My Breakup Story

I was calm like the night sea.My family was surprised how I broke up with him.Even I was surprised how it happened.It became a talk in the family WhatsApp group.Man of the House asked me during a private conversation that how I’m dealing with it.My brother made so many WhatsApp calls to me and my parents because he couldn’t digest the situation.

Guests were in disbelief upon hearing it.Parents,especially my Mom,asked me directly and indirectly so many questions.My closed ones weren’t taking it well upon the heartbreak I had.All of them had the same question,”Are you fine”?They were worried that I might breakdown because it was such a deep relationship.Man of the House was secretly happy that finally he doesn’t have any competition to win my heart.

In a world where breakups have made beautiful stories,let me take you to my love story unknown to the world.

I don’t know how I met him.He just appeared in my life from nowhere and became my soulmate.My Parents had issues with him.They tried their best to separate me from him.My brother was the only one kind to him. There were so many talks and arguments regarding him that had happened at the dinner table. Parents gave me all possible examples of how he could spoil my life.But,I was adamant that I will not break up with him at any cost.My family gave up on me and told me that whatever happens because of this relationship,good or bad,I will have to deal with it.

He saved me from household chores and cooking,he sat with me through each book I read and every movie I watched,he rescued me from attending my Aunt’s cousin’s wife’s nephew’s wedding,he showed me the beauty of sleeping till 11 AM,he ate with me so that I’m not alone during my brunches,and he advised me that 8.30 AM classes were not worth it.

Before Man of the House got promoted from Pretty Boy of my Dreams, he was my constant companion.So when Man of the House went down on his knees,I couldn’t help not to tell him about my secret soul mate.

He was kind and supportive when I was dating.He helped me to manage my weekends and dinner dates.He gave me subtle hints that late night movies are not a great idea but he never opposed. After few,years he and Man of the House became good friends and we had an awesome time together.Occasionally,my Brother would join us too and we four became a great company.

Even then, my parents weren’t happy with my association with him.Mom was worried that after wedding,he could be an issue.But,Man of the House surprised me by saying that he doesn’t have any issue with my close association and I said the most awaited word,’yes’.

Years passed by, and life was great.He continued to be my companion,our companion.

But,hell broke out when I became pregnant.My family felt that he being in my life is not a good idea and, most importantly,not good for the baby.When I looked at my Man,his face reflected the same opinion.But,I didn’t heed to any of these.He has been with me for two decades and breaking up with him didn’t go well with me.

And,I delivered the most beautiful baby girl.A week later,when I got back home from the hospital,I was enjoying his company late night.Suddenly he kissed me.I was surprised.

He said,”Listen,we have been great together.In fact,we were the best comrades.But,I think it’s time to part.Yes,we had lots of fun together,but now you are a Mom.Your association with me will affect your baby.Also,your Husband has become the best Father and me being with you might stop you from being the best Mother.I will be happy and proud once you become the best Mom in the world and I’m sure you will .Let’s part our ways.Trust me! It’s for your good.We will meet after 35-40 years when you are old, alone, and bored in life.I promise that I will come back to you.Now, let me leave.”

He kissed me again.

I couldn’t react.I was in shock.I didn’t cry.

Next day,I was up so early and I was feeding the baby.I had already showered.I had changed my baby’s diaper.My Mom came to the room and found that something is wrong.She asked me where he was.I told her what had happened.She was so happy that she hugged me.My Man was in so much disbelief but I could feel the relief in his voice.My Brother was the one who found it most difficult to accept my breakup because he knew how much I had valued the relationship.

I thought I would feel bad.I thought I would struggle to move on.I thought I would miss him.But, nothing happened.My life had become busier than before after being a Mother.I didn’t have time to think about him.At times,my family makes fun of me abouthim and I laugh at those jokes.

As I put my baby to sleep at 5 AM and sit down to write this post,I realize the change brought in me by the breakup.Yes, certain breakups are necessary in life.

My beloved Laziness,I look forward to be with you in my old age when I’m alone. Please come back to me.

I love you.

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Hopes Amidst the Ocean of Misogyny

It has been exactly 54 days since one of the Malayalam actresses was kidnapped and harassed by her driver and the gang. It did create an uproar both in social media and in daily lives. The culprit was arrested and the Police were in search of his mobile phone for video clip and call details.The police have been searching in the dark for quite a few weeks for the mobile phone and now, the case has reached nowhere. I am hoping that the culprits are punished and this case will not end up like the Soumya murder case and the Jisha murder case.

During the week when the incident had happened, there were a lot of discussions and debate happening online and offline. I remember during the Nirbhaya gang rape, victim shaming soared high and it was heartbreaking to see people known to me made jokes out of the incident, made misogynistic comments without any shame and blamed the girl for her misery.

But, things were different this time.

Yes, of course, there were people who wrote articles and opinions for their sadistic pleasure, but they were a minority this time. Ordinary people reacted in amazing ways that, finally, people understood what misogyny is. Earlier, the most difficult task for me was to make people understand what misogyny is.They never understood it.They blamed me that it was my problem because I see things through a feminist’s eyes.

I am not being blind-eyed to various other heinous incidents happening around us, especially the child molestation cases which are roaring high in Kerala.But, there is hope in front of me because

  1. The actress showed the courage to file a complaint.
  2. People were ready to accept that there have been misogyny in our daily conversations, the jokes we share, the movies we make and the way we were brought up.
  3. People are lashing out when they witness sexism around them.
  4. More cases are being filed recently and people are raising their voices against abuse.

Let’s talk further about sexism. Is raising our voice the solution? Will it beat sexism?Will it curb abuse? Will it help us in creating a generation which has a positive outlook on gender equality?

It starts young. It starts at home and school. It starts from that

  1. Pre-school teacher who shouts,”Why can’t you give the toy to him?You are a girl.Don’t be so adamant”.(It gives a feeling to the girl that she doesn’t have the right to fight/argue.)

