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Apr 26, 2005

Aargh Diaries - Monday Morning Mystery

The lady in the corner, has become a Monday Morning Mystery.
Today to work, she wore a black purdah, without a headscarf and became the talk of the office.

Unable to resist, I walk over to her cubicle
Aargh : "Are you feeling cold?"
Corner Lady (henceforth CL),with a smile : "No" and gets back to work.
Aargh : "You are err wearing a purdah"
CL : Nods without looking at me.
Aargh : "Well I remember reading some years back that a woman in Kashmir was beheaded because she was not wearing a purdah, I think."
Again nods without looking at me,
Aargh : "Errr its yours?"
CL : "Neighbour"
Aargh persistently : "But isnt headscarf also important?"

CL : "Its not religious"
But without smile and before I could come up another question on cross examination, she says, "If you dont mind, I am busy".

And so slowly I go to my cubicle. And by a silent signal, everyone in the office, step out slowly to the conference room. Work can wait, mysteries cant.

And I grab a notebook and pen (no my Boss has not provided me with a laptop yet) and hurry with my own cup of coffee. Thankfully she is busy with her work and doesnt join us.

And I decide to just take notes, and since the theories were flying around, cant say who said what. But a male voice is MV and a female voice FV.

MV1 : "She might be getting married and her fiancee could be fundamentalist"
FV1 : "She is already married. And I know her husband, he is nothing of that sort"
MV1 : "Well maybe he is getting married again and got converted you now. And she might not want divorce so might have decided to convert."
FV1 : "Well if thats the case one wouldnt want people to know that, why do something attention grabbing like this"
FV2 : "Well this is probably to get attention from everyone in office."
MV2 : "Wear miniskirt to wear attention, why this"

Aargh : "Maybe because she doesnt want attention "
All roll eyes
"to what she is wearing I mean" I bravely finish.
All Men shake their head, while the Females seem to think its a good idea.
FV1 : "Well yeah what if she couldnt get the matching blouse"
FV2 : "Or maybe the dry cleaner left a stain and she saw it at the last moment"
FV3 : "Or she didnt get time to iron"
FV1 : "Or maybe she didnt get the right accessories"
FV3 : "Or maybe she wore a skirt and realised she had to wax"
FV1 frownin at FV3 : "It could be scar or rashes too."
MV4 : "Hope its not AIDs or anything contagious"
A collective shudder.

MV1 : "Or perhaps she just got up late and thought its more important to be punctual than dress to work"
FV2 : "Or perhaps she went jogging and didnt have time to dress"
MV2 : "Maybe she is going to a party directly after work and she is wearing something too hot beneath it"
A moment of silence as the males imagine her in something hot.
FV3 with sarcasm "Perhaps she thought some men will finally look at her face while talking"
Some men who had been examining FV3's neckline, look away.
MV2 : "She could be just lazy and didnt want to take time to dress"
FV2 : "Or she could be tired of being trendy. Its not that easy, just when you think you have worked out the season, another magazine says something else."
FV3 : "Maybe her husband got her something horrible and she wore it please him and borrowed a purdah so that we wont laugh at it"
FV1 : "Or maybe there was a tear and she thought its more important to be punctual"
FV2 : "Or maybe she travels by bus and gets molested, you know whatever we wear, its never easy"
FV1 : "But then why wear it at office"
A pause as FV1 and FV2 exchange significant looks and look at MV2.
MV2 (with a guilty look, looks away and then to correct his image) "Probably someone from her family is forcing her. This is gross, we must offer her help"
MV1 : "Well, it could be domestic violence and she could be covering that up"
MV4 : "Whoa why should we blame the husband, when we dont have a clue. And it could be love bites too"
FV1 : "Or Maybe she is pregnant and there is a promotion next month. Who will give her a promotion, if she would go on maternity leave for 4 months in future"
MV3 : "Well perhaps her weight increased over the weekend with something she ate, her regular wear perhaps didnt fit, and she doesnt want everyone to know"

MV3 : "But is there a dress code which would apply for her? "
MV2 : "Well I think there is something on dressing decently ..."
FV1 interuppts : "And who defines whats decent"
MV2 : "Well but I dont think we can apply that rule here. But why not wear a kimono, the silk thing Japanese wear, why this. This, this is so against the culture."
FV1 to MV2 : "Yeah and the suit you are wearing had been part of our culture"
Hostile looks between FV1 and Mv2
M3 : "Hey perhaps its something from Lakme India Fashion Week"
F2 : "No way. I would know and can you imagine someone designing this?"
M2 laughs : "Maybe she is wearing some designer stuff, but realised it was not practical and is concealing it."

MV4 : "Or perhaps she is planning to steal something from the office"
Now thats interesting and unable to resist, I decide to add filmi touch to it.
Aargh : "Well she could have been raped on her way to work, now how many women who get raped, file a complaint? Perhaps she wants to pretend its normal and so wearing a purdah to hide the torn dress and scratch marks."
Irritated looks from all.
"Or perhaps she has become possessed by some spirit"
More irritated looks from all.
To get back at them, I add : "Perhaps she has decided to become a suicide bomber"
Horrified looks from all.
Then realising its pointless to terrify them "Well it could be just a dare"
Everyone relaxes.

We would have brainstormed more but Boss arrives on time (i.e exactly one hour 10 minutes late). And we hurry back to our cubicles.

Curious, I go back to her cubicle and hand her, the notes of the coffee break meeting.
"Just tell me if your reason is written here."
She reads it. Smiles and even laughs.
Then beckons me to come near her, so that she could whisper it in my ear.

But instead of her scent and a soft secret, I hear a shout or is it a scream?

