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Aam Aurat

Hello My Pretty Pretty Lovelies Out There,

First of all I would like to take this opportunity and wish all my lovely ladies out there a Belated Happy Women’s Day. That being said throughout my adolescence I haven’t really been a big fan of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for ‘women empowerment’ but to designate one mere day to celebrate women according to me is an abysmal travesty. But then I realized in India there are plenty festivals which involve worshiping Goddesses and that too seems  an aspirational   ‘women empowerment’ module. Well of sorts. I deduce that I have met my predicament half way and say that this is an opportunity to assign one specific day to celebrate womanhood.

I think that settles my introspective debate I keep having.

Women today across most sectors are pioneering cult personalities and paving  a way for us to assimilate into what I’d like to call ‘the man’s world’. Most of these keys figures have had to push and shove and reach where they have while in tandem juggling with their family lives. I have been working for what, a year now, and boy oh boy, has the work taken a toll on my life. I am physically incapable of taking care of myself after work. I CRAVE weekends to get household chores done. While these women not only struggled their way through careers, most of the times being mocked and scoffed at, while also sustaining an equilibrium at the home front.Kudos to you.

Lots to learn from them I must say.

While that is the bright side of the day, these are also the times where I hear and read more rampantly about rape cases then I did probably 10 years ago. One particular case that got my attention was of a 15 year old girl who was raped and then set on fire. When I read about it, I was utterly speechless and dumbfounded. I had enraged beyond human comprehension and I wondered what happened to the Justice Verma recommendations which were proposed after the Nirbhaya incident? What happened to the zeal and enthusiasm of the common folk with which they revolted against barbaric and archaic rape laws in our country? Had that fervor subdued over the incessant repetitiveness  of such ‘cases’. I suppose that is what it has become today: ‘a case’.

I think what bugs me more is when I hear “Bhagwaan ka shukar hai mere saath nahi hua/humaari beti ke saath nahi hua” or the self-confessed intellectuals conveniently turning a blind eye towards news like this. I mean for me at the least, whenever I read or hear about such news, I feel someone has mentally raped me, I feel as though someone has mentally stripped me naked and subjected me to a violent act of mental rape,’cause this X person has. He has scarred me.He is scarring me.

And here I am celebrating Women’s Day. While I could be ‘doing something’ about sociopaths like these. I feel at a crossroad on most days when I think of this issue frankly. On one hand, the women force in India is progressing forward shoulder to shoulder with men while there is this issue where the women in the society endure regressive pressure of tradition, customs and such injustice. (Yes! I would like to bracket some of these redundant traditions and customs with the injustice of rape.)

Why do we go to temples when we do not worship the ‘Devis’ residing in our homes? Why do we call ‘Bhaarat’ our ‘Mata’ when we treat Her with utter disrespect? Why do we talk of being protective of our mothers, daughters and sisters when we disrespect the mothers, daughters and sisters of others? Why?

I think I would like to partially blame patriarchy here. We are all victims of it. We think that albeit a woman is working it is HER fundamental duty to the chores at home. We think albeit she is making money, she should not be making MORE money than the boy/husband she is with. We think that after producing a child, it is HER fundamental duty to put her career rust in sabbatical. While on the same hand we also think that MEN should be fundamental strong and care-takers. We also think that MEN should not be emotional and shedding tears qualifies as ‘sissy/feminine’ behavior. We also think that MEN sharing their feelings conveniently retrogrades them as ‘weak individuals.’ We think that MEN are the bread-winners while the women are the ‘HOME-MAKERS’. WE DECIDE THESE ROLES. Does a child through his/her formative years know that he/she is a he/she? We make him/her a him or a her. I think this archaic parameter of role definition and corresponding ‘Sanskar-ism’ based on the gender should be done away with. We need to teach our kids to be good human beings firstly before we define them based on their gender. I think that is enough gyaan for the day. Ain’t it?

Well, that being said,  I would like to end this post by raising a toast to all those lovely ladies out there struggling to define themselves as (primarily as) people in this vastly divided world (primarily based on gender, then religion, caste, creed, state, class etc) and to all the men out there aspiring to be emotionally sensitive (in their own funky ways). To all of you celebrating the ‘Aam Aurat’ : Cheers for better times to come. Here’s to hoping of a ‘Bharat Mata’ living up to the great burden of Her Name.
Cheers.

