During one of the conversations with close friend Carmen, who happens to be a gifted conversationalist, the idea of men wearing skirt came to haunt my imagination. She picked up the idea from some fashion show. Her casual reference to men in skirt made me remind of the famous phrase that there is “method in madness”. If anyone wishes to realize how madness has become a passion in our times, the present age is fittest time to witness the mad show. Just organize a fashion show and introduce horrible sense of dressing as a new passion among youths. No wonder men wearing skirts does not sound amusing. Anything is possible in our times. Overnight we can find “he” emerging as “she” the next day! Now I am wondering what else could follow if men start wearing skirts?
The purpose of fashion shows also defies my sensibilities. Often the trends shown in it are not meant for masses. The dresses exhibited in it are beyond the range of common people. Still we find an unending craze for such fashion shows. Remember the movie “Fashion”? That movie disclosed the harsh realities prevalent in world of fashion. Anyway, I am talking about the craziness existing in our real world, wherein the distinction between men and women is getting reduced with each passing moment, and even in the virtual world with help of Photoshop. The write-up is merely a humorous take on the whole issue.
Notice the fact that wearing “ear rings” by the boys is new craze. My friend endorsed usage of ear rings by boys since that make guys attain a look that attracts females. I feel that in every man there is female essence and in every woman there is some male element. Only today I saw a girl riding a motor bike meant for men. Few days back, I had seen an young girl having two girls pillioned behind her on a slender scooty! That makes it very clear that there is urge in both the sexes to give way to each other’s essence. Has anyone heard “Aake Seedhi Lagi Dil Pe” song from movie Half Ticket? Kishore Kumar has given voice to male and female characters on whom this song has been picturized!! Pran and Kishore Kumar have performed in mind-boggling way in this song. And that’s why this song always makes me smile! In many Indian movies dance sequences have male actors disguised as females. The same has been the case with female actresses as well.
Right now, I am wondering what would follow the skirt? I am sure male bras are next hot item. Please read this excerpt borrowed from news item:
“Japanese men are getting in touch with their feminine side thanks to a new trend in male lingerie.They are hitching up their man boobs (moobs), finding out their cup sizes, and getting into male bras. Akiko is the woman behind this underwear revolution. She started selling the bras online from her Tokyo shop – The Wishroom. She said: ‘I think more and more men are becoming interested in bras.’ “
Now if that’s the case I feel new perceptions would emerge. Now men, like women, would often be found complaining: I found her staring at my assets !!! New harassment laws would also be introduced for men that would take cognizance of men’s complaints, accusing the passers by of indecent gesture !!! I feel that such tactics are very cleverly promoted by market. That makes them sell their products. That’s the reason why “Mardo wali cream” (fairness cream for men) has come in existence and actors like Shah Rukh Khan, having dark complexioned wives, are promoting it. They are making us develop guilt complexes to promote the sale of fairness cream for men!!! Anyway, for me black is beautiful.
I request the likes of Carmen not to create chaos in society by feeling excited about idea of seeing men in skirts. I love women with long hairs. I am sure not many would love to see a woman proclaiming bald is beautiful! Please be traditional, at least, in some matters. Women in long hairs are epitome of sensuality. Unfortunately, it’s age of short cuts. No wonder women love anything from short hairs to short skirts.
सच बोलने या सही बोलने वाले को दुनिया ने हमेशा तमाम तरीके की बौड़म उपाधियाँ दी है। सो लेबल की परवाह मुझे नहीं है। उस अवस्था से ऊपर उठ गया हूँ जहाँ लोगो को दुनियाई तमगो की चिंता होती है। कुछ तीव्रता से महसूस करना और फिर भी खामोश रह जाना एक प्रकार का बौद्धिक जुर्म है, बौद्धिक धोखा है। कम से कम ये मेरा तरीका नहीं है। स्त्रियों का मै सम्मान करता हूँ मगर इसका ये मतलब नहीं है कि उनके आचरण से जुड़े गलत तौर तरीको पर आपत्ति न उठाऊं। हर संवेदनशील व्यक्ति को समय रहते स्त्रियों को उनके आपत्तिज़नक आचरण के लिए सचेत करते रहना चाहिये इस बात की परवाह किये बिना कि इसका उन्हें खामियाज़ा भुगतना पड़ सकता है। कम से कम ये बेहतर है इससें कि आप व्यर्थ के आंसू टपकायें कुछ गलत हो जाने के बाद उसी गलत आचरण की वजह से। ये अलग बात है कि हम कदम तभी उठाते है जब सार्थक कदम अपनी अहमियत खो चुके होते है। अब ना तो मुझे इनकी तरह आँसू बहाने का शौक है और ना ही मै इन निष्क्रिय आत्माओ के समूह से में अपने आपको जोड़ सकता हूँ जो व्यर्थ ही आँसू बहाने के शौक़ीन है फोकट में।इसलिए तीव्रता से विरोध करता हूँ उस अवस्था से ही जब समस्या अपने प्रारम्भिक चरण में होती है। कम से कम विरोध करना तो मेरे हाथ में ही है। अगर आप मेरा साथ देते है तो अच्छी बात है। नहीं तो मै अकेले ही अपना विरोध तीव्रता से दर्ज करता रहूँगा। जिनको जो उपाधि मुझे देना है वो स्वतंत्र है मुझे देने के लिए।
कभी कभी हमको चीजों को मानवीय दृष्टिकोण से भी समझना चाहिए, एक संवेदनशील दिमाग से भी देखना चाहिए। दिक्कत हमारे साथ ये है कि हम सब चीजों को ओवर इंटेलेक्चुअलआइज़ कर देते है। यही सबसे बड़ी समस्या है रेडिकल फेमिनिस्ट्स के साथ जो औरतो के अधिकारों के लिए लड़ रही है। अब औरतो के पास कुछ तथाकथित अपने पर्सनल अधिकार है पर जो चीज़ इस पर्सनल राइट्स के मिलने के बाद आयी कि पुरुषो के साथ परस्पर माधुर्य से जुड़े सम्बन्ध बनाने की काबिलियत का लोप हो गया। इसीलिए मुझे जो साधारण स्तर पर विचरणने वाले स्त्री पुरुष है वो ज्यादा जीवन का रस लेने वाले है बजाय दोहरी ज़िन्दगी, उलझाव भरी ज़िन्दगी जीने वाले ये अधिकारों की लडाई लड़ते स्त्री और पुरुष।
