When Did The War Begin?
Adam and Eve aren't in the Garden of Eden. They're in a green grassy minefield!
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Today the battle lines seem to be firmly drawn. The #MeToo movement fells one personality after another. There are some obvious bad boys but lots of really nice guys who seem to have crossed the line. Dustin Hoffman, James Franco, Ben Affleck - what the hell were you thinking?
Our faith in humanity as a whole is teetering.
However, to be fair the whole thing was building up even before that. Terms like 'body-shaming', 'mansplaining' 'inappropo' started entering dictionaries, and a team of women more militant and righteous than ever before were arming themselves to the teeth.
Today when I go to parties I'm very very careful. The wrong word or the wrong phrase is like pulling the pin off a grenade.
I remember a simpler different time.
When we were younger and working our way up the ad agency ladder men and women were actually friends.
The atmosphere was one of healthy fun.
I still remember an account planner who had joined us. She went on her honeymoon. When she was back we all met up at lunchtime like we normally did - everyone waited for her to speak. Finally, she looked at all of us and said 'it was sooo painful' - we all cracked up.
Then there was this branch manager famous for his non-stop sexual escapades. He had worked his way through the ad agency. Two of my female colleagues caught me and took me aside one day. Then Kavita asked me - 'Not that I'd ever say yes, but why hasn't he hit on us - are we ugly or what?'
In Calcutta, it was a girl who nicknamed an account director 'armpits' because of the way she used to sit at meetings.
There was this 3-day conference we went to. All of us carried suitcases and bags of different sizes. Except for Sudipta. She has her handbag that's all. So six of us took turns in guessing what was there. Geeta won with the outrageous concept of 3 nickers that could be flipped around to make colourful blouses. And a toothbrush of course!
Ajay and Atul once lost a bet to two girls and they had to wear a bra under their shirt on woman's day. All the girls (including those who supplied the bras) giggled through the day.
Not to forget Viren Ray who use to make up outrageous stories about his non-existent sex life. Sharmishta and Monisha would make one of us keep our cellphones secretly on when he talked as they assembled a bunch of girls who would be giggling in the next room.
Those were crazy, happy, fun days. We drank together, screamed, together, joked together, cursed together and often it didn't matter who was a boy and who was a girl.
Today when there is a meeting a guy sits two feet away from a girl near him. Senior guys who use to mentor girls don't schedule meetings in their cabins unless there are at least two other people present. A slightest slip by a TV anchor will have him sacked for the job.
Adam and Eve aren't in the Garden of Eden.
They're in a green grassy minefield!
When did the war begin?