Goan Chodab Nahi (We will not leave our village)

July 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

This song captures the sentiments that have been misunderstood for a while now. Not only did I feel that did needed to be heard by people, I have realised that people with sensibilities will understand what this songs means.
This song is sung by a tribal leader himself, it is in no way a choreographed version of trials and tribulations faced by the tribal population of our country. This song is sung by Bhagwan Maaji who is singing to inspire his folks to put up a fight so that they can save their forests and village. This tribal leader calls for solidarity with all fishermen, tribals and dalits because I think he feels that they are the ones who will best understand their atrocities.

Song : Goan Chodab Nahi (We will not leave our village)
Sung By : Bhagwan Maaji from Kashipur, Rayagada District, Orissa

 

A Starry Night

December 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Starry Night Over the Rhone By Vincent van Gogh, 1888

Of hope and all that is bright,

Not happy enough to be complete,

Yet complete enough to inspire hope.

One that reminds of legacy,

Of the same wondrous night that has been.

The Infinite Meanings of Roses.

December 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

IMAG0343

Obsessing over Sherlock

December 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

sherlock-holmes-retro-posterI have a lot of regard for people who have the capacity and ability to be compulsive and obsessive about things, events and people. For me, an obsession is a translation of passion and interest which makes you non-indifferent to things around you. And if you are not indifferent to things around you, it means that you have something to care about or have a motivation for detesting other things.

Last month when I was watching Sherlock, I was deeply inspired. Well, inspired being one of the things. While I was putting my mind to study for my semester exams, I could not manage but think about Sherlock. I am happy to conclude after my prolonged thinking session that Sherlock is one of the most real geniuses that have taken birth in Fiction, ever. I say real because he is not some kind of a superhero who is sensitive, passionate and has a highly functional brain all at the same time. He is a flawed person like any one of us but still manages to be in front of others because he manages to use a larger percentage of his brain. I have time and again read that people are only as intelligent as the amount of grey matter that they choose to use or put in practise. I was more than delighted to discover that Sherlock proves to be one such character who puts a ‘larger’ part of his grey matter to use, it not only makes him more real but helps in creating an impression on the readers (of the book) or audience (of the BBC television series).

And as John Watson (a character from Sherlock) says in one of the season finales, Sherlock is one of the most human human beings, except that I think that he is one of the most human genesis to have been born, at least in the mind of a great writer. What inspires me about Sherlock is the potential of the human brain which as has been reiterated by many time and again, is infinite and only what you chose to be defines the kind of person you become. This is what impresses me about a character, its ability to be real in the most unreal situations, its ability to display noble human characteristics when you would expect humans themselves to succumb to the scrutiny of societal norms.

In Denial.

November 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Source : MenstrupediaThere are organic changes that take place. Changes in oneself, in a family, a society, a country and even as a world. Now some of these changes affect only the people in the group and others affect a larger group of people altogether. Change is on the cusp in our country but will it really be fulfilled? It has been so for the last few years. People endlessly have expressed their disgust, anger, outrage and most importantly worry on the gang-rape of the 23-year-old in Delhi last year. She bore the brunt of society that is hypocritical of women and their progress. Hypocritical because, on one side the society names her a goddess and on the other side barely notices the helplessness and decriminalization she faces daily. How can this be? There are parts of our society where there is equality for namesake at least and other parts where women are objects to be conquered.

People are angry, both men and women; but this worry itself does not necessarily force a change in the society. I want to be optimistic about change, change in the outlook of women but cases of such sexual violence which should not be compared in terms of brutality have barely survived the memory of India except the survivors who suffer indelibly from the trauma that gives them nightmares which only brave-hearts like them can survive. Therefore, all there is to do is hope that change follows.

One of the reasons that people forget about the innumerable cases of violence and the consequent inability to bring about change in the society is because of the denial our society lives in. When there is no acceptance of the violence,  it does not seem to exist for the people. However, the violence exists, brutality exists, discrimination exists. And this is when the survivor becomes a lone fighter because when the society does not recognize violence there is no question of a survivor being recognized.

The denial we live in is also camouflaged in many things. We recognize the injustice but fail to notice the very same injustice in our homes. If we were to investigate such injustice in an area, our home is never a part of the area being investigated in the first place. We tell ourselves that what is being done in our home is anything but injustice. We refuse to accept, we refuse to see the discrimination. Because accepting that such gore discrimination can exist in our homes, in our community brings shame to our name. Accepting that something is wrong with the system that our society has been working with, that it is flawed and unequal; it shakes the very foundation of dominant class of the society. And that is why our society chooses to live in denial. Living in denial is an easier option than catering to the grievances and problems.