(अपने अभिन्न मित्र घनश्याम दास, मेडिकल प्रैक्टिसनर है, यूनाइटेड अरब अमीरात, जी से कहे हुए शब्द एक विचार विमर्श के दौरान सोशल नेटवर्किंग साईट पर)
The righteous have always been labelled as this or that. I have never worried about labels; crossed that stage when one is afraid of labels. To feel something terribly and yet not speak out that clearly is some sort of intellectual dishonesty. That’s not my attitude. I respect and admire women a lot but that does not mean I come to overlook the dangerous trend patterns associated with them. We have to warn them in advance, irrespective of the consequences, or else there is no point in shedding tears when something goes wrong because of the same flaws/tendencies. It’s another thing that we react only when the water starts flowing above the danger mark. And neither I wish to shed tears like these misguided souls nor I wish to identify myself with them. That’s why I aggressively protest, right from the nascent stage of crisis. At least, that’s in my hand. It’s fine if you come to support me. If not, I will still aggressively protest all alone. Let them label me as they want.
Sometimes we need to look at things from human angle, from a sensitive mind. The crude thing is that we over intellectualize everything. That’s the problem with the radical feminists advocating the rights of women. Now the women have their so-called rights but they forgot the art to have a natural and intimate relationship with man. That’s why I find simple man and woman enjoying life more than these men and women living complex lives, living dual lives, in the name of personal rights.
P.S.: These words I shared with my close friend Ghanshyam Dasji, Medical Practitioner in United Arab Emirates, on a social networking site.
Let me tender my apology, at the very onset, to enlightened readers, especially the female readers. I could have roped in a more reader-friendly title than such a shocking heading. However, any attempts to do so would have defeated the very purpose of writing such a shocking piece. In my eyes, only hypocrites would call it vulgar, and naturally bring in use the trash button. But even if they decide to use the trash button, I would like them to read the article and try to be on the par with the essence of the whole article. The people around us are day and night bombarding the ear drums with such shocking epithets, and we have, apparently, stopped treating them as offending. If that’s the case then I think there is no point in raising hue and cry about article being objectionable and crude. But the sad reality is that it really hurts when one hears such epithet. So what’s the motive? To make it clear that let’s not make abuses part and parcel of routine conversations. It’s, indeed, a very shocking experience if someone hurls it at you all of a sudden, making you taken aback. If we can use better phrases then why we have made abusive language part of our conversations? And if one is not ashamed of using abuses in conversations then I don’t think one should find anything objectionable in reading them onscreen in an article format!
Another reason why I have written this article is that I love to bring darker aspects of life in open. Let’s get realistic and be not ashamed in reading what we have become used to in our daily lives! One laughs loud to bluff it away or pretends that one did not hear it all when such words appear, all of a sudden, in the daily conversations. I don’t think that’s going to bring any qualitative changes in our mannerism!!!
My idea of writing this article first hit the mind some years back when I was in New Delhi. I came to anticipate these modern mantras very often there. Mind you not only the commoners were using but also the high and mighty uttered them proving that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even the teenage girls and boys let fly with tirade of abuses on small pretexts. In the evenings, we used to walk around PVR situated close to Jawahar Lal University (JNU). One gentleman there inquired about Photostat shop. On not being able to locate one he bursted out: “Behan Chod Sirf Cigarette Aur Beer Ki Dukan Hi Delhi Mein Hai Kya? Behen Chod Ek Din Sale Sab Marenge.” (These sister-fuckers have opened shops selling beer and cigarettes. I cannot find any Photostat shop.) He was not all wrong. I could see teenage girls and boys smoking and there were beer bottles scattered around all along the path. If you happen to commute by a DTC bus there, I am sure you would be surrounded by nothing else but choicest abuses. “Behen Chod Ticket Nahi Lega Kya” (Sister-fucker! Will you not have the ticket?) Or “Behan Chold Chal Utar Tera Stoppage Aa Gaya Hai”(Sister-fucker! Get off the bus. You have arrived at the destination.) Interestingly, one US citizen, who was traveling with me, could not resist himself from asking me what these words really mean. He opened his small notebook, wherein he seemed to have jotted down these abuses. I gave a smile and told him that these are foul words.
I had similar experiences when I was in Mumbai. A boy hardly in his teens from a well-to-do family was walking waywardly on a busy street .Obviously, he was drunk. He seemed to have a bitter fight with her girl-friend studying in class seventh! “Behen Chod Mere Saath Nahi Chalegi.Kutiya Kahi Ki ! Khud Dus Logo Ke Saath Ghumti Hai Tab Kuch Nahi Jata.” (Sister-fucker! She hates to be my side. Bitch! She had no problems when she moved with so many strangers.)
