Why should one consider putting aside (stagnant) political affiliations while engaging in social circles?

Choosing whether you are left or right or centre has become integral to the identity of someone who likes to call themselves “politically woke”. Infact, it won’t be a surprise if in a few years we have an instagram feature allowing us to specify our political side in our bios. I say this because I believe it has become so important to support a side in the political world that it has almost turned into a toxic pressurized environment.

Supporting one of the two wings isn’t the problem, the issue is the apparent loyalty to that side one is expected to show on public and social media platforms. This is quite visible in the recent social media “trend” of thinking of left sided youth as cool whereas the right sided one as narrow minded. The choice of words in calling the left as liberal and the right as conservative is a whole another debate but closely linked to the present argument. Both the left and the right sides feel a constant pressure to not blend an inch into the other side because that will supposedly make their arguments non-static or uninformed. 

However, I firmly believe that politics is not that simple to understand or indulge in. What we have started to present on social media regarding politics is as superficial as the way we present our lives on social media. Nothing is perfect in real life and there is absolutely no acknowledgement of the grey area. Any political argument shouldnt be seen as something either left or right but as something which can have valid points from both the sides.

Another distressing habit I see in people around me in schools and universities is isolation towards someone not conforming to their side of the story. Friends are made not on values like kindness, loyalty or honesty but on the religious and political affirmations of a person. This leads to the flourishing of a youth which is ideologically stagnant and non-accommodative. 

At times, it is considered that a person is ‘uninformed’ or ‘incapable of taking a stand’ if they agree to the political stances of others in supposed discussions. However, I believe that this trait is a sign of flexibility and acceptance which is undoubtedly better than being firm in your opinion to the point it becomes an inseparable value irrespective of whether it is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

Conclusively, I feel the current discussions around politics in the ‘intellectual’ circles in India and even abroad is becoming increasingly toxic and inconclusive which heightens the need to palliate our toxic obsession with considering political affiliations while judging people. Probably this is impossible to achieve but I like to believe that at least an effort to move into that direction will bring a huge change.

Introversion is miserable (for me)

What didn’t lockdown do for me ?

It changed my life, made me anti social, made me forget grammar and above all inserted a piece of introversion into me. 

Introversion is fine but when I am trying to write a blog, I don’t know if I am on the right track with this overly rated quality.

Introversion is not bad in general but it seems dangerous to me. I always enjoy loud people and surprisingly I have ended up not being one of them.

Well, I do not believe introverted people are boring but I believe that my extroversion turned into introversion makes me feel miserable. Maybe these two qualities are just imaginary because after all , we all are expected to be social as human beings.

Please do not believe me. 

Why will you ? Why should you ?

A teenager contemplating about qualities and misery ? No philosophy for sure.

‘Cool’

Let us face the reality.

Maybe I just started this blog to be cool and I haven’t ended up being it. It is practically just me here re-reading my own posts.

Last year, I was so proud of what I wrote. Now it all seems so artless , if that is the right word. I have realized that my grammar sucks and I am not unique. 

But should I stop ?

Maybe I should. Maybe I should prevent myself from making a fool of myself. A 17 year old teenager on a blog site is the least interesting thing one might see.

There are so many of my friends better than me at writing, more word fluent, word smart and all the fancy words one can think of. 

And me ?

I am nothing.

So should I really publish ?

Damn.

I think I should. I might write everyday, once a week, once a month or once a year but everytime I do it will get me thinking. So might as well think and make this blog a junk for all my rebellious thoughts about a perfect socially stable world and my insecurities.

I should most probably just name this blog as ‘JUNK’ – ‘PURE JUNK’ but even ‘HONEST SCAM’ is nice because isn’t that what we all are – scammers who do not know who we are but think that everything we say is true. 

IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT he asked me what my rate per hour was.

We all have stories to hide. We act as if we have moved on and you know, forgot about those small incidents but as soon as we are alone and doing nothing, it comes back. 

A half a month ago.

A (then) close friend of mine in a heated chat on whatsapp asked me what my rate was for an A.C room for an hour and what oil I would prefer for the same. In addition to  this, he hurled at me, numerous extremely hurtful cuss words. And he didn’t say this because we were having a conversation in a sexual context, this was because I called him out because of something he had done. 

This completely makes sense right? It was my mistake because I initiated the conversation. It was me who called him out. It was me who was calling him ‘sexist’ at every derogatory term he used. He was bound to consider me as a ‘SLUT’.

