The ‘Desi’ Feminism…!!

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If you are born and brought up in an Indian household, you must have witnessed the mixed vibes of the ‘Desi Feminism’ by now! I would more generally call it “Pseudo-feminism”.

Doesn’t ring a bell? Let me refresh your mind, with some of these “common” incidences of “Patriarchy in the name of women empowerment or feminism”

A mother talking to her friends at a party “We have modern thinking, we believe daughter’s education is of utmost importance, we won’t get her married until she graduates”.

Few minutes later, Same Mother talking in a raised voice to her daughter, “Stop reading that book! The food is ready, go and serve dinner to your brother, make sure he is fed well.

At a marriage meeting, Groom’s family to bride’s father “We have no objections to her working after marriage. We only wanted a working woman for our son! We believe an independent woman is an asset to the family. We will treat her like our daughter”.

Same family after few months of marriage, “She is too strong headed and vocal!  How she can take a decision without consulting us? An outsider will always remain an outsider! We should have never married our son to her

In another family, Parent threw a huge party to celebrate birthday of their twin children, a girl and a boy.  Two cakes were ordered, pink and blue! A relative “Your children are lucky to have you as parents!”  Parents were overjoyed to hear this!

They called the twins and said, “Here are your presents my children”.

The boy said in a thrilled voice, “Wow! Dad I knew you would get me the latest laptop for my birthday!”

The girl said in a disappointed voice, “Again a doll! I wanted a laptop! I have been asking for it since 2 years, brother got new one”.

Father, “What will you do with a laptop, there are bad content on internet these days, he is a boy, he can handle, you are a girl and should stay away from such things. Girls should be playing with dolls; I got you the most expensive doll from abroad”

There are endless ways that Indians satisfy the image of being pro-feminism but in reality they are still trapped in the ironies of patriarchy.

Once a rape case is highlighted, people end up on roads in protest and candle marches. Ironically, these are the same people who turn blind eyes and ears when a girl is being eve-teased.  These include women!

Feminism is not something to make hype about and become famous! Feminism isn’t about women who pose with sanitary pad or burn bras, or who slap men! 

Feminism is equality of mind, status and freedom to anyone including men. It’s about raising voices against inequality standard prevailing in the society. Raising voices against the patriarchal standards that make it okay for men to violate women but even more for women to see this and turn blind eyes. Because it is mostly their son, brother or father who is the violator!

Feminism is not about women tearing each other down to rise up but to lift each other up.

Feminism is having an unbiased, non-judgmental attitude towards everyone.

Obviously people do gossip, human nature; but problem is when those gossip session can clog your judgement about a fellow women! Feminism also mean having a strong and bold mindset.

Feminism embarks trust and respect in women, for women and by women!

Stop being the victims and propagators of pseudo-feminism!

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What kind of love are you in?

The other day, while on a long flight, I was reading an article on different kinds of love that exists in universe. First thought, this article seems crap! But then it started getting funny, You name a love and its there; romantic love, emotional love, protective love, physical love and passionate love and the list goes on! Well I so far know only of one love…that is love!

But as I said, I was on a long, boring flight and had nothing better to do, so this led me to think what if each one of us do have an in-built desired to be loved in a certain way? Something we read in novels or have seen in relationship of someone close to us.

But do we always get love the same way as we desire? Or do we always give the other person same love?

Possibly not? Possibly yes?

They say, there is a thin line between ‘romantic love’ and ‘passionate love’ but experts disagree.’ Romantic love’ provides all the feeling of a new or ‘teenage’ kind of love for your partner but does not give you ’emotional security’. Whereas, ‘passionate love’ gives you physical attraction, emotional connection, friendship and feeling of fullness of love like no other.

Now in most of the marriages, two couples either start with friendship that develop into “emotional love” over time. In this kind if relationship people often are ‘best of friends’ but they lack physical intimacy. This is the most common type of relationship seen between married couples! This provides warmth but any kind of passion is missing in relationship. The major reason of infidelity in this relationship is lack of intimacy between partners.