I don’t know what’s happening in the Western world but it’s quite clear that there too foul words have become integral part of their routine conversation. I would like to quote a certain excerpt from a dialogue, which took place on a prominent site that deals with publication of poems and short stories. I am also one of its prominent contributors. The best thing of this whole conversation is that it has taken place between two best friends, and that too in a lighter vain. Here is the excerpt: “You fucking idiot!! Tread carefully motherfucker, I can find you and I will not be nice, pray to your imaginary friend now asshole. AIDS? What the fuck do you know? You can only get that from people who are infected with the HIV and without a condom, you fucking idiot. Primitive minded mother-fucker. Go swing out of a tree monkey.” (It’s unedited version of the comment.)
Anyway, I must tell what’s happening in India instead of revealing the darker sides of Western world. Today we are hell-bent on improving the face of Indian police. I don’t know when that’s going to take place. I don’t know how many of us have encountered Policwallah (Policeman) speaking in a friendly way. He is one of the most dreaded species on earth. On very small pretexts, you will find him using foul words. They never miss an opportunity to turn you into a caricature. A friend of mine was returning from a late-night party with his sister. A policeman on the beat asked him to stop. The policeman went closer to them and asked,” Where are you roaming with this Laundiya (Girl)? ” You expect something better from a lady police officer. However, even they are also devoid of good mannerism, better words. They too find nothing wrong in using foul words. Look how they dealt with group of innocent girls brought to book for their alleged involvement in prostitution racket: “Kutiya Dhanda Karti Hai Aur Yeha Aakar Drama Kar Rahi Hai.” (These bitches are involved in prostitution and now they are pretending at the police station.)Well, one expects something better from women officials. But they seem to be setting new standards of degradation!! The lives of policemen hover around foul words, and, therefore, there are endless tales related with their intimate bond with abuses. Recently, some eminent sports persons in Varanasi were manhandled and treated roughly by the petty constables with choicest abuses.
Well, I can say that fast-paced life of ours has wrecked our nerves, to an extent that we have no control over our mouths. As a lawyer, when I first entered in the premises of Allahabad High Court, it felt really great. Indeed, it’s a great place. However, I came to notice that almost all the lawyers enjoyed close proximity with foul words. I came to notice that senior lawyers usually handled their juniors very roughly. Being a rebel of some sort, I refused to be part of this chain of events which my friend tell that it’s essential to face such trials and tribulations to turn into a more practical guy. My other colleagues told me that they (read senior lawyers) are reshaping your tendencies in order to overcome rough moments with ease during the proceedings. However, I ignored their advice. But what they said had an element of truth. If you have witnessed proceedings in divorce related cases, you would come to notice that words like “Kutiya” (Bitch) “Chinar” (Loose character women) , “Randi” (Prostitute) fly thick and fast from both the sides right in front of the Honourable Justice!
Looking this issue from a different perspective, I think that’s why women in our villages during marriage ceremony hurl abuses at the groom’s family when they come to have food. Sometimes they are used as tools to create intimacy, to create familiarity. I have heard that abuses hurled by saints are considered to some form of blessing. Even the prominent Hindi writers and poets are not ashamed in hurling choicest abuses whenever possible. That’s why I feel pretty uncomfortable in their company! But that’s something a natural affair for them. Even prominent Muslim writers like Taslima Nasreen(Lajja fame female writer), Ismat Chugtai and Saadat Hasan Manto have frequently used foul words .
But that cannot be used an excuse to provide an exalted position to Gaali (foul word) in our lives. Let’s come to respect the sense and sensibilities of each other. No doubt it’s very hard to rise above foul words during tense moments but we can certainly avoid making them part of our routine conversations. And some day, we will learn to say the unpleasant things in a refined language. There is no dearth of pleasant words in dictionary. Let’s learn to use them to convey both our good and bad feelings. If that’s not possible, let us use them in rarest of rare times.
Pic Credit :
I was once again with Radha. When all others have lost their relevance in my life, she continues to serve me like dutiful wife, opening new zones of vision each day. Who is Radha? Obviously, she cannot belong to this earthly plane. She represents my chamber of mind, which has been personified to provide it a bit of tangibility. And named Radha? To show its origin.
Night was towards its nadir. Only Radha and I were there in the dingy room, arguing over merits and demerits of certain aspect, staring into nothingness during moments of silence that too often interrupted our conversation. Of late, it has become extremely difficult for me to appease Radha. With her strange notions, she always manages to put me on the knife-edge. Later, she repents over her harshness but by then damage has become irreparable. As a damage-control measure, Radha, for few days, distances away from too much of twisting but as I am about to regain equanimity she is back to her usual business with a bang. These days intense debate is going on over the place of marriage in my life.
“So you have decided not to get married,”
“Will you please let the cat out of the bag?” she demanded with a stroke of sarcasm.
“I thought that by now you would have guessed about it. If you haven’t let me tell you that in absence of right partner, I have put this issue on the backburner”, I replied in a cool and calm way.
“What a pity! Yaar, can’t you be little pragmatic? Why are you always hell-bent on emulating a self-destructive logic? You are now well past marriage age. Think about your anxious parents…” she said before being interrupted.
