Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rape is not about my assets.

I was out in a market with this friend of mine. I am a thyroid patient and suffer from obesity, and I was walking around in the market with this friend who is according to societal demands- quintessential. I saw 10-20 guys giving her a second look, "checking her out"while she remained aloof and indifferent. She knew people looked at her, some people just with appreciating eyes and some lustful. She gave back angry looks, but all in vain. Did I feel bad that no one gave me a second look? No. why will I? Did it make me feel less attractive? No. Unwanted? No. I didn't feel anything. But then something else made me feel bad. The same day I talked to a friend of mine and I say that damn Delhi is really unsafe. Those eyes were enough to infringe privacy. The friend said."You don't have to worry."
I asked why.
The friend said, well, no one will rape YOU! (quote unquote, with the exact caps lock spacing )
What did I feel bad about? That I am not attractive and hence I don't get voyeuristic views? No. What hurt me was indirectly I was told that looking pretty, being thin and being a media driven beauty makes a girl more vulnerable when it comes to rape. My friend said I am safe because well, who will rape me? I am not good looking enough.
People really need to get their ideas right. Rape is not directly proportional to looks. It can be a subjective, specific factor but not an all encompassing cause to an effect. If it is so you won't have 6 years old raped. And if I am fat and that makes me safer than the thin female counterparts I have, then that's the worst and the most fallacious argument ever made.

Follow up: The photoshoot on rape and the explanation given by the photographer is beyond me. If an issue has to be raised and if someone wants people to talk about it, you need not dress up people in gaudy clothes and go in a beautiful looking bus and show rape in a 'sexy' way. The photo is as bad as the pun I just made. rape is not only about sex. It is much more. And this needs to be understood. I don't think it will be.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A void to fill

They call me the in-between
or sometimes they don't call me even
refuse to recognise me
am I human enough for their glance I wonder
I wonder if they know I am one of them
I am the other
both figuratively and literally
I do not belong to straitjackets of definitions
I am not the defined
nor the one who defines
but I am the void which people fill with taboos and innuendoes
I am a cipher.

I am shown through colours,
I am shown through mannerisms,
I am shown through how I talk,
but still, I am not considered normal.
My way of talking,
becomes a joke.

Why can't you see,
You and I are the same,
your preferences
differ from mine,
like they differ from anyone else's.
Broaden your horizons,
let me in,
if not,
let me go.

LGBT rights in India are next to non existent and we need to understand the gravity of the situation at hand. The neglect faced by this community has been replaced by disgust for the community. Which is wrong and it shows how our country hasn't really developed yet.

There is nothing unnatural about being a lesbian, gay etc. The etcetera needs to be taken into account. We are humans and we are varied, and we need to appreciate rather than 'accept' this variety as acceptance has a tinge of compromise and pity attached to it.

Plato said we are searching for our other half, and centuries ago, the same philosopher had said that the combinations we search for is men-women, women-men, men-men, women-women. It is completely normal, natural and equally beautiful.

It is time to rethink. Please, if a guy holds his friend's hands and likes pink dont call him gay. Because first, gay should not be a derogatory word. Second, being  gay is not being stereotyped with certain mannerisms. Be rational,because it is the only we can save this nation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What it takes to be a man?

People have this really sad notion, that feminism does not think of men. That is because sadly, the word has 'fem' attached to it and it started off with the notions of women emancipation. But the definitions have enlarged, and we think of gender equality. We know men have rights too, and there is no reverse sexism. The same patriarchy, backfires at both men and women.

I would like to thank Aina Singh, a friend of mine who had quoted the last line and made me write this poem. 

We were told to be aggressive,
we were told not to cry,
we were told to protect,
we were told we don't need protection,
we were told, that we cannot have weak moments.

We were surrounded by patriarchy too.

I should get the job,
the bread which comes to the house
should be won by me,
if I don't have the job,
I am not man enough.