The Birthday Post…

…that came 18 days after the Birthday.

First of all,I would like to wish myself a Belated Happy Birthday on your behalf(you were going to wish me?).Well,if you are family or friend or acquaintance (via Facebook or other social networking site),you would know,that after seven years I spent my birthday away from my beloved Dilli.Phew,it scares the ba-jesus out of my to have conversations and recollect memories in decades now.The perks of growing old,eh?

Well,this isn’t what the post is about,ranting about the curses of growing old.Although,if its about growing old,let us compare ourselves to Wine And Scotch,now shall we? 😀

Keeping the trauma of growing ‘old’ aside,I always have and always shall be super-kicked about the biggest day of my life(and no impending wedding won’t match up to this day).Why,you ask?Well,THIS is the day I was privileged into this World,into my family with a warm welcome.There were dreams built around me even before I came into existence,this is the first time my parents held me,they blessed me,hugged me and kissed me.This was the first day of my adventure called life.So,I shall ALWAYS be super-kicked about my birthday.And the guilt-free indulgence and the gifts are just the perks (if you are friend/family:No,they are NOT,I better get a present and some cupcakes.Its the silent rule of Birthday, :D)

I know life throws innumerable hurdles in our path,almost every day,and there are days we curse,”why the hell was I put on this planet?” yada yada yada,and I do it more than often(leaning towards the pessimistic side perpetually).But,on this day I am always grateful,to God,to my parents,to my friends,to myself,to have survived so long,to have been priveleged with all the luxuries that I conveniently take for granted,to all the days I idly waste,to all the people who decided to stay in my life and stick by through thick and thin,and mostly to myself(it is MY birthday after all,now ain’t it): for having made it through another year.

The point of all this is not to bring to your scrutiny my quasi-narcissistic tendencies,it is to explain that it is essential that we learn to celebrate ourselves,appreciate ourselves and most importantly value ourselves.Over the years we start to take ourselves for granted and we forget the we possess the potential to obtain our wildest dreams,but we reluctantly succumb to the mundane and accept ourselves as ordinary,and gradually that is what we let ourselves become.

The point of this post is to believe in those dreams you dreamt when once you were a child,when you truly believed you could conquer the world.As we grow older,as we mature,we let forget to celebrate ourselves,to treat ourselves,to believe in ourselves,and that is precisely why I have decided that albeit I might succumb to the brutalities of life 364 days in a year,on July 12 every year I shall celebrate me and all the insanity that comes along with it.I buy myself a cake and a present and a bottle of fine Wine(well Vodka is my poison) and herald the year like it is going to be my last (or till the clock strikes 12).

Are you going to do the same?

I hope you do,

Cheers

 

The Second Sex

“One is not born,but rather becomes a woman” is a quote that I thought was meant for the 1940s or 50s when it was written and published.If you are not aware of this book,THE SECOND SEX is a take on feminism by the eminent author Simon de Beauvoir.

If you are a resident of India,then you are quite familiar with the grind that girls are supposedly ‘not safe’ here.It is not safe for them to step out alone after hours,they ought go around traversing,loitering around late at night,alone or even with company for that matter.

If you have recently been reading the paper you must have read about the infamous Delhi gang rape.And I need not go into details about it,not that enough has not been said.

This post is not primarily about that.It is about THE SECOND SEX.Women even in the 22nd century are a subjugated class.Nations might be progressing economically,but the status of woman in the society has remained stagnant.We,the educated class who claim that this is not the case,if for that matter once you have asked your daughter,sister,mother,girl friend to not wear a certain kind of attire,or asked her to ‘behave like a girl/woman’,or for that matter not allowed her to have sexual partners of her choice according to her whims and fancies,and not judged her or a third person and stereotyped her a ‘slut/whore’ once,well,if this has NEVER been the case with you,I bow before you my Lord,because you truly treat all humans equally,but like me,if you are part of the masses,our education has been of no avail,and we are simply hypocritical.

There should be no shame in admitting that we all treat the women of our lives unequally most of the times,please note I said ‘unequally’ and not discriminated against,because either we are excessively chivalrous with the women or we are entirely oppressing them.There is no balance of probability in our treatment of women.Rare are the occasions when the women are treated equally.

We see our domestic helpers toiling each day,working day in and day out,to feed their drunkard husbands and infant kids only to be abused by them.But lets not discuss the uneducated class right now,we can’t expect much out of them either.They are merely following the tradition that women are the binding force of the household.

