To The Woman That Raised My Significant Other

To The Woman That Raised My Significant Other

I just wanted to take time out and write this because I feel like nobody appreciates the mothers-in-law as much. But I do. Women grow up watching overly dramatic Indian soap operas and think weird stuff and it becomes a self-funding prophecy. But I know for a fact that it’s not true. Mothers-in-law are very much human and contrary to what the Indian television and Monster In Law tell you, they’re most certainly NOT evil. Even my ex had the nicest mum ever.

Where does the hostility come from? Pretty much where it usually comes from – communication gap. You have issues with your ma-in-law? Talk to her. Unless you get to know someone better, you’d never know what they’re like. You’ll only see what you want to see and it’s only one side of the whole thing. Too much prejudice and too little appreciation make the worst combo, ever. With all that being said, I want to dedicate this whole post to the woman that raised my man.

I remember the day that we first met. I was skeptical. I was sure that she wouldn’t like me because my ex used to tell me all the time about what a horrible woman I really was. When someone breaks you, you tend to think that you’re supposed to stay broken and that you’re meant to rot because that’s what you deserve. During the whole drive to see my prospective mum-in-law, I kept playing the worst scenarios in my head. My man kept telling me that it would be just fine but I had a lump in my throat that refused to go away.

We met at a coffee shop. You know how you look at a person, and you fall in love with their personality instantly? I felt that. She was beautiful and she wore a simple peach saree and zero makeup and she was stunning. I’d thought she wouldn’t warm up to me but she warmed up to me after only a few moments of awkwardness over the amount of unnecessary sugar in my drink. That’s how comfortable she made me. As I watched her exchange banter with her son, my man, I knew instantly that I was blessed. There had been roadblocks when it came to talking to my own mum about my feelings, but there were zero roadblocks when it came to conversing with my mum-in-law. And that’s when I realized why my man was so perfect – that was because he was raised right. I looked at my mum-in-law and I almost burst into happy tears. We were the perfect fit. Instantly.

She’s kind. She’s good. She’s, most importantly, an empath. She has the best hugs, the kindest smile, she has a heart of gold. She’s home away from home. She’s a gem, and I’m truly very lucky. She texts me when I’m away and she sends memes. She’s always there when I need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. She’s so good, I knew from day one I wouldn’t be missing my own home like crazy because she’d ensure everything was comfortable enough for me.

I hope when she reads this, she knows I think of her a lot. Happy Mother’s Day to her, and all the other mothers-in-law out there. I know you guys think you’re never appreciated but trust me – you are. I love you, MIL.

WTF Wednesday: STOP Doing That!

WTF Wednesday: STOP Doing That!

• You stalk someone on Twitter. You find what they’re up to, you don’t like what they’re doing, and you subtweet. Don’t. It doesn’t concern you, and you need to keep your opinions to yourself. Remember the Gurgaon incident? It didn’t fly well.

• You see a cute person of the opposite gender, you decide to slide into their DMs. You send in a human eggplant or a cooch or a titty photo. Don’t do that. Many people are now immune to the charms of the naked human body, because they’ve seen FAR too much already. It’s all out there for the world to see. Sometimes, being shrouded in mystery helps. Now I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to make a child with someone, it’s just wrong to force it on them. Don’t. Stay classy, how hard is that?

• You see a woman with a rather revealing bikini on, don’t leave hate comments. Don’t. If you’ve got nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.

• Don’t bash your ex. Don’t bash your ex online. Or offline. Or to your new girl/boyfriend. That ish gets tiring and offensive and kind of headache-inducing after a while. Trust me on that. Grandma knows best.

• Lastly, what’s with your embarrassing IG TV videos? Nobody wants to die of tympanic membrane rupture and cerebral hemorrhage that your painfully inaccurate tips give people. You wanna post videos, do your research. Simple.

Happy hump day, folks.

Frandma’s Guide to Blogging

Frandma’s Guide to Blogging

I know that nobody’s asked for this. BUT it’s also a lazy Tuesday afternoon and LilRant ain’t LilRant till someone’s ranted their brains out.

• Back in the day, blogging used to be about impeccable grammar, with multiple proof-readings and meaningfully constructed sentences. It didn’t include the use of emojis at all. Maybe a few emoticons here and there, but that was IT. Who died and made these random people the lords of blogging with their own set of headless chicken rules? WHO USES EMOJIS in blogs? Point is: Don’t emoji-fy. Only GIPHY.

• You’re not Kylie Jenner and nobody is interested in knowing the contents of your handbag. If there’s a lot of people (I’m talking at least a hundred of your social media followers) asking, DO a post. Don’t blog about trending ideas because that’s what people are talking about. You’re not trying to fit in. You’re trying to stand out.

