The politics of raising my voice on social networks

There seems to be politics when you raise your voice on social networks. A word of warning : Do not ask me to shut the fuck up. It never works

It seems that in today’s India raising your voice in outrage brings about a few reactions that are very interesting.

1. Oh come on, lets talk about cheerful things

2. Stop talking and do something about it.

3. Yeah, this was bad but there are far worse cases

4. So and so social strata has it worse

5. Don’t you have anything better to do?

And yes, I am talking about the recent rape case.

I’d love to talk about cheerful things, but somehow this news item has freaked me out. I do not have a daughter but deeply fear for girls and women on the roads. Yes it has affected me.

What has disgusted me is this insidious competitive spirit that has crept into expressions of outrage. Certain women have taken to social network with enthusiasm in the spirit of “Uski sari meri sari se safed kaise?”

One status was :

oh plz jst stop updating ur status against ds DELHI RAPE KAND.if u really care dn side ur expnsive laptop n cozy blankets….come out n protest.v 9 v cant change it by protestng bt atlst v can slap ds govt in public..

I completely empathize with the sentiment but would like to put certain things on record

a) This is not a competition. People who can not travel (since they have jobs to do, dinner to cook, children’s homework and needs to attend to) are not doing any less. They are raising their voices.

b) As citizens of this country their voices are valuable too. Remember it is one vote per person, so their voices count.

This case came into lime light coz’ the girl is brutalized and is struggling for her life in the national capital. Everyday numerous gang rapes take place in tribal belt, who talks about them? Soni Sori is beaten and then a staff is shoved up her genitals did you even hear about her? There are many Sonis out there. She hails from middle class thus showing middle classes how vulnerable they are as women and families of women. No body cares what happens to tribals and dalits, middle class speaks only when it is about them.

I humbly beg to submit that I care, but since the media did not cover it and since I am an ordinary middle class person who is not a social activist, there was no way I could have known or raised my voice about it.

And does my not raising voice against what happened to Soni Sori make my raising my voice on this case any less effective? Is this a *&^%$* competition?

And dear readers, is my raising my voice in protest not important? How in this crazy skewed climate that I find on social network have I deserved to be termed as

arm chair debaters who want a change without actually doing anything about the change it self.

A girl is struggling for her life and if one feels outraged others try to act superior and shut our voices!

Weird!

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Dear God ji, I want to be born a woman again

The belief in reincarnation is implicit in our faith.  We seem to have this blind faith that we will not get it right the first time, or even many times, and are doomed to take birth again… and again … and again

Talk about failing so many times in the same class.  At least the gizmos, the technology and stuff changes – or one so hopes.

But do we get to be born as the same sex or even human again?  I kind of hope so.  Hence the prayer :

Dear God ji I want to be born a woman again.

Here I am not being original, we even have a  soap called “Agley Janam Mujhe Bitiya hi Keejo”

I don’t have anything against men.  I am as heterosexual as they come, and I appreciate my sons, who are very masculine, uff they are men, what to do.  In fact if they think I am going out of limits or DIL is, they don’t hesitate to air their views, in no uncertain terms.

It is just that in my world view women hold the centre stage.  Helen of Troy caused a huge war.  Cleopatra was one kickass queen.  Draupadi is far more interesting than the rest of the characters.  Mayhem, blood anarchy … it is just what my soul craves for.  No – not to be in the thick of the fight, but to be the cause of it, perhaps.

I find Ma Kali the most fascinating of all the gods in the pantheon. I am her huge fan, all my prayers are addressed to this epitome of female strength.

Women power … The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

The patriarchy and the Khaaps fear us, and rightly so.  We are the power that moves them, we are the sex that gives birth to the next generation and we are what they desire.  Yayyy to womanhood.

Having said that, recently I have had issues with someone I call the Mother-in-law from Hell.  Of course this person pretends to be

1. Not a Mother in Law

2. Not a woman (at times)

3. A crusader

I take objection.  I love being a woman, am proud to be one

I have a very high opinion of women, they are ferocious when messed with. Darling Crusader, admit it – you are female.  And your little toy/puppet/son has left you for his wife.  And its got your goat.  Your ferocity is proof enough.  So are the six comments in my spam queue.

