Monday, June 23, 2014

Power Play and Indian Weddings

We are taught right at the outset of our learning of wedding as a concept, that this alliance is a power play. One is above and the other is under. One is essentially the underdog, and the other one is bound to have the upper hand in this relationship. The burlesque gameplay ensues on the eve of the wedding, when the bride steps into the groom’s house! There are wedding games. ‘Games’ at first sounded fun to me, like the hide and seek, or the ring a ring a roses. I grew up to find out that the game wasn't meant to be as innocuous as it sounded. It was shrewd and a pure example of a pervert human brain. Like the one in which a ring is submerged in a bowl full of petals. Whosoever finds the ring sooner, gets to dominate the household. And if you lose, you are doomed for life. This constant drilling in idea, that the alliance is going to be a struggle, a tug of war, where either you win over him, or he wins over you.

They do it tirelessly over and over, in every wedding. For bad or for worse, this trend survives!

This is not the only stale bite that you get of the big wedding cake. Right after the ‘feras’, the father of the holy bride, hands over his daughter to the groom. And we call this ‘donation of daughter’. Can a daughter be really given like elms to the groom? While the bride is reduced to a substance, she retains her position as worse than that begging, seeking groom, looking up to his wife as a booty.

If you have heard the concept of ‘the big fat Indian wedding’, you should watch it personally. You will get a glimpse of the glorious past of India in it. Couple might come from a middle class, but the parents of the girl will throw a big, fat lavish wedding, that sucks every little penny that the parents of that girl might have saved so far. We put up a show to live the glorious past! we put everything on stake for it! We might not have it, but we shall fake it, till we lose it all. While most honorable of men have started taking initiative of sharing the cost, there is no change in the mass unconsciousness.

Then there is a big list of good omens, and bad omens attached to our wedding ceremonies, which might cause you a jaw drop, if you are alien to cultural trends of India. We look for symbolism in nearly everything. If the two wooden logs hit each other, there will be a lot of clashes in your marital life. If you kick that kalash (bowl) of rice on the doorstep before entering the house, it will bring prosperity in the groom’s household. I would rather respect a thing that I eat, than kicking it out for prosperity. And then the best of it, which I personally love the most J  . A bride, while bidding adieu to her parental home, throws rice backwards in the air, to return all the favours her parents extended to her. A paying back of all the food she had in their home. It is probably the best way to pay back the love you receive. 

This, and a lot of other reasons push me to elope, than getting married in a traditional way. I somehow wish to dodge these traditions of a jerkwater town and escape them all. No matter how many books you read, what qualifications you attain, if you can't see the insensibility in trends like these, you are as bad as a poor uneducated grown up, of unfortunate circumstances. I have been pretty bad with the game ‘when in Rome, do as Romans do’, through and through. And I mock the imbecility in face.

Songs and Romance of the Time

Romance. How do you define it. Romance might not always be with a beloved. Romance is that state of- complete intoxication. Some songs become romance, if you listen to them on reprise in solitude. I can put down a finger and identify how and when some songs become the emblem of romance in my life. And surprisingly, they are not the tunes that I enjoy with the love of my life. It’s that romance, intoxicating powerful, commanding romance, that whisks me to another world, and I have to give into. Some fragrances are romance. The way they capture your consciousness and make your existence purer than dreams. But it won’t happen anytime. It happens on certain time and writes its peculiarities in bold, engraved letters in you, forever. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Welcome To The World Of Hypocrisy

I remember sometime back, my bosom friend telling me, “you have made peace with the world”. I was happy to hear that. Because I believe in her knowledge of me. Here I am, after of that fine day. And now I realise, that was a time when I was going through a writer’s block. Not just an incapacity to write, but that was a time when I was mentally dormant. Me, simplified. 

World pressing itself against me, and all my faculties are surging back in a revolt and revulsion. We live in a world of hypocrisy. Which essential means, that there is a trench of difference between what we preach and practice. We claim ourselves to be what we appreciate, but have no intention of changing into that. And I fail to understand the reason why we shroud around such hypocrisies. People feel warm in this woollen, coarse blanket of hypocrisy. They are warm and welcoming to imbecile minds, with their two tier standards.

