Monthly Archives: April, 2013

When people fail to embrace natural beauty

Throughout the conversation, he was constantly complaining about her curly hair, and wanted her to get to do artificial hair straightening. So did he mean to say she looked ugly in curly hair? If so, I would never agree to this stupidest thought of one of my ex-colleagues who visited me the other day, along with his medium sized family which included his wife and three kids. I was really happy to meet them, but was a bit taken aback by the kind way he commented about his wife’s long and healthy hair.  Although we talk over the phone often, I was meeting his wife for the first time, technically the second I would say, as I’ve seen her once, from a distance, when she came to the school (where I was teaching) once, to meet her husband. An averagely tall, naturally pretty, and curly haired woman, she neither looked chic nor like a village belle who badly needs a transformation to match with her husband’s newfound NRI status, after having received a job in Dubai. I don’t know what made him create the very false notion that having very straight hair would make a woman more beautiful, and was really feeling bad for his wife whom he was continuously making fun of, wanting her to have artificially straightened  hair.

Seeing her getting flustered with the constant comments about her ‘unruly’ hair, I tried changing the topic, but he swirled and came back to the very same subject again and again, which I think was a bit irritating and nasty. Although he was meeting me after a couple of years, he’s seen many of my photographs on Facebook, and has showered as much praises as possible for my straightened hair. Did I tell you that I had very curly hair before, just like his wife? It was so curly but cute, literally like telephone cord, however, I had to opted for artificial straightening for the sake of convenience, and not because I felt I would look bad in curly hair. So when he started comparing my hair with hers, it sounded a bit too odd and mean. Embarrassing me more, he wanted to me to ‘motivate’ her to straighten her hair! I couldn’t help but wonder why men can’t stop speaking and acting silly and puerile like him.

I really pity such people who give undue importance to looks, and have always felt the urge to shout-out to them about their stupidity.  Some men addictively idolize women who don’t mind wasting countless hours in front of the mirror every day, making sure their hair is flawlessly styled and their makeup is immaculately perfect. I think they should try and stop confusing what one looks like with their actual persona. Be it artificial hair straightening, makeup, or chic haircuts, they all depend on the likes, tastes, and conveniences of individuals,  and once can never force a person to do this , only because it looks good on someone else.

I don’t want to say looks hardly matter, and won’t say not to forgo one’s beauty rituals, but will definitely say not to fret and overdo. It matters and one has to look presentable, but not amounting to creating an outer layer of artificial persona for oneself, just to match with the fashion trendsetters. My friend’s wife is naturally beautiful, as far as I know, is a very humble woman, who is family bound and takes care of everyone much more than him. So what if she has a coiled or curled hair, she looks good and undoubtedly is the most lovable girl that he can have on earth.

My U.S. dreams

Last week I was flipping through the pages of my college diaries and saw one of the applications that I had send to a US company, hoping kick off a prospective career and built a stable future in the States, which was always my dream right from the beginning of my college days. If you ask me reason for being crazily in love with The States, I have a lot of things to say about the country which has always fascinated me with for one reason or the other, especially for the freedom to fairly and freely pursue happiness and success. With violence against women, gender bias, lewd comments and horrible eve teasing turning my place messy and less likable, I felt US would be the best place to get the right amount of liberty and happiness that one would always wish for. Seeing the abundance of prospective educational options, well paid jobs, good and neat places to live in, no dowry, no forceful marriages, rigid laws, less domestic violence and rapes, no ‘age-old’ hard and fast rules of society and community, and many other things that I’ve always loved to have in my country, my love for The States increased manifolds every day.  Putting together all these ‘pluses’ and many more enticing factors,  The States turned out to be the synonym of the dream land where I could fulfil everything on my bucket list of professional and personal goals. Although the September 11th attack too away a good share of my dreams and replaced it with chilling thoughts about safety and security, my US ambitions where never completely out of my mind. So, my first and foremost aim after college days was looking for job in the US, and tried as many options as possible to get myself a prospective profession. But sadly I failed everywhere. I was getting rejection mails one after the other from all the employers. Even after being well qualified, no one turned out kind enough to let me enter my dream land, and this made me shatter to tears.

My big dream about US slowly started fading out with the increase in amount of rejection mails. Things were not working out as planned and with no other option left, I made up my mind to take-up the job of a teacher in a nearby school, where I was getting just peanuts as salary.