  2. Custom of making a boy as captain/class leader and a girl as vice captain/assistant class leader irrespective of the leadership skills.(It gives a feeling to the boy that because of his gender, he can always enjoy certain positions even if he doesn’t possess the required skills.)

  3. Grandparents/parents who tell that it’s good if the boy learns the driving and the girl learns cooking.(It gives a feeling to the kids that there are certain skills associated with the gender.)

  4. Parents who tell their daughter that there is nothing wrong in giving up a fight/quarrel/game with her brother.(It gives a feeling to the boy that he is superior to girls and expects them to accept the defeat every time.)

  5. Society which teaches that moral shaming is the easiest way to silence a girl.

  6. Parents who lament that they don’t have a son to protect their daughters.(It gives a feeling to the boy that he is a protector or somebody who has more decisive power in the family.)

  7. Teachers/parents who silence the girls when an abuse happens at school.(It gives a feeling to the boys that they can always escape after doing a mistake because girls will not complain.It is a big encouragement for the boys to repeat the abuse.)

  8. Schools which run counseling sessions for girls and not for boys.(It gives a feeling to the girls that the harm is always on the girls irrespective of who did the mistake.It gives a feeling to the boys that they can do anything and it is the responsibility of the girls to take care of themselves.)

  9. Society which conveniently defends saying boys will be boys. (It gives a feeling to the boys that their gender gives them certain privileges to do certain mistakes.)

  10. Society which preaches that boys are the strongest of the genders.(Boys grow up with more confidence than the girls.)

This is not an exhaustive list and if we look deep, we will be able to find strong misogyny in the silliest matters we have been doing and talking in our lives.Now that people have been welcoming gender equality,let’s continue spreading the message of equality,let’s continue raising our voice against sexism and let’s continue the mission of creating a better society to live in.

We, the current generation parents, can bring a massive change in our society if we raise our kids right.I am hopeful about a brighter, happier and healthier generation which will appreciate and practice gender equality.I hope to see a day when feminism is not a bad word anymore.

 

Related Reads :

https://heyithinkthisway.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/what-i-feel-now-is/

https://heyithinkthisway.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/10-valuable-lessons-malayalam-cinema-teaches-men-and-women/

https://heyithinkthisway.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/worries-of-an-indian-girl/

 

10 Valuable Lessons Malayalam Cinema teaches Men and Women

Disclaimer  : The post deals with Malayalam cinema because I don’t have enough knowledge to extend the details of this post to the movies of other languages. But, considering that we live in India, I am sure that most of what told in the post could be generalized.

Lessons for Women

1) Women should not shout

It is a common and indispensable dialog in a Malayalam movie. If ever a woman shouts, then the next dialog will be a man shouting back at her reminding her that a woman should not shout. I think this dialog comes automatically from a scriptwriter’s pen. Also, a woman’s voice touching the roof of the house or coming out through the bedroom wall will collapse the house.

2) Girls should be courteous, coy, pleasant, well dressed, well-mannered, and presentable and she should know cooking

Most of the movies will have a five to ten minutes session for advising a girl to be a “girl”. This is the part where the hero gets to talk on and on about his knowledge about perfect women. The situation in the movie will be as follows. The girl will be smart, talkative and independent. She likes to wear western attires and the clothes suit her well too. There will be a positive vibes of happiness around her. She drives a car. She eats food cooked by her Mother or maid. What on Earth is wrong in that? But, then there comes the hero. He tells her that girls should be coy and demure. Girls should not talk much. Girls should wear a saree. Girls should know cooking. A girl allowing the man to drive is feminine. He would shame her either in front of her family or in front of her friends. But neither her family nor her friends would stop the hero from puking the advices. Instead, they would stand like statues. Then with a heavy heroic background score the hero will leave the scene. And the transformation happens. There she is, our heroine, standing in a saree with her neck drooped   and cheeks blushed. She fell in love with the hero.

What the !!!

3) Life is lost, nothing is lost, but chastity is lost, then everything is lost

When I hear some dialogues, I feel that the world is balanced on a girl’s chastity. A man going to jail by killing someone is still a matter of pride but a woman losing her chastity is the biggest sin. In Malayalam cinema, there are only two solutions for this problem. One; the girl’s family, at times the neighbourhood will also join the family, begs the molester/rapist to marry her to wash off the bad name on the family. The girl’s father would fall on the molester’s feet, the girl’s mother would beg and finally the wedding happens and they live happily ever after. A song will be shown to portray the transformation of the molester and then the girl’s gets pregnant and delivers a baby boy and all is well. Two; the girl kills herself and all the shame and crack in the family honour are restored in minutes.

4) No matter what goes wrong, it is always a girl’s mistake

This dialog is reserved for the girl’s Mother. And yes, Mothers are always right. If a man stalks her, it is her mistake. If a man gropes her, it is her mistake. If a man rapes her, it is her mistake. If a man gives her a love letter ,it is again a girl’s mistake. If the family business dooms, then it a girl’s (daughter – in – law) mistake. No matter what shit happens, end of the day, it is always a girl’s mistake. Why did you allow him to stalk you? Why did you allow him to touch you? Why did you walk through that route so that he felt like raping you? You must have definitely done something to attract/provoke him.

Holy shit!

5) The best way to shame a girl is by talking nonsense about her morale and conduct

Any woman could be silenced by talking nonsense about her morale and conduct. The misconduct could include travelling alone, talking with boys, going out with men, drinking/smoking habits, going to clubs, going for western form of dances(traditional dance forms make a girl divine),failed relationships or marriage, not obeying her husband or parents, and wearing clothes which are not in the list of clothes allowed for a Malayali girl. Between every two lines, the hero or any other male character would boast a lot about the culture of Kerala and if the scriptwriter include point no.2 also, then this scene will be received by thunderous applause.