“Well, lend me your ears,” I said, seeking her attention. After a moment of silence I said: ‘ Just like other obedient sons and daughters of present age! They pretend to be close to their parents but on their back care a damn about their reputation. They are always up to confrontation but for the world’s sake they project a sober picture of their maddening lives, keep marrying in the name of providing relief to the parents, but once this tamasha gets over, they immediately abandon their parents. And for rest of their life parents live a lonely life; neither the society not their faithful children show up their faces. Only the other day I read about a lady who died after fighting a long battle with a dreaded disease. Do you know what their sons were doing when her heart must be burning with a desire to see them? They were relaxing in their apartments in Canada, came back seven or eight months later after so many reminders?
“No, I did not mean that, what I am trying to convey is that your parents be greatly relieved once you get married. After all, haven’t they raised you up amid comforts? Aren’t you ashamed over your callousness which has burdened their hearts with additional pain besides those emanating from worldly concerns?”, asked Radha stubbornly.
“Do you understand, Radha, do you anticipate the real motives in the words flowing out unconsciously from the bosom. You are mistaken if you find this sort of thing fit for casual execution; it’s not as simple as it appears to be. Listen, children should never be made vehicle for carrying out ambitions of the parents. Since you have brought them up it becomes obligatory for them to serve your interests, such uttering sound blasphemous. When such intimate relations are build up to ignite selfish considerations, no matter how noble your intentions may be, what is the need to carve place for lofty ideals in our lives? To rope in your bogus expectations, all in the name of rituals would only make the values redundant, existing in our life like lightening in the clouds!
“I understand it all! You are trying to make suspect myself. But remember, you could no longer fool me by spooky versions, “said Radha caught in whirlpool of contradictory emotions. I was smiling being aware of the fact that she was on the brink of losing ground.
“Radha, at least you should not be mindless in criticizing my stand point. Parents, Chachas*, Mamas*, friends and other near and dear ones, have put to sleep their analytical faculty, drugged their discrimination, having given way to compromises. It doesn’t hurt me at all as I know well that such relations are guided by second-rate convictions, frequently changing color to remain in sync with the world. Don’t you think concerns like marriage, job and etc. must be perforce choice of an individual, more so if he or she has attained a level of maturity? The only factor that should be given utmost importance is that whether or not it leads to beneficial changers for people around. If it doesn’t violate the above-mentioned condition, I don’t feel anyone has the right to question about its worth.”
“Now look at the fate,” trembling with passion I said, “of married couples, those who in the eyes of world have been sincere in honoring the wishes of their parent. Be sure, I am not trying to pass a moral judgment on one of the most respectable institutions established by our forefathers with great care. But one cannot ignore the degeneration that has wiped away its finer aspects. They quarrel over trivial issues, hurl choicest abuses at each other, emotionally and intellectually so wide apart yet living together for fulfillment of physical desires, meaningless union but could not separate owing to societal compulsions and yet in the eyes of the world they belong to honorable class of people. Why? Just because they are the by-product of time-tested institution! In other cases husbands and wives are living shattered lives, thanks to the ups and downs of the realistic life, existing merely as instruments with no time to exchange compliments. In some exaggerated examples, both the partners are found trapped in immoral affairs. Reason-not satisfied with each other desperately and now need a change coupled with experimentation! I wonder in age of so many revolutionary isms, it would be highly unfair to treat immoral as immoral. Give it a respectable place, or, simply vanish.”
I said all this with a provocative smile. Not willing to give her room to cast stones at me, I went ahead with my views “What hurts me is elders stubborn refusal to learn lesson from their past mistakes. Having witnessed the consequence of pursuing faulty line of action, they come up with another set of perverse notions. The most shameful thing is that they don’t regret at all. I am horrified over the dullness of these ‘experienced’ brains, which are so cocksure about efficiency of their worn-out ways and means. It was indeed grave mistake that I came to assume repentance unleashed wisdom in their consciousness.”
For some reason, this greatly moved her. Refusing the emotion let loose on her head she said: “Forgive me, I wasn’t aware of the seriousness of the crises. Yes, you are right that one should not expect anything worthwhile from people with a very limited vision. But I am more concerned about you. In all this drama, it’s you who have suffered the most, being the victim of events, which were not entirely your own making. Let them resort to such desperate remedies, at this point of time, I would like to know about your steps to diffuse the crisis.”
“Radha, it’s never has been a well-guarded secret. In fact, the very clarity of my purpose has often allowed others to sabotage it. The likes of worldly experts have left little room for bringing in better choices, yet I have not lost hopes. One thing is crystal clear that it’s not going to fall in the same bracket of affairs like gambling. Instead of being dictated by hazy vision, personal complexes and inflated egos of aberrated minds, the decision should emanate from deeper realm of intellect, leaving no room for setbacks in the future.”
“But suppose such a holistic version refuses to materialize in your life?” she questioned thoughtfully. She was aware of the fact that rudeness of life does not provide humane approaches many chances to germinate.
“Radha, you are now loosing your sense of proportion. Is it sin to go beyond the dictates of people whose thinking abilities are covered in cobwebs? It is crime to provide life and vibrancy to your prized affairs? Perhaps it’s better to move alone than to be part of nightmarish experiences all your life, under the veneer of traditions and rigorous social customs.”
Radha half-whispered to herself and for a while allowed the silence to reign. She was unsuccessfully trying to conceal her tears, something that prevented her to go ahead with the conversation. Being absorbed in the same state of mind she exclaimed, “ I am afraid you would not be able to survive for too long in the world reserved solely for dogs! I know well that sensitive souls like you cannot survive without a companion. When that was the case, why didn’t you find one molded in your perception?”