Sorry dear, I did not read the six of them, I just skimmed through.  My Papa always told me not to read rubbish.  It pollutes the mind.

I admire your tenaciousness, your ferocity.  In my eyes your pain makes you great, an epic figure.  Kind of like a Greek tragedy where a person immolates himself or herself for a lost cause.

The young will leave the old and build their own nest. It is the universal law.  Will you, like a besotted fool scream in the face of universal laws?

I hope not.  Faaltu ka drama.

You have within you power – female power.  Rise above this and do something great.  Dying of heart-break is not great – it is for silly fools.

Everyone has adversities in life , and everyone has had heart breaks, self included.  So what did we do? We just picked ourselves up and re-invented ourselves.  Women can do that so easily.  We can be girls, mothers, sexy sirens, office workers and so many other things.  Cooks, news reporters … oh the possibility is endless.  The actress in us can be satisfied with the drama of all these roles.

Did I say I love being a woman?  Well I say that once again.  To be a woman in these times is the very best!  Educated, independent and self driven.

Do I sound patronizing?  What to do?  Your big tragedy of sons leaving their parents for wives and their own kids does not sound worth the hullabaloo you create.  It sounds like the mentality of an obsessed stalker.  Do you do that?  Missed calls, anonymous letters, stalking the son and his wife on various social sites, even visiting the son’s office?  Ooops have I given you ideas, dear?

Yes women are bitches too – self included. I love that trait in me.

And I am independent, busy and do not like being spammed by comments like yours.  I do not like being called names, especially by rank strangers who are pathetic losers and do not have the guts to write under their own names.  Pathetic cowards.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION :

1. I am single, I have not met any man who can convince me to sacrifice my precious independence.  Son Snatcher I am not!  I decided my ex hubby was not worth fighting for.  He could continue to be his darling mother’s infant.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.

2. I built my own home, with my own money, and gave my sons a loving home.  I can not be called a home breaker.

3. The third letter called me EVIL WOMAN.  Hmmmm I kind of like that.  It has a certain zing to it, power even.  Good is insipid and does not have the same fire does it?  So thank you.

Furthermore, I am a proud woman, and I will report any malicious mails that slander me and my family henceforth to the cyber crime cell.  Consider yourself warned.  I don’t make empty threats.  I am tenacious and definitely more in touch with my power than you and do not lack courage.

I blog under my name, I do not hide behind identities and send stupid mails to people. I stand by my word.

I am a woman and love being one.

I AM STRONG.

Dear God ji!  This navratri, I pray for the feminine strength of Ma Kali.  I have found my rakshasa (demon) to slay.  And yes, agley janam mujhe bitiya hi keejo.

Yours truly

The One and Only Ritu Lalit

 

Alt+Control+Delete@Forty

An article called Alt+Control+Delete@Forty appeared in Times of India and here is the link

http://www.timescrest.com/society/alt-control-delete@40-8155

 

It happens to all women. One minute they are going about their business and the next, wham, they vanish. They are simply not there, not a trace! This occurs roughly around the fortieth birthday;you are busy squinting at the cake when Mankind presses ctrl-alt-delete on you. And then begins the battle for visibility. Like Ash bravely fought at Cannes. She bulges, they said, seeing her for a minute or two.

So begins this article

Invisible at forty?  Not on your sweet batootie.  As many a woman comes to realize, forty is when we blossom.  Move over ye worshippers of sweet sixteen.  I was a horror at sixteen, bratty, rebellious and angry that I had not been given a “twig and giggle berries”.  It is horrible to be a teenager, and even worse to be a female teenager who does not know how to deal with her femininity and all the associated restrictions.  Oh was I angsty!  I don’t know why Karan Johar and other movie makers of his ilk make a huge fuss about this “16 year old” crap.  A teenager is a walking disaster, a time bomb waiting to explode.  And twenties meant adjusting to in-laws and husbands, and thirtys meant kids, homework, school, job … gaah!  No time to even think whether we existed or not.  I mean who cared if people noticed us, we were so busy fulfilling our roles as mother, office worker, wife, daughter in law, daughter and such like …

When you were younger you couldn’t get into a lift without strange men ogling you non-stop till you got out.