There is another group of couples who start with passionate relationship that never turn into emotional intimacy and may lead on to “romantic love”. Now you may ask what is the difference? Well couple in this type of relationship can bee seen to outside world as ideal couples and someone totally in love but in reality though they have great physical compatibility, they lack emotional closeness. These are the couples who often turn to their friends or family when they need to talk or resolve a problem rather than each other!

Then there are these ideal set of couple who start with whichever form of love but their relationship turn “passionate love” and stay passionate over the years. These couples still feel the same spark towards each other even after ten years of being married and have excellent physical compatibility. At the same time these couple always turn to each other when they have problems or want to talk. They are best of friends and yet lovers at heart.

Now if you have identified what couple you are…don’t be disappointed if you are not the one with passionate love.

More than effort, I think it requires understanding. Ever wondered why your teenage love had so much spark? Well, because you saw your teenage crush as the most important person in the world! You gave special attention to not only that person but to yourself as well, you were always well groomed for that person! You also made time for that person; even if its for 2 am calls!

Let me ask you, how many times have you got ready in your best costumes to go on a date with your partner after marriage; and I mean GOT READY FOR YOUR partner and NOT for photographs! I can bet rarely!

How many times have you made time for your partners when your partner is away, may be for that 2 am call?

How many time have you made your partner feel that little extra important by switching off your mobile phone when with him/her?

How many times do you actually understand the fatigue behind your partner’s smile?

How many times were you actually listening in between lines to what your partner want to say?

You know we all forget that even though our partner is here to stay and our love will grow deeper with time but that love can also start to become less passionate or less emotional!

May this will convince us all, we were ready to do everything for your teenage or college romances, which for a fact was short-lived but we often fail to work for a relationship that will go on for probably a life time?

So go on do something special, do something meaningful, do something passionate for the one you love.

Keep the spark alive!

Camouflage

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In anarchic beauty lies a mutilated work of art.

Beguiling but torn, wreaking havoc on ailing heart.

Camouflaged by inhibitions, dazzled by it all.

Her inner and outer self, barely noticed by them at all.

Her steady walk alludes; she wants to be in disguise

Preserving herself, concealing all that’s inside

She hides her body, from the piercing eyes

Upholding the deception, of surging tides

In a quiet and dusty ground she lie,

Forlorn as ashes, shriveled, scentless and dry –

Sealed in her shell, life seemed an endless maze

And in her womb another life is set ablaze

When Love found Us

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Have you ever wondered if destiny actually plays a part in your life choices?

Did it ever occurred to you that no matter how badly you want something or someone you sometimes end up getting something you never thought about?

Are soulmates actually made in heaven?

Cheesy right? But I started believing when I saw this love story that seemed to be created by God and woven by destiny!

It all began back in 2005 in a small city of Northern India.

They met in the first year in the college lobby waiting for the lift to the dental laboratory on fifth floor. Their eyes met and then they immediately looked away. He was with his friend and she was by herself.

“Hi We have seen you going to library daily at a fixed time in evening, you seem really studious for first year” He said to her as they both entered the lift.

With a surprised look she replied, “Well yes, this is all new. Need to catch up on studies”

As they stepped out and entered the lab, they realized they were headed towards the same bench.

They sat opposite to each other and that’s when the first conversation actually began.

He told her he admired her for her hard work and he would want to contact her if he faced any trouble in his studies. She agreed happily. They exchanged numbers and thus began their friendship. Whenever he needed notes or needed help with studies he contacted her.

Who would have thought a mere casual exchange of number could connect them for lifetime!

Life went on just fine as they entered the second year, he became one of the popular guys of the batch and was in committed relationship with a girl in his batch. While she was tagged a nerd by her classmates. But hardly anyone knew she was in a long-distance relationship with her school time boy friend. She disconnected with all so that she could connect with him as they were in different time zones with eight-hours difference.

Even if both of them were not couples they always shared a unique fondness for each other, he nicknamed her ‘Ashru’ and still continued to ask her for notes and messaged her randomly that always involved a sense of ‘harmless flirt’.

She lived in hostel, and nothing is hidden there. As girls started gossiping about her late night calls he became seemingly interested to know whom she might be talking to and teased her. But was happy to know.

Four years passed and it was internship but a lot changed, he had bad break-up, and that is when he became popular as a ‘play boy’. She was herself healing from a heart-break and decided to get back her fun side.

