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Things Dr. Sheldon Cooper Of The Big Bang Theory Taught Me About Life

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By Sandhya Ramachandran:

There are only two possible reasons why you watch CBS’s The Big Bang Theory:

1. To stare at Kaley Cuoco’s (Penny) perfect body

2. To watch and listen to the revelation that is Sheldon Cooper

sheldon_cooper_by_justinturcotte-d2zk4ul

I didn’t always love the show. At first it seemed like a gross and pathetic stereotyping of nerds. Hell, Leonard was the spitting image of every nerd invented — nasal, lactose intolerant and fast-talking. I wasn’t too keen on a show that was this simplistic – nerds are socially and just generally awkward, girl is hot, dumb and hence obviously inconsiderate. I would have given it the boot had it not been for the lanky, pale and delightfully obnoxious Sheldon Cooper. He is the lethal combo of confidence of the dumb and knowledge of the brainy. Add to this a string of amusing social disorders, some of the best quips the English language can offer and an eerie-reminiscence-of-your-grandpa and you have the reason why GBs of TBBT still occupy many a hard drive. Fine, I like Bernadette too but let’s admit it — Bazinga boy was the one who roped most of us in.

Dear Shelly has endeared and enlightened over 6 seasons and here I pick some of my top takeaways:

1. Emotional blackmail 2.0 — Agreements:

In today’s time and age, the murky by-lanes of friendship need an upgrade too. Ain’t nobody got time for a good emotional blackmail cycle. Enter tangible textual documents like ‘The Roommate Agreement’. This can be diversified into ‘The Best Friend Agreement’, ‘The First Child Agreement’ with the parents, ‘The Non Bonkers Ex Agreement’ and so many more. Of course it will work in India. Have you seen our Constitution? We just can’t get enough of clauses. Lay down the terms and take advantage of the sincere. Plus you have to admit, there’s a certain attractive quality to formalizing things. If you are on the less villainy side, ‘The Roommate Agreement’ is still a life lesson. Imaginary friends are better than those that come loaded with bullet points, especially if you are bad at memorizing and slow with comeback.

2. Hooray to the hot cuppa:

When I need to turn a frown upside down, my go to solution is now a hot beverage. Sipping some smokin’ hot tea or coffee usually burns my ultra sensitive tongue and just like that, I have new agonies to attend to. I now can’t remember why I was upset in the first place and I’m usually plastering my face onto mirrors, trying to observe my burnt taste buds.

3. Trash talk and catchphrases:

No big argument, showdown or milestone is complete without the sacred preceding ceremony of verbal eloquence known as trashtalk! Nobody triggers fear and loathing like Sheldon Cooper. His deadpan delivery and incisive logic backed attacks are a lesson on how to bemuse/offend your opponents to failure.

Noteworthy reference: Cooper on Yo Mama mode. Catchphrases are phase two of any sleek, suave operator. A victory or a job well done isn’t quite done without a cheer or a catchphrase. Sheldon inspires with bazinga, a click-click of the tongue, that breathless, super-short laugh. Figure out your own funky fullstop that draws the finish line in everyday wars.

4. Pussycats dampen the hardest hearts:

Even a robotic Sheldon has exhibited moments of uncharacteristic emotion when it comes to cats. ‘Soft Kitty’ warms the tin heart in times of illness, a bunch of ‘zazzy felines’ helps our man through heartbreak; so what does this mean for us, dear readers? It means we need to tap into puddy cat power. Pissed off your mom? Rectify with a gift cat. Feeling low? Rub a cat belly. Want to exterminate annoying douche-rats? Release the cats onto them!

Besides these, I have gotten acquainted with geeky mumbo-jumbo like Schrodinger’s Cat, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars and Comic Book Shop Protocol among many other things. However, TBBT also triggers some legit questions — like why doesn’t Sheldon just learn to cook if he’s so fussy? If he’s so fussy how does he even order out? How is it that two CalTech professors don’t make as much as even an aspiring actress/waitress? Why else would they be sharing a room?

But then I don’t get frustrated. Instead I just pet a stray kitty and sip my hot beverage because this show is still so funny that every time I know a new episode is going to be up, I type a minimum of three Word documents of ‘LOL’. Also, by reading this article you have just accepted the Admiring Reader Agreement which means you now have to Share, Like, Tweet or Comment on this article. Pleasure mind-warping you — click, click!

You must be to comment.
  1. Amrit Rukhaiyaar

    Remember this: “I am bounded by the Closet Organizee/ Organizer Confidentiality…” Sheldon is Adorable

  2. Saumya Sahni

    I am myself an ardent fan of the TBBT series. But yes, I actually find Sheldon too irritating for that matter, primarily for him being obnoxious. But yes, he exudes a certain charm into the whole nerdy ideology of being socially awkward.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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