The 14 stories in Autoplay: Not-so Stories, by the author and editor G Sampath, are based in a futuristic world, in a country called the Hindu Aryan Indian Republic, or HAIR. The stories include, among others, those of a man having his wife’s dreams, a woman with a depressed pet, and a person who spends their waking hours solely on exercising. The following excerpt is a short story titled ‘Good Quality Girls Are Out of Stock,’ written as a frank matrimonial advertisement for a man from HAIR.
Alliance invited for handsome, well-settled South HAIRian boy, 28/180, MA Philosophy (via distance education, Vladivostok Technical University, Vladivostok), teetotaller, non-smoker, belonging to well-established highstatus professional family, working as Senior Product Manager (Household Pests) in premier pest control MNC with HQ in Atlanta, Georgia, and 182 branches in 56 countries on six continents. Girl should be convent-educated, tall, fair, sweet, charming, slim, sexy, hot, cool, homely, lovely, with flawless complexion devoid of insect-bite marks or acne scars and nasal area completely blackhead-free. Should preferably be model or actress, with acting career preferably cinematic rather than televisual or theatrical. Should be biologically female. Should be excellent cook, well-versed in south Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, Thai, Tibetan, Japanese, Italian, Cambodian, French, Korean, Egyptian, Harappan, Manchu, postmodern and subaltern cuisine, and also polite, wellsettled, with good habits and own bungalow and/or apartment of size not less than 2,500 sq. ft carpet area (3,800 sq. ft builtup and 4,600 super-built-up) in upmarket area or be an NRI based in UK/USA/Canada/Europe/Australia/New Zealand/ Mauritius/Cayman Islands. Should be no older than 24 years and 12 months as of the date of publication of this advertisement, never married, never had sexual intercourse – oral or genital or anal or pertaining to any other orifice not mentioned in this advertisement and as applicable. Should be a natural and unreconstructed virgin, never kissed or been kissed or necked or masturbated intentionally or unintentionally. Should have history of aerobic activity of minimum 45 minutes duration at minimum frequency of once every diurnal cycle for minimum of five years without a break. BMI b/w 19–23. Waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7. Should enclose signed affidavit on Rs 500 stamp paper undertaking to not add or subtract more than 3 kg to incumbent body weight at time of marriage, post-marriage or post-parturition for not less than four successful births or 25 years and 26 weeks of marriage, whichever comes later. Should be widely read in philosophy, classics, physics, political science, Manga comics, animal husbandry, agriculture, economics, erotic literature, home science, ayurveda, botany, cybernetics, entomology, astrophysics, microbiology, cryogenics, spectroscopy, homeopathy and hermeneutics. Should be fluent in at least 4 Indian languages and 1 foreign language each from each continent excluding Antarctica and Australia. Should be able to use dental assets to stitch buttons and open sachets and other difficult-to-open packaging that life may confront her with or may be devised by corporations. Size of nipples should be proportionate to size of areola and size of areola should be proportionate to bust size and bust size should be proportionate to butt size. Should not fear cockroaches or dogs or spiders or lizards or things that go bump in the night. Should have even white teeth and non-gummy smile. Should be able to do 100 metres in 11 seconds. Should speak the truth always unless explicitly instructed to do otherwise by spouse. Should be honest. Should not be money-minded or fickle-minded or shrewd or cunning except in service of spouse’s interests or pleasures and that too not too overtly. Should be demure. Should not fall sick more than twice a year and not during festivals or holidays or when spouse or any other resident member of household is already sick. Oral lips should match vaginal ones. Should undertake dental hygiene procedures minimum twice daily and after every consumption of dish with sugar content. Should keep residence neat and clean without being a cleanliness freak. Should not fret. Should find anal sex equal parts painful and irresistible. Should pine for spouse in his absence. Menstrual cycle should last no longer than 31 days and no shorter than 24 days, subject to pregnancy-related variations. That time of the month should last no longer than 72 hours plus minus six hours. Sense of humour should be adequately advanced such that Girl detonates instantly into shrapnel of mirth at spouse’s witticisms. Should not snore while asleep or awake. Should sleep with eyes fully closed leaving no gap between eyelids resulting in exposure of eye whites to gaze of curious spouse or onlooker. Should be perfect mother with or without career of own. Should have it all. Should be ready to sacrifice all to please spouse. Should not shed tears without prior written notification of intent to do so. Should have no addictions to drugs or entertainment. Should never be bored. Or dissatisfied or unhappy. Should display positive attitude in a negative situation. Should never have been in love with any individual either male or female nor had a crush of any kind or shape or form other than liquid ingestibles. Default settings should be heterosexual with option of lesbian or bisexual or transgender plug-ins as per requirement and on demand. Should