Hey, I’m back from a travel spree for the last few weeks and therefore this dark stupor in my blogosphere.
But before writing a travelogue the bulb of my muse caught fire with another idea: “men talk” … “men’s talk”… “what do men talk?” All this is not the same…mind you. While “men talk” refers to the inversion of the old belief that men prefer silence to talking and women are “supposed” to do all the talking, “men’s talk” digs at the possibilities of what men actually talk; “what do men talk” pertains to the never out of fashion curiosity in females regarding the topic of discussion in men’s circles.
At a coeducational school in India, while growing up into hep teenagers, we had a tendency to cluster female-female and male-male in the class. I don’t know why this shying away from the opposite sex — but somehow in school even while teachers tried to put a boy and a girl in a single bench, there was just an uncomfortable grumpy silence between both the poles or the spark went into an opposite pole of love letters being exchanged. As far as my personal life was concerned, I was a loner who spent more time talking to the grass and plants and birds… (list is incomplete 🙂 ) than a fellow human being. During my under-grad days at an “all” Women’s College in Bhubaneshwar, suddenly started to look with interest at the mindset of the “other sex”. While stealthily and not without a tinge of guilt we picked up the “Mills& Boons” or the “Harlequin Romances” and sat up at night discussing with room mates as to “what do men think?” and “what do they talk?” — somehow I was given an impression by “wise” seniors that “men think and talk about women and nothing else”. I was told that unlike “us” – the “women folk”, men hardly talk among themselves, and never gossip. Is this a myth? reality? Just spend some time before reading further :).
And then, during my post-grad days, I had friends who were known “hooligans” of the town and I was hanging around most of the time at the University chai center or at the pani tanki (water reservoir for the university) … realized for the first time that men do talk and they talk a lotttt … they gossip a lot and that they think about many other things “not just women” 😦 . How do I know? They might be discussing “just women” in their hostel rooms? Well maybe, there’s a room for doubt — but, then, the point is actually what forms the core of “men’s talk”?
Time has passed and so have we grown with age and experience…
Why this sudden interest in men’s talk? Well, the context was an event of yesterday at a pizza party with a group of friends who happen to be men. Incidentally, I was the only girl in that group. The way they bonded among themselves and the way they gossiped about everything under the sun — “politics, gadgets, department stuffs, papers, gizmos,” etc. , it seemed I was just a distant blur in their conversational sphere. Right from credit cards to invitation cards to recharge vouchers (I learnt that there’s something new called “Jadoo” that holds their interest) to pens and watches, ufff! You can be driven crazy. Interestingly, rather than competing about whose girl-friend/girlfriend is how charming, they competed who spent how much money and for God’s sake whose credit card was how beautiful!!!!!!! :0 … “See his is a jet black with real silver-platinum coat”… “Oh mine is just a silver one but I have spent more than 15000 bucks in the last 15 days from it” … and so on. Finally they decided (can you believe it!) to PHOTOGRAPH THE CREDIT CARDS!!!!! 😉 😀 🙂 … and they did it to everyone’s surprise! Poor girls, beautifully decked up, sitting at other tables must have been so hugely disappointed (no one photographed them 😛 ) . 😦
There were many other things to talk about like “what is the acceptance rate of which conference?” … “whose supervisor is how —?” “what is the current placement scenario?”, “what is cooking in the sting operation camps?”, “what is happening in the neighbor’s life?” … I was baffled by the breadth and length of their topics. Where were girls in their conversation? They were fringe creatures sometimes mentioned with a little happy desire for the “other” 😉 … rest it was just gadgets, credit cards and material acquisitions that held their interest. I chuckled to myself: “wonder what Devdas would make of these people — bad successors” 😉 😀 .
This is just one incidence I’ve come across, there are many others from my post-grad to post-post-post-grad to substantiate my point that men talk a lot and they have extremely vibrant minds which can catch any signal and reciprocate to it in terms of “men’s talk”. In post-grad times one of the favorite topic of the men’s circuit was “yaar kisko peetna hai?”, else “rum hai toh kya gham hai?”, else “which bike: Hoodibaba or Pulsar?” 😉 else “which song is in vogue?” …. Infact, if I remember correctly two of my close friends had fondly named their bikes as : “Bacchus” (God of wine) and “Vulcan” (God of fire) — and their discussion centered around how to take care of these bikes 😉 . Such are then the “ways of the world”.
In literature women have always been imagined by men in certain ways — ranging from coy, cute, beautiful, gorgeous, slanderous, gossiping, angelic … which can be cited innumerable examples from literary texts. Wish someone (it would be interesting to see from females’ point of view) could imagine men in more deeper terms than what they have been thought of — as straightforward, rude, kind, romantic, villainous, treacherous, etc. There are shades in personalities which remain unexplored both by literary and psychological studies and “men talk” and “men’s talk” are some such examples.
But, for the time being all that I can say is men do talk … 😀