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)
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.
“One must always work. When you stop working there’s nothing left of life, nothing to do, nothing to put your mind to, no purpose. You just waste away.”
My Dada-ji (paternal grandfather) has always been a man of action. He’s a retired brigadier (now 84years of age), who served India during the wars with Pakistan and China in the 60’s, and retired from the army as a much sought after pathologist. I remember when I was a child, my sister and I would have a sort of game, where we would sit beside him while he studied, and the first person who gagged at the sight of horrifically damaged tissue or grotesquely bloodied organs, would essentially lose. We would be at awe at this man, with his wiry spectacles, peering poker-faced at purpled livers, or bubbling pancreas. Sometimes we would ask him the details of (then) mysterious objects, and he would shut his eyes, give a soft grunt and call out to our mom to get us out of the room. When we would laugh, knowing that we had approached something embarrassing to him, he would feign a stern expression and tell us not to ‘lof’ (laugh) or to be ‘estupid’ with his Rajasthani accented English.
It’s extremely difficult to get to know his secrets. Whenever I spend time with him, I feel like I’m on a mission to get to know his intricate past, and I successfully fail, of course. You can talk to him about anything in the world, but ask a question about how he was as a rebellious teen, and the subject is changed with an impish smile. He used to love quizzing kids about general knowledge-mostly concerned with names of the capitals of countries. He’s knows everything about politics and geography, history and entertainment. The last time I was with him, I was reading a novel and was suddenly taken by surprise; “This girl is finished now. Her career is over-look at what she’s become” , he said while Vidya Balan was jerking her flabby shoulder blades at the camera, in her latest ‘Item Number’. I agreed with him and we began to talk about upcoming films and directors and actors. It was really intriguing.
There’s so much of my Dada-ji in me. I hate spending money excessively, I love being in my room, reading and contemplating, and I love studying. No joke. I just picked up a book about Indian history to flip through, and I suddenly found myself with a pencil in hand, and a notebook on the side! It’s all in my genetic coding- can’t help it I guess!
Killing mosquitoes gives me the biggest high. I know a lot of you will cringe at that statement, take a look at my room-then you’ll truly be disgusted. It’s like a dead zone with mosquitoes slapped against the walls, smudged on the ground.
And just as I typed that I saw one meander past my screen. Operation Dead Wings now comes into effect. I switch off my fan/air conditioner-anything that can cause movement of air particles, because then the mosquito can just get pushed out of the way just as you try to smack it. The best method is to push the mosquito downwards or against a wall. Then Smack! You may use your slipper, a book you’re reading, or a ruler-like my mom did the other day. Anything with a flat surface.
Some people think this is really cruel. They say things like “But what makes you think you have the power to kill a living being?!” The thing is, that if I don’t make my move first, it will instead- when I’m asleep, that too on my face. And just look at the stats for malaria cases in the city this season. A website said :’ just like every mosquito doesn’t have malaria-every guy’s not a cheater’. Well come to south Delhi, then we’ll talk. Every guy is a bozo and every mosquito is a blood sucking malariaite.
This week has been tough. Mainly because there are so many changes happening. Finishing undergrad (I don’t care if I sound like a broken record) is momentous and the little cricks and turns of relationships only makes it more memorable. Suddenly everyone is their own selves and unanswerable to others. Those days of having a coffee salted with tears over what so-and-so said, sitting in depressive silence due to some universal hormonal wave-and then suddenly bursting out with laughter, has all come to an end. You don’t send text messages asking what your friends are doing more than once a week-that’s ‘old and overbearing’ now. You don’t have to share each and every episode of your life, we’re a little too busy with our own stuff. If you’re feeling low and being poop-faced about it, go do something with yourself. And that’s how one chapter ends and another starts.
Now all that’s left to do to tie up the lose ends, is to study for the finals. To pine over work that simply doesn’t have any intrinsic worth anymore.
I’m going to kill that bloody mosquito