As the world continues to spiral towards inevitable doom, and as headlines about riots, drought, recession and global warming continue to slap us in the face every morning, I think it is imperative that I raise some serious issues, like the fact that cheesy pick-up lines are making a comeback in the dating scene.
No, seriously. This information comes from a highly trusted source – an Indian news site that quotes a Daily Mail UK report about a survey carried out by some American dating site, because as an Indian reader, it’s really important that I get the go-ahead to use cheesy pick-up lines from random American respondents that I will never meet. (I bet I could have even scored with my current favourite line, “Hi, I’m N.D Tiwari.”)
This raises a few questions. First of all, why are we even bothering with this information? It’s not like we have a pick-up line culture in India. It’s not really the kind of country where you can go to a bar and just pick up random women (unless your name is Dhoble)
Also, why are so many Indian websites and newspapers hell-bent on bombarding us with syndicated tripe about romance that applies only to white people? For example, articles about “Top 10 Male Fantasies” that always seem to include nurses. Really? This only makes sense if your hospital is located inside a Naughty America video. When was the last time you went to a hospital and fell in lust while handing over a urine sample to Sister Selamma Thomas Kutty?
Then there are those articles that give you tips like “To spice things up, try new places. Make love on the beach.” Yes, this is a great idea if you’re looking at death by bacteria lodged in inappropriate crevices, or if you’ve ever fantasised about a threesome with rancid garbage.
(I don’t get the entire black leather fetish thing either. In Bombay weather, a leather fetish is as good as a ‘smells like dead cow dragged through a field of farts’ fetish.)
And it’s never the other way around. I don’t see CNN’s lifestyle section using stock pictures of Indians in articles like ‘How To Have Sex While 16 Family Members Sleep In The Same Room’, ‘Six Auspicious Positions To Make Male Child’ or ‘Five Sexy Outfits Guaranteed To Make Heads Turn At Your Sati’.
It can’t be that difficult to write about relationships. Let’s see now. They begin with courtship, thus named because it involves being judged and cross-examined by a higher authority. But first dates are great fun, provided you follow these bits of advice that I just thought of sometime between beer no. 4 and 12:
First up, don’t be nervous. Yes, the last time you touched a woman was when Blackberries were cool, and yes, you’re really eager to show her that you’re a good person who has no idea how all those weird Japanese videos got on his computer. But calm down. Breathe in, relax and if it helps, know that she’s slightly nervous too. Interestingly enough, this is the same thing experts say about snakes: they are as afraid of you as you are of them. Not that I’m equating women to snakes. That would be ridiculous. When snakes get mad, they usually have a reason.
(Note: Never bring up the snake analogy on the actual date, unless your preferred method of ingesting alcohol is having it thrown in your face.)
Next up, grooming. Women have all sorts of preferences: bald, short-haired, long-haired, bearded, moustachioed, clean-shaven, jungle-chested, Edward Cullen-chested and every other variation that you have no way of knowing about, so don’t bother. Show off your long, jagged fingernails as an effective weapon, thus assuring her of your status as warrior and protector. And do throw on some cologne. I recommend something manly, like ‘Eau de Subconscious Reminder of Her Father’.
Little things matter, so compliment her on her appearance. Feel free to use the words ‘raapchik item’ and ‘sexpakoda’. Conversation can be a problem if one of you is stupid, in which case shut up and let the alcohol do the talking.
So there you have it. A simple, practical guide to romance, by an Indian, for Indians. If you have any queries, please feel free to address them to your dad, N.D Tiwari.
(Note: This is my HT column dated 29th July 2012. Cross-posted from here.)