• Don’t over-punctuate. If, you do that, it doesn’t, really, let your readers, understand, what the heck, is going, on. See what I mean? Not only is it terribly annoying, it’s also very un-sexy.

• I’ve been here since 2015. It’s a long time, you know? You’ve to be consistent, even if you’re hella opinionated. Blogging essentially includes giving a lot of unsolicited advice and everyone knows it – so make sure you do it without shoving your opinions down people’s throats. Nobody likes that.

• Get a planner, preferably something that you’ll actually use and not just add to your massive stationery collection. Carry it with you in your bag. DO write down whatever you think is going to make a good post, for the week. That way, you’ll have a lot of ideas to pick from and work with. Planning is key. Divide your blog into segments if possible. Makes it so much easier.

• Ooh and a tiny secret: list-y posts do a lot better than solid chunky blocks of text do.

Ten Things About Your Body and Diet That Nobody Tells You

Ten Things About Your Body and Diet That Nobody Tells You

Word of the day:

Hypochondriac, noun. Obsession with the idea of having a serious but undiagnosed medical condition.

Why did I start with such a random word? I’m a physician and I’ve seen far too many hypochondriacs than I would have loved to. Anyway, there’s a million things you could do to take care of your mind and body and not shell out a ton of money on hospitals and doctors’ appointments. I’m just going to jump right in, and talk about ten key things that I’m pretty sure you’ve overlooked.

• Nothing promotes anti-aging as well as good fats do. And the fattier your fish, the better. The next time you wrinkle your nose at salmon, remember that it actually has a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids!

• Let’s talk about eye health. You’d be surprised to know what a pair of clean hands, a good night’s sleep and some staring into the distance at green trees could do. Green happens to be at the opposite end of the spectrum to red, which is considered to be the most emotionally charged color. So, not only does this calm you down, it also happens to be super restful for the eye. Also, this condition called dry-eye is nothing to be scared of. Use lubricating eye drops and you should be fine. How’d you know if you have dry-eye? You’d have itchy eyes. I’m talking super itchy. Specially in the inner corners. Take a break from your laptop and don’t use your phone in the dark. Your eye health is going to improve drastically.

• Your hands actually say a lot about you. The knuckles, for example. If you have some hyperpigmentation, you could be suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency. Take a look at your nails. If you’re a chain smoker and your nails look like this:

You could be suffering from lung cancer. A normal person would have a diamond shaped “window,” as shown here, but someone with clubbing won’t. And this needs an immediate evaluation.

• Bone broth collagen is brilliant – it helps your skin overcome aging and dryness plus it also provides some relief when you have joint pain and it’s good for the immune system too. I would know. Bless my poor kneecaps. Okay. The thing does taste unpleasant so you could actually add it to your soup, it doesn’t taste as awful then.

• Supplements exist for a reason. Take them, yes but take them in moderation, and don’t overdose. For example, fish oil capsules are good if you take a couple each day. If you take fifty four, you’d end up with kidney issues and you’d wind up dead. Like that guy they’re talking about on Facebook.

• You need to get some sun on the daily. Sure, you’d get tanned if you overdo it, but you do need some sun. That’s the best ever vitamin D you could get. And you need to use sunscreen everyday.

• So bananas always get bad rep for being “fattening,” BUT did you know that bananas contain about approximately 30% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6? Vitamin B6 helps the brain produce serotonin, which is supposed to be a mood stabilizer. Serotonin is responsible for your motor skills and your emotions too, plus it helps you sleep and aids digestion. Eating a banana stimulates serotonin, thereby helping with depression and anxiety.

• Cardio alone won’t help you deal with stubborn belly fat. You can’t spot reduce, anyway. Also, too much cardio actually makes you lose muscle mass, and your metabolism slows down as you do it on the daily.

• When you eat too much sugar, your skin undergoes a harmful natural process called glycation. The sugar in your blood attaches to proteins to produce nasty free radicals called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which accumulate as you keep eating large amounts of sugar, and end up causing damage to the proteins around them. Sugar never causes diabetes directly. But it does make you put on a ton of weight, and obesity causes diabetes. Also, if you have a family history of the disease, watch out.

• Your acne placement tells a lot about what’s wrong with your body – for example, acne on your chin would mean a spike in hormones, usually androgens. Acne on the T zone could mean stress.

Do you guys find posts like this useful? If yes, let me know. Also, if there’s a particular medical related topic you’d like me to talk about, do let me know.