The protests that take place each time an ‘incident’ happens seem to affect people in ways different from earlier. Some incidents in the very recent past have affected people enough to talk about women’s issue more than the earlier time something like this happened. But we as a society have to decide whether these periodic protests really are the opening chapter of equality and justice for women in our country or are they just concerned voices that will fade out as time goes by, because after all we are incredibly tolerant to evil, more tolerant than we would care to admit. 

‘Please’ don’t dare.

December 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

One of the several things English Vinglish stands for is the determination of people, determination of women. In all cultures women have had to face humiliation and insult whether it is wrapped under the etiquette and mannerisms of other people or as raw as physical or sexual harassment. What was the instigation of such behavior towards women is a different story all together but one thing is certain, you cannot harass a person to an extend that she is not able to get back up again. This is because, even if a shred of life remains in the body of the woman, she will rise and her rise will be inevitable. It is not about overcoming anyone or anybody but about the self belief that will make the woman do things that only she knows she can do.

English-Vinglish-Poster

English Vinglish is another such light-hearted example of a woman’s story who is no less than anyone but she should not be taken for granted just because she chooses not to compete. That is a message I get from that charismatic Indian woman, don’t dare me.  I don’t know about other cultures but in India, many women are proud homemakers. Women who choose to be homemakers are women who can be anyone they want but because they are the homemakers of the society they take utmost respect in that. As always, there is a catch to this as well; in some households the members of her family do the mistake of taking her for granted, thinking does not deserves the respect other people do and this is what has exactly been replicated in the movie. One thing the movie does for me is that it very conveniently projects the end to a situation where women are assumed ‘natural caregivers’ and can have no parallel or alternative ambition or interest.

I am not saying that this ignorance prevails in all households but it lingers in more homes than we care to admit. English Vinglish is one such tale of liberation, moreover it is a story of what a determined woman can do. She necessarily need not have conflicting ideas or actions but her actions and ideas should definitely be not taken for granted or assumed prior to her stating them herself.

Feminism and Patriarchy

December 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

There is a very strong relationship between feminism and patriarchy, there always has been. Now, for one’s convenience we can claim that the system of patriarchy brings natural order and peace in the society but this is just for convenience for one half of the humanity. What it actually does is installs the views of men as legitimate and all powerful and absolutely correct on women’s perspective and views. In spite of all the moral shortcomings of this system, I would like to give this system some credit for the systematic arrangement it has had in place for countless number of years. So what this system did was, it gave the status of men’s action and views as being correct in absolute terms. This in turn affected the society in ways that probably even these ”men’ did not imagine. I am not assuming that whatever the men of our society do is wrong, their actions and decisions can be prudent but not always. And exactly the same assumption goes for women. But if you do not let the decisions and actions of women come to light, you are not letting the society reap the benefits of their prudence too.

I have seen such institutionalized forms of patriarchy that sometimes it is hard to even identify that something can be influenced by it. Patriarchy is about the interest of men and the ‘patriarch’ over all others and these all others are inevitably ‘women’. This is where the patriarchy and women’s issue initially come in contact with one another. Patriarchy says that the head of the family will always be by default a man. So by limiting the position of this so-called ‘head of the family’ to men, this system automatically puts men on a higher pedestal than women. Not only this, patriarchy empowers the domination of women by men. It not only sees it as legitimate but also natural.

Now if one is to comprehend the opposite of this patriarchal system, the literal opposite would be a matriarchal system but a moral opposite would be an equal status of men and women. A social system which is equal is morally the opposite of patriarchal system because it is the only answer to the gore discrimination against women the patriarchy. When the social order consists of equals, where both women and men are given equal opportunities to compete and win and simply survive, it is here that the prevalence of feminism can be stated to exist. Feminism is about women realizing the potential that they naturally own, it is not about being ‘anti-men’ but about being able to live as women and not under the constant judgement of men. Therefore, I say when a society adopts a system which is meant for the benefits of men and women equally, it is here that women too flourish and realize their rights in entirety. Feminism is both the means to achieve an equal society and one of the results of an equal society. When the systematic subjugation of women is threatened by the voice of feminists, it is only then patriarchy starts to fade away.