Yeh Dilli hai meri jaan!  Men ogle, just because we have boobs, regardless of age.  And sidle up, come closer, try to inhale us and have us feature vivid mental porn videos even while they are punching button number 4 on the lift.  Ever noticed how they take deep breaths while creeping closer, they are inhaling us, and using that smell to form images for their mental porn.  And damn it, why am I getting sucked into this damn game the article writer is playing.  It’s not about the men and their mental porn, who cares what they do to get off?  It is all about us women baby!  And forty is when we know exactly what we need to orgasm and have no qualms about getting it!

There was a time you could get away with political incorrectness as you were ‘just so different’ and now you are, like, psycho, with people saying ‘calm down’ every two minutes to you as if you forgot to take your dementia pills. This is called middle age, as opposed to what no one ever called ‘early age’. So you are just you till that day you can’t carry off skinny jeans anymore. Someone will say, ‘Oh, you still wear shorts’, like you should walk naked now that you’re over 40.

I have never encountered this … have you?  I have always been “just so different” and no one has called me psycho… (as yet!).  This probably explains why no one has yet got murdered by me.  I do have this entirely natural and perfectly justifiable urge to put a period to lives of people who say stupid stuff about me or strain their tiny petty minds to think how they could help me live my life better, more in tune with their likes and dislikes..  And excuse me, my body.  If I think I look great in shorts I’ll wear them.  I find skinny jeans damn uncomfortable so I won’t wear them.  And that is my decision.

And then the article goes on to tell us how to deal with this so-called invisibility.

My dear article writer, please get your face out of your ass and observe.  This is North India, and women above a certain age command respect.  I have witnessed a lone woman thrash a punk just because he touched her inappropriately.  She was forty plus.  No one dared stop her.

I have seen my aunt empty a jug of water on a waiter’s head because he was ignoring her and was going time and again to another table occupied by some giggling teens.

We are not over-the-hill after we hit forty.  That is when we come into our own.  We stop being suppressed, have gotten over the motherhood phase.  We have even stopped being morally uptight.  Now we are ready to kick ass, and that is what we do!

We do not Alt+Control+Delete@Forty.  Update your pimply self, dear article writer, and tighten the belt on your jeans, we do not want to see your butt crack!

 

 

Arrogant …. Hmph!

There is a certain group of people who think I am arrogant.

So far so good.  I don’t care a rats arse what any other person’s opinion of me is.  I ain’t here to make friends and influence people.  I am here to live my life the best I can, still being myself.  Yes, the so called “arrogant” myself.

It started bothering me when people close to me got brainwashed into concurring with this person(s)

Or did they agree with this person(s)?

Now that was an uncomfortable thought.

So I started researching the term arrogant ….

Dictonary.com says that arrogance is

offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.  It gives synonyms like haughtiness, insolence, disdain.

That does not fit too well.

Urban dictionary says :

When a person is led to believe that they are in some way more superior to everybody else. Pride is fine up until a point, but as soon as you believe that you are in some special way better than everybody else, you become a dickhead.

and

Someone who is full of and thinks very highly of him/herself.

Oye hello!  This is why I blog!  Because I am so full of myself!

But I beg to differ.

I am sorry, people close to me, I do not have arrogance, I have pride.  This pride comes out of living my life and recognizing my own worth.  I have pride that I have borne the brunt of responsibilities that could have crippled lesser people.  I have the pride of a person who has been earning her own keep and supporting others since the age of 18.

I also know one important thing, something I have learnt in life.  People try to undermine other peoples’ self esteem by calling them loser, wuss, and even arrogant, so that the person can be brought down a few notches – so much easier to use, abuse, manipulate and humiliate.

I am not arrogant; I am just an insolent person who knows her own self worth and does not want to be used or manipulated.  This is a woman, too full of herself and will not change.  Burn if you must, but that is me.  This “ME” was born out of 50 years of walking this earth.  I ain’t gonna change it to suit your purpose. I wont be manipulated!

People criticize because they lack self esteem themselves.  They need to take cheap shots at others, because they themselves feel insecure.

So, people close to me, please grow more responsible and better human beings yourself.  Stop being a burden on others, live life on your own terms.  Be free!  If you do that, you will not feel the need to take cheap shots at others.