6) Nirvana of a woman’s life

This scene comes when a girl refuses to get married. Either her Mother or Aunt gets this piece of dialog. The scenes teach us the importance of getting married and staying married. The dialogues are gems of life changing information that they explains how important it is to have a man in a woman’s life, and how important it is for a woman to be accepted by the in-laws. And a woman’s life is completed only when she suffers the pain of delivering a baby, preferably a baby boy so that she has somebody to take care of her once the Husband dies.

7) Education is shit!

Girl: “Enikku padikkanam” (I want to study)

Girl’s parents: Pinne,padichittu collector aakan povalle. (Oh, as if you study and become a Collector)

These two dialogues are one of the most clichéd dialogues. Any time, if the girl refuses to get married and tells the parents that she wants to study, then the parents will shun by teasing her.

Some other dialogues related to education of a girl are

  • Pennkuttikal padichittendha oru kaaryam,veruthe kaashu kalayan.Aa kaashu kondu avale kettikkan nokku                         (What’s the point in a girl studying? Waste of money. Instead spend that cash and get her married off)
  • Pennkuttikal itrayokke padichaal mathi                                                                                                                                                                       (This much education is enough for girls)
  • Veettukaaryam nokkan valiya padipponnum venda                                                                                                                                              (You don’t need education to take care of a house)
  • Veruthe padippichittu pennine vazhi thettikkano?                                                                                                                                                  (Why do you want to educate her and spoil her conduct?)
  • Valiya degree undayittonnum oru kaaryamilla,vallathum vechu undakkan ariyanam                                                                                     (Having a degree is not a big deal. You should know how to cook well)

8) A girl is the light of the house

This is the safest way to make a girl obey the rules of patriarchy without making her feel that her life is restricted within an invisible boundary. The society and the movies glorify this fact so much that this is imprinted in people’s mind. They proclaim that girl is everything for a family and then impose rules on her to fulfil the mandatory conditions to be the light, mop and mixie of the family.

9)A girl falling in love

Though recently there has been a change in real life in the way the family reacts when they find out that the girl is in love, the cinema industry is still stuck with the chaos mode. The Father will blame the Mother for not making the daughter understand the value of culture and the family pride. The Mother in turn curses the daughter and blackmails her by holding kerosene can ready to pour on her. If she falls in love with somebody of a same caste, then the chaos level is normal. If she falls in love with somebody out of her caste, then the chaos level is at its maximum with a ten fifteen minutes scene of explaining her the family’s tradition, pride and name or about the hardships which the parents had to undergo to bring the kids up. If the girl falls in love with somebody of other religion, then the chaos cannot be measured. The Father would declare either to kill the daughter or go to jail (yes, killing daughter and going to jail is an awesome act) or to suicide together as a family.

10) A family which has to survive on a woman’s earnings is shame for the predecessors

This dialog is slightly out of fashion now but the grandparents who are heading the family cannot sleep without delivering this dialog whenever the women in the family wants to go out for work.

Lessons for Men

1)Slapping a woman is a man’s birthright

In Malayalam movies, slapping a woman is considered as the most matured act of a man. Husband slaps wife, brother slaps sister/s, and strange man slaps strange woman. In short, slapping is considered as the best medicine a man can give a woman to shut herself. An argument goes on and instead of the third dialog, the man slaps woman and there will be roars in the theatre. Women in the theatre shamelessly nod for this telling it was the heroine’s fault and getting one or two slaps will only make her a better woman.”Onnu koodi pottikeda avale”(slap her once more) is a common dialog which male audience shouts  and most of the times, the man on-screen slaps her once more as if he has heard the audience. See, the scriptwriter knows the audience well.

2) Love a girl? Stalk her,dude!

I don’t have any hopes about this trend dying soon. Some writers are even more brilliant. At times, raping her makes her fall in love. The hero whistles, tries to hold her hands or hair, follows her everywhere, intrudes her privacy and then voilà, she falls in love. The much appreciated Annayum Rasoolum was an epitome of stalking .A stranger following you daily at night till your doorstep is creepy and not romance.

3) One of the duties of a man is to protect family’s honour

The man will never allow anybody to spoil the honour of the family. So the best way to restore the family pride is either by kicking the girl out of the house or by killing her. If the family is powerful, then they can kill the man with whom she is in love and then force her to marry somebody else.

4) He is the decision-man

He decides and he orders. He decides what the Mother should do, what the wife should wear, what the son should study, whom the daughter should marry etc. The family which runs on a man’s command is a good family and a family which runs on a woman’s command is a bad family. It is an itching for the screenwriter if he doesn’t portray the family ran by a woman as a bad one and then an angelical man would enter into their lives and advises the woman head of the family to step down. He takes up the place as head of the family and all is well. The End!

5) Rules for men

A man should know how tame a woman and make her obey him.”Pennine varacha varayil nirthuka”(making the woman obey the man without protest) is a classic art and a man who learns it is THE MAN. Obeying wife or Mother(or any other woman) is considered as degrading the manliness. Other men would advise like “poyi chathoodada”(Cant you go and die?) if they come to know that their friend listens to his wife/Mother.

6) The sign of machismo

Womanizing by getting bored of sleeping with his wife is a sign of machismo but if a woman strays then she is a whore. The hero would list out why he is bored with his wife and then nobody asks a question. Should I explain what happens if a woman sleeps with somebody else?

7) Mistakes made by men are never mistakes

Men make mistakes but every mistake made by them is pardonable even if they kill somebody because they will always have a valid reason. The scriptwriter will make sure that the man(especially the hero) has enough reasons to support him for his actions; even if he rapes a woman. In that case, the man will sob saying I lost my control, it was a mistake—Do you think I will ever do such an act when I am sober?

