When I became a therapy dog…

“I thought Labradors are the best therapy animals “, I said as I stirred a cup of tea that I had made for my visitor; one that I did not quite enjoy a visit from. Not because he wasn’t easy on the eye, it was because every single time he walked through the threshold of my door, he carried bad, terrible, unsavoury and in this case, positively damning news.

“Labradors are on the brink of extinction, Thanks to another breed of cannibalistic canines, who deemed Labradors, a delicacy.” He spat out, and if looks could kill, they would’ve; but thanks to my completely oblivious attention span, I was busy trying to throw a badminton racquet at my seven year old, who had suddenly decided it would be fun to slide down the railing and not take the steps.

“Mom, where’s my Loreal ultra soft moisturising tick and flea shampoo?” Screamed my fourteen years old daughter, from her room.

“It is in your bathroom, right next to your fur conditioner, that cost me my monthly salary and the perfume, that made me want to give up my first born.” I shouted back as I sipped my tea.

“Can you come and give it to me, please?” She said.

I swear to God, if I hadn’t turned almost vegan a year ago, I would’ve eaten my own progeny. Forget Labradors, nothing tastes better than chewing your own flesh and blood.

Continue reading “When I became a therapy dog…”

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When middle aged men serenade middle aged women…

I apologise if I have misled you by this title; made you think that as you read ahead you will be beguiled by a story of two middle-aged, hopeless romantics finding love and solace in each other.

Please remove all images of Jane Austen style wooing with a dark and brooding, yet occasionally witty, Mr. Darcy.

No, no, no, the following lines are not meant to reaffirm your faith in finding love, no matter the age.

I am going to talk about a real menace that many of us face, day in and day out that is social media and its unsolicited messages.

The ones where 20 something, 40 something, 60 something, men suddenly feel it is okay to tell you, how beautiful they think you are, in the first five minutes of the conversation.

And then follow it up with lame pick up lines like; I want us to be good friends.

This morning I received a notification on Facebook saying that Arpan P. (name changed) wants to connect with you. On further investigation I realised that Arpan happens to be in a senior leadership role in a Global Bank.

Great, I think, perhaps he has heard of me as a Leadership Coach, and wants to connect. Although it did bother me that he’d rather connect on Facebook than Linkedin, but then again, you never know where new business might come in, right?

So, with oodles of hope and an entrepreneurial mindset, I responded to his “Hi” with a “Hello, how may I help you?”

The conversation went something like this.

Arpan: Lakshmi , As now we don’t know each other… has no intention to bother u

Me (thinking so far so good): Sure, tell me…

Arpan: Tell me if I am. No intention of bothering u…

Me (thinking..hmm): How did you come to know about me?

Arpan (completely ignoring my question): I don’t intend to bother u, but I new to Bangalore…so exploring

Me (completely on alert): …

Arpan: So, I am new here and I am only looking for a good friend.

Me: I wonder, why would you choose to connect with only a woman, when all you need is a good friend.

Arpan (again ignoring my question): I think I am bothering u. Tel me if I…

u are very pretty.

Me: …

Arpan: Should I take ur silence as a “Yes”? It hard taking rejection from a girl this beautiful.

Me: … 

Arpan (perhaps realising there are unanswered questions): I…I saw ur author profile on Amazon.com. u really r very beautiful.

Me: (Blocked).

He saw my author profile and all he had to comment on was how I looked. I bet he didn’t buy a single book. Although, with that kind of language, I am not surprised.

It escapes my understanding how anyone can see your name on Linkedin, Amazon or any of those sites and then systematically set about searching you on Facebook, until they find you. And then actually message you with hopes that you will instantly become “good friends” with them, because they asked you to.

Can you even imagine how many “Lakshmi Priya’s” would be on Facebook?

This isn’t the first time I have received messages like this one, and this won’t be the last.

The reason I have chosen to share the conversation here and not within the Whatsapp group of my closest friends, is because I know that most of you are no strangers to attempts like this one.

Normally I would’ve screen-shotted it and shared it with my close friends and we would’ve laughed and laughed until we got bored of it.

But honestly today, I do feel offended.

Offended that just because I am a reasonably (this can be debated upon) successful professional, who is average looking and speaks her mind, doesn’t mean it is okay to text me and ask me to become your friend, by calling me pretty and beautiful, but not actually answering my questions.

I am 37 years old; I will call out on your mansplaining me and disrespecting me without batting an eyelid.

Did you really think I don’t know what I look like, in real life?

Did you really think I would believe you when you say I am beautiful?

Did you really think I am so insecure and craving for validation that I will run into your arms and be your “good friend”?

Did you really think, I haven’t had my share of being serenaded by good boys, bad boys, Mumma’s boys and absolutely fake boys?

I have two things to say to men like Arpan, first of all I have enough friends, second, I am writer, you really need to up your game, if you want me to be even remotely impressed by you.

Or wait, on second thoughts, I just have one thing to say;

I am too old for this shit.

Originally Published @ Women’s Web

Write Club Magazine – Edition 11

The Chronicles of Jim and other stories” marks the eleventh edition of Write Club Bangalore Magazine. You can read it for free under Kindle Unlimited, if not, it is just INR 49.

