Friday, January 30, 2015

MY country is so helpful!

My country is filled with great people
It is filled with so many people
Who care about me,
My country is full of men
Who don’t want me to be a homosexual.
Because they want to save the country
And me
From a disease.
My country is filled with men like Ramdev Baba,
Who is so benevolent
And tells me that he will cure me
He says that I should do yoga
So that I am cured of liking someone of my own sex
He teaches me that homosexuality is unnatural
Shows me my parents and says
See, they are not homosexual
Hence they had you
You come to me,
I will cure you of this ailment too.
Saath hee sath, weight loss bhi hojaega.
Ek teer do nishaana,
Ramdev baba ne hai thana,
Ki jo bhi karega apne hee jaise se pyaar,
Uska wo karenge upchaar.
Aapa aabhar, hamesha yaad rahega Ramdev Baba,
Thanks for your advice,
I will think about it.

My country is filled with MPs, Khap Panachayats,
Who tell my boyfriends
that they should not touch non vegetarian food
Or else they have more tendency to rape
They tell us to switch off our phones
Not watch porn
Because that might just lead to rape.
Do not eat chowmein
The smell might just excite your libido.

Ab inhone mujhe batayi ek nayi kahani,
Mujhe bataya ki ladkon ke khan paan par
Rakho nigrani
Kyonki agar ye kuch galat khaenge,
To apna frustration ladki ke izzat par nikalenge.

Khoob kaha! Thanks for letting me know this,
My ministers.
I will think about it.

My country is filled with people like Asaram Bapu
Who told a rape victim
That she should have call  guy who
Was intent on raping her,
So that the things would not have escalated.

Arey tune inke achche shabdon ko
Suna kyon nahi
Jo teri izzat lene pe tula tha,
Usay brother zone kar deti,
Agar Sarojini ke aaspass hoti,
To bus se nikalkar,
Ek rakhi band deti.
Kaise Rape karta!
Uske ghar me bhi ma-behen haina!

Thanks Asaram Bapu,
Next time a man looks at my breast,
I will go upto him and touch his feet
Call him my brother,
And hug him, give him a kiss on his cheek
Even Vikas Bahl tells me this
That the world women want
Is not a world with NO men
Who look at them with voyeurism,
But men who will remain lecherous
But will not act upon it.
They will, let us be.

Thank you,
Thanks a lot.
This is exactly the country
I want to live in,
I want to live in this amazing country
With so many people
Telling me the right way to live my life
With such good sound advices
Even my own mother should learn from them.
Thanks, my country,
You have taught me,
I don’t have to make any choices,
Because for making them,
I need to have one.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Uss raste se jaanaa!

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

Don't take that road,
don't go to that market
don't go to that street.
Don't go to that lane when it is 10.
Don't go to that area when it is night.
You are a fool if you called a call taxi at 11 at night. Of course he drooled after looking at you.
You are a fool, if you took an auto rickshaw and did not pretend to call your dad/husband/boyfriend/brother to show that another man of higher social status is always looking after you.
You are a fool, if you don't take a pepper spray.
You are a fool, if you show cleavage.

You should have taken that other street, it does not have many men.
You should go to the market before 5. That way it is safer.
That street is abominable after 8 o clock.
That lane is to be avoided at night, men stare at you.
That area is full of potential rapists after 10 o clock.
Call the call taxi when you need transportation services at noon. Or else take the metro. And also, sit in the women's compartment. That way, it is safer. Doubly.

When you take an auto rickshaw, and if your phone cell is dead, it is okay, note the number of the number plate down.

Buy a pepper spray, learn karate, learn how to save yourself.
Wear better clothes, that way you are fine.

So when you tell me all this,
you don't even see the absurdity of what you are telling me to do, and not do.
To have, and not have.
That street might have 100 men during broad daylight and 10000 men at night.
I can get raped, if I have to, before 5 o clock, in the same market.
That street, might be abominable, even before 8 o clock.
Men , if they have to stare, will stare even during daytime.
No one is a potential rapist. No one is a potential victim.
Call taxi is called a call taxi for a reason. I can call it anytime. 
Sometimes when it is too far to take the women's compartment, I don't take it. And this "sometimes" is almost "Everytime". I don't want to walk THAT far, just because I am being deceived about its insurance of safety.

What is it, that will make a man's libido stronger after a particular point of time?
 If he has to rape, it can be anywhere, anytime.

You talk about "stronger probability", seeing the "statistics".

What about my friend who got touched at 11 in the morning in a College street?

