I think, therefore I write

Category: I OPINE (Page 4 of 14)

Setting things right

I want to set certain things right. In my own terms. This is not a topic that’s unheard of or unwritten of. Yet, even the most civilized of the lot make the same mistake time and again and that pisses me off.

I am a feminist. And there comes the question, define feminism. Let me put it in a way that everyone would understand and hope (I’m an optimist) that people would get it.

The first line on Wiki’s page about it is: “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.” Do we see the word equal? Do we understand what it means? Then why is Feminism considered a taboo? Why are feminists being looked at as if they are aliens invading the planet and exclaimed at as “Ooh! You are a feminist!” with that sarcastic tinge in the tone?

I like it when a guy walking before me allows me to go forward as I am in a hurry because he doesn’t want to be a hindrance to another person irrespective of the gender. Not because I am a woman.

I like it when a guy gives a lady his seat in the bus not because she is a woman but because she is pregnant or carrying her baby in one arm and struggling to keep her feet planted.

I like it when a man stands up for a woman to protect her when she is helpless because she is also a human. Irrespective of gender, the helpless should be protected. Again not because of the gender but because that’s what a decent human being would and should do for another human being.

I like it when a man helps his wife in household chores because there is no work label associated with the gender. We eat irrespective of the gender right? Or do you not eat because you are a man? So why not do the dishes too?

I like it when a man refrains from making cheap gender based jokes because jokes should never be at the cost of someone’s feelings. It holds the same for jokes made on guys too.

Image Source: plus.google.com

That is feminism for you. Feminism arose because the natural equality that should be present for any human being started getting skewed. If all of us had extended that courtesy of being sensible and unbiased, there would have been no need for feminism. Society and biased people are the reasons & root causes for feminism. When you see someone and judge them based on their gender or when you try to label a person based on gender, you create the unbalance and hence the need for feminism.If you don’t like feminism and terms alike, stop being skewed and biased.

So next time before you judge a feminist, rethink what she/he stands for. He/she stands for equality not for chauvinism of any gender. A feminist stands up to maintain that balance which the others chose to ignore. A feminist thinks about the human being and not about the gender. So I will proudly say again, I am a feminist! Are you?

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

Alone or Lonely?

I have heard people saying being alone doesn’t equate to loneliness. And I fully agree. There’s actually a not-so-thin line between the two which we often overlook. Don’t get it? Here’s an example.

Your parents/husband/roommate is out of town for a couple of days. You are pretty comfortable staying alone and hence you go about your work as usual. You use the time @ hand to do some reading that you’ve been meaning to do, watch re-runs of your favorite TV show, sing at the top of your voice without bothering anyone, sleep right on the couch without bothering about the next meal and talk to yourself just for the sake of it. That’s being alone!

You feel like there’s none to talk to or understand you. Not one of your acquaintances turn into friendships. You feel there is no one who matches your frequency of thinking. You miss your best friend who is unfortunately living in a different city or worse a different country. You miss your mom and dad and wish you could just leave everything and head back home. You have everything and everyone around you but all you feel is the sad feeling that no one’s around. That’s lonely!

The second case of being lonely can happen even when you are surrounded by people. People whom you don’t relate with or who don’t relate with you. Why am I now writing about this? Let me tell you. I am a person who is very comfortable with some alone time. I enjoy it. As much as I love my husband and parents, I have always carved out that personal space where I do things which I like without anyone’s interference. I don’t go in search of such time. It comes to me. Be it 10 minutes of a day or an entire weekend when hubby is out of town, I enjoy the time at the same level. I drown in a good book, watch re-runs of movies and shows, roam around the house cleaning and singing along with my favorite song which I can play on endless repeat.

My problem comes when people around me think I will get lonely because I am alone at home and start inviting me over. My MIL and grandma get concerned when hubby has to go out of town and start suggesting people whom I can visit so that I don’t have to stay alone. I appreciate their concern and at the same time politely tell them that I am very very looking forward to some ‘me’ time. After a few attempts, they understood. My mom calls twice a day to see how am doing. I tell her I am so enjoying it. My hubby still feels restless of leaving me alone at home while I am constantly assuring him that I am actually having a party all by myself ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, I will miss being with him but that’s natural. I will deal with it and get on with my work.

So next time you are saying that you are lonely, think twice. Are you alone or are you lonely? My mantra is “If you are not fully comfortable being alone with yourself, then you can’t be so with anyone else.”

