Tuesday, December 26

..tis' the season to be merry eh?
Humph. I currently have no house and no Internet. all my stuff in suitcases .. so everyday self is running around like madwoman wondering which one has what. days are blissful. since i have no house, so i obviously cannot have Internet in this booming nation of ours. last night had awful nightmares of assorted landlords telling me to be a good girl or else i'l forever be homeless. Whatever that COULD mean.
It was crappy x mas.so drunk that told my friend 1 all that friend 2 bitched about her. so was lying on bed crying for sleep while 2 screaming girls implored for the truth. cannot find my red shoes and so am extremely nervous since they cost me as good shoes usually do, pretty sure someone has stolen them. last night counted 7 items of clothing missing. 2 of them quite precious so couldn't sleep for 2 hours.
homeless vagabonds like me have no option but to end up in goa. Um. of course i hate it during this time of the year so have firmly resolved to refrain from a ghastly holiday. but lots of friends are going and lately, every night ends with me stoned, having 3 people around me talking about the ten types of fun we'll have. so i give in and go to sleep. and next morning is hell when self decides to stick to dumb resolve and go back on word.
Am trying to convince dumb friends that we'll all die if we go there. but its sad that Indians have such a think-headed mentality to bombs. reminds of this family I knew in london, who simpered in their house for a good two weeks after the trains burst. but my brave friends are born to be wild.
and other than that, i have thought of wonderful new resolves.

will get a new house where the landlord loves me nd can speak good English.

will eat breakfast. NOT chocolate doughnut with coke.

will bitch less and do more.

shall not buy any more clothes. And shoes. And bags.

shall manage my money better.

will work out. regularly.

will buy more books.

Um. I cannot guffaw any longer so self shall stop.

Monday, November 27

Spoke to school friend today and am going to meet her tomorrow at my usual watering hole. We sighed and rallied on totally pointless details to each other .. and laughed ourselves quite silly. It's weird that most of the blasphemous 'incidents' I was involved seem in quite hazy to me .. lately, I've been experiencing this with loads of my friends. Tallbestfriend in Lancaster was in town in September and we started talking about my weird mood swings. He mentioned how when he saw he crying for first time in 4 years I told him to get out of my house in a crazy banshee-like manner. Now I would NEVER do that to a friend, and vehemently disagreed to such crap. So poor tallbestfriend was as it is so shook up by having to remember that incident, and then got pretty depressed that I didn't even remember that it happened in the first place. Hmm. My tact needs work most of the time. So anyways, recently me been having this nightmare that I'm sitting on an oak table surrounded by pretty italian light fixtures all around me... and I'm hunched up over the table while alphabets are coming out my head and ears ... in swirls .. and getting collected in bowls which lots of faceless people dressed in red clothing are drinking ...
It terrorizes me to think that one day I won't remember all that I've read and all that I went through ... like all of it escaping in swirls .. you're just like the other person .. only dumber .
My dad jokes about how our family doesn't pass around cancer or diabetes to each other, we just get plain loony. everyone as it is expects me to get schizophrenic pretty soon as my grandmom is going to die from it in no time now.
Its disturbing to meet her as she can't recall how to sit. So she lies around all day and screams at anyone whenever pieces in her head tell her that conversation's been lacking for quite some time now .. God, after trying to kill myself so many times, it'l be pretty ridiculous for me to get under something like that instead, so I'm just going to have a nice and peaceful suicide somewhere after 35..or sooner of course.

Anyways, so I'm meeting friend and am very excited about it. I dunno why I'm excited because I never liked school much. I don't even like college and I don't like anything else. But you've got to hang on to some useless details otherwise I'l pretty much lose it.
An ex once ended a heated fight by calling me a mongrel... someone who has no identity .. belongs no place. I always considered that guy naive so was quite shocked that he was making so much sense. Having lived in 4 cities so far and through 5 schools, it's not surprising that there's no nostalgia in my life. Delhi school was more about losing my brit accent in 2 weeks flat because people were labelling me a wannabe. I guess it never dawned on them that not everybody fakes it and there's nothing cool about having a different language anyways.
And then there were hardly any girls. I've always missed the whole thing of girl bonding you know .. the shopping, the make up yada yada yada. But I've always felt that it takes longer to have a decent girlfriend. And getting a guy to hang out with you is pretty easy, because everything starts and ends with sex. So whatever women I have in my life, they are important. And I talk to them over their idea of me once every 4 months and everyone is quite happy.

