26 August, 2015

Going with the Flow ?!?

I was recently reading about Kiran Gandhi, who ran the London Marathon.. not only for a cause, but also for a purpose... something very few of us manage to achieve.

Like she puts it, she was facing an otherwise simple decision... whether to run the marathon when she was menstruating.. or to defer her plan of running to the marathon for one more year despite training for it all year long.... and she finally decided to go with the flow.

I doubt if even 1% of women would have the courage to do what she did... though associating this act just with courage would also be incorrect. Despite being a totally natural process, menstruation seems to be one of the most taboo issues of today's society, atleast in India.... and it takes an act like this to bring people to atleast start talking about it, even if the discussions are only limited to the social media.

I am a woman, and I menstruate... No one can understand what happens during the process, and it cannot be explained either. But the least one can do is not make it sound like a covert operation, each time one is "down".

15 August, 2015

Happy Independence Day

      noun in·de·pen·dence \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s\
: freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent

Each of us have a different expectation from our country, and hence, our definition of Independence differs basis our circumstances and experiences. While a large chunk of the Indian population was striving for Independence from Britishers in 1947 (what eventually become the Indian Independence Day), a substantial group of people were striving for a corruption free nation in 2011-12.

Though we are all born in the country, our choice of what we associate with the country's Independence varies. While my neighbour who has witnessed the freedom struggle against the British will cherish the sheer independence to do as she pleases, the current generation will cherish the independence to say as they please (something most of us take for granted nowadays). 

All I am trying to say is our symbol for Independence provided by the nation being free from colonial rule might be different for each generation might vary, one thing is clear. We are free..... 
Free to chose our form of Independence, 
Free to choose our form of dependence !!

26 July, 2015

Time to Change

The recent speech given by Shashi Tharoor at Oxford is simply brilliant... not just because of the courage of putting it across, in interspersed with humour in the Queen's own country, but also for the various points he touched upon, but also the spontaneity with which he connected what he knew, with what the other participants said... even something as trivial as the wifi password was used to make a point.

Having said that, it is also strange that even after 60 years of independence, we never miss a chance to blame the British for our current situation. What Tharoor did was oratory. 
But if that's our excuse for things not working even now, I think we need to think again. Consider Japan, a nation which was partly wiped out around the same time we got our independence, which has managed to literally rise from the ashes, and done a brilliant job of it too....

Indians have got used to making excuses... first it was the invaders... then the britishers... now our own politicians... the reason may have changed, but we haven't... I think it's time we get our act together, and decide to make the change we wish to see...

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.
~ Richard Bach

24 July, 2015

Fate in the hands of Faith

All of us like to keep faith... in something... in anything...
Infact, if there is a single defining phenomenon in the country, it is that we all are patient about almost everything (from putting up to with the antics of corrupt politicians to keeping up with the delay in the repair of roads), and keep faith... As Aamir Khan says in the famous movie, we'd like to believe that All izzz Well !

But I've noticed that we try to obejectify ( I don't think there is any such word, but I can't seem to find an appropriate word which shares the same intent !) our Faith.... As of result of this, a small twig of Tulsi to a Banyan tree end up becoming a place of worship. What starts out with someone keeping flowers, leads on to someone lighting a lamp... and one fine day, the pavement gets cemented, and the area becomes a place of worship, with an idol installed.

Ultimately what was actually a pavement/walkway and effectively public property, gets obstructed, with no possible recourse on even the government getting back the land....

It is these sites of roadsides "places of worship" that become the biggest hindrance to widening of roads and other infrastructure plans...

I am not sure if all this is part of a bigger racket, because places of worship ultimately seem to have the huge coffers of money... eitherways, the social bodies need to find a way to curb these activities. Just the way street vendors and shops can be opened in pre-defined location, else they are vacated; the government bodies should also have the courage to vacate these sudden places that keep sprouting around the city.

It is okay to have faith, but depending only on faith to change your fate..... I doubt if that will work !!!

17 July, 2015

Curb the Urge

Have you wondered why men tend to urinate on the road... 
It doesn't matter which road it is... whether it is adjoining a house, a school or a hospital... but it just looks like they can't hold back when they have the urge.... they just have to unzip and get it done with... And don't live under the illusion that it is a particular section of the society which indulges in this....

Men of all shapes and sizes, sects and races... everyone... and some don't even bother looking for a lone spot....
Have they never wondered for women control their urges ? What would one say if they saw women also squatting on the side of the road !!!! And anyway, if control was the issue, it is time to introduce men to their childhood companions... read diapers :D

So the next time you spot someone lightening them self by the road side, just hand him a diaper and ask him to wear one till he reaches home !! 

12 July, 2015

Reason to Celebrate

What happens when you have been really waiting for something...
and it finally happens.... yipee !!!

but... hold it... this is not entirely what I wanted... only part of it....
so does that make my joy incomplete ?

or is it still a reason to celebrate ???

Maybe the flaw is in the part where I was looking for a reason to celebrate.... actually, this life should be reason enough :)

30 June, 2015

From Manpower to Wo-manpower

I recently read this article by Gloria Steinem called If Men Could Menstruate. Though I don't entirely agree with all that she says, the nerve she has touched upon is very relevant.

We (and it is true for both the East & the West) belong to a male dominated society, where most terms and things, from "mankind" to "manliness" get their term from the male counterpart. Language, unknowingly has a tendency of creating a bias in our minds.

Even more ironic is the way the Modi supporters have lashed out at Kavita Krishnan for her showing why she disagrees with the #Selfiewithdaughter movement. Though I don't agree entirely with what she says (yes, again !!), the essence of what she says is spot on... 

There are innumerable people, from Sunitha Krishnan to Malala Yousafzai, who have nearly lost their lives on multiple occasions, fighting for women rights.... but the root cause of the problem is closer home than we realize... 
The treatment is the function of how we don't flinch when someone calls a friend a bitch, or looks across the street to lech over some extra skin that is visible or refer to her as sexy.... Most women don't say much of fear of being treated as an outcast in a group.. nothing else can be reason enough to tolerate someone using maa ki aankh and behenchod as a part of regular daily lingo. Otherwise how can anyone in their right sense of mind say such things to anyone.. needless to say the repeated usage of the words just undermine the gender...

It's scary.. the underlying bias... and the silent acceptance of it all....