Arrogant, as per Urban dictionary, also means

A person who’s insecurity is disguised as confidence. Mostly in cases of taunting.

 

I think it fits your profile.

 

So “Arrogant” who?????

 

Dealing with an unsupportive mother

After my last blog post, I received mails, and also some comments that touched upon the fact that the mother-daughter relationship can be an embittered one, and mine was not a unique case. To be honest, I have been crabby for the past few days, the emotions that I thought were buried and gone, resurfaced.

I felt that the time has come to write about this.

The human race has problems that no other species has on this planet. We need to wear clothes, learn how to balance ourselves on two legs to walk, and have the longest childhood. The last makes us astonishingly dependant on our parents. So we need our parent’s approval and desperately crave for it. After all for 20 years or more of our lives, we depend on them for our basic needs.

In an ideal world our mother would care, protect and nurture us, and defend us from hostile forces outside our homes. But then this is not the ideal world.

Here is a questionnaire I have copied verbatim from a book “Will I ever be good enough?” by Karyl McBride that helped me understand what I was going through and also achieve closure (to a certain extent)

Tick all the points that you feel are true of your relationship with your mother – the more you tick, the stronger the syndrome exists. Yes it is a syndrome called the “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”
and if my words ring true, your mother has it.

1. When you discuss your life issues with your mother, does she divert the discussion to talk about herself?
2. When you discuss your feelings with your mother, does she she try to top the feeling with her own?
3. Does your mother act jealous of you?
4. Does your mother lack empathy for your feelings?
5. Does your mother only support those things you do that reflect on her as a “good mother”?
6. Have you consistently felt a lack of emotional closeness with your mother?
7. Have you consistently questioned whether or not your mother likes you or loves you?
8. Does your mother only do things for you when others can see?
9. When something happens in your life (accident, illness, divorce), does your mother react with how it will affect her rather than how you feel?
10. Is or was your mother overly conscious of what others think (neighbors, friends, family, co-workers)?
11. Does your mother deny her own feelings?
12. Does your mother blame things on you or others rather than own responsibility for her own feelings or actions?
13. Is or was your mother hurt easily and then carries a grudge for a long time without resolving the problem?
14. Do you feel you were a slave to your mother?
15. Do you feel you were responsible for your mother’s ailments or sickness (headaches, stress, illness)?
16. Did you have to take care of your mother’s physical needs as a child?
17. Do you feel unaccepted by your mother?
18. Do you feel your mother was critical of you?
19. Do you feel helpless in the presence of your mother?
20. Are you shamed often by your mother?
21. Do you feel your mother knows the real you?
22. Does your mother act like the world should revolve around her?
23. Do you find it difficult to be a separate person from your mother?
24. Does your mother appear phony to you?
25. Does your mother want to control your choices?
26. Does your mother swing from egotistical to depressed mood?
27. Did you feel you had to take care of your mother’s emotional needs as a child?
28. Do you feel manipulated in the presence of your mother?
29. Do you feel valued, by mother, for what you do rather than who you are?
30. Is your mother controlling, acting like a victim or martyr?
31. Does your mother make you act different from how you really feel?
32. Does your mother compete with you?
33. Does your mother always have to have things her way?

Now, there is nothing you can do to help your mother, who is a grown woman and your parent. There is a lot you can do to protect yourself

1. Put physical distance between the two of you. Move away, to another town or country. That way you are not subjected to negativity all the time. No one needs constant reminder of their weak points. Every one has had downs and every one has character flaws. We do not need another human being to go on harping about them.

2. Keep verbal interactions to the minimum. Do not discuss your life with her. That way, she does not have ammo to hurt you with. Remember, she will not be supportive in your misfortune and you are an adult. You do not need that support which she is either unwilling to extend to you or incapable of extending to you.

3. Do not share your successes with her. She will show the world that she is so proud of your good fortune and achievement, but when alone she will say something nasty. Say, you get a raise. Your mother will brag about it to the world. But once alone she will remind you of the time when you got dumped or were hard of money. Oh it will be couched with the admonishment “Don’t forget the hard times” but you know and she knows that she is resenting your success. If you get a raise, don’t mention it.

4. Keep your friends and your mother separate. Otherwise she will criticize you and discuss your shortcomings with them, all under the guise of being very concerned about you and your “not so bright” future.