Fogey love

They both talk simultaneously because she can’t hear too well. So I’m sitting in between them, with concurrent sermons on how it’s high time I got married, and how he’s going to vote for Modi as PM. He sheepishly apologizes mid-way on behalf of his wife, explains how she hates the hearing-aid. They have a phone call from their grandkids just then and he runs towards the phone. Talks for five minutes, recounting his entire week, and then pulls her towards the phone. Her wired face lights up as he recounts the conversation word by word to her, deciphers her mumbled reaction and then talks on the other end.
After the call is done with, both of us are fiercely fighting over who will eventually make tea. Now he’s too proud. Help is ridiculous as long as he can walk. Off he goes, and his wife starts fussing over me. Relays on about her entire day, and how they sleep after 11 because she likes to watch Star Plus. How she wanted to call her grandkids earlier but he didn’t let her, as they ought to call first. How it really hurts to walk these days but too many maids are turning murderers. Smiles as she remembers her grandson forcing her to the store to buy the hearing-aid. He gets very worried, as he can’t hear me talk. Don’t you ever manage to eat? How will you ever have kids?
And then she falls asleep as she talks. He remarks on how unfair it is that she’s being forced to work in old age. How he manages to do his bit and actually cooks better than her. He trails off as his hands move slowly over her forehead. He excuses himself to cover her with a blanket. And then he makes himself comfortable to talk politics.
He says he loves me because I’m ambitious. And because law and its power fascinates him. He talks and he talks. And I listen, because he makes a lot of sense. Until…
So when are you going to get married? You know all this law shaw is fine but you’ve got to have someone around when you’re ugly and old? Um.

Wednesday, November 22

It happened when I left home for work. Watching Delhi get all busy and worked up for yet another back-breaking day ... as usual, I haven't slept enough and am cussing aloud at anything that moves. I've always felt so out of sync because I don't like coffee. It’s so easy for others... not enough sleep, grab a cuppa and then you're all set. But I guess I do have my cigarettes.. So maybe not losing out on much.. And then I see her. She was standing on my left probably looking out for an auto-rickshaw. She’s talking to her friends and laughing. I stare intently for two minutes and then force my eyes away. Thinking now is not the time. I’m late for work and have a feeling the boss is not going to be amused by my delusion theory. But I can't stop. I look at her ... and notice every move. Few minutes with that image and I’ve already figured her out. And figured out how much I hate her at this moment. Why is she smiling so much? Why the fuck is she so fucking chipper? Can’t she just go ... find her way and stop bothering me. Stop forcing me to look when I got other things to do. Am trying so hard. But it's not happening. And now I can't breathe. The hands start shaking and I stop the car... right in front of her. Am crying out aloud.. imploring her to leave. So delirious with rage now... what if I kill her over? That would too easy no... let's rape her. Out in the fucking open. Stop that glistening laugh once and for all. Let’s grind her on the floor ... let the gravel surge against her skin so hard that her body is incapable of putting the pain together. Let’s tie her hands and make the strings dig in.. leaving marks lasting for exactly 2 weeks. Let’s punch and press against her breasts so hard that she wears a t-shirt with nothing for 2 months because any other clothing hurts. Let’s dig into her vagina so hard and so much that it makes her bleed all over the place. All that you see is red. All the screaming. Let’s freeze everything around the both of us so that no one can feel the rape even though it's right here. Even though she's a virgin.
Oh god. I’m screaming so loud now ... can't believe I said that. Can’t believe I would want that. No. Got to get out of this place. Before I scare her. Before she gauges anyone could be thinking of her like that. Before anyone gets to know about this. I drive back home in a trance. Weeping myself hoarse through it all. Hating myself. Wishing there was someone else around so that I could at least pretend to hold it up. There’s home now and I barge open the door. My room. At last. Shut the door. Before something new enters your head. Before you get more sinister. But c'mon.. She should fuckin go through that right... why was she so fuckin happy. She obviously doesn't get life. She’s obviously not like you. She wasn't fuckin raped like you. She’s different. She’s simple. And that's why she deserves it. Remember when your dad used to shout at you to be normal? Who all did you blame then? You know .. If there was no normal, then you would be normal. There would be nothing amiss about you. And no one would blame.
Yes.. that's why I wish all of them rotted those 2 fuckin hours. When you forget ... and now after everything in the room is thrown around... I’m hunched on the tiled floor... it's very cold.. and strangely comforting.. now I’m puking blood. And I’m strangely happy. Because now it's close to over ... I’ll wake up and it'll be over. All of it will come out. And then I sleep on the tiles... because they're cold.. and hard ... just like before ...just like that day.

