhav’. Because her mentor ( L.K.Advani) was also being spurned. Because the two of them looked like abandoned members of a large joint family. Which indeed, they were ! Abandoned and side-lined. Arrey…but why show it! Politics, like most things in life, is about acting. Politicians are not allowed to display real emotions ( only fake emotions allowed). Politics is about strategy and stealth. And holding all your cards close to the chest. Had Sushma shrewdly concealed her (legitimate) hurt, smiled broadly for the cameras, and gone along happily to the Gandhinagar closed door summit, she would have emerged stronger.Unfortunately,when she pulled a sour face and skipped this key meeting, she showed her vulnerability and weakness. Worse, she paraded her vanity and ego (“ How dare they do this to ME! Don’t they know who I am?”). Big mistake.
Now the ball is in Namo’s court like never before. Between him, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh, they will decide who gets what. Chances are Sushma may get left out in the cold. She may not get a portfolio of her choice. Ditto for L.K. Advani.This will be Sushma’s real test. How well she conducts herself when the prize distribution takes place, will determine her political future. That’s the trouble with us women. We let our hormones, our emotions get the better of us. We surrender to sentimentality a bit too swiftly. Our faces mirror our feelings. Our eyes give us away time and again. The cameras caught it all, as Sushma saw off a grim faced Rajnath Singh and her expression told its own story (“All is well?” Ha!). This made way for speculation and gossip at a very crucial time for the party bosses ( by then, the laddoos had been ordered and the dholaks were out). What did Sushma gain by revealing her miffed state? Nothing. There’s a lesson in there for all of us. But, of course, we’ll never learn it. We will make the same mistake over and over again, and give the natural advantage to adversaries out to demolish / diminish us. These persons can be relatives ( siblings, mothers-in-law, husbands ), or others ( colleagues, bosses, acquaintances). We sulk. They win. But what to do? Sulking is also pretty therapeutic! Women feel so much better after a heavy-duty sulk! Especially if they can be fooled into believing it has worked! And people are so clever at doing just that. Women get ‘manaoed’ and ‘patoed’ so easily! A few, sweet and insincere words of apology…a meaningless token gesture of contriteness, a hug… a kiss… a gift. Bas! We become putty. We melt. We smile. We get had!
Sushma Swaraj is not us. She isn’t EVERYWOMAN. Sushma is in a league of her own ( I would have gladly supported her candidature had the BJP put her name up for the top job). But after these sulking fits, I am seriously concerned. Fight back, Sushma! Play their own game back to them. Right now, you are coming across as a ‘bechari’. But we all know you are not a ‘bechari’. You have everything going for you –an impressive personality, a powerful oratorical style that took your leader to the top, and most importantly, years of experience as a seasoned politician. This is the time to rise and shine. Prove your mettle as a person who leads from the front. There will be many who will try and keep you down. Stay focused. Stay aggressive.And demand that which is rightfully yours – a portfolio which utilizes your key skills and dynamism. Anything less, will be a waste of a valuable resource.
And for God’s sake, don’t sulk! Promise???