“Well, a chance encounter had dragged me towards such a soul, but before it could blossom, it succumbed to the primitive-thoughtlessness of the pseudo-crusaders of the society. These perfect spoilsports who are mired in unspeakable affairs attain a sacrosanct position in these matters; on their verdicts innocent souls are mercilessly butchered without given a slight chance to communicate their intentions. As the days pass away, souls like us slowly get reduced to ashes amid gross activities of average everyday life.” “ I am eager to know her name, my dear fellow” Radha insisted.
“What is in the name? For me, she was simply your reflection! That’s all,” I suddenly said, looking straight at her face.
“Hm-that’s all right- but what about your friends? Why didn’t they conceive a strategy to pull you out of the mess?” she asked, blushing with gloomy eyes.
“It’s a sad reflection, but I could not resist myself from making a confession that they were enemies masquerading as friends. It seems strange but they left no opportunity, like bunch of cheap crooks, to create nuisance at defining moments. Worse, after causing the debacle, they were little ashamed in delivering absurd suggestions, to view the whole episode as hand-work of destiny! It was indeed misplaced trust on these determined liars, who with help of their half-truths, spelled doom for me. Though I wanted to retain the illusion of recognizing them as friends for a longer time, however, their sincerity towards shrewdness made it impossible.”
“So now you are all alone! Being burdened with awesome grief how are you going to remain on the right-track, one that makes the journey of life fruitful? You are in terrible state of loss!” burst out Radha with restless anxiety. Evidently, she was quite out of her wits, all the time eyes were glued on her feet, momentarily rising up to stare at my face with sad and severe look that left me horrified.
“Radha! I find myself trapped in the body. I don’t want to get identified with fifth of this sort, an identification that has now little meaning for me except initiating cycle of meaningless cause and effects. Give me blue, for survival” I said in a distinct tone.
“Blue? What does it stand for?” asked Radha in a trembling voice with a cold smile.
“Radha, you seem to have fallen in league of present day politicians, who so easily forget their promises! I am surprised to find you so forgettable a person. Just a little while ago, haven’t I attributed it to you as your intrinsic nature?” no sooner had I asked this I found her giving way to strange look.
Later, a smile dipped in divinity, flashed across her face. The night has changed her tempo, inviting the dawn to unfold its magic. Meanwhile, Radha has embraced my consciousness, placing me in her domain – unending stretch of blueness that came to annihilate our distinction, making us one forever.
Chacha: Brother Of Father
Mama: Brother Of Mother
It’s a rare phenomenon in a virtual world to receive comments/letters, which are powerful enough to make you go in a thinking mode. The dialogues or conversations taking place between netizens are often devoid of substance, purely for the sake of cheap thrills. Anyway, the words of my highly conscious female friend Sally, living in United Kingdom, proved to be an exception. She is an excellent blogger, who not only loves to sing but also appears to be in love with languages, being fluent in Spanish, German and French. Her views provide a deep insight about the complexities, which have begun to shatter relationship existing between man and woman. Let’s have a look at her views but before that it would be appropriate to apprise the readers of my own words which compelled Sally to have such a conscious take on this complicated issue.
And yes, Sally, when I began writing I never intended to beat the Britishers in English writing skills! I have always been interested in presentation of thoughts with not so much regards for rules of grammar. That’s what I am still doing: Learning with each passing day with greater hold on presentation of deeper thoughts, related with sensitive issues. Anyway, thanks for complimenting me on my English. They mean a lot to me. At least, they give me power to keep writing with confidence in the world of English writing, marred by fierce competitiveness.
That’s what I said:
“It’s really baffling to anticipate that women have changed a lot but the mindset that sees them as a weaker sex remains the same. We continue to treat them as sex which cannot do anything wrong. Interestingly, it had never been the reality. Not even in times when they were icons of virtue. They are equally capable of plotting in a sinister way. In fact, they are far superior in working in evil ways.
Yet we notice that when laws are framed, they are framed treating woman as a harmless creature! Will anybody explain me what’s the rationale behind this generosity shown by the lawmakers? What prevents the lawmakers from anticipating something that’s too obvious even to a person having little knowledge of women’s behaviour? This calculated ignorance on part of lawmakers has turned Indian homes into battlefields. Clash of egos is now so commonplace. The couples suffer but the policemen, lawyers, judges, women’s organizations and feminist institutions keep making money. The fights are also good for the economy. The couple living separate lives will be viewing television separately!
The times have really changed. Women make babies suffer but forget not to save time for friends, parties and doggies. This drama is, indeed, more comic than ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, and at the same time, more tragic than disaster hitting the planet earth.”
Now pay attention to the words of my extremely sensitive friend Sally:
This is a very interesting discussion. I think where there is any extreme there must always be a backlash the other way.
In this country (the UK), when women’s rights came to the fore it wasn’t too long before the balance tipped in their favour. Men were demonised (“all men are rapists”, etc.) and women insisted on equality in all areas, much to their own detriment in terms of the social niceties such as men standing when a woman entered the room, men opening doors for women, etc. Whereas women were fighting for the “right” to work, this has inevitably led to all women being expected to work, whilst still looking after their husbands and partners (forget the “New Man”, he doesn’t exist!) and also bring up their children.
This initially back-lashed to the emasculation of men and they were much derided in advertising campaigns and TV soap operas, etc.
The truth is there are intelligent people and not so intelligent people, there are good people and bad people, strong people and weak people – of both sexes – and gender doesn’t come into the equation. Men and women should have equal rights in law, and there should be fairness in society, and men and women should complement each other. Look at nature – in some respects the male dominates, in other respects the female does. There is balance.