Being sort of sexually abused on whatsapp is a small incident. Yes it is comparatively, you know. Verbal harassment or even physical has intensities. But are there any of them which don’t have an impact ? No.

It got even worse when one of my favorite teachers who taught me in grade 10, instead of taking a stand for me (which I expected) didn’t really seem to be strong in her opinion because after all I was in a ‘rumored’ relationship with him. That was enough to state that I was wrong too. It was enough for that friend of mine to get away with it saying ‘ It happened in the heat of the moment.’ 

I am sorry if I am being too sarcastic.

Maybe I am reacting too much over an incident which was so small. Maybe. 

But this incident still comes in my mind every time I am alone. My family did support me this whole time, every moment. But when the teacher managed to point at me, it made me trash my belief in  the famous hashtag – womxnsupportingwomxn.

This made me realise how the people who taught us and the place we study in could be a sexism hub. And, how the friends whom we considered as being close, can finally show their inner sexism and objectification they have for other people.

You might think I am making a fuss about everything. Maybe I am ?

But what if I don’t? What if I stay quiet every time someone objectifies me? What if this motivates a person to go to extremes? What if it makes me develop a habit of letting it go?

Our schools are sexist. Our teachers are sexist. Our friends might be sexist. 

And, this gives roots to the objectification, derogatory terms and what not.

And then you come across a conversation with someone saying ‘It happened in the heat of the moment.’

I am sorry but you cannot ask me my rate for an hour in an A.C room in the heat of the moment. It is shameful. It is embarrassing. And, it unfortunately stays in my memory.

Makeup or No Makeup?

We all believe in admiring the inner self of a human being and are firm supporters of the concept of ‘self love’ and ‘love the real you’. The ‘change the beauty standards’ movement had taken almost all of us into a revolution where many of us who are intellectual enough have started being more-accepting and stopped judging people. 

But does the intent and the impact of this theory hold true with every person in this world? It wouldn’t be a lie to say no!

Not only this, some consider feminism as the ‘no-makeup’ movement. Just because feminists think that all women should be respected and it is not just the sexual self of them which is important, it does not mean that wearing make-up makes them any less a feminist. We need to understand that a majority of the people who wear make-up do it  because they like, not because they want attention or attraction. 

‘Feminism’ or ‘change the beauty standards’ in no way say that wearing makeup is a sin. 

It should be a matter of choice, right? Of course, it should be. But this is not that easy. We, as a society, do not really believe in making personal choices as ‘personal’. We believe in putting labels. Terming women  wearing makeup as ‘bold’ and men who wear makeup as ‘weak’ is an irony in itself. Neither not wearing makeup make me any more strong or more of a feminist nor does wearing it make me a less of a feminist or less strong. The same goes for a million other things like ‘choosing your career’ or ‘shaving hair’ or ‘leading a conventional life’ and many more. We strive to make them a choice not an obligation in any case. 

There is another side to this story too where people, especially women (because the society is still struggling to accept the sight of men wearing makeup) are seen as weird or are gossiped about, if they don’t end up wearing makeup at a party. 

 Again I would rant the same ‘its my personal choice’ stuff here! Let us please stop this labeling. I know even the best of the people end up labeling. And we too, if introspect, find ourselves at fault, for judging people on such choices. But if we can do a million other things, then why play dumb and judge people on their choices!

BODY HAIR : A CHOICE

This one fine day while staring at myself in the mirror, my eyes got set on my arms. It has  been a while  since I shaved. Looking at my over hairy arm, I was constantly thinking about how the black overgrowth felt like. Trust me, the only words which crossed my mind were ‘natural and ‘normal’ , but not everyone here thinks the same. 

 Body hair is the most natural thing I could think of (of course, after a bunch of other things they show on discovery), then why do some people think of it as a stereotype. 

Body hair has thrown me into quite a few awkward and embarrassing situations at school. Even if many of them weren’t bullying conversations with other students, they bothered me because they were usually me conversing with myself and comparing my skin with the girls or even boys who had little to no hair on their skin. For a moment, I did realize that ‘I’m out’ , but this whole comparison used to come back to me. It is not just about hair on arms or legs but on every single inch of skin we have.