Superheroes were made to have
I was told
I am the hero
and if I go down
my family will.
I can not go down.
I can never fail.

If a girl is born,
it is the woman's mistake.
I am the strong one.
I can't be wrong.
Wrong? Man? Pfft.

I have to beat up people,
and I have to think of women of my life
as my dignity
when something happens
when someone does something to the
women of my family
I was told
to rip the dignity of that family,
by hurting their women.
I was told to do this.

I am told to MAN UP,
because if I cry
if I show emotions
if i like drama
if I like poetry
I am not a man!
I am not masculine!

I should be a man,
I should be strong.
Don't act like a woman,

I was told that if I like pink
I will be laughed at
I was given everything in neutral colours
I was shown that men like blue and girls like pink
I was made to believe that no other colours exist
other than these two
which define who I am as opposed to girls.

Even when a woman was wrong,
not because she was a woman,
but was just, just wrong
and if i was involved,indirectly,
or directly
I was told I could not handle her
Or I was told
I am to be blamed.
I am a perv.

Even if I did not do wrong,
sometimes some notions were stretched too much
to make it look like my mistake.

Not that men are never wrong,
but when they are NOT,genuinely
they are NOT.
But then, no, generalisation
and blame game
won the race.

But I did not do any of the things I was told to do.

I was weak,
I wanted support sometimes,
I was strong, but it was not always physical
I had my dignity, but it was not derived by someone else,
NOT by the means of my gender, but the person I was.
If I had not gotten a job
I worked for it,
but was not ashamed of being unemployed.
I worked for it,
But that does not mean I did not let my wife help me.
I told my son to do what he wants
He wanted to sing?
Let him sing.
I did not tell him basketball might be better.
because it is not.
You cannot weigh a person's skills.
Let us men be
what we are.
We also
do not need definitions.

I won't BE A MAN.
I will be a human.
No matter what I will be told
I will be a person.

 I would love it, if you see this video called Guante- Man up. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I don't have balls, but I can explain.

Yesterday I had written a post about sanitary pads and I got hell lot of reactions, both good and bad. Some people totally misunderstood as to what I wanted to say. A man said I need to justify all their doubts because if I had dared to give my name under the article, I should have the 'balls' to clear their doubts. I am gonna do that. Not because I have balls, well, naturally it is not possible, but because I am tired of misconceptions engulfing and eating out our society.

1. Intention behind writing:

No feminist, modernist, whatever-ist intentions. I was having my periods, got reminded of this incident, remembered I had not written a blogpost for a long time, and wrote it. Once I started writing, I felt this is something serious, so I wrote it just like it happened. Usually when people give out an experience, their intention is to share the experience, and that's it.

2. So I am not a feminist?

Fallacy of exhaustive hypothesis. I am sorry for the huge term, but then I will take the time to explain it to you in very very simplistic terms- when there are two opposites, and when one does not conform to one, people think you are the other, when there is still another option left. If I say the post was not a feminist one, don't call me a non feminist. But I am neither a feminist nor the opposite of it. I am someone who faced an issue, had an issue and shared the issue.

3. Did I blame men in the post?

I did not blame anyone. The shopkeeper was a male, and he was doing his job. Sadly, no one saw the phrase 'he gave me a confused look'- people who understood it never made the point of the author blaming men. This phrase meant to show that the shopkeeper is USED to giving the pads in the same way to other women, and his confusion arose to my difference in opinion. So yes, the point this one simple line was making that I was going against the normal act which is a usual one in everyone's life. About my friend, if I was buying crocin, would he be embarassed? He was flustered, embarassed. But this does not mean I am blaming the male gender. Come ON guys. If he had talked to me, of course I would not have found him weird or spoiling my privacy. And someone said what will he talk about? About my flow? My dearies, just because I am buying a pad does not mean the guy will end up having only my periods to talk as a topic, isn't it? So please do not go for uneducated generalisations.