As he heard the news of her break-up he became protective of her.  Few incidence that seemed seemingly normal then, feels so special for them now!

During internship they ganged up as a group of four friends and were always making plans together. one such day they were going on a long drive and she was sitting on back seat and he looked at her in the car mirror, smiled and played a song “I feel so lonely…”

“Wow! since when you started listening to English songs, though this is not purely English?” She laughed as she mocked him

“I know you do! So I bought the CD, transferred the song in pen-drive and have been waiting to drive you so that I can play this song! Plus you never know it might soothe your broken heart! See I took all this trouble for you” He smiled with pride.

“Ha-ha! Hard to believe but thanks” She was surprised, he would take all the effort. He was one of the most lazy person as a friend and that’s how she has always known him.

What surprised her that he remembered she loved this song! She otherwise teased him for his short-term memory as he hardly ever remembered details!

Another fine day, they decided to visit a popular temple far from the city for the sake of their two friends who were in love but wanted to keep it a secret. As they reached and their friends left for some alone time, they were obviously left alone.

They talked for hours about their future, careers, families and didn’t realized how long they have been talking until their friends came back and said, “lets go”.

“We just came, why so soon?” He inquired

“Its been two hours, how long do you want to stay?” a friend replied

“Wow! if you have good company, you just don’t realize the time!” He smiled at her as he got up to go.

Then came the day of dental camp. They were having lunch when suddenly the topic shifted towards heights. He became increasingly persistent to prove that he is taller than her. He made her remove her shoes, removed his and made people take their pictures to prove who is taller!

Well newsflash he saved that picture for long, even after they left college and that they were NOT a couple! Ironic isn’t it?

It was one of the Sundays before Holi, some of batch-mates were planning a trip to water park, they decided to go by cars. He got his car and one other guy from the batch got his.

She was standing inside the ATM, taking out cash, he barged in and whispered “I wanted you to come to the water park”, before she could comprehend, he added, “you seem rich, I have noticed you always taking out cash before we go anywhere!”

She dismissed his remarks by teasing him back “Unfortunately I am not always loaded with cash as you are!”

“Come and sit in my car, I added new playlist”  He followed him but his car was full (his popularity among girls!). She could see a slight glimpse of disappointment in his face as she walked towards other car.

She dismissed it as her assumptions! He remained pretty close to her in the water park, teaming up with her for twin water slides.While returning he saved a space for her in his car!

Internship ended and they left for different courses in different cities.

What seemed ironic was he remained in touch with her, very unlike  him. He usually cuts-off all contacts once he moves on in life. And he did, he was barely in touch with anyone but her.

Life went on, they occasionally talked or messaged. He made a girlfriend soon and so she did. Both were in their happy spaces until the end of Master’s for both.

He broke up again and as has always been the case, called her. But this time things were a little different, he was persistent with his flirts and he was thrilled to hear she got job in Delhi. Well somewhere, she wanted to meet him this time, not just as friend but a bit more fun. And why not they both were single, employed and in same city!

They met in Delhi, dated for about a year. What was special was, they knew everything about each other. Their failures, success, dreams, desires and affairs. More than anything they were friends first. They were happy and content in the time they spent together. They never needed anyone else if they had each other.

He told her he always admired her and wherever he was with his friend in their favorite hang-out place, she was the only girl about whom he used to talk about with respect and admiration.

In that one year they realized something is special about this relationship, they never knew ‘what’ but decided to give it a shot and get married! She was hesitant, he was sure but still both decided to take it forward!

Today as they look back, they can see how destiny played its part, how many times their paths crossed but they didn’t realized they were meant to be!

Sizing each other up!

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It was International Women’s Day on 8 March and my Facebook and WhatsApp was flooded with “Happy international women’s day!” messages!

I am sure most women might have been greeted by the men in their lives on this day. But the question is how many women greeted each other and genuinely meant it? Well I am sure only few!

Have you ever asked yourselves as women do we really do justice to being women? I feel disheartened to say NO, We don’t!

What are we as women so proud of? Is it because we can give birth and men can’t? Well, this is God’s miracle and of course a blessing for Women but nothing for us to boost about.