Once again I am disillusioned, and zoned out from this ‘civil society’ of ours.  I am shrinking from the idea of being normal and one among the crowd. People cook hypocrisy, love to top it with formality and respect, and serve it as old and rotten as it is. No, you don’t need to be 50 year old, to face hypocrisy. It is right there in front of you. If you are a humanities students, you will know you are dumb. You can ask your relatives, and they will happily tell you how big a looser you are, for you opted for humanities. Then no matter how many times you shout that it was your choice. Your conscious decision. All you can do is to wait for time to be history, to do the talking for you. No, the irony is not just with humanities students. If you are a science student, you just have a different frame, but definitely, you are framed. Science students cannot have a heart, and humanities students cannot have a brain. Could I only offer them a piece of brain. Sigh.

If you are on the threshold of 30 years, and pursuing your career goal, instead of entering into a wedlock, you will be tirelessly shown a thousand couples with kids and talk about it as an achievement against all the effort you invested in doing something constructive. And if you are a woman aspiring for something higher, porepare yourself for even worse a situation. You will be told that it is because you have no hopes from your future, and you are wasting yourself. Practically, you are loosing the chance of hooking a handsome guy to you. And if you do have someone in life, you are damn so good at hunting down the net and entrapping good options. Underscore, you are born with crooked instincts, and you have to live under restrictions to live a well regulated life. Sometimes I think, if I sluice people who so religiously practice hypocrisy, will they ooze blood, or a filthy slime ?

You grow up, and find out that it is good enough to sleep with a stranger in an arranged marriage (for both, girls and boys), but it is a matter of shame if you love someone. And if you find someone and your families do reluctantly acquiesce, you are bound to live under the stipulations of their culture, their experiences and their hypocritical believes. A place where for no good reason, a family thinks too great of itself while marrying away a son, and that same family is low to the ground, when it has to settle his sister, or say its daughter. They accept inferiority, just as they believe in their divine power of owning a son. Here, a morsel for your famished thoughtless brain, yet to evolve as a mind.

Here, people swear like a pig, feel like a bull and act like a mice. Claim to read a thousand books, and cling on to the hypocrisies as a reluctant accomplice to the practice. 

I am all glad to be here. A place where I am a thing to be seen at. Where all my acts are taken with a grain of salt.  I am a badass social critic, because I am a student of literature, which shows you how to think. And has better logics than you have in your fact science and commerce books. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Do All Parents Tell Stories?

Do all parents tell stories? I am not sure if they do. Most of the kids spend their time with their grandparents, listening to the ageless stories of their youth, twists and turns that their life took. Bad people they walked into, and good people they found like rolling stones. All the grandparents have their stories to tell. But with me, it was different. I didn't get a chance to meet my grandparents. No grandma rocked on the rocking chair, weaving sweaters and the bygone times in her stories for me. No grandfather took us to the toffee shop, on his shoulders. There was no grandma telling me stories of how she had to manage a living in the tough time of independence, or granddad telling how emotionally torn he was, working under the British regime in a government office. I have seen them in photographs, and I do remember their faces. A newly married young man, proudly standing by a bicycle, holding its handle firm in his clasp. And a lady clad in a heavy banarasi saree, leaving nothing bare, except for her small face peeping out of hoarded jewellery and a lot of cloth. That life never touched me. I have had no chance of asking them all the questions that arouse in my mind, while looking at such pictures. Some of them were answered by parents, most of them even they didn't have an answer for.

But I have parents who recite great stories to me, ever since my childhood. I remember waiting for a power cut as a child, to sit under the candlelight and listen my dad travelling into the past. With my dad’s huge family of 7 brothers and a set of parents; it was an overbearing emotional surrounding, against the weak emotional environment of my mom’s family, with a set of parents living on different stations, and no sibling to live by. I used to listlessly listen to their journey.. digressing into the lives of others related to them. And it strikes a code of my own life. I remember these stories like sweet lullabies, sung to me by the past itself. Just like lullabies, these have succulent emotions and most enjoyable stories. Time has strengthened my bond with their memories. And now if my dad or mom repeat a story, I feel like it were my very own past.. like you tell me about your some particular day, back from the school time.  I am scared of ever being severed from these. They have meditational value for my soul. Is there something that you live by too?