Here’s how my Sunday’s been, so far.
Got up, discussed the appalling state of education, vocational training and employment with the gent who collects our garbage. (For those interested, his son has dropped out of school and he blames this on the school. He doesn’t want his son to follow in his footsteps but he’s got a sneaking suspicion he won’t be able to prevent this because, to quote him, “the boy’s got nothing but his youth.” When you keep in mind that the father has struggled and suffered to find the money for his son’s schooling, the situation gets bleaker and much more depressing.) Then made myself a cup of tea, glanced at the papers, played some Angry Birds and then sat down to write a column.
At which point, the sounds of cutting stone tiles screeched across the narrow corridor of space that exists between our building and the next. I’ve no idea what the machine that cuts tiles looks like but it sounds like a million talons clawing a chalkboard simultaneously. It’s the one sound that even heavy metal cannot drown and it isn’t particularly inspiring. So I head to a place that I call “the office” (it’s an empty flat) and the good news is that there are no construction noises in this vicinity. However, there is a group orgy of pigeons who are frenetically and unrelentingly copulating with each other. After eight years in Mumbai, where the pigeons are randier than those of any other city that I’ve lived in, I’ve become so used to their ecstatic flapping and orgasmic gurgling that I can block those noises out quite easily. Ignoring a row of five crows, perched on the grills outside the window and staring unblinkingly at me, is less easily done. Crows are seriously creepy birds. Especially when they’re staring at you. I feel like I’m in the sequel of The Birds, which wouldn’t be bad because it would either work as a great excuse to not write said column or a great subject for the column. However, I’m not being attacked, at least not physically. As if it wasn’t bad enough that we have to deal with the male gaze, now I have crow gaze to battle too. Grr…
Since this column writing business isn’t going anywhere, I might as well share what totally made my day yesterday. Usually the Mumbai Mirror is unremarkable (someone told me recently that “all” their news is “manufactured”. I’m not sure what that means. I have trouble imagining news to be a t-shirt made in a Chinese sweatshop. But then again, as I’ve discovered in the past month, I’m not quite with the program as far as news and newspapers are concerned. Anyway). So yes, usually the Mumbai Mirror is unremarkable but there is one section of the tabloid that I look forward to: their sex column, in which questions are answered by the totally awesome Dr. Mahinder Watsa.
I’ve never met Dr. Watsa but he is undeniably the best sexpert in the country and one of the best I’ve read, ever. Consider this gem from yesterday:
I’m not sure how sexperts approach the questions placed before them but I’m certain only a few genius handful will think of beginning an answer with “Are your friends tailors?” This being India, in the course of answering questions about sex, Dr. Watsa has ended up advising people on what kinds of pants to buy (well-fitting) and discussing tattoos. Great, great fun.
Except I should not procrastinate by reading and writing about Dr. Watsa. I should go and try writing this column. Gah.
You, on the other hand, could go through some of his older responses here. Includes gems like,
“Q: I have the habit of pouring talcum powder on and around my testicles and penis after I bathe every day. Is it carcinogenic?
A: I do not think so.”
“Q: Recently, when I was playing cricket, my testicles got hit by the ball. I experienced tremendous pain but after 15 minutes I was able to walk normally. When I menstruate, I can ejaculate without any pain. Will I face any problem in future?
A: Not ‘menstruate’. Only women have that privilege. You masturbate. The hit did not cause any damage.”
“Q: I am 28 years old. A few days ago, I visited a prostitute for the first time in my life. I briefly rubbed her vagina with my fingers, even though she was reluctant. During the act, some fluid stuck to my fingers and dried off. We then had protected sex. Immediately after the intercourse, I ate a guava on the street without washing my hands. It was only after I took a bite that I realised that I should have washed my hands. Now I am afraid that I might have contracted an infection. What should I do?
A: Finish the rest of the guava. You couldn’t have been infected by what you did.”
“Q: I am 35-year-old man. I wish to remove my pubic hair. I used Veet hair-removing cream once. It did not irritate my skin. Can I continue to use this cream every week on my penis and testicles? Will it cause harm in the long run?
A: Snip your pubic hair short with a pair of scissors and accept the fact that it looks dignified enough.”