I’ve often had this dream. Too many times to actually remember. But for obvious reasons, never told anyone about it. What would people think? It’s not one of those logical ones ... and considering it was frequent, it had to be concealed. I always tormented myself over my choice of the victim. Am I really that warped inside? When I’m awake... I’m aware that this was not something that would give me peace. Then why something so fuckin disgusting? Why not him ... and why them..
I knew why ... all that I hated and was terrified of was encompassed in that dream. The girls in my teenage years. So carefree . Who never understood why I was so bitter. And why sex was never something I got coy about. Why breaking-virginity conversations always pissed me off. And why I couldn't giggle at anything and everything. Some twisted thought somewhere wanted them to know exactly why. And things at home didn't help much. The pressure of academics ... which was always considered more important than getting raped at 13. The pressure of being a certain way or else people would talk. The times during my counseling when I used to overhear my parents telling the man to get me fixed fast. That time I obviously hated them. But then at that time, I hated everyone. I deviated towards dumb men with no depth; it was much easier to hang out with them. Because they were always too chicken to make a move. And that situation worked out nicely for me.
I guess you grow up and a lot of things fall into perspective. Even though I never forgave my parents, I do understand why they did all that. It feels good to talk to my father for hours today without feeling claustrophobic. Now, thankfully, I don't wish for the whole world to be raped.
And growing up opens other ideas too. It took me years of studying law to know that 'technically', I wasn't really raped. And that pissed me off. What would a bunch of motherfuckers in their 50's know about the act at all? Why don't they get some rape victims and ask them to draft the bill? Maybe then we'll see how much of a difference there really is between penetration and no penetration. Does it really matter if you escaped it because you were too small? It’s not any less traumatic... and I wish someone would think of that....
No matter how much things change for me now, I acknowledge this weird fixation. Whatever creative process i try to formulate for myself in the future, this comes to mind first ... I used to think that there is no scope for catharsis left now ... but your mind surprises you all the time ... even in your sleep.
I recently read about some families in Punjab who have started the practice of the Draupadi system. After the families out there are done with killing female fetuses, now it dawns on them that they still need females for them to get pregnant and put the family forward. So a family buys a girl for each house ... and that 'commodity' is required to be a wife to her husband, his brothers, and even her father-in-law...
This story fascinated me so much .. morbidly so .. But I was too scared to go to the actual place ... too scared to be sucked into the system myself. But no one is learning. Nothing changed when I went through it, and nothing seems to be changing now.
At least today my reaction to sexual abuse is exactly what it deserves. It perhaps pushes me more to fight against it. My past is probably responsible for my zero tolerance for eve teasing on the streets. And that is what makes me have nightmares about infanticide.I just hope that we haven't become the sort of people who need to experience sexual abuse themselves in order to have voices emanating against it .....