We should respect each other’s gender, and work in harmony. We can rejoice in our differences.
As a visitor to India, I was aware that there were many aspects which seemed, to a Western observer, to be very old fashioned. Some attitudes towards women I encountered were quaint and charming, some I found patronising, and others downright offensive (whether I was judged, as a Western woman, to have looser morals I cannot say but on a couple of occasions I was manhandled – literally – in an unacceptable fashion). On the whole, however, I was treated with respect. I was, however, left with the impression that men had the upper hand culturally.
My impression before visiting India – mostly derived from watching “Bollywood” movies – was that the Indian male’s view of womanhood was that of a fragile flower, who should be chaste but sassy, and in need of the male’s protection, but who might equally be a devious temptress or harridan, using womanly wiles or a strong personality to get her own way. The truth is that men and women are not so different – we laugh, we cry, we nurture, we manipulate, we love, we hate, we feel.
Just as men abuse women, women abuse men. If anything, the abuse of men is less likely to be reported since society would have it that the abused man is weak, which is not necessarily the case at all.
Even in the UK in the 21st century there are still serious issues, such as the rights of divorced and separated fathers concerning access to their children, which need addressing. Although women are said to have equality, men are still on the whole earning more than women in similar jobs.
Oh yes, and I agree with the song “Paisa bolta hai” (money speaks). Many laws are made which protect the interests those who make them. The people who make the laws are mostly men.
May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your English, which is probably equally as good as mine, if not better, and certainly much better than my Hindi!
A book in which we wish
To read only geography
And avoid history.
On which we write only poetry
And never revolution(words that bring phenomenal changes).
Whose addition or subtraction
Makes no difference
To our wicked and vain calculations.
पढना चाहते है
जिस पर हम
पर क्रांति नहीं.
या घट जाने से
गणित को कोई
फर्क नहीं पड़ता.
-Translation of Deepak Tiruva’s Hindi poem has been done by Arvind K. Pandey
I am in love with Radio since childhood. It’s my first love. That’s because it remained above the distortions that hit the silver screen /idiot box with passage of time, providing healthy entertainment, besides keeping me in touch with changes taking place in the world. The other two mediums gave way to skin show but radio kept its virginity intact for long. However, very recently I discovered that it has too given way to vulgarity and obscenity. This time vulgarity entered not through the eyes but through the ears in form of sound waves.
It took me by surprise when I found one of the very young female listeners shrieking out loudly on radio that she enjoys uninterrupted “Sex and the city” and others can also have same quality experience like her if they come to own a particular brand of set top box! It appeared to me that society has really progressed- a belief that did not stay for long. That probably also explains why we have so many late night programmes on radio, often hosted by female presentators with remarkable confidence. That makes me feel pretty awkward within as how come being a male I lack the same confidence? Anyway, the arrival of songs like “ Ooh la la“, “ Chikni Chameli“, ” Bhaag DK Bose” and “ Jalebi Bai“, to name a few, on radio wiped out whatever little respectability radio had so painfully preserved in all these ears.
Anyway, it gave me some sort of satisfaction that bombardment of such songs and programmes is indicative of growing maturity in society- something also in tune with supply and demand theory. I mean I felt when young generation can so boldly discuss and share their experiences on radio, television and online portals I have no reason to assume that times have not really changed, in which people like me owning a great degree of shyness in such matters are like great black patch on clean white plain clothe. Have a look at our teenage days. We had just morning shows at theaters delivering “Gupt Gyana” (secret knowledge), which was rarely watched by guys and gals from decent homes and then there were magazines like “Playboy” which few could afford and some Hindi books- poor versions of foreign magazines. To discuss such matters was considered taboo and television after much consideration started showing late night movies in late 80s, which none watched.
Look at our times. We have helpline numbers that deal with queries related with post marriage worries !! There is growing awareness about sex education, more than need of moral education- to such an extent that talks about moral education seems to be regressive! Well, my eyes were wide opened when some months ago next door young boy,studying in good school and belonging to a good family, asked me ,” Do I own CD of Murder-2 ?” My response in negative made him give me a strange stare and he was virtually annoyed when I asked why he has so much interest in movie having bold scenes-based on theme revolving around extra marital affairs? He smiled and said I am not in sync with recent trends!! I found merit in his response , after all, how come I forgot that all national magazines carry out sex surveys, which has details of intimate moments ? These are easily available low priced magazines which anyone can afford!! Gone are the days when “ Roop tera Mastana” or “ Julie I love you” aesthetically picturized songs, evoked unheard sensations. It’s a different world wherein explicit details in normal conversations are commonplace and sexting has killed all scope for unheard sensations.
The point is do these signs are indicative of the fact that society is on right track after having become comfortable with sex related issues? The answer is a big “No”! Just now I signed a petition that will serve as a memorandum to Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, compelling him to take note of “Gang-rapes, sexual assaults, victim blaming, shameful rape trials” which have terribly hit Delhi/NCR. It reported the highest number of ‘rape’ cases (414) in 2010, leading it to earn dubious distinction of being rape capital of India. The other cities are also not that safe. In Calcutta a woman was raped by five youths when they were offered lift by her in middle of the night. In Gurgaon, a woman pub employee was allegedly gang-raped by six youth in a flat in the city. The sensational rape case of a BPO employee at Dhaula Kuan is still fresh in our memories.