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

How to check out women?

Dear Menkind*,

We all know that you check out women when in public places. Irrespective or whether you are single or in a relationship or married, irrespective of who is with you, irrespective of time, place and context. We know that you check us out, give ratings in your mind and pass comments if you find us interesting. Especially when you are with your friends. I agree that women check out men too but more in a non-crass manner and most times our comments stop at “Ooh! That guy is hot”. So here are some tips for you to do what you do more effectively and in a civil manner. What? You thought this is a guy-bashing post? Your mistake! We know that “it’s in your genes” and that you wouldn’t make any attempt to civilize yourself (Who needs civilization when one gets pleasure by simply looking at ogling at the opposite sex? ๐Ÿ˜ ) and no amount of advice can bring about any change in you. Our best hope is that you guys will get bored of looking at women, but that seems like a far cry for now. So if you are gonna do something wrong, do it right. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

1. When a bunch of you are out roaming and one of you sees a woman worthy of your interest behind you, you tell your friends and they all turn their heads around one by one, as if in some circus parade and look at her. You guys do that sequential head turning so that the woman doesn’t notice the blaring fact that she is the current subject of your discussion. How dumb do you think we are? ๐Ÿ™„ Your circus parade head turning and the fake looks on your faces are more than enough for us to know. So you might as well turn around together or wait till she comes into your line of vision.

2. Please DO NOT giggle. I have seen men giggling (and sometimes blushing) like a teen girl the moment her crush looked at her. And it makes my hair stand up and NOT in a good way. How can a woman enjoy the rest of her shopping when she knows that she was checked out by a MAN ( โ“ ) WHO GIGGLES? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

3. Teasing each other and praising each other in loud voices don’t work. We all know that whatever you are talking is for our benefit and are not believing one word of what you are uttering. We are not even listening to you. If you look closely, you will see us being interested in the price of a cabbage or trying to figure out which shade of purple will match our cream top. So do not waste your energy.

4. Try to be as inconspicuous as you can. Let’s face facts, this is obviously a time pass for you. So, at least give us the peace of mind while we are shopping without having to worry about the creep who keeps staring at us but then we we look up stares at a wall intently or picks a product and tries to see its price (without even noticing it is a feminine product).

how-it-worksImage Source: cavemag.com

I was at the supermarket the other weekend and there were these 3 guys, in front of me on the escalator. One of them looked back and told the others something and the head turning happened. And then the giggling happened. And then the teasing and praising happened alternatively and then the creepy staring happened. All of them one after the other. First I thought something was weird with me and checked my reflection in the window thinking I am missing an earring or inadvertently wearing my dress inside out or something like that. But no, I was okay! I was like “Oh my God! Here I thought guys have become cool these days” Guess that cannot be said for all guys. I was so pissed off that I took my mangalsutra out and brushed my hair so that the sindoor on the forehead is visible. That shut them up ๐Ÿ˜€ (To all the married ladies – Sure shot way of shooing away such guys, show them that you are married)

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S: I am discovering a lot of new blogs and bloggers who are like-minded. The reader in me is happy ๐Ÿ™‚

*P.S: Give me the benefit of generalization with this post. I have written a post about people who do what I have written about and not about those who do not. If you are ignoring my warning and taking offense, well then, that says a lot about you!

ssp

Posing for a Candid Click? Think Twice!

We all are narcissists, at least in secret. Whoever thinks otherwise is living in denial. Well, don’t tell me you don’t do a mental jig every time you have a good hair day or when suddenly the mirror seems to tell you that you are fashionable. It is not the narcissism that’s bothersome, we have all been there, done that. But the heights to which we seem to be reaching, that’s something! Since I am in the range of “that right age” that the bane of a society tags you with, I have seen a lot of weddings (including mine) and wedding invitations doing their rounds in 2014-2015. And hence the mad rush to schedule photo shoots, book the dates of photographers etc.. And afterwards the psychic state of mind to get them developed and edited (You wouldn’t want a hair out of place, would you?) and then… what else, let me think, Oh! uploading them on FB. I am no exception here because I too wanted to be a part of it and would have done all of these if my marriage had been the conventional one. People who know my story know that my marriage was an oxymoron – Every bit conventional but then again every bit unconventional ๐Ÿ˜› So I would be a hypocrite if I said that I am holier than thou. I wouldn’t have done the FB bit because I am not on FB but then I would have done every other part of it.Thankfully(This is where I thank my stars and everything else), I did not get the chance to do it. I got the lesson without having to attend the class.

