Monday, September 19, 2016

No means No.. always!


Well, for those who have seen the movie Pink, you will identify the title of the post and the image above.. as for others, am glad you haven seen the movie yet! While I enjoyed the movie, loved every dialogue and nuance, it left me baffled..

A quick synopsis of the movie for those wondering what am talking about...It talks about how ...
  • just because she wears modern clothes doesn't mean she is easy and will sleep with the guy
  • just because she is friendly with guys doesn't mean she is easy and will sleep with the guy
  • just because she has a drink with a guy doesn't mean she is easy and will sleep with the guy... 
The movie is about respecting a girl , her wishes and words...When she says NO, it means NO.. It does not give the guy the right to force her into getting physical...It has to be by invitation only and with mutual consent. While the girls in the movie are all single, this rule applies to married/other status women as well. Husbands also need to respect their wife's wishes and leave them be... its the basic!!

When I walked out of the theater, the only thought in my head was --- 

  • Do we actually need a movie to scream out to the world "no means no"?? 
  • How many people will actually change watching this movie?
  • Will it make any effing difference?
Heck, there was a group of guys sitting next to me in the theater and at a point one of them actually commented "abbeyaar, stop preaching already".. :O 

Maybe I have become cynical or just lost hope of this society ever changing~ And that is what pisses me off the most. It all boils down to the girl[single/married/others], at the end of the day she is blamed for anything the pricks do. She wears revealing clothes, she must have smiled at the guy, she hangs out with guys at bars/pubs, she is out late in the night, she lives alone/with roomies... la la laaaa....

I remember few years ago I wanted to move out and live on my own. I had a tough time trying to find an apartment cos most places were not open to renting it to a single gal.. Some just gave random excuse, while others asked questions "will you have guys visiting? will you work late? and when I told them I mostly worked from home, they were all the more sceptical.. They dint understand the concept of freelance and weren't sure I was going to make enough money .. Or maybe the thought I had a sugar daddy who would pay my bill...lol.. But luckily I found a place [my Bff moved to bombay and her dad rented the apartment to me no questions asked] :-) The society is always ready to point a finger at us gals, but never pause and think otherwise.. 

I do have guy friends, I am quite independent and don't mind going out with friends [guys/girls] and can take care of myself. Yes there are times when I get home late in the night... Well, am this angry cos I could so identify with the movie and the crux of it all cos I have experienced it myself. I had once met a guy who did not understand the meaning of No, inspite of me repeating it a gazillion times. He would say I hear you, I respect you but he kept touching and it came to a point where I literally had to bolt from the vehicle at a traffic signal... I was angry and sad not at what happened with me, but that such men exist in this world and seem to be the majority. What is worse is he messages the next day asking when we were gonna meet next.. $#@#%@%#%. I replied saying never! [am sure he would move to the next girl on the list and it din't make a difference if one girl turned him down]

It disgusts me when I read news of girls being raped, heck they don't spare babies even.. Oh let's not forget cows and horses and dogs as well.. I know I shouldn't generalise, but then everyday when you read such news it disgusts me that men are allowed to even exist in this world.. Why doesn't a tornado or some such wipe em out?..lol.. I am not against men, I have quite a few good friends who are guys but these incidents and behaviour has me questioning the logic of it all..

I know at the end of the day, the society the mind set needs to change, but someone needs to make a start somewhere.. At home, I know people trust me but they still cave in to the so called society and advice me constantly not to stay out late, or hang out with guys here and there. It gets to me, but I just nod and smile [gritting teeth inside]. Why are all so ready and find it easy to point fingers at the girl?Why don't we blame the guys? Or worse is there are statements such as "men are like that, they think and act only with their d*, so it is you girls who need to act wisely and safeguard yourself.." are you serious? Wtf... I want to scream at people who preach, who say grow your hair out, cover your tattoos, wear full covered salwar pyjama etc...I have lost track of the number of times I have turned back and asked " Err, havent you been eating news? all kinds of girls get raped and killed, it does not matter what you wear.. The mentality is what needs to be sent to the laundry... "

I am gonna blame it all on Adam & Eve.. I wonder if Eve said No when Adam made advances, if he neglected that and that is the place where it all began.....

[incidentally this is used as a dialogue in the movie as well]


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The drama around emergency contraception....