Bloody hell!

8) Want to take revenge?

A man has the power to spoil a girl and the girl’s family. So if you want to make another man obey you, the best way is to threaten them to rape the women in the family. Why using your brain when all you need is to open the zip? Seriously, when we watch certain movies, the plot tells it without any shame. This is considered as the easiest way to threaten or take revenge.

9) The freedom to fall in love

A man has complete freedom to fall in love with whomever he wants. Why is it so? A man has the freedom to tell about his openly but a woman telling her love is a risk. Not just in movies, even in real life, people around her would tell her not tell anybody because it will reduce her chances for “good” proposals.

I doubt whether there is any movie which tells the man not to fall in love. Why is it so?

10) Man is always right…

…even if the woman counterpart is more intelligent, more educated, smarter and more talented than him. Period.

Love,Lust and Bubble

“Diya! You there?”,Vidya banged on the door.

“Let’s go?”, Anu pinned up her dupatta and asked Vidya.

“Diya is still not up”

“She must be tired from the trip. Let her come for the second hour. It is Malathi’s class. She will not let us in if we are a minute late. Come… Come…” Anu dragged Vidya.

Vidya again banged on Diya’s door during lunch break. Vidya stood in front of the door and tried calling Diya’s phone.

“Vidya, what happened to Diya? Is she too tired from the trip that she can’t even come for the class?”, Shalini laughed loud.

“Listen, I know it was you who spread the news about her trip.”

“Of course, it was me. Tell me one reason for not doing it.”

“Past is past.”

“Then what I had told about her is past too.”

“Diya, just open the door!”, Vidya yelled at the closed-door and banged on it.

Students flocked and they asked Vidya so many questions. Vidya gave up and told everyone that Diya is sick.

During the class, Vidya told her concerns to Anu. Diya’s phone is switched off; her parents have already called Vidya thrice; nobody has seen her after trip.

“Don’t worry; this is not her first time. Or on a happy note, may be they must have made out too many times that she is tired.”

“But still, can’t she at least open the door?”

“We will do one thing. Let’s bunk the next class and then go to her room.”

“OK. Let’s do that.”

When they reached Diya’s room, it was latched from outside.

“She must have gone to the toilet.”

“Let’s sit inside the room.”

They waited for an hour chatting each other.

“Diya’s guts! appreciated.”

“I don’t feel that she has done anything great.”

“But, again how did she make it? Aren’t her parents very pestering and strict?”

“Sigh! She told her parents that she is going to Kodaikkanal for the class trip and then went to Ooty with Deepak.”

“Whoa! She has brains to handle her parents. But still, I would have shivered to death for going on such a date. That’s why Ramesh and I date only inside the campus and I chose him over Naresh because Ramesh and I are from the same caste. I can’t handle complications. It is very difficult to sleep with one guy and then marry another one. I kinda feel disgusting.”

And Diya came holding her bucket in one hand and toiletries in another hand. She looked terribly tired. Eyes looked droopy and face looked pale.

Vidya and Anu sat straight eagerly waiting to hear the stories.”Diyaaaa”, they called teasingly.

She didn’t look at them but stood next to door opening it wide. Vidya looked at Anu and then looked at Diya.She was still standing there holding the opened door.

Shalini was sitting in the mess and Vidya purposely avoided looking at her.

“How is Diya? Her phone is switched off.” A text message flashed in Vidya’s mobile phone. It was from Deepak. She immediately called him but he didn’t pick up the call.”*******”, Vidya told herself.

Then Anu came running to mess and dragged Vidya out.

“Looks like there is some problem.”

“What?”

“Ramesh told me that there is a rumor that Deepak was just idling time with Diya.He is not serious.”

“Oh that, even I knew. I don’t think even Diya is serious about the relationship.”

“Then who cares. Let them **** how much ever they want. I was worried that Diya was cheated.”

“No, Anu. She isn’t that kind of person. She knows well that any guy would fall for her charm. So if not Deepak, then somebody else.”

“I seriously want to know the art of being a *****.Guys come and go just like this in her life. Phew!”

“LOL!!”

Four days passed and nobody saw Diya in the class. For two days Vidya and Anu checked on her before going to class but then they got busier for the cycle tests.

During the first test,Diya came to class.She looked terrible.She had dark circles.Her hair was messy.Her lips were dry.The entire exam hall looked at her but she walked slowly to her seat.After ten minutes,Diya walked out of the exam hall.Anu leaned and looked at Vidya and she looked equally clueless.

Vidya and Anu ran behind Deepak after the test.

“Hey,listen,is there any problem between you both?”,Anu asked in stern voice.

“No.What problems?”,Deepak asked innocently.

Deepak joined his friends, laughed over some boys joke and cycled away.

Vidya slightly pushed the door and it opened. Diya was lying down on her bed. Anu also got inside the room and closed it from inside.

“Diya, wake up.”

Diya got up and hugged Vidya tightly. She screamed blue murder.

“What happened?”Anu whispered.

Diya cried. She cried uncontrollably. In two minutes, there was a pool of tears on her.

“Did you see Deepak?”

“Yes, we met him after the test. He looked normal. What happened to you?”

“He has a girlfriend in Delhi.A relationship approved by their parents.”

“WHAT?!!??”,both Anu and Vidya exclaimed.

“Yes,she had called me few days back.She shouted at top of her voice.I didn’t know what to reply.”

“What did Deepak say?”

“He told me that going to Ooty was my idea.Now the blame is on me.”

“Huh!”

“Actually,why did you go with him?Anyway you were not serious and he was also not serious.”

“Who the hell told you that I was not serious?”

“So you were serious? Oh my God!”

“Of course I was serious. Otherwise why would I weave such a big story and tell my parents?”

“So, what is next?”

“I don’t know.”

“Coming for lunch?”

“No!”

