Reader, there is a lot of anger in the world. Decades of growing economic and social inequity have made us, largely, a disgruntled species. And here in #IncredibleIndia, we're no exception. We are livid every damn day, as we should be.
We should be angry about corruption. We should be angry about hunger. We should be angry about under-funded farmers. We should be angry that officials, instead of addressing those issues, spend their time worrying about peacocks' sex lives and the legality of momos.
But the side-effect of living with such constant rage is that we become pressure cookers, ready to release the rage at any whistle at all. Not just the relevant, productive seetis. Any damn seeti.
The easiest seeti is to point at someone living their life, and to say, "No, no. Not like this. Fuck you. Die."
Two recent unsuspecting seeti-recipients have been actresses Priyanka Chopra and Fatima Sana Shaikh. Chopra was widely attacked recently for wearing a knee-baring dress in a meeting with
Supreme Leader Prime Minister Modi (WILL HE SURVIVE???).
Today, Shaikh has come under mass fire for wearing a swimsuit during Ramzan. Invectives launched against her in her Instagram comments include such literary gems as "nanga naach rahi hai panty bhi utar deti paise ke liye kutti" and the all-time classic, "sharam karo". (Tu kar.)
Of course, these incidents are natural consequences of mass-rage combined with mass-unemployment and mass-patriarchy. We'll fight unemployment and patriarchy, of course, but I am here to fight the rage.
Again, I understand the anger. I feel it too, and I believe it is good. It just needs to be channeled more productively.
So I most humbly present: 24 things you could do instead of shouting at a woman for what she's wearing.
1. Shout into a pillow.
2. Shout into the night sky.
3. Shout alone in your house.
4. Wander around Juhu Beach or Marina Beach or any damn beach. Look for litterers and shout at them.
5. Wait in an alley until you witness a man catcall a woman. Shout!
6. Look up that momo-banner BJP dude's phone number. Call him and shout.
7. Track bogus WhatsApp forwards backwards until you find the person who wrote them. Shout! Then follow up by shouting, "UNESCO has declared my shouting the best shouting!"
8. Figure out how to be a part of Kapil Sharma's studio audience. Every time a regressive joke gets a laugh, SHOUT AMID THE LAUGHING.
9. Make a film about how awful Pahlaj Nihalani is. When he prohibits its release, make a second film exclusively of yourself shouting.
10. Study science. Become a scientist. Work for NASA. Get sent to Mars. Wahan pe shout.
11. Go to a government office, find a government official playing Candy Crush during tax-payer funded work hours. Shout l0ts.
12. This chap eats biryani with ketchup and mayonnaise. Find him and shout.
13. Stand on the first floor of any building and wait for able-bodied people who took the lift to get there. Shout at them like ANYthing.
14. Hail a rickshaw to Andheri East even though you don't need to go there. When he says no, shout that you didn't even wanna go there, ha! But it's the principle of the thing.
15. Wait until you receive a call that could easily have been a text message. Be perfectly polite on the phone, but then CALL BACK AND SHOUT.
16. Make dinner plans with a huge group of friends! Fun! But then order only appetisers. No drinks. Encourage others to drink. At the end, when your drunk-ass spendthrift friends suggest splitting the bill equally, SHOUT AT THE BRATS.
17. Take a class, become a certified scuba diver, go miles under the surface of the ocean. Shout.
18. Train as a gymnast, become Olympic-level skilled, go to the Olympics, win a gold medal. Come back home to zero fucks, remember that India doesn't care about any sport but cricket, and do a Produnova while shouting.
19. Wait outside a woman's restroom. Listen for people using the faucet. When they come out, check if they left the seat wet. If they did...
20. Save up for a solo trip to the Tibetan Plateau, one of the remotest places on earth. Once you are really, truly alone, LET IT ALL OUT.
21. Eavesdrop at restaurants for people ordering "veg biryani". Shout "IT'S CALLED PULAO."
22. Go to a death metal concert. Shout. It's encouraged.
23. Go to an anti-violence protest. Shout.
24. Stand in front of your mirror. Look at yourself and within yourself. Introspect. Seek the origins of your anger. Is it really Priyanka Chopra's knees? Is it really Fatima Sana Shaikh's Instagram? Or is it something deeper, more insidious? Is it your own mediocrity? Is it the fact that you were promised a good life and got a shit one? Is it that you thought the universe would revolve around you but, goddammit, it doesn't! Come to terms with who you are. Come to terms with how you feel. Then go right ahead. Shout.