The Way To A Man’s Heart Is Not Through This Column

Once in a while, as I’m going through the barrage of headlines online (which can all be summed up as “Cretinous Politician Insults Scumbag Politician”, “Powerful Person Corrupted By Power” and “Comedy Nights With Kapil: Because Cross-Dressers Are Hilarious”), I find myself being distracted by the softcore corner of news websites aka the Women and Relationships section. And in case you’re wondering, yes, they’re still talking about what it takes to please and keep a man. (They always seem to miss out on “Learn to straight-drive like Sachin.”)

A quick look through these articles will tell you women that it’s really very simple. All you need to do is lose your belly fat, thigh fat, arm fat, elbow fat, ankle fat and drop a lung or two because those things just make you look bloated when you breathe. Then you need to work on your skin, which may look fine to you, but since men are superior beings who see things in SuperMega HD, you need to treat it with a special purifying extract made from dolphin saliva, which you can buy after clicking the strategically placed banner ad that says HAHA, SUCKERS!

One such article I recently read was about “Compliments That Your Man Needs To Hear”. Ladies, I hope you’re paying attention because someday you may find yourself in an extreme life-or-death situation, like Sandra Bullock in Gravity, and may need to get back to Earth by telling the ISRO chief that his hair looks great.

First up – and this is a suggestion for an actual compliment – “Boy, you can work it!” This is a great thing to say to a guy when you’re his personal trainer and he just deadlifted the reason for his next hernia. But no, this is supposed to a sign of appreciation for his skills in the bedroom. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you need to be prodded by the internet into complimenting your guy’s skills, then he probably cannot “work it” very well. He’s less Ron Jeremy, more Ron Weasley, is what I’m saying. Change this by firing off inspirational lines in bed, like “Glory Glory Man United!” and “Do or do not. There is no try.” (Or yell “Dhoom Macha Le!” Whatever works for you.)

Another suggested compliment is “You’re so freaking hot!” which is perfect if you’re like sixteen and like OMG totes whatevs amirite *duckface* There’s more helpful advice about how you can make a man feel wanted by batting your eyelids and – this is true – asking him to help you with bank work. This is also what Manmohan Singh did with Raghuram Rajan.

This is just one of a million helpful articles out there, along with others like “How To Stop Your Guy From Being Needy” followed immediately by “How To Make Him Pay Attention To You”, at which point a normal person’s brain cells will start signing suicide pacts.

I don’t know who reads this stuff, because anyone who has ever known a man should be aware that we’re not complex creatures. All a woman needs to do to get a man’s attention and turn him on is to show up. That’s pretty much it. Going through all these tips and tricks is like trying to compose a symphony for your dog. Sure, he might acknowledge it and even wag his tail, but really, he’s just glad to see you and even if you left, he’d be perfectly happy just licking his own – yeah ok, I didn’t think that analogy through.

On the other end of the spectrum are men’s magazines, which usually fall into two categories. There’s the upmarket variant which says things like, “Woo her with understated elegance, seen here in these cufflinks that cost two crores because the Maharaja of Punjab once swallowed them as a baby.” And there are the less formal ones, written by guys who attended Bro University and got a Master’s in Bro Studies, with a Diploma in Dude, bro. Their pages reek of gunpowder and offer practical relationship advice like “KILL YOUR FEELINGS WITH THIS SHOTGUN!” and “WHO NEEDS LUBE REAL MEN USE ENGINE OIL!” (They’re packed with so much testosterone that I once grew a beard and killed three cheetahs just by looking at the cover.)

So clearly – and I don’t mean to sound juvenile here – the boys are winning. There’s only one thing you women can do to even the contest – turn to the man nearest to you and ask for advice. Remember to compliment him first.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 24th Nov 2013.)