I know, I did the disappearing act again. I am trying to finish writing my thesis at the moment and have been working very hard. I should be done next 2-3 months. Till then, expect a post or two once in a while but don’t raise them (the expectations) too much.
PB tagged me to do a post about seven random facts about me. The word “random” is a curious one: you can fit anything in that category. It’s like having a blank tiles (wildcard) in scrabble. You can choose any letter to represent it. Though once used, it can’t be changed. While here I have freedom to change the topic from point to point. Yet I think I will stick to one theme for this post. So my wildcard for this post is things that irritate or enrage me. So here are the seven things or people that irritate or enrage me:
1. ~> Husbands who don’t “let” their wives, or to use Indian term, give freedom to their wives to wear certain clothes. The reason they usually give is that other men especially Indian men would get wrong ideas about their wife if they wear certain clothes. And with Indian husbands, these clothes can be as decent and harmless as a knee-length skirt or a sleeveless top.
My problem is here two fold:
1. Freedom is not theirs to give. Clothes are a personal matter and everyone has a right to choose what they want to wear or what they feel comfortable in. How can anyone has a right to give or take away that freedom from anyone?
2. Their objection about what other men will think and hence the woman should dress in certain way: don’t you get reminded of Taliban and similar groups when you hear that phrase? Isn’t this punishing the victim? Instead of checking or punishing the predators in our society we have a habit of punishing the victims of those predators.
On a side note, I also have problem with the in-laws proudly announcing that they give their DILs all the “freedom”. When will they realize that till they think that it’s their prerogative to give freedom to the DILs, they can never truly be okay with the DILs independence.
2. ~> People who demand respect. Growing up we were often told that we should always respect our elders. I had to unlearn this lesson the hard way. And yes, there is a difference between being polite and respectful, and actually respecting someone. The first two come under the category of manners, which I agree one should possess however, respect is an attribute that one needs to earn.
For example: If a MIL go around spreading vicious rumors about her DIL or keep interfering with her life, she might receive a polite behavior from her DIL but she will never earn her respect. No matter what “tradition” says.
I think, people who demand respect are the ones who don’t deserve it. The one’s who deserve it, don’t have to demand it.
3. ~> The religious kinds (okay not all but quite a lot of them). They bug me as most of them are horrified by my lack of faith and think I don’t have any religious freedom.
See being an atheist/agnostic (I haven’t picked one yet) some how means I shouldn’t hurt other people’s religious beliefs. Hence I am supposed to go to the temple when I am with them, bow my head and go through all the rituals to protect their religious freedom and beliefs, because my beliefs on the subject matter don’t count.
Not having faith in God = not having any religious freedom.
And when I object, they are horrified and hurt. Most of them ask me, “What’s the big deal? If you do all these things, it shouldn’t matter to you one way or the other but it will mean so much to XYZ as they believe in all these things”.
I don’t have any problem with XYZ having whatever beliefs they want to have and I am not stopping them to do whatever they want but why, why on the Earth, do I have to do it because XYZ believes in it. I don’t believe in them, and I don’t want to do all those things. Don’t I have a right? Why do I have to respect other’s beliefs when they don’t respect mine?
And yes, it does matter to me to go through those rituals as I feel like a fraud while doing that. I feel like I am disrespecting my beliefs as well the beliefs of XYZ by going through that. Is that what they want?
4. ~> The clueless types. These are the people who have no idea, what-so-ever, about what’s happening in the world around them. Okay, I admit that I am not an ardent news-bug like quite a lot of my friends but I do keep up. I don’t get the people living in this shell where they block off any news about the world. It doesn’t affect them hence it doesn’t concern them. And even if it affects them, well, it doesn’t matter as they can’t and won’t do anything about it. If you ask them, their simple answer would be: “Politics doesn’t interest me.” or “Politics is too slimy and I don’t have any interest in it.”
Well, politics doesn’t interest me either. I find it too slimy, too and yes there have been days when I have refused to find out the news as I didn’t want to get more depressed than I already was. But reading news isn’t about being interested in politics or enjoying it. It is about being aware of your surroundings: the injustice and the stupidity. Unless we are aware if these things, how are we supposed to change them or at least try to change them. And if we don’t change them, aren’t we in danger of becoming a stagnant society?
Oh yes, we all want to be happy. We don’t want to be angry, frustrated and enraged at all times but is it really right thing to do?
The worst thing about these clueless people is their utter lack of any reaction to any news. At times, I simply want to shake them up. How can anyone be so indifferent?
5. ~> The oh-so-great-Indian-culture types, or rather, “the second-handers”. Don’t get me wrong. I am proud to be an Indian. No, really I am. There are quite a lot of things I do like about our country: for example, our school education system. I see children in Western world and their primary education system and I thank my stars that I was born in India. At least our 12th graders can read! But I digress.
I was talking about the second-handers, the oh-so-great-Indian-culture types. The types who do read the newspaper, but are incapable of forming an opinion. They have never stopped and thought about anything in life, simply accepted and parroted the opinion of others. So for them, everything about our culture is so great because they were told so.
For example: Remember the movie “Pardes”? The dialog between Atul Agnihotri and Mahima Chaudhary in Las Vegas hotel where he blames Indian culture of being so hypocrite? Remember the only answer Mahima Chaudhary came up with? A slap and a dialog: “Mere Bharat ko bura mat kaho” (don’t say anything against my country) or something similar. And somehow it was an acceptable answer! No counter arguments were given. Somehow, patriotism is an answer for logic.
6. ~> The oh-I-am-so-smart types. These are the calculating, shrewd creatures who want to use you. Friendship don’t mean anything to them. They meet you, measure you and think of all the ways they can use you. If you are helping kind, then for them you are an easy target and not a nice, helping person.
My problem: if I can help someone, I will and I don’t have time or energy to think about all the calculated moves they are making while congratulating themselves for my gullibility. And honestly I don’t mind helping anyone (even a stranger), the thing that pisses me off is their oh-I-am-so-smart attitude. That’s something I can’t take. I am taking out time to help them, least they can do is show some gratitude, instead I get this attitude, as if I am meant to serve them as I am so dumb while they are meant to rule the world as they are so smart. And surprisingly, world is full of such people. Or may be, I just keep bumping into such people.
7. ~> The gossipers. Do I need to elaborate more? Their only interest in me is getting a juicy piece of gossip, and then they wonder why I avoid them? Really? And it’s just not about gossiping about any personal details of my life that they can get access to but also the way that simple fact is twisted so that people can laugh at it. Whenever I am with these gossipers, I feel like I am on the stage while these gossipers and their community is pointing and laughing at me. Every sentence I speak in their company will be twisted and made into a joke.
They don’t stop at that either. They take pains to contact gossipers from my past and get details of my then life and then ask me about it. Again any statement I make will come back to bite me. I don’t know what they get out of all this. Do they even know the meaning of friendship?
There. I am done with the tag. Again, it’s free for all tag. If you want to write about 7 random things about yourself. Go ahead. Take the tag…
Am going back to my slumber. Will surface in 2-3 weeks again. Will see you then.