Category Archives: Relationships

A Calmer You: Abki baar, careful yaar

Ma’am mujhe phir se sachcha pyaar ho gaya hai,’ writes Mukundan Dixit. He sends me a mail whenever he falls in ‘true love’. He sends me a mail every two months. I have several problems with Mukundan. To start with, he should remove either the first two letters or the last two letters from his name, because, you know, you can’t force-mix two perfectly valid names to produce something that requires your lips to form an awkward circular shape, each time you call out.

A Calmer You Abki baar careful yaar

Maybe, just maybe, this ­awkwardness is not letting sachcha pyaar stay on in his life for long. Who knows. Vaise who knows what sachcha pyaar is, in the first place. I don’t. Mukundan certainly doesn’t. Half of the young janta reading this column right now and texting their ‘steady’ ones from the other hand don’t. Most of us latch on to the first relationship that seems ­reasonably okay to us, and try to squeeze-fit it into the sachcha pyaar mould. Which is actually not a bad thing, considering that relationships are meant to be a lot about accepting and adapting. But then anything you squeeze too much, bursts out after a while. Science ka kuchh funda hota hai, so don’t ask me why.

So Mukundan and others like him, stay in a perpetual quest for true love and send mails to velle columnists like me, who themselves may be going through shit in life but never lose an opportunity to shell out advice just because they are perceived as experts. Well then, Muku, here’s what I think. Relationships being a very personal thing and all that, I probably can’t tell you who to opt for, but I can sure tell you what kind of a person to NOT go for. And since I don’t know or care which way you swing, this advice is gender-neutral. Run the latest candidate of your sachcha pyaar through these five moulds. And if she/he doesn’t fit in either, hang on in this relationship. And do not send me another mail so soon.

1 The unapologetic: A relationship in which only one person is always seen apologising is the most doomed of all to not be happy. An unapologetic partner – boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, is always trying to tell you that all that’s wrong is your fault. The partner who gets used to apologising for everything so that fights and arguments can be avoided, is actually getting used to slowly killing his/her self-esteem. And that, is never good in life. Close your eyes and recall the last time your partner said sorry to you over something. No matter whose fault it was. If what flashes before you are visuals only of yourself pleading and apologising, it’s time to open the eyes. Literally and otherwise.

2 The polar opposite: Yeah, I know ‘the opposites attract’ theory but if only life was till the stages of attraction. Life actually begins when the attraction settles down. And it is here that similarities matter way more than differences. I’ve seen people gloating about how they and their partners are like north-south poles, completely different, and yet so synchronised, and that adds spice to their lives. It’s absolutely great if it works for them, but in most cases, the extra spice starts to choke you, if you know what I’m saying. There isn’t too much distance to travel between ‘I LOVE my boyfriend’s shy nature’ to ‘Oh God, kuchh bolta hi nahi hai’ to ‘I can’t stay with him, he has complex issues.’ Don’t look for a replica of yourself in another gender, but don’t also fall for one who you share absolutely no common interests with. That’s two lives wasted. We are quick to match horoscopes even in this day and age. How about a compatibility quiz as annexure?

3 The non committal: A person who keeps hanging you in the lurch for small or big decisions is not just not respecting you enough, but also giving subtle hints that the relationship itself may not matter enough to them. I get countless mails from young people who are stuck in a ‘I love him/her but they say we are only good friends’ stage. Yes, not everyone is as proficient in moving on as Kundan and normal people need time to take decisions about committing but if for months or years, someone is just giving you the ‘let us explore where this goes’ line, they are bullshitting and you should know it. Now puhleez, don’t you go ‘But, I can’t take her out of my mind’ on me. Devdaas dekhne ko maine kaha thaa? Move on. There are Madhuri Dixits waiting ahead. (PS: Mukundan Dixit, this advice is not applicable to you)

4 The Unequal: You know, I have no regard for differences of caste, culture, religion, age, race etc when it comes to love. As long as the two people share a certain common value system that they imbibed while growing up. If there’s way too much inequity in the very socio-economic set-up two people grow up in, it takes its toll on a relationship. Bollywood films that show a coolie falling for a multi-millionaire’s daughter or TV documentaries about an American tourist marrying an illiterate farmer in an Indian village, make for an interesting watch, but perhaps not a very practical life. Anyway, I might be incorrect and also sachcha pyaar may be above all these differences, but I see no harm in keeping the ears open in case alarm bells about a wide inequity between you and your crush are somewhere ringing in the background. Do you?