4. Ad hominem sentences.

I was not attacking intellect, of course. I WAS attacking prejudices because intellect has been marred by prejudices in our country. So yes, I don't regret it.

5. I did not show around pads.

The pack of pads come in a beautiful green/black/whatever color packets.  I took that PACKET around. Guys, please do not misinterpret without reading properly. Yes of course one can take it in a white polybag. But then, that day I was too enraged to take it in anything. I am against the newspaper, the cover up which is done for the pads before putting it in the polythene. Polybag is used for convenience. The cover up which I did not like is to hide the cover of pads. Some of you say, it is a private matter. Well, I never told you to ditch the polythene. I told you ditch the extra cover up. Take it home like you take your other goods and medicines. That was my whole point. It got forgotten amidst crap.

6. About DARING

I didn't dare. I did not find it daring to write my name. My blog is public to the whole world. I write these articles everyday. . It was not the first time a write up got published with a name. I did not need dare. I just wrote it.

7. It is not a professional article.

It is a blogpost. It is not meant to be one.

8. About panties.

Again, I did not show around pads.

9.About condoms.

You can show it around, not show it around, it is YOUR life, YOUR decision, just like it was mine! And in either cases, you are being responsible and you are having safe sex. I appreciate you dear!

10. About shame and privacy-

My point was to remove the hesitation, not to shed your shields. I shed my shield to remove my hesitation, that is my way. If your way is different, go with that. There is a reason I am not you and vice versa, right?

11. About the charas sentence-

First, I did not give the shopkeeper hard time. Actually, he laughed at this sentence. Well I dont really need to explain my relationship with the shopkeeper do I? :P (Again, not because he is just a shopkeeper. Nope. Not that. He is someone I respect, and we need not emphasise on consumer-seller relation here.) But yeah, some people said I am promoting illegal buying selling of hashish. This is so silly that I dont even want to GO THERE! It was a comedic expression.  Comedy, is never understood in India.
Then some people said this comedy trivialises the situation.

Well, I was trying to SHOW that it IS a trivial situation which people make a fuss out of. Hence, the trivialisation. To show HOW small the matter is, HOW big the issue is made out of it, and HOW simply it can be handled.

12. About my English-

Some people said I was just flaunting my English knowledge. Bhayee, yaar aisa hai to mai ek bhi shabd hindi me likhti hee nahi, Kyon? I don't even want to explain this silly notion.

13. About flaunting and hiding.

Again, Logic fallacy. If I am telling you not to hide, I am not telling you to flaunt. And about no one able to see me with the packet, it was not because I wanted attention. I just wanted to make a point there, not for atrracting attention, but to see for real how people react to this. Not for attention. I said no one saw me, because hell, no one SAW me. I was asking myself, WHAT IF someone saw me, how would have they reacted? That's it.

  People said I have not attacked the actual prejudices of temple going, not touching etc related to menstruation. It is because I was not sharing an experience to bring out all those things in one article. One step at a time.

And in fact, I have written a piece recognised by BlogAdda on the topics people think I missed out on and should have covered instead. Read on if you want to.


Please do not judge people and criticize for the heck of it. I took some criticisms with a pinch of salt. But some were really uneducated and not thought over. Hence this explanation.

And I did not write it with anger. the Caps lock is for emphasis, not for shouting. Chill people. Be cool. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What is the shame about?

Disabling comments not because I do not want your views, they are highly welcome, but because as comments reached a very high limit, my blogger account is hanging now and then and my blog is getting dysfunctional. As this post's reach went too far, the comments are pouring in, both good and bad, and I appreciate both, but I cannot allow more comments as it is disabling functioning of my posts as the traffic is too much.