Open Letter to Every Stereotyping Indian

Open Letter to Every Stereotyping Indian

I’m just gonna say it. Indians are racist as eff. This is an open letter to all those Indian men – and women – that blatantly poke fun at people they collectively refer to as South Indians.

Look, moron.

FIRST OF ALL:

Not all “South Indians” are idli-sambhar-dosa people. Kindly stop. You do know why there’s so much animosity, right? You don’t even know basic geography. There are five states – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. And three union territories – Andaman and Nicobar islands, Puducherry and Lakshadweep. Here’s the map of India with these places highlighted so your brain can understand.

Secondly, not everyone speaks “that” way. So you need not say ayyo and Amma all the time. Just like your English pretty much sucks, and most South Indian folks won’t judge you on that, don’t make fun of a native Tamil or Kannada or Telugu or Malayalam accent. Do not. It’s called a “native interference” and there’s legit nothing wrong with it.

You confuse all these languages and you expect everyone to talk to you in refined, classy Hindi? Not happening. People try their best, and so should you.

Next, let’s talk about weddings, shall we?

This is what a Kannada wedding looks like. I don’t see anyone wearing boring clothing, and I don’t see anyone crying. Where do you get the impression that these weddings last for two minutes and happen at six in the morning? Kindly send me a link and I shall look into it.

Not everything has to be so stereotypically sad. If your butter chicken and OG Manish Malhotra and your twenty crore Hilton wedding isn’t being judged, kindly don’t judge people when they pick a simple South Indian wedding. Maybe people are being smart with their investments and saving money on travel and such. Ever thought about that? No, you morons only think about yourself. And nobody asked you to character analyze dosa people. Get out.

Next, the food. Like I was saying earlier, the cuisine isn’t limited to dosa. Get off your high horse with your patiala pegs and rum and coke and sit down.

Images sourced from Google.

You don’t need me to tell you what that last one is. But if your thick skull can’t comprehend, it’s the Hyderabadi dum biriyani which everyone including you dies for.

Lastly, what’s with your sass when it comes to pronouncing names correctly? You were born and brought up in Chandigarh and you’ve never been to even Bangalore, so to speak, so where does that fake American accent come from? The same place you get your Versace, sorry, “vurrrrrsaaaatcheee” from? Thought so.

And no, you cannot be my friend if you make me repeat my man’s name a million times because you find “the fact that a person can have that many names” hilarious. Have you seen your name? It legit rhymes with “d*ck”. Jerks of the planet.

Now, I didn’t need to defend South Indians and I didn’t need to rant so much. I’m Bengali and none of this should concern me, but oh it does. It makes my blood boil to see how ignorant the masses are. Calling every South Indian a Madrasi is hella racist. And whoever gave you the right to vote, should take it away, along with your awful ass smoothie recipes that you show off when in reality all you’re eating is pizza that you’ve Swiggy-ied. Goodbye.

The End of The End

The End of The End

(Read the first part here.)

He was just casually swiping right. And then her photo seemed to jump out at him. His heart stopped. Her profile didn’t really say much. But her legs? They did all the talking.

He left her a message.

She responded two seconds later with a – “That was quick.”

Several messages later, they exchanged numbers. He’d just come out of a relationship and so had she and they both were, subconsciously, looking for rebounds. They wouldn’t admit it to themselves but that was what it was. She sounded cute and chirpy on the phone and she said she loved his voice. And so it began…

The passionate first kiss. He had such a hard-on he thought he would explode. He hadn’t felt that way in a long, long time. Not since the blonde Russian girl in Amsterdam three summers ago. Sex within the week. They did one of those hitched up against the elevator numbers. They didn’t even make it to the bed the first time. She hadn’t been with anyone, not completely, and he had been with a lot of someones and he was more than just an expert. As they lay down, spent and panting, on the thick living room carpet, he looked at her flushed face and dilated pupils and decided she was the one. And to hell and damnation but they were getting married.

Our society being our society, dear readers, both sets of parents said no. More than just said no. Doors were slammed in his face, and her eyes would well up with tears knowing it wasn’t going to be a blessed union. So, a court marriage it was.

They had a happy three month marriage. Then he started getting death threats. That they would kill her if he wouldn’t give her a divorce and forget she existed. He changed his number but they all knew where he lived. He was an asset to the company he worked for and his job paid him well enough to keep them both comfortable but then there’s no keeping orthodox, bound-by-narrow-mindedness families happy.

He decided to fake it, he decided to be rude to her because he knew there were people watching the house. He told them he’d divorce her and that he was picking fights for now. Meanwhile, he applied for a new job in a city that would take them both far away. He bought a gun.

He could see her wasting away.

