Tag Archives: society

If I had a baby boy

Here’s a “poem” I wrote. It is very simple in it’s structure and language, but it is something I feel dearly about. I don’t like how human beings are given names when they’re born and how they live their whole lives to defend their names. It is in short, my attempt to mock at all sorts of labelling we have in the society today.


If I had a baby boy,

He won’t be given a name.

Call him Jack, Alex, George or Dork

To him it’s all the same.

If I had a baby boy,

He will go to school

Hydrogen bonding, Renaissance, Calculus

He’ll learn these things

Or he can stop,

If he doesn’t want to.

If I had a baby boy,

He won’t be taught to pray

He’ll go to the church,

Temples, mosques and monasteries

And if he asks,

I’ll go with him too.

If I had a baby boy,

He’ll be dressed like a girl on Monday

And if he likes

He can have those skirts,

braids, nail paint and lipstick

On all the other days.

If I had a baby boy,

He won’t ever be ashamed.

His head is high always

On winning or losing-

A scrabble tournament or a football game

‘Cause to him, it’s all the same.

And when my baby boy grows up,

He won’t ask me whom to love.

But if he does,

“Just any girl. Or boy.”,

I’ll say-

‘Cause to me it’s all the same.

My baby boy-

He won’t be like me. Or you.

He’ll be a very special guy.

But- I won’t give him a name.

ABC challenge#1: A for Average

Not very long ago,while I was walking home through the streets, a guy and his friend were discussing me. Not out of my earshot yet. The conversation was not in English. I will however attempt a quite literal translation.
Guy 1: Have we seen this “chick” before?
Guy 2: Does it matter? That is just some average “chick”.

Judging by their volume and tone, it was obvious that they wanted me to both listen to what they were saying and react to it. I didn’t. Well, not immediately. Firstly, the guys that were talking about me being average/average-looking, weren’t even passable in my opinion. And secondly, I don’t think it is upto them to qualify me as “good” or sexy. And thirdly,they were only telling the…the truth!

Well yes, I am of course very special to people that know me. And words cannot describe how much I mean to myself…But to a total stranger, I am” just another “. I don’t have a model-size body nor do I have you-will-totally-fall-in-love-with face. And on assessing myself, I give myself a five point five on ten, which again is an average score. It does not hurt me that I am average. But, the word itself has puzzled me quite a bit. The dictionary definition of the word is “an intermediate scale value regarded as normal or usual”. Someone just call me usual, and that is not a bad thing. Average is good enough for me.

However, I don’t fail to notice that,the word “average” cannot be viewed as a compliment. Even in the situation here, a  “chick” is called “average”; and the use of “just” preceding the word says that she is not someone who has anything important to offer.

Statistically speaking, average or mean of a certain set of values is that value that can be expected the most or is the most probable outcome of an action. That being said, one might think that the origin of the word is from a root word in ancient mathematics or philosophy that would mean normal or usual. However, this word in modern English does have an interesting etymology. It is derived from an Italian word Avaria, which possibly comes from a similar sounding Arabic term meaning…err “damaged goods”. This just almost leads me into believing that the whole purpose of this word is to make humans feel  “not good enough”.

Average lies in the middle of the scale graduated from very bad to very good. In the statement at question here the average means “I’d sex you when i’m horny” while good would have meant “lezz sex”. And bad-I wouldn’t touch you unless it is an emergency. And very bad would mean “you’re untouchable”.

I learnt that average is a word that people don’t want to be called. And it is kinda ridiculous how some people try to change and better whatever is average about them.

And why could this be?

I’d say it is so, because human beings have a constant fear of being forgotten,being replaced. And people knowingly or unknowingly are in competition with an ideal. So by being average it would mean that there are better ones of the same kind out there. All this however is ridiculous. What is wrong about mediocre? None of us have the need to look like Megan Fox. Megan Fox has to look like Megan Fox because looking like Megan Fox is Megan Fox’ job.