5. This comes from point no. 4. Keep your socializing with her very minimum. Do not have joint kitty parties or the same mandir or collectively attend a relative’s wedding. You may be humiliated by her in these social settings. The wounds will resurface long after she is dead and gone.

Hope this works for you. I learnt the hard way.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

This was the cry of the oppressed peasants during the French revolution and is now the national motto of France.

Let me quote Wikipedia here on what these terms stand for.

“Liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights.”

Unfortunately in our side of the world, we tend to stand judgment on others, discuss and argue to death about certain issues that definitely belong within the purview of the natural rights of another person – like his/her sexual choices, food habits and when we are pushed to the wall, we use arguments like “culture”, “ethics” and “morals” to defend our right to dictate  other peoples’ choices and condemn theirs – just because we find them inconvenient.  In fact honor killing by parents or this sad and sordid case of a mother posting her daughter’s nude pic on the internet would not happen if us Asians truly respected our children and treated them as responsible adults with the right to choices and privacy.

Equality is another impossible ideal.  To quote Wikipedia again : The law “must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible to all high offices, public positions and employments, according to their ability, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and talents.”

But in our corner of the planet the law is a chattel or slave of the rich and powerful.  The poor are at the mercy of police and influential despots.  We have a Mayawati who tramples the rights of the dalits who voted her to power, we have a Kalmadi and a Raja who are sure that the law will look the other way and they wont get punished.  We have parents who think their children are puppets – a school of thought beautifully portrayed by Rishi Kapoor in the movie Patiala House.  The repression, the over bearing behavior put my teeth on edge.

Fraternity : “Any man aspires to liberty, to equality, but he can not achieve it without the assistance of other men, without fraternity”

Tell this to an Indian, who has been schooled well in our schools and colleges, where cut throat competiton started in pre nursery and has been the only constant factor in his/her otherwise diverse life, and that person will laugh at you.  We look at our fellow man as a competitor, and are ready to snatch, grab and back stab.  Not only that, we discriminate between the fair and the dark skins, the castes and the sexes.

I wonder at the future of my country – that I love dearly.  More than that, I mourn at the state of the ideals stated above, ideals that I cherish more than any thing else in life.

I long for a revolution – that will grant us the ideals.

Hell, forget that, I long for the thrill of marching in a procession at Jantar Mantar yelling at the top of my voice

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

I’m okay, you’re not!

This is a post I was trying hard not to write. Then Monika’s post tipped the balance.

Why do people get mean, cross boundaries and say insulting things? Because they are not okay with themselves. So they have to diminish another person to feel good about themselves. That is the truth. I have encountered it often enough. It does not hurt me, because over years, I have learnt to brush it off.

The first time it happened was when a cousin of mine displayed great insecurity about my sitting next to her husband and discussing (of all the non-topics) Morarji Desai! When I asked her what was biting her, she said nothing, but during the course of the conversation she called me a divorcee not once but twice. I got the message, though it hurt.

Over the years, I have developed a simple system. If any one tries ever so sweetly to diminish me, I look the person straight in the eye and smile – because I am not seeing the person, I am seeing an irritating insect. The kind of insect that buzzes around, but does not have the guts to take me on. The kind that is ineffectual, irritating and can only harm a person who has self esteem issues.

There is a breed of women who love to try and bring others down on superficial issues like sense of style or weight issues.

I have friends who do that. You know the kind who love to brag about their perfect lives, their sons who earn mega billion bucks, their perfect husbands, while saying wordlessly, “Poor you, you are so alone!”

Heck, I feel sorry for them. They need others, lean on others to be complete. I am not a superwoman, I know I am alone. I am dealing with it and will continue to deal with it. May be I am biased, but my sons are worth more than yours, so suck on it!

I have a friend who refers to my weight, in a pretend teasing way. Girls, a word of advise. Calling me “Dumpling” or “Pillsbury Dough Girl” or any such epithet is not on. It is neither funny nor cute. Suggesting me diets when I have not asked for them is also not on. Call me an elephant and you have crossed serious boundaries. If I do not respond in kind it is only because I can see through you and your pathetic self esteem issues and I chose to be magnanimous.

It is not worth my retaliation.

