Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rusty Wings

Disclaimer: This post might seem to be offensive to many, however , if you understand the true meaning of what I intend to say, it should not be offensive.

For quite a while now I wanted to write about it. The question is of women education, and particularly with respect to women education in India.In the last couple of years, I have started to look upon things in a different light which is quite different from what I used to when I was back in my school or engineering days. In those days, I had never considered this, or it never came to my mind "what next". Being a girl and getting myself educated had absolutely zero correlation in my mind.It never occurred to me, that there are different ways and different goals of getting educated.This blog particularly deals with the kind of education that is meant for marriage.

We must confess that a majority part of women education in India today is meant for getting a good husband instead of a good profession- off-course if you consider being housewife a full-time profession then it would be getting a better employer. So getting a Google vs some local grocery retailer.So parents of this category start nurturing their daughters right from childhood in the absolutely goal oriented way( as they do not want to get a low ROI in return of their investments on daughters' education).Because otherwise, if you look at it from purely practical point of view, leaving aside the parental love, spending money on daughters' education turns out to be perfectly a bankrupt business! You have to anyways pay dowry for her, expenditures on marriage ceremony are always twice on brides' side than on grooms',you are never supposed to accept any money from her(even if she earns), and also, there is the long term risk of EMI dowries that might continue to n number of years to come.

Let's look at it the other way round.Many of such girls who have been "granted" the privilege of education by parents on the sole reason that they will get a "good" husband,do turn out to be good students as well.At some point during their educational years, they become more focused on the short term goal of getting good marks, getting through competitive exams, getting a good job, than what they are finally destined to do.This creates a problem, in the sense, that these girls, who are master degree holders or PhDs,do end up taking the seats which could have been "rightfully" of some hardworking guy who could be the breadwinner of the family and could have contributed to the GDP.
Aren't those guys deprived in that sense?These Phd girls at the end , mostly end up reaching their long term goal, either get an NRI husband or getting married to some ex-zamindar family! They can elevate the status of their husbands by being highly educated, proficient in English,smart, having good sense of fashion , yet not earning or earning very less,and being always available to act at husband and in-laws' discretion.Basically they are like organic vegetables with unknown side-effects.

We do also have parallel education meant for these girls like those of correspondence course, and open university degrees.Those are perfectly alright. Every human being has his or her right to do what they want. And it does not waste a seat that could have been potentially used by a guy.But then what about the good college, good degree holders - the capable housewives! One may say that it can be solely her decision..I completely agree..I have seen my mother as one of them, who in-spite of going against every one's wish(including my fathers) decided not to work.And the same applies to all those who had to decide in the greater good of the family.This blog is not about them. Because they took their own decisions. It is about those girls who have been educated but education gave the powers only to get an NRI husband and not the confidence to decide and be herself.

One may debate that right to education is one of the fundamental rights and one cannot be denied with that, even if the goal is to get married.In my personal view, I would say the same too. Because, even if these girls lack in their individuality, but still , at least they have the means to regain their individuality, at any point when they so decide.Education opens to them the means of reaching far ends, knowing what is happening, what are there options.And at any point, be it for family emergency or their own need, they can fly with those rusty wings...they are still wings you know!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not grey, but black

Are there , or can there be pockets in your heart that no one knows except you? Not complete black holes, because you know they exist , and some of them have really been forceful enough to change you for life. Some things you would really like somebody knew!
This has happened to me many times and I am sure happens to others also. I have thought meticulously and lovingly of gifts that I would like to give to someone(sometimes even bought them), I have composed my feelings into well crafted words to be communicated to someone, I have planned of activities to be performed with certain people, all of which never happened nor will they ever happen.No one knows, but I have shared those experiences with those people which never took place in real.The people- friends, relatives,more than friends, they still exist but they never have come to know what I had gone through.
And so they are my black holes..some of them being so dark and long that I can't take the risk of peeping into them. Not that all of them are sorrowful, yes some have been so joyous like when you discover your child walking for the first time..but nevertheless,  humans, at least most humans  remember mainly the sorrows.At least people who cannot legitimize the reason of sorrows and that what should not have happened to them remember sorrowful black holes more than joyous black holes.One of the reasons I started writing , long back, and in those times , on pen and paper is that I wrote letters to several people to whom I had something to say.People and god(well I used to be a strong believer once) who made difference in my life . Some of those feelings could have been actually communicated though , but back those days I was not so infused with skills of saying something in well packaged manner.And also, somethings could not be told. But yes, I don't want any corner of my heart to be un-revealed to no one.Not necessarily single person should know it all, but at least some things to some people..those things which have changed me, those people who have made impact on me..shouldn't there be at least one other person who knows about it? Or may be this blog or some bundle of papers?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Let the light come in

