Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Woman in the Joke is You, so Don't Laugh!

  • We all get jokes that begin like:
* Two gals were playing chess....wait the joke has not completed yet...
* Ek baar ek aadmi ki wife mar gayi. ( once a man lost his wife)

Since I love to laugh, I used to enjoy these jokes till one day my daughter gave me a piece of her mind. Don't know why, but I never found these jokes derogatory for women. I used to think it's ok to laugh at one's own sex. After all it is only a joke. But suddenly I realised why we never get jokes on idiosyncrasies of men? 

After FB and stand up comedians, now Wot's App is the latest carrier of these. I don't blame them, but call them innocent because they have not yet realised the curse they are transferring to the next generation. After all I was in the same boat once.

Now whenever I get such  forwarded jokes by innocent women/relatives/younger cousins, I copy paste this message :
Your joke was funny but such jokes are called 'sexist' ie against the dignity of women.I have decided not to appreciate  and forward such messages. How wrong it is that  if we just replace the word 'wife' with 'husband', nobody would laugh. 

Our films are the bigger culprits. Few months back I was forced to watch, 'Two States'
 in a theatre.  A dear friend persuaded and I couldn't say no. She wanted to watch it because she had to set the question paper based on the book for her BA students. Apart from other things I found Amrita Singh's character so obnoxious that I preferred the gatekeeper's company outside,  than sitting inside the hall. I was amazed that nobody thought the way I did. I have seen IIT + IIM gals and they do not behave like the young actress was behaving.

 Thank you dear for the opening my eyes and ordering  Simone de Beauvoir's 'the Second sex' from Flipcart for me.


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Unfriends

A mountain breeze
happy, unshackled and ecstatic.
Undisturbed and non- disturbing
flowing like a river, with an ease

"Pray, stop I want to mingle",
begged the fragrance of a flower.
Knowing it would disturb her equilibrium said,
No, we 're happy the way we are..

But this is not the way of the world,
You'd be lonely without me.
Nature's kingdom would  be incomplete
If we didn't meet.

A beautiful tale will remain untold.
Think of the deep bonding of the 
loose atoms,
Don't be shy, be bold.

The fragrance was inviting,
the promise of life long belonging.
And together creating a gift for humanity.
Madly, deeply, truly.

Slowly, the bond started to break
It is  also the law of nature, the breeze exclaimed!
And heard the scent of the flower asking a wild wind
Pray, stop I want to mingle. Bonding...depth...belonging.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Election in the Times of Electronic Media



Not that my house buzzed with election discussions during 1977 General Election, but we kids had to keep quiet during 8.45 pm news on radio, mostly by Devki Nandan Pandey. I was too young to know about elections but was old enough to know that Indira Gandhi was going to lose because of something called 'emergency'. I remember people discussing Rajnarayan and HN Bahuguna while we played at the beautiful lawns of  Police Headquarters Allahabad.

Thanks to the internet and TV news channels for making the elections more spicy as well as informative.But it also has a negative side. I wonder if netas made such obnoxious and repulsive statements as, "Rape is just a mistake" and "kargil was won by the soldier of a particular community, knowing that instantly the messag will reach their target audiences and they would get the publicity

I was the greatest enthusiast during the Anna Hazare's fast against curruption. Remember those long live telecast ?. Kezriwal became my hero.Well- meaning friends, even back then, warned me that he is a dramabaaz, but I even wore an Anna Cap thinking there is someone who is trying to make my country a better place to live. Now seeing all his drama I'm so ashamed of my choice. Now those well wishers laugh at me and the loudest laugh is from the one who is from the next gen and lives with me in the same house.

Election campaigning is in the full swing. All the parties are using the internet to the hilt. BJP seems to be on the top for an hour long interview of its PM candidate was trending on Twitter....worldwide. Hero worship is all time high. India's National Festival IPL and Bollywood have taken the back seat. Indian populace is divided into the devotees of one party/leader or the other. previously middle-aged were seen discussing Chunaav, polls but now eighteen plus look most active.Today these birdies on Twitter NamoNehaRoy, darrengal, SweetRiya, and shatirbilli keep me updated and my funny-bone tickled.Gone are the days when polling day was booked for picnics. Very healthy symptoms for democracy.

In this hullaballo of social media, emerge some victims too. people who are dignified, shy and  happy in their own world are brought to the limelight. They are discussed and made fun of. Their photos are splashed everywhere from print media to graffiti on the net. Here I'm talking abt Yashodaben. No link to her pic here. Or I would be doing the same what I detest. She was  married to Mr. Modi and separated just after her marriage. Must have been a difficult life for her in the Indian society. I don't know her feelings for her husband but I surely know that she is uncomfortable with media pestering her and depriving her of her privacy.

I feel bad for our PM Manmohan Singh  also.Whatever, a dignified professor, who was once appreciated for his work which he knows best, does not deserve his photoshopped cartoons being circulated on FB and Twitter.

The opinion polls show BJP leading and the way winds are blowing but only final results will tell which camp this storm will uproot.

I know whoever comes to power will not have a magic wand but, I sincerely hope proper roads and cleanliness for my beloved city which ranks at number 10 in terms of GDP.



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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Curse of the Sage.


I don't think we would ever know how Sunanda Pushkar died. She didn't have anything in common with my favourite people, but her untimely death shook me. Like many women bloggers I too wondered that why only women have to face the music in any relationship? Even Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines 'dumped' by giving the example,  "Did you hear? He's dumped his GF". why not the other way round? Tumbler is full of the sobbing though lovely quotes from the girls who have yet to see the world.

Going back to mythology/literature Shakuntala seems to have started this pattern. She lived blissfully in the natural surroundings of her father Karnv Rishi's Ashram. A prince came and fell in love with her. (and not the other way round) He  later forgot her completely as our Shakuntala was cursed by Durvasa, a sage when she was lost in the thoughts of her beau and did not greet him with due respect. Her misery was over after few years when the king gets to see the ring and his memory is back.But the curse still seems to linger.

Another curse is by Oscar Wilde whose famous quote is accepted by even some modern and contemporary people.Most of us would not agree though.
 “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” 

I laughed at this quote when I read Ismat Chugtai's memoir that how she went to Lahore from Bombay to appear in the court as one of her stories were considered obscene. Manto,another renowned writer was also accused .So they reached lahore and stayed at another friend's house.She writes how she enjoyed the shopping in Lahore and wanted to be there again.
We see beautiful friendships around us between men and women. but there is always a fear of ,'in the name of friendship...' accusation. After Sunanda episode I got to read a mail by Mr Tharoor to his female fren,which says that they were good friends and how he wished his wife understood it.

I usually  turn to Ramayan whenever I am looking for an answer. I have yet to explore it deeply and I'm sure to get an answer there.But I got my answer in an another epic  Mahabharata, through the characters of Krishna and Draupadi. Did anyone ever thought their relationship to be  anything but friendship? How he helped her when she neede him the most

This beautiful quote from Dr Lohiya says it all: Roughly translated) " Draupadi was neither krishna's sister, wife, lover, mother nor an ascetic, but only true friend ( kewal shuddh mitre).