“Haye Jawaani”

Gayatri’s been a dutiful offspring, getting high grades throughout school, staying focused during college- professors love her. And now, Gayatri darling is on her way to do further studies. What’s more, is that she’s been offered a 2 year contract with one of the top 5 Consultancy Firms in the country!

Good on you Gayatri! Us ‘Aunties’ and ‘Uncles’ believe that you couldn’t have achieved anything if you were like other ”kids”-with their boyfriends and partying and all. Chhee chhee! 

In order to be successful, girls have to be asexual.

No one will talk about the probability that so-and-so’s daughter  might just be really interested in her subjects, a multi-tasker, or naturally gifted so she found tests piss easy. They will revel in the notion that she had no ‘distractions’ and a clean, studious mind that didn’t waver, or get influenced.

The ‘No-Boys’ policy gets passed down as a legacy, from parent to daughter. In most households when girls are ‘of age’ and growing up to be pretty young things they must be barb-wired, for they can fall into bad hands. Their minds should revolve around studying and ‘getting ahead’. In college, there is a situation of  freedom meshed with a fully developed exterior. But again girls will be reminded that their mental state is not at par with their physical form. They must wait, and purge themselves of such thoughts, since “Now’s not the time for all of this”. The incentive ? Well, one day when they get a top class salary, all boys will be waiting in line for them to pick and choose from.

Wowie. And when exactly will that happen?
Oh when you’re at the marriage-perfect age of 25-30 of course!

So, while our bodies are developed and , according to nature, ‘ready’ we have to train ourselves to stay away from its demands and needs, when we are at our hormonal peak, only desensitize ourselves. By the time this happens -when we have learnt to ignore our bodies’ signals and alarms, we are expected to be interested in spending our lives with a male, to basically thrive in married life and procreate, when we are so over it! Where is the sense? I don’t know!

And to top it off, while I was on my road trip across Uttar Pradesh (so awesome, I can’t wait to do it again) I was totally immersed with countless songs about women’s ‘Jawaani’ (जवानी ). According to my Oxford Hindi-English dictionary, ‘Jawaani’ means early adulthood or adolescence….Yup.
So how many songs have there been about this?

(click on the links to listen)

Sheila Ki Jawani  Ye Jawani Hai Diwani Jawani Zindabad Jawani Jan E Man Jawani Diwani  Meri Jawani Pyar Ko Tarse  Meri Jawani Teri Diwani Meri Jawani  Chardi Jawani Teri Jawani Badi Mast Mast Hai   Ek Jawani Teri Ek Jawani  Jawani Tera Bol Bala  Mohabbat Ka Haath Jawani Ka Palla Jawani O Diwani Tu Zindabad  Baba Meri Yeh Jawani  Teri Yeh Jawani  Jawani Jawani Jalti Hai Jawani   Yeh Jawani Yeh Haseen Raat Jawani Ki Rail Kahin Chhoot Na Jaye  Nachdi Jawani  Teri Mast Jawani  Rabba De De Jawani   Chamki Jawaani Yeh Jawani Hadh Kar De Nachdi Jawani  Do Din Ki Jawani  Jawani Se Ab Jung Jale Jale Jawani Meri Channa Jawani  second hand jawaani
That’s not the end of the list! There is more, so much more. Why can’t we all just stop obsessing about this, and leave people alone to do what they want. People, especially girls, are capable of making decisions, becoming successful even if they date or have relationships. 

Not Exactly The Right Key to Freedom

I got hit by the new Fastrack advertisement for women’s bags. It basically shows a girl (who looks 12) hopping out of a room in an all boys’ hostel in a sheet, running about corridors, bumping into other dudes, falling to the floor ( to give the camera a docile puppy eye look) and at every stage she slips on one item of clothing. What do we have at the end? Well we have a 12yr old with short hair, an off shoulder tee that exposes her bra strap and of course, a short skirt-like hello how could a girl who sleeps with boys wear anything else?!

So, if I were in a country where women were sexually free and society didn’t condemn them for being like that-this ad wouldn’t have created a crease on my brow. If I were in a country where women wore pretty much anything they wanted, why would I even find myself gritting my teeth after seeing this commercial?

  • Well, because I don’t live in such a place. I live in a place where the child sexual abuse rates are one of the highest in the world, thus swarming with pedophiles,
  • where women who are seen talking to males are considered sluts,
  • where women are raped at any time of the day,
  •  where there are more males than females,
  • where men feel they have the right to grope and brush pass women in public,
  • where men shout lurid comments at women in public,
  • where what you wear isn’t really up to your discretion,
  • where people are so influenced by what they see on their t.v’s that they expect everything to be manifested in real life.

What such ads create, is not only a swarm of sexually frustrated men who expect women to sleep with them because they  are carefree, sexually free and happen to be clothes that aren’t considered ”decent” or ”conservative” (as ridiculous as it sounds,  my friends have told me stories) , but also another layer in society that dwells in an unreality. As it is we have hoardings of women in bikinis for alcohol ads in rural towns, most of which don’t even allow women to expose their faces! If we want to appear modern and out there, and want to create a change in the mindsets of people, why not first empower the powerless ? Show women in a powerful light, that doesn’t revolve around having sex with men, or being the ‘house keeper’. Apart from that why are 90% of commercials centred around sex? Whatever happened to things like affection, happiness and caring? One ad I really commend is the new Hyundai Live Brilliant advertisement, that actually shows a woman driving a car:

Too bad it isn’t an Indian commercial.

India’s ‘Crime Patrol’ Succeeds to Stupefy

Last night I bothered to stay awake and watch this:

Crime Patrol Episode 60

It’s Sony channel’s much sought after show, usually dealing with re-enactments of real life cases which have taken place in every nook and corner of this nation. This particular episode took place in Gurgaon- a so called new urban cosmopolitan township off the Southern tip of Delhi, in the state of Haryana.Now this is no rumour or folklore, but patriarchal Haryana scores pretty high in female foeticide and Khap Panchayat ‘death’ rulings. The episode tells us the story of Ankita Sharma, Continue reading “India’s ‘Crime Patrol’ Succeeds to Stupefy”