5 The guilt-giver: This kind of a partner will ruin your life. Almost surely. A person who claims to love you but consistently makes you feel like a loser is not just being consciously or subconsciously manipulative, but is also distorting the very idea of what’s right or wrong, in your head. Sample this mail I got yesterday from a 16-year-old in Indore: “I and my boyfriend love each other too much. On the day he proposed, he made me promise that I won’t talk in a friendly way to any other boys in the class. I always kept my promise but last week when a boy commented on my FB post, I replied back with a smiley, and exchanged two comments with him. I have been feeling horrible ever since and I confessed to my BF. He shouted at me and says he wants to break-up as I’ve broken his trust. How do I tell him I’ll never repeat the mistake?” Well my dear Indore-girl, yes there is a grave mistake in your life. Sadly, you’ve not written his name. Need I say more?

Sonal Kalra is writing a ‘how to find sachcha pyaar for dummies’ guide. Any publishers interested?

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A Calmer You: So, are you a shakki partner?

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Today’s relationships: you can touch each other but not each others’ phones. Can’t help it ma’am’… is how Suvir describes his behaviour to me in an email. In reference to how he can’t help but doubt his girlfriend’s loyalty, every now and then. It wasn’t Suvir, by the way, who got in touch with me to begin with. It was his girlfriend who’s a regular reader of the column, and wrote to me asking for calmness tips on overcoming a bitter breakup.

Breakups don’t catch my attention, as you know, but the reason here did. ‘I found him checking my phone when I was in the loo,’ she wrote. ‘I’m sick and tired of telling him that I’m not cheating on him. He still gets these pangs of suspicion. It was suffocating to be spied upon like this,’ she wrote, marking a copy of the email to Suvir. Fair enough, girl. It is indeed suffocating to be mistrusted by your partner or spouse. But curious as I was to know why someone would risk jeopardising a good relationship by being overly suspicious, I wrote back to them. Here’s what Suvir had to say. ‘I know I’m behaving crazy but I’m paranoid. The thought that she may be seeing someone else when she’s not with me drives me mad. What makes it worse is her reluctance to reveal her phone or email password to me. I won’t go around reading her mails, but the thought that she refuses, puts one hell of a doubt in my head. When I’m ready to share my passwords with her, why can’t she do the same to put me at ease? I feel so terribly stressed.’

A Calmer You So, are you a shakki partner

Sad, isn’t it? No, I’m not talking about his girlfriend’s situation. It’s of course unfortunate to be stuck with a partner who doubts your loyalty, but imagine how traumatic it must also be for the person who’s constantly agonised by suspicious thoughts, the ones that are known to eat you from inside. So while there’ll be several shoulders for Suvir’s girlfriend to cry on, since her perspective is obviously in the clear, I want to extend mine to Suvir today, and analyse his stress. Let’s look at how to come to terms with the incessant urge to suspect your partner…

1. Accept the problem: This may make me sound arrogant, but I refuse to advise people who are not ready to believe that they have a problem. Bahot time waste hota hai, with people who don’t listen with an open mind and think that their viewpoint is always the valid one. Maybe it is so sometimes, but at least open up to the possibility that it isn’t. If you are constantly jealous and suspicious of your partner, irrespective of the gender, and always try to justify it by saying that you do it only because you love them, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. Admit it. There’s a difference between pretending to be playfully possessive of your partner in front of friends, and creating fake Facebook accounts and sending a friend request to your boyfriend. If most of your free time goes in thinking about why he/she was online on WhatsApp late at night, and those thoughts become the cause of a majority of your fights, you, my dear, need to do something about it sooner than you think.

2. Take the suspicion test: Ask yourself these questions each time you suffer from an uncontrollable bout of jealousy or doubt about your partner and are unsure if it is the right thing to do…
a) Am I being guided by the present or the past?: In a surprising majority of cases, people doubt their current partners because they are scarred by a previous relationship where someone cheated on them. It’s natural. It’s still not justified. A lingering pain from the past can keep you from objectively looking at your partner’s completely harmless action. Do remember that if someone broke your trust in the past, it’s precisely why you aren’t with them today. The matter ended there. It wasn’t the doing of your present partner. Do not make them suffer for someone else’s faults. Stop living in the past… God’s already made the correction here, hasn’t He?
b) Am I reacting or responding? : There’s a big difference between the two. You react to emotions, you respond to facts. Getting into a heated argument with your husband on seeing a girl’s SMS on his phone is a reaction. A knee-jerk at that. Try asking him first — politely — on what it’s all about. And be open to trusting his answer. If you still find him evasive, maybe it’s justified arguing it any further. Otherwise you would have just wasted a few moments you and your partner could have spent in saying, or doing, something nice!
c) Am I insecure? : In most cases, it is a deep sense of insecurity that makes people throw a suspicious fit. Stop thinking that you aren’t good enough for your partner. People are smarter than you think. We may keep talking about love at first sight and some such blah but deep inside, everyone analyses a potential partner before diving into a relationship. Your partner hasn’t got into it blindfolded. He or she found you good enough, and if at some point they don’t, your jealousy is not gonna make them stay. So stop this self-bashing and feel good about yourself. Only then someone else will.

