The Uncivil Wars of the Internet

The last of the men cowered behind the penis-shaped rock. Some lay panting with their back against the wall, exchanging haggard stares. The strain from days of defensive blogging and twitter trolling lay heavy on their faces. Braver souls peered around the stone balls into the darkness to see if the feminists were still pursuing them. The sky was still being lit up by the occasional opinion piece but the thunder of tweetiques sounded distant enough to allow for a short respite.

The Standup Comedian took stock of his ammo. Only two sexist jokes left – that wouldn’t hold the onslaught for long. You had to be on elevated ground for them to be of much use, anyway. The last skirmish had depleted much of his supplies – he had been lucky to get out alive, despite using up all his don’t-watch-it-if-you-dont-like-its and learn-how-to-take-a-jokes.

“So, this is it.” The Meninist wheezed.  “The end of men”.

“CISMEN”. A speaker thundered somewhere overhead. The political correctograms were the first thing the Social Justice League installed when they seized power.

“Darn it, won’t be long before they find us now. Will you shut up, please?”

“Fuck you, Ad guy. I’m not going out whispering”.

“Keep talking and the next Op Ed will land right on your head.”

“You really think you will safely make it to Reddit if you keep quiet, do you? Like fuck you will. Who knows if there is anyone left over there now?”

“Let’s give ourselves a fighting chance, shall we?”

The comic spoke up. “Stop bickering. Who are we kidding? There is no escape now. They should have been stopped when they invaded Twitter.”

“It is true. It’s too late now. First they came for the standup comics. Then I did not speak out because I was not a standup comedian.”
“And not because they came for the comics who trivialized violence against women?”.

“Then they came for the advertising industry. Then I did not speak out because I was not an ad guy.”
“Maybe because they came for the ads which compared used BMWs to women who were not virgins?”

“Then they came for the Jews.”
“Not really”.

“Then they came for me – and there was noone left to speak for me.”
“There’s a chance it could have been because you tweeted rape threats.”

“Did any of you hear that disembodied voice? Who’s sub-tweeting me?”

“It is I.” A shadowy form dropped down the shaft of the rock formation.

“You! Traitorous bast..”

“Don’t take another step. I have a tumblr pointed at you which I won’t hesitate to use. You can all lay down your weapons and get on the floor. And yes, I identify with the feminist cause, if you haven’t figur..”

Before the feminist could finish his words, the area was suddenly lit by the blinding glare of multiple think pieces. An aggressive tweet blared:

ALL OF YOU! THROW AWAY YOUR HETERO-NORMATIVE ASSUMPTIONS NOW!(1/53)
AND SLOWLY DROP TO YOUR KNEES WITH YOUR ARMS BEHIND YOUR HEADS. (2/53)
I RETWEET, HETERO-NORMATIVE ASSUMPTIONS AND PRIVILEGES ON THE FLOOR! NOW!(3/53)

As others dropped to the floor in terror, the feminist took a couple of tentative steps forward and tried to make himself heard over the din.

“It’s all under control”.

“Sir, please cast your weapon away.”

“I have. The tumblr on the floor was mine. Everything is under control.”

“Sir, I repeat, please drop your weapon and fall on the floor.”

“I don’t have any weapon, everything is under control. These men were fleeing but I..”

*BAM* *BAM*

“Base, I had to neutralise a threat. He wouldn’t put his mansplaino-matic away despite repeated warnings.”

Date a Girl Who Likes Biryani

(Because I was fed up of the exhortations to date girls who read, write, travel, does handstands while riding a horse, etc.)

Date a girl who likes Biryani. Date a girl who doesn’t need to look at the menu to know what she wants. She says no to dessert every day because she has no space for it after thulping a full Biryani. Date a girl who knows her Hyderabadi from her Malabar Biryani, can distinguish between the scents of Awadhi Biryani and Chettinadu Biryani in her sleep.

Find a girl who likes Biryani. You’ll know she does because she sniffs the air in anticipation when the waiter is bringing her order. She’s the one who has chicken bones stacked neatly on the side of her plate and an empty bowl of raita beside her in restaurants (Unless she’s not finished, in which case she’s the one who’s eating Biryani.) You see the weird chick who’s peering into your plate when you’re gorging on Biryani like there’s no tomorrow? That’s the Biryani lover.

She’s the girl you run into at Shanmukha Biryanis and then again at Biryani zone. If you take a peep into her plate, she will not have touched the gravy which comes with the Biryani. That’s the mark of a true Biryani lover – the Biryani is to be had unsullied except for the gentle dulling of the spices by the raita. Sit down. She might give you a glare as the girls who eat Biryani do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she liked her Biryani. Ask her if she thought the rice could have imbibed the masala better.

Buy her another plate of Biryani.

Let her know what you really think of Vegetable Biriyani. See if she thinks only Mutton Biryani deserves to be called Biryani.  Understand that if she says she understood what exactly the ‘Dum’ in ‘Dum Biryani’ stands for or if she’s just saying that to appear knowledgable.  Ask her if she knows Kalyani and pray she doesn’t say ‘Who?”

It’s easy to date a girl who likes Biryani. She understands there are highs and lows in a relationship and it might not always be rosy. Just like how the masala is not even throughout and the flavor might vary from part to part. Get her unexpected gifts which surprise her like the odd raisin and cashew in a Biryani. You can stop doing that after the first few weeks, because the raisins usually get over pretty fast. Sprinkle attention on her like the golden deep-fried onions sitting pretty on top of the Biryani. She’ll enjoy the attention but understand that it is really not integral to the Biryani relationship.

Make her Biryani for her birthday. Call up your mom in advance and ask her how many minutes to let it simmer on the stove.

On the day she timidly extends a casserole to you, with a blush in her cheeks, you’ll know that you have successfully captured her heart. Eat the whole of what she has given you, even if it tastes like horsecrap. Do not tell her how badly it sucks, instead tell her how it is the best biryani you have ever had. Ensure she doesn’t have even a morsel to taste. Because then she will learn the truth. She’s the girl who likes Biryani.

You will propose in Paradise Hyderabad. Or at Top Form Calicut. Or at home over a bowl of steaming goodness of rice and meat and spices. In a perfect blend. Like you and the girl who likes Biryani. Imagine her doe-eyed smile of wonder when she unearths the ring from under the juicy leg piece of chicken.

You will have a grand wedding. Where you’ll serve all the guests with the Biryani of their choice. After everyone is gone, you’ll be left alone with the girl who likes Biryani. You’ll smile happily and extend a plate of Chicken Biryani to her. And vow to share Biryani with her forever, in sickness and in health. Except if you get jaundice, in which you’ll do better to stay away from Biryani.

Grow old with the girl who likes Biryani. As old as having Biryani three times a day will allow you to. Have kids and watch her teach them to scoop Biryani onto their plate without spilling using the spoon-fork double hold. Stay in on hot summer days and order in family packs of Biryani. Cuddle around the heat of Biryani cauldron on cold winter nights. In spring, take her on walks to shed those extra pounds.

Date a girl who likes Biryani because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the tastiest life imaginable.  If you can only give her the monotony of Roti-daal, aaloo paratha, idly sambhar, you are better off alone. If you want a deeply fulfilling life with the right mixture of joy and spices little sorrows, date a girl who likes Biryani.

Or better yet, date a girl who likes Porotta-Beef Fry.