ALL YOUR principles go down into the gutter.

The autorickshaw man can do whatever he wants to even if I do all that you want me to.

Pepper spray will remove him, but not what he tried to do.
Karate will save me, but not the society.
Better clothes are subjective. A halter neck top is good, if not for you, then I am not living your life , just like you are not living mine.

And it need not always be a man, isn't it! Crime, does it have a gender, always?

Rape, assault, unsafe conditions, do not have a time- period.
They can happen whenever, wherever.

You don't tell me to take another road.
Another lane.
Another street.
Another time.
Don't give me options of this OR that.
Safety OR get raped.
Don't take that sreet at night OR get raped.
Don't take call taxi OR get raped.
Wear full clothes OR get raped.
Have sex after marriage OR get raped.
Have a pepper spray OR get raped.
DO NOTHING or get raped.

Sorry. I will DO EVERYTHING AND it is in this godforsaken's society's hands, or more than that, in its mind, to ensure my safety. It will only happen, only if they don't call the street, lane, time, car, coach unsafe.

It is time to take the blame, and not send it around to geographical or temporal entities.

Blame yourself, individually. Change yourself. Take care of the pence, the pound will take care of itself.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

AND, if you did not know!

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

I am a woman
and I am not just someone's daughter.

I am a woman,
and I am not just someone's wife.

I am a woman,
and I am not just someone's secretary.

I am a woman.
and I am not trying to be,
I am, a lot myself.

Everyday, we forget, that our "woman-ness" is made so obvious to us in so many ways. We have a separate compartment in trains, we have separate queues, we have chivalry and chauvinism at the same time. Our names, have surnames which belong to the father's generation. Everything, reminds us how different we are.

We cannot change such deeply entrenched factors, but at least, we should now know, that if not special, we are unique as individuals.  We are people with similar emotions, values, feelings. Our vagina, may differentiate us from a penis, but that is all there is to it!

I am a fat girl, and I have been laughed at. I have complexes around me, I do not always look good and sometimes I have been told about the way I walk- I do not walk like a lady is supposed to. Sometimes they have told me that I do not talk with refinement. I am crass. I have been told that I sometimes, do not sit properly. I sit with my legs stretched. Sometimes, in class, I take a yawn and stretch myself, and people look at me with disgust. My breasts, actually.

So everytime, I do something normal, I am told how my normal is not the world's normal. How I walk, is not how the whole woman race should. How I talk, is definitely disgusting. How I yawn, is also the world's tension. My simple reflex actions too, have not been thought of as "womanly". If I use abusive language, I am told that my possession of vagina should come with shame. I should "think" before I use such language.

I have been labelled as "not a real woman", even if I have all what a woman "needs" to have to be one. I just, am not the woman the world wants me to be.

I admit I have periods, in public!
I admit I have facial hair!
I admit, I shave. I admit, I do not shave sometimes. It hurts, and sometimes I want to refrain !
I admit, I like walking carelessly, aimlessly.
I admit, I like stretching my legs.
I admit, I am normal, but your normal is not equal to mine.

I am a woman, who is just like you. But only that, we are not resolving our differences, and not celebrating our sameness.

The things that are important to me, is my normalcy. I am sophisticated in my own way. Not necessarily when it comes to the world's norms of sophistication. Sometimes I do not like to match my shoes with my dress. Sometimes I like to get my hair colored red, sometimes, I like to wear things I want to wear, and am not supposed to wear.

I say "I am fat", and then my friend says "No no, you are pretty!" Wait, why cannot I be both? Is it that if I am the former, I CANNOT be the latter?

They say I have to tone myself down for a guy to like me. Yes, I should become healthy, but why for male attention? WHY for attention, anyway?

These are the things that matter to me. My own individuality, my likes, dislikes, my preferences- are MY OWN.

What is that makes me, me? It is my very presence in this society as an individual. My vagina individuates me. It makes me both invisible and visible at the same time.

I am a woman in this society. AND, if you did not know, I am a human.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My North Eastern Friend.

My North Eastern friends
don't look like me
they don't speak my language
they sometimes wear different clothes
they don't follow my God
they don't follow my food practices
they aren't me.

But who IS this "me", afterall?
I don't speak my own language sometimes
I wear clothes which weren't
originated in my country
I don't follow my own God

I eat food which is not prescribed in my text.
I am not what you think I am, sometimes, too.

