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  • Writer's pictureVedashree Khambete Sharma

Not A Very Sen Post

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

I really, really don’t want to write this.

Because usually, when I rant and rave at famous-ish people, they’re not necessarily my kind of people. When I poke fun at a Ramgopal Varma or an Aditya Chopra, when I chastise Abhay Deol or Qadros-and-Thambi, it’s an everyman rant. I feel like I have a say in the matter so I say it.

This, is something different.

Because this is something I have to say to Raja Sen – a writer I have enjoyed reading immensely over the past months. His column in Mumbai Mirror is usually both entertaining and insightful and unlike the utter drivel pouring out Bombay Times, it’s blessed with both correct grammar and easy syntax.

The problem is, he is a writer. I am, when you get right down to it, a writer. I feel like I’m betraying my kind, who’re famously entitled to their own opinions, especially when it’s on the internet, which practically hands you a laminated license to pour your mind out.

So when I read this, my first instinct was to stop and control the hurricane of choice words inside my head.

His post is a response to a post called Date A Girl Who Reads, which itself is a response to another, much more disturbing piece of writing.

I loved Date A Girl Who Reads. He didn’t. Fair enough.

He thinks it was “a rather offensive piece of simplistic drivel that assumed women who read don’t do anything but live within paragraphs of their beloved books, books they keep mistaking for real life, presumably because they smell them too much.”

Again, I don’t agree, but he’s completely within his rights to have that opinion.

What’s pissing me off however, is the rest of his post.

He can’t seem to decide whether a book should be like a woman (with sexy legs) or a dog (who runs back to you when you whistle for it). He advises you with scantily disguised metaphors to keep your two books with sexy legs apart from one another. And ends on the piece de resistance “You could, of course, choose to instead go for a book with breasts. They’re just fiendishly hard to close.”

So I suppose Raja Sen, my question to you is this: is it possible that it’s escaped you how utterly, unbelievable offensive this piece of writing is to women?

Maybe you are right. Perhaps Date A Girl Who Reads did imply that we women do nothing worthwhile except read books.

Well, at least it didn’t compare us to dogs.

Or alienate us from a piece of writing by shoving a couple of boobs in our face.

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