You Know What Yanks My Chain?

Answer: Most things

I’m kidding. Nothing makes a blog post more attractive than knowing that it’s written by a hater of things.

Unfortunately I am a little bit of a hater of things, so the below is just a very public rant.

A: Amandeep and All Unisex Names

I come from a Sikh family and we are known for our notoriously confusing, unisex names. Am I a man? Am I a woman? Nobody can tell. The Kaur in my name is the only thing that tells me apart from my male counterpart. But I could be Mr. Amandeep, married to Mrs. Amandeep with a son called Amandeep and a daughter called Amandeep- and it would all still make sense to my people. One time, before leaving the house, my mother said to me that Jagjit Aunty would call the landline. The phone rang and it was Jagjit Uncle and I was so confused. But it made sense. The number of times I have been called ‘Sir’ on the phone is ridiculous. I get that when you phone someone called ‘Amandeep’, you naturally assume it’s a man because of the long-held patriarchy in our society and start the conversation with ‘Hello, sir’. I understand this. But when I talk and sound so clearly like a woman and you still continue to address me by ‘Sir’- I cannot abide. It is also hilarious how people’s attitude towards me changes when they realise I am a woman. I had a client that I had initially only been communicating with via email. It wasn’t a very happy exchange because the client was demanding things I could not possibly provide in my limited capacity within the company. He took to not replying to my emails and I, in turn, took to contacting him on WhatsApp. It wasn’t very professional but I could at least be on his case the whole time and close the deal that I wanted. So I sent him a message on WhatsApp and he suddenly became super kind to me.

‘I didn’t realise you were a woman’, he said with a smiley face.

Why does this change things? You were being a dick to me on email and now you know I am a woman you have to be nice to me? I am still the same person, unable to provide the same things to you, and still asking you to sign the damned document. I am the same Amandeep you called unprofessional. Are you saying that if I had told you I was a woman to start with you would have closed the deal quicker? Actually, I won’t complain here because being a woman had actually paid off in the end and he ended up signing the document anyway. But, hey, not cool.

B: The Brexit Debate

That Brexit happened was a shame for an entire nation. I wasn’t in the country at the time and I remember my friends back in the UK saying that the reason it happened was because I left. Of course it made no sense but I also knew they were having a hard time so I let them have it. In my limited capacity as a proponent of the written word, all I can say to the British people is — buck up, people. Why did you let this happen? Why did the Boomers suddenly get enough power to make a decision that was never going to impact them? Why did the otherwise very loud youth of the UK not make a racket loud enough for the government to hear them? Why did these ugly, anti-European sentiments even become a thing? When did it become okay for you to think the Europeans were bringing your country down but the British population overseas was doing no such thing? More than 50% of the Western expat population in my part of the world comes from Britain. They don’t do an exceptional job at whatever they are employed in, but they charge a whopping salary for the job that I know for sure any Asian expat would be able to do just as well if not better for a lower salary. Your white skin has got into your head and it’s time someone brought you down a peg. So I’m glad that Brexit happened. Europe probably doesn’t need you but you’ll see why you did need Europe. (I’m just here speaking as someone whose opinion does not matter at all).

C: Coronavirus

It’s probably not just me but everytime I see the word ‘coronavirus’ written somewhere I only hear it in Cardi B’s voice.

Here’s my beef with Coronavirus- you ruined everything. Who even are you? Why are you here? Are you a lab accident gone wrong? Are you chemical warfare? Are you SARS’s brother? Why are you here? People respected and feared you back in March but now you are like an unwelcome guest. Nobody gives a hoot about you anymore, man. Where I live, bars and gyms and shopping malls and theatres and educational facilities are open like nobody’s business. There’s nearly 1000 new cases everyday, discovered over 150,000 daily tests conducted at top-of-the-art testing centres. Did I mention they were drive through facilities? I had a bit of a COVID scare in my office where my colleague’s roommate was tested positive and I had been in close contact with the colleague. It hadn’t been a great day so when I got the call from my colleague to get tested, I wanted nothing more than a hot chocolate, my duvet and a sizzling episode of The Crown. But I couldn’t do that, because I was at work and now about to head to a testing centre. Things hadn’t been so great lately and that call was an even bigger downer than it should have been. So I drove up to the testing centre and while in my car, got the swab in my nose and everything was done in all of 5 seconds. Following this drive through, I drove to the closest McDonald’s drive-through and got myself the chocolatey goodness I knew would make me feel better. In that moment, I felt like the technology that human beings had created was defeating COVID already. It was like all of humanity saying to COVID, ‘come at me, bitch.’ Unfortunately, COVID has been taking us seriously since March and ‘coming at us’ for a long time.

It’s strange how much people don’t care about it anymore. Economies are slowing down so obviously governments are putting in regulations and encouraging resuming normal activity so that life doesn’t stop. But when things had just started going downhill, it was chaos everywhere. WhatsApp University yielded multiple “Doctors” that provides cures for the virus. My personal favorite was this- boil two pieces of garlic, three cloves and five pieces of cardamom in a kurkure broth (kurkure is a brand of corn puffs from India) and shower with the resultant concoction. It was obviously a joke but you have to applaud people’s creativity.

But seriously, COVID. You should go now.

D: Dick Pics

Men. What prompts you to send us pictures of your disgusting dongs? Has anyone ever said to you that you have a beautiful dong? Dongs are a lot of things- hard, soft, big, small, satisfactory when used well, sometimes a bit floppy- but I don’t think anyone has ever used the word beautiful to describe it. I personally have never indicated to anyone that I would like to receive unsolicited photos of hard dongs. Then what is it that prompts men to send pictures of their external genitalia to people they are hoping to bone? I really want to know, does it ever get you anywhere? I can imagine if it’s helpful for you, you might want to try it with everyone but speaking on behalf of women (I have self appointed myself as a spokesperson, thanks), please stop doing this. Send us pictures of cute dogs instead.

E: Every Remade Song in Bollywood Ever

Except for ‘Bin Tere Sanam’. I have a surprisingly high tolerance for the remix version of that one.

When did Bollywood run out of song ideas? When did Neha Kakkar take over the music industry? Why is every beautiful Punjabi song turned into a ridiculous Hindi song? I could not believe that the cutest song ever, ‘Laung Laachi’, had turned into Bollywood mulch. And then it was like an epidemic. ‘Jine Mera Dil Luteya’. ‘Illegal Weapon’. ‘Sip Sip’. ‘Lal Ghagra’. ‘Lahoria’. Every. Flipping. Song. Has been destroyed. And speaking on behalf of Punjabi people the world over, our ears hurt. And every song is sung by the same group of people with the same music. Nothing against Neha Kakkar, I’m sure she is a lovely person, but the way she sings makes every song sound overtly sexual and sometimes that’s not the tone you are looking for. She once did a cover for the song ‘Naina’ from the movie Dangal, a beautiful song about a father-daughter relationship, which talks about the unspoken turbulence and hidden love between a father and a daughter. And her voice made it unexpectedly and unnecessarily sensual. Again, nothing personal against her, but I just cannot stand her.

I guess not just Punjabis. On behalf of Italy, too, what the hell is ‘Nasha ye Pyaar Ka Nasha Hai’? On behalf of Egypt, what the hell is ‘Kaho Na Kaho’? On behalf of Turkey, what the hell is ‘Dil Samandar’? Indian musicians are supremely talented. They have produced classics like ‘Jab bhi Koi Haseena’ from the movie ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Tip Tip Barsa Pani’ from the movie ‘Mohra’, and ‘Dheere Dheere Chalna’ from the movie ‘Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge’. They shouldn’t have to resort to the greatest form of flattery (imitation).