About a fortnight ago, a friend [someone I have met a couple of times] messaged me in the morning asking if I could get a “morning after” pill. I have never really bought any nor was I aware of the kinds available in the market, and so went over to the nearest pharmacy and asked him for one. He stared at me for a minute and said they are all banned ma, you wont find them here any more. I was stumped, dint give up, went to the nearest Apollo pharmacy where I was told the exact same thing.


I dint know what to do. I wanted to help her and so messaged a friend who is a doc asking about this. He in turn told me that most places do moral policing and will judge which is why they wont give me the pill. He also gave me a term [an ingredient] to ask for at the nearest Apollo. I called and checked but they dint have any and told no stock, some such or it wasnt not available. While I was  not franctic or panicky, I did not know what to do and was quite puzzled about this whole thing.

I thought to myself “a girl should have a choice right.. she needs to know there is some protection available in case she has unprotected sex. Yes I agree that having unprotected sex is a stupid thing but then we all do such things in life and  by banning the “emergency contraceptive” the government was almost punishing the woman for doing something that isn’t really wrong.. Heck, atleast she is sensible enough to know she can prevent unwanted pregnancies.

As a last resort, I took to the platform that I thought would be able to help me- Twitter. I put up a post asking where I could get my hands on this pill and what was the alternative. I was amazed at the kind of responses I got.

Surprisingly not a single person gave lectures or waved their finger disapprovingly. Almost all suggested pills such as iPill, Unwanted 72 and Clr-72.. I in turn would reply saying none of them are available and I was told they are all banned here. Infact one guy even suggested going to Blore or Pondy to pick up one in that case. A friend messaged in private suggesting the girl go meet the gynaec at Apollo, who was very nice, would give consultation and a prescription for something that would work.   Oh and one friend shared this link as well [an old article but a good one]http://www.beingtheparent.com/top-8-emergency-contraceptive-pills-in-india-top-brands-and-effectiveness/

I was very grateful to all these suggestions and friends who came forward to share my post and offer inputs. Some went on to recommend medical stores that they were sure would have a pill, while another told me to contact her next time I needed something.  During the twitter conversations, I also approached our usual pharmacy and he came to my rescue. Managed to find a company that made a pill and got me one- Postpone 72 was the name of the pill. I picked up two of them and gave them to the friend and also told her to go meet the doc, which she did with her boyfriend the very next day~

Why are the Government/governing bodies making life so difficult for a girl? As it is we have enough issues to deal with without them throwing us off the loop like this.

So what if the girl wants to have sex and not have a baby?
So what if she gives in and does something stupid..
Do we brand her a slut?
Why does the society judge a girl but a guy is not questioned?
Why does the girl made to feel shame if she has sex with a guy [someone she loves/cares abt/is dating/engaged to/etc]


Sad that we live in a country that is so closed… Girls are constantly told what to do, what to wear, what not to do… pah, the list is endless..

Friday, August 26, 2016

Battle with the body - V


Everyday is a new day, and every new day brings with it few interesting experiences... Right? Well, what can I say..  This post is gonna be a bit of a rant, so be warned... 

I have always been on the heavier side, and am tall as well. So this has me standing out no matter where I go. But then, hey it is me and am ok with me.. What is your effing problem?Am not in your space, am not obstructing your path and you just wanna mock.. Why? Cos am different.. 

[image courtesy https://thesnotgreensea.wordpress.com/tag/body-shaming/]


I have lost count of times when I walked off angry, but these days I don't. 

If I catch someone staring at me- be it on the road or elsewhere, I stare back till they turn away.. 

If I catch someone pointing and laughing, I walk up to them smile say hello and then walk away.
[I have actually had people apologise few seconds later or cringe and walk away] 

You know what, I can climb 6-8  flights of stairs and not be panting for my life... 
I can walk 10kms and not be ready to collapse.. 
How many of you can do that?

Actually none of these matter... What is it going to take for people to take on the "live and let live" concept? It is so easy.. You just go about doing your thing and not be curious about others... Simple~ 

One thing over the past few months I have realised is that it is not just people who are big that get mocked/ridiculed, people who are skinny face the same thing, except in their case it is with a dash of sympathy or worry while for the others it is with disgust..