What is the basis
of differentiation?
They look different?
I don't think so. You don't look like me, either.
They speak a different, really different language?
Well, can a Punjabi understand Marathi?
Why, don't we celebrate the uniqueness,
why don't we even call it a uniqueness,
and label it as "differing factor".

My North Eastern friends
don't like only momo
don't eat only momo.
And even if they do
they aren't momo themselves.

My North eastern friends
have names,
just like you and I do.
Chinky might be your neighbour's kid's nickname,
not my north eastern friend.

My North Eastern friend
is my friend.
I am wrong to even call my friend
through his/her region.
My friend,
is a human.
Just like me.

PS- Lot of people questioned the my god your god part. It is just a satire on people who think north easterns are predominantly christians or they don't even know their religions and make irrelevant comments, they often forget that they are as diverse as the whole of India is and they are divided into exactly the same religious as everyone else in India.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Quintessence of Dust

They told me not to watch PK because it is against Hindus
They told me not to have Muslim friends because they are terrorists
They told me not to care about the Assam killings because it does not consider a great faction
They told me all these tribes and castes are not victims but perpetrators
They told me they suppress us through reservations
They told me Muslims kill each other so why won't they kill me
They told me Hindus are wrong too
They told me Hindus have suppressed people
They told me Hindus have created temples and worship idols,
After praying they kill too
Some Muslims offers namaz and kills
Some Hindus offer flowers to their gods and kill
They told me Christians are no good either
In fact, their country is America which causes world unrest
They told me if one does something blame his whole clan
They told me to rip the girl's dignity if the man of her lower class
They told me to rape is easy way to extract revenge
They told me feminism sucks
They told me feminism is against men
They made different definitions for feminism

They have told me so many things.
They have told me a lot many things.
They have made me listen

But none of it makes sense.

I will watch PK
I will have Muslim friends
I will worship if I want, I won't if I don't want to
I will not see people as Muslims

I will see them
as people
entities that
become dust
once they wither
Just like me.

I will see them
as Hamlet said
see them as,
quintessence of dust.

Monday, December 22, 2014

A letter from a person who is just like you.

Dear EVERYONE, : Believers, non believers, Anything in between

What have we come to? And why, have we come here? Everyday, there is some killing, there are children sacrificed, trains are bombed, hotels are bombed, people are murdered, fat-shaming, photoshopped beauty, films are objectifying humans, films are being banned. We have forgotten the seriousness, the solemnity behind life. We thwart all these notions as too philosophical and impractical, but maybe, just maybe, if you think like a person, a person with no status, no ascribed, no obtained identity, just, a person, with a heart, two lungs and a brain, maybe you will understand how futility has wrapped all of us.

A film gets released and it tells you good things, and one particular sect gets offended. Someone gets killed, another sect is blamed. One 'sect' is fighting against another 'sect'. We, have become a mob, we have lost the very capacity to think like individuals. Our individuality is lost forever. And no one snatched it from us. We did it all by ourselves.

Now thinking like individuals will lead to everyone thinking for themselves, thus will lead to anarchy as it will give rise to selfishness. But, if we think about ourselves as individuals, we will think of others as individuals with individual needs too. Why, is that we think of every individual, with needs that belongs to a group? THIS section of society , is like THIS, and it needs THIS, and it is against THIS which the other section of society wants. We, have given into social loafing, diffusion of responsibility, and have lost the capacity of understanding who we are as one single entity, and the fact that we think of others as someone belonging to some social marker, we are unconsciously describing ourselves in the negation of that, what we ARE NOT, and what they ARE, and how what we ARE is better than what THEY ARE. It actually is as bad as it sounds.

So am I saying let the "I' rule, and not the 'We?" Not really.

What if, we think of people's problems, in terms of their needs as individuals. This group of individuals, is a group not because it follows a particular religion, but  all of them do not get water to drink.

This group of individuals, is a group not because it is against idol worship, but it is a group of individuals which does not possess literacy.

So am I being an atheist? A non believer? A person who does not believe in God? Hell, no.

Sometimes when I like a guy and he likes me back, we don't jump into naming what we are- are we together? are we dating? are we marrying? DATING. MARRYING. All these are again, group values. If I say I am dating, I belong to the category of people 'in a relationship', if I marry, the court has sanctioned by sexual relationship, yes, and now I belong to the category of 'married people'. What if, what if we do not even think in terms of categories? I do not think of category, a face, a messenger, a book of mythologies, fables, religious values, proverbs. I find my love for God too high for all these things- I cannot let my love for God be based on certain principles I am not even sure My God made. I love my god, because I find my God in its non existence. I find my God, in its absent presence. I find my God always with me. I find the God sometimes inside me, sometimes carrying me. I believe in good work, people who do good work. I love what Buddha did, what Jesus did, what Prophet did, what all these 'religious heroes' did. But they all loved a God, and I love that God, that God which has names because our languages differ, not our beliefs. I learn from these heroes, not follow them, make a school out of them.

