Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kyuki Sassy Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi

These days I have come across a lot of stuff on literature for the female species - colloquially known as "Chick-Lit". This particular genre, is targeted I believe at urban girls between the ages of 25-35, working professionals, independent and all that jazz.

I suppose, I qualify.

But somehow I have never clambered onto chick-lit bandwagon. I have read a couple of the Candace Bushnell books ( the Mother of all Chick Litterateurs, The Fashionista-book Goddess, the One-who-started-it-all-with-Sex-and-the-city etcetera etcetera) and even sneakingly enjoyed the "Devil Wears Prada". But I don't think I can call myself an aficionado of the genre.

Maybe its because of the fact that there is too much fashion in it (and I really wouldn't know the difference between Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. Heck, I hadn't even heard of them until I had do some work in the category a couple of years ago), too many stilettos..and uhm..I am rather coordination challenged. (As the hero wouldn't hesitate to point out - I must be the only
female in the universe who managed to fall off a stationary Exercycle. For the record, I did NOT! (whatever he may say hmpf)-. But the fact remains, walking around on stilettos would be a bit of a Hazardous-to-health activity) and well, chick lit has a LOT of alpha females (alpha types scare the shit out of me in real life, and in books).

Which is the reason I haven't seen Sex and the city or don't even particularly want to. Or any of travails of the Indian Bridget Jones (Brinda Joshis? Pliss excuse, couldn't help myself)

On the other hand I wouldn't say I was a sworn enemy either ( and if there are any rabid fans baying for my blood, let me interject hurriedly and say that I am a big admirer of slightly dated chick lit - viz. Heyer.There is a making-fun-at-self undertone in Heyer's work ( also sometimes seen in Desperate Housewives) which is quite lovely).

Anyways, I digress. If there is an audience who laps up stories of Harry Winston, chapatis and chips ..ahem .."post-coital cuddling", by all means, let the genre grow and multiply.

But what I DO want to know, is why each and every single of the book flaps, newspaper reviews, magazine articles, insist on describing these (the books, the protagonists and the authors) as "Sassy"?

I don't know what is about that word which manages to annoy me so much. It's supposed to be a emancipated word, but somehow it sounds utterly condescending which goes contrary to the woman-of-substance they try and portray. To my mind, there is something quite wannabe and brittle about the term.

Or maybe I am reading it all wrong?

I asked a colleague, a die-hard chick-lit fan, who is almost conjoined with a series of these books.
She told me that it meant women, who could stand on their own feet, and give (I quote) "as good as they get" back to the men in their lives, and who don't take shit from guys - even if they are significant others.Actually, even less if they are from significant others.

But doesn't that also describe Ekta Kapoor heroines I asked her. The Tulsi's and Parvatis of the world - who always have lots of money,seem to be living in mansions in metros, work ( take over their husband's business when those incompetent men cant do a thing) and are forever scrapping with villainous males in all shapes and forms? They even spend hours on their make up AND wear stilettos and high fashion kancheepurams.

She didn't seem very happy with the comparison. In fact she has stopped talking to me after that.

Maybe i should go and tell her that she is sassy.

Ah well.

23 comments:

Nandini Vishwanath said...

I'm not sure 'sassy' translates to someone who is always giving saath to sahi, and has sacchai for dharam.

And sassy means 'give as good they get?' Then, how can they be our Tulsi? They only give no? :D

Arunima said...

haha, please do that. By the way Cynic, you are sassy. :-) (whatever that means).

Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik.Are these names of new washing powders? I want to try them.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

nandini - you have been watching too many sassy bahu serials? all this knowledge is impressive!

arunima - aaaaaaaaaaarghhhh. *digs a hole, crawls into it and pulls in the mud after me* sassy aaaaaaargh

Epiphany said...

Sassy sounds like the new tomato ketchup! BTW by your friends definition Sassy = Nari mukti morcha!

Trinaa said...

quite a sassy piece of writing ;) ..brilliant again :))

a million different people said...

Haha, love the title.

Oh oh, sassy is one of those words "romantic" "novel" writing women use one two many.

Also, sassy sounds, I don't know, kind of ugh. Who the hell says sassy and means it? Not me. Infact, I don't even say it.

PS: Haahaa, you fell off the Exercycle! Lawl. :P

Veens said...

