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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.

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