I casually throw these words away in friendly conversations with my people. Sometimes jokingly, sometimes desperately trying to hide the hurt with a joke. I understand I am not entirely fair in throwing these words around so easily. But, it just makes life a bit easier to hide under these blanket statements than pinpoint this person or that incident.
Patriarchy. We are all victims and survivors of it. Men, women, others. Young, old and ‘lost in the middle’. You, me and them. But often, the grand layer of privilege helps you look beyond it. Privilege of money, people and freedom lets you move forward and leave it all behind. But yet, once in a while, it creeps up through tiny crevices and hits you before you know it. Misogyny soon follows and drowns you in a pool of guilt and helplessness. That’s not to say we are bunch of helpless clueless beings. But when the blow comes from unexpected directions, it’s only naturally you fall and struggle.
Very evidently, this blog has been all about me and my experiences and how I perceive life. This is also one such, but I am unusually hesitant to write this down. It brings me shame and sorrow to quote people from my life this way. But I need this to be off my chest. So here it goes. Fair disclaimer: none of these is immediate family/friends. Phew!
- Doesn’t matter what you achieve or do. A woman is a burden to the family. ‘It’ needs to be unloaded onto another family through marriage.
- You will be defended and protected because we care about you. But only as long as you abide by the ‘rules’ we lay down for you. Else you are an outcast. An immoral woman.
- You may be 30 or 50. You better check with ‘family’ before you decide what to do with the money you earned. Oh this credit card? No, that’s not for you. Why would we waste our time trying to sell it to you!
- You may be on the right track, driving abiding to rules of the road. Bang! But that accident is all because of you. Why did the men of the house ‘let’ you drive?!
- Okay, let’s say the mistake is on both sides. But now if we go to the police, it’d be ‘uncomfortable’ for you. So let’s just say your male family was driving, and not you. 17 year old teen boy would also be okay, just not you.
The list doesn’t end, but let’s just stop with top 5 for now. So is the blame all on the world and none on me? Absolutely not. There a lot of times I have played the ‘woman card’ and got of annoying insurance/loan representatives. Many times when I have been over protective and unnecessarily worried about a female family member or friend. I have enjoyed a childhood favourite movie overlooking the spewing misogyny. It’s one step at a time to break this century old thoughts and ideologies. One step at a time.
Too close is my destination,
A lifetime is the distance.
Miles long is the path,
Mindless is my journey.
Bigger is the shadow it bears,
And smaller it gets as I near.
Why isn’t this called the path of irony,
Why do they still call it the path of success?
Too far yet too close is the flag,
Too soon to give up and lose.
What is darkness my friend?
Is it when the light fails you,
Or is it when the mind fails?
What is being alone my friend?
Is it when you have no one around,
Or is it when this question echoes silence?
What is it to be sad my friend?
Is it the loss of happiness,
Or is it when you forget what’s it to be happy?
What is the end of sanity my friend?
Is it the beginning of a new world,
Or is it the continuum of end?
What is death my friend?
Is it when the soul leaves the body,
Or when the will just ceases to be..
Strong, or weak? It’s a debated topic. Boys shouldn’t cry, men shouldn’t show their weakness and so on. Sometimes it’s beyond gender. Crying is somehow always associated with weakness and fragility. It’s weird though, that the other extreme of emotions aren’t associated with weakness or vulnerability. If you ask me, I think a person is the most vulnerable when they are angry. Of course, crying is perhaps the saddest phase, but anger is when you have no control on your words, your body language, your psyche as such. Anger is when you say things you wouldn’t have said otherwise, anger is when you lose your mind – anger is your vulnerability. When you cry, you expose your vulnerability, of course. So do you, when you are angry. The difference is, one vulnerability is exploited in favour of others but not necessarily against you, and the other vulnerability is almost always exploited against your own interests. When in tears, you might agree to give away half your wealth to someone empathizing with you. But in anger, you might just end up breaking the most expensive vase you bought last week. Without having to explain, wealth and the vase are all just metaphors and not literally about their physical worth. I always fear being exploited in a way that I lose something cherished, than someone else gaining something from me. But again, I cry as often as I lose my temper and throw stuff around (atleast inside my head!). It’s a balance most people struggle to establish. I would totally like to say crying makes you stronger, but that could be very one-sided since I don’t know how strong you get without crying. One thing I can, however, is that anger makes you equally fragile and weak in the knees. Should we not start a saying that ‘Boys shouldn’t be angry’? Perhaps, take out the gender and rephrase – ‘People who make it are people who start with inner balance!’
I am freaking out. 24*7. So if you talked to me for more than 5 quality minutes, and if I still haven’t yelled at you or abused you, guess you turned out lucky. Or I was off then. I am freaking away. For every single thing. At every single person. It is not the usual surge of anger or sorrow or frustration. It is this new feeling that I-just-cant-take-another-bit-of-crap-from-you! So shut up. And go far away. Have any clue about the gravity of my thing that I am possibly (not) exaggerating? Have this person who I am so annoyed and irritated by. But out of respect for age, relation, and finally mocking a bit morality and courtesy, I have tried my maximum to not express my anger. What happens yesterday, this person shows up in my dream and I abuse and yell and scream and vent all my annoyance to the person, in my dream. And I woke up relatively peacefully that I finally did what I should have, atleast in a dream. This misleads me further now. Am I actually not to suppress my emotions but just go crazy and freak out about every simple (and I know, silly) thing and cause havoc in my surrounding! The only suggestive remedy I got till now..count 1 – 10. And so I go, 1…..2…..3…4..5678910 F*** ******! What do you even think of yourself you @#****!$?$?!
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Ever since I got down to this city, I’ve been travelling. On and on. On a two wheeler (many actually), by car, by bus, by walk. Long long distances. Hours turned minutes. Confusions turned solutions. Emptiness filled. Silence echoed. Walking around like a crazy woman was so relaxing. Well, it still is. But for some unknown reason, I feel like closing myself up in this room and just stay exactly like this. Like I totally hate going out.
But that aint true. Not true at all. Coz I love going out. Just anywhere out of enclosed spaces. I just feel so defeated today. So lost that I’d rather keep myself to myself. Had this stupid encounter in a bus. Was on my way back home from somewhere and I got into this crowded bus. With too many ladies standing in the front, and relatively too few men. And then I see this guy sitting in the seat reserved for ladies. He’s not a handicap. He’s not old. Pretty much in late twenties. And I wanted him to offer the seat to somebody there, who’s old and was practically saying out she’s tired, if not to me. And when I ask him, he wants the conductor’s recommendation to look into my plea. And now when I requested the conductor, he offered me the pleasure of kicking him out all by myself. I stopped looking at him. I got the next immediate seat I got and tried to push away his victorious grimace. But I was so defeated. So lost deep down. Not to that smart ass. Not that irresponsible conductor. But to myself. I was lost if I should ask for the seat or not. Demanding my rights was never a tough thing. So it was not about asking him to get up. All that it might have taken is a bit of yelling. But it was actually about my want. Did I really want that seat? Everybody wanted to sit but nobody cared to support me. And for a moment, it all felt so futile and lost. And I stopped. Defeated. It’s just that one moment that you need to pass. The judgment. The decision making. Whether or whether not. A life long of such crucial points is nothing less than excruciating. I couldn’t stand just one such moment. So defeated indeed!