3. Is it worth it? : One of the easiest but the worst thing we often do in a relationship is shove the obvious signs that something’s wrong, under the carpet. We prefer to live in denial, only because we aren’t brave enough to face the repercussions. If you find yourself in a relationship where your partner’s actions are leading to a fight almost everyday, be it an affair or marriage, think about whether it’s worth being in it. I know, I know, you are itching to give me gyaan on how it’s easier said than done, how it’s practically not feasible etc. But being miserable yourself and making another person miserable in the name of practical feasibility is no genius act either. Base your decision to stay in a relationship on facts, not suspicion. On evidence, not instincts. On happiness, not fear. And then if the logical thing is to move away, so be it.

Sonal Kalra showed this writeup to a colleague and he called it useless. Instead, give practical tips to hack into your girlfriend’s phone without getting caught, he said.

Together or happily together

There I am sitting in my office with a colleague and friend of mine listening to her over and over again about her latest relationship issue with her boyfriend. As she is telling me about the umpteenth time about how her boyfriend kept a secret from her that he had a fling with a girl around eight years ago before even meeting my friend. As she pines on about how she is feeling betrayed and offended by his behaviour I take a few moments to look at our new trending relationships. I feel that there has been a massive change in the sense of the word ‘Relationship’. Be it couples, friends or families….Now with a modern lifestyle, a pressurizing multinational job, a home and a family to take care of our ways of dealing with relationship hues and blues have changed. Or have they? It has become more and more difficult to stay happy and contented. But most of the times we are the only ones to create the illusion of unhappiness in a smooth life. Let’s take a look at a few things on which our relationships are based.

happily together

Honesty…*!#$@#!? Yes Dear

What meaning does the term honesty hold to you? Apart from being truthful about the basic things in our lives there is a fine line in being honest and preventing a heart-break or an argument. Are you honest to your husband or boyfriend that you were dream looking at that greek god kind of guy in the mall who oh.. by the way was also helping in shopping for his girlfriend. Uhgghh! So jealous! While your better half was trying to figure out which pant size he has grown into. Or do you tell them that you would rather be watching ‘Himmatwala’ than going bowling with him, his friends and their show-off wives. Oh and to be honest ‘Himmatwala’ also needs a whole new level of courage to sit through!

And now over to the men. Do you guys ever muck up the guts to say it to your girlfriend or wife that she still looks the same even after spending ten hours at the parlour and the amount of money by which you could have gladly bought a new lazy boy chair for you. Now that would have been beautiful. Isn’t it? And yes do you remember the time when you had gone to a wedding and your girl got mad with the fact that you were staring at that hot bod girl in a saree with the flat stomach (That b*@#ch! Don’t they ever eat anything?) And you got away with an excuse that she looked anorexic! Of course a little plump girl also looks cute…Who needs to be with a flat board anyway!….So whatever our reasons to be honest of this ‘kind’ they sure can come helpful when trying to save yourself the trouble of getting in an ugly place in your relationship or better..to stay happy in it.

Love…The wow word

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of love? Is it a typical romantic Hollywood movie which you saw and wanted it to come true with flowers, chocolates, kisses and mushiness or the kind of love which can actually stay alive for a very long time in reality. In the starting phase of our relationship we really do enjoy the pampering and the attention which slowly fizzles out and you realise that now you are not boggling your brains out about which dress you should wear to your evening date rather you are quizzed about which is the best and safe money investment plan which can be helpful for your future.

But are we not missing out on a few details here. Why do you think your wife cooks your favourite ‘gajar ka halwa’ and ‘kheer’ every second day when she doesn’t even has a sweet tooth? Or why doesn’t she ever fail to keep your lucky blue shirt all washed and ironed before your every big presentation. And girls why do you think that your husband always switches on the hot water in the morning before you have to get up and start working on your day. He didn’t remember Valentine’s day but still somehow never forgets to give you your vitamins every day. Aren’t these the kinds of things which make us feel loved and cared of? Sure we all have a very busy life but we need to take a moment and notice that love doesn’t always need to be a Mills & Boon novel but hey….it’s not that bad either.

