Maybe today is the day!

I looked at the table in dismay.

How could I live like this! I chided myself and set to task. Maybe when my table was organized, I’d want to study on a Saturday that I woke up so late on. Let me just get this little thing done although I don’t for how long everything will stay in place.

Our love for order in a chaotic unpredictable world is strange. Books need to be piled on top of one another. Pens should know the stand they take. Headphones are a pertetual entangled mistery. Knick knacks are to be stuffed in compact spaces, shut down in containers.

Let me set this straight.

Someone said cleaning is like putting things in less obvious places. So it is! From pens that don’t work but I can’t somehow want to get rid of them to clothes tags that I’ve collected to turn into bookmarks, there’s so much that takes up space but does nothing. Yet I can’t seem to part with them.

Someday I’ll buy the refills to these pens. Someday I’ll have pretty insta ready bookmarks. I really have begun believing half the work is done when I contemplate it. That sounds like a death knell to that novel I have already written in my mind.

Atonement

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I am currently reading Atonement again. To tell the truth, I came across the movie earlier than I read the book. The movie recommended the book to me. It is a brilliantly made movie, though feels to drag for a while too, specially the later half. But no movie could ever do justice to a book. A movie is just one perspective to view a book. When we read it, we all imagine it to be unique. Our own interpretations of the same scene are entirely different.
The movie is a treat to the eyes and your mind too. There is so much to deduce and the timeline of the plot starts playing inside your mind time and again as soon as you realise there is a play on the interpretation of memories. You want to remember as much as you can.

I am reading the book again because although there is nothing much to miss, I always stumble across a new detail that I hadn’t paid any attention to, earlier.
Ian McEwan is brilliant with the imagery. The scenes are so well illuminated that you see them unfolding right before your eyes. The movement back and forth in time presents a misguided version of the actual events as seen through the eyes of 13 year old Briony.
There is meticulous detailing of appearances and state of mind as well.
The best parts are when the author really delves deep into the stream of thoughts playing inside the character’s mind. A point in case is when Briony is inspecting her fingers and speculating movement:

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nd when she did crook it finally, the action seemed to start in the finger itself, not in some part of her mind. When did it know to move, when did she know to move it? There was no catching herself out. It was either- or. There was no stitching, no seam and yet she knew that behind the smooth continuous fabric was the real self

VIP, anyone?

If we voted you to power, I don’t see how we gave you a mandate to skip the queue or to deserve VIP treatment. How does a servant of the public become a celebrity that ought to be put up on a high pedestal?
Yes, a servant of the public- that is what a member of parliament is.
But the public is so used to seeing their politicians have a claim to better treatment that though it may irk them, they are still individuals who speak for themselves. Members of the public aren’t the ones surrounded by bodyguards and yes men.
Suddenly, everyone around such a politician starts considering himself a very important person too.
So you have the driver abusing other commuters and misbehaving with toll booth staff. The assistant demands attention as the stepping stone to the MP if you want to be heard. The distant relative flaunts his relations everywhere with the very common, तू जानता नही मैं कौन हूँ।
Power can be that addictive to those who simply bask in someone else’s influence.
The step taken by Air India and other 6 members of Federation of Indian Airlines in barring Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from their flights after he blatantly misbehaved with an AI staff is commendable.
He created the ruckus when he was seated in economy class of ALL ECONOMY Pune Delhi flight.
What is the airline supposed to do in an all economy flight to accomodate him?
A. Seat him in the cockpit and let him fly the plane.
B. Seat him on the roof of the plane itself.
C. Apply to add business class section to the flight and wait until it is approved, sanctioned and made available.

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These carriers stood up for their staff and that boosts employee morale. The last straw in the hat you need is your employer being apologetic to your client for misbehaving with you.
It has set a great example. Tell me, by what yardstick does a politician deserve special treatment at our expense?
This is a culture that needs to be discouraged.
Politicians are people like you and me, only worse because they apparently live above the law.

The Interview

Tell us something about yourself.

Suffice it to say I am a woman?

So, what do you feel?

I feel a lot of things: angst,  anxiety, paranoia, joy, ecstasy, happiness, delusion and fear, but never too safe.

You don’t feel safe?
Yes. And no, this isn’t a country thing. I mean I tried everything, dressing conservatively, being holed up in my home, not speaking unless spoken to. I followed the instructions you know. I stuck to my side of the road, I moved in groups, you’ll find it funny that I enrolled in karate classes and started keeping pepper spray in my bag.

So, that must have made you feel empowered then!
The illusion frankly. But not safe or protected even then.

Well then miss. This might be the textbook case of female hysteria. We’ll have it fixed in no time.
How is that?
The time tested solution of marriage. You can party hard to bollywood songs, put on bling, wear that red lipstick or the little black dress and have sex as much as you like.

Oh! But what about marital rape?
Umm, well. Let us assume it does not exist.

Oh, okay.

So its time for the HYPOTHETICAL ROUND!!
What happens when you are commented upon, out of the blue.
Well,you see, I’ll talk about tonight. I alighted from an auto and entered a passageway to home. This boy on a bike goes past me, takes a u turn and buzzes past me saying, ‘I love you.’ Dude, I didn’t even know that guy.

What did you do?
I pretended to not have heard him.

So, my hypothetical question is: What if this has happened three years ago?
I would have felt angered. The blood would have boiled over in my veins at such a preposterous act. I would have retaliated with a nasty retort because I was prone to panic.