Well, I have observed a lot to safely say that nowadays all kinds of photography, especially for a wedding, are termed candid. Yes, there is no more clicks that are like those pics that you saw in your parents’ wedding album. But do we know the meaning of candid? Check Wiki’s definitionย  of Candid Photography here:

candid

Image Source : Screen Grab from Google search of ‘Candid’

You cannot do the “without subject’s knowledge” in a wedding picture obviously and that’s fine. But then you cannot call it candid either. And do you think the bride and groom would not notice/remember that the camera’s clicking away throughout the ceremony? One part of their mind will be busy arranging their facial features so that they get decent clicks all the way, while the other part is busy looking up in the directory, how the aunty in the red saree is related? They would have to answer when the (in)famous question is uttered no?

“Congrats beta, I saw you when you were this little, Do you remember me?”

“Of Course I don’t, you just said it. I was this little when you saw me.”

So my point is, when the photographer is asking you to pose every bit since that is indeed the finest day of your life, how can you call it candid? You can go to parks, empty roads and villages and pose like you are all one with the nature for your shoots. But the truth is you are posing (consciously or sub-consciously) for a click. And posing for a click makes it the opposite of candid. I have seen all rosy smiles in post-wedding shoots and the albums put up in FB for some friends to like and for others to go green in jealousy but in reality, the couple were having a tough time adjusting to each other. Especially in arranged marriages, a lot of disagreements crop up once the honey moon period is over. Because, that’s when you wake up and face the reality. You run a household, catch up with work, take care of in-laws and do grown-up stuff with this new person. That’s when you realize, all this while you have been on cloud nine and you are slowly landing on earth. It happens in love marriages too because the role of a girlfriend/boyfriend is much easier than that of a wife/husband. Taking up responsibility is new and it would bring you face to face with reality, whether you like it or not.

chandlerbingImage Source: questionablechoicesinparenting.com

Okay, now let me get to another point. Everyone cannot be photogenic and we know that. We all have our pitfalls. So when a person who is not so good with the camera and goes like Chandler in front of one, what would you do? Take my hubby for example. Although he is not as bad as Chandler, he cannot fake a smile/pose for the life of him. But when he does smile, he’s awesome. So if we choose candid clicks for him, then I would end up with a smiling me and a very uncomfortable him by my side [Which is what kinda happened to us]. Since I couldn’t entirely get out of this candid click mania and also since our photographer insisted that we pose ‘candidly’ because nowadays everyone does only candeeeed potograpy, we did what we had to do. But the bottom line is we never bothered about it. We ended up having a big laugh over the pics and then gave the albums to our parents to continue the routine of showing to every relative visiting us.

We couldn’t care! Heck, I know the guy for more than 2 decades and have been in a relationship for more than a decade! Do you think your camera can capture his expressions more candidly than my eyes? I can still remember how he looked every moment on our wedding day without even seeing the album. So spending thousands on wedding photography is more because the photographer handles the camera much better than you and he knows how to edit the pics to make you look like you want to look. It is NOT because the photo is candid. So please oh please, accept THAT. Relive the moments and not the poses. Bring out all the smiles not just for putting up on social media but for yourselves. And if you want a nice click to freeze that moment for you, go ahead and do it. I am not against preserving memories, I have preserved a truck load of them in form of pictures, video and audio recordings. Just don’t label them candid when they are not. Smile for yourself, not for the world!

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S: This post is not to trash wedding photography, I understand it is also someone’s livelihood and even I have a few friends who make a living out it. This post is just to drive home the point that what is termed as Candid photography is not the case everywhere. And that spending thousands on it just to satisfy peer pressure is not worth it. If you don’t like it… Well, I can’t do anything about it. I probably won’t, even if I can.

The journey from ‘or’ to ‘and’

Me (2)That’s me!
23530-the-problem-with-gender-is-that-it-prescribes-how-we-shouldImage source: inspirably.com

I was asked to choose either being a traditional, responsible girl or a modern, happy-go-lucky one.
I was asked to choose my parents or the love of my life.
I was asked to be a house-wife or a working wife.
I was asked to be a writer or an engineer.
I was asked to be artistic or analytical.
I was asked to be controlled or impulsive.
I was asked to choose a secure, planned life or “some” life with my loved one.

