I think, therefore I write

Tag: Blogadda

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.

Why choose when you can do both?

Me (2)That’s me!

โ€œYou can be either a good wife OR a surgeonโ€

โ€œDecide if you want to be a good daughter OR an actressโ€

โ€œChoose between being a banker OR being in a bandโ€

The above excerpt is from blogadda’s “Blog for #UseYourAnd and Take a Stand” activity. Sounds familiar? If you are a woman, you would have heard it somewhere. Even men are facing this thinly veiled ultimatum many a times these days. If you are lucky and have a wonderful family and friends, still you would have heard of someone who was made to face this choice. Or should we call it choice? The society cleverly layers the deadline it gives inside ‘OR’ and defines it as a choice. Well, I am not the one to be fooled but there are many innocent women who think there’s a choice in this hidden statement that corners a girl to choose either one. Well next time, stop and think “Why can’t I do both?”. You can always do both if you believe in yourself.

As I have iterated in many of my posts, I have a strong sense of identity. I never give up my identity without a valid reason. I have had to fight a lot with my loved ones to make them understand that retaining my identity is not rebellion. It was hard to make them understand at times and it still is. But I never take that as reason enough to give up who I am. If I want to do something and if that something is justified morally right, then nothing should stop me from being me. So often, even the strongest of us women face a dilemma when they hit the marriage phase. Isn’t it sacrifice enough that women are uprooting themselves and start adapting in another environment? Isn’t it proof that we can adapt? Why should our every single action/habit be monitored and changed according to the new environment? Change is good. But it should be two-way and not forced.

Is it not possible for a two people who have different beliefs to co-exist peacefully? It is possible and more. Why can’t some people understand that it is okay if their spouse or friend or any loved one for that matter can have an entirely contradicting belief? I strongly say that it’s as much my birthright as yours. You can challenge me intellectually with questions about my belief. We can both present our points and have a debate for the sake of better understanding. That’s how we evolve. But at the end of the discussion, it is still perfectly fine for both involved to leave the table without being convinced about the other’s belief. This is where the tampering of identity starts.

Next time when someone asks to be this or that, tell them proudly that you’ll be both. Even better, show them. Every woman and man have their own personality traits. Some come ingrained from before and some are developed as we live everyday. But each of the trait is something unique to the person. Why is there even a question of which of the two you can be? Why is there a need to label me with one definition when I can be a multitude of definitions and then some more too? I will never my freedom be curbed by anything other than my own decision. If I choose something, it would be because I want to choose it. If I change something in me, it would be because I want to change that part of me. None else can define me and none else should. Yes! It can sound strong and harsh but that’s how we have to be if we want to be heard.

This doesn’t mean you can label us feminists/chauvinist or one of the many labels floating around and that we won’t listen to reason. As I have already mentioned, you can challenge us intellectually, ask questions about why we believe in something, get to know what makes me do things that I do. And let us do the same to you. Let’s understand each other’s reason and then if I am wrong, the change will come automatically out of *my* realization. Because each person in this world can have their own identity and still exist in peace, if only you #UseYourAnd and take a stand.

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus.

I tag Soumya @ LOL to take this activity up as she clearly exemplifies in taking a stand ๐Ÿ™‚

The Public Opinion

I was sitting in the last row of the auditorium, waiting for the orientation session to begin. Among all the others seated in front of me, a gang of girls caught my attention. They were very noisy right from the start and the comments they were passing on each other were quite funny. From what I heard, I could clearly get that they were freshers right out of college. After a while, their topic of discussion turned to what I knew it would – Finding handsome guys from the lot and assessing them. How many times I have seen college girls do this! And it never gets boring to get the variety of views that rush through these teen minds. It never fails to take me back to those days when I was one of them.

By this time the presenters of the various sessions of the orientation were in and were making arrangements. The guy who was preparing the projector was Kashyap or so his ID card said and he was the then topic of the girls. The discussion went on as:

Divya: “Hey! Look at him, Is this how you come for a presentation?”.
Sneha: “What’s wrong with him? He looks good to me.”
Priyanka: “Are you mad? Just a formal dress doesn’t make you good to go for a presentation. Look at his unshaven face, gives him a lost look.”
Ria: Right, You know I have been in the college students’ council for 4 years and I have never seen anyย  guy come like this for a meeting or a presentation.”

The argument continued and as I listened on I could detect that girls take beards too seriously in men. I stifled my laughter and continued to eavesdrop.