After such incidents males are cursed, viewing rapes in narrow perspective as subordination of females in patriarchal society a way via which males prove their superiority over females. The feminists and intellectuals speak about ways and means to prevent rapes the way this petition talks about like better promotion of ‘women helplines, monitoring through CCTV’s, sexual assault prevention and redressal policy, state and police sensitivity towards women, workplace safety and awareness campaigns. However, the big picture is often ignored. At this point it would be not be out of place to suggest that the United States has the world’s highest rape rate. A country that has high level of transparency in sexual affairs with a great freedom to indulge in sexual experimentation. Let’s also remember it’s a society highly feminist in nature. “1 of 6 U.S. women and 1 of 33 U.S. men have experienced an attempted or completed rape” states one of the reports published several years back.
Let me state that this issue has many complex facet. The same society that proclaims about freedom of sexual preferences and about attainment of maturity has utterly failed to address some of the key questions related with sexuality. The same society also deals with serious issues in biased manner as its more interested in vilification of men community and sharp polarization of society for vested interests. It boasts of sexual freedom but it loves to highlight important issues related with men and women in stereotypical way. That’s one of the greatest paradox in our times. It’s because more women in offices means greater consumption of material goods and so none of the countries including India can dare to ignore demands associated with women as they play a great role in stabilization of nation’s economy.
However, this has led to another problem. The market oriented global society has utilized women’s efficiency not only as qualified labour but also used her sexuality to great extent in selling of the products as well which these women are producing. Nokia sets are made in some remote part of India with the help of over burdened male and female staff and these very phones are launched at glittering ceremony, wherein one notices gorgeous male/female star accompanied by good looking females! Notice how sexuality is also being promoted along with new Nokia set!!
The problem arises here: Youth can buy a Nokia set but how and where will they unleash their sexual energy? That’s why it’s also promoted that we are now a country which allows many sexual preferences, enabling girls to boast “why should boys have all the fun? ” A certain sexual tension is gradually built. Want to buy a soap? Buy one which impresses girls easily or buy one which sexy Katrina Kaif uses over her long legs!! Want to buy a toothpaste? Use one which leads to freshness of breath so that it’s easier to attract kiss of a beautiful girl? If you use certain cream you attain a great glow to attract young girls and if female is using such a cream glow of her face is sure to get her a job!! It’s not enough to see the ball reaching the boundary. See how semi naked cheer girls express their joy when ball races towards boundary! You buy something and the woman cashier at counter, being impressed by the mobile you carry, offers you condom to compensate for lack of change!!
That sort of sexual impressions are being constantly generated. These are false images. But they are powerful enough to shatter into pieces better values. They lead to dangerous conditioning of mind. As a result right people from both the sexes suffer. If you are not allowing healthy release of sexual energy even as the the mind gets hammered with sexual images of all the types will it not lead to perversions of all types? Will it not lead to rapists and sexual offenders? Why are only men being vilified? Why not the system in its entirety being targeted? Will tough laws that seem to punish all the men and laws which view rest of the men as potential rapists serve the purpose? I think these are not preventive measures but methods to end the human society for forever.
Now let’s talk about love as well. The same Indian society which gives the impression that it has evolved to great extent is still comprised of people having more closed mind than people living in stone age. On the one hand, we find one reputed female editor finding extra marital affairs good for keeping marriage lively and, on the other hand, we have societies which hang to death boy and girl for loving each other just because they belonged to different caste. One real love story gives gives rises to many problems in India. Angry parents, shocked relatives, red-faced friends and hostile law authorities all make the life of lovers no less than living hell. No wonder the path of true love is never easy.
It’s quite ironical that casual sex has so many takers if one takes into account growing number of teenage pregnancies or sex at the call centers or growing number of educated girls from good families joining prostitution to earn good money in short time but the same society is not yet ready to embrace the lovers with open arms. That reminds me of middle class morality, which finds its appearance in dramas written by G B Shaw. A stiff resistance often greets lovers, who not only have to face hostile law authorities but also be face-to-face with shrewd moves of deceptive friends and relatives. Deceptive friends? Tell any friend that you are in love with some girl and you are bound to hear anyone passing this great information that she has slept with him too!! A lobby of bad friends gets in action side by side good ones, leading to dominance of half truths. True lovers get above such traps but not all are that great willed and so most love stories end up on tragic note.
So it’s okay to be fake lovers, in which there is display of money but no real emotions. Just the way a new movie get released every Friday, a new girlfriend or boyfriend appears in life of such lovers. It’s okay to be a couple, who have no respect for each other but they are in relationship to keep the society happy or , for that matter, to keep the honour of family intact. Often such couples are involved in serious clashes and some even come to murder their partners. However, the Indian society has place for all such incidents. It treats them as part and parcel of drama called human life. What really baffles is that these same block heads who endorse all ills of societies in name of growth of society are so harsh towards lovers seriously in love with each other!! The custodians of morality still issue death warrants to them all in name of religion, caste, language and status.
Let’s hope that Indian society which is so eager to convey the impression that it has evolved and in tune with better sensibilities makes way for right people, create room for healthy relationships and removes chosen contradictions. At present, it’s in cusp which is neither modern nor ancient. I prefer not to treat it as a society trapped in transition. It’s probably moving away from its core: The core made up of ancient wisdom which treated even insentient objects worthy of admiration.
Look at present age. We are murdering our own kids-only because they fail to fulfill our expectations. We believed that husband and wife are each other’s reflection. Today we find that most of them are living in dead relationship. We treated women as object of worship. Today she is some ‘chikni chameli’ or, if that’s not the case, she is promoting some mobile or deodorant via the charm of her body !! Our wise present age intellectuals call prostitution the oldest profession. They forget that we have produced women who have set high precedents. Let’s not glorify trash even as we come to make way for trash to make the life attain full circle.