Every time these things happened the ‘Or’ in the statement irked me to no extent. The choice has to be from within. If I am choosing between two things, it should be my decision and my intention. Why am I being restricted to this or that by someone else? As the question burned on as a flame, I started asking questions. Then came the reply, “A girl shouldn’t ask such questions.”, “Why are you talking like a boy?”, “Be a girl and be obedient.”, “If you keep talking like this, no one would marry you.” That was the last straw for me. So for someone to marry me, I should lock away all my thoughts and choose between two fingers that the society extends in front of me? I put my foot down then and there. All of these when I was a kid, as early as when I was about 8 years old. My parents didn’t understand at first and thought I was rebelling by asking questions. I don’t blame them for they were also molded products of society. Instead, I decided to make them see. I decided to make them understand that a girl can #UseHerAnd and take a stand. I kept proving my point time and again and slowly people who loved me truly started understanding me. They saw enough sense in what I was telling, to stop and try to understand what I am fighting for. And that was enough to keep me going.

il_fullxfull.379350001_1x94Image source: coyotescorner.com

Why do phrases like “Don’t cry like a girl”, “Be brave like a boy” and the like even exist? Do you not know enough women in the world who were/are braver than all men on earth put together? Of course, you do. Then why do you set up a bad example for your son, by saying “Don’t cry like a girl”. There in, you are planting a conclusion that girls cry and boys don’t. Teach your kids to deal with problems instead of stereotypes. Crying is just a form of expression and has nothing to do with gender. I’d rather have a man who cries when he feels sad than some guy thinking not crying is macho. The next thing that every human should be taught is not to label women. I am not the feminist who bashes all men and call for women equality options. I don’t even ask for special preferences to women. I believe by giving special preferences, you acknowledge that women *need* those special preferences and that implies a labeling or being objective. I don’t need that, we don’t need that. We need the mindset where a woman and a man are two individuals functioning to their capacity. Is that too hard?

pinterestImage Source: livebyquotes.com

When a woman breaks boundaries and goes beyond what’s normally perceptible, why is there even a question of her morals, her character, her personality? She is another person who achieved something that none others did. Can’t we just appreciate her for that and let her be herself? I know a girl who was elder to me by a few years. She was like a sister figure to me when I grew up and she was a brilliant artist, academic and a doting daughter. Her parents were in the traditional brought-up system and married her off once she finished 12th grade against her protests. A lot of us, friends and family told her parents to encourage her academic and artistic skills instead of curbing her with societal systems. But they didn’t understand it then with their closed minds. What happened? The guy she married gave her a child in a year and feeling that he had duly fulfilled his duties as a husband, he didn’t want any further responsibilities. He got influenced into drinking and gambling and stopped going to work. Now what would the girl do with a little one to feed and a drunkard for a husband? Her parents supported her a while, all the while regretting their decision, silently cursing themselves for pushing their daughter into this hell. One day she got fed up and called off the marriage. The idiot of her husband didn’t even want custody or anything with his son, not that she would have given him custody. A lot of people raised hell over that asking uncomfortable questions for her. She told all of them to shut up and took a stand. She took up part time jobs and started preparing for the government exams. Today, she is deputy Tehsildar (revenue administrative officer) for our district and well on her way to become an IAS officer. This is not a story I read somewhere. I saw her go through everything that she did and saw where she is. The day she stopped accepting the ‘Or’ thrust on her and took her ‘And’ out, she was free. Her son adores her and her parents see her for what she is. They have proud tears in their eyes and support her wholeheartedly today. Had this been done a few years earlier, she would have been spared the pain! Well, better late than never is what she says. And I am proud of her.

So girls, there is nothing wrong in putting your foot down for something you believe in. There’s nothing wrong in asking questions. There’s nothing wrong in breaking records and flying higher. And I have one thing to say to the society too, “We know what we are doing! We are not here to fight or rebel, that would just waste our time and energy. We are here to prove. I don’t want your ‘OR’, so stop shoving it in my face. If you can, wait and see me #UseMyAnd and take a stand, you’ll understand then. If you can’t, well it’s not my loss.”

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

This post is a my second entry toย #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus.

P.S: I didn’t include the pic of the woman I have written about (as per the activity guidelines) since it is her option to retain her privacy.

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