I mean I bow against all the mothers, but not because they can be mothers but as mothers the sacrifices they made or what they do or have done for their families.

Is it because we raise children, manage home and manage work? Well, men go out and work too, and now the time is changing, they help at home too. Nothing for us to take pride in!

Or is it because of an old age saying that we complete men? Well, no one completes anyone! That’s called companionship!

For some of you who think I am women hater, well I am a woman myself!

But I am NOT proud of myself JUST because I am woman or a mother or a wife or a daughter or a sister! There is nothing to be proud of in that.

If it was purely for a relationship or gender to demands respect.  Than all men should be respected as well!  We should be celebrating International men’s day with same amount of charisma.

But do we? No! Because women are not supposed to be respected merely for being mothers or daughter or for the fact we are women.

It is what lies beyond that, which society has now forgotten.

Women are to be respected because, Women are known to be  more generous, kind, nurturing, determined, sacrificing and EMPATHETIC than men. But are we anything like that anymore?

Patriarchy has turned us against our own kind.

It has created an environment where “a woman is a woman’s worst enemy”.

Raised generations of women who think their sole worth lies in how appealing they are to men or how best she can raise a kid or take care of household.

It is the same inherent patriarchy that prevents women in respecting another woman or prevents them from rising to the position of power.

Why is it always a Woman who degrades and mistreat their daughters, daughter-in-laws or sisters and makes their life hell? Why it is always Woman who criticize another woman for having opinions or having dreams.

Whether in their professional or personal lives, it is true that women do not always treat other women well.

I’ve seen best of friends or women in same families rip each other apart in their absence.

Seriously! Woman? Is this your only source of entertainment? Probably the woman you are so busy discussing does not even acknowledge your existence. You should be too busy living your own life, minding your own business, involved in your own families and work to be talking behind other women’s back or trying to interfere in someone else’s life.

Another point is the competition, be at home or at workplace or even in public, women are always trying to win over each other. At home women are trying to rip each other for ruling the households or for winning over the love and importance of the man in the house be it their husband, son or brother.

At workplace, women are so busy trying to show the other woman as week that they forget their own strengths. One of the major reasons most women don’t make it to the top as men is because of their inherent jealousy and insecurities and their constantly trying to pull the other women down. As per a research, most women want to work for male bosses than men. They feel threatened by another woman in power. I mean are you serious? Why does it even matter? Why does gender matter so much?

I’ve often wondered what it is about women that irks women so much. Is it because we tend to think we are each other’s reflections?

Well I will never know, but what I do know is the focus of women empowerment needs to shift from workplace to homes!

Woman have a huge influence on the way their sons and daughters end up treating women. A child’s perception of a woman is formed by the woman in his life. And usually the mothers are full of hatred for women because they themselves have been ill-treated by another woman. She will knowingly or unknowingly give the same perception to her sons and daughters.

“How a woman is treated within her family decides the future fate of other women!”

Give each other complements! Support the ladies in your house! stop bitching about each other! Stop demeaning the women in your life! Stop competing!

“Unless you truly see her as your own reflection, you will never end up loving her!”

Resilient.

Nurturing.

Empathetic.

Loving.

Forgiving.

Supportive.

That’s what it means to be a woman!

Affect people NOT Infect!

Negativity! Thats what I feel these days, no matter, If I read newspaper or watch news or hear people talk.

When things are changing around us, I understand its human nature to become hypercritical.

But making this a habit is just not right!

I am sure we all have met people who find fault with everything they come across?

These are ‘unique’ categories, though now common, who have a problem with everything in life!

Don’t get it yet?

You will find such people repeatedly saying things like these:

“Its too good to be true, I am sure he/she has hidden agenda.”

“Government is a failure. They never do any good to society”

“They can’t succeed in life, They will end up as below average”

Overall world is surrounded by the most hyper-critical people.

Unfortunately, social media specially with the popularity of twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp has in a way given a safe medium to people to talk and write anything for just about anyone without being held accountable.

I fail to understand so much negativity in people. If you want to see a change then be the change or do something about it else you have no right to criticise.

You know according to experts even listening to negative people on media can harm your brain’s hippocampus!!

More serious effect is in no matter of time you will start to think like negative people and even start justifying them!