There is also the fact that  no such thing as average exists.The action of averaging can be performed only on a set of values that are a result of the same experiment, done under similar conditions. But… we also have a theory that each human being is unique and is subject to unique experiences. So average is a huge lie. And if average is a lie, so are the superlatives.

Still,
I love the “average”. I celebrate it. This could be because I am just about average at everything I do and it is the word that has been used on me the most.  And average would just mean that i don’t suck yet. And even if I do, so does a majority.

 

Fifty Shades of Brown

images (3)
“Are you dark? Or very light?”

“You mean like plain..or milk chocolate?”

Following Nina Davuluri’s crowning as the Miss. America and the racist remarks episode, there were Indians that reacted to this saying that it was not fair to call her names and how someone becomes American by a way of settlement and not birth. Yeah, I agree to that completely but I also know that this is some kind of umm..uh.. hypocrisy because we (Indians) do not want to self-identify ourselves as brown. I mean, when was the last time we had a ‘brown’ Miss. India!

 

aishwarya_rai_sushmita_sen-475x365
In 1994, when Ash and Sushmita won the World and Universe titles, I was just a year old, but of course I knew of this when I was 7 or something. And I was very happy that we’ve had a decent number of beautiful women winning these pageants internationally. Growing older, however I have a different perspective- When you look at Ash or even Sushmita Sen, for that matter it is hard to tell that they’re Indian. Apart from the fact that both of them are shades fairer than the women we see everyday, they are also perfect examples of what the ‘elitist’ western world calls ‘elegant’, which can be interpreted as soft-spoken or ‘clean’.
salman-aishwarya-rai-hot
 

20 years later, I don’t feel validated. Not yet.

Waking up this morning,I was going through the matrimonial columns in the newspaper. (For those of you that do not know, a matrimonial is like an advertisement for men and women of marriageable age that ask for brides or grooms with certain specifications). And the word that repeated itself so often in these ads was…..1…2..3…say it. say it….FAIR! I don’t exactly lose sleep over the fact that a 30 or 40-ish business man or a software professional wants a ‘fair’ wife,but it confuses me because I still haven’t understood what could be called fair in an Indian context. (‘Should be fair’ is not as specific as saying ‘should wear a size 34’.).

Not just the word ‘fair’ but any word that is associated with looks is inappropriate in a matrimonial because that would just go on to show the reality that marriage is more or less viewed as a union that revolves around sex than other primary factors like compatibility, companionship, love, understanding, acceptance etc. Let’s save that for another post, though.

images (2)
India is a diverse country. And there is more diversity in India than the whole of ‘the rest of the world’ put together. And because of this geography and habitual influences, the complexion of course varies from region to region. Generically, one can say that the south is darker than the north.

The partiality towards fair skin is however as much prevalent in the south as the north of India. The reason for this is hard to place. Is it because of the fact that we were once ruled by the British that we’ve developed an affinity towards the people of ‘the crown’? Or is it just that we think fair-skinned people are much more beautiful than dusky/dark ones.

images (4)
The problem however,is more sexist in its essence than racist. While the ‘tall,dark,handsome’ holds for men in India, most dark-skinned girls are convinced that they’d never get a guy to marry them. Although the fear is slightly exaggerated, I can tell it is not entirely false. The obsession with light-skinned girls is everywhere. In the movies, particularly in South-Indian movies, while the guy is a brown tending to black, the girl is generally fair almost Caucasian.

The insecurity among the brown girls was not really evident to me until I started going to an all-girls’ college. I’d find that in a group of girls, each individual would be around the same shade of skin color. While most fair girls would wear pink lipstick or some red (yes, to college) in a way to highlight their complexion, most dark girls would highlight their facial features as if to distract beholders from the fact that they were actually dark. And the adjectives used on light skinned girls would be ‘beautiful’ and ‘gorgeous’ where as on dusky ones would be ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’.