Thank you guys for sharing your views. If you do not like the article, I am sorry. I just wanted to clarify- I am not advocating moving around with a packet of pads freely- I am saying that a packet of pads already comes in a package, and you can take it in a normal polythene just like you take any other medicine, or any good for that matter. I did not take any polythene as I was enraged then, but then I am against the three-four cover ups done by newspaper and black polythene. If some people want it for their privacy, then it is fine. I am using this example just as a metaphor to show the stigma attached to menstruation- if you want it in a black polythene, good, each to his own. I don't want it, and I am okay with it being along with other goods in my shopping cart. I am not advocating anything. nor I am being a feminist, or liberalist, or a modernist or whatever terms you are tagging. I just shared an experience, and what I wanted to convey is not to attach stigma to menstruation. I am not telling you to not put it in a polythene. I am just saying not to make a fuss out of buying the pads. And about privacy- I know, it is a private matter, but do not make it a private 'issue', which cannot be talked about in public. It can be talked about, and I am talking about it, and will talk about it. :) If  I offend someone, I plead them to not feel bad, I am not making a statement, I am just being who I am.

Thanks for your views. Cheerio.

PS- If you still want to show you dislike the article, just click the 'funny' button, so that I get to know how many people don't like it, and so that everyone understands I am not NOT encouraging otherwise views.  Just click Funny choosing it from Funny, Interesting and Cool, and I will understand, that those many people have not really liked this.

Thank you.

I go to the medical shop and ask for a sanitary Napkin.

First, I myself use a euphemism to a 'pad'. I then correct myself, and say, bhaiiya Pad chahiye.

Then I think, why didn't I just call it a pad first? What is wrong with a pad? It does not sound wrong? Why was I so sophisticated about it? I decide, that next time I come, I will call it a pad directly, no euphemisms. I won't even use the company's name until the shopkeeper asks my choice.

Then he asked me the company, I told him, Stayfree. He asked me the size. I told him. A friend of mine from college, a male friend came inside the shop. I smiled at him. He  saw me holding the pack of pads. Then he took his pills and went on his way. He did not even talk to me. He was shy that he 'caught' me buying pads.

Then the shopkeeper suddenly emerged with a newspaper, and two polythenes. He took a newspaper, wrapped up my pad, then took up a white polythene, and then put the white polythene in the black polythene.

I said, "Bhaiiya, bomb nahi hai. Aur itna plastic waste mat kariye. Charas leke nahi jaa rahi." ( Bhaiiya, it is not a bomb, and do not waste so much plastic. I am not taking hashish anyway.)

He just looked at me with a confused look. I removed the polythene, and all the cover ups he had given the mighty packet of pads. I was not even carrying a bag. I just took the plain Stayfree packet in my hand, and I WALKED towards home. And by home I mean college. I live in my college.

Sadly the route I took inside college had nobody. Nobody could see what I had done. I just wished somebody saw me with the packet. Because I  bet their reactions would have been priceless- shocked, and flustered.

Why? Why is a packet of pad a matter of shame that it has to be covered up? Why is that it is not simply thought of as medicare? I bleed in a gap of 27 days every month and hell, so did your mother, so does your sister, so does your girlfriend. It is not a matter of shame- it is actually a sign of the health of a woman. Please, I hold hands and I beg of you, not to buy a black polythene covered pad. Just throw it directly in the shopping basket.

And my dad buys sanitary napkin for me, if my mother is unwell and I can't go out for some reason. Guys, if you are told by your girl-friends, girlfriends, wives, sisters or mothers to buy a pack of pads- do not be ashamed. It is not a matter of shame- it is something a girl needs and it need not be a matter of shame. Please, try and be logical about this. It is not a matter of being flustered. I bleed, I need something to cover it up, and you are buying it, and I am buying, and if you are a seller you are selling it, you don't have to cover it up under polythenes over polythenes. It just symbolises our society- covered up with hypocrisies and bullshit and whatever is underneath gets lost.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My first tanka

What is tanka?

  1. a Japanese poem in five lines and thirty-one syllables, giving a complete picture of an event or mood.

Think, feel, Believe child.
Then they said don't think a lot.
Thinking lessened,
less feelings, with no belief
in anyone. Self included.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How jealous are you?

