Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Croaking Under the Sun

I run around with this paper cup in hand,
handing out smiles in return for cynicism and more laughter. 
I am probably stupid
to bear the misery they have to offer 
Source: Google images 
weighing my pockets down
just so I can be myself,
but it seemed so much easier 
than lunging around much heavier masks 
of happiness and sorrow;
prim and proper. 
Of love and hate colliding 
against the face that perceives. 
So, I chucked them all 
as people taught me to build 
the same
with restraint and probable intelligence,
to immerse myself in blissful nonchalance. 
I won't drown. 
Agony vanishes in water
and nothing else keeps me down
as I fight heavy judgmental
telling my tale to the fish that leaps 
forth into the air so bereft while full of life 
for brief laps of time,
enjoying the edge but always back to safety,
unlike me.
I don't know how to swim yet.
But croak I shall if I must 
as I am,
but never cloak.*

*It doesn't apply when I am flying around saving people. Just saying. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Shorts Are Your Scandal?

Recently, my college authorities had taken our batch on a north India tour which was prescribed as a part of our curriculum. The declaration form signed by our respective parents agreed that their wards would dress decently and in accordance with the dress code. Whenever a dress code is emphasized in any place, it is predominantly of esteem importance and pressed in the case of women. While we did have the 'liberty' to wear tee-shirts or shirts deemed decent and not provoking, (many colleges in the state are extremely close-minded as far as the topic is concerned. Salwars are what God has deemed fit for the average modesty clinging woman in the country) it was noted that if any of us girls had worn shorts or any such clothes during the official part of the tour, we would have definitely been asked to charge alongside derogatory warnings whereas it didn't really matter if the boys wore them. It is not the fact that we weren't encouraged to wear the clothes  of our choice during this particular tour but the premise that decides what we have to wear at any point in time by various authorities like schools, colleges, the moral police etc., that bums me out.
   I expressed the unfairness of it to a friend of mine wondering out aloud why girls couldn't wear comfortable shorts or three-fourth pants on the train while the guys could roam around the way wanted to. He only said  that no one would stare at men wearing shorts but they most definitely would stare if a girl does the same, especially on a mode of transport as public as an interstate train.

Source: Google images 
  So, why does a little leg hurt men, their hormones and the so-called morale people? (inclusive of all genders) Honestly, I still can't think of my legs being anything more than a part of the anatomy thus into evolution. I wonder why I get cold stares from people I don't know and anxious ones with perspiration from ones I do know.

   I have been a gymnast for several years and used to wear the gymnastics costume that is mandatory at various competitions, both state and national levels. Initially, I used to feel a little odd about wearing a dress as short as that, exposing the thighs and legs completely but got used to with time. I think this is predominantly possible because no one looked at any of us girls there, dressed that way with leering looks or creepy stares. It was not a problem when our shorts reached just inches past our groin during the practice sessions. As an athlete, I have shorts and sleeveless jerseys which are the best in terms of comfort on track. There have been a lot of boys around there, but it was not a problem for any of them. Why is it only okay when it comes to a sport? Is it the rules that align mindsets? Is it the fact that sports-people are a special creation when it comes to hormones and thought?

Source: Google images
  I come to think of it as the fact that they get used to it. It is not thrust upon them that it is a sin to wear clothes so short in case of their women peers. It is told that it is okay. They eventually see women around with their legs exposed who don't think of it to be weird and neither do the people who are exposed to it, eventually. It is the effect of time and the mindset that evolves, that knows that it is comfortable for women to run in shorts and not full length tracksuits.

  On a parallel track, while I do think we are in that transition phase where legs are being revealed;(probably along with hands and cleavage) where it is not a sight uncommon to see a girl wearing clothes of her choice. But it is also the phase where the woman wearing such clothes is being labelled as a slut, whore, immoral and a big-time bitch. During a recent discussion with a few fellow bloggers on an online forum, I was plainly appalled and disgusted by the way some of them chose to see women. I wouldn't even say it was their perspective of women as much as objectifying them.

   I was glad to see the many open-minded men and women on that forum as well but two front-running speakers in opposition to most of our views said that man is still an animal and shouldn't be provoked. That women's dressing is one of the chief reasons for rape. Well, I believe that even if 'revealing' clothes are the ONLY reason for rapes, it isn't justified. Unless the other reasons fall to ashes and this is the only reason that's being pointed out, it isn't even on the table for a debate or arguments because obviously the flaws lie elsewhere.
I am irritated to see the hypocrisy in men I know.. in my friends, brothers and other relatives. While it okay for you to indulge in a drink in a pub, it is immoral if a woman does the same? Of course I have to admit at this juncture that many men are what their mothers made them to be and there is a blame that lies in the upbringing of the child, from the side of the parents as well.

  But we all grow up don't we? We use our rational mind to dissect right from wrong without bias in most issues but this one. Beyond a point, don't you think one has to evolve beyond it all? Beyond whatever ill-ideas are planted in one's upbringing, society and peers' opinions? If that hasn't happened, it means the respective person is shutting down a part of his mind to the obvious truth in front of them and clinging on to the hopeless strings of male chauvinism and ego. And if then, they debate or discuss with that closed-mind on such matters, it only seems like a joke to me.

   Legs are legs, whether they are that of men or women, breasts or chests, cleavage or no cleavage...it makes no difference if you are straight in your head to know that what anyone wears is his/her subjective choice and not be moral-policed. Don't let's make even the basic, comfort of woman scanned under the lights of your male-chauvinistic twisted ideas because frankly, no one gives a damn. Let me walk in peace.

P.S: This post does not in any way promote you running nude on the roads or asking someone to do the same. If you do so on the accounts of a very stupid comeback, I'm not bailing you out because I think the message I tried to convey here is pretty clear.And oh, in case you do get caught, smile for the mugshots. You only get one chance.