Wednesday, November 15

Bell Jar

I think often on how much it would take to understand some people. To be around them and hold their hand through everything while you're losing your mind in secret. To understand all that they say without ever posing your own thoughts. Fighting for their rights until you go hoarse. Explaining...explaining...all that you could have made better. The empathy that was still wanting. The left-overs of your wishful suicide while you're busy mending someone up. And then...you're just in that rut forever...
Now you're built up in his mind, as the protector. As the one who'll take me out of the blaze because it's the usual. The one who'll be scalded because she's strong enough. Because by now she's ceased to exist for herself.
I'm so very tired now...with the voices in my head which are never let out..all the time I lost which could have been for me ... all that could have taken me out of this ... with too many people as strangers .. and watching your mistakes backwards till it blasts you in the face ...and nowhere to fuckin go ... and hide till you see nothing moving ... no one hungry ... and begging ... to cut out your piece to feed it to him...
Imagining no people.. no wanting eyes .. hands ... words ...
Maybe now there will be freedom ... to feed herself.

Tuesday, November 14

The illegitimate nation..

I remember watching the press video of the Lhasa Express sometime back....another industrial leap everyone seemed very proud of... milling faces..all smiling.. and all chinese. I remember my heart sinking and wishing for the camera to lay bare the tibetan face in this as well... but considering all those press releases were monitored by the chinese govt, not much chance of that....

I'm back to that thought again today after reading about the Tibetan activist, Tenzing tsundue being given an order of restraint on movement prior to the arrival of the Chinese President in town... this man is wholly responsible for making me view tibet as a 'nation' ... to be aware of its politics.. the Chinese propaganda... and what it's really like to be revolutionary against the biggest communist country in the world.
It gets you thinking on what it would really be like to be without a country? We all have these avant-garde ideas about democracy and public opinion and equal opportunity and are suitably incensed on any inkling of an infringement... but what if you have no one to fight against?
No government... no policing... up against a country the whole world is shit scared of ... living in a place where you're considered a foreigner after residing for more than 80 years.. and still not freaking out... still no suicide bombers... no violence... because amazingly the millions of tibetans scattered all over the world are still sane enough to listen to the Dalai Lama....

Lhasa ground reality

Nuns raped,illegal to have a buddha figurine or picture,the only way of income for tibetan girls is to become whores for chinese police or to escape to india,no job unless you learn chinese,no tibetan learning in any school in lhasa,immediate imprisonment for uttering the name of the lama,4000 chinese enter lhasa everyday through various means...which is a systematic chinese plan to eventually promulgate the area free of any tibetan influence, industrialisation which is unprecended and which the sensitive tibetan ecology can clearly not handle,police atrocities which make indian 'fake encounters' seem like a joke, no press release of these atrocities is allowed, anyone can be picked up from anywhere anytime on any plausible ground,mental torture where you're forced to curse tibet in order to show your allegiance to china,the trek to india through nepal takes several months and most die in between,most of the tibetan kids come to dharamsala as it's the only place where they're likely to be aware of their nationality in some way when they grow, most of them have their parents and families back in lhasa...mostly with no way of communication, china has already forced google earth to show tibet as a part of chinese territory,and if today anyone searches on lhasa politics on the internet.. there's a systematic cleaning-up happening in china itself before anything can appear on your screens....

Out of sight..out of mind.. it's that simple and it's working.
India will of course do nothing because we have to save our ass first. But what pisses me off is that when the Indian Government was responsible for staving off the fate of the Tibetans in the Tashkent Agreement without consulting anyone... then why the hell are they being chicken now and playing out this drone of Sino-Indian friendship...how can they not get involved now after they were a party in fucking up the tibetans in the first place?
The chinese ambassador has already claimed arunachal as a part of their territory in a recent interview, which is not a new development.. it's obvious that in the upcoming short visit , no one is going to discuss this sensitive issue. But if the chinese stand is so abundantly clear, what the hell is the NDA going to do?
Give it off? Because duh, the rest of 'shining india' doesn't give two hoots about the north east anyways.. how much will it really take for someone to be that scared of china to actually fight back?
Fight for the illegitimate people... of a make-believe politica in 2006.