We who claim ourselves to be educated talk of ’emancipation of women’.Well,um,frankly,if the term emancipation is referred for women,the first inference is that they are not free,if I am not wrong,but the Constitution of India declares us a Democracy with Article 14 stating Equality for all irrespective of gender,caste,creed et cetra.Ergo,we in our minds believe that women are not free.They are still bound by the clutches of conventions and traditions.They suffer,toil and endure and it is their fundamental duty to do so,yet they should be emancipated.So,what is this emancipation from is the question that perpetually bothers me?

By the law of the land the women are free,but in practice nothing has changed now,has it?Even if women are progressing,stepping out of the house and working shoulder to shoulder with men,they are expected to take care of their children along with their jobs.The usual notion is ‘ladki ab ikkis saal ki ho gayi hai,shaadi karva do iski'(your daughter has turned 21,you ought to get her married now,before it is too late).Curfew timings are different for boys and girls in the same household.The girls are inherently expected to be ‘more responsible’ to their sexual counterparts.And the examples are endless.

This notion of emancipation is the creation of the mind.It is in the mind that the difference between a boy and a girl is set.No new born is aware whether it has a vagina or a penis,or what is its purpose,we as society teach these infants the difference between the sexes.We create notions of inequality in their minds,feed the brain the nutrition of gender,nurture the differences and once they are set in stone for good,in order to sound educated,’permissive’ and liberal we speak of such notions of emancipation which are absolutely bogus or merely of declaratory nature with no implementation.

According to me,five men did not rape that girl,WE,the society did,we are constantly raping the girl child who was killed when she was a fetus,who was killed when she was a new born,who is constantly killed each and every day of her life by being treated unequally as opposed to her sexual counterpart.We are also raping the working women,who supposedly are free,but are bound by fear in mind,we are raping those women too who relentlessly endure domestic violence to avoid shame from society.Also we rape the housewives who hold no value in the eyes of husband and kids.Also,we rape the old women of our households who have lived as the ‘second sex’ all their lives,and they are consequently raping their generations by feeding such notions in their grand-daughters and feline relatives alike.

The fact that a woman is not safe in a city like Delhi is not her fault,it is ours.The fact that she is perpetually living in fear and is constantly terrorized by her sexual counterparts just because she has a hole in her body that can gratify her male counterpart’s sexual needs is just grotesque.

My vagina appalls me,it makes me loathe the fact that I was born as a girl in a country like India.

I am the Second Sex.In my body,and in my mind.

Satyameva Jayate

I had been eagerly anticipating this Television ever since I saw the first promotional video. And it did not disappoint.

Aamir Khan at his best.Bringing forth,for the perusal of the country (and people abroad),some of the ghastly truths we conveniently lock inside the realms of our four walls.Some bitter truths that have not only affected the people within this house,but also society at large.

The hopeless person that I am,I could not watch the entire show,just saw bits and pieces. The pilot’s theme was probably the most rightly deserved issue of concern to India,and specially parts of Northern India,where money is in abundance while consciousness,humanitarianism and self-control are in the minimum count.I deliberately did not mention respect for women,because Women here as the show said as well are merely a commodity,thus the pilot’s theme was befitting for a country like ours,in the timezone which is not the past,or the coming future,but NOW.

FEMALE FETICIDE.

There have been several mentions of cases of feticide in the so-called uneducated states of Punjab, Haryana,Uttar Pradesh and so on.But why miss out on a metropolitan like Delhi,where the masses are well-educated,well-read and relatively unorthodox compared to these states.And the specifying the location:South Delhi which houses some of the top names in the country,are bound to be mentally sensible right?

But according to a survey conducted in 2008,it is this region of Delhi which had the least number of females per thousand males compared to other parts of Delhi.So what do we interpret of that?

I have always wondered if the women compared to men are less in number,then WHY is it,then men get to ‘choose’ their wives-to-be rather the other way around?Women are the ones who have to compromise,who have to adjust to the new environment,who endure the wrath and much more.It is logically impossible isn’t it?

Considering,female feticide does subside and eventually come to an end,but what about all those girls who are born and brought into this world.Has Man been fair to them?Eve teasing,assault,molestation,rape,gang rapes constitute the headline of every Daily once every month.Correct me if I’m wrong.

