Tuesday, November 11, 2008


10 Good reasons why I would marry you

and one why I wouldn’t

Introduction and background.

Well, I know its not lady like to suggest marriage, or to propose it to a guy, but then you always did know that I’m not much of a lady and have never been ( Im plain hairy and I cant be bothered with waxing. I mean, give me one good reason I should hurt my skin to be more acceptable to the opposite sex.)

Further- when I say "marry " I don’t really mean the whole lace and bouquets and flower-girls rigmarole, and signing silly documents which have no real substance. In fact it has never failed to amaze me that the marriage contract is the only paper humans continue to sign which has absolutely no explicit terms, heck even my three month room rental is clearer on what responsibilities and benefits are but this signing on a dotted line with nothing else near it, its plain dumb if you ask me! Particularly when there are no real ways to enforce it .

And then just look at the disservice you do to society, inviting hundreds of people, making them waste lots of time preparing, shopping for tuxedos or matching sari blouse material and out fits for the kids who can only wear it one day anyway- they all have to come to a dead boring hotel lunch (and the more expensive the hotel the more confusing the food tastes), listen to deafening music , and throw confetti at the couple, only to be told about three years down the line that it didn’t work out and all that time they wasted was REALLY useless- simply gross; I have been there, done that and all I can remember was that the hem of my sari was getting tangled in my high heels, which was horribly nerve wracking. Not to mention having to kiss hundreds of painted perfumed sweaty women I don’t know. Bleah.

No I don’t really mean that, nice and fairy tale thought it sounds.

What I actually mean is that I would like to be officially, your partner in crime.

Now to substantiate my proposal, I have a couple of good old fashioned and ancient "wise sayings" on my side:

1. Do not marry a person you can live with; Marry someone you cannot live without.".
( I guess that means , someone you just cant bear to be separate from and will never forget as long as you live; if so that would be you)

2. Marry someone you like talking to
(which probably means when all those hormones fade and sex becomes repetitious and dead boring you will still be able to keep each other entertained. Makes sense.)

3. Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget

Im just suggesting that we could make each other smile, we could be there for each other and we could possibly make life happier for each other. Nothing more complicated.

Detailed justification
I’ve also backing this up with ten good reasons why I think I can actually stand knowing you , so as you see I have done my background work quite thoroughly.

1. You keep smiling most of the time

2. You are kind to animals

3. You talk about my children. and yours; a lot.

4. You’re funny and you make me smile.

5. You’re not insanely jealous when I talk about other cute guys and old flames.

6. You read what I write (possibly more than anyone else does except my mother)

7. I’m comfortable with you even when we don’t talk.

8. You’re talented and you know what you’re doing

9. Youre quaintly old fashioned although you deny it.

10. You’re spiritual although you try to hide it.

11. You drive decently even when you’re angry.

12. You read. Let me reiterate here, its not easy to find a bloke who reads beyond car magazines, sports highlights and the stock market news. But you read Tintin…

13. You are romantic although you try not to show it. Odd, but I have noticed.

14. You talk about your old flames in a nice way without resenting them.

15. You smell good and you’re cuddly and huggable.

16. You have the best communications skills I have ever seen in almost any guy.

17. You like the same books, music , movies and entertainment crap that I do

18. You don’t pee on the roadside or walk about shirtless, scratching your chest or worse. Even though you’re Sri Lankan!!

19. You sound sexy in the dark. Seriously, ok in daylight too - you have a wonderful way of talking.

20.And finally you’re hygienic; and did I go beyond the ten reasons? I do apologize.

Perceived risks
We allow that there are the challenges involved in knowing you so I have weighed them against the pros.

1. You like arguing and you keep grudges for yonks!

2. You don’t show that you love the ones you’re with which I think is immature.

3. You’re bigoted, racist and very rude to some people.

4. You’re a show off, a down right shocking exhibitionist, and snob! Sometimes that gets tedious for anyone near you.

5. You’re plain unstable, as you yourself admit.

6. When you hurt someone, you hurt them very, very bad.

Finally the number one reason I think I should go and boil my head for even suggesting such a thing…

7. Sometimes getting involved is the best way to lose someone

Weighing everything, and notwithstanding my obvious inability to count properly, I somehow think things won’t be that bad. I would actually love to grow old talking with you, to wake up to your hugs, to fall asleep to your snores, to save you from nightmares, and save myself from loneliness, and no this is not something I thought up on the spur of the moment, is it? I have had years to love you, years to hate you, a month to forgive you and perhaps, perhaps just maybe a life time to endure you, which I gladly will either way.