Sometimes when I am sad, people advise me to practice the "switch off" and "switch on" strategy. Its just like switching off that circuit in your heart that's hurting.In a recent encounter with heart break with one of my friends, I too very wisely suggested her this option.Indeed this is a good option and will help her to come out of the situation, I thought. When she can't just stop thinking about it, and if those thoughts are doing nothing but making her more fragile, more vulnerable to anything and everything that comes across, even in day to day life, I thought it is just good to disconnect the circuit and let nothing flow through it. And not only me, many other well wishers of her did actually suggest her this. However, when I asked her , she said that it is not possible to switch off , because if she does so, it kills her very own self.It disconnects her from life itself, because she could realize love in every tiny bit of life.

This statement made me think on the topic , it made me ponder a lot. Is it truly possible to cut off , from a situation, if that involved matters of love? Well it depends on how much we, as individuals are filled with love, how much we have grown up being nurtured in love and perhaps, how much we , in our daily lives, imbibe, experience and give back love. Love, this word in itself states nothing. It has a different meaning to every person. I had a friend once who could be in love with leaves, roads, bus, mountains . A favorite person for being mocked at, but truly I believe that is possible. On the other hand, if you have grown up as "nothing" and "ignored", and if your inferiority complex gets satisfied only if you ensure that you are around people who never have the ability or willingness to "know"  you,then the love you experience is the love for anonymity.This is also a kind of satisfaction of not having to take any exam ever and at the same time getting just the pass marks. You are trapped in your mediocre life with no intention of being happy.This life may be pitiful to most of us. who , kind of magnify love, and die and live for love. But, there is a good number of people who are actually happy with this kind of life. And happy by their definition.

And again there are passionate people, who are never satisfied, with whatever they get- in career, in personal life.They aim to break their "middle class" stature for ever and look for more and more.They too love, and sometimes very deeply, but they can never let go their urge to become the so called "successful" for the sake of love. They put forward calculated steps and take back the steps that do not yield any incentives.

Exaggerated or not, love is over hyped. Yes my friend is right. Love is a way of life. You cannot switch it on or off. If you do switch it off, it squeezes away all kinds of interests from your life.If you are just the kind of person who can never realize love, it does not matter. But if you understand and realize love, you are devastated without it.It does not matter if a heart break means a single person, but that heart break can't take away your entire sense of love. Love for your work, love for friends, family, for the beautiful weather around, for the sunny  morning, for a good night's sleep, for a good movie, for food,for your hobbies,for your home, for yourself.Surely next time when I will want to comfort somebody going through a heart break (and I hope that situation never comes), I will not recommend the switch off strategy. All MBA concepts are not applicable and right.I will recommend to fall more in love, so much so that the heartbreak becomes just a minuscule part of the entire world of love that can  just be ignored. Everyone has his or her way of happiness and lest not try to attempt on something that's not our cup of tea.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Duality in Truth

Would you do things in a comparatively free society that you would have considered not doing otherwise?

There can be several reasons as to why you would consider not doing something.Might be because you feel it is unethical, or because your loved ones feel it is unethical or may be just your social structure does not endorse it.When I say "unethical" vs "non-endorsement", there's a difference.You might feel marital rape is wrong and thus unethical but Indian law does not criminalize it. That's one example.

In US we do certain things with such grace and innocence, that we might not be able to do back in India.
Keeping a close watch at the dustbin to get hold of any thrown away materials like sofa,mixer etc is one example. All to  save some dollars.And not to mention,buying used stuff from the nearest garage sale.In India, our inflated ego doesn't simply allow us to buy or use used stuff or thrown away stuff.We are taught to think that the family background we have come from , is more at ease to "give" than to "take".I feel this is an example more of social stigma or social "way of living" and does not correspond to facing one's deeper self.