Anu and Vidya walked over to the mess and Anu said, ”What goes around comes around. This is the punishment for snatching Shalini’s boyfriend last year.”

“Don’t talk nonsense.”, Vidya joked,” punishment it seems.”

Days passed and the cycle tests were over. The weekend came. Diya and Anu had gone home. Vidya was bored watching movies and sleeping over books. She went to the mess for evening tea. The mess was deserted, so she stretched her legs and kept it on the chair on the other side of the table. She enjoyed the hot elachi tea and went for one more cup.

“Is Diya going out with Ashish?”

Vidya looked back to see who it is. She smiled at Shalini.

“No. I mean I don’t know; I don’t think so.”

“Hmm”

“By the way,which Ashish?”

“Ashish — Deepak’s roommate; Rakhi’s boyfriend.”

“Oh!”

“I saw Ashish and Diya in the railway station on Friday night when I went to see off my friends.”

“Oops”

“What is she up to?”

“They must be the new friends.”

“Rakhi told me that Ashish broke up with her on Thrusday night.”

The elachi tea tumbler fell down from Vidya’s hand.

Sunday night,Anu texted Vidya — “TTE caught Diya and Ashish from train’s loo. It is a chaos here.”

Vidya looked at the text message and then deleted it.

 Next day while going to the class,Vidya knocked on Diya’s door.She was lying down and crying.She hugged Vidya tightly and cried.

“Why did you do this?”

“I don’t know.”

“Leave it.Get ready.”

Before reaching the class,Diya got a call.Both of them stopped their cycles.

“I am bunking the class.”

“Why?”

“Manish wants to talk to me.”

“Diya! Don’t do this.”

“Bye.I will come for the next class.”

Vidya said nothing and cycled to the class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change of Order

Karthik sat on the couch without uttering a word.There has been a chaos inside the house for more than an hour.His Mother fainted after hysterically running around the house once the news broke in the form of a registered mail.His Father said nothing and he has been laying down on the sofa since the earth hour in the house.The mail which the postman had delivered in the afternoon is yet to open because their telephone rang simultaneously to convey the contents of the mail.The maid stood next to Karthik and he went inside the bed room to check on his Mother.She is conscious now,so he sat next to her.

Now what are we going to do?“,Mother asked amidst her tears.

I don’t know“,Karthik replied without looking at her face.

Somebody’s curse.I am sure

He didn’t reply her and she didn’t expect one too.He went out of the room.

There weren’t any pronounced miseries in their life.The family was the typical upper middle class family.Parents worked in Government offices and the son worked in US of A.The picture was so perfect that the Mother had a habit of burning chillies to ward off the evil eye.

When Karthik came back home for a vacation,the dining table looked like a table in the model recruitment agency.There were more than two dozens of photographs of girls waiting to be his bride.His parents were already trying hard to catch up with the trends that they asked him whether he has an affair and they were ready to nod for it too.This made Karthik regret a bit thinking why he didn’t invest some efforts in finding a girl by himself.So finally in two days he did manage to meet five girls and by the end of the second day he showed green flag to Divya.

There were two reasons for selecting Divya : One,she didn’t jump up and down when he told her that he will be taking her to US and two,she didn’t purposely talk anything to impress him.

When he left to US of A,he had his engagement ring on his finger.Next six months,he worked his ass off so that he has long vacation for the wedding and honeymoon.And there he landed a week before the wedding to get himself groomed and there laid a registered post in front of him grinning at him.

His phone rang.

Yes,what you heard is correct.The wedding is called off.Yes…Yes..Thanks…Bye.

He wondered how come the news spread so fast within hours.

He called up Madhu whose engagement is next week.Looks like even he knows the news.For a second Karthik felt that in front of the power of BSNL telephones ,the power of social media is nothing.

Madhu,there is one advice for you“.

Don’t worry,I will be using contraceptive for sure“,Madhu joked from the other end.

No,it is not that.For God’s sake don’t register your marriage before the wedding.Getting a spouse VISA is not very difficult.Missing the wife for a couple of weeks is better than getting inside a wreathe of mess.”

Don’t tell me that you had registered your marriage“,Madhu couldn’t help not to scream.

Yes,I had.I wanted to take her with me so we registered and started to process VISA.And now,I don’t even know what to do.“.

You are right.I am getting divorced even before getting married.

Karthik felt that his head became heavier as seconds passed.The telephone call said that the mail has the handwritten apology from Divya with her reasons for calling off the wedding. Karthik didn’t open the mail.He walked to the kitchen and dumped the envelope in the black garbage bag.The drumstick from the lunch’s sambar got stuck to the envelope and the other waste changed the color of the envelope within minutes.

He went back to his bed and next morning when he woke up,his head was too heavy that he couldn’t get up from his bed.Later that day when his Mother made bed for him,the pillow still smelled tears.

Some Overheard Facts about Indian Mothers-In-Law

Today during the lunch I overheard yet another rant about a Mother-in-law.So I thought why don’t I put all that I have seen,heard and told about Mothers-in-law starting from my Grandmothers to the Mother-in-law of my neighbor.

