31 July, 2012

A Perfect Indian Woman. A Stereotype?

A women is a creation, just like a male. She is a sex that experiences strength, love, weakness, hatred, diligence, laziness and every emotion perceivable. She is an emotional being. A women's emotional side responds more often than her logical side. Each women is unique; but aren't they stereotyped nowadays? Isn't a women expected to be an object of noted precision that any change seems to be undesirable?

It all started with the bride hunting sessions going on in my family for my cousin brother. He has no wishes to get married, but my aunt has started 'browsing' for brides. It was during one such session, that I came to the realization how women have to fall under a particular category to be 'desirable' for marriage. My aunt wants a Tamil Brahmin girl of height around 5'11", fair, should be a trained Carnatic singer and a Bharatanatyam dancer. She should be born under a particular star and her family should be well-settled and comfortable. Wait. What are we looking for? Oh yeah, a bride.
Women are not viewed as human beings with their quirks and different personalities. They do not appear to be different to the 'common eye', but a class of beings with the same outer looks and an assumed same inner beauty. The only variation perceived by the society is the size of her bust, her height and her apparent curves.
The search for a bride was more like hunting for an object in a shop. It was not about the bride herself, but things that were of minor importance about her. It wasn't about the emotions, logic, dreams, personality, quirks and inner beauty of the bride, but her 'quotient' at being an object of desire. When will our society ever understand that women have more to them than what is visible?

A 'perfect' Indian woman. Who is she? Is she one who expresses herself? Is she one who is desirable? Is she fat, is she fair or is she tall?
According to our society, a perfect Indian woman is one who drapes herself in a sari (that too draped according to tradition), only leaving an inch between the waist and hip visible and the rest of her body covered. She keeps a bindi on her forehead and wears gold jewellery. The sound of her anklets 'echo' when she walks. She has the head bowed down and doesn't complain about anything. She faces any type of discomfort without expressing it. She follows the advice of her elders and believes in 'Pati Devo Bhava' (husband is God). She is well trained in traditional music and dance and enjoys Indian culture. She thinks love marriage is a sin and career should follow marriage and kids.
No, I'm not kidding. I'm not picturing Aishwarya Rai or Madhuri Dixit in Devdas, as I type this. I'm thinking of the majority of guys who told me their definition of a perfect Indian woman. I'm thinking of how there is no depth in their imagination. There are no emotions involved. The attitude of the women is totally out of the picture. Apparently, it has to be. The perfect Indian woman isn't expressive! Even if a man's hands 'accidentally' touch her on a bus, she would have no choice, but restrain it, isn't it? After all, she is the 'perfect' Indian woman!
An Indian wife is to be blamed, if her husband strays away, inspite of being married. No, she can't sue him. She can't leave him. She will have to woo him back by 'apologizing' for all the 'mistakes' that she did and get him back. It is her 'duty' to stick with him in all odds to be tagged the perfect woman.
An Indian woman is honored as the goddess, Devi. She is worshiped during festivals, adorned with flowers and jewellery and treated in such a high manner, so as to not seek her wrath. But the Devi that we see around us can be subject to domestic abuse and whipped to be kept at a man's fingertips. So much for representing the Indian woman as a goddess.
A Indian woman is never molested. She dresses 'appropriately', so as to not end up in such a situation. It is only those 'inappropriately' dressed who get raped. Those who wear jeans, halter tops and western clothes shame our culture and deserve to be punished by the great Indian men, don't they?
A perfect Indian woman is one who is an epitome of sacrifice, so much that she never lives for herself. She is an representation of love, care and duty. She never disrespects or questions instructions given to her. Her duties are allotted and her 'needs' are tended for. She is one who never raises her voice and bears criticism with all her heart. And that she will, for her heart is numb beyond comparison. All the years of storing pain in her heart has indeed made her inexpressive.

I am not a perfect Indian women. I believe in equality and expression. I believe in my right to freedom. I speak whatever is on my mind. I cannot be stereotyped. I wear western clothes and drape myself in a sari. I keep a bindi, according to my fancy. I laugh when I want and snap at strangers. I do not tolerate inappropriate touching and do not live with it. I compromise, but never sacrifice. My life will come before all those involved in mine. I complain, I respect and disrespect people depending on their character. I have needs that are tended by people because they love me, not because it is their duty. I believe in a happy, well-communicated and an equal rights marriage. I am not Devi, I am not Lakshmi, I am not a goddess, but ME with my flaws, strengths and inadequacies. My heart feels pain and expresses it. I have my quirks. I am annoying at times and very loving when I want to be. There is depth to my looks; my personality and character resonate through them. There is happiness in my life, which adds life to my life. And finally, I cannot be objectified. I am not an object to be 'desired', but a person shaping my life.

