Blaming the Mothers- another trick of patriarchy’s to ensure that kids (read daughters) stay under control

My hair was all tangled & parted unevenly.
A friend, looking at my hair, said jokingly, “How your mother put up with you? If I were your mother, I’d have given you one on the bum and made you comb.”
I looked taken aback for 2 seconds.
And then, “what makes you think that my mother haven’t tried everything and its just that I’m ‘unmanageable & disobedient’?”

This is just one instance. What is it with blaming the mothers? Nothing but a big manipulation our society pulls on the young ones.
Wear western clothes, question your religion, value your independence, refuse to marry until ready or voice against injustice around you…
Next you (and your mother) like cockroaches in the science lab become targets for some meaty character dissection.
Since choices are mine, the consequences should also be mine, right? Why my mother gets the lion’s share of the blame?
They say- Had my mother brought me up well without giving me too much freedom, I would have been a good obedient daughter.

PS: The thing is my mother did all she could to make me a good Indian Muslim girl. For some reason it didn’t work.

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of Tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams."


On Names & the rest...

I find my name boring. Well, mostly. Its mono-syllabic. I would have preferred a multi-syllabic name like my sisters have. It gives away my religion, geography...
People modifying your given name is even worse.

Now we all come across people with never-heard-of names. How many times have we stored away those names for our future kids? And I don't mean bizarre ones- like America, Earthina, Mangopple, Benzena etc. The last one, Benzena, is the name of a cranky chemistry professor's daughter in my hometown.

May be I will call my kids Pepper, Efzee, Galaxy, Fire or something like that. Gender neutral as well neutral in every other sense.


My Plus 1 & Plus 2 Days With An Overdose Of Sexism


Plus 2: Sick of walking into our filthy classroom with dust, mud, paper bits and lunch remains flying around our math teacher Ms. Sham... sponsored a broom for the class.
She drew up a ‘brooming schedule’ for the 15 girls, smoothly leaving out the 35 boys.
“What about the boys?” I asked genuinely confused because in my previous school everybody had to partake in the class-cleaning activities.
“Boys don’t sweep”- the teacher snarled while a few boys snickered.


Plus 2: I was walking back to class after morning break. Something until then I thought only happened in movies or slums was happening spectacularly before my eyes. Let’s call them Mr. Stick & Ms. Stout.
Stick was hitting Stout as though she was a punching bag. She was squealing in pain while trying to cower back against the wall. I stared with my mouth open. “What the hell is happening”. Stick muttered & growled something like a rabid dog and stormed out.

Next minute she was bawling on my shoulders. Even while patting her back I couldn’t help but remember those random scenes of drunk husband kicking about the wife so common in our movies.

If this was the story of one couple, I wouldn't have mentioned this. Many couples in our school were into this beating-crying syndrome. And the optimist in me hopes that they all have matured by now.


Plus 1: My best buddy and I loved to sit on the wall in front of the school canteen to chitchat.
In the initial days, some stared and some commented which were tuned out of course. Then (may be 2-3 months later?) it happened.

The furious face of the usually jovial Nou Sir beckoned us over. We walked over meekly. He gave one big lecture about the uncouthness of sitting on wall, to remember that we are ‘girls’ (as if we didn’t know) and what people would ‘say’...

A group of interested students nearby shook their heads in amusement. Nothing was said about the boys haunting the walls on the other side (not saying boys’ right to frequent the walls should have been taken away).

Wonder how our sitting on the wall during morning breaks went unnoticed until then in a school full of sexists!


Teachers were not just teachers but James Bond wannabes. And their area of interest? Students' love lives of course. It was for our good, they said. So that we remained focused on what mattered- studies.

And the real drama followed once they found out who's whose bf/gf and who's kissing who and... Then the moral superiority surfaced. Calling the girls’ parents, berating the parents at the top voice for not bringing up their girls properly; without caring anyone could overhear (as I did once, which caused such an intense hatred in me for that teacher) and what not.


All in all I am glad that it was Plus 2 and not Plus 3 or Plus 4. I would have been indoctrinated after a while like any normal person subjected to an overdose of sexism.


Life Without Facebook

The Annual Book Fair at Wesley Church, Bangalore… Just a 2 week sale with 60-80% off.

But I was desperately low on funds. Switching from Auto to bus, sticking homecooked food & adopting zero indulgence policy helped me to become the proud owner of some 30 books- Bond, Saramago, Walker, Dalrymple, Gibran, Pamuk, Bannerjee, Grossmith, Butler, Shakespeare and so on.

People call me bookworm. But the truth is that I don’t read much. Yes, they always see me with a book- while travelling, in between office breaks, during the walk to & from bus stops, after cooking dinner and on certain Saturdays & Sundays when I decide to give my PC some rest… These scrappy minutes means that it takes atleast 1-2 month for me to finish a book.

I miss the days I used to finish a book in one sitting, stone deaf to mom’s yells and indifferent to assignments & nature’s call.
I miss the days of sneaking Blyton, Dahl, Crompton, Dickens, Boyle, Twain & all those awesome souls into the text books & read under the pretension of studying.

Now reading is reduced to random articles on net, people’s blogs, news articles, and sometimes ebooks. But I want to go back to literature! And fill my life with poetry and romance again…

OK. That’s it! Whats eating my time apart from the necessary stuffs?

Office time- Cant be helped (need money to buy books & pay net bill at the very least)
Freelance work- Cant be helped as I get to write about different stuffs & extra money
Skating, badminton, Karate- Cant give up these.
Meeting up with friends- Hmm… compromisable!!!

Social Media- Now here is the real problem. I will miss keeping in touch with my friends who’ve settled overseas. I will miss being on top of things. Vanishing from FB is practically a way to be clueless & look like an idiot when people are discussing trending topics.

Now I realize its CHECK for all the ques below. Was I addicted? Has FB turned me into a stalker? I'm afraid so… Do I brood over my friends taking expensive holidays & feel jealous? Do I grit my teeth at the obvious flaunting? Has it made me a little too hungry for gossip?

And moderation- Well, I tried OK? Its just not working. Many reasons.
Firstly, I had NO EXCLUSIVE FB TIME. It was all skimming in between work and lingering for a bit more. Surprising how little things like this can eat into your hours... like termites pulling down a big building.
But yea, I got what I wanted. Loads of time with books. Something I sorely missed but never realized. Of course there is still the itch to Activate Again. But no let me finish reading the books I have… and then join back or perhaps purchase some more.