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“Girlfriends Will Survive All Your Other Relationships”

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Radhika Vaz is undoubtedly one of India’s best-known stand-up comedians. Her following goes beyond India and well into foreign shores, and her edgy web series Shugs & Fats has even won the prestigious Gotham Awards in New York last year. Her one-woman comedy specials Unladylike and Older, Angrier. Hairier. have sold out in New York, Los Angeles and major Indian cities, and today she is considered one of the pioneers of the stand-up movement in India. She is also a prolific writer, having been published in Vogue, Verve, GQ, and the Times Of India. Widely recognized as this generation’s leading feminist voice, her book Unladylike, A Memoir is available at bookstores across the country as well as online on Amazon and Flipkart.

1. Experiment, experiment, experiment…

…professionally, politically, socially, and sexually. You are in the process of becoming who you will eventually be for the rest of your life, and your 20s are for you to find out who that person is. Don’t define yourself by what you were in college, or far worse, in school.

2. Party as much as you can

You are at the age where hangovers are a joke and recovery is nothing. Once you hit 30 all that changes so have fun now.

3. Treat your body with respect

On the flip side, good genes can go only so far, so don’t take your body and skin for granted. Treat it right and always remember that exercise and healthy eating are not only for fat people. Just because you don’t gain weight doesn’t mean you won’t gain cellulite.

4. Focus on loving yourself first

Do not feel any pressure to love the first man/woman you have sex with. Instead, focus on loving yourself because self-respect is all you need to judge whether he/she is worth your time and effort.

5. Practice safe sex

Do feel pressure to use condoms the first time and every time after that. AIDS, herpes, and unwanted pregnancies do not discriminate, and anyone who can’t be bothered to provide you with safe sex is probably also least interested in providing you with an orgasm.

6. Don’t fake it till you make it

Do not fake your orgasms. Like smoking, it is a bad habit and very hard to break.

7. Don’t let things go up in smoke

Smoking will kill you.

8. Combat negative feelings

Reading and running will help combat negative feelings about yourself and others. Do a little of both every single day. Even Sundays. Remember: depression doesn’t take a holiday.

9. Your girl gang is where it’s at

Girlfriends are the new black. Actually, they are the old black as well. What I am saying is no woman is an island and none of us can make it in this world alone. Girlfriends will survive all your other relationships. When your parents die, your kids leave home, and your man/woman acts up – your girlfriends will hold your hand and your heart. They will also hold your hair back when you are vomiting in a nightclub toilet so show them some goddamn respect already!

10.  Being single is NOT a problem

You do not need to marry or have children to prove you are worthy. There are careers, hobbies, passions, and friendships to measure your life against. Being single has as many pros and cons as being married, but don’t take my word for it. Read Spinster by Kate Bolick if you have any doubt. Anyone who judges you for not having a husband or a child is jealous that you have freedom and plenty of disposable income. These people should be told to take a seat. If they continue to bother you after that just eliminate them from your life – they do not deserve to partake in your badass-ery.

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