Category Archives: Politics

Dispel the dichotomy


In these (politically and social-media driven or) charged times, I have begun to feel the need to confront the multiple dichotomies that exist within me. I feel it’s not enough to only mouth what you think you should feel. It’s also not important to only talk about what one feels. It’s necessary, for me, to bring those two planes on the same level.

It’s important to acknowledge all the areas in my life where I might not actually do as I say. I have never felt it more strongly. The more I look around, the more I see this everywhere, and in everyone. Where everyone, including me, reads one set of facts and reaches another conclusion,  that suit us individually perhaps. So what makes my right more right that of that person whose opinion I despise the most?

Some dichotomies that stand out more starkly that others I can’t spot yet:

  • For the feminist in me who is not able to stand up and honestly state her opinion in social situations
  • For the feminist in me who is not able to be charitable to women who have no patience for my way of thinking
  • For the modern person in me who constantly wonders about her worth because she does not draw a conventional salary
  • For the girl/woman in me who is able to help friends think about their bodies objectively (I think) but uses extremely hateful terms with herself (and has a continuous bad relationship with the mirror)
  • For the friend in me, who is not able to call out other friends for their obvious disconnect
  • For the writer in me, who is not able to shake off the feeling that I have been living on the surface
  • For the friend in me, who can’t believe the friends who stuck with me and wonders about those who I thought I would be stuck with

The next step perhaps is trying to reduce the distance between these two persons.


Opinion or truth?


Sometimes when I want less clamour, I come to my blog. Which is perhaps not how blogs are projected. But hey, it’s my space.

Recently Twitter and other offline forums have been talking about The Goa Think Fest by Tehelka. So it got me reading.

Here are some links that show you one side of what are presumably many sides.

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Link 4

Link 5

Do remember that these are all opinions, not the entire truth. Remember that when it colours your opinion.

Just shapes. Not good or bad.


Everyone always tells you that the path to true happiness is self-love. On one hand, it sounds like something a guru would say and something you would hear and not really dwell on, and on the other hand, it is something very few truly manage. For it would mean never comparing yourself to anyone else – for the positive or the negative.  Whether it is job, money, men, friendships, and any other form of validation. This can apply to every aspect of your life but one area it hit home acutely recently is beauty.

We all think we know what beauty it is more so because beauty, as school aphorisms have made us mug up, lies in the eye of the beholder. But does beauty also mean that if the beholder thinks you could use some improvements, your beauty lies diminished?  All along people would say things like ..’but you are tall,’ or ‘your nose looks like HER nose’ or many other such lines and I would think, so what? I don’t like what I see in the mirror so these lines mean naught to me.  Just because you like some part of me better, does not change any thing for me.

In the last two odd years how I look at myself has changed. I do not know if it has changed in a good way or bad but my worth is not comparative anymore. I feel so much better now. And all I seem to want to do is want my other girl friends to understand why. In the process of trying to explain to them, I realised that it is perhaps a step they need to journey to on their own. I know I faced a lot of negativity when I changed the way I look. I changed it because I changed the way I thought. It affected people I did not expect because they perhaps weighed themselves against how they thought I was. That truly was my inkling. I have not changed, I would think, why have they?

Sometime ago I remember discussing with another writer how India needed its own Jezebel because there were bound to be women who had a mind of their own and weren’t afraid to own it. But Indian women are too far away from that. I am an urban, educated working woman and it is unbelievable how many conversations that I have been party to are about men, how to get them, what to do to get them, why we weren’t getting them, are we not attractive enough (therefore) and so on and so forth.  This post stood out like a beacon on my feed home page. Another post on why it is important to accept what you are without qualifications.

It does not matter whether you are a feminist or not, a house wife or not, a mother or not or trying to fulfill one of the many roles you are expected to or not, if you believe in your core, nobody can take that away. Otherwise you are constantly a shell, trying to fill it with substance you think others want to see there.

What do you know, truly?


There are some days when you avoid reading the paper thinking what is there to know? All is not well and that is enough for me to know.  Then some days, you pick up all the issues of Tehelka you have not read and decide it will give you some good fodder till you reach office in the 1.30 hours it takes you to commute.

That is when you realise. There is so much unknown. Are you better for knowing it or not? I still cannot decide. There was this story and then this story. Reading it made me want to weep. Crime, inequality and such blatant horrors that truly being an honest cop cannot be that important. One part of my head tells me, it’s UP it’s to be expected. But that is not true anymore. Mumbai cops are apparently just as cavalier. I know of an Air India pilot, beaten up in his uniform by sons of builders in Vile Parle east. He was not allowed to file an FIR till he brandished some ‘influence’ of his. This happened almost 2 years ago. Today the FIR is missing from the police station it was filed in. He is not following it up because he has old parents and of course, the policemen are encouraging him to drop the complain. This is Mumbai not UP. So truly nothing all that different.

Then you read this. Maybe these were a couple of bumper issues. Maybe this is normal in the course of things. I don’t know any more. Bureaucrats who siphon. Ministers who are corrupt. Private companies who bloat and become large Goliaths and swallow some much of public money that states need to start charging more taxes just to get the job done. You wonder about things like RTI and Lokpall bills, which are constantly trying to equal the unequal status of power and other busybodies who are forever trying to not let that happen. Diluted ambits, changed bills – all of which make a mockery of the attempt at transparency these moves are aiming to achieve.

It’s frustrating. It’s futile. It is not anymore about one bribe you give your traffic pandu for jumping  a light. It needs to be about a complete sea change in every aspect of functioning. Accountability in the system. The lack of ways to extricate yourself without any consequence. Even as I think this I read Vilasrao Deshmukh now heads MCA or Maharashtra Cricket Association and I think to myself, how much money is enough! Has he not bled other organisations dry? Why does he need more?

Then, on the next day, you come across another little piece titled ‘Bride and no prejudice‘ and you wonder if the pace of change will ever be enough for the rampant rape of India. Now wonder Ratan Tata called it a banana republic. He can’t have been that wrong!

That big, brave world


Reading this interview made me think how sterile a rape can be in reportage. There is talk of doctors, swabs, semen, DNA and many other technical things but none of them ever talk about what it is actually is, a power trip really. You might want to read this too.. it proves, at least, to some degree that women are the worst critics for women.

Though I have to be honest. When the Shiney Ahuja news broke, I remembered thinking he may be guilty of cheating on his wife but having consensual sex with any other woman cannot be construed as rape just because he reneged on promises he made to the woman. That was my initial thought but since the blogs and media have made the issue murkier and now I do not even claim to know what may have happened exactly.

Even the Madhur Bhadarkar case was fashioned from similar circumstances. It usually pisses me off when women claim rape or any form of abuse because some promise has been reneged on and they have already dispensed with the favours, usually sex. To give Preeti credit, she had filed a cheating case on him but it seemed (through the coverage) that she was accusing him of rape. It seems to be a favourite method to claim the slighting of the Indian culture.

There doesn’t seem to be a conclusion to this in my head but  it is upsetting to see how the real issue almost always gets buried in any form of journalism today, for a better headline, it seems…