Divya: Even among us, only you think being unshaven is cool. And I know that you think that on an informal note. (Winks)
Sneha: (Teasingly) Oh ho, so you are taking that line? You think I didn’t see you making eyes at that other guy? Uh.. What’s his name? I can’t see properly. (Leaning to see to his ID card)
Ria: You have gone blind. His name is Anurag and what’s with Divya and him? I didn’t notice.
Sneha: You are the blind one, she’s been looking at him ever since he entered. But I can bet my life that she only likes his looks because of his clean-shaven look.
Divya: What’s wrong with that? As long as we are assessing by the looks, I would say I am right.
Priyanka: Look at your guts. But, I too agree that Anurag looks way better because he doesn’t have a beard. If only Kashyap had shaved, sigh!
Ria: (Sternly) Shameless! Does any of you remember that we are not in a park but in an orientation for joining our company?
All the girls giggling together in chorus : (Teasingly) Ok Ma’m! Sorry Ma’m.
Ria: Shut up you guys!

As I looked at my watch, I realized it was time for the session to start. The orientation session went well and during our habitual chai time after the long day, Kashyap nudged me “Come on, Anusha! I won the bet, didn’t I? Isn’t that why Anurag is dodging me?”. I couldn’t contain it anymore. I started laughing out loud and amidst laughter, I explained how Kashyap lost his bet and became the clown of the circus because of his ill-wagered bet. Kashyap and Anurag were my best friends since school and fortunately we were in the same company and represented different sections of the company to new hires on the day of induction. They both had a silly bet of the role of beard in a guy’s appearance and had come to me for mediation. While I thought it was silly of them, I was interested in making a game out of it. I took the back seat before the session started, blending in as one of the new hires and was able to get public opinion about what current teens thought about the subject.

After I finished my narration of the entire conversation among the girls to a rather red-faced Kashyap, we dragged him to Barbeque nation for the treat he owed us.

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚
This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette. And I am not tagging anyone now as I am already a late bird ๐Ÿ™‚

My Royal Black

Black has been my favorite color ever since I can remember! It’sย  very difficult to establish this bias towards black when you have a dad who’s as orthodox as the day is long ๐Ÿ˜› Yet, I never staggered for a second. Black has always been and always will be my favorite color. The royalty and dignity I see in black is never fulfilled by any other color. Be it a jolly top or a formal attire, be it a backpack or a travel suitcase, be it a tiny earring stud or a dangling, black is always my color. In short, my go-to color for anything. So here are 5 things I would love to have on my list, I had a really tough time choosing them.

A full-length satin dress:

I have always been head over heels with those flowing full length satin dresses and more so with the black ones. The rich feel of it, the royal look of black is always something that captivates my mind. Black attire has always been my favorite and I had to fight tooth and nail with my superstitious relatives that black doesn’t mean mourning by nature. It was man-made, which is well proven by the fact that in the northern part of India, people wear white for mourning. Any color has a definition, but that’s what you associate with it and not a hard-coded rule. So, I will add a full-length attire in royal black, no matter what anyone says, when I lay hands on the right one ๐Ÿ™‚

Waist-length jet black hair:

My hair is black but it is not that dense jet-black mass that I so envy on so many people. My hair problems and fighting genetic combinations that cause hair-fall is a long story. But if I could, I would want that jet-black tresses waving their way down to my waist and I would never ever think of cutting it.

A sleek black car:

Who wouldn’t have this on their list? Though I know maintenance would be one heck of a job, I have nurtured a desire for a black car ever since I laid my eyes on one. The sleek finish complemented by the color that stands out and blends in paradoxically, is irreplaceable for me. No other color can fulfill that desire.

A complete set of black metal accessories:

I love artificial jewelery and this lead me to a journey discovering a plethora of colors. Amongst all that I hoard at commercial street, I wish I could have a perfect collection of black metal accessories. It’s always one short, either the bracelet doesn’t go with the earrings or the watch doesn’t fall in line with the bracelet or the pendant dominates the look and takes away the attention from the other things. Nope, it won’t do at all. ๐Ÿ™

Black interiors for my home:

One might see so many interior decor ideas today, but nothing catches my eye than the black and white themes. These have been doing the rounds for a while but still stay in fashion. I wish the home I call as mine would satisfy this thirst. I already have a platter of ideas in my mind and am looking for more. And I will keep looking until my now-under-construction home becomes complete. ๐Ÿ™‚

So what’s on your list that’s royal black?

This post isย  written for #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com.

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

Sophisticated celebration!

My previous post,ย The Woes of a share-auto travellerย has been picked up for BlogAdda’s Spicy Saturday Picks.

Now that I have informed you about it in the most sophisticated manner, let me get back to normal and react honestly!

My post! My post! My post got picked up!
Haaaaaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaaaaa… Hehehehehehehehehehehe…
I have never felt this happy!!!!!
New year’s eve and I am already gifted with this.. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
Does this mean that this year’s gonna be awesome? Should I take it as a sign? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Haan, now that is out of my system, I am back to my sophistication (ahem.. ahem..) in thanking all the readers and fellow bloggers, without whose encouragement, I would not be thinking of writing more and more ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you People!

Until later ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S: This is my first ever recognition on a public platform. So sorry for the drama ๐Ÿ˜‰