So what changed?
Did you know an Australian court acquitted a man of harrassing two women because he was influenced by Bollywood and considered stalking women as normal?

What is your point?
My point is, that it is okay for that guy to confess love to a complete stranger because she is a woman wearing red lipstick and walking alone at 8 p m with her hair down. It is okay because well, they get away with it in our movies and telly. It is okay for our representatives to talk shit about women. It is okay for women to shame other women because they were ‘asking for it’. It is okay for our media to go on air on national television and glorify the good girl wronged and doubt the one in a club. If that is okay, it is alright to have a sense of entitlement that lets us get away with rowdy guys because men will be men.

Very well.
Now we reach the end of the interview with one last question. What is your name?
Name,ethnicity,race,nationality,religion, ot does not matter.
Suffice it to say I am a woman.

@bewitchinglyme

Irony

I am no expert on feministic theories that have progressed over the years but I am befuddled by its many ironies.

I speak of the irony.

In this largely patriarchal setup, those who have had to speak for the rights of women have often had to address their men who are in the possession of these rights so that they can cede with them willingly.

I speak of the irony.
That women who can afford to have their voices heard themselves differ on how a woman ought to command her just status.
In capitalistic developed economies, these women cannot be blamed if they neglect class struggle in relation to women. Women in poor developing societies are not aggressive about the high end demands made for diminishing the pay difference or equal representation of women in offices, committies or influential lobbying for the same.
I speak of the irony where we are at crossroads with one another and branded ‘fickle’.
And often we have to ask our men to respect women rather than asking our women to strive to command it. Because we are aware that a women’s revolution can not be instigated and there may not be a dominoe effect to events.
A long way to go still.

My faith

Wow.
Please go ahead an ban Shahrukh Khan, self proclaimed moralists.
He spoke up and is that what actors aren’t supposed to do? Oh wait, they’re just meant to mind their own business. No one’s bothering them. Why should they be getting vocal?
Oh yeah. You forget, in your misplaced enthusiasm that these are people and they can be sensible and compassionate, unlike some.
And what are they given back?
This is such a shame. Tell me, that I, by taking this action of saying something you do not like, am a traitor. That I do not love my country and I should go back to Pakistan.
But you’d rather tell me that since I am a Hindu, I have been brainwashed by secularists to air such a view. Kudos to you for having such double standards.

The list of the people you banned keeps getting longer. I think India might be racing to the top in the ease of doing business, but look at what’s at stake here. Ever heard of that story?
One day they’ll come for you, and no one will save you because you didnt bother when they took away the rest.

Why should a government, which must have a lot to do, I guess, take a stance on what kind of meat the nation was eating?
I am very sure if some of us had religious sentiments attached to chicken, we’d be banning that too.
The mob is a headless chicken anyways.
What really got me worried is the silence that prevails on part of those who are expected to speak up after any such incident takes place. Someone has got to take a stand. Why are these bigots still making outrageous statements and nobody bothers to put a check on them? Will that be stifling their freedom of expression? So be it, for the sake of national solidarity and the rosy picture our leaders are painting of this nation, in front of other nations.
Intolerance, transcends boundaries. Every country has its own share of idiots who binge on the publicity such foot in mouth comments bring to them but I can safely say, these past months, we have hardly had a debate on any matter of national importance. We are all stuck in this vortex of comment wars.
The repurcussions, are never instant. If such people like Baba Ramdev, Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Prachi are allowed to stay put and ignored, thereby encouraging their idiocy, we are in for some Hard Times.

Here on my plate,
Remain crumbs of my faith.
And I wear it like a second skin sometimes.
And when I open my mouth,
All I ever say,
Is a reinstatement of my fickle faith.
Tell me not,
Who to worship,
And when not to speak my mind.
Tell me not,
To be blind,
To your intolerance that kills my belief when you stifle a voice.
When on this dreary road I tread on alone,
My belief is my choice.
And suddenly this place,
That I used to call home,
Lets me know today there is a price,
To what I say.
I wear my faith,
Not on my forehead or on my wrist,
Around my neck it doesn’t decay.
I wear it up my sleeve,
This little lie of morality,
That paints your faces red and your swords rise to defend it,
It numbs my reason,
Yet never moves,
My faith.

Aparajita

Books

When you start reading a great book, its contours start realigning themselves with your imagination.
The spaces between the pause that jumps from one chapter to the next, they are filled with your essence.
And no two people ever would imagine a book in the same way: using exact pastels and brush strokes.
And that is why when you finish a book, you are left with a loss. You know you have lost something because when you read it again, it will never be the same. The experience might be better, but you will read it in a new light altogether. 
We love to cradle our books to sleep in the hope, that we’d maybe dream about it and that shall be the only manageably close encounter we could ever have with the characters, and the story.
And sometimes, we just hold a book close to our heart and cry. 
Writers, have a task at hand. They definitely need to write about what they picture but there should also be a peephole into the scene the key to which is with the reader. We become, the faceless people inside.
I am that woman, who silently resigns to Kent, Baker Street or Wuthering Heights like an unacknowledged presence: an intruder.
This must be the reason why we relish looking into the ordinary lives of men and women through a tiny peephole. These people, perhaps I’d come across them at a dance or a protest, these people are dull, drab and lead non existent lives.
But the excitement of eavesdropping on their most intimate conversations, that keeps us going.
And we might come off as a stock character, after reading a book, we grow, like the protagonist in it grows out of the mould he was cast in and becomes someone else. It is more like the writer, took me up as a character to influence by the force of the story she weaves.