Category 1 : Her daughter is not working but her daughter-in-law is working

1)If  DIL buys a saree,then DIL should buy one for her sister-in-law too.
2)DIL should not make SIL do the household works because she is unemployed and feels inferior
3)DIL should give money to SIL because SIL is unemployed
4)SIL often visiting the house is not a mistake but DIL visiting her house is a big mistake
5)SIL can take anything from the house including DIL’s things

Category 2: She doesn’t have any daughters but have two or more daughters-in-law

1)Both the DIL are not allowed to talked to each other because that might give chances to plan some conspiracy against MIL
2)She has a special liking towards the DIL who has a baby boy
3)If both the DIL have daughters,then she will take the horoscope of the grand daughters to every known astrologer to see whether the girls will have a brother
4)Both the DIL are made to hate each other
5)She has a special liking towards the DIL who brought more dowry/gold and during a fight,this point is raised

Category 3 : She has only one son

Mother-in-law

1)She doesn’t like her son gifting anything to DIL without buying gifts for her
2)Daily,by the time the son gets back from office,she is ready with a list of complaints about DIL
3)Her son should not support the DIL
4)DIL should give her entire salary to the MIL and then MIL will decide how DIL should spend the money
5)Her son should not stay at DIL’s house because he might be manipulated

Category 4 : She has a daughter and a daughter-in-law and both are working

1)She likes to believe that her daughter’s job is better than DIL’s job
2)If both daughter and DIL are in the house with their babies,the DIL is expected to leave her baby unattended and do the household work
3)There is something fishy about DIL’s job
4)Her son-in-law’s family is better than DIL’s family
5)There is no problem in her daughter staying in the house for many ever days but DIL should not go and stay in her house for more than two days

Category 5 : She has a daughter and a daughter-in-law and both are not working

1)Her daughter can take rest,watch TV and sleep in the afternoon but DIL is not allowed
2)Her daughter is more beautiful,more obedient and more loving than the DIL
3)Her son should not buy anything to DIL unless he buys it for her sister too
4)She and her daughter are more entitled to her son’s salary than the DIL
5)DIL’s parents didn’t raise her well
 
 
 
Read about a different Mother-in-law here.

Worries of an Indian Boy – Question No.5

Continued from here,the final question asked in the survey was

Do you think the rapes cases are creating a generalization attitude which says all men are bad?

5

 

Since I don’t interact with a lot of women, I don’t know. May be. At least when reading newspapers, I get the feeling that every other man is a potential rapist!
Now, to the question of how to bring a change, my solution would be that of an extremist, but anyways, I think rape cases could be avoided or at least brought down, if Indian people are more liberal towards sex. An average Indian man marries at the age of 28 while he reaches adolescence at say 14 or so.. In conservative Indian society, it takes 14 years for a man to have sex with a woman- of course, pre-marital sex is still considered sin/ immoral. Moreover, all these years after adolescence, he might have watched millions of movies and stuff not necessary illegal, which have either one or two sex scenes and the like. It is a good quality of mind that a man doesn’t violate a woman in any means. But at the same time, a rapist is almost a hungry wolf, not bothering whether his food is stolen or not!Well, rape committed by a married man in that sense would clearly be unjustified and a crime. If it were for men, who become pregnant, rape cases would still exist, but the, rape would be charged the other way round. Mind you, by the above statement, I am not justifying a rapist, but in turn, thinking it in a more general perspective.
So, as I said before, the best way would be for the society to take a more liberal attitude towards sex.
may be legalizing prostitution or setting up government run brothels in a healthier and safer way? And still if rape cases exist, just go for capital punishment, That’s all. – Kizhakkepurakkal Ashwin

No, definitely not. But it does make women a bit more cautious during their dealings with men, but definitely it doesn’t create a generalizing tendency among women. Besides, I don’t think most women are crude enough to look at all men with such condescending.  However, a change is required in the mindset of most men to look at women as equals and not as sex objects, through appropriate sex education right from adolescence and encouraging more socializing among men and women to understand each other. – Name Withheld

Its basically based on how the media portrays. Hence the only way to change this is making media more sensitive to facts and accountable for publishing data that does not have sounding proof behind it! – Charan Saravana

It obviously is. But there is a truth in it because, women in India are terrified and pushed to a limit that they cannot trust anyone. A friendly uncle, cousin brother even father in some cases had abused their trust and body. If they can’t even believe their family, they obviously would generalize the attitude of other men as well. It is the collective duty of all Indian men to stop harassing and start building trust. Then their son or grandson can see the result. – Bragadeesh Prasanna

Rape has existed for long; what comes to the fore is the women who are raped; there is a massive silence on the men who are raped; yes gay and bisexual men and women are there; rape happens both ways. ‘Virginity’ is not something restricted to women alone. Beginning with the ‘Delhi-rape’ case which got massive media publicity, a tendency to view all Indian men as ‘womanizer’ and rapists has set in and this is a mentality that is very tough to change. A few rotten eggs will always stay and rotten eggs have a tendency to corrupt the good eggs placed in the same basket. So there is no solution for this. I have cousins in Delhi, NCR and Kerala; I am frightened for them;it is in the power of the sacred rakhi that I receive from them that I place my trust and I know that they are trained to protect themselves, but an inevitable sense of dread always remains. – Mahesh Lakshmanan

Rapes happen in every country, every government is corrupt. I got few suggestions not sure how practical they are

1. Sex Education, we need to educate people about STD/STI

2. Escort/Prostitution License. It exists in society anyways, why not make it licensed and do it the correct way

3. Stop the tradition of arrange marriage altogether. Let kids do the hard work and let them decide when and who they want to marry

4. If a guy hangs out with bunch of girls he is a pussy, if a girl hangs out with bunch of guys she is a whore. Its because other guys/gals are jealous. Need to change this mentality

5. We need to have a equal society. A person who is a mechanic is as human as you are and in all possibility he is in a better shape. Its just his job. We need to promote a life after work or pursuing hobby  I see this thing is trending in youths today, they have a life out of work and they have a hobby but its still a small percentage – Name Withheld

Rape cases are generalized in a different way. Every other day there is rape stories in TV, and even women have grown bored of it – they simply change the channel and enjoy a song in which a hero is teasing the heroine. So the answer is NO – at least I’m not being looked at as if I’m a rapist!! – Joshi Mukard

Rape cases don’t, but few feminist project all Indian men as rapist. Rapes are occurring only because of poor legal sanctions. If we need to bring a change, we must implement the exiting laws and if needed we must bring much further stringent laws. Educate kids right from early age. Sex education is required. – Deepak Karthik


*I hope I haven’t messed up with the names and permissions granted.If yes,please let me know immediately.