Looking for a pretty decent salary, I changed a couple of jobs, and took up the job of a content writer in this city, but had my US hopes somewhere in the back of my mind. A few years went-by and soon the global recession started hitting the world, destroying the economy of the most as well as the least powerful countries with equal impact.  Many of my friends in US slowly started losing their jobs, and were forced to come back.  Being employed in a medium sized company here, I was thankfully saved from the hard blow of recession but thoughts about my long lost dream was back with a bang, but made me feel lucky this time for sticking on what I had in hand. I used to wonder why I was never lucky enough to get for myself a good job in US, but after seeing my friends return broken-hearted, I felt god has the right plan for me by making me stay-on here. Losing a well paid job is nothing short of a sudden huge blow on the face, leaving oneself shaken and terribly hurt, and this was what I was seeing on the faces of my friends.  Although most of them managed to find jobs here, there are yet to compromise with their losses.

Then followed a string of tragedies, hurricanes and bomb blasts to name a few, and my dream slowly lost its lustre and shine.  It soon became ‘lifeless’ and I moved on in life sans my US ‘fantasies’.

At present I am happy with whatever I am today, and have almost forgotten all my dreams about move out to U.S.  I think there is nothing happier than living a contented life, with family and friends around to augment the happiness. If at all someone is kind enough to take me to U.S. someday, I may perhaps visit some beautiful places and comeback to my homeland in no time. I know I would have a lot of problems and restrictions here, but considering the contentment that I am enjoying both on personal and professional front, all the other reasons take the backseat.

Olfactory dilemma

Being with a smelly person and finding no good way to let her know how bad she smells is nothing but a curse, and sadly I have been facing this invariably on every day in my hostel room. This not so good friend of mine, with who I share my room,  often sweats so badly but unfortunately takes least care to avoid being smelly.The odour is actually so bad that even I am blindfolded in a pitch-dark room; I will be able to track her down due to her her malodorous aroma. She takes bath everyday and still stinks like putrid egg. But in my effort not make her feel embarrassed, I badly struggle to hide my puking sensation whenever she’s around, thus not revealing how awful she smells. Smells can be subjective, but hers is way too out of the norm and extremely unbearable.  However I am tongue-tied due to the heavy dose of sensitivity involved in the matter, and live on the mercy of agarbathis and room fresheners, to avoid the foul stench.

She’s averagely neat yet smells pretty bad all day long, even after applying her perfume, which unfortunately is all the more irritating than her smelly clothes.  Being with a person who sweats profusely and smells nauseatingly is extremely disgusting, especially when I am back from work, as I will have to try and hold my breath until I open the windows, even after knowing about the flock of mosquitoes that would get in to the room through the windows.  I’ve have hardly seen her taking any deliberate effort to walking around stinky, even after my pretty long lecture about the need for having a good smelling perfume.

Being smelly is not often due to the lack of personal hygiene, as I’ve heard that even some health problems can make people sweat badly and smell like old shoes. But I think such people should extra sensitive about the way the smell, and should take utmost care about their hygiene, thus avoiding being stinky, much to others’ discomfort.  But so far, there’s not even been a single effort from her end, and this is freaking me out. The other day, I tried telling her not to pile her dirty clothes on the corner of the room, instead wash it regularly, and her answer was shocking. She said she was scared the colour of her newly bought clothes would fade, and for this reason washed her clothes only after wearing it a couple of times. Now that I have found the reason behind the putrid egg odour of her body and clothes, I was thinking about telling her openly about this, as I really don’t want to have any more stink in my room. But my friendship and civility overpowers this urgent need, thus making it unable to reveal this truth boldly.

Summer musings

Scorching summer is testing my sanity and making me crankier than ever, driving me crazy for all the known and unknown reasons for being a victim to the hottest climate. This is by far the worst summer season I’ve ever faced. Making matters worse in this extreme hot and humid climate is the constant scheduled and unscheduled power-cuts. Blazing sun and temperature soaring high, I’ve been on a constant battle with summer since last month, and have been trying all the possible options to cool-off and beat the summer heat.  But summer has taken its worst face this year giving me tough time than ever, particularly whenever I am out of the office. Thanks to the centralized air conditioner in the office  that I can feel at ease the moment I am in, and for this reason I always make sure to reach the office a bit earlier to relax a little before jumping in to my writing schedules. Still, evenings are the worst and them moment I am out of the cosy office ambiance, I feel as if I’ve entered in to a furnace, and often start having severe sinusitis problems, on being exposed to the hotness right from the cold and comfy office space.