I checked Dictionary. com.. they don't giv the meaning of 'sassy' as whatever yur enthu fan of chick-*hit is meantioned her e:P

well .. i can't say i m not a fan of such stuff... i see them.. admire them... feel abt myself ... and well.. think... "who gives such things any thought neways and turn anti - chick - *hit :D

and well i can believe u fall off from sme thing stationary :P

hehhehe! dnt ya worry.. i too "almost" fell off frm a tread-mill moving at 0.8 km/hr :D

take care girl!

phatichar said...

ROTFL@Brinda Joshi!!

sra said...

I quite like the British and Irish chicklits for a light read - they are full of coordination-challenged women and are rather feminist even if the ultimate aim seems to be finding love and settling down with someone. And they are not set in the fashion/glamour world, mostly.

manuscrypts said...

tch tch, you spoiled your friend's sense of snobbish superiority by introducing her to those desi maasi types.. now go and say sassy, er sorry :D

Bluemist said...

You collegue must be feeeling hurt ..how could you comapare those "sassy-jazzy-shimmering-oomph filled" bimbos with "indianised" bimbettes :D

it is methodologically middleclass and so very down market :D :D

Sorry for borrowing dialogues from Sarabhai Vs. Sarabhai :P

But these bimbos make me curious to the core; and they add to ur GK (like Jimmy choo is nt a twin bro of surf excel :D :D )

brlliant stuff again !!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

epiphany - that is a brilliant idea. get sassy people to endorse sauce! Love it!

trina - ok everyone is calling me sassy now. aiyo rama panduranga

million different people. who USES sassy? never heard it said by anyone. and i did NOT fall off cycle. bah

veens - sassy apparently is the americanized version of saucy - viz impertinent etc etc. checked up on dictionary.com

Cynic in Wonderland said...

phatichar - you know i had a poem in school called "The river" the only thing i remember from it was one line which said "cows named gopi and brinda". juxtapose that with the sassy posse. good picture in the mind.

sra - thats why i like heyers etc no? absolutely relatable heroines.

manu and bluemist - hmmm.went as per her definition no. "
as good as she gets"?

Trinaa said...

u have been tagged!!

Trinaa said...

ps: did u noe there is a korean muvi called My Sassy Lady?!!! Ugly Aur Pagli is a rip-off of d same..!

AmitL said...

LOL.Cyn,at first I thought Sassy referred to some South Indian you'd come across,and were just pronouncing it thusly.heh heh.

I'm so glad to see you follow the dictum of simple thinking,simple living. Cheerio!!:)

Australopithecus said...

nice! esply the title

IdeaSmith said...

I think you're sassy if you're actually all girly (add simpering, eyelash-fluttering) but minus the being seen/not heard bit. Enter high-pitched screaming using a lot of big words which translates to intelligent in Chicklit.

I'm going to go underground to escape the Shopaholic/Bridget Jobes fan-clubs from clubbing me now.

Amey said...

Tell her that she is sassy and she might become your bff.

Just make sure you don't make a spelling error and put an "i" instead of "a". True story... ;)

Lekhni said...

There is also "saucy" which I also detest.

I'm a big fan of Georgette Heyer too...never been much of a Mills & Boons fan, but will read Heyer any day.

galadriel said...

i hate "sassy". It has hidden "slinky cat" in it. I dunno what I've read in recent times that qualifies as chick-lit.

Karen Blixen's Out of Africa? Hardly...Barbara Vine's A Dark Adapted Eye? I don't think so.

I wonder why though. I thot i had too much testosterone. But u dun read chick-lit either. N ur very much a woman. So, doubts abt my own sexuality has subsided.

Recently I saw a chick flick; Made of Honour. It was cloying. Even Patrick Dempsey was cloying.

So, no chick lit or flicks for me. No Sophie Kinsella.I'd rather read Asterix n Obelix for the 100th time.

nice to know i'm not the only one.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

trina - will do the tag if flickr gods allow me to. and yus i read somewhere the movie was based on it.

ok amit, you need to tell us more. what south indian? who south indian?

thankee austro

ideasmithy - why do i have the feeling i know WHO you are talking about? the shrieking banshees who run after chocs?

amey in that case i better not call her sassy. i can think of few things which i would like less than to be bff with her. I could say she is sassy with a i tho..hmmm.

lekhini - sassy is saucy ka version i believe. yus i detest saucy as well. m&b - i read precisely ONE on a bet from someone. and hated in. so glad to know i have company.

anu - slinky cat. yus that sounds like a good description. purr and claw away to ahem beds and success. and im hardly the stereotype of a graceful little woman anyways.

freddiefreud said...

lovely writing...the idea of sassy is catchy!