I indeed believe that I am a perfect Indian woman. There is more to perfect, there is more to Indian and there is more to woman. I am a perfect Indian woman. The only thing is that it's my own version of it. :)

P.S: 'It' refers to perfect Indian woman and 'more' refers to different versions of perfect/Indian/woman. 

(I felt provoked to write this post after experiencing the above incidents and after reading a particularly infuriating blog-post on the same topic.) 

18 July, 2012

Some Things That I Fail To Understand..

Today was a really hard day. Seven continuous(!) hours of lectures just drained me out physically and mentally. I felt like a retard, wanting to hurl stones at some of my staff. I was so shocked with certain decisions made by my loved ones, that I kept wondering if I'm the only idiot who swears living by certain set ideals. Some people chose to ignore me today for no apparent reason and others chose to spend lots of time with me. The day went by with mixed emotions, certain highs and lows, lots of love, a bit of fights, boredom and I should say that the day wasn't bad, it just wasn't the way I had wished it would be.
But a few things happened today that I failed to understand. Absolutely-Failed-To-Understand. I couldn't understand the intentions behind the actions or understand their perceptions. Maybe you could provide some insight?

- Why people quit when they don't see immediate results.

- Why people believe that a right act neutralizes their wrong.

- Why some friends change so much that we are no longer able to relate to them (negative changes).

- Why people NEVER think about life five years down the line, but 'for the moment', apparently doing useless stuff.

- Why people believe that the best is yet to come, when they NEVER put their best in anything.

- Why we let useless things consume our time, yet fool ourselves that the work we have done is productive.

- Why certain people are so 'busy', that they allot time periods for their loved ones!

- Why we can't just be happy and make the best use of what we have.

- Why people believe that life is unfair and unjust.

And to end on a peppy and crazy note maybe?

- Why everybody thinks I'm talkative! :D

Please let me know what you think of all that I've written.. I'd love to know your perspective!

That's it for now. :)
Till next time,

17 July, 2012

Small Beautiful Things In The Week That Went By. :)

It's been many weeks since I posted. College has begun and I think that I'm finally settling into a routine. :) It is fun till now, am totally enjoying my course. I'm so happy to be doing what I love and I hope to have a great year. :)

These were certain things that happened during the week that made me smile. :)

- Taking shelter under a bus stop with twenty other people and watching the rain.

- Attending laboratory classes and ACTUALLY enjoying them.

- Chatting with a friend endlessly about nothing. 

- Strangers becoming good friends.

- Hunting for the perfect lab-coat with friends when the temperature is 40 degrees!

- Sleeping on a new bed.

- Answers the questions that your curious sister has about life.

- Realizing why things never turned out perfect earlier.

- Playing 'Fruit Ninja' and 'Temple Run' for hours together.

- Being the first in line to get your new semester books.

- Laughing for the heck of it.

- Teasing your favorite staff in class.

- Getting thrown out of class, yet getting attendance!

- Explaining to your teacher that you want to go home early to see your dad.

- Eating aloo parathas under a tree dripping with rain water.

- Cold coffees on rainy days (and the subsequent 'Are you crazy?' stares).

- Having deep and meaningful conversations with the ones you love.

- Suddenly finding something that you lost and desperately need.

- Stocking up on skincare products.

- Checking your mail to find old photos of you sent from a friend.

- Letting your mind drift in its own pace while travelling.

- Watching kids wave at you on the road.

- Attending weddings.

- Falling in love with the rain and its charm.

- Knowing what it is that you REALLY want in life.

- Smiling, just cause you want to.

- Receiving a Crocin from a friend who realizes that you have a headache just by looking at you.

- Wearing the highest heels ever!

- Colorful bangles.

- Studying a subject that you initially hated, but slowly realizing how great it is.

- Finding clothe hangers in the weirdest of places.

- New ID card.

- Clicking random pictures of the city you live in.

- Tipping an autowala more than necessary.

- Finding comments on your blog to a post that you wrote long back.

- Finding your way in a part of the city where you have never been before.

- Reunions with friends.

- Fights that end cause you have no idea why they started.

- Watching a person make the wrong decisions, but yet supporting them, knowing that love is required more when you are wrong than when you are right.

- Knocking some sense into your best friend's head and then realizing that he never understood what you said!

- Best Friends.

- Reading lots of books on moving vehicles (due to excess enthusiasm and curiosity!), well knowing that you will end up with a headache.

- Eating at every joint in the college food court during a single lunch break.

- Buying water and telling the college food court cashier to put it on tab!

- Finally knowing your priorities.

Life is beautiful as it is. You just have to know where to look. :)

Till you see me next time..
Take care and keep smiling. :)