The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 has raised a storm in the legal circles and among bodies representing rights of men. The bodies advocating for men’s rights like Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) have lambasted the latest amendment on ground that it promotes misandry in society. Even in legal circles, allowing wife right to oppose the grant of a decree, if she happens to be respondent, on the ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial hardship to her but denying the same right to husband is being seen as violation of the principle inherent in Article 14 related with Right to Equality.
In my eyes, the response is just the reverse. I appreciate the amendment and I condemn the media and Men’s Rights Association that they have reacted in immature manner without bothering to having a close look at the Amendment. The Amendment nowhere talks about distribution of husband’s property -an impression generated by SIFF and Indian media. We should learn to appreciate good laws. However, I too have my fears and doubts but they differ hugely from the mainstream media or, for that matter, associations championing the cause of men.
This amendment had became a necessity after Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the Special Marriage Act, 1954 were modified to meet the new changes in the society. It was presented in the Parliament last year, keeping in mind suggestions made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice. It would be quite interesting to know that demand to include “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce” came into limelight some three decades ago. That prompted the Law Commission to take note of this issue. It dealt with this issue in its 71st Report titled “The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage as a Ground of Divorce” which was submitted in April, 1978, and made this recommendation that “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” should be made a new ground for granting a decree of divorce.
The Bill cites two judgement delivered by Supreme Court which acted as a catalyst: Ms. Jorden Diengdeh vs. S.S. Chopra(AIR 1985 SC 935) and Naveen Kohli vs. Neelu Kohli (AIR 2006 SC 1675). Both theses judgments laid emphasis on bringing suitable changes in Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 so that irretrievable breakdown of marriage could serve as an additional ground for divorce. The Law Commission once again came to the fore when it took suo moto cognizance of the issue, presenting its 217th Report titled ‘Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage —Another Ground for Divorce’ to the government in year 2009.
It can be noticed that Congress governments have been pretty much conscious to introduce laws, which give an upper hand to weaker sex so that it can be seen as champion of women’s rights. It’s very much similar to its approach in the case of minorities, which it tries to woo with anti constitutional measures. The same Congress government miserably failed to protect the sanctity of important Constitutional bodies like Governor of States and Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). After all, how dare CAG came to point out irregularities in the allocation of radio spectrum? No need to talk about role of governors who turned out to be puppets instead of acting as bridge between Centre and States. It also weakened Judiciary by making it in constant conflict with Parliament over its power to interpret the laws in independent manner. The Congress governments in subtle ways have always tried to weaken all the institutions that came to curb its lust for power. Of late, we find that it’s chiefly focused to appease minorities and women. One can easily sense why it’s so? It’s because these two constitute its vote bank. It’s neither bothered about quality of life nor its interested in making the nation on right track. How else can one justify the way it dragged important institutions into controversy- the latest being army row?
Let’s grasp this fact very well that all dubious laws have been framed by Congress government in the name of good intentions. The same laws created with good intentions become so terrible that Supreme Court Court is left with no other option other than to treat the Dowry Act as instrument of legal terrorism. The SC/ST Act is another draconian law that has left deep scars on the societal structure operating in India. The point is if laws are allowed to operate in the flawed system they do not serve the purpose for which they have been created. They become medium to harass and frustrate the right people. The better way to improve the society is not only have good laws but also have a system that makes implementation of the laws in proper way.
Coming to the latest amendment made in Marriage Act, it’s good that government is conscious that divorce petitions if get trapped in the battle of egos hurt the interest of both the parties interested in quick separation. What it fails to recognize that granting only one side to oppose the petition, the wife, would only make the life of husband miserable, who is already reeling under many other flawed laws. It’s highly shocking that despite noticing trend in previous laws – the gross misuse of provisions providing upper hand to women- the government grants women the power to oppose such petitions in the name that ” dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial hardship”. However, it conveniently forgets that dissolution is equally painful and shocking, emotionally as well as financially, for men community? Why have been they denied the chance to oppose the petition on the same ground ?
It’s not hard to ascertain that government is not ready to accept the new changes that have hit the Indian society. For instance, it is not ready to believe that women are highly aggressive and violent in our times, and, therefore, make necessary changes in Domestic Violence Act. Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty in one of the news items published recently says ” Domestic violence by women is grossly underreported as the law is heavily weighed against men.” It would be interesting to see when is Law Commission going to wake up and take suo moto cognizance of new behavioral patterns in women and make necessary changes in laws related with them? The problem with Law making bodies is that they deal with issues in narrow terms and hence the laws framed often miss the mark. The other point is bit complex in nature. The Women’s Commission in tandem with Women’s Rights activists and NGOs promotes emancipation of women, which has created more room for individualistic traits in women with heightened ego.
It’s really strange that we are creating more grounds of separation and, on the other hand, we are equally conscious that divorce becomes an easy task. Instead of making quality of life better, we are manufacturing new grounds of separation. On top of it, the flawed laws that ignore the abusive nature of women, the painful ignorance about the fact that men can be silent sufferers and the deep rooted prejudices which readily presume men guilty and women a holy cow have only led to collapse of family structure in India. It’s better that we device ways and means to ensure union and smooth relationship than ensuring easy divorce. Anyway, this amendment needs to be welcomed as it , at least, provides the trapped partners a chance to start new lives again than being engaged in endless battle. One hopes that it is not misused by the shrewd wives to manipulate and dictate terms.