And true to a comment I received on the post, many a times it all starts at home, with your own family- what do you when they treat you differently? pass comments? That is when it really hurts. You wonder why they don't understand, why they don't bother to understand.... Does it not matter? or has the Society [which they fail to realise has been created by them] fogged their minds to an extent, they have stopped thinking for themselves? I have a few friends who are also on the heavier side [ men and women] and I shudder every time I hear someone around them comment on their size.

There are a few women who are on the heavier side because they would have just had a baby.. or dealing with PCOS, thyroid or any of the million health conditions that leave them lost and having no control over their body's tendency to lose/gain weight..

Oh no, none of that matters.. We[the morons, pricks, people who pass comments] will assume they eat and keep eating which is why they are big... hahaha... shows how small your brain is and how stupid you really are.

I agree that being big does have a few health implications, but if someone has none of those, they get to lead a happy life, without the prying eyes lurking about...


REMEMBER...





Friday, August 19, 2016

Battle with the body - IV

From the minute you wake up in the morning till you call it a night, there are people telling you what to do, what to eat, what to wear, what to buy, what not to do, what not to eat, what not to wear, what not to buy and well, the list is endless.. But why? What is their problem in life or is it that they don't have a life? 

I do agree some of them have good intentions, but for many it is about "Am being seeing with you outside, or you are a reflection of me[parents esp] and so you need to look a certain way for it to be ok with the world and its grandmother/grandfather/uncle/and whoever else...." That is so unfair right? What do they know about our lives, what do they know about our body.... Who died and made them king/queen of the world?

OK, ok, lemme not get carried away... Its jus that have been receiving quite a few emails/comments/ messages on this topic that it makes me sad we live in a world where so much is defined by one's appearance... 

While I process all the mails and messages I have got, I came upon this image that sums up pretty much all that we go through in life, courtesy #Bodyshaming... 



[Image source- http://boggletheowl.tumblr.com/image/62711162750]


Stay tuned for more....

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Battle with the body - III

Well, I have received quite a few emails on this topic. Quite surprised, but am glad I have been able to give them all a platform to share on. I have come to realise that this is a topic that many are touchy about, just that they don't want to talk about it openly, for fear of being ridiculed.

This time I got a mail from a guy and he asked me to change his name.. His story gives a different perspective to Body shaming. One thing I have learnt for sure is that people don't think........ period. Anyways, here goes..

Hi Aarti

This is S, and wow, I was zapped when I read this post. Infact it was my wife who shared the blog with me. She mentioned this was a topic that would interest me. I don't really spend too much time online, don't have a Facebook account and all that. But love reading and so this had me interested. When I was done reading the 1st two posts on this topic, I had a lightbulb moment and here I am sending you an email at 1am. 

I come from a family of 4 kids, I have a brother and two sisters, am the oldest. And am the leanest of them all, my parents are average built while my siblings swing between average to slightly heavy. I am lean, skinny, lanky and well, you get the picture. All my life I have had people tell me am too thin, there has to be something wrong with my body. Ottada kuchchi [Cobweb stick], palli [lizard], odanju vizhaporan [break and fall skinny boy] are some words that I grew up listening to and hate them with a vengeance. 

I still remember the growing years, mom would make badam milk and horlicks for me in the morning, along with breakfast in an attempt to fatten me up. I also have nightmares of being taunted by kids in school and this continued all the way to high school. It was around the 10th std that I was hit hard, I started failing exams, I would refuse to go to school, which forced my parents to go visit the principal and have a talk with them. Principal in turn shrugged their allegations off saying "its all just kids, you know how Kids are, leave it, don't make a big deal of it." I ended up repeating 10th std and then went on to clear the exams. Slowly I was becoming withdrawn, did not have any friends, did not do anything outside of school. Around the time I was starting my 12th std, a friend's mom approached my parents and told them to take me for counselling, teach me how to handle the world and not let that get to me. 