Sunday, November 12


Why is it that I go for a seemingly mindless let's-go-to-dilli-haat-because-it's-winter-evening-and-you're-back-in-town-as-well sojourn with family and it ends up being such a disaster? After I completed our ritual with me pretending to get lost once we reach there as my father starts discussing the finer points of 'authentic Bihari tussar bedsheets' with the craftsmen... and off me and my brother, with him royally bored, while I buy junk and bargain gleefully....and I had to see him...
Now I see this man everytime I go to Dilli Haat ... white dhoti and kurta... about 70.. sitting alone... and playing the Sarangi. And everytime I see him... the tears.. and I curse aloud at being such a wuss and dutifully go ahead and buy 5 sarangis off him. Whenever I look at his weather-beaten old and wiry Rajasthani face.... I start relaying out his life in my mind and the reasons that brought him to this city to sell musical toys to people.... and I get depressed.

Why would a man from a village who looks like any other farmer come to Delhi anyway? Maybe his sons are dead, no wife as well maybe... or his land got taken up by someone... maybe he had too much debt.. maybe anything.
Or maybe he's one of the hundreds of craftsmen who come to this mela from their villages to see the 'big city' .... and then go back to tell their families about it. Maybe after we all go to our big homes in our big cars... he watches the people in the mela draw up their shops... and then sleeps in the bitter cold on the ground. Maybe he has no place to go so he stays around in the Haat. Maybe he doesn't even smoke to kill the chill because he can't afford it. Maybe on usual days, he doesn't sell anything because no one wants to buy the dumb things he sells except really dumb firangs. Maybe during the day, he watches television in chai shops from where he picks up the Bollywood tunes to play in the evenings. Maybe he really doesn't give a fuck about the people around him and just likes to play alone. Maybe he just does some ganja and is quite happy.
When I buy it off him... maybe he thinks I'm an idiot or else why would I buy 5? Or he thinks nice girl... so white. Or he thinks.. bad big city girl with no culture, hell why doesn't she cover her face?. Hmmmm.

I don't know which one really applies to him and I would really want to know. And I think incessantly. I think about how he has the power to make me start crying in a public friggin mela. Or to think about a stranger so much. Is it because he's poor? Or because he's old and looks like my grandfather? Or because I really wonder why nobody else would stare at him and just sit around him when they get there.. because what exactly is more beautiful than an old man in white clothes ... a balmy winter evening ... and playing a Guru Dutt on the Sarangi?

Friday, November 10

Oh sister...

So anyways the dreaded call of late came again. my brother asking for those special favors. Aaaarrrrghhhhhh.
Why oh why do i do it? I haven't exactly grown up with him, never been close to him...our relationship could be strictly classified into 'legally consenting drinking adults who don't talk things of any depth'. but I do realize that a major reason I take all this rigmarole every bloody time is because a) there's a limit to which I can make excuses about ignoring a relative's incessant calls , and b) helping him through this sex life makes me feel like Mother Superior, and that is obviously because I'm patronizing of his juvenile quotient....

So everytime this dim-witted cousin's sex scene with his equally dim-wiited girlfriends gets screwed..he gives me a call..to negotiate...mediate..promises me the world and things close to it... and basically convince those dumb bitches to get laid with him again...
It all starts with his frantic call, usually on days I got nothing to do, which is quite often in this blasted city..so I foolishly agree...(mind thinking free drinks, free food, and mindless conversation...fluttering wildly) he starts off with the usual" arrey why would she do this?" " do you think I'm wrong in ANY way?" "I can't marry her now no, gotta set up my career and all that" and the most frequent...." gotta buy a mercedes in two years" .... har har har har
Career in question being whatever remained of it after his LLM from london and being scared shitless at the thought of the actual process of 'doing a job' ..blehhhh.... so obviously our darling spoilt brat from 'zeee industrial family like the reliance you know' decided to join one of daddy's numerous businesses, the one having no semblance to law whatsoever of course, him having realized after 4 years of pursuing it that he's not exactly cut out for it.....
And of course after that..usual delhi munda crap...clubbing..scoring girls...booking hotel rooms to fuck coz joint family scene back home...promising dumb punju girls( ok no offense, but its surprising HOW many of them are at the receiving end of such men)the world=marriage....and everyone living happily ever after till the girl clams up....

