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Will be reading this at the Metrospective event tomorrow. Jeet Thayil, Samrat Chowdhury and Vivek Narayanan will also be reading. So I guess I shouldn’t have posted it today, but I had fun writing it, and coudn’t resist. See you if you’re there.

A Hymn to New Him
(by Samit Basu, with apologies to Alan Jay Lerner)

What on god’s green earth is metrosexuality,
Do modern men admit to lacking balls?
What could have repressed them?
What could have compressed them?
I cannot understand this thing at all.

Now we’re metrosexuals, that’s all there is to that!
Our heads are full of flowers, style and spice!
We’re nothing now but thinking-feeling, never-stealing,
even-keeling, no-glass-ceiling, single-dealing,
sex-appealing, self-healing nice guys!

(Willing lady) ____________, why can’t a new man be more like a man?


Why can’t a new man be more like a man?
Men were so simple, so thoroughly square;
Eternally dirty, covered with hair;
Who, when you won, would never give your cheek a kiss.
Well, why can’t a new man be like this?
Why does he have to have expensive hairstyles?
Why must he now learn how to use his head?
Why are mothers teaching their sons their styles?
Why don’t boys grow up- well, like their fathers instead?
Why can’t a new man take after a man?
Men were unpleasant, always ill-at-ease;
When you were with them, you did as you pleased.
Would you be slighted if they watched the television?

(Of course not!)

Would you be livid if they ignored the morning dew?


Would you be offended by the occasional emission?


Well, why can’t a new man be like you?
One man in a million might have cared a bit.
Now and then they knew their own defects;
Some, perhaps, when drunk would go and share a bit.
But by and large we were a marvelous sex!
Why can’t a new man take after like a man?
Men were unfriendly, ill-natured, unkind.
Made sure their blood-flows never reached their minds

If they forgot to kiss your mummy, would you bellow?

(Of course not! )

If they were all unwaxed, would you fuss?


Would you cry unless they wore pink, red or yellow?


Well, why can’t a new man be like us?

(To nearest metrosexual)
You there, you’re a metrosexual…
Why can’t a new man be more like a man?
Men were so smelly, they’d burp and they’d fart.
They were never ever interested in art.
They’d bite you if you touched them on the bum.
Why can’t a new man be that dumb?
Why is stinking something new men never do?
Why is scratching never even tried?
Working on their abs is all they ever do.
Why don’t they work out the mess that’s inside?
Why can’t a new man behave like a man?
If I was a new man, so much in the news,
Full of sighs, wise thoughts, words and views;
Would I start hogging all the media attention?
And pretend my grandpa never lived in trees?
Would I shave body parts I shouldn’t even mention?
Well, why can’t a new man be like me?


About Samit Basu

Novelist. Best known for fantasy and science fiction work. Most recently, The City Inside (Tordotcom)/Chosen Spirits (Simon and Schuster)


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Copyright (c) Samit Basu. Images copyright respective holders.
May 2006


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