Worries of an Indian Boy – Preface

It is true that I have tried to bring out the issues of women without holding back any hesitation.I have always written about the issues raw so that people understand them better.I understand the surprise of my readers and I know you did check twice to know whether you are at the correct blog.You read it right;the post is about Indian men–a few good Indian men whom the world never talks about.

Why this post?

After writing the post Worries of an Indian Girl,I tried searching whether somebody has written about worries of an Indian Boy. Surprisingly there wasn’t even one post or article which discussed about them.The articles which I found were all about how bad Indian men are,how to make Indian men better human beings,Indian men are chauvinist pigs,Indian men should learn to respect etc.I do agree with the aforementioned facts.Most of the Indian men are,but there is a fact that we conveniently forget,that there are a few good Indian men too. In the flood of the articles about women issues,I kept wondering where will the worries of my Father,Brother and other male friends go?This kept me thinking and counting the good men I know in my life.How can I forget my Father who let me grow independently?How can I forget my Brother who respects my space and lifestyle?How I can forget my best friends who stayed beside me during both my ups and downs?How can I forget my teacher who took an extra effort to make me succeed?How can I forget that strange man who helped in the train?How can I forget that auto driver who dropped me home in the middle of the night even though he was done for the day?How can I forget the security guard who comes along with me in the cab and leaves only after he sees light in my apartment?How can I forget the fellow-men who take an extra effort make this world a better place for both men and women?How can I forget that policeman who took care of me during an accident?How can I forget my male colleagues who make office a better place to work?How can I forget my mentors who helped me grow personally and professionally? I read your mind.There is another side too. There are Fathers who molest their daughters,there are Brothers who sell their Sisters,there are husbands who beat their wives black and blue,there are male friends who rape their female friends,there are teachers who exploit girls,there are strange men who grope women,there are auto drivers who take girls to places,there are security guards who take advantage,there are fellow-men who make the world a bad place for women,there are policemen who are wolves in sheep’s clothing,there are male colleagues who are chauvinists and treat you like shit and there are mentors who pull you down morally and emotionally. But, do these bad men overshadow the good men?Yes!! the same way like bad women are overshadowed by good women.Below are some obvious matters which struck my mind. 1)In the Delhi gang rape case,her male friend did his best to save the girl and showed the courage to come in front of the media to tell the story.After the verdict the Mother of one of the rapists urged public to spare his son saying he is a good boy.The media didn’t make the male friend a good man or the Mother a bad woman.In fact nobody discussed this about these people. 2)It is true that men are killing new-born girl babies as they want only boy babies.But,there are women who want only boy babies too.There are Mothers-in-law who make the life of Daughters-in-law(the couple more precisely) miserable for not bearing a male child. 3)Men cheat on women,refuse divorce,kill wife to marry another woman,beat up wife,drink and waste the hard-earned money of wife,leave the wife making her to bring up kids alone etc.Then what about the women who cheat on men,women who refuse divorce,women who kill their husband so that she can marry another man,women who burn the hard-earned money of husband,men who bring up kids alone etc? 4)In most of the sex racket cases,it is always a woman who must have persuaded the girl/s to trap. 5)In most of the stove-blast deaths and dowry deaths,together with the husband the Mother-in-law and sister-in-law are also guilty for the girl’s death. 6)There are men who try to flirt or hook up with women in social media websites.The other side is that there are equal number of women who try to do the same. 7)There are men who marry for dowry money,free sex and a slave.And there are equal number of women who marry for trips to US,posh life and money of course. 8)There are husbands who cage their wife after wedding.And there are wives who restrict husband a social life after the wedding. 9)There are women who end up being female escorts out of compulsion or upon their will and there is an alarming increase in the number of male escorts too to earn quick bucks or take up the job upon their will. The list might go on. I don’t want to close my eyes towards those few good men in the country just because there is a huge percentage of bad men on the other hand.Mainly because to make this world a better place to live,a safer place for women,and a peaceful place where gender equality exists,we need good men too. To know more about the worries of Indian men,I am running a survey and you can answer the questions here. Now a question exists in your mind. Am I still a feminist? Yes,I am because I believe in gender equality. *Comments are strictly moderated.

Worries of an Indian Girl

The recent articles and blog posts about sexism and frustrations of Indian girls made me write this post.

Couple of months back my Mother asked me whether I had met one of our family friends in Chennai and I replied no. The background story is one of my family friends saw me in the Railway station and the complaint was that I was wearing a loose sleeveless top. The lady got alarmed seeing me in a sleeveless top and complained to Mother saying I should be wearing Salwars as I am Malayali girl.Apparently,the lady is worried that I am spoiling the name of keralites and Kerala’s highly boasted culture(?).Now, this not new to me. Forget about sleeveless tops and party wears, wearing jeans can earn you the name slut.I find it very difficult to understand this concept. If a girl wears a salwar/saree, then she has a good character. From when on wards did we start making analysis of a person’s character according to the clothes they wear.Now,do men have such an issue? Imagine we girls making such an analysis about men — men wearing formal shirts and pants want to sleep around, men wearing veshti don’t think about /look at girls, men wearing lungi want to eve tease or rape and so on. When women don’t judge men according to the clothes, why does vice versa exist? Do not generalize because we don’t think that a guy is bad if he is wearing clothes which he likes.

I remember getting a message in my blog page after writing the post Shadows of a Girl. The message was from an old classmate who was a constant faultfinder of my posts. The message was an apology for the rubbish comments he had posted on some of my posts. The change in attitude happened after he took his newlywed wife to Delhi for honeymoon. The message said that he fumed in anger and helplessness when his wife got lost in a crowded street and she was groped badly. He wrote that his wife cried in shock that strange men squeezed her breasts and waist in those ten minutes she got lost in the crowd. And what was her dress?A pardah!! He apologized for his earlier views on women.But,what I want to tell the world is why should you wait for something to happen to your dear ones to change your attitude? What is so difficult to think that women are human beings too? And I know, in India, men get groped too.