Enterrrrsssss the worldly cousin with history of fucked up relationships but can still furnish very logical -sounding love advice .... so I call her ...
Even though she's irritating
Even though she shortens my perfectly acceptable long bengali name to a puke-inducing abbreviation
Even though she sings and never talks....like hiiiiiiiiii...howwwww arrre youuuuu

Anyways, a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. So here the ..lets call her stupidrichgirl starts talking about how she lovvvvvvves my brother...and detests his family because they are so 'downmarket'..and wouldn't it be cool if after marriage she me and cousin live together like one dysfunctional family? ( gagssss...) ...I add how thats not feasible...what with me and him being first cousins and all...
Then she begins to ramble on about the uncouthness of their character, and how gk is not like that, and if she gets stuck in a joint family scene how the fuck will she smoke..and asks me to tell bro to get a 8 fuckin carat platinum ring for their engagement( this after 2 months fucking!) ... and how she lovvvves the immediate family...and not the rest...and how he's gotta move out..and how she knows he can't live without her...but she still gotta test him no...so that he makes her meet folks and settle scene....
NOW if she was a smart woman..I woulda told her what a motherfucker my brother is, even though he's my brother, and urge her to take my wise word for it and scoot!
but smart she's obviously not....so I start babbling about how he loves her and will do as she says and all and so will she please cut with the crap now and start screwing him like before?

Finally it all worked out. They are at The Grand again,fucking. Hmmm.
But it's sort of sad that I have a bastard for a brother, the sort of guy I would take great pleasure in humiliating in public and try to push his buttons...the kind of man I would plot to kill for his decadent and MCP idealogies...the kind of guy I would never visualize myself talking with...

What's sadder is that these women are so fuckin stupid. They don't see jackshit. Now stupidrichgirl is some 12th pass who didnt manage to do college coz she ran away with her then boyfriend and got married in a temple! husband called parents and showed thhaaaaa truuuuuueee collllorsss..if you want to save your reputation and have her safely married, then give me this and this much money to finance this and this business....
Very filmy but true.
Now stupidrichgirl has been fucked up ever since. She knws her mistake all too well...what with her folks making a big deal of trying to hide the previous marriage from all and sundry... and she's now clingy and desperate at 26 having no job no life no ambition other than to get married.
And its sad that she's doing it again. I feel like kicking myself in the gut when my assholecousin instructs me exactly how to lie to her..regarding marriage and all so that he can manage another 2 months of sex...and he shrugs off when I naively ask him if he'll really marry her ..." Yaaaa right, she's good for girlfriend no? Not wifey type. too modern. What with past history and all"

Yes of course. Fuck. Why the FUCK is delhi like THIS? Men talking about how much money with whom and calling non-virgins second-rate..its fucking pissing off.


Why is jethmalani doing this? And its fucking incredible that the morons who call themselves journalists are now debating the finer points of the 'unheard of' theory' of what really happened that night. Well just this afternoon with having nothing to do as usual, I let it dawn on my mom with suitable analysis exactly what I think is now going to come out of this jessica case...
My earth-shattering theory is that some poor sikh guy who needs money for his family so much that he doesn't mind taking capital punishment, or if lucky, life imprisonment is going to resurface in just some time from now...some far-reaching connections are going to be fabricated( like how he's actually tony blair's son and that's why the indian police didn't even dare to include his name in the investigation report, and hence in a brilliant satanic moment decided to opt for a softer target...YAAAAA... an MLA's son from chandigarh...!) and then of course jethmalani being the bastard that he is will tear apart bina ramani's not-any-help-as-it-is witness account and leave the prosecution with nobody else to defend for their case....
The two gun theory has already been shouted across rooftops by him and the investigating cops that everyone now is looking around for the other gun..and since manu had one gun with him...works for him very well...

And of COURSE... she was not a bhartiya nari...serving alcohol...and now developments-i-had-been-waiting-forever-for came to light that she committed the morbid sin of attacking the sikh gentlemen's virility....
I mean , yeah, she shouldn't get killed for it and all that, but considering bad character and all that..she deserves it no?