Dating++ with any girl/guy giving a damn to what "ye zamana" says is another example.In this country it doesn't matter who is doing what with whom.So people try out things which might be simply grave , when they are back in their homes.It is not just a social stigma in that case. The entire definition of ethics or values changes.You might not be able to face your near and dear ones , if they come to know about your "karnamas", but simply because there is no chance of the information reaching to them, you feel comfortable.

This country also endorses free style fashion which means wearing any funky stuff, any combination of colors and exposing of course!!Any fashion that is different and makes you stand out, is a "yoyo" here.It doesn't matter if you have "red lips" tattooed on your cheeks or if your trousers is almost slipping from your waistline or if your jeans is ripped off at strategic places.I was wondering if I litter in India, would I feel the same amount of guilt compared to if I do it over here? Or would I not give myself  a pat on the back if I cross the busy road in India in between traffic.But here I would be afraid of the comment from the by stander, that because I am not from here, I don't even know this country's rules.And for sure, I am never taught to hold the door for complete strangers , in malls, in restaurants, in airports and if I do this back home, it is going to evoke lot laughter at my "USish" behavior!

The list is endless. But what surprises me is how do we determine that something is apt in some place at some point of time and the same thing is not at another instance.Is there anything that has an universal definition of right or wrong? Things that are not social stigma, that are not loathed or mocked by others gain the right to be right and others are wrong.

Nothing has an absolute definition.The same activity experienced by different people, in different places or at different points of time gives rise to different situations and states of mind.So if  in a relationship, someone experiences sheer love, the other person may just have a time pass to overcome his or her loneliness. I tried thinking again...killing? Is it not a heinous crime and beyond doubt that it should be universally bad? But then again, we do respect our great soldiers.So killing under a specific cause under certain circumstances is not bad.But that means, killing is not bad if you are part of a collective goal, like our freedom fighters had, like our country's soldiers have. But don't terrorists also have a collective goal? Is all collective goal good? Even rioteers have a collective goal be it in the name of religion.And I believe people who are part of such crime organizations actually have very strong collective goals to achieve.Otherwise such organizations wont be able to sustain.They have vision, mission!! This is what makes it difficult to  fight against them.They have a collective truth which is perfectly legitimate to them.Because it is collective, social stigma is not experienced.We learn to despise something or follow something based on how much social stature we gain out of it or how much positive attention it gives to us. And if some truth is collective , then it is really difficult to break that chain.

Everything in this world is dual in nature. Truth has many colours. For truth between two people, it is only them who can know it and appreciate the truth of the truth. For collective truth, it is more complex .If only we can find a way  amongst the different versions of truth....
Having said that, I , personally believe that changing oneself as per the requirements of a new place is apt.But as long as that does not change the morals or values which are so intrinsic.So if it is some change of fashion or food habits or lifestyle or courtesy related then it is welcome.But if it leads to something that you are changing your values, that is unwelcome and not endorsed.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Simplify and Go...

Observe and don't just see, listen and don't just hear, understand and don't just learn. Such is said to us in our growing parents, by teachers. These are supposed to make us more empathetic , responsible and sensitive human beings. However in the process, somewhere our so called intellectual minds start over-doing it.Don't we start searching for a reason when none exists? Don't we start looking into things "in-depth" and "analyzing", "slicing-dicing" every bit of information we see, every bit of response that we get from our surroundings and every individual whom we get close with? We cannot simply accept things at its face value. If we get ill-treated by someone, betrayed by someone, we still keep on finding reasons and more intricate reasons that "there must be some legitimate reason for the person doing that". And somehow that "legitimate reason" has to be as close as possible to what we would like to believe, something that would not challenge our own judgment And on the contrary , when something good happens to us or is about to happen, we still can't accept it wholeheartedly.We always try to find out reasons and more reasons, rationales and more rationales...So why, what, when, where..questions pop-up just like that!! Our intellectual, superior minds, minds taught to scrutinize each and every thing can't accept anything which is blunt.

Going by how human mind processes what it sees, there have been distinctively two schools of thought.One , that of Descartes who was of the notion that belief and understanding are two separate processes. So , basically what he meant is that people , at first, consume some form of information and then depending on how they understand that information, they believe it/ disbelieve it.Descartes' argument is intuitively correct, as we would always like to "believe" that we are rational individuals.
This is also called the Cartesian approach.This approach typically also helps to say that one always had the option of processing the information before believing it.It does not question the purpose of the person on the other end , if he/she purposefully wants to divert the other. Descartes , as similar to many of the philosophers of his age, considered philosophy in the light of theology.His school of thought always supported the fact that human beings possess the capability of understanding something and then believing it. Hence, if you are a follower of the Church, that necessarily means you and solely you are taking an informed decision. Similarly, if you are falling for a wrong person,if you are choosing the wrong career for yourself , you are taking an informed decision and nobody else but you are responsible for it.