Like every year, I’ve been ranting about my summer woes to everyone, irrespective of whether they are paying attention or not, but my dad is the only one who keep listen to all the madness that I keep blabbering on and on, while the others tactically escape from my jibber-jabber. The other day I was cribbing to my dad about the noise and fumes of fire crackers outside my house. Thanks to my neighbors who were enjoying the Vishu, and the ear-blasting noise and chocking fumes did nothing good but increased the temperature around. I know my rant is much worse than the summer heat, and at times feel so bad for him, for being left with no other option but to keep listening to my craziness. In fact, dad’s the best listener at home, be it summer or winter.  Mom’s never patient enough like dad, and being busy in kitchen for major share of her day time, she’ll just drive me away the very moment I start pestering her with my summer worries and keep getting on her nerves.

Summer gets scorcher than ever at night, making me sleep deprived most of the day, even if I take a good shower right before going to bed. It’s during this time of the year that I often feel like filling water inside a huge bucket and sitting inside it the whole day. Last day, I met one of my friends who shaved off her hair to escape from the blazing summer. The very happy smile on her face made me wonder how could she manage to walk around happily with her fully shaven head and not get questioned by the whole group of preachers of ‘age-old’ femininity concepts.  She felt so relaxed and calm that even I was tempted to shave off my hair save myself from summer, but to be frank, didn’t have enough courage like hers to face the world headstrong.

I’ve heard that summer season would last for another 30 days and I am really not sure how I am going to live-on.

“It’s a girl!” – Some thoughts on female foeticide

blogBelieving the baseless prophecy of a godman, who told them that she will give birth to a baby girl, they deprived her of motherhood and mercilessly ripped-off the foetus from her womb. It was so sad reading the heartbreaking news today, about a 22 year old woman who was kicked and beaten by her in-laws who were desperate for a male heir. It was even harder to imagine what the woman would have gone through, after having lost her baby. It’s been more than six decades since we gained independence, but sadly we’re not yet independent from the age-old woman hatred in the country. What I can’t stop wondering is the logic behind the immense passion for tigers and stray dogs in the country where people ruthlessly kill girl children.

The country has had remarkable progresses in all sectors, but not in the mindset of the people who still consider girl child as a curse and boys as a blessing. This is a really massive problem that no one is actually interested in sorting out, resulting in the tremendously increasing ratio of female foeticide. Daughters are still considered a liability, mainly due to the legally banned but widely prevailing practice of dowry. No matter the number of amazing progresses made here, the country is still carrying the rotten stinks of monsters-in-law, mammas boys who are just ruthless gold diggers and have absolutely no mercy on anyone other than themselves, stealthily hiding behind the candid photographs of engagements and weddings that are happening around. I just don’t understand the reason why some women are so keen on clinging on to troubled marriages even after knowing that her husband and in-laws do not want her to have daughters, and forcefully insist her take inhuman steps. I think such marriages really don’t have anything worth taking a chance, especially when one is pressurized and forced to kill her child. Sometimes I really wonder how people can be so biased, especially some of those women out there, who join the men in the house to humiliate and hurt their daughters-in-law for not giving a male heir.

Now let me tell you a bit of my experience. We’re two daughters and I am the eldest. I’ve always heard my relatives lamenting and sympathising at my mom for having two daughters, which according to them is a backbreaking responsibility. They were always seen making sad faces at my mom for not having a son to ‘responsibly’ take care of them.  As a child, such comments used to hurt me, but now I care a damn. Both me and my sister are now blessed enough to take good care of my parents and the male clan about whom my relatives were always seen going gaga are still on their road to success.

Millions of female foetuses get aborted every year, and there’s no one to question this savagery. Getting killed just because of being a girl is an unexplainable tragedy, and keeps affirming the sad fact that a girl child is still unwanted in India.

I still remember seeing an episode of non-fiction programme, aired a few months back, which showed the case of a doctor who used to do illegal abortion of female foetuses, that were later found floating in a river, wrapped up in polythene bags. So are we heading to world where there will be no women but only men all around?  I really feel this would happen sometime soon, when all the female foetuses get killed one by one, and only boys are born everywhere.