Space…Yeah. We all need it.

Now, I think you know what I am talking about. But still I am going to take the liberty of explaining it for some of us who are alien to this concept. Come on ladies I’ll talk to you first. Do you like it when your husband or boyfriend calls you every thirty minutes to ask how you are? What are you doing? Where and with whom are you? Yes I know it makes you go crazy. So why don’t you too give your spouse a little break from this. Whenever he goes out with his guys or even at home sometimes you need to just let him be. You have to stop nagging about every single little thing that you told them to do but he didn’t or forgot to. Sometimes all you need to do is to enjoy each other’s company and let each other breathe…(You can do a little bit of nagging later…I know work just doesn’t happen without it either!)

And guys you also need to know that your girl also needs a little time off. Do you know how many things are going on in their head? You don’t even think as much in two days that she covers in an hour! Let her also get off the wheel and relax. I’m going to spare you from recounting the list of her side of work and activities (You’re welcome.)

Talking…Hmmm.

The last thing which I would like to conclude in our discussion is talking. Well we girls sure have a master’s degree in it but I am not talking about the gossips in which we include our men. Like the latest piece of jewellery your neighbour was wearing or how you think you have gained weight (sniff!..touchy topic). But you know I can go on and on. And boys we girls aren’t exactly interested in your hours long discussion about sports or business talk either. Some of these topics just fly over our head!

What I mean to say is that sometimes we just forget to say things that hold much importance than these. Like telling your wife who is exhausted from her hectic day that how much you appreciate her and love her. (Yes..We love to hear it). And girls I know your guy can be a great listener (sometimes with a blank expression) but you got to give him a chance to be able to open up to you. Just let him know that if something is bothering him you are also there for him too.

So people…problems are there in everyone’s lives but we should feel lucky and thankful that we have got someone with us to get over them. It’s not exactly a perfect life but together we can make it. Hmmpfh! Now that I have spoken a lot…excuse me..i have to get back to listening to my friend.

A Calmer You: Mujhe arranged marriage se bachao!

Are you too desperate to fall in love, for the wrong reasons? The wedding season is upon us. And brings with it a truck load of stress, as always. I toh anyway firmly come from the shaadi is barbaadi public school but I recently realized what a tension a wedding can be, for the bride or groom’s single friends. ‘The moment your best friend gets hitched, the pressure on you to get married too, starts to mount,’ said Minakshi from my team yesterday. ‘And because you don’t want to give in to the pressure and agree to an arranged marriage, the stress of falling in love quickly takes over,’ added Neha. ‘The stress of falling in love? I thought love happened to people on its own, in fact, far too soon these days, ‘I said, and they both laughed, before rolling their eyes in a very ‘oh-we-are-stuck-with-an-imbecile-cavewoman-as-a-boss’ kinda way.

 arranged-marriage

My hesitant queries on this subject to my own younger cousins eventually told me how right Minakshi and Neha were. So one has to try really hard to make love happen these days, varna ghar waale pakad ke arranged marriage kar dete hain. I wondered if this desperation to escape the possibility of being tied to a virtual stranger for life, is also making people get into relationships without too much thought. A mail from a 24-year-old girl from Indore, who didn’t wish to be named, cleared all my doubts. ‘We are a group of four close friends. All the three, apart from me, have either got married or engaged. Mom does nothing else these days but remind me that good rishtey won’t come if it gets too late. My parents are broad minded enough and asked me if I like someone. Now there is a guy in office who I somewhat like. I’m not 100 percent sure if he’s perfect for me but he’ll be better than someone totally unknown. Shall I quickly do friendship with him?’ Well, I don’t know, girl from Indore. Seems like we are deciding on buying a dress or something. Anyway, it’s much easier for me to give you gyan, than for you to go through this stress daily. But, then gyan is all I have right now and it may just make sense to you. Please remember….

1. People don’t want to be with a desperate drama case: The more hurry you are in to get out of the ‘single’ status, the more you’ll ward off the right kind of people. Because whatever said and done, desperation shows. Coming on too strongly can intimidate, scare or simply put people off. And frankly, why should someone else make such an important decision in a hurry only because there’s pressure at your home to get married? It’s a question of their life too, equally. Isn’t it? Don’t put someone else’s — and your own future happiness at stake out of sheer desperation. All that a good decision ever wants in life, is time and thought. Give it both.