He was helpless. Families could be brutal. He was terrified of her going out alone. He developed deep rooted trust issues. He’d always been the good boy, who never raised his voice or went against his father. But now, he would. He would kill for her, if needed. He’d pray for his job thing to come through, everyday.

He woke up on the morning of and realised his prayers had been answered. They were moving! Without telling anyone.

He looked everywhere. She wasn’t around. Two weeks passed.

No one would notice the body till dawn broke the next morning, on the pretty beach with the white sands. A little girl vacationing with her family saw it first. A flip flop. Pink, pretty. And the body of the young woman next to it. Washed up on the shore. The wedding band on the cold, dead finger still sparkled, except for that tiny smudged partial fingerprint that didn’t belong to her.

They ran the print. And there was a match in the database. They arrested the guy. Had his phone records checked. In the end, they discovered that the young woman was a victim to honour killing. Both families were involved.

And what about him?

He never recovered.

Note: I did this story to show you how caste system is still deep rooted in our very brown culture. It’s 2018 and people refuse to move forward even now. If love is a sin, I don’t know what to believe in anymore. People need to stop making weapons out of religion and caste and creed and all this trivial nonsense. We gotta try and be human. We gotta stop this kind of jihad. Love is just love. You don’t need external and unnecessary factors corrupting it.

Racism and Violence – Is it Necessary?

Racism and Violence – Is it Necessary?

I’m sure you’ve all read about and seen the Dallas shooting news. Snipers at a rally. Eleven police officers shot. Four dead. 

Before this came the Anastasia Beverly Hills’S new makeup campaign photos. Have a look. 

Screen cap off the ABH Instagram page.

People are leaving comments on cultural appropriation and what not. This is just a campaign for new highlighters for God’s sake. When you see these pictures, what do you see? I see beauty and art. I don’t underrated why or how a certain kind of hairdo or a lighter hair color would lead people to diss ABH as being racist. Cultural Appropriation. Sounds so scary. The funny part is the people that claim to hate Donald Trump(et) are the ones that are the ones that are actually way more racist. 

Now. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter. But… 

This guy put it perfectly. 

Even before the Dallas shooting and the ABH campaign, there was Orlando. More shooting. There was this secular Bangadeshi blogger that was shot dead. Is all of this even necessary? No. 

Killing someone doesn’t make you God, you know. 

People have families, lives and feelings. Everyone contributes to the society. When you kill someone or hurt someone you dampen the energy. So not worth it. I implore y’all, spread positivity whenever you can. Just please. 

It’s a sick world and unless we fix it, it will end us all. In a snap. I fear it’s already way too late. 

What’s Happening!?

What’s Happening!?

Hey guys. I’m feeling a bit sick right now. I just saw something disturbing on a reality show on TV. It’s called Savdhaan India and basically it features a new story everyday.

Today’s story was so gross, it freaked me out. I mean, everything on that show normally does, but today it was like, disgusting. Like the queen of disgusting.

It’s crazy that thousands of women are still tortured, bullied and beat up over money, or dowry, even today. And sometimes the parents are the ones egging the groom on, till he does something crazy. Today? It just took the cake, the frosting, the icing, the glacé cherries too.

Someone made a tape of pair of newly weds doing it, and they sent the CD over to their parents’ house. With a note attached, which said they’d have to pay a giant ransom or their video would be leaked. So the girl thought that her ex boyfriend did it, and went to confront him. He denied and they decided to find out who actually did make the video.

Turns out, the groom’s parents did.

Just to extort the girl into giving them cash.

Like, seriously. I can’t even. I don’t like this country anymore.

It’s one thing to annoy someone over dowry, and a whole different thing – this, watching your son have sex, through a camera lens. It’s gross. It’s hard to believe that it’s actually happening, right here in India.

What’s crazy is, people here claim to be full of good morals, and stuff, and they’re the ones being all dirty once you’ve got your back turned.

Filthy hypocrites.

All the Crap We Endorse

All the Crap We Endorse

Indians are the biggest and the most hard-core racists in my opinion. If that weren’t true, companies wouldn’t be bold enough to go strong with the huge number of “fairness creams” out in the market today. 

I know India was this English-dominated society once where the whites wouldn’t let the “natives” board trains and mix with them. But that was over in 1947. It pains me to see how the Indian society still follows that weird concept really staunchly. And it’s made even worse by the fact that Indians are the ones discriminating amongst themselves based on color.

So what if a girl is tan? Apparently it’s still a crime. We have stupid ads that sell products like Fair and Lovely – you see a girl get a job after seven days, the job she was denied in the first place, after having used this miracle cream that gave her a whiter skin tone.