It starts with a darkly disturbing series of diary entries, by a troubled young man in “The Chronicles of Jim, written by Ashwin Kumar.

Moves on to the riveting Mythological Fiction called “Monster” written by Write Club, Bangalore’s recent enviable talent, Yedu Bose.

The series of stories then takes a dramatic turn and entices us into Romance with Kartik Patiar’s, “The Hot Cup of Cappuccino”.

Of course, now that you have read mythology, psychological horror and romance, you wonder what else does this book have to offer. And we don’t disappoint you with Anjali Torgal‘s fantasy/sci-fi short, “The Tree Whisperer”.

Since, we can’t get enough of sci-fi, we have ensured you get enough of it. Read on to “The Sporulation of Sarpanch Sam”, by, undeniably, our favorite writer Pavan Kumar. If you can’t get enough of Pavan here, follow him on Instagram for his surreal poetry.

Now that we have set the atmosphere of strange, it is time to bring out the big horror guns, with Amel Rahman‘s “No Cats”.

You must be wondering about how twisted we are, with just one romance and everything else is horror and fantasy. No, we are not twisted, at least not much. We do love a good splattering of romance in our imaginary worlds. So, read on to get your mushy on, with Isha Shukla’s “The Stone Bench”.

What did I tell you about our obsession with a good sci-fi. Ankit Jha, our resident writer, editor and compiler, delights us with this fantasy/sci-fi short called “Wrath of Gods”.

Next up is “The Diary of a Womb”, a socially conscious piece about the conversations of an unborn girl with her male twin, general fiction by Nidhi Srivastava.

Finally, to end this embroiling book is a story written by me, “Raja and Mia”, about a young tiger’s love for his keeper. Genre: Drama.

Read an excerpt here.

Continue reading “Write Club Magazine – Edition 11”

The Duel of Derika

Derika dragged her feet and groaned as she glimpsed the looming shadow of the arena. It’s massive iron gates slowly, reluctantly, grated open, perhaps as reluctant to let Derika in, as she was to get into the arena.

Her father walked, proud next to Derika, a whole five inches shorter that her.

The duel was set and Derika was expected to defeat the mighty Amazonian Princess, Ina, if she every hoped to marry Prince Sebastian. And to be honest, Derika was more than happy to lose that match. It wasn’t that Derika had anything against the idea of marriage, but then it was against the idea of marrying Prince Sebastian.

She walked into the arena, just as thunderous applause rose all around her. Chants of ‘Derika’ ‘Derika’ roared in all directions and a shiver passed through her bones.

Would she…would she really lose a duel on purpose and let her people down? She thought. But then her train of thoughts was interrupted.

“Oh my liege”, said the Inn Keeper who also moonlighted as her family’s professional ass licker, “My liege, with legs as strong as a thousand donkeys, hair as long as the longest serpents and lips as thick as a baboon’s ass. What wondrous thoughts run through that tiny, delicate mind of yours?”

Continue reading “The Duel of Derika”

Fury…

Forty minutes later you are inside your blanket, tucked in, twisting and turning, unable to sleep. You double check the alarm, and wonder why; even though you wake up at 5:30 am, you’re still not able to sleep. Your friends tell you that you suffer from insomnia, your therapist tells you that it is all that stress from the divorce, your Mom tells you that it is because of all that time you spend staring at the goddamned phone.  Your hands reach for the phone again, you think that maybe your latest selfie with Adi would’ve gotten another ten likes in the last 20 mins, when you hear another sound from Adi’s room. This time it is unmistakable. It is the sound of gagging, like someone is trying to speak, yet not able to.

You sit up to the sound and squint your eyes to see through the darkness interspersed by the moonlight shafting through your window. Outside your door you can look into Adi’s room, and you realize that the night light you had switched on in your son’s room, is switched off now. You clearly remember not switching it off.

Continue reading “Fury…”

6 rules to perfect Male Hygiene

Dr. Pocket Square

Now close your eyes and imagine sitting in swanky club with your date. You are snuggled close to her and she’s looking up to you just as you, with your unending charm, regale her with another of those witty anecdotes. A disco light suddenly illuminates your face and you notice that she grimaces and turns away.

What could it be?

Is it something on your face? Is it a zit? A stray hair? Is it bad breath? NOSTRIL HAIR?!

Yes, male grooming is a thing and we have come a long, long way from when your Grandpa swore by the Old Spice. If you were to go out there looking for grooming products, there is no dearth of any.

But the trick to grooming well isn’t to spend a fortune on a thousand different products, or to lock your self in the bathroom for hours at a time. Rather, you…

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Are you leading a team of Millennials? Four ways you can rewire yourself to lead effectively.

Vibha Women Empowerment For Entrepreneurship

Millennials is the buzz words today, at least everywhere that I go all I hear about is how Gen X and Baby boomers just can’t seem to grasp what a Millennial is.

So, before I even embark on this crucial journey of unlearning, especially when you have to lead a team of Millennials. Let us first understand the term “Millennial”.

“Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation, are the demographic cohort that directly follows Generation X.

The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004. According to Iconoclast…

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