Friday, September 21, 2018

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Posted at: Mar 4, 2018, 2:17 AM; last updated: Mar 4, 2018, 2:17 AM (IST)

Drink, be merry

Amid the never-ending list of dos and don’ts for women, here’s the comedians’ take
Drink, be merry
Illustration by sandeep joshi

Ashima Sehajpal Batish 

  • Have you tried gin with tonic water? It tastes nice, any day better than vodka and juice. Dip in it a slice of lemon for flavour. It might be a good break from beer, and from a concerned well-wisher in Goa who is haunted by thoughts of women consuming the barley drink.
  •  Have you attended grooming classes? Time to do so in case you take the abbreviation LOL literally. You shouldn’t laugh out loud. Definitely not like Renuka Chowdhury, lest you want comparisons to be drawn between you and the demons of the Ramayana.
  •  Have you learnt how to drape a saree? Sabyasachi realised the folly of posing the question and apologised sooner than expected. But people of prominence and political affiliations have often given never-asked suggestions on how women must dress up to avoid rape.
A wise man said that the only thing that comes for free in this world is advice. You may want it or not, it will fall in your lap. You may want to lap it up or not, a follow up will follow. So what do you do with these unwanted suggestions? This: Ask stand-up comedians to provide solutions to the world-shattering problems of women’s boisterous laughter, binge-or-not-binge drinking and inappropriate dressing up. In their signature style, they tell how you must not behave to get the best out of irked souls. 

Neeti Palta is more concerned about handling a hangover and suggests a remedy to deal with it: “Banana milkshake with a healthy dollop of honey.” And how do you handle those who love to measure every millilitre of your alcohol intake? “Inhale deep gulps of air with alcohol.” As for dressing up, she says that the only kind of clothes that prevent a rape from happening are clothes without a woman in them.

While you ponder over whether women should have alcohol or abstain from it, Jaspreet Singh advises whatever women do should be completely ignored. He is convinced that it is not as difficult a task. “Our authorities are pretty competent at ignoring the most crucial issues of the country — from scams to gruesome crimes. They sure can overlook the follies of women.” He proposes attending a stand-up comedy event, for men especially, to get comfortable with several forms of laughter. Almost everyone there laughs like a character from the Ramayana. “In fact, those who haven’t tried laughing out like that are missing out on a lot in life,” he says.

Talking of mythology, all hell broke loose when Draupadi guffawed, the only time she did, in the Mahabharata. Aditi Mittal can’t get over how everyone’s sense of humour got into an overdrive on social media after Renuka Chowdhury laughed out loud. “It first bemused me, then amused me when I noticed that most men have high-decibel laughter.” She hopes that women continue to drink whatever they want to; wear whatever they want to; and that they get the last laugh. Let’s go one more time, loudly, Hu ha ha ha….


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