1382778550_560377219_2-Pictures-of--fairness-cream-permanent-treatment
I’m not against any group. What I see as pathetic,is how products promising to lighten the complexion of an individual, market themselves by making good use of someone’s weakness. I personally don’t recommend an individual worrying too much about looks. No, I am not selling any ‘beauty comes from within’ bullshit here; but your looks are something you are born with, and just because yours does not fit into what a group of people would call ‘pleasant’ doesn’t mean you should try and change it. Umm. There’s nothing you can do about what you were born with.

Acceptance. That’s all.

“Foolishly madam- by sitting down,has turned
My bottom raven black- One moment madam! – sensing
Her receiver rearing on the thunderclap
About my ears- “Madam,” I pleaded, “wouldn’t you rather
See for yourself?””

 

 

 

The virginal Indian

 

 I am 21. And…I am virgin.

This is nothing extraordinary.  India offers an endless procession of virgins. Allowing a  few exceptions, almost every girl you meet, who is unmarried and below 30 years of age is invariably virgin. (There are of course, cases of girls saving themselves for marriage in India) But most of these are ‘accidental’ cases of virgins. While some are resultant of lack of opportunity or just not being able to find ‘a place to do’. This is some kind of a consolation to me- I am not alone.

I am  just like the many Indian spinsters living with their parents. I have a room to myself. The same thing, however could not be said about ‘space’. My parents were brought up on the old-school idea that  it was up to them to protect their daughter. And it was not the individual herself.

In a society where ‘morally correct’ roughly translates into ‘covered’, a society where a huge premium is put on virginity- I am doing things right. I have my privileges. I could just pick out any guy and if he likes me for the person I am, I could marry him without any fear. I am a girl with no evidences of the ‘past’. And being a virgin, I was also entitled to call any ‘hot stuff’ that displeased me-‘slutty’. Also is the fact that, I never really have to calculate my period dates in advance.

 

So why was I frustrated? Being a virgin did not bother me. Not as much as being shy. For someone with absolutely no inhibitions, I am a bit too shy physically, sexually. I know I would hold myself back from even responding to my partner’s advances, leave alone ‘taking the lead’. You might argue that this is nothing to be ashamed of. It is true. And it is also ‘opinion’. I am not someone that people would like seeing as ‘awkward’ in situations.I would hate to be seen as a sexual hypocrite or prude. (2/10 would bang). (Not like I have a problem with being ‘unattractive’. Still.).

 

 I am not the way I used to be at the time of puberty. I no longer get ‘butterflies’ on seeing some ‘great bod’.  Also are these insecurities about my appearances which didn’t exist  then. Almost every girl has been conditioned into thinking anything related to sex and the word itself- is wrong. And naturally is trained into expressing  herself verbally, bodily in an acceptable manner( that is, without the use of sexual references or expressions.).  And I’m used to this. And to suddenly shift to a more flirtatious or feminine demeanor wouldn’t come too easily. Much as  I know that  I am not too old. And also I’m aware of the fact that there is no such thing as the ‘right age’ to have your first erotic experience. And I don’t hate being virgin as much as I’d hate having to look aesthetically-pleasing  for someone to see. However, the realization that my first experience would be a little calculated and mature in opposition to the spontaneous and innocent ones, like in the movies (which in my opinion is how a ’ first’ should be) disappoints me. I feel like I was deprived of having  this ‘experience’. (Perhaps, it was for a greater good.).

 

I’m certainly not a fan of nudity or vulgarity. Nor do I want to see a whole new generation of single moms. I don’t advocate 14 year olds having non-condomed , pre-marital sex either. And deep inside me I know the ‘protective’ nature that is characteristic to a parent is something that I’d be grow up to appreciate. But decisions concerning one’s ‘virginity’ should be conscious/self-made.  An individual has the right to expression. And sex, is a form of expressing oneself. Let’s just say, having a choice is good.