And startled and in shock, open my eyes to see my Boss frothing in rage, at having caught me sleeping at work.

Aaargh !!!

Ignoring the firing, I turn around to catch the corner lady in her cubicle, demurely at work.

I am Halfdazed,
And can see only her face
What did she wear to work today
I wondered, and heard my Boss say
"I suspend you for a month from today"

No Monday Morning mystery,
I got suspended, thats the story.


  1. got to scroll down dear
    thought to say good morning to u :)
    got a new post on my blog 2
    do take a look

  2. :)))

    She might just have decided its a new fashion trend you see ;-)

  3. deeps :)))
    and oops i forgot to update in blogger (i updated in rediff etc, but forgot blogger) with that part on LFW thanks for the comment, i have updated it.

    amita replied in ur blog and wish u a wonderful day:)

  4. you know i think, she must have gained weight on the weekend , now dont be surprised. i have seen girls gaining considerable weight in no time...okay maybe it wasn't 2 days, it was 2 weeks, but after seeing that miracle, i wud think 2 days is also not that improbable. :)

  5. Was it the April Fool's Day?!

    Or perhaps the Day-Dreaming Day...

    Come to think of it, we need to have an official day-dreaming day :D:D:D...

  6. well, i just cudn't make any sense of this post,i mean i didnt get what was the meaning, and was all of it a dream?

  7. well yes it was a dream.
    the point of the post, well its for me to write and others to interpret.

    i can explain but i will be lousy with it.

  8. Aaarrrggghhh!! After reading all that, the suspense is not revealed??? Its only a dream??!!!!

    LOL...that was really too good Gaya! The explanations were way too funny! :-)

  9. colors :D
    its easy to accept and understand a women saying she wants to wear less, its tougher to accept that she would want to wear more:D and even tougher to come up with a reason, that too during midnight when i wrote it:D so just washed it away as a dream, and hope the bloggers dont go aaargh with me over it:D

    well few might have dreamnt about the baywatch variety, why not for a change on purdah variety :D

  10. WD: perhaps you should this news :-(.

  11. seems like a very entertaining office ! Great comments by fv's and mv's and of course arggh's were the best ! hmmm wearing more or less..always something women in india need to think a lot about ! btw i hope for ur sake u were joking about the suspension part !

  12. seems like a very entertaining office ! Great comments by fv's and mv's and of course arggh's were the best ! hmmm wearing more or less..always something women in india need to think a lot about ! btw i hope for ur sake u were joking about the suspension part !

  13. :D eddie, thanks:)
    aargh entries in this blog are fictional
    sray thanks,i read (didnt know about it earlier)
    obviously i disagree with sena. its disgusting,distressing and deplorable. hopefully sensibile people remember attitudes like this when voting. That will be the best response, since ultimately what any political organastions care aobut is votes.

    and i had written the post earlier, in o3 - Dress of a Woman
    and last week spoke against that attitude in
    and parts of those comments are available in

    while i might lightheartedly look at the other side of the purdah, i havent forgotten the woman who was beheaded in kashmir for not wearing one. it might bejust 1 life, but then how meaningless it becomes when u lose ur life for what u wear or dont wear, and hence had mentioned it on the onset of the post.

  14. The trouble I had with the shiv-sena argument was not that they were saying it... but that the vote on TOI regarding this topic was 50-50!! Even some women supported the sena :-(.

    Where does it stop? I am reading a couple of books on Iran now, and this is the same ghisa-pita argument there (cloaked in some religious blah-blah, of course).

  15. Well thankfully the TOI edit didnt go that way. - Insulting men

    maybe some months back, i would have fumed and foamed but now i realise that the readership of Indiatimes is different.

    But Indiatimes is not on the same level as TOI.

    Indiatimes is no different than Sammna .
    When you have a pic of a woman everyday, i think its just objectifying women. and the general articles (there was a fortnight back on women being bad drivers) r just of tabloid nature.
    and so i am not suprised at the vote pattern.

  16. on women supporting it, well are we suprised when a mother in law burns her daughter in law?

    its tragic to say the least. i am havin probs with slow server so not able to comment and vote on that.

  17. For a Women's Day based article in Indiatimes.
    On the 5 things must for a woman, item no. 3 is cosmetic surgery.
    And the article doesnt invoke protests.

    Now what would you expect from a readership who have mindset which agress to stuff like that.

  18. Perhaps the first item the author of the article needs is a bigger brain.

    But why blame the author? Perhaps he has taken a random poll of some women, and this is what he/she got from them.

    In some ways, some women are more regressive than their male counterparts (often the mother-in-law is more repressive than the father-in-law. I dont know why).

  19. sray, perhaps a mind which wants to oppress needs an excuse not a reason.

    btw author of which post?

  20. haha !!! that was some read.. I am dying to put my own aargh parts but sadly now I have to resort to anonymity... since smart alec reads my blog and yes posts it to the HR.. can you beat that... ?? SIGH !!!

  21. Pallavi, :)) yes that can be tough. actually even i dont dare to write any originals in Aargh category and just post fiction. because truth will be stranger than fiction:D

  22. Pallavi, :)) yes that can be tough. actually even i dont dare to write any originals in Aargh category and just post fiction. because truth will be stranger than fiction:D

  23. Pallavi, :)) yes that can be tough. actually even i dont dare to write any originals in Aargh category and just post fiction. because truth will be stranger than fiction:D

  24. WD: Referring to your comment to my earlier comment, I was talking about the "For a Women's Day based article in Indiatimes" that you mentioned in your post :-).

  25. :)sray.

    i think the author was a female. but i think no way does that article justify being a women's day post.

    i have to just read indiatimes, to have my bp soaring:(


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