But beware, this is not just my experience, doesn’t it happen with every single person out there especially girls (its true)? Any person who gives an argument of body hair being unhygienic has a horrible relationship with science. The only possible reason for this is the statement that our beauty standards are so fucked up. I am very sorry if I made you believe that shaving your body hair is bad. It is not. There are a few people in my class who do not shave it and I am proud of them to have come out regarding that and been vocal about it, but it certainly doesn’t mean that those who do, are any less. The point is why are we not able to make this a matter of choice rather than making it a matter of compulsion? We should be able to say ” I shave it because I like it” not “I shave it so that I can wear a certain type of clothing.” Let’s not just play dumb and accept body hair as something ‘real’ and ‘normal’.

RAPE:THE NIGHTMARE

He covered my mouth tightly. I could feel the rough texture of his hand almost choking me as he dragged me towards the construction site in my society. The entire time the chaos forced me to keep my eyes closed. I opened them only to find myself leaning against the wall and his body sort of leaning against mine. I thought it is an abduction, like JUST an abduction, maybe? But I was wrong as I felt his hands moving downwards and touching my unpopular vagina. I was horrified knowing what his next step would be but with his hand almost stuffed on my mouth, I could say nothing. As his hands touched my skin down there and as he leaned further to go for the ACT, he unbuttoned his shorts and I closed my eyes ready for another death.

After a lot of hushed screams and my eyes witnessing a movement while they were closed, I finally dared to open them. Of course there was water everywhere, from my sweat. My clothes seemed to be  leaking onto the bed. Relieved a bit, I reached for water.

Now, this was bound to happen. But wait, that man wasn’t a monster, he was just a man with a sexual urge and I, being a woman, had to fulfill it, right? What else do you expect me to dream and think while living in the most unsafe country for women in the world. No tell me, if it was about my clothes, at least I would have had a factor to protect myself. I would have left my home covered from head to toe but it is certainly not about my fucking clothes. I hope it was. This all surely compels me to all the “not all men but all women” stuff. 

Can’t we just exist as fellow human beings? 

Considering many unexplainable factors, it seems impractical. I mean what can anyone expect from a government where one of the co speakers in a rally calls out for the rape of Muslim women. What can I expect from a society which thinks feminism is unnecessary? At least it gives me some hope, so for God’s sake let it exist.

I want no more of this. There is nothing worse than having your body as a public entertainment. There is nothing worse than being associated with so many taboos. There is nothing worse than having such nightmares and dying after giving a pleasure you never intended to give. 

Therefore, I want no more of this and you better take care of it.

I struggle with introspection, and I know, so do you!

The other day while sitting in my lovely green balcony, I stared at the kids playing in the park. There was nothing so special about them except for the fact that they were fearless and thought of having some sort of a superpower. Fearless to the extent that one of them advanced to shake hands with another but ended up hugging. There was this kid whom I noticed. He very cleverly got successful in putting his mask back into his pocket as soon as his father lost his sight. Now I thought of chilling at this because this was exactly what I would have done a month ago. I remember how much I used to hate the sight of that blue fabric right on my nose. 

Now boring you with some “wear your mask” prompts seems a bit pointless to me as you have had enough of it and it would have been enough to make you wear it if you had a will or more of a mind. So am I here to give you some “How to increase your Instagram reach in a day” blog. I would say no, because that is what I have been mad searching for the past few months. But the thing that triggered me while seeing those kids, was the very simple idea of introspection (which obviously I couldn’t expect those 9 year old kids to do). But nothing is bad in imagining so just sit chill and imagine those kids introspecting before going out of the house or before putting that fabric back into his pocket in a place full of small careless creatures for whom life is nothing more than a game of Mario. A lot would have changed, and we know that. 

We all know how important it is to just analyze our actions or let alone take action or to just know what our emotions actually mean, but when do we do it? Almost never. I didn’t introspect my actions the last time I ordered a full whole plate of momos with floods of the spicy chutney. I didn’t  do it even the next time when I compromised over my priorities for some shitty emotions(you know hormones take a toll). But does that mean it is okay if I just don’t introspect because that is what all humans do, right? I ask this question to myself almost every day I wake up in the morning and wipe that drool away and I know all of you do it too. The only answer I have got till now is that it is a lot better if I do introspect. 

We post about a whole lot of trends on our feed but if we stop and introspect or self analyze each time we go against our own post, that will make a bigger difference. If we actually analyze our emotions and just say what we had kept to us for months now, of course that will make a bigger difference. So next time you hold a coffee in your hand, try and introspect. Now of course you can’t expect a 16 year old kid like me to practice it regularly but that is what is common between us, right? 

Now let’s just grab a cup of that fancy coffee and try to introspect (I sit here with the hope that I am going to do it, you sit with yours).