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For men only

August 01, 2012


-Illustration by Eefa Khalid.

We, the man-kind, have always wanted the woman-kind (our girlfriends) to love us, to cook for us, to look after us when we are sick, and to shut up while they are at all this. Really, is this possible? If so, what is the best way to go about it? To date, nobody has come up with a permanent solution to the problem, but Kant enthusiasts over the decades have devised some effective methods to achieve this golden silence. Hold it, before unbridled ecstasy overcomes you, for silence read momentary, for-the-time-being silence.

Let’s take a typical situation: you’re driving with your girlfriend and are having one of those I-would-rather-be-shot-in-the-head discussions, of course against your will, where you’re being treated as a second hand fridge – opening and closing to the other party’s whims. To the point that your only contributions to the ‘dialogue’ are tired Hmms and Ahans, which of course your girlfriend makes you repeat because she couldn’t hear you properly the first time. She is then offended by one of two things (or sometimes by both): by the coherence in your aforementioned Hmms and Ahans, or you not listening properly when she spoke. Technology undoubtedly has its limitations, even outright minuses, but it can come to your rescue here. The trick is in the timing, that is, you knowing when to push the play button. At just the right time (in one of those short intervals in her speech when she pauses for breath) lovingly plug in head-phones into her ears, asking her to listen to this new song that you so wanted her to listen to. You can even dedicate the song to her (tumhaara kya jaata hai!) Congratulations, you have earned yourself a concrete four minutes of heavenly silence, if she is type A.

If she is type B, you still manage to scrape out a minute or so of peace before she starts critically analysing the song. Do I hear you ask, “One minute only?” Well, if you don’t appreciate the value of one minute of silence, obviously you don’t have a girlfriend and this article is not for you to start with.

Music might not be every girl’s brew, but no woman can resist honesty. You should give your girlfriend the truth when in bad need of some personal time. For instance, if she asks you how she looks, say, “Bad” and enjoy the awkward silence; albeit in full knowledge that a tsunami can’t be too far away. Tsunami notwithstanding, it is the best thing to say because if you say, “Good”, the odds are that her next question will be, “Then why didn’t you say it prior to my asking?” And your subsequent answer will give birth to numerous questions, which will never let you have the desired silence or the freedom to think on the real manly issues.

If you never get the opportunity to practice the above, or fail to achieve desired results (whichever comes first), all hope is still not lost…yet. Take her often to social gathering: weddings, get-togethers, birthday bashes; in these times all your unemployed friends come in handy – invite them over because they are never in a hurry to leave. It has been observed by shrewd man-minds that girlfriends are at their most impeccable in terms of behavior when in public (minus the somewhat rare occasions when you have been caught cheating). Your girlfriend will try her best to prove to all and sundry that she knows you better than anyone. Consequently, not only will she restrain herself from inquiring unnecessary things from you, because that will mar her know-it-all reputation; she will also answer upfront all such unnecessary questions directed towards you from elsewhere. Saves you from her rapid fire round and helps you to dissipate her wrath on others – two birds with one stone, really.

This one’s a personal favourite. When there seems no way out, and she refuses to spare you from the non-stop questions coming in at the speed of light: In the sweetest tone at your disposal, ask her to resurrect your first date together by writing you a letter about her experience. You don’t even know it and you have given her the world. She will pour everything into writing the perfect pink account while you can sit back and enjoy two episodes of your favorite show in peace. And if you are really lucky you might even get time to sort out some of your actual worries in the meanwhile.

If the two of you are watching a movie together, never utter a single word in praise of the pretty lady in it. Instead as soon as she makes her first appearance, tell your girlfriend that you don’t like her at all. The happiness this will cause her might let you watch the movie in peace (okay I know I’m being optimistic here, but you have to be in relationships).

Unexpected presents sometimes do the trick too. While you can disappoint her by not giving her a birthday present for which she might refuse to talk to you (remember taking a break is actually healthy for the relationship and your blood pressure); giving a present when she isn’t expecting it can do wonders as well. Ever realised when you take her out for dinner, she gets all romantic and quiet (quiet is what you want).

Give her a self-created (that is, created by yourself) problem so that she takes a couple of minutes of intellectual’s silence before unleashing a really long theory. Remember, never practice this on yourself – this piece is meant to teach you how to make your girlfriend silent. Your silences will never be a source of inspiration for her; in fact when she is screaming at you and you prefer not to utter a single word (bura na kaho, etc), while common sense says this should shut her up, in practice it almost never does.

If you think this article does not make sense despite the fact that you are a man, the failing lies with you and not the author. But don’t abandon hope. Remember, life is absurd and full of paradoxes. You will undoubtedly grow to understand better. As for a reaction from ladies, If I get killed or go missing anytime soon, it is not the ISI.


The author is a journalist, director/producer, actor, documentary maker, blogger/columnist, managing director of a theatre company called Mishermayl and a struggling musician.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.