Actually, I'm really embarrassed to say that jessica's case has bored me to death by now...as pretentious as that sounds to me, but somehow jethmalani impresses me even more...why would he commit this suicide?
god knows he doesn't need the money.. his family apparently doesn't support him in this 'streak of independence' against public opinion...so little thing in my head roots for the lets-die-with-a-bang-theory
that motherfucker has grown so big in his little bubble that he thinks he can turn out the biggest case in indian history and get a judgment that he chooses to furnishe for his client...
and of course he's going to do it.
because he's the biggest lawyer in india. because he can do any fuckin thing. because he's big enough for even lets-fight-for-feminism-and-kick-serious-ass -me to shut up when he's looking down my breasts. and say 'sir' after he's done staring and walk out of the chambers. smoke a cigarette and then justify the diversion of my principles by equating it to the money i'll earn later by this man's name....
See the bright side...atleast I wasn't shot.

Wednesday, November 8

The veiled woman

I feel hot.

I cannot see the person in front of me very clearly.

I have to work in the fields,on the road, in buildings... wearing metres of cloth around my face and body.

My man expects me to wear it. And my clergy. And in an oddly fascinating way, I have started viewing it as an instrument of asserting my 'personality'

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to feel the light of the streets on my face.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to wear clothes like that girl on the street. But it would be too shameful yes.

Many a times people cannot hear what I say very clearly.

Sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to show off my make-up. Which now exists beneath my veil.

There are lots of inconveniences. But it is my religion. And it's only right to wear it.

Now this could really be anyone. In the wake of the situation right now, the Muslim woman comes to the picture. I come from Rajasthan and can invoke this picture to encompass thousands of women of the sands who have in most probability shown their faces to even their husbands only during sex. Leave out anyone else of course. Except other women because it's believed that no one is a lesbian out there. Hmmm

But no, even if that argument exists...it's still the Muslim woman. There's no point contesting her discomfort because every woman and some men know the answer to that one. They've taken it in their stride since so long now that the veil has today become a symbol of asserting their Islamic identity. I just read somewhere that Muslim men in the US take it as a symbol of pride if their wife wears the Hijab. It worries me to see such behaviour to be slotted in an attempt of 'assertion'. And that too something as sacrosanct as 'identity'. Do these men even gauge the ethos of having an identity? Stripping their wives of 'their' identity and making them believe in this bizarrely new concept of being another form of a 'trophy'!

Of course everyone has the right to dress the way they want to. Especially women. Because their right to dress is as it is discussed on a global level by men and then thrust upon them. I know that all village-women I know in Udaipur would get close to killing themselves if they're forced to dispel the Ghoonghat. But it's quite wrong to start viewing that reaction as their acceptance of the logic behind wearing that piece of cloth. It's just the time. The amount of years they have worn it...their illiteracy..because they have not grown up watching women without it...and obviously, their men ...all the fathers and brothers and husbands who have reinforced their preference to adorn their women with it. Again and again and again. And the same is with the Muslims. Of course there was a backlash against Jack Straw. He's afterall denying them their identity.

One more time.

All I'm saying is that it's time to stop now. By now all of us know that the Quran does not require women to wear it. By now all of us know that modesty does not necessarily require covering your entire face. We know all that. Then why do we let these women believe that's its somehow 'shameful' not to wear it.
And to stop that...we need the men. To drop their gazes. To stop controlling lives of the other half of the world population. To stop justifying rape because of her clothes. To just STOP IT.

In fact if the men in history and in the present could be less horny..none of this would have ever happened.
Just because it was easier. And just because no one stopped them.

I'm in no instance a male-basher. But I just feel incredibly worried at the state of things sometimes. We have been lucky to educate a certain percentage of women in these times...and a certain percentage from that have managed to be smart as well....there are a few good men...

And all this needs to contribute on doing away with the veil. Because it was never needed and now is the time to understand as well as realize that. The right to the way to dress can change your psyche in more ways than one. Just like Hindu women before used to think nothing amiss from dutifully jumping into a burning fire over their husband's corpse...and thought that was a matter of their 'right'...and spousal 'identity'..