They are never satisfied, you give them the world and they will come back saying I wanted the moon.

This is what is happening in the political world these days. Its like no good is good enough for masses!

Stop living in the delusional world of negativity and see the world with real eyes.

There might be a chance, your support can make a situation better rather than worse!

Energy is contagious, either you affect people or infect people-T. Harv Eker”

To My Valentine

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I promise to always be there for you!!!

I promise to be wide awake when you start Netflix marathons for hours together 😀

I promise to give you my frank opinion without sugar-coating even if you hate it

I promise to always trust you and never doubt your actions 😛

I promise to be your best friend for life and share all our gossips 😎

I promise I will always cherish that ‘special coffee’ made by you more than the ‘Starbucks’ 🙂

I promise to never go to bed angry even if we have to stay up all night

I promise to be your 3 AM friend when you feel lost and low 🙁

I promise never to keep score even when I am clearly winning and will force you to do the same 😉

I promise to love you, honor you, respect you but not ‘obey you’, because that’s a little feminist 😛

I promise to love you even if you get fat, bald and grumpy

I promise I will take you on holidays even when we grow old, I will pick the place and you pay! ➡

I promise to always appreciate what I have even when things are dark

I promise to always be on your side and support you unconditionally

I promise to send you random texts and leave silly gifts without any occasion to remind you how special you are 😉

I promise to defend you to other even if you are wrong and then secretly correct you 😕

I promise to love you more with each passing year

I promise that you will be my valentine for life

To all this and more, I promise to keep my promises!

The Judgement…!

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We live in a judgmental world, do we not?

Judging others is a part of our daily lives today without knowing how bad and unworthy a trait it is to possess; we carry on doing it every instant. It is strange how we cherry-pick labels for each other. We decide that others aren’t quite the way they should be.

There is a lot of hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness here. We want to reject others as they are, but insist that others love and accept us the way we are.

We as a society are judgmental, because we lack acceptance and empathy!

I see people passing judgement every now and then; sometimes I am a part of the conversation and sometime, I just wonder, wish I could stop them.

Mr. X’s son failed in class 10th. “What a shame! Black spot to family” Someone remarked!

No one cared to know that, Mr. X’s son won in the National hockey team! No one cared to know that, Mr. X’s son was fighting cancer! No one cared to know, Mr. X’s son had music as his passion! No one cared to understand, it could be just a bad year!”

A forty-something women in a metro, braiding a doll’s hair, singing to herself. “She must be mentally retarded, what is she doing travelling alone like that, she is definitely not sane”. People made fun of her and mocked at her.

No one cared to know, she might be taking that doll for her kids as a gift. It could be her childhood doll, she found this morning, with thousand memories attached. She could be taking it for donation to an orphanage. No one knows her history but everyone had their ‘judgement sword’ on, ready to stigmatize, ready to disrespect something that is ‘not-normal’ as per the societal norms”

Women and men are praised for looking a certain way, but women and men are put down for not meeting a certain standard. Even in today’s world women are expected to run errands at home and those who don’t are labeled. They automatically become incompetent homemakers or wives.  Men are still looked down upon if they chose specific profession or chose to work around the house in specific parts of world.

In a lot of marriages, we will find great examples of our judgmental tendency. We marry, and then almost immediately, we stand in judgment of the person we promised to love, almost every action is judged upon, criticized and reasoned for. We want them to change to ours and our family likes. They are judged for their opinion and actions.  According to a survey, this is one of the main causes of failed marriages in today’s world.

I read somewhere:

 “The way you measure yourself is how you measure others and how you assume others measure you”

A tricky statement but absolutely true!

Here are few examples:

“If you measure your value through relationship with your family, then you will measure others by same standard: That is closeness to their family. If they don’t live with their family, or do not visit home often, you will judge them as being irresponsible or being bad son/daughter regardless of their lives or their family values. Even if they have a happy family, you will end up believing that it’s all a facade and they are bound to be unhappy.”

“If for you travel and partying are important to value life as worthwhile, then you will measure other by same standard: How many times in a year they travel or how many times in a week they party. If they don’t travel much or stay home all weekend, you will judge them as losers regardless of their needs.”