2. It’s too old fashioned to think you are too old: There used to be a time some decades back when marriage would start to get discussed at home when a girl or guy would turn 20. Elderly women, with a grim expression, would also declare from time to time that ‘the family must be complete by 30 years of age,’ whatever that meant. Now, that mindset has thankfully gone from at least the educated middle class, and so should the stress. Of course there’s always an ideal age to settle down, both from a biological view point and otherwise, but that notion of an ideal age can no longer be a sword hanging on a person’s head. If the choice is between marrying the right person and marrying at the ‘right’ age, and you go for the latter only to gain short-term peace of mind, let me slap you right now. Because life will, later.

3. Single doesn’t always mean sad, just as relationship doesn’t always mean happy: Kisi married bande se jaakar poochho, you’ll get the right gyan about what rushing into commitment does to peoples’ sanity. But then you won’t understand it, because all you can see around you, when you are single, is happy couples. Just remember that when they are done flaunting their ‘committed’ status, all they see around them, are happy singles. That’s the irony of human mind. Your happiness, whether you have a Mrs or Miss in front of your name, will only come from your own thoughts. If you’ve consciously chosen to be happy, the presence or absence of a girlfriend or boyfriend can only add value to it. It can’t be the basis of it. It just doesn’t work that way.

4. It’s your life…not theirs. One wrong choice and you’ll be stuck, not them: When I say ‘them’, I mean everyone, right from relatives to friends to even those who have proposed to you and waiting for you to say yes. None of them can, or should, influence your decision to get married. The voice, about the right time and the right person, has to come from within you. Whether it is getting into a hurried relationship to avoid an arranged marriage, or saying yes to an arranged match only because all your friends have
settled down, it’s finally your life that’s going to suffer. And your partner’s too. No relative will then own up to the responsibility of pushing you into an unhappy state. And even if they did, it wouldn’t change a thing. Take your time before you take the plunge. Even if it means taking forever. Staying single is not the end of life. It’s just another way of living a beautiful life, if you are peace, and in love with yourself. Anyway, whether you are married, unmarried, committed or single, there’ll always be some people who’ll envy you, and some who’ll thank God they are not in your place.That’s just how it is.

Sonal Kalra will someday open an ashram where only two kinds of people will be allowed. Happy married. And happily unmarried. No entry for negativity.

The Big Obese Indian Wedding

Marriage is one of the biggest and happiest occasion for people in this world but in country like ours…i feel people live for this day.Not only the bride and the groom but the whole family and relatives go to the extent of hysterics even at the thought of the word “marriage”. Everyone’s happy for something or the other unknown reasons.There are so many small small functions in which the whole family participates with full enthusiasm.Even relatives who are not in talking terms with you suddenly become friendly….so in short everything looks good and feels great to be part of the big Indian wedding.BUT what irks me about this big fat Indian wedding is the term itself “BIG FAT”….i feel the term used should be OBESE!!!

indian-wedding

Marriages in India are treated as a form of business nowadays. Even in well reputed families….before starting talks about a suitable match, people generally ask that how much money are they going to spend on wedding….rubbish!!!!.And if you think that there are people who are against dowry or do not demand anything from the bride’s side….then you are highly mistaken.Even those people would generally say that the bride side may do whatever is their capability or in better words…”we don’t want anything….we just want your daughter:):)….if you really want to give anything…give it to your daughter:):)”…wow!!…that’s such a brilliant thinking.Now what such dialogues do is…they put bride’s side in a fix!!!.They really try out of their comfort zone….to give their daughter all the comforts they can.

May be for giving the so called comforts they may have to sell a piece of land or old jewelry or may be spend out of their own capabilities by taking loans!!.They give her all materialistic things like TV,AC,Car and other innumerable stuff. I just don’t understand one thing….were the groom’s side living in a jungle or a lagoon that they don’t even have such basic amenities or are they habitual of taking such expensive items as a form of gift.The society should understand that the girl can and should live in the same place with exactly same conditions as her future husband and his family lives.

