“There she goes again!” were the words uttered by a very frustrated me (in hushed tones, of course). After days of no fun in the sun, it had finally rained last night making the day after unbearably hot and sticky as well (this is Mumbai, humidity envelopes the city throughout the year ). And I was being used as a stuffing between two Subway-break-like-giant ladies with their kids poking their dangling feet right into my gut. She looked my way and said, “Baccha hai beti “(Daughter, he’s a child). But the heat, a fine layer of glue on my skin (humidity), the whirring of the overhead fan which was making the compartment a hotter than hell of a place, the cranky kids, the unusually loud men talking about politics and the shrieking ladies exchanging obscenities were getting on my nerves. I wanted to bemoan my fate but then it wasn’t as if I was travelling by a jet plane. It was a local train, for heaven’s sake! And I had hopped on one in all my proper senses, so I had to accept it and continue to bear with it all.
But the ladies were getting louder than the whirring overhead fans and the trains passing by. We had crossed three stations by now and their vocabulary of obscene words was still full and was being used in full swing. I tried making some head room for myself eager to witness these ladies and their prolonged drama. And I had hard time believing my eyes; these ladies came across to be well-put ladies (whatever that means). The ones who are born and bred in a manner to transform from girls to ‘ladies’, who know how to pronounce the tongue-twisters listed on an Italian menu card, who know their Zanotti Giuseppe’s from Steve Madden’s. These were ladies from what the society tags as the ‘upper crust’.
Their reason of squabble (okay, make that war) was standing between them with a content smile playing on his lips. These ladies were fighting over a MAN! The Reason (on enquiry) was found to be thus by me (for convenience let’s name the ladies Gucci and Prada) – Mrs. Gucci asked Mrs. Prada’s husband to make room for her in the crowded compartment while Mrs. Prada stood right there. A while later, Mrs. Gucci struck a conversation with a fellow passenger and seemed quite taken with him (Mrs. Prada’s claim), a beat later she (Mrs. Gucci) yelped in pain claiming (or rather, blaming) Mrs. Prada’s husband to have stepped on her dainty foot shod in God known’s what brand. She cussed him (in English, of course). And before Mrs. Prada’s husband could apologize (which he didn’t seem to be working on) or Mrs. Gucci apologize (she seemed oblivious of her mistake) for liberally using cuss words on strangers, Mrs. Prada dived in and pandemonium broke loose. Hence, began a drama which was to last for five stations and then some (i.e. until they alighted from the train). The man seemed to be content seeing these ladies squabble over him like street dogs and didn’t think of interfering. These ladies seemed have forgotten their ‘snob mob’ manners. They were oblivious of the onlookers and exchanged curses which would have made a sailor blush.
The amusing exchange, however, brought home the extent of our weaknesses. Let me explain. We are a zealously jealous lot. And on close inspection you’ll find our jealousy directed towards another woman. We are more judgemental (all thanks to our analytical minds) than our male counterparts, and on most occasions we end up judging our fellow ladies. We are the supposed perennial fountain of love, but most of the times and most the people who are ardently loved by us are people from the opposite gender. You would hear a girl say, “I don’t get along with other girls” more often than a guy say, “I don’t get along with other boys”. For instance, let’s take our Bollywood celebs. In a year’s time, the audience reads more of cat fights and less of bro fights. This actress took a dig at that actress is more common than that actor took a dig at another actor. It seems we need to take sisterhood lessons from the brotherhood tuitions.
Our male counterparts have each other’s back (well, almost most of the time). They are comfortable in each other’s company and even enjoy male companionship. They are loyal to their club and are only (well, almost) found squabbling when a woman is in the equation (applauds for their pea-sized brains). Their jealously could be directed towards anybody, say, the brother from the neighbourhood got a new car (reaction- let’s get jealous) or the lady colleague from office has gone globe-trotting (reaction- let’s jealous). Their reactions are not as passion coated as ours. Most of the members of the brotherhood club have short-term memory. They aren’t like us saying, “I don’t like that chick as she stole my friend and then my boyfriend back in 8th grade”. Brothers are like,” Hey, that’s ok anyways she was a thorn by my side. I got something even better”. Dear sisters, mothers, daughters and all other members of sista’s club, please, let’s learn to loyal to our sisterhood. Let’s stop hating each other and start loving instead. Let’s not fight (at least, in public) over men who think they are God’s gift to women kind. Let’s learn to forgive. If you can forgive your cheating boyfriend / husband, then why not the friend whom you claim had enticed your man? Think over it as it is high time we changed!