Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Everest Calling - A Melodious Finale

Last Day.

Seated in my aisle seat and not too keen to gape out of the window (anymore), I put on the ear phones and closed my eyes. It was late in the evening. It was dark outside.
As if to mark the finale, the old Mukesh melody began as the plane started taxiing.

Taron mein Sajke
Apne Suraj Se
Dekho Dharti Chali Milne…

I smiled at the experience that was about to come.
I changed my mind and turned my head to look out of the window.
Those who have heard the song and it’s prelude are smiling too, for they know what a dreamlike experience a take-off can be if this song is playing in the background. A late evening take off, not any other.

All the earth below was studded with a thousand yellow, white and orange lights. As we took off, the lights got closer and smaller. To someone who had been conduced to a dream like state by an unearthly song, it was difficult to tell whether we were flying away from earth or the earth was flying away from us.

The song meant,
Bedecked in stars, look, here she leaves, the Earth, to meet her Sun …

The city lights of Delhi became a fabric of stars, descended down to drape the earth that moment, as she set out to meet the sky.

And the song played on…

Jhanki Payal,
Mach Gayi Hulchul,
Ambar saara, Laga Khilne…

But that was in my heart.
The tinkling of anklets wreak a havoc, and all the sky unravels before me… Bedecked in stars, look, here she leaves, the Earth, to meet her Sun …


The last pictures… of the hotel in Kathmandu in which we had stayed, the manager who was so humble and kind, the Delhi airport, and two good friends who had a made a big difference to our trip.

In their midst is a signboard that is symbolic of our ultimate conundrum - our eagerness to attain Sattva and our reluctance to give up Tamas.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Bruised Goddess

This post is late in coming, but here it does, inspired by a facebook update, that (ironically) evoked in me, ideas radically opposed to those it intended to.

The goddess was bruised, of course by the brutalization of the girl in Delhi in December last year and another in Bombay recently.

But she was bruised more severely and much earlier by

- The objectification of women in the cinema and other forms of art in the name of creative freedom

- The brazen production of one item song after another in the movies in the name of entertainment

- The consent given by millions of men and women of this country to such abject degeneracy through their thronging the theatres to watch one ‘dirty picture’ after another

- Women ready to act in porn movies, worse than prostitutes; because they don’t just devour one man but weaken, cripple and enslave thousands of men

- An entire wretched generation of boys and girls that fuels the billion dollar porn industry through their ever raging search for more and more porn

- The quiet of a nation when Sunny Leone is given a red carpet welcome to our midst, paid to act in some useless TV show, given an image makeover and glorified as a successful icon

- More and more women taking to tobacco, alcohol and drugs for the sake of fashion and de rigueur

- Scores of women tossing their newborns into the hands of nannies to follow their ambition and career, in the name of liberation and equality

- An entire generation of women living neck-deep in cosmetics, chemicals, high heals, plastic surgery, silicon implants, abusing the sanctum of their body and directing most of their focus, time and energy to appearance instead of character building

- The willingness of women to objectify themselves through their dressing and attitude in the name of ‘to each his own’

- The simplification of a woman’s essence to a pair of tits and ass – by the effort and industry of various people under various pretexts – artists, movie makers, actors, singers, dancers, businessmen, researchers, governments, marketers and most of all by women themselves

It’s not that I am not outraged at the recent incidents in Delhi and Bombay; it’s just that I don’t know whom to direct my anger towards.

The police? No. We don’t even have enough policemen to guard us from thefts, frauds, murders, traffic accidents and terrorist activities. You want a policeman patrolling every street in the city watching over women passing by?
To all those who are angry at the police, will you make one of your sons a policeman to protect ‘the daughter of this country’? No, you won’t, you will make him a software engineer.

Law? How many laws do we already have in the books against every conceivable crime? How many criminals have these laws deterred from offending us? A very few. Lets have more laws for the protection of women, by all means, but they are not going to make any difference.

State? The police and the law are it’s arms. And we have discussed both.

System? We are the system.

Social transformation? Yes. But it’s not going to happen tomorrow. Not next year. Not even in the next five years. It will take 20 years.

So what should one do?
First, acknowledge that you and I are the system.
And before you ask for transformation through education in schools, begin transformation at home.

Will you say No to watching any movie that has item songs in it? Will you say No to watching any movie that has women in it with no meaningful roles but naked dolls with a view to market?
Could you say No to songs, Indian or western, filled with ‘shake your this’ and ‘shake your that’ and such lyrics that view women not as humans but as lumps of flesh?
Will you say no to porn?
Will you say no to smoking, drinking, drugs and everything that abuses your body?
Could you start caring for fashion and de rigueur? Two hoots, no more?
Could you say no to a shallow existence that revolves around beauty parlours?
Could you take a step back from your feministic notions of equality and understand that man and woman were never meant to compete with but complement one another?
Could you women delegate your ‘ambitions’ to your secondary role, but first perform in your primary role?
Could you even ask what your primary role is?

If your answer is No or if you are simply silent, then you have no bloody business to carry banners, march on streets shouting protests against the world. You are apathetic, downright, and your anger is pretence. Your raving on facebook and elsewhere are just to get yourself some attention and make you look good in your social circle that’s as half baked as you are.

I don’t watch porn, I vehemently say no to filthy movies, cheap TV shows that thrive on the voyeurism of the masses and to dirty literature.
But I am guilty of beauty parlour visits and one inch heels, though I don’t take it too far. I mean, they are the least of my preoccupations.
So I cannot say that the Goddess is perfectly happy with me. I am sure I too cause bruises on her, small and big.
But I am grateful for the good sense that makes me see all too clearly that a society gets just what it deserves, just what it asks for, that it’s all our own making and if anything has to change, it has to begin with me.

Yeah, I can see your next question coming.
What about the west? People there do all the above you are asking us not to, and yet, women are not brutalized.
My answer is, they may not be brutalized but overall, their situation is worse than ours.
Tell me what is better? One man killed by an enemy followed by universal outcry for ‘right to live’ or all men drinking poison of their own free will, smile on lips, no one seeing any wrong in it?
The former.(I pray you think so!)
The same way, a woman stripping of her own free will, smile on her face, is much worse a tragedy than a woman stripped against her will, tears, blood and all.

Stripping was just an example. Don’t take it literally, get the drift please.

A society that grows up on ‘sexification’ of everything from tissue paper to laptop (as seen from their advertisements) and gives its hearty approval to teenage sex and pregnancies, ‘prestigious’ porn stars, strip clubs, sex shows, naked women in Times Square inviting men to take pictures with them for money and lastly, to 50 percent divorce rates, is no haven for women. Nor for men. Not for any human being.