Now the most important part comes is the plight of a girl…apart from the fact that she has to leave her home,her family and friends to a new place where she has to adjust with new surroundings,environment and people who are more interested in the stuff she has brought…….she is expected to be beautiful,fair,tall,well educated and well mannered.And if she has a well paying job thats the best thing that can happen..but she should also be able to churn up tasty meals every time she cooks….ummm….she has to be a superwoman.But what people should really know is that in today”s world parents take equal pains and labour to make their kids successful in professional front…be it a girl or a boy…few can be doctors..engineers or scientists…may be managerial jobs.These young professionals are capable enough to make it big in future to earn sufficiently for themselves and their families.They have promising careers but by giving dowry in the name of gifts and tokens they make the girl feel low and incapable.She feels that all these things are necessary to be given because may be she herself is not capable to be represented alone in other’s house.She needs to accessories herself with all these things and gifts so that she is accepted in the other family with all respect.I mean just look at the confusion in the girl’s mind….at professional front she heads for a successful and bright future with lots of confidence in her and on the other hand when she is married and goes to a household which she has to consider as her own ….such malpractices really downs her morale a lot!!!

Had the groom and his family accepted her the way she is without any tantrums…she might have considered herself the luckiest girl in the universe.No matter how happy or tough the future life would have been…she would have given thousand times more respect to the groom and his family…

Well i don’t know if there is any solution for this problem in society as ours….whereby we have entered the year 2013…but behave as if we are still living in the indus valley civilization where the dead was buried with all the things to be used in later life.What i feel is that this practice of exchanging gifts should be stopped immediately…there should be a limit to the splurging in organizing parties or better still…the bride and groom should organize the party with whatever savings they have.

Also read – Oh, God yeh shaadi ka chakkar.

But one thing is for sure that to stop these unnecessary evils….the society should change…and as we form the society so we should take the initiative to bring about the change.One small step from our side in a positive direction will bring about a big change in the way our so called society.And please who so ever is reading this may suggest some points to ward this evil so common in all strata of our society:)

A Calmer You: are you dating a drama queen?

Only guys are allowed to give feedback on this week’s column :). Okay, so I have already ordered for a five-inch thick helmet. Itni maar padne waali hai, from girls, after this week’s column that it’s crucial to have adequate protection against possible brain damage. Some of you may think the brain was damaged before all this was written, but then who can stop some of you from thinking? I had vowed to not write anything incriminating against any gender, especially the one that begins with ‘F’, but then I can’t help it. A friend just narrated such a horrid tale of his love life that my radars have got stuck on drama queen girlfriends. So his girlfriend, who he’s planning a break-up with for over two years now, recently advised that they note down, in minute detail, every expense that they incur on a date. And then share it equally.

A Calmer You are you dating a drama queen

One would think it’s an applause-worthy move, considering a lot of guys still have to live up to the chivalry of opening the wallet — and keeping it open — each time they go out with their girlfriends. Just that this suggestion has come from her exactly two weeks after he lost his job, while she happens to have just got a well-paying job. For the past two years, while he was earning and she was jobless, he was the one picking the tab. Anyway, their financial matter is their concern, but what got me jumping on the couch with disbelief was the formula she devised to calculate the expense. Since they both smoke and happen to sometimes share a cigarette, she wants to divide the expense on the basis of the number of drags or puffs each one has taken on a cigarette. Stumped? There’s more. She’s clarified that if they happen to go out with common friends, the sharing of expense will be on the basis of whose friend that person originally was. Any violation of this code will invite screaming matches after the date. I’m so utterly fascinated by drama queens, I tell you. This is just one of the various kinds that exist.

Actually, if you look at it objectively, such quirky behaviour is not limited to girls. A guy can be equally weird and therefore be a bigger drama queen (DQ) than the girl. But let’s just focus today on how to identify if you have been dating or married to a DQ. I’m admitting right now itself that I won’t be able to give you any tips on dealing with them. Because our religious scriptures say that we are all supposed to go through the torture pre-written in our destiny because of karma etc. You can revel in my abundant sympathies if you wish.

1. DQ1: The tantrum thrower: Stuck at the mental age of five-and-a-half, this girl has the superhuman capacity to pick up a fight over anything. Everything. How dare you forget the seven monthly anniversary of the first time she called you ‘baby’? Now she has a valid reason to sulk for at least seven days. And each time you’ll ask what’s wrong, she’ll say ‘nothing’ at the speed of light. So go figure what crime you committed…err..this time. Vaise achha hai, it keeps your mental faculties alert. You’re living a quiz all the time, wondering what you did wrong this time to deserve a cold shoulder. And the day she’ll burst out and tell you what’s bugging her, you’ll get the bonus of being reminded of all the grudges of the past years.