Bullcrap.

And everyone seems to be okay with it. There are actors that support these ads. Like, seriously? Why?

And God forbid if a girl is unmarried past 25. And is – as they say – dark. There’s no end to it. Relatives and neighbors swoop down upon her like birds of prey, torture her skin with pills and potions and stuff just so “a good boy” will come take her away.

And as if that wasn’t enough, we have reality shows called Savdhaan India where they show rich tan dudes get murdered for money. Aaaaaaaand now we have fairness creams for men. Go figure. 

image
The world is ending.

*sigh*

And y’all thought Trump was racist.

Grandma Ursula.

Grandma Ursula.

Before she came to be known as Grandma Ursula with the German-flavored-accented-Bengali, she was just Ursula. But there was nothing just just about her.

Grandpa M had never had a girlfriend, despite being heartbreakingly hot – six one, fair, dimpled, with features so chiseled it hurt to look at him for too long – it was like staring at the sun.

One morning, he decided he was way too bored with his life in India. He wanted out.

And so, he packed his bags and took the first available ticket out of the country, which was also beginning to irk him a little. He wanted an adventure. He was young, only twenty-five, and desperate for travel. He had to travel by ship from Kolkata Port to Calais, France. Then over land to Germany. This was the absolute early 50s, when air travel was majorly risky and not as frequent.

Picture a post-war Germany. The country in ruins. Too many young men killed in battle. Too many jobs left unmanned. So Grandpa M got a job, no problem, smoother than frosting. An apartment. A café where he’d eat lunch everyday. 

And then, gooey lightning stuck and he saw her.

Grandma Ursula. Crossing the street. She was gone in a flash though.

Grandpa M was enamoured. Completely, helplessly. He absolutely HAD to talk to this girl. He began to sit at the same spot and watch her hurry somewhere. Now, men are programmed to do anything and everything but approach the women they fall for – hook, line and sinker – at first sight. And Grandpa M was no different. He wondered what her name was, this beautiful young blonde with the sensible skirts and shoes. He wondered if she had a boyfriend. He wondered when he began to wonder about such things.

Grandpa M liked to say that he finally “manned up enough to go talk to his pretty German crush”. They met everyday at lunch. Over cups of coffee, she told him how she was the eldest of three  children, how she’d lost her dad while still very young, how she worked long shifts as a secretary to support her family.

At this point, Grandpa M, I’m assuming, melted.

One thing led to another, as is obvious with the laws of chemistry, and he popped the question. When news reached the Kolkata mansion, everyone in the family went – for a lack of better word – bonkers.

It’s both unfunny and funny, at the same time, watching Bengalis lose their tempers. You gotta make a Bengali angry. Uber-entertaining, I tell you.

Anyway, everyone was all – “Amader jaat khoalo re kulangarta!!!” (“He’s made us lose our respect in the community, the black sheep!!!”)

Grandma Ursula then decided that there were too many nasty memories in Berlin to make a life there. And so, they traveled back to India where they were greeted by a bombshell: they were shunned by the family.

In 1950s India, whites were absolutely hated – considered unholy even – because of the British rule and the gruelling oppression that Indians faced.

Gradually however, things did turn around – people saw how Grandma Ursula was as a person, how she had completely adopted Bengali customs and culture. And when she got pregnant, her mother-in-law was left with no choice but to bring her into the fold.

An elaborate “purification ceremony” was arranged for the couple where they were bathed in Ganga jol (holy water from the river Ganga) and milk. This was to wash the “foreign white untouchableness” off of them.

Then they were married according to the Bengali rites and customs. Grandma Ursula would start wearing shakha (conch shell bangles – a tradition in Bengal) and shiduur (vermilion in the parting of the hair, a Hindu custom) soon after. When she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, everyone miraculously forgot about Grandma Ursula being a “white untouchable!”

Indian Hypocrisy, thou art remarkably dumb. I salute thee.

After contributing to the holy addition of a baby boy to the household, Grandma Ursula was finally taken to the ancestral home during the next Durga puja.

This was when, probably, the entire family started liking her. And she fell in love with the culture and traditions.
Mind you it still took quite a few more years and a few of the great grand uncles/aunts to die first before she could actually touch anything Puja related.

This was the story of cigarette-smoking, accented-Bengali speaking, famous for her kochu shaak (a Bengali dish) recipe Grandma Ursula. An intercontinental love story peppered with unique cases of culture shock and reverse racism.

She died in 2006, happy, accepted and loved. Finally.

(This is a true story.

Ananda told me this story today, and I felt like I HAD to share. His family is fascinating.)

Image courtesy: Google.