 It  has names not because its forms are different. The funny thing is, something like GOD , is an abstract concept. It is a manmade concept, but the only manmade concept which does not have form. OUR VERY ACT of trials and tribulations of trying to give it a form, and then making groups on the basis of whose form is better, is giving rise to problems.

And moreover, God is not a he or a she. It is an, IT!

I am against all those 'religious institutions', because if we truly love God, or believe in its presence, I don't want my love to be institutionalised. I don't want God, to become such a trivial creature. God is our friend, it does not determine our work, our life, our happiness, our sadness, our tragedies. If it did then we won't have tragedies, because God is someone who likes us, that is why made us. God, is not a manager, a construction artist, a handyman, a carpenter, a demolisher or someone from the maintenance department. God is a concept. We created the concept, and it is one of the most wonderful concept we ever created.

Why do we have different names, books, categories? Have we forgotten what ABSTRACT MEANS!

Now people will say I am against idol worship, thus against religions we which do idol worship and advocate of the one which does not. NO! I am against all those practices, the very act of 'practising' is unsettling for me. I believe, not practice it.

We created the concept to give us hope. Humans, thrive on hope. Hope, tackles fear. For tacking our fears, we created a concept, which will help us with life. So are humans, more powerful than God?

The fact is, the whole 'notion' of power, is useless when it comes to God. We created the concept of God, because all humans want to believe in something. The concept spells like this: GOD is someone who created this world, because if something exists it was made by someone, but we don't know who made it, but whoever did, did a darn good job. So we start believing in a superpower.

Some people, have no belief in this concept, some do. But, then we did a mistake, we tried to formalise this concept, and tried to give it shape. If not shape, we gave it names, we gave it rules, statutes, regulations, days, time periods, sacrifices, terms, technology We, categorised, again.

So what I want you guys to think? I am saying, why don't we just experiment with something, we love experimenting anyway! JUST ONE DAY, one day of your life, just think of yourself as a semi- abstract concept, someone with a definite form, but no definite entity.  You do not DIFFER, but relate.

You do not BELONG, you exist.
You are unique.
But when you think you are unique, you simultaneously identify others uniqueness.

When we start thinking like individuals with a purpose, the purpose being the purpose of existence, we will thrive on goodness. Sounds impractical? No, we are just not ready to practice this because we are too used to practising things together against people who have formed their own 'togethers'. But we are humans, and our very existence is entrenched in belonging- but our notions of belonging is wrong. WE, as existing beings, already belong. We belong to each other naturally, we do not need any institutions to tell us how. We belong by virtue of being living creatures on the same planet. When we understand this, we might have our earth reclaimed. We have lost it.

Let's reclaim. Let's, belong, as humans.

Well, exactly, yours.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Poem for the Peshawar Incident

“How am I to live now, when everyone thinks I might be a murderer too?”

Article submitted by Prerna Geeta Manian

I have Muslim Friends. I love a man who is Muslim. But does it matter? Does it matter which god do they pray to? Does it matter which religion they subscribe to? It stopped mattering to me yesterday.

They killed people
They killed their own people
If they fought for their own killed loved ones

How is bloodshed for bloodshed right?
Does any religion
Sanction killing your own
Sanction killing offsprings
Sanctions ANY killing, which makes your own
Loved ones cry?

You wanted them to feel the pain
But do you think this act will stop
Them or you to stop your war?
This is just a beginning of a never ending rage

My friend’s brother is scared of going to school
I am in India
I am scared to go to college
What if when I grow up
I send my child to school
And she never comes back?

What you are doing
Is not FOR your religion
But against the very principles of it
Your own brothers throughout the world
Are against you in spirit
You killed children
Who followed your own religion
Where did your love for your religion go?

This means
It is not religion
It is not faith
It is not being a Muslim,
Which makes the sad difference
It is people who have taken to misinterpret it
To interpret it to suit their own needs
Basing one’s identity on wrong tenets of misinterpretation
Of religion, is wrong.

Yesterday, my Muslim friend,
Cried. Her heart pained. She said
“How am I to live now, when everyone thinks I might be a murderer too?”
Can you answer this question?