2. DQ2: The friend hater: She expects the day you get into a relationship with her to also be celebrated forever as the day you got out of a relationship with all your other friends. Well, you have her, why do you need other friends? And have you not noticed how ill-mannered and shabby all your friends are? Any time spent hanging out with them is a sheer waste, considering you could have productively utilised it in saying ‘I love you jaanu’ to her 27 times. With her by your side, you are ‘settled’ in life, so better not behave like a free bird and hang out with the guys. And if your friends happen to be girls…ha ha…consider taking part in India’s-most-suicidal championship this year itself. You may not be around to opt for it next year, you see.

3. DQ3: The time-keeper: Shouldn’t you be happy that someone is selflessly spending her entire mobile bill in tracking where you’ve reached after work? And in exactly how many seconds will you make a sakshaat appearance before her eyes? These DQs were math toppers in school, so don’t try to fool them by saying ‘I’ll be there in 30 minutes, when a distance of 18.5 kms, travelled at an average speed of 55 km/hr can be covered in 22 minutes 45 seconds.(PS: If any of you actually tried to calculate this using some Godforsaken formula and write to me that I got it wrong, I promise I’ll come over to your home and slap you). With such a woman in your life, getting late for anything is an award-winning recipe for disaster. And, ‘stuck-in-traffic’ is a fool’s excuse, because she can switch on the radio and check the traffic condition of your area. If you happen to be late because you are with a friend, the powerful forces of DQ2 and DQ3 will collectively curse you. Basically you are dead.

4. DQ4: The Money-saver: What? You gave some money to your brother? Why…how? Tum unke liye kamaate ho? How can you be so foolish and spend real money on someone other than her? She’s only trying to save up for your future. Why will your stupid friend need an actual birthday gift when you can give him the pleasure of an additional notification on facebook. Okay fine, if you feel so bloody close to him, wish him on your own timeline in addition to his. But no need to spend hard-earned money on such things. And God help you if you decided to spend the evening treating him on his birthday, and get late in the process. That’s DQ1+2+3+4. Good bye, my dear. Strive to be born as a DQ next time.

Sonal Kalra has only one advice for those stuck with DQs. Try to change her… if it doesn’t work, well, change her.

A calmer you: say this to a guy at your own risk

It’s time to look at what can get a guy all flared up in no time. Alright boys of the world, I’m on your side this week. After you graciously accepted what I wrote last week about things you should never, ever, say to a woman, I’ve got to talk about what women say that makes you feel like banging your head on the wall. A lot of you have mailed me suggestions out of your own experience and it’s interesting to see that men from Bahrain to Bhatinda can’t stand to hear the same things, but their girlfriends or wives refuse to oblige. Let’s look at what tops the no-go territory when it comes to your guy.

A calmer you say this to a guy at your own risk
1. We need to talk: You want to see your man run away faster than Usain Bolt? Utter these four words and see him magically disappear. Men claim any such ‘talk’ about the relationship always ends in emotional outbursts, tears and no solution. They are right. You see, men are genetically incapable of handling a woman’s tears and they behave in weird ways when confronted by them. Just because you’ve read relationship articles by fancy shrinks that say you should ‘talk out a problem’, it doesn’t mean that your man has suddenly become capable of handling lengthy conversations about how he doesn’t love you as much as he used to. I’m not anti-communication. By all means talk, but why announce it in a scary way and set the alarm bells ringing in his head?
2. You are a mommy’s boy: Aha. Tell me girl, If you have suicidal tendencies, why don’t you sit on bed of grenades and light agarbattis all around? Why bring his mother into every conversation and watch your relationship slowly kill you. He’s as touchy about mom as you may be about gender-equality. . ,and no woman leaves an opportunity to hint it if she can. You want peace in life? Just stop comparing yourself with his mother and remove the suspicion from your mind that he does it either. Someday, you’ll also be a mom to someone in a relationship, and a positive attitude would come in handy.

3. Look at your friends: It’s tricky to say anything about the friends in your man’s life. Don’t like them and he gets mad. Like them a lot and … err … you know what I’m saying. So you are doomed either way. But going on and on about how his friends are either useless, or are way better than him in terms of being more successful or more caring etc is guaranteed to get fireworks. Avoid comparison, avoid arguments. Period.