This is a Sati of a different kind.

And there's no Ram Mohan in sight.

Tuesday, October 24

Why them?

Why is Sheila Dixit banning rickshaws? It's beyond me..What could be the warped up Congress logic behind stripping off 1 million honest labourers who wouldn't qualify as agricultural loanees as per Govt diktat,of their only source of livelihood? I heard about the continuing ban in Chandni Chowk and was surprised. Especially at the ludicrous reasoning of them being the harbinger of traffic jams. Then maybe shoppers and shop-keepers being allowed to park their cars in those narrow bylanes is somehow allright.
Don't they realize the lack of better alternatives? These men are the sole source of short -timed traveling within residential colonies and also near hospitals,schools... These places will then obviously have people resorting to their cars or autos , which however bizarre it may seem to me, is preferable to the Delhi Govt.
Where are they going to go? Commit suicide or become a problem of another sort?
And they complain as to why crime is rising in the city.

Just that...

She heard the music blaring over the phone. His strangely unfamilial voice pervaded through..''yeah..you called? I just entered a night club..it's crazy in here man, everything looks shot out of nowhere.'' She forcibly smiled over the telephone and then reminded herself of the uselessness of her action....he can't see her.

They were silent on the phone for a long time, hearing the resonating rap song between them. He was too hallucinatory to talk sense..and she did not know him anymore.
She silently prayed '' please don't lose out on who you are..it doesn't make sense if it doesn't leave you behind.'' A little more silence.

''How long has it been'' she asked. ''Well, tried it at 10 30...kinda time to wear out now don't you think?''.....yes, she thought, it's time but....'' you do remember the flight we have to catch up in 2 hours do you? My parents are going to be at the airport.'' ''oh yeah babe...just wake me up huh...or remind me in a bit..i remember it allright.''

hmm...nothing to talk about now. ''okay then...will wake you up. see ya'' and they hung up.
She cursed aloud within the darkened walls of her room. She knew it disconnects you...she knew he didn't need people for a while. But she's so stupid really, expecting him to fight the normal reactions. Is this the same man who cries jokingly whenever i have to hang up? Is he the same who would have ordinarily have the decency to step out of the night club to talk?

Well....it's so lonely in here...she hugged herself with her slender arms to induce some placid warmth....and she looked around the room. The alarm clock said 3. Well...so much work to do tomorrow and he probably wouldn't be there. And her parents...

She felt terribly sleepy...and tired..and wasted. but so much of work...and she's lonely. she finally sighed and fished through her wallet for the sheaf...carefully unfolding the creased package...she took out the white powder and started making lines......she methodically took a snort through the folded note and looked up. hmmm.it would start working in a bit...she could finally stay awake in front of her folks and last through the afternoon hopefully.
it's just that she's lonely you know...the last person didn't need her tonight...all because of her familial helpers.

Friday, October 20

Roman Candles.

Burning burning'bright'.....the flame will go on forever..from yellow to amber to orange to red...towards her eyes...towards his eyes..showed her the light perhaps..burnt bright..
And happy? Yes, happy.
Seems like it... musing, why so much intensity to inflame themselves like Huxley's 'flaming Roman candles'?
Somehow it expected something different after so much work..
Moments like needles...prick..prick....Remember a time when you wouldn't even understand what I'm saying?

She shuts the door.... so close to the flame..No...You have to see. Were you really expecting an ally? .... The laughter...

She wonders if the tremor was too noticeable today. Did they understand the silence? She wonders incessantly and then she starts weeping. Maybe I could be in there too.
Anyways , life is dragging on like a lie...some good and lots of bad. Snatches of peace and disaster... All for a song. Ha.
She wrenches her eyes and she's back in the car. In the boulevard.
Some hotel room... the candles , again,... And the white poster bed. But something else was happening.
So delusionary to reach there today. Even when he wasn't really there.
She found out that the number doesn't exist. And neither does his name.
And then she remembers all that she did .... with the flames.