Junk all that,the most enraging statement I get to hear is that women ‘invite’ rape:the way they dress up,their lifestyle(smoking,drinking,partying et etra),the erratic timings they venture out.And all this coming from the mouthpiece of the so-called protectors of the city/state/country.

As women,what do we derive out of that?For me,it is simple.Ours is a democracy for the men.And under the cloak monarchy for women.We are mere slaves.We are unequals.

So,if truth is invincible,then this is the bitter truth of our country.
In the last segment of the show however Aamir Khan dealt with the notion of existence of  a ray of Hope,and that there is still a scope of ameliorating the condition.And I totally support him.We cannot have a world without Hope.We all have predicaments in our lives,that make us say and think,“my life sucks”,but it is this tiny ray of Hope that pushes us forward to newer pastures.

So,today’s truth might be ugly,it sure is,let’s hope tomorrow’s truth is not.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE.

“Please Don’t Pity Me”

Hello There,

Today’s post is based on the incident that took place last night.

The end result of my behavior at the said state of affairs left me completely abashed.And no I shall use no defenses to excuse myself from taking the blame for the deed done.

What happened you ask?

On my way back from a ritzy Delhi Market,there were cardinal red lights,and like my luck always works,I had to halt at almost all such intervals.For all my precious Delhi folk know about this,I hope,and for those who don’t,halting at a Crossing implies not merely waiting for the annoying Red Light to switch to Green,but also destitute children importuning the slightest act of generosity they can be bequeathed with.Yesterday,instead of the incessant begging this particular kid with an amputated arm was selling Gajra (a.k.a.flower garland).No one paid heed to the poor chap,so out of ‘sympathy’ I decided to give him a Rs.10 note.As I handed him the note,he immediately took out one strand of Gajra from the stack in order to hand it over to me,which I blatantly refused (please know I have extremely short hair and Gajra-s are usually meant for the hair!).The kid-with-the-amputated-arm did not appreciate my ‘gesture’.Admonishing me politely he said,“Ma’am!I don’t want your pity,I want a hard day’s pay.I might not have one arm,but I most definitely have the Will Power as its replacement.”

The half an hour long drive back home,was probably the longest I have ever traversed.It made me ponder as to why we ‘pity’?Probably because an amputated arm/leg is a cue to our superiority?We ‘pity’ people because it makes us stand at a better stance than them.We as human beings in order to feel good about ourselves confuse pity with generosity.We tend to ‘pity’ people below our own financial standing,we ‘the taller’,’the thinner’,’the fairer’ folk tend to ‘pity’ the ones who do not possess these physical attributes of ‘beauty.’

The lesson I derived from the hour-long introspection yesterday was the one of Acceptance.We need to start accepting these so-called man-made ‘flaws’.We as human beings are all flawed,physically and/or mentally.No body is perfect.The least we can do is give every one a chance to prove their mettle,and if people are in genuine need of alms,then do it out of love and not pity.Do it for the sake of ’empathy’ and not ‘sympathy’.

So,I shall end the post here.

Do,pardon the stream-of-consciousness write-up,I ought not to pen a post with The Blackberry by my side.The incessant BBMs really do spoil the chain of thought.=/

Please do give this one a thought.

Till the next time,

This is N signing out.

Wear Someone Else’s Shoes…

No!Let me clear the air first,this post is not my rant regarding my love and admiration for the lovely Louboutins or Blahniks.=P.(If someone is generously lending,then I am the first in the queue!)

On a much more serious note,from now onwards I shall try and analyze the most of life’s routine from every OTHER person’s angle.

I am a keen observer and when I travel alone it is a true bliss,for I not only glimpse Delhi with its myriads of layers but also the nonchalant working of the social classes.

The one that mostly seems to amaze me is the heart of Delhi,Connaught Place(this is one destination I usually visit alone a lot).Why so?Every individual that passes you,or a couple or a group has a story to tell.From the drugged vagrant lying about on Outer Circle or the V.I.P. in his S-Class,the new-gen.school kids,a to a 9-5 office goer.Every individual has a story to tell.

We,the ‘blessed ones’ begin and end our day with rants and cribbing over ‘trivial matters’.So,I decided,if not everyday and every time,I shall at least make the effort to perceive the state of affairs from the other person’s angle.
Will you?

P.S.:Pardon the apparent stream of conscious write-up.Like I have mentioned before,the studying has taken a serious toll on me.

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