“If women have been taught that taking care of home and men in the house as her sole responsibility in a marriage, she will measure the other women in the same scale. If other women don’t fall in her expectations, or got out to work rather than take care of home, she will immediately judge them as bad homemakers regardless of their own ideologies.”

It is mostly are own insecurities that we judge in others. When we are insecure and/or unhappy with whom we are, we try to put other people down.

This is the reason an average looking women, always find fault in how the other people look or are dressed. Even good-looking women with deep-seated insecurities or complexes look for all the ways to tag people around them as ugly.

We judge because we have deep-seated learning from our society or homes and our mind reason that to be correct.

This is why Men from ‘male dominated homes’ or ‘abusive homes’ disregard the opinions from their partner and are quick to judge them as invaluable. They are the ones who are also perpetrators of domestic violence because they assume it is fine to do so.

We judge because we are scared or intimidated by others and hence we will put them down.

Quite often  daughter-in-law’s are judged for choices they make in running errands at home because quite often they are viewed as threats and are disrespected by other women to feel powerful.

What is worse is we not only judge but to make matters worse we believe in our judgement!

It is important to understand each individual is different and have their own set of needs, values and belief. What we may find as important, they may consider as a unnecessary and vice versa.

We might find family values as integral, but most people do not.

We may view the world based on our ambition and materialistic things we possess, but most people do not.

We may consider someone as happy with the number of friends they have or number of parties they attend but most people do not.

We need to remember when we judge others we do not define them but ourselves!

 

We need realism to deal with reality!

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I was recently going through some blog posts and I was amazed by a pattern that I could trace out in most of the posts! Each article that I read and the experiences shared by different authors were all so ‘idealistic’. I mean of course I have nothing against the concept of ‘idealism’ but how idealistic can one person be in real life?

Idealists, practically live in wonderland thinking that life is like a fairy tale. Well if that were the case then there would be no poverty, unemployment, wrong choices, heartbreaks but as we all know, that is not the case!

I usually prefer reality; it is all about portraying your real self and real emotions as regular folks—bored housewives struggling for some alone time, depressed teenagers, stressed working women longing for vacations, not-so-in –love couples trying hard to make the marriage work, poor spinsters, petty government officials & a successful entrepreneur struggling to meet work-life balance—living ordinary lives. Let’s face it: most of us don’t live crazy exciting lives, after all.

Realism is also not about trying to portray the real life characters as ideals, selfless, God fearing people always! As in real life it’s all a mix of selfishness, small fights, dilemmas, crises, hang-ups, love, hatred, dislikes, sadness, happiness but that is what makes ordinary life meaningful.

Thinking outside the box and writing what reader might consider ideal or perfect is NOT idealism! What remains important is knowing your limitations and being honest with yourself about what works within your story rather than trying to make yourself look serene and pure!

Strangers are fascinating. I always get curious about the lives of people I don’t know? We know that they’re like us, but we also know that they’re different from us.  What about that cute colleague in office, who never says a word to anyone? Does he have friends? What about that woman who left her husband? Why that guy ended up an alcoholic, or why that kid ran away from home?

Reading it is like peeping through a keyhole into the lives of others but as we all know nothing is perfect. In social media, all seems so wonderful – vacations, smiling faces, perfect relationships and also the best seller “quotes”. It makes me wonder, all those people who share such amazing quotes, do ever follow them in real life? Well, you know the answers!

Maybe this is where the fatigue is coming in. We always compete to prove ourselves right, perfect and ideal. Challenges arise and not all of them are resolved with a happy ending.  If I read about an author’s life or his beautifully drafted story, I would want to read something realistic not a ‘preaching’, though written exceptionally well, but has no meaning in real life as it is not heartfelt.

We need to get real. We need to understand. We need to feel.

You are all that I need…!

You are the sunshine that starts each morning

The moonlight that concludes my day…

You walk with me in all that I do

And the words I say!

You are the reason for the smile on my face

The twinkle in my eyes

The love in my heart

The Completeness in my life

You are the hand held in mine

My best friend, my love

My confidant to share all

You are my crazy, mature, loving

Thoughtful and caring guy

The one who understands me

A way too deeply

You are the blush to my cheek

Elixir to my soul

You are the voice that makes me go weak

You are all that I need…!