The Cartesian approach had been challenged by Spinoza who was of the opinion that there does not exist any parsing of the mental process. Hence, human mind has a single process, which is "believing" unless and until that is proven wrong by external factors.This approach, though looks quite unattractive and unappealing, led to various experimental studies and research later on.
So what is the default position of human mind?Well, following the various research that went on, now it has been proved that Spinoza approach is more correct. So , human mind believes first unless something happens to challenge the veracity of that.

Coming back to my initial question, if human mind "believes" by default, then are we seeing a delineation from the normal when the intellectual modern human tries to look beyond the face value and finally believes that which is not even stated?Is this a new phenomenon typical to the thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent, urban world citizen?That is the reason, some of us, and probably each one of us would have at least some unanswered questions about other individuals..why was she  behaving like this..why did he say this..why did he do this...questions like this remain unanswered through out our life. We do not believe on the information we have, rather add on , may be some extraneous variables to the equation.Extrapolating more and more things are getting into us.

May be sometimes, simplifying things shows the right way.Accepting information at face value may not give a 360 degree coverage , nevertheless, an all round view is not necessary always and specially when that is going to be mostly based on hypothetical ,possible scenarios biased towards our mind's inclinations.Simplification of thoughts is required, even if that leads to hard truth.But dwelling again and again and over analyzing only burdens us.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Silly things

Everyone has his day and way of finding ways to avoid.Well what I am talking about is the instances when we have made up some story/done something in-order to avoid a particular situation/place/individual.
When I remember my engineering days, I still remember how I gave up having tiffin during lunch time , just because I was not in talking terms with the friend who used to share my tiffin!And thus landing myself into some gastric problem!And the friend, who made every possible move to avoid me, be it boarding the wrong bus the moment he saw me approaching the bus stand, or moving to the next desk in an almost cyclonic fashion the moment he realized that it was my bag placed beside his desk :) much of effort really went into that!!It took 7 months for us to be back to talking terms.And seriously now it feels really so silly.And then how can I forget those 7 days when I had a serious fight with my best friend because he had skillfully painted a nice, blue moustache on the newly bought barbie printed bag that my dad so fondly gifted to me! It was perhaps one of the most difficult 7 days of my life that I can difficult it can get if you know the person in and out, you spend almost entire time together and just one day changes everything! And yes we patched up later- and those 7 days still remain as sweet, silly  little moments of life to cherish. 
The list is endless.Everyone has them.Taking the longer route, intentionally delaying or hurrying up , hiding himself in bathroom/under the quilt and what not. And these little things have been both to avoid people and sometimes to catch up with people too.For me , one such instance used to be when I would take the longer, break journey including a 2 km walk  from Scottish Church college to ensure that I spend more time with my friends.
When seen these things in view of present, they really seem so important to us and we spend so much effort to observe people or take stock of situations, sometimes harming ourselves too.But every time I look back and think, they seem to be just trivial and funny things of life and I wonder how much time and effort we spend in all these trivialities which may sometimes defer our vision from other more important things.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Wake up!!

Wake up from eternal sleep,wake up before drowning,
Wake up to see the world so mesmerizing.
Search yourself in the air around,
Search yourself in the green ground.
Look into your mails ,twitter and  facebook ,
Listen to a story, read a book,
Wake up to reply to watsapp messages
Wake up after silence of ages.
Stand up to your courage and belief,
Reach to your dreams , forget grief.
Listen to a song, dance to the rhythm,
Sweat to complete the run with them.
Wining might not be an option,
Have faith in your own opinion.
Light up the room,burn out the candles,
Enough you slept, no more mishandle,
Brighten your day, let the air flow in,
No more failures in driving test again.
Steer your way,take the lead,
Its time to get back to work, to succeed.
Walk up to those who love you,
Drink a beer or two,and let it go,
Smile a ton, and travel back,
Unleash life , unfurl,unpack...