Don’t do such things because a girl should not do such things”. I grew up hearing this dialog round the clock from my Grand Mother.But, thanks to my parents for letting me grow up doing things from playing cricket with neighborhood boys to rolling in mud. I thought such mentality was only in Kerala but as I moved out of home and started meeting people from other parts of the country, I understood that it is a national problem. Here are ten rules which I have heard often.

1)Girls should not talk loud

2) Girls should not play with boys after 10 years old or getting her period, whichever is earlier.

3) Girls should not go out alone

4) Girls should not stay outside the home after 6 PM (This still exists in Kerala. Thanks to the men in Kerala)

5) Girls should sacrifice

6) Girls should obey their parents, elders and whomsoever who has the right to rule/shout at her

7) Girls should give more importance to her wedding than her education.

8) Girls are the honor of a family and should save it at any cost

9) Girls should not tell their opinions because they don’t know what life is

10) Girls should give more importance to her husband and his family than to herself and her family

Most of these dialogues are followed by a story from the religious books praising women in those books who made sacrifices, who were epitome of patience, who obeyed her husband without any objections, who grew up according to her parents’ wishes, who saved the honor of the family and so on. Now stop right there. First of all, it is dumb to force girls to grow up under such rules and force them to be examples of the so-called “the good girl”. Women are humans too — what’s wrong in getting angry and shouting? Why should we sacrifice things which we like just because we are women? Why should we suppress anger and be patient just because we are women? Above all, why should we be good girls, why can’t we be just girls? Imagine a society telling the Indian men to be like the ones in the religious books?

One of my friends was narrating the story of a movie. Then she said, “after that they will have this” and giggled.”They will have what?“. We asked.”You know, that“, she again giggled.”You mean they had sex?”, somebody in the gang asked. And she said, “Don’t tell it openly. It is a bad thing”. Yes, I heard this from a married woman who has a kid.Sex is one of the words which will spoil a girl’s name. People often forget that sex is a simple thing. Even when they celebrate a girl becoming pregnant, they conveniently forget that she became pregnant after having sex with her husband. It is a ubiquitous fact. The mankind still exists because people are having sex; let’s tell it that way than the rosy way of telling that babies are born. So why should a girl be bad if she talks about sex?If you want a baby then a woman should have sex with a man. This has been happening since Adam and Eve and how is a woman talking about sex a sin? (That too in this century!!)

I am in love”. How often have you heard an Indian girl telling such a thing openly?90 % of the Indian women don’t let this out because having a past relationship will spoil her chances of getting married(even if the guy who rejects this girl would have had many relationships and is not a virgin).Yes, pure-girl concept is prevalent in Asian and Eastern countries. The usual dialog from the family, “Guys can do anything. Even if he rapes girl, he will get a girl to marry” discourages women even more from telling out their feelings.Recently, one of my friends informed me that she rejected a proposal. The reason which she gave me was that the guy’s parents are dumber and my jaw dropped. Looks like the guy wanted somebody who hasn’t been in a relationship, so she politely withdrew from the proposal but his parents wanted somebody who hasn’t had any crush or infatuation so far. She asked me how they can even think of such a thing when she is already 26 years old. How does it matter whether she or he has a past? Infatuations are mementos of our teenage life. Having a relationship will only help a person grow better. I read this somewhere “Relationships are never a waste of time. If it didn’t give you what you want in life, at least you know what you don’t want in life”.

I saw a comment in a forum which discussed about the above problems,”Twenty years ago, I was reading articles on the same lines. Twenty years from now, we will continue to do so. Some themes never grow up!”

Related Read : http://tamilculture.ca/an-open-letter-to-young-tamil-men/

He who is always scared

This is a guest post by Kannan Nambiar,the co-founder and CEO of Payd. A loving brother,a feminist at heart and a handsome dude.You can follow in him in Twitter at here and in Facebook at here.I’m glad that he asked me to publish his thoughts.

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There are two kinds of people in this world. Gooders and Sinners. Sinners are always scared.

When you steal a colored chalk piece from your neighbor’s bag, at school, you’re scared. You’re scared when you first enact the theft in your own mind – you’re scared you might get caught, you’re scared of all the things that can possibly (and probably) go wrong. But you steal it. Then you worry that someone might have caught the actual theft. So far, it’s simple. But have you ever wondered why you are still scared when you reach home from the successful theft?

Fear is one of the most mysterious things in this world. It is mysterious in the way it manifests, and in the way that it settles in. Sinners are always scared. In the bus today, the guy sitting next to me misbehaved to the girl sitting in front of him. Everyone was asleep (or so he wished) and was awaken by the girl’s shout. When everyone was awake, she slapped him real hard. Real hard. This post is not about the pathetic details of what had happened, but about the girl.

Unlike most of us, she understood the power gooders have over sinners. Sinners are always scared. Gooders carry a spark in their hearts that gives them strength beyond a sinner’s understanding. When you find yourself in the presence of a sinner, (taking the liberty of assuming you are a gooder) you step up and use that strength. They will be destroyed. For many people on the bus, it was a clash of ego. The “gandhians” would argue that what the girl had was retribution and nothing to do with justice. What those narrow-sighted idiots fail to see is the number of girls that this “girl in the red tee” just saved from this bastard.

When I looked her in the eye, beneath all that fury, I saw strength. I wish every gooder knew they had the same strength. This strength, and the good that keeps the strength alive, alone, I lay my beliefs on. No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it. One gooder might be all it takes to bring a revolution.