APPLE-KNOCKER

Apple-knocker is an expression that doesn’t find a commonplace in the popular lexicon. Oxford Dictionary defines appleknocker as “an unsophisticated person” and Merriam Webster states it simply as “rustic.” The phrase apparently came from fruit harvesters using long sticks to dislodge the hanging crop.

City folks commonly refer to villagers (country folks) as apple-knockers. Though the phrase sounds one shade funny and one shade demeaning, it’s a nice euphemistic addition to the intellectuals’ vocabulary. Well, you may not find an equivalent expression of this English phrase in other languages! But, then that’s the beauty of salad bowl languages!

It’s easy to overlook and undermine an apple-knocker. After all, we do not expect any finesse in their mannerisms! On the other hand, their presence at times makes one feel embarrassed. They sure fit into the place where they hail from. But in sophisticated gatherings and posh localities or in places where people of polished mannerisms operate, they are considered to be out-of-place.

But had it not been for such rustics around us, much of the luxury that we enjoy today might not have been within easy reach. Think of the farmer who sweats in the summer heat to sow and till. Had the sweaty stinky farmer not laboured hard in his field, many would not have food on their table.

While the blue-collar workers are often the most neglected lot in any society, their contribution to keep a household or an organization running is indisputable. The door needs drilling – call the carpenter; the tap needs fixing – call the plumber; the streets need cleaning – hire a sweeper and the list goes on. These are the apple-knockers around us and many-a-times we may be guest to their volley of abusive expletives and stiff-neckedness. However without them around, life would be a lot more cumbersome than our present challenges and commitments already make it.

So yes, as we add this phrase to our vocabularies, let’s exercise caution while treating the apple-knockers around us with the minimum dignity they deserve.

MAN CAVE

When I was asked to write on this topic, I had a bit of an idea of what it might mean. But when I resorted to google and started reading the wiki page on this, my reaction to what I was reading changed in the following way –

– Within a few sentences I felt – “C’mon, this is totally bogus. You got to be kidding me that a term like that even exists.”
– After a few paragraphs I felt – “Ok, maybe this makes a bit of sense. It is not as bogus.”
– Towards the end of the article I felt – “Oh God, I too need a man-cave.”

So, now keep reading and figure out what you feel towards this concept of man-cave
By definition, man-cave is a man’s own space. Something that he can call his own where a female presence is not appreciated. The décor of this space and cleanliness (or lack of it) is something that the man is in control of. He doesn’t like or approve of his mother, girlfriend or wife to have any say about how this place should be designed or maintained. It is typically used when a man wants to do his own stuff. It could be something creative or destructive or just time-pass. What he does in that room is also something that a female doesn’t have a say in.

This concept, as I understand, stems from the fact that the woman is the boss of the house. She is the one who decides what colour should be the walls, curtains, couches and everything else that needs to match with this. She is the one who is responsible for the cleanliness of the home; that also makes her the one who is often shouting and screaming and losing her peace of mind when the place is untidy. Yes, we see this happening in almost all the households. This concept arises from the very basic stereotypes defined for a man and a woman.

I am totally for this concept because I feel that there should a place not just for the man but also for the woman to be oneself. A place where there is no pressure of keeping it a certain way, a place where you could do whatever you want to do. I was sharing a flat with 2 girls who are also very close friends before I got married. 2 of us shared the room as well and we hardly ever had any concerns about how either of us wanted to keep the room. The room was always full of stuff toys (mostly pink). And that room had a big thermocol sheet attached to one of the walls where we used to display our earrings. Both of us were extremely fond of collecting all kinds of earrings and loved to put them on a display and every day we would pick and choose which one we wanted to wear. I loved that part of the room.

When I got married, I ended up staying with 2 boys because my brother in law also moved in with us a few weeks after our marriage. Living with 2 boys was so different than living with 2 girls. Within a month, I was missing my female friends so badly but now there was no going back (of course). Sharing the room with my hubby meant no stuff toys and no display of earrings. Living with 2 boys meant too many house parties at the end of which I would only be cleaning up. It also meant that FIFA world cup and IPL matches were the highlights of every year. It further meant that it became my responsibility to handle all the laundry, all the cooking, all the cleaning – in short, I became the woman of the house (which included shouting and screaming and losing my peace of mind over lack of cleanliness).

I wish I knew about this concept then and had a bigger home. I would love to have a room that we both share, but also 2 separate rooms for each one of us to do our own stuff individually. A room of my own which I could decorate in pink stuff toys and my earrings. And similarly, a room where he could play his guitar, play his Xbox or watch “Man vs wild” the whole day.

My family has grown with a kid and because of our son, our in-laws also live with us. So, the place that I could call my own (woman-cave, maybe) became almost non-existent. My husband moved out a year back to a different city for career reasons. It was a difficult decision and distant marriage really sucks. But one advantage of it is that I have a room that I can call my own now (I share it with my son, but he is too small to impact it in a big way) and my husband has a whole house that is only for him. One of the positive things of a long-distance marriage.

So, man-cave is a great concept according to me. I just want a woman-cave as well.

IS WEXTING A NEW TREND?

“Do you know this park is quite old and I used to come here with my cousins in our childhood”, I pointed towards a children-park on the other side of the road. “This park has a beautiful fountain and …” I turned my face towards my friend but couldn’t find her beside me. In a shock, I turned around and what I saw was surprising and funny at the same time. She was lying on the ground as she fell down. Quickly I went to her so that I could help her.

“Hey, will you stop laughing and help me? What sort of person you are?”

“Okay feisty girl I got you”.  I picked her up and asked about how she fell. I saw her knee got skinned and she was facing problem while walking. She told me she was wexting. Nowadays, wexting is quite common. Wexting means to chat while walking. In this era of social media, we all have done wexting. I too have done this. There is one more incident when I and one of my friends were out for shopping. I was so busy in wexting that I didn’t realize I took the wrong way. My friend was new to that place and so she wasn’t familiar with the roads. When I looked around I found myself lost in some other place. We had to walk back and it really wasted a lot of time. Maybe, I could have met with an accident as I wasn’t attentive. However now I have controlled myself from doing wexting but still, sometimes I tend to look at my phone whenever I receive an important message. And I am pretty sure many of us do the same.

I have done wexting so many times and luckily nothing serious happened but that doesn’t mean I should continue with wexting. At times when I am in the supermarket or when I am heading towards bus-stand, I do wexting. Even during the morning walk, I have seen youths of my age busy in wexting. They seem to be so happy during that particular moment. Although they know they might stumble or fall or hurt themselves.

Sometimes I have been reminded by my parents and my elders that wexting can cause harm to me. I know they say the right thing. It’s not that we don’t know the consequences of wexting but as soon as we get a message we ignore everything and we get engrossed in replying. And then begins the process of wexting. In that particular moment we may be enjoying and smiling ear to ear but who knows we are about to meet with an accident or something unexpectedly bad happens to us.

One day my cousin came home and I was horrified to see his skinned elbow. He told me he was replying to one of his friend’s message and he stumbled to a stone and fell down. Still, he does wexting. Not often but he does.

It’s good to stay in touch with our near and dear ones through various means of communication. But one must be cautious enough while walking. We should keep in mind that our life is precious and just for the sake of little happiness or pleasure we must not risk our life. From past few months, I have made a habit to turn off my data and keep my phone inside just to be attentive on the road while walking. Moreover, I advise my friends or people to do the same while walking. Once we reach our place we can reply to the messages we receive and this won’t harm us.