be fully conversant with latest techniques of fellatio, along with credible and respectable explanation for how said skills were acquired in the first place. Surface area of Girl’s body should be totally depilated at all times and a written undertaking to undertake regular and seamless full body depilation inclusive of all pubic areas and areas pertaining to secondary sexual organs (not inclusive of head) for the entire duration the matrimonial arrangement is in force should be submitted. Any hair or hair-like protuberance apprehended in any unauthorised area of Girl’s surface area will result in immediate prosecution (of the Girl, not the hair or hair-like protuberance) and instant annulment of marriage without any notice period and without the statutory benefits of termination. Girl should not have had cosmetic surgery, particularly in the two mammary regions, and must produce medical certificate duly attested by a Group A Gazetted Officer affirming the same, failing which Girl would be required to submit herself to direct physical inspection and verification of the concerned anatomical region(s) either by the advertiser himself or by an examiner duly nominated by the advertiser for the purpose. Should restrict verbal activity to a quota of no more than 35 words a day, which may be revised periodically by spouse or designated member(s) of spouse’s family. Should agree never to interrupt spouse or member of spouse’s family while spouse or member of spouse’s family is engaged in verbal activity, no matter how objectionable said verbal activity may or may not be. Should uphold Hindu Aryan Indian culture and values. Should smile on demand. Should provide signed affidavit stating that Girl shall never enter into disagreement or unpleasantness with spouse or with any member of spouse’s family either verbally or with the use of limbs and/or with/without aid of weapons conventional or improvised over any matter under any circumstances. Should not speak ill of spouse or spouse’s family members or friends either to the face or behind concerned back(s) under any circumstances. Should not think ill of spouse or spouse’s family members or friends either to the face or behind concerned back(s) under any circumstances. Should at all times take adequate care and precautions not to get raped. Should agree to everything spouse says. Should have no history of any serious illnesses, mental or physical, and furnish medical records duly attested by Group A Gazetted Officer as evidence for the same. Should have no defective genetic material in either the sex chromosomes or autosomes and furnish proof of DNA quality from accredited gene mapping, assessment and quality-control agency. Father should be wealthy, and preferably in terminal stage of a terminal illness and on schedule to shuffle off this mortal coil no later than six weeks from date of wedding. Girl should be only daughter with no siblings, male or female, either own or adopted or disowned or deformed or missing or secretly stashed away in asylum in HAIR or abroad. Family of Girl should have no history of mental illness on paternal or maternal side from the current to preceding four generations. Mother, if still alive, should be doormat with neither will nor opinions of her own and in the event of being found to be in possession of will or opinions of her own should also possess requisite mindset to be a pliable, silent spectator to anything and everything that may go on vis-à-vis her daughter, irrespective of whether they meet with her approval or disapproval. Girl should undertake not to file for divorce under any circumstances – unless expressly requested to do so by spouse – and not to indulge in extramarital affair(s) under any circumstances. In case Girl is proved to have indulged in extramarital intercourse either sexual or otherwise, either offline or online, with any male or female, real or fictional, human or sub-human, or android or anime character or body part after marriage, she would give up all legal rights of being her spouse’s spouse and spend the remainder of life as sex slave in spouse’s household and morally free spouse to illegally take on additional spouses if he so desires without in any way endangering his additional spouses’ ignorance of his prior spouses. Any contravention by the Girl of any of the terms and conditions mentioned in this document—and with which the Girl would have indicated agreement by signing on appropriate contractual document prior to the wedding ceremony—would result in immediate termination of marriage with 24 hours’ notice without statutory benefits. Caste no bar for Girl who fulfils all above criteria provided she belongs to any of the twice-born castes. Early decent marriage assured to eligible prospect. Only good quality girls need apply. Interested and eligible parties are requested to convey their acceptance of above parameters by sending the Girl’s complete bio-data, with all aforementioned documentation duly attested and enclosed, along with six full-length colour photographs of Girl (one each from the front, back, top, bottom, left and right sides of Girl), original horoscope duly attested by a Group A Gazetted Officer, self-addressed and (adequately) stamped envelope to Box 931535- CD, New Delhi, Hindu Aryan Indian Republic.
This is an excerpt from Autoplay: Not-so Stories by G Sampath, published by HarperCollins India.
G Sampath is the author of How to Make Enemies and Offend People, and the editor of The Pleasure Principle, an anthology of erotic stories. He lives in Delhi.