How jealous are you? You must have done those quizzes on those random psychoanalytic quizzing sites where they ask you about your favourite destination and your favourite chocolate and promise you that your choice will show you how jealous are you, which animal are you, which color are you, ( it gets more idiotic, so I should end it here.)

The Seven sins are very famous and all of us know them, and one of them is envy/jealousy. Here is a list of how we actually say things to people but clearly mean something else when we are jealous, and we have devised really good ways for it. 

1. Aunty-type jealousy #1: She bought the sari I was eyeing since it came on the Shop.
Victim: Uncle ( and also "The Aunty who Got the Sari" but she is just the cause to the effect)
How does she cover up: Oh wow, your sari looks beautiful. Where did you buy this from? Never saw it on the market. Did you get it on sale?

But on the inside:

2. Aunty Type Jealousy #2: Her daughter's uniform is much, much whiter. No this is not just limited to the advertisements. I have actually seen neighbour aunties eyeing my super-white uniform and then telling my mother: "Kaunsa detergent? Or is this a new uniform? Aapki beti isme bhi kamaal hai."

But err, their face is too transparent:

 3. Aunty Type Jealousy #3: Her child got into IIT/got 95/got 90/got marks/did something definitely better than you were supposed to. 

Go to the WINNER aunty and says: Congratulations. Aapka bachcha bada bright hai. Aur beta, party kab hai? Kya special khana banega aaj ghar pe?

Well, they clearly want the kid to:

4. Men are not lagging behind, mates.
 "He was talking to the boss in the parking lot? What was he planning? Iska promotion hone wala hai !!!"
Goes to the friend: Aur bhai, kaisa chal raha hai? Aur boss se badi baat hori thi? Kuch bol rahe they kya?"
Yeah, clearly, men are pretty straight. But then they are a little dense too. The other man won't really understand that well, he is being envied, and this is the actual emotion:

5. His tie is better, the girl in that particular cubicle will notice him today. He is wearing a red tie? RED IS HER FAVORITE! Apocalypse NOW!!!
Goes to the guy: Nice tie, man.
On the inside:
The tie is fine, but:

6. The other man got his bonus before me, or *some kind of office-incentive* was provided to him and me!!!! 
Outside: Congratulations man! You totally deserved it. I saw it coming. Hard working bloke!

Not really:

7. Not only the aunties, girls are, well, clearly, you know it.:

She wore that dress! She looks beautiful!
She got more marks! She is so intelligent!
She has better eyebrows!
She has a boyfriend!

Outside for all the above:


Inside for all the above:

8. Oh you have a website? That is so cooooool. Oh I can google you? Oh my god that is so awesome. I am lucky to have a famous friend. I will take your autograph now in case you become too famous.

9. Hey! I heard you got a 97% ! That is awesome! How do you study yaar? Matlab, ekdum sahi hai. I am nothing yaar tere saamne!

10. *girl/boy raises hand and answers first and gets a compliment from the teacher* 
Yaar you always have the right answer. You always answer the questions she asks. You are the star of this class.

Well the message my dearies is:

11. You're parents allowed you to go there? That is awesome. You have got cool parents man. Really, was it fun?

Not when their face is telling you:

12. But because all of us use these methods, we also come to know when others are using it. We clearly know that they do not mean what they are saying, we fully understand that on the inside they just want to break our bones when they are appreciating us ( not all the times, yes.). It is because we also do the same, we feel the same. Today you were better than someone, and you wanted them to go eat shit, and someone wants you to do that. All of us have our USPs. Coming to think of it, we all are the same, aren't we?

So, in short, when we actually feel:

on the outside we are:

and the person who is BEING SHOWN these emotions thinks:

but then even they have come up with hiding strategies, so they resort to:

and the person says:

Both leave thinking:

Well not awkward, chum. It is just a phase. We all are jealous. It is okay. No problem. *sage face* *levitates* .