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Monday, 20 April 2015

Woe to be a feminist in this day and age!!!! The age of complete chaos….the time when it is unfortunate to even possess the wrong set of genitals in India….Whatever are we carping on about sisters??…. The subcontinent today is no place to even be a woman, this a place where the male of the species are so evolved, that they think nothing about throwing acid on ‘the hot chick who didn’t spread her legs for them, at the first crook of their finger’…..

Forget the so called annoying ‘vintage obsessed hipsters’ in the West my friend, the subcontinent has men soooo into the vintage and are such huge medieval age obsessed nuts; that they think nothing about abducting innocent girls belonging to the backward caste under the notion that it is still cool to exercise, the ‘droit du seigneur’, that reprehensible medieval notion that men in positions of power used to rape innocents and leave them without any personal liberty whatsoever.

So then my dear reader, I ask you; is it easy to be a feminist in the subcontinent, when it is difficult being a female? A few days ago a woman, whom I hold in high regard lamented at the stagnation of the women’s movement in India. Stagnation??? I couldn't help but disagree with her, I pointed out that post the December 16 Delhi Gang-Rape incident, we came together and fought for better laws…I stated that we have made our stance about zero tolerance to violence against women known more than ever before..So how was the women’s movement in India stagnating?

She countered by asking me a simple question that shattered all my smug self assurances about being a modern and emancipated feminist in India…. “Do you still carry that pepper spray and are still extra careful in crowds?”

I was floored. I realised that I really have been living in a fool’s paradise for the past couple of years. There are extremely disturbing reports of rapes, acid attacks, dowry deaths and other terrible instances of violence against women in the news every few days. Perhaps, the frequency of reported incidents have increased, but to what end? Are we able to prevent any of it? We express anger, outrage, regret and in some cases even fear, yet soon after, we cocoon ourselves in a sense of complacency and even go as far ahead as blaming ourselves, society, the government and alarmingly even the victim....but never the perpetrator...As if finding fault, will suddenly cause all these terrible incidents to stop.

I can’t seem to help but ponder on my own sense of shame, post the thin bubble that I was living in burst. Why shame? Why that particular sentiment? Yes, it is indeed shame that I feel, that, coupled with rage. Have I really been so disconnected with reality? So secure in my feminist beliefs that have arisen from my privileged and excellent education that I completely forgot what being a feminist really means.

I think, I am amongst those who got lost and have found my way back. I realise that I have a long way to go, before I am justified in claiming to be a feminist and a women’s rights activist. I found the very foundations of my outlook and beliefs burnt to ashes; only to find that there is still life, like the phoenix, my beliefs and faith have risen, renewed. There is hope still, as there are women like my friend who are perceptive enough to see the stagnation behind fancy speeches, and jolt even a smug, insular feminist such as yours truly out of complacency. So yes, woe to be that kind of a feminist indeed! I end this article with a fresh resolve to try and bring about an actually useful change before calling myself an activist again.    

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Clair De Lune

I love listening to music, I love all kinds of music, but what I love most is listening to classical music. I am listening to Clair de Lune by Debussy; for some reason it reminds me of peace tinged with fiery turmoil, of happiness tinged with a sorrow, of contentment tinged with loss.

I don't know why, but every time I hear this particular piece of music, I get an ache in my chest....or perhaps my soul, for it really makes no sense... Ah, perhaps that's what good music does...it tends to be an experience designed, not for our bodies or minds, but for the soul. That inner being behind the masks that we wear daily to fool people into thinking that their cruel words and actions do not have the power to hurt and possibly maim.

Oh how I wish I could go on listening, just listening to the sublime music that, somehow always manages to bring tears to my eyes. It reminds me of the happy times spent with my father. Of listening to his heartbeat as I hugged him. It is as if the music seems to come from within me. It speaks of the grief that I feel of having lost him and of the joy that I felt just hugging him and loving him.

It is my companion, my only friend.That's what Clair de lune means to me... A piece of melody that transcends everything. It is ME right at this moment... It is a partner in my silent grief but still gives me hope, because in the end it is all in there, the aching beauty of the melody, the haunting notes, that somehow remind me of how much love I have for my father and what I meant to him.

Clair de Lune existed before me and even my father, it gave millions of people comfort, joy and a sense of peace, that is what music does. That's what Clair de Lune will still do, when it's beautiful notes ring out long after I'm gone.

I finish this with a thought I just had, this feeling that I'm not really listening to these hauntingly beautiful  notes alone, I think that right at this moment Debussy is playing Clair de Lune up there in heaven and my father is right there sitting in front of him listening and thinking of me.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Waking Sleeping beauty or Sleeping Monster

I could talk about so many things... where do I begin.... I'll start with a confession, I hate being woken up before I've finished my quota of sleep.... I turn into Mr Hyde....The Hulk, Voldemort, and a number of other dudes with major anger issues rolled into one... I sting the poor soul brave/stupid enough to wake me up. It is a terrible, terrible habit, and the worst part of it is that more often than not, I don't remember much of the bad behaviour when I do regain consciousness aka when I wake up properly.

In an ideal world, this could be a theme straight out of the script of a bone tickling yet thrilling sitcom about a normal superhuman who turns into a monstrous supervillain whenever her peaceful slumber is untimely interrupted. However, it is not an ideal world, or I would surely have come out of these situations with nary a scratch. But, the rule of the jungle says that if you roar, there will always be a roar back (no one really said that, I just made it up to look cool and wise).

I am sure that there are those of you out there who share my affliction. Well here's my question to you wise beings. How do you deal with waking up on the wrong side of the bed daily? Is there a formula to counter the ill humour which always accompanies the first couple of minutes after I wake up? I send this question out into the void and eagerly await sage words of wisdom.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

I could write about this and I could write about that.... but really I break out in hives when I think of writing about my life. You see I lead a very dull life and have done absolutely nothing...

I turned 28 last week and was forced to see my life as it is now, and it certainly wasn't thrilling.... I realised that I have been spending the past couple of years unemployed and dressed in highly comfortable yet highly ugly clothes... Yes, realising that sweatpants are not really the epitome of glamour was quite a shock.

The thing is, I am unemployed for a reason, but the fact that I didn't have to get up in the morning or follow any routine really made me sloppy. This is something that I should have avoided. So, after that awful moment of looking in the mirror to find my dumpy, sweatpant clad self, I decided to dress up everyday, even if I didn't go out.

In that vein, I have dressed up everyday, certainly not haute couture but definitely more suitable than baggy old clothes. The reason that I am writing this is because I am certain that there are many out there who have let themselves go a bit. I would just like to say that despite this dull attempt at introspection, I empathize and hope that you'll find purpose like I have.