Luckily for me, even though my parents did not think this was necessary, my dad's older brother convinced him otherwise and I attended about 12 sessions with a counsellor. No medication, just talking and learning how to accept myself for who I was and to not let others hurt me with their words. Even then it took me a while to actually walk past these groups of boys in school and not make a dash for the class to avoid hearing them. But by the time we were nearing 12th std final exams, I was able to turn a deaf ear. After a few such incidents, the boys stopped calling me names. it was almost like they kept taunting me cos I kept reacting.  That is when it hit me that I should stop reacting and not care a damn. Well, it has been a decade or more since then, and today I still remain skinny, my wife does tease me about it at times but I know she is not being mean. There are times we go shopping and I look for XS in certain brands and she laughs her head off. Oh and we are expecting our 1st baby, soon... :-) Can't tell you how excited about it.. We are also going to make sure our baby grows up respecting everyone just as they are... 

As for the rest of the world, there are a few who still pass comments and snide remarks, but I pause, look at them smile and walk away.  I actually get a cheap thrill from it. 

Guess what am trying to say is I know what it feels like to be mocked, and don't understand why people are so mean towards others, just because they look different. So what, so who cares, why is it their business to make fun/comment on someone's looks... Who the off died and made them rulers of the world. All I have to say to them is get a life and get out of mine... 

Keep sharing Aarti.. Off i go to plan the week ahead.. 

Regards
Skinny boy. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Battle with the body - II



It has been a few days since I started this series on Body Shaming, and I got an email last evening from a person[What a surprise, I dint think anyone would actually read/respond]....Here goes,

Hi Aarti, 

I read your post and the first thing that came to my mind was "Wow, finally someone is talking about it.. I am not alone in this world, going through such partial treatment day in and day out.I am sending across my life story, do share it on your blog.

I am 21 years old and have just completed Undergraduate program from a leading college in the city. I am hoping to work for atleast two years before going on to do my Masters. Well, I live about 12kms from college and so commute via the local Bus. It is a nightmare every morning and evening, the distance from the bus stand to home is about a km and while I walk from and to, I keep hearing comments about my body. There is a small section of the road with a tea stall, a group of men [not even boys] stand there ogling, staring and commenting at every single girl/woman and when I walk by there will be some snide remark [it has come to a point where I now wait for them to comment as I am nearing the corner]. 

It would be "yabba, yaaruda intha poosanika [who is this pumpkin], aiyo bayama irukku [oh God, am scared], unga veetla arisi evlo vangarangamma [how much rice do they buy in your house] or some such degrading term followed by laughter for a good minute or so... earlier, when I would hear these, I would run home and cry, locking myself up in my room. When I spoke to my parents about it, they told me to keep quiet and not get into trouble. An aunt even commented"yes, if you are fat, people will comment, do something and lose weight". That hurt more..

For as long as I can remember, I have always been on the heavier side [I now weight 76kgs]. Both my parents are heavy built and so is my brother. It is perfectly fine that my brother is big built, but not me. I am not very tall [5ft 3"], which does not help. I have even pleaded to my parents asking if we can move to a different locality, but no use. My dad grew up in this house and says he will live his life here only. 

While earlier it used to hurt like crazy and I would cringe, these days I just don't care. Sometimes I have my headphones plugged in [even if am not listening to music/radio] and walk home. Once a neighbour uncle who happened to pass by at the very time I do heard them and told them to behave. He told me "don't bother about them, jobless uneducated fools".

I have often wondered why am I being singled out like this. Just because I don't fit into the so called box [ figure]. I wear salwar kameez with dupatta everywhere, I wore a saree once and got mocked like crazy by these guys and few others [including some women] in the bus and roads. There are quite a few like me in my college who face harassment and few others who joined hands with us to fight this nonsense. During my final year of college one day, 4 girls from my class came home with me. I knew what to expect as we approached the tea stall, and the minute one of them opened their mouth I told my friends to go ahead, while I marched over and told them how sad their lives must be that they pick on me/other girls day in and day out, we told them it hurt when they made those comments and how would they feel if someone behaved the same way with their women. .... <few minutes of silence>.. one guy came forward apologised and told others to apologise to me and from that day on I don't hear a peep from them. [I bolted and joined my friends who were waiting ahead..they were stumped seeing what I did and I have no idea where I got the guts from] Small victory I agree... I wonder what needs to be done to change the world. 

I have landed a job and I join in a month's time..Hopefully things are better hereon. Maybe you could also speak to a psychologist to understand why people behave the way they do ~~ Shall be following the series... 

Thanks a bunch for being our voice...
R



I have one more story to share, and this time it is a guy's point of view.... Next post~

Me

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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)