Girls To Avoid Vol 1


Over the years, with my experience and trained eye, I’ve compiled a flock from Venus who make us cringe, dig a grave or even recluse for the hills. These women are everywhere – living next door, at work, the coffee shop and (while you read this on your iPad) in bed sleeping. And, truth is, most men are unable to decipher Venus code, leading to the point of no return – marriage and kids. I say, lets attune those senses, drivel the past and start afresh – the right way.

How does one go about doing such a thing? Simple, understand the opponent, keep your ears open (like Toby Maguire from Spiderman), observe the finer details and pay close attention to what I’m about to tell you next.

Xena – Femina Warrior
Most commonly found in the corporate jungle or a leadership position. The sword, steel bust plate and Greek lace are replaced by Gucci ghetto. She oozes feminism – you’ll often receive a women-have-bigger-balls indictment. And, male chauvinism will be frowned upon. The flipside, however, has some advantages i.e. dominatrix in bed, lots of leather and spanking. Unless you’re secretly a man lesbian, you’d be better of with The Tease.

The Tease
This breed embodies a cute cuddle-like face, perfect bumpers and nature similar to Cameron Diaz from Charlie’s Angels. She’s fun, flamboyant, drinks like a bear and a natural trophy with your boys. Being with this girl is as good as bungee jumping without rubber. Every moment will be a Kodak one, you’re face will glow and life will be beautiful. But, you’ll be pissed because after all that attention, “the special-feeling”, so to speak, she’ll drop you like a peanut the moment you spill your beans i.e. speak your heart. Be prepared with tissues and lots of vodka.

Pocket Poojari
Usually found buzzing around rich ugly men with deep pockets – like flee on shit. The Pocket Poojari (devotee) is usually a 10 – every square inch dipped in sexy vanilla goo that makes men week in the knees. At this point, you’d be thinking what’s he got? The answer – my friend – is in the pocket of credit cards that sit next to a Mercedes engraved fob. Unless you’re one of the Lehman brothers, prepare to auction your assets.

Holy Bebe
You will bump into her at the temple, post prayer or pre service. A moment you will regret later with your half-baptised brain. The “Holy Bebe (typical Indian aunty)” has an answer from God for everything, including a holy cure for infidelity. At first, all this may come of as cute and funny, but once things get serious you’ll experience frequent pooja-path (prayers) – even before sex, and maybe even after. Be prepared with holy books, candles and oodles of meditation.

Matrimony Devi
You’ll meet her in cooking class, at the gym or during morning yoga in the park. Her innocent brown eyes, soft-spoken nature and simplicity will have you howling in the middle of the night like a thirsty cave man. Being with her is all about mushy talk, incessant updates that sound like where you are, have you eaten, have you pooped, did you wake up, where are you now? Her cute dimpled-smile will –in a short span- turn into annoying rants of how you should get married. If you’re a typical Indian man who’s an over possessive nincompoop, I’d say get the hell out of here.

Published originally on GQ.


The European Bluff

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For the past week I’ve been at the receiving end of sarcasm-tossed and mischievously-rolling-in-it jokes at work. And, now all thanks to social media, and with a little help of my colleagues – Round 2 has ensued on Facebook as we speak. They can’t help but snicker over the fact that my European jaunt had Ostrich wings.

So, to set the record straight, here is what really happened in between check-in, immigration and a bottle Jack. Last month, I had scheduled a trip to Europe, to land in Barcelona and later celebrate New Year’s Eve in Paris – a short vacation to get away from a life in media exile. Excited, I prepared myself for the end of December, daily crossing out dates on iCal – a calendar App for Mac.

The thought of one week in Europe, in my language, was going to be nothing short of orgasmic. Boy, was I thrilled all month. I even had this uncanny smile pop along (like a jack in the box) on several occasions – even during serious client meetings, which I admit was kind of awkward.

But somehow this scripted journey had a twisted plot. Even Sherlock Holmes would’ve flinched on this one. All right, I made that last bit up.

On “the” day I was to board a flight for the Capital – from where I had a connecting flight later on in the night, there was a 3 hour delay due to heavy fog, which only left me enough time to grab a beer at a local shack before heading to Terminal 3.
I chartered an auto and on the way received a text from the airline informing me about the delay in schedule. At this point, unperturbed, I slipped the phone back into my jacket. Little had I known what was in store – for all of us flying out from T3 that night.

On arrival, I found a sweet spot in a corner of Costa Coffee, and spent my time wrapping up pending work. Four hours later, around 3 am, I walked up to a queue that looked a lot like something you would see outside an Apple store when Steve is about to launch something magical.

The airline crew was politely addressing passengers. It looked like we weren’t flying out that night – the fog was playing peek-a-boo with the plane. However, we were taken to a hotel in Gurgaon on the pretext that we’d be on board the next morning.
The bus ride to the hotel – which should take 15 minutes on a sunny day – took 45 minutes, and this is when I crossed into Melinda, a British national, who was in India on vacation. We had hit-it off in the buss and later one of us had suggested the idea of getting drunk at the hotel and playing poker.

To be honest, now that I look back, glass of Jack in hand, can’t help but think how Melinda and I managed to play poker without a deck of cards that night. Two days later, after speaking with the airline, with only 4 days to go in Europe, I decided to drop out and return home to my colleagues and friends with a poker face.

Published originally on GQ.


GQ Men Of The Year 2010


Around half past six – looking dapper in a white suit – I arrive at The Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, with the Editor of, who looks like an ad man from the hit TV show Mad Men. At this point, the venue for GQ Men of The Year Awards 2010 is bustling with activity – organisers wrapping last minute jobs and media focusing their lenses – for the soon to start gala event.

The red carpet is bedecked by the smooth curves of an Audi R8, which will beguile guests as they step down a fleet of stairs. I wipe the drool of my chin and strut around the red carpet like a celebrity. Well, this is – me – getting into A-list shoes. The stage is a surreal mix of Star Trek studios and London lounge. The anchor – Rahul Khanna – is busy doing last minute rehearsals.

Right away, I know this fashionable night is going to be a heady mix of top-drawer spirits. An hour later, the venue is littered with beautiful people suffused in style. I cajole my way into high-flying businessmen, celebrities, super models, fashion designers and the well heeled, introducing myself and clicking pictures for Twitter with my Blackberry.

Two hours later, the guest list has been ticked off and the show begins. Only moments later, as per plans, a short circuit like drama trips the lights. Screams, hoots and cheers fill the room and John Travolta appears on the scene. And, this is the only time I’ve seen girls whistle and hoot like teenage men.

Thirsty, I step into the lobby, grab a glass of red wine to slake my throat and cross into AD Singh and Rahul Bose. We briefly discuss Olive and the gorgeous women there. I walk around, behind the bar where Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai are being escorted by a military of bodyguards. They tell me to stay clear. I obey.

On loitering around further I meet Chunkey Pandey (he talks about John Travolta’s dance moves), an Italian diplomat, Naseerudhin Shah and family (his sons are chilled out fellows), Purab Kohli (he’s much taller in real life), Sreenivasan Jain, Priyanaka Chopra (who thinks I’m some dude with a Blackberry clicking random pictures, but poses anyway), Abhay Deol, Kabir Bedi and many more.

As the star-studded event concludes, the glitterati grab a quick bite before heading to China House for the after party. At three in the night, tired, I leave – because I have an early flight to catch – as the party continues into the wee hours with no room for slowing down – truly GQ style.

Published originally on GQ.