4. You always___and you never___: Fill anything in these blanks and your guy will hate to hear it. The problem with us women is that we are too quick to generalise. We don’t stick to the specific argument at hand and start passing judgment on the very personality of our boyfriend or husband by using terms like ‘always’ and ‘never’. And yeah, another term to avoid like plague is ‘anymore’. This is how you say it — ‘you don’t love me anymore. You don’t buy me flowers anymore. You don’t listen to me anymore’. This is how he hears it — ‘blah blah, blah blah, blah blah.’ Blah.
5. Have you been losing hair?: Haww … did you actually say it? Why didn’t you die before you did? Remember that hair is to men what weight is to women. Take a pledge and repeat after me. I-will-never-tell-a-man-he’s-going-bald. Alright? Now take a deep breath and listen. All men want a full crop on their head. Yes, even Rakesh Roshan does. When they can’t get it for some reason, they get into all sorts of things — transplant, shave-off, depression. Don’t add to the misery by ‘lovingly’ pointing out a receding hairline to your guy. He already knows it. He’s been crying in front of the bathroom mirror for two hours everyday. And yep, the same goes for pointing out a beer belly. Girls think ‘tumhara pet nikal raha hai’ is a cute sentence. Guys think girls should be sentenced for this.

Sonal Kalra is starting a relationship counselling service. She’ll announce the date the moment she gets back on talking terms with her husband.

A Calmer You: Say this to women at your own risk

Want to stay alive? Don’t say these five things to your woman, ever. I know hundreds of articles have already been written on this subject by experts from Tokyo to Timbuktu. But before you go rolling your eyes, tell me, have the men of the world learnt? If you are among those who had a fight with their girlfriend or wife not more than 36 hours ago, you would know that they haven’t. So, I still wanna take up this lost cause in the hope that it will knock some sense in some heads, especially that of my friend Jayant, for whom the number of ‘Go To Hells’ have far exceeded the number of ‘I Love Yous’ in his romantic life.

A Calmer You Say this to women at your own risk
So, what exactly is it that men say to the female species that guarantees hell on earth? Here’s my countdown of what to avoid like plague if you wish to reach even the ‘C’ of calmness.
5You remind me of a girl I used to have a crush on’: Ha ha, think you are paying a compliment, you idiot? Any talk about your ex-classmate/collegemate/neighbour/colleague or worse yet, your ex-girlfriend or wife will accomplish only one thing — make her wonder why they still exist in your head. This is true even if you are trying to shit-talk about your ex to flatter your current partner, like ‘my ex-wife never cared for me the way you do.’ Stop, stop, stop. It won’t work. Do not bring ex-es into conversations, even if sometimes your girl may herself try to. It’s a trap honey, always backfires.
4 ‘Are you PMSing?’: If you think you are scoring a point in an argument by showing off your knowledge of female hormonal functions, God help you my friend. Don’t ask your girlfriend if she’s grumpy because she’s about to have her periods. It’ll make the argument worse, especially if she indeed is in a pre-menstrual grouchy phase. Remember, men, too, have hormonal situations of a different kind, and a discussion on those could reserve a special place in hell for you in future arguments for years to come.
3 ‘How many boyfriends have you had in the past?’: Would it make you happy if she replied, ‘seven’? Would it please you even if she said ‘just one’? Basically, the answer to this question can only take your mood in one direction — downwards. Because even if she said none, you wouldn’t actually believe her. So why do you want to know? I don’t understand this hopelessly faulty logic about starting relationships on ‘honesty and truth’. No one is asking you to lie. But why volunteer head-on into an account of past romantic misdeeds needlessly because the truth is that deep inside, you don’t really want to know.
2 Anything bad … or too good, about her friends. Calling your girlfriend’s best friend a dud may make her upset. Calling her hot will make her upset. Basically anything much that you say about her friends is treading into potential girlfriend-enraging territory. Try to lie low and not comment too much on her pals, especially those under the gender ‘female’. Every girl on this planet suffers from insecurity in varying measures, and any attempt by you to fan it will only make her tell you someday to ‘go and date that friend’ only. Avoid.
1 ‘Have you gained weight?’: You already know this, don’t you? If there is one thing worse than putting a gun in your mouth and shooting your tongue off, it’s telling your woman that she’s gotten fat. Take it from me, no matter what age, race, nationality, caste or creed your girl is, the future of your relationship will depend on how less is the time gap between her asking ‘do I look fat in this dress’ and the answer ‘no’ flying out of your mouth. Even if the scales and your eyes tell you that she’s twice as big as she used to be, this is one truth no man is allowed to acknowledge. Ever.

Sonal Kalra forgot to add ‘you can never cook like my mom’ to the list. But you know it already, don’t you? Please help in putting together a list of ‘what never to say to your man’, for next week..

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