That is because

I AM OKAY, YOU’RE NOT!

A Tribute to Tejaswee Rao

It was a sad week for us. Our friend IHM wrote asking for our prayers for her daughter who was seriously ill.  We prayed, we were anxious … but this blog entry of hers broke my heart ……

SHE WILL LIVE FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS
Born: 19th Jan 1991.

Died: 11th Aug 2010.

Death be Not Proud

A poem by John Dunne

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,

For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,

Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.

I could only weep.  I have spent a sleepless night, because this death brought back memories I’d rather not revisit.   I was 23 years old when my friend, my partner in crime, my younger brother left his work place to come home.  He never made it, his body was brought home by my father.  He was 22 years old.

It is easy to say “Be brave.”  It is easy to say that we are born alone and have to live our lives alone and then we die alone.  It is easy to say a whole lot of things, but our mind, our emotions, our heart keeps on screaming “Why God Why?!!!”  My mother kept weeping “How do I erase 22 years of love and memories?”  I was deeply affected too … I mourn him even now, at times, How do I stop thinking about that thankless job that I took upon myself …… packing his clothes, his shoes, his books, his personal effects and then driving down to give them to charity? I have done the same chore after the death of my father and then my mother …..  I hate it.  I kept his diary with me … I still have it.  He had dreams, he had the youthful optimism of a young boy wanting to conquer the world.

I have watched my parents die every year, slowly after his death.  It is such a huge loss.  IHM is a very strong person and she is dealing with grief in such a dignified way.

At times I want to go up there and fight with God.  It is unnatural for children to go before their parents.  It is not fair.  No parent any where in the world should be forced to deal with this sort of thing.

Sometimes I think this world sucks big time.

I read Tejaswee’s blog last night – could not sleep.  She was a wonderful girl, confident, articulate and intelligent.  This is not surprising – her mother is a wonderfully confident and expressive woman with oodles of common sense.  I wish I had known her, and I wish she had been allowed to live on this planet.

Goodbye Little Girl …… really wish you had not left so soon

An English Translation of a French Poem

On the Death of Young Girl

Though childhood’s days were past and gone
More innocent no child could be;
Though grace in every feature shone,
Her maiden heart was fancy free.

A few more months, or haply days,
And Love would blossom, – so we thought,
As lifts in April’s genial rays
The rose its clusters richly wrought.

But God had destined otherwise,
And so she gently fell asleep,
A creature of the starry skies,
Too lovely for the earth to keep.

She died in the earliest womanhood;
Thus dies, and leaves behind no trace,
A bird’s song in a leafy mood, –
Thus melts a sweet smile from a face.

General update – translation – I just wanna chat

First of all, I know I know, the blog seems colourless compared to my blog in the yesteryears.  Kya karen, my blog design had a trojan.  I hung on to it for dear life …. but had to discard it.  You guys would have abandoned me on the wayside, and I love you all and want you guys to visit and comment.  So adieu fancy blog design.  I have shed bitter tears, implored on Godji to curse all virus and other meanos.

But I have a very big axe to grind with Godji.

I’ll tell you why

1. Mayawati got that humongous thousand rupee notes garland on her birthday today, worth 15 crore or something.  Well, I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago.  I did not get even a marigold ka haar, let alone the thousand ke note ka haar.  Kyon bhai??  Simply not happening.  What has Mayawati got that I dont?  No – dont answer that!  It was a rhetorical question.

2. Another axe to grind with Godji ~  seems like all the Godmen in this country have a hot and happening sex life.  We dont 😦  This is not fair.  I mean I can understand if yogis have a rocking sex life.  They eat right, exercise so their libido has to be up. 😉   What about these Godmen?  I mean just telling people to pray and meditate and dishing out commonsense and feel good mantras and gyan should not be reason for them to have all the money, the adulation and all that sex.  Aur ab this malaise is international.  We have swamijis here and priests abroad.  Kya ho raha hai.  They are having fun, bad sort of fun, sometimes evil, sometimes kinky, and here we have dull and drab lives.  Godji kuch toh socho!!!

