Most men are afraid of associating themselves with anything feminine because in a patriarchal society, femininity is inferior to masculinity. In a culture where people say stuff like “Ladki hai kya? Mard ban, be a man!” or “Haath mein chudi pehenke rakha hai kya”. it is difficult to find men who embrace feminine things like nose rings or skirts. It takes guts for a mainstream Bollywood actor to be associated with feminine stuff. It takes guts for a mainstream Bollywood actor to say in his interview that he is hyper-sensitive.
Since childhood, Indians have been taught to take pride in OTHERS’ achievements and that’s the root of so many problems. It is okay to take pride in your religion and your culture but unfortunately, we have been taught to feel an unhealthy sense of pride in OTHERS’ achievements. That’s why some of us are so fanatical about religion, cricket and our on-screen ‘heroes’. I wish we were taught to feel a healthy sense of pride that comes from overcoming life’s challenges. A person with a healthy sense of pride won’t burn down cricketer’s effigies because he/she has already a lot of things from his/her own life to feel proud of! Unfortunately, a lot of Indians are taught to run AWAY from challenges (“Engineering kar le, future secure rahega”, “Shaadi karle varna log kya kahenge”) and hence, there is nothing to feel proud of!
We want artists to make good art but we forget that they need to make a living. We crib about lack of quality in mainstream movies but we download indie films illegally. We also forget that every time we download a movie or a book or a song illegally, we are making it difficult for an artist to to survive.
Being an introvert can be challenging…especially when you have to attend office parties. I had to attend one before Christmas and I was dreading it all along. It started with a few games, one of which I played. As the evening progressed, people started drinking and dancing. Few colleagues dragged me to the dance floor and asked me to dance…I ran away (I’m too shy!). After an hour, I slowly sneaked out of the office.I was the first person to leave the office (I do understand that some introverts like partying, dancing, etc)
We always worry about what people will think about us but we hardly think about who these “people” actually are. If we analyze deeply, we will find that we are mostly, subconsciously/unconsciously trying to impress white, heterosexual men. We might say that we want to impress our neighborhood aunty but let’s analyze: What if this aunty has a dark skin color and what if she is fat? What if she is “unattractive”? What if she had body hair? What if she is a lesbian? Will her opinion matter so much to us? Now notice how the beauty standards are constructed. A conventionally beautiful woman is thin, fair-skinned, has no body hair, etc. So we are not looking at the neighborhood aunty for who she is…we are actually looking at her from the beauty constructs of white, heterosexual men.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama will be giving a speech at KJ Somaiya College tomorrow. When I heard about it, my first reaction was, “I cannot miss this at any cost!” But my second reaction was: I’m just too tired to change two trains and travel. My third reaction was, “Come on! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!” but my fourth reaction was, ” I am just too stressed out! I just want to curl up in my blanket and read a book.” So I finally decided that I will not go. My first reaction after this decision was, “Shit I am missing out something really awesome” but I will stand by my decision despite all the F.O.M.O.
1. Children are expected to worship adults. Questioning/ calling adults out for inappropriate behavior is considered a sin.
The other day, I caught myself writing an extremely ordinary line for a social media post. When someone pointed it out, I felt extremely guilty for not trying my best, for not pursuing excellence in everything I write. After all, I chose this career because I love creativity! However, there are many things at play here. My colleague works from 9 30 AM to 12 30 AM (during movie promotions) and the clients still feel that she is not committed! Anyone who has worked in entertainment (or even advertising) will know that the sheer volume of work can overwhelm your brain. People don’t give a damn about your mental or physical health. When you work in such a culture, it is obvious that you will write ordinary stuff once in a while. As long as it doesn’t become a habit, it is okay! At the end of the day, you cannot be creative if you are not healthy, mentally (All the mental illness-creativity connections sound romantic but somehow, I’m not convinced!). I will keep pursuing excellence but I refuse to feel guilty for not giving my best sometimes. I forgive myself for not giving my 100 percent all the time. I will also try not judge my favorite artists for not putting in effort, once in a while.
Parents (especially Indian parents) are afraid of their children discovering self-love. Teaching your children self-love is in a way giving up your power and authority. If they don’t love themselves then they will forever try to please others. This desire to please can be used for manipulation (which is quite rampant in Indian culture). If children start loving themselves then they will start saying “no” and it is a sin to say “no” to your parents. If children start loving themselves, then they will start questioning traditions. They might start creating art without worrying about the imperfections. They might start saying no to abuse which is quite common in Indian culture. For many Indian parents, parenting is about power, not love.