Just Another Day

So they’re telling me today’s reserved for you. Some call it tokenism, some call it a well-deserved pause for reflection and celebration. But who says you’re not important or not worth celebrating? On the contrary, I think we convey your importance to us everyday.

We use words like motherfucker and bhenchod to convey our frustration and displeasure. Today, these are used as a generic reflex, but just like a persistent rumor they started with truth at their core – that invoking the women in our lives is bound to hurt more than anything else. That’s because we value them more than anything else. The women in our lives, that is. A sentiment so inherently possessive it automatically excludes every other woman. But it’s not as if they’re pariahs in our eyes either. We shower a lot of attention, mostly unwanted. On street corners, in buses, outside your homes, even inside your homes. We seek you out like feral beasts, senses on high alert for a whiff of your perfume, the faintest sound of your laughter, a glimpse of your body – covered in rags or riches – we don’t discriminate.

We make virtually every street unwalkable with a constant shower of attention, like a hailstorm of knife-shaped icicles. Ubiquitous, unforgiving. Who says you’re not important to us?

We don’t just seek companionship from you, we have loutish friends for that. We don’t just seek attention from you, we have facebook for that. We don’t just seek love from you, we have indulgent mothers for that. We want everything that is you. Literally everything. We want to own you, possess you. Who says you’re not important?

(We worship the feminine everyday, celebrate goddesses and pray to them for wisdom and wealth. Perhaps we should’ve created a goddess of irony.)

And yet, there are the meek among us, who are sleepless at the mere glimpse of you casually tying your hair or carelessly flicking it over your shoulder. Those of us who turn to stone as you approach within a mile. Tongue-tied, heart racing as you pass by, paralyzed with wonder as you speak, marveling at the way your mouth moves, wondering if there’s a nice word for us in there somewhere. To acknowledge with a sense of finality that there’s nothing else in the world that moves like you do. There are those among us who will take the time to woo you, because it’s important to us that you say yes. Because we don’t like to feel like thieves. There are those among us speechless at your ability to rend your bodies to create life and then go about your own as if nothing happened. Except, we know what you sacrificed so we could run around the world proudly proclaiming our right to bestow a surname on one more human being. There are also those among us who don’t think any less of a woman who has chosen to nurture her aspirations instead of a human being.

We celebrate you everyday, for better or worse. (I admit, mostly worse.)

I want to tell you what I really, really want this Women’s Day. An equilibrium. I want to be able to tell you that you look good without being judged for my motives. I want to be able to call you a shitty, rotten person because you’re a shitty, rotten person, not because you’re a woman. I don’t want to grudge your professional success because you’re a woman, but acknowledge it because you’re good at what you do. I want your company because I’m worthy of it, not because I’m entitled to it. I want to make you feel secure about sharing the same space as me. I don’t want you to sit in your own train compartment or do business with a bank only meant for you. Or live a day meant only for you.

Someday, this will be just another day.

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10 responses to “Just Another Day”

  1. Aruna says :

    Thanks for writing this wonderful post.

  2. Sujit Patel says :

    so so beautifully written. moving. lovely. shared with women in my life.

  3. Valentine Logar says :

    This is beautifully said, I wish every man would read it and consider. Truthfully? I wish every young woman would read it as well.

    Thank you for writing it.

  4. chocoholicbookworm says :

    May your particular tribe increase. All the subsets, we can do without.

    Thank you for writing this. Just reading it made me feel special.

  5. Nonstopbakbak says :

    Hey D

    I will tell you why there is no equilibrium, just yet.

    When we are quiet and elusive, they chase us, but when we open up we are the ones chasing them. We get judged, day in and day out.

    When you talk a lot they question your modesty, but if you are quiet they question your integrity.

    When you are an achiever they complain that you are not a homebody, and when you are they question your motivation.

    When you party all night they question our morals, but when we decide to spend our weekend at home in our PJ’s they call us boring.

    When women are well endowed, they say oh we love skinny models, but when we are skinny they say oh duh we love curves.

    And they have the nerve to call is complicated.

    Phew! Done.

    Loved the post as always.
    Best wishes,
    S

    • colorsuffocation says :

      You are still talking about a different class of people S. The class that’s still a minority in India. Educated, urban class. Such a minority.

      What you cited aren’t the reasons why there’s no equilibrium yet. In fact, whatever you said is applicable to men as well. People judge men on all those criteria, if not in the same way. Your equilibrium pretty much achieved.

      There are people who are taught to treat women like shit. In their own households maybe.
      Why, there are IIT students who claim that girls get marks coz they are girls. (I’m in one, and I’m not exaggerating.)

      Also, separate compartments in train might just mean convenience of women. Some privacy, maybe they wouldn’t have to keep checking if their dupatta has moved an inch all through the journey. Some place to sit (too many men, the average crowd in that compartment would increase if it weren’t exclusive for the ladies), maybe they are on their period and really really need that space. Some protection from perverted men, maybe they don’t have to bear with a stranger’s dick shoved onto their asscrack throughout the journey.

      Too many things confused for what an equilibrium is. The comment, the article, the public opinion, the feminist groups – name it, you have that confusion.
      All we need is some respect. And legal backing too apparently, coz the world we get out to, isn’t full of people like you. Exposed to education and morale and decent culture.

      Dream of your Utopia. No problem. Wish for something more practical and at grassroot level maybe?
      Like, stop two year old girl children from getting raped? Because apparently, having a vagina in your body is becoming a fatal syndrome these days.

  6. ramaaramesh says :

    Loved, loved, loved this.

  7. kruttikan says :

    Daddy_san, you are so wonderful. It’s extremely reassuring to read your column because it’s just good to know there are still some decent, right-thinking, sensitive people around. Sincerely, shaken.

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