3. Godji, my third point ~ Mera pretty pretty blog design.  Damn trojans killed it.  They effin ate it up.  Sob!!!  I am teaching myself HTML and weird stuff so that I can design me a nice header.  I am fifty years old dammit and the grey cells are not as agile as I wish they were.  Okay, I’ll behave…..  Sorry about that 😉    I am such a ham!  I simply cant resist turning the senti stuff on.  Actually I love the challenge.  I assure you, I will make me a header that is nice.  Godji help me please.

4. I have just had to refuse 6 people who wanted to help me save taxes/give me loans/issue me credit cars.  Darn!  At least there are folk out there who think I am rich.  Godji kya kartey ho yaar?  Mujhko style de diya, without the substance.  Simple hai, make me as rich as I apparently appear.

Sigh I have vented.  Now I shall go back to HTML, PHP and other sundry alphabets that will help me personalise this blog design.  Nice talking to you Godji and nice talking to you dear reader.

See ya

The reason I did not do a women’s day post

I got countless messages and mails on Women’s Day. Somehow they did not move me ……

One of the most infamous lines of Tulsidas were

Dhol,gawar,sudra,pashu, nari sakal tadana ke adhikari

A drum, a village idiot, an animal and a woman, all need to be beaten ….. have the right to expect being beaten ….

Times have changed. Apart from the drum (unless its the electronic sort) none of the others need to be beaten. However the other alternative is also a stick …. in the form of a crutch. That is what reservations are, these stuff like “Ladies first” and the oh so patronizing platitudes about the gentler sex are.

I dont agree with them. I dont believe we women are lesser than men, or on contrary, better than men …, or less corrupt or less blood thirsty. We are just different.

Once as a child, I heard one of the ladies who belonged to my mother’s kitty and card parties defend her decision to enroll and keep her handicapped child in a school meant for normal children

“If I put him in a school meant for handicapped people, I will cripple him from day one. He will only learn to beg and then demand special concessions.”

No, she did not think that she was being a bad mother, she insisted that it was good for him …. and it was! The boy (Nirmal remember those days?) learnt to play cricket, wield a hockey stick and also to study with normal kids. He is blind from one eye, had a club foot, could not write with his right hand but so what? What he learnt was that he was no less than the other kids. So what if he could not make it in the team, he was equal to other kids and that made him a winner! Today he is in the IAS and doing well for himself.

My BFF (best female friend) is the scholarly idealistic type. She is out to save the world …. hmmmm just realized that may be ~ just maybe ~ I am one of her countless missions … I need to call her up for clarification. Sorry for the digression – I type the way I think

Anyhow ~ she insists that Women’s Day is important for a lot of women in really bad circumstances. I cant see that! Women’s Day or Reservation of any sort is a label. It cripples us mentally. Just read what IHM says in her blog about her maid . The maid she talks about has more empowerment in her little finger than a whole lot of the Main bechari abala naari types – born to more affluent circumstances and having more education have in their entire persons.

I think we should have a Liberation and Empowerment Day for humans. A day to remind men that they do not need to save the world and bring in the bacon and look macho. For men to understand that its okay, they do not need to hide the fact that they also find the world hard, cruel and overwhelming. For them to be okay with crying or being soft, and not have others point fingers and say “Dude that is so G A Y Y Y !!”

We, as women, need that so much! When guys unbend, they will stop freaking out and trying to control us or shove us back into the restrictive moulds, in anger, in fear and with force and violence. The mould is outdated and one that many women have already broken and crawled out of – some in anger, some in desperation and so many of us in pain and for our very survival.

Women have evolved, we have changed a lot, in spite of Ekta Kapoor and our mothers/mother in laws. Those that are stuck in the restrictive mould are drawing inspiration from others that have grown out of it.

What we need is a Liberation and Empowerment Day for both sexes. We need our men, they need us. We need a joint day and together we need to learn the lesson that I found in IHM’s blog

The lady in question may be a maid by profession – but to me she is a sage! She is truly empowered and we – no not as men or as women, but as humans and thinking beings – have a lot to learn from her.

Its all about the mind, the attitude and not about being a woman or a man. I think the “abala naari” bit is overdone, and I think the “man as superior sex” is overdone too. It imposes role models and burdens that are quite unnnecessary. True empowerment would do away with labels and help us meet at the same platform as equals – different but equal.

This is a call for true equality here. Wish we get it – in my lifetime.