I like making to-do lists, because it gives me yet another excuse to not do the things on my to-do list. Here’s what my average list of tasks looks like:
- Finish that work thing.
- Pay that bill.
- And that other bill.
- Your baap will pay the third bill or what?
- WTF. Burn credit card.
- Clean an old person’s toenails.
- Read War and Peace. Or benchpress it. Whatever’s possible.
- Record clips of babies crying. Play on loop for six hours.
- Try and reason with a Modi fan.
- Go shopping for clothes.
So clearly, even though it’s important, shopping for clothes is a complete waste of time, just like shaving, or Rahul Gandhi voting for himself. I’m not saying this because I’m some stereotypical male who’s happy to walk around in a T-shirt that’s just a bunch of holes held together by deodorant. No, I like being to sport a look that’s not sourced from the Engineering Hostelite Who Had To Choose Between Soap and Cigarettes and Guess What Won collection.
It’s just that to get to this point, you need to put the rest of your life on hold for about three days. This applies more so when you’re a regular guy who does not want to look like Douchebag McHairGel. Take, for example, jeans. There was a time when you could just walk in to a store and walk out with what you needed, having exchanged a grand total of six words with the salesman (“Dark blue jeans, waist size: beer”).
But now it entails a full-blown conversation wherein you have to explain to the salesman that no, you don’t want the pair with the shiny stuff on the back-pocket even thought it is “laytusst style” among guys who want their butts to be used as navigational aids by seafarers, and no, you don’t want the pre-ripped, pre-faded nonsense because that look needs to be earned after years of Nirvana and mediocre pot, and c’mon man, why would you show me something designed to fit a six-year-old boy made of twigs?
Shopping for t-shirts is better because you have more options at idiocy. I don’t know how or when it happened, but at some point, somebody decided that men’s t-shirts lacked the Eurotrash factor, so they called a guy, who slapped a tiger logo onto things and called it Ed Hardy, like some sort of French Shiv Sainik. This inspired an entire range of chest-vomit that when worn, causes you to invite Bhojpuri starlets to your home for coffee and compromise.
Then there are sport tees plastered with vague inspirational quotes like ‘Fly high’, ‘Slay Sun’ and ‘Gonad Fire’ – all designed to give off the impression that you’re an athlete when in reality, you often sprain your back while picking up nachos off the floor. This leaves only one option: superhero and other pop-culture tees. It’s a look I sport often, because failure to do so will lead to excommunication from the Man-Child Club of Bandra And Nearby Suburbs But Not the Eastern Part, Duh.
(Pro Tip: Team those tees up with shorts and flip-flops, and it turns into an outfit for every occasion. Drinks with friends? Yup. Formal client meeting? Sure. Funeral? If it’s a white tee, then yes. Romantic date? Doesn’t matter. Laptops don’t judge.)
This is still better than the Tantra phase in college, when we all thought we were so cool with t-shirt slogans like ‘Taj Mahal ViaAgra – Man’s Greatest Erection For A Woman’ or ‘1 7 2 2 14’ (read that in Hindi to appreciate the classy comedy). Thankfully, I managed to not hit the next level, which included gems like ‘Virginity is myths… life f**** everyone!!’ (Plato, I believe) and the engineering favourite, ‘99% of girls are beautiful……. rest are in my college’ (which was not only sexist and demeaning, but also true).
People who once wore that have realised the folly of their ways and have moved on to classier designs, like Being Human, the sartorial version of rabies. Meanwhile, people like me will continue to fund entities like Marvel, DC, the Simpsons, House, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Arrested Development and if they’re tosser hipster enough, then Captain Vyom and Bal Narendra too. Say hello if you see us around. We’ll be the guys looking for pants.
(Note: This is my HT column dated 13th Apr 2014.)