So what will it be?
Authors Note: The author currently makes a living writing project proposals for third sector organizations. This is her first attempt at writing a personal proposal and – hopefully, for everyone’s sake, her last.

Friday, November 7, 2008


India’s New ‘Call Girls’........P Jayaram in New Delhi
The Straits Times/aANN Conservatives decry ‘life of sin’ at call centres but employees say it’s a myth

Is economic independence making the young men and women working at India’s mushrooming call centres promiscuous? Has the graveyard shift become a licence for a ‘life of sin’?

Conservatives, particularly in IT hubs like Bangalore, Hyderabad or Gurgaon, say ‘yes’. But others say the so-called promiscuity in call centres is just a reflection of the sexual revolution happening in society.

The devil-may-care lifestyle of the young call centre employees is becoming folklore, and writers, Bollywood and TV commercials are reflecting it.

But call centre employees themselves say reports of their libidinous activities are a myth created by a Western media hurt by job losses in its countries.

Srilekha Bhattacharya, 27, who works in the sales section of the call centre of a multinational company in Delhi, says their high-pressure jobs leave them little time for anything else.

"We have daily and monthly targets to achieve. This is a high-pressure job and there is a strict code of conduct for the employees," she told The Straits Times.

"We even have a dress code. Revealing and indecent dresses are out."

And Neelam Singh, who works as a senior group leader at a business process outsourcing centre, or call centre, of a leading Indian company here, said: "The so-called promiscuity among call centre employees is a popular myth."

Her male colleague Sameer Behl chips in: "What’s popularly believed to be happening in the call centres, if at all true, is nothing more or different from what’s happening in society.

"The floors are monitored by CCTV. There is 24-hour monitoring and employees are not allowed to take in their personal belongings, including mobile phones."

But at the same time, there have been persistent reports about the drains of a call centre being clogged with condoms and women workers carrying contraceptives to their graveyard shifts.

And with an estimated 1.3 million people working in call centres across the country, an announcement by the Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society earlier this month that state authorities had asked all call centres to install condom vending machines has further fuelled rumours about these ‘places of sin’.

The move follows AIDS expert Suniti Solomon’s claim that a new epidemic is looming in India’s call centres, where she said young staff are increasingly having unprotected sex with multiple partners during night shifts.

She said at least three or four call centre workers visit the AIDS centre she runs in Chennai every week to get tested for HIV after having unprotected sex.

India has the third-highest number of HIV cases—2.4 million—after South Africa and Nigeria.

There are no figures of call centre workers infected with HIV, but a survey of them last year found that 38 per cent believed premarital sex was morally acceptable and a quarter regularly had casual sex.

Adding to conservative India’s outrage is the alleged public behaviour of call centre employees, particularly female workers.

Meenakshi Iyer, a 46-year-old Bangalore mother of two teenage girls, told The Straits Times: "I feel embarrassed to take my girls to restaurants frequented by them. They dress indecently, smoke and drink.

"Many of them come from semi-rural backgrounds. Good salaries and the freedom of living alone in the city make them lose their balance."

It is unclear whether women working in call centres drink more heavily than the average woman, but these days, they are certainly not unique in visiting bars.

Just a few years ago, it was only the vamp in the Bollywood films who drank.

Today, tipsy women tottering out of pubs on high heels are a common sight, as women, encroaching on traditional male territory in the workplace, pick up the traditional male habit of winding down with a drink after work.

As 29-year-old Neelam Mann, a project manager and self-confessed pub crawler, put it: "I love dancing when I’m drinking. Drinking makes me happy, chatty and uninhibited."

But the change in women’s lifestyles appears to be having an increasingly negative impact on their health.

Mukta Puntambekar, project director of the Muktangan De-addiction Centre in Mumbai, said women hardly came to the centre for treatment two years ago.

"Now we treat four to five cases a month," she said. "The number of inquiries from female addicts has gone up to 20 to 22 per month."

Meanwhile, the carefree life of the call centre workers, mostly fresh out of universities and earning a starting salary of 20,000 rupees to 25,000 rupees (US$402 to $502)—more than what a government doctor or university teacher makes—has raised conservative hackles for other reasons too.

Dr CNR Rao, one of India’s leading scientists, said IT had turned his native Bangalore into an ‘awful city’.

Comparing the call centre employees to "coolies who work for wages but do not produce great intellectual material", he said they are wasting their potential.

Writing in Outlook magazine last year, he lamented: "There was more poetry and music here before the IT boom."

He added: "If IT is going to take away our basic values, then you can burn Bangalore and burn IT."

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