Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Feminism - Starts at home!

As I was greeted by my Google Doodle today on the 215th birthday of Mary Anning, I couldn't help but wonder, would she have been taken as seriously or given the credit she deserves if she was not so conservatively dressed in the 17th century?

I am clearly NOT a Fashionista, if you have caught anything from my blog so far (I have my sister to thank, for all the lovely pieces I own in my wardrobe). So what made me talk about clothes all of a sudden?

Times are changing and the middle class Indian women today are top notch executives, bearing the title of the most beautiful women at the global/universal level, Statesmen in other nations, career oriented single mothers(and doing an excellent job at it), motorbike club owners, single female backpackers, living alone in the big city, doing as good if not better than men in every aspect, blah blah blah...... I've been hearing this all for over two decades now! The REVOLUTION! The FEMINIST movement! Yet after about a 100 dozen rape cases in the past 3 years(both accounted and unaccounted), mothers are still scared to send their daughters out, not with the fear of the lecherous men who pose the main threat out there but the garrulous old women who cannot stop with their caustic comments, which thunder twitter around in the family circuit before you can say the word "Cosmopolitan"! (with a lemon swirl on top).

Why is being loquacious, a gossiper and just plain bitter a side effect of being wrinkly, old and jobless?
Is targeting the younger lot her way of lamenting her bygone youth. Am I going to become the same 40 years from now? :O I don't think so. I think I will be more like my own grand mother. Angelic, kind and extremely tolerant with the most broad minded perceptive of things and ever so considerate of people's feeling. What makes her so different from her contemporaries? Maybe its because of her travels around the world in her youth or maybe she is just nice because she is!

The problem, though one of the biggest assets of Indian culture, is we are taught to respect our elders even if sometimes some elders take undue advantage of that while being absolutely wrong in doing so.

So while an adolescent boy hanging from the bus, staring into my car window, as I drive back in my sports shorts, from Sailing session makes me indigent and infuriated; it is nothing compared to the gamut of feelings I felt that same day, when I went to a older family relatives's house to deliver some home grown fruits and pleasantries.

I write today because of her one in the series of abrasive comments, about my NOT-SO-SHORT-AT-ALL shorts, that my mother approved of before I stepped out of the house BTW, that left me feeling embarrassed, lachrymose, guilty, naked to my-eureka-moment to angry and enraged, yet held back by my deep instilled value of respect towards elders (all in that order). I shouted out (in my head of course) 'Wait A Minute! Didn't you just see me less than a month ago at a family function fully clad in the traditional Indian Salwar?' Humbug!

So this piece is specially dedicated to all the Aunty-jis who are capable of shattering the confidence of even the most over achieving, independent and self assured young girls with their one critical statement on the way you dress when you go to visit them.

Its so funny! When I was in Colombia people always thought I dressed too fully covered all the time and much like a boy with my over-sized sports wear and here in India even that is less. :/ Oh dear High Heels! *Sigh*

The fact is we are far from feminism, when there is so much women on women attack on the she-dressed-to-invite-it-argument, we can definitely expect far less from men.

In retrospect this post was written in sheer rage and I never wanted to make my blog my personal diary for penning down my frustrations, so in a more objective view, the real problem is that there is a tiny percent of Indian youth influenced by all that we watch on TV(guilty, me included), who feel we live in New York and not New Delhi, where as the majority of India: made by our archaic generations and rural India, are alien to the concepts of feminism and metro-sexuality, let alone homosexuality. There comes the great divide! Someone needs to be adjusting. So with my deep instilled value of respect towards elders I am gonna ignore the fact that I am ten times more caring, virtuous and productive to the society in the casual-dress-i-wear-to-meet-friends than she is with her pretensions whiskey chugged insinuating acetic words and her Saree on!

Don't judge a book by its cover goes both ways! 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Do the Doodle!

I met a girl on this train journey I took across India, who was just amazing at drawing! She would just set ground any where on the platform or under a tree and doodle away.

Inspired by her I decided to do the same. So from then on, for my every travel trip my back pack always has three things. My tiny pink book, a black waterproof pen and my chotu water color set. I am no artist but I love how holding a brush makes me feel like a kid again. I love doodling every special moment into my sketch pad. 

Cotopaxi - Ecuador
15000 mts above sea level while on the 2nd highest active volcano in the world!  

Its like a picture but instead of clicking it, I scribble it in less than 5 mins with my 20 rupee water color set and hold it very close to my heart. :) Its like my version of the memory and every time I look at it again, it makes me feel the exact same way I felt when I was there.

Here are some of my favorite memories: 

Tiger Temple - Thailand
The thrill of hugging these majestic creatures.

Phuket - Thailand
The turquoise oceans that made me almost run outta blue.

Red Fort - Delhi
The impossible task of capturing the architectural details of 
the Shah Jahaan era, in less than 5 mins. So I took 10. 

London - U.K.
The piping hot Telephone booths of London.

La Casa del Arbol - Ecuador
My very own wall paper moment. 

What's your travel idiosyncrasy? :)