|Giribala Joshi on December 31, 2008|
When this topic was started by Indian Home Maker, I could not think of a single manly thing that I had ever done. In my opinion, whatever I did was womanly because I was a woman. To write this post, I sought help from one of my close friends. I narrated scores of anecdotes to her, from which she selected the following ones as the most macho.
1. As a toddler, I used to play with lion cubs. My favorite nursery rhyme was, “Hum Bharat ke Bharat khelte sheron ki santan se. Koi desh nahin duniya mein badhkar Hindustan se.” We the Bharats of Bharat play fearlessly with lion cubs. There is no nation in the world greater than our Hindutsan.
2. When the sun went behind the hillock, when the birds returned to the jamun tree in our backyard, when everyone settled down to watch TV serials, I would venture out to deflate the tires of bicycles in my neighborhood and would practice my aim at street lights.
3. It was also the time to honor some deserving members of our community by highlighting their accomplishments via graffiti on the wall that bordered our colony.
4. We looked forward to the festival of Holi with great excitement not for the colors, but for the Holi bonfire. Many a night, we went around collecting combustible material from proud owners in the rival neighborhoods without their knowledge. One time, a gentleman cornered me and inquired about my motive for being in his front yard. At first, I started crying loudly, but he did not let me go and adamantly demanded to know my father’s name. I had to give him someone else’s father’s name for my freedom.
5. A few stray donkeys used to meander into our high school compound. That gave us occasional opportunities for free rides. Once a hyperactive donkey tossed me 4-5 feet up in the air. That was my first experience with weightlessness.
6. I devised secret rules and codes for our gang. We had difficult induction criteria and held elaborate initiation ceremonies. That is all I can share with you right now because my vow of secrecy forbids me to disclose any more.
7. While studying in a girls’ only college and living in a hostel, we did have our share of fun. But if you hear some fancy escapade attributed to me, please do not readily believe everything. They continued inventing such stories long after I had graduated.
8. I am an adult. Most of the times, I watch and read age appropriate content.
9. There was a time when I often embarrassed my male colleagues by telling dirty jokes. I stopped only when someone warned me that I could be sued for sexual harassment.
10. When I told my friend—the one who was helping me with this list—that most of the above stories were not entirely true, she started to doubt my femininity. According to her, lying and cheating were the ultimate male bastions. Poor gal, she must have had some really bad experiences with men to make such unwarranted allegations.