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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 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.

You Are Immortal

I’m a pathetically lazy writer,I never recheck my posts for grammatical errors,however I make it a point to not over-do it with emotions.This one however is straight from the heart.

In these twenty two years of my life span,I have seen my parents grow,I have seen them witness set backs and rise from the ashes,victorious.They have always inspired me to be a better person,to grow up to be a person just like them.Since my childhood days,I have always envied my gorgeous mother,no,I am not saying this,because she is MY mother,she is by far one of the prettiest woman I know,getting back to the point,I have seen her wake up at 5 in the morning to tend to the House chores,get me ready for school,take care of my older siblings,prepare breakfast and lunch,drop me off at the bus stop,come back home,get ready for work and in order to save that last penny instead of taking the car,hop on the public bus.Then come back in the evening,prepare dinner,help me with Home Work,sit and chat my siblings,spend some quality time with my Father,serve dinner,and then finally fall asleep.I have seen her repeating the said pattern for years with just one day off,and that too dedicated to all of us.

There have been days,when I have envied her for the independent woman that she was,for the undying spirit to live to life to the fullest,and there have also been days when I have loathed her for not wholly being there for me.

And then Boarding School happened,and I got to see my Mumma on even lesser occasions.

It was probably then or before that that our relationship started to deteriorate.When I needed her I assumed she deliberately was not there.When I cried under the pillow craving her gentle caress reinstating that feeling of emotional security I was deprived of in the lonesome dormitory,she was not there.

Eventually,I got a hang of things,and I enjoyed being by myself and my friends.And those occasional visits were more than enough of quality time I needed with her.Vacations at home meant spending time with my siblings and hanging out with them or their respective boyfriend/girlfriend.Spending time with Mumma and Papa would only compromise of the last few sulking days when I was over-showered with pampering.

And then,I came back for College.Like any other kid,being 18 meant chilling with friends,carpe diem and partying.With so much as caring,if my Mumma finally has time to breath and spend time with me.That obviously took a back seat,if it is not already obvious.

And then after College,the Gap-before-Law School happened,when in these twenty two years of my short life I started bonding with my mother.When she started connecting with me like a grown woman.It is in my twenty first year did I finally fall in love with her,and realized I needed her,I craved her love.It is then I realized that all this time,I had been acting selfish.

She sacrificed her life to give me a good one,and now when she finally had that time,I was not there.

She opened her heart to me in this one year,she let me to her World of sorrows and sufferings.All this time,when I had thought SHE was the one acting SELFISH,I found out,she was just trying to protect me out of her SELFLESS love for me.

And when I finally realized that life without her is an impossibility,God decided to take her away from me,from my life.

Yes,for all my friends who do not know,I did not have the courage to say it out loud,I still don’t.She passed away two weeks ago,on August 8,2011.

I was there with her when her soul left her body,and yes,I do believe in reincarnation and I KNOW that she will come back in my life in some other form,but the fact remains that my mother is gone.Forever.

I do not have anyone to save me from the rain anymore,I do not have anyone to look out for me,without me even noticing.I have lost my foundation for my strength.I do not have my Mumma anymore.

They say,she is still here,looking out for me,but I don’t want her spirit,I need her wholly,in physical form,to be there for me,to see in my happiest moments,to lend me a shoulder in my sad ones.To see me get married one day and then play with her grandchildren eventually.I need her to explain to me about this baffling concept of SELFLESS LOVE.I need her to be there,for no reason at all.

They say,I am strong.I need to move on with life.But what sort of life would that be,one without the Sun,the Air,the Shelter?How do they expect me to move on from the bundle of regrets I live with?How do they suddenly expect me to grow up,mature and take responsibilities my shoulders are incapable of handling?How do they expect me to live without my Mumma?

I have so much to say,however,I shall continue this tomorrow,tears are too mean to let me continue this,right now,here,I just to begin by saying,that My Mumma is immortal,she is in my heart,and my soul,and she can never be forgotten.And even though I could give away all of my life for just one minute with her,where I could tell her I love her,and that she means the world to me,the lesson I learnt was such,that do not give heed to egos and consequences,if you have something in your heart,just say it,trust me,leading a life with regret is not one of the happiest ones.

I love My Mumma,I hope she knows this,I do sincerely hope,she has left her unceasing courage in me.

You are with me,you are in me,forever and beyond.

I love you Mumma.

I am sorry,I cannot love you unconditionally,like you loved me.I love you forever nonetheless.

 

 

“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.

Happy International Womens’ Day?

I have the worst timing in the world.And now it cannot be restricted solely to my jokes.This post was intended to be penned on March 8,2011,so do accept my sincere apologies.

I remember this quote from Simon de Beauvoir’s ‘The Second Sex’,”A woman is not born but becomes a woman.”Bewildering as it sounds,even in the 22nd century,it stands true.

With the escalating rate of female foeticide/infanticide not just in agrarian states of Haryana and Punjab but in the posh belt of South Delhi.With the escalating rate of rape and assault in the city as well as day to day molestation.’Saddi Dilli’ is the most feared destination for all us female inhabitants.

Restraining myself to the capital city would do injustice to all the complacent women of the small,unknown villages scattered over the country.I reckon going to a village called Byasi where I learnt that girls usually walk 5-10 kilometers in order to reach school and after they reach back home while their brothers are busy playing they provide aid to their mothers in the household chores.Yet,some girls are not as lucky either.

The parda-laden women hiding the scars enduring the wrath their husbands lay upon them so conveniently is not merely a myth,but a shattering reality.My latest find,is from ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ where some men with monsters beneath hide under the garb of ‘softer’ exterior.

It truly devastates me whenever the gender is discriminated against.A girl who has a boy friend must have a ‘loose character’ while a boy/man with many is worthy of a pat on the back.Silly example I know.(I always wanted to mention this one somewhere.)

The funny thing is really,on the day when the world celebrates Happy International Womens’ Day,the men whine that the entire year belongs to them why celebrate this day?Ridiculous? True!

I have never been a big fan of Womens’ Day,but this year,it proved to be an irony of sorts.The murder of Radhika Tanwar was not a shock.Yes!curse me if you please.I was not really shocked.The sorry state of affairs in the country’s capital has resulted in a pitiful state of my mind.

Radhika Tanwar’s murder on Womens’ Day is symbolic of the state of women in my beloved city.The beloved capital is symbolic of my beloved country.Yet I acquisce my heart and soul that we do not suffer as much as we read about in feminist texts or even the books penned by the Arabian princesses.

Do excuse me for I did not intend to mock this day.I am merely an agnostic when it comes to Womens’ Day.

My silver lining?As mentioned yesterday,they did manage to find the psychotic murderer.

The silver lining however lies in the fact that even though as women we need to prove our mettle in quadrople than men,the world is progressing.If there are ghoonghat-laden women there are also women who manage their home in tandem with their hectic jobs.The rate of girls’ being educated has increased drastically,where they are not considered as the traditional liability but an asset.The abject state os affairs is not an illusion but nor is the progressive womenfolk.

From the Chief Minister of the capital city to the C.E.O. of a multinational,women are leaving their indelible mark across the entire country,across the entire globe.

“A woman is” surely “not born but becomes a woman”,to shoulder the responsibilities that no ‘man’ can.

Cheers to Womanhood.=)

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