5 Reasons Why My Solo New Year’s Night at Home is The Best

So, as you are settling into 2019, I hope you all had a wonderful celebration to welcome 2019, in your own way.

Usually, there is so much pressure to go out, do something fun and live an extraordinary night #fomo This is problematic in many ways but mostly for your mental health.

If that’s what you like, it is great but before you instantly agree to it…take a few moments to read about my solo new year’s celebration at home and ponder.

1- Home cooked Chilli Chicken with Toasted Buns VS expensive restaurant food

So, nothing is more crucial to a celebration than food. I am a bit of a chef and love my own cooking. Hence I made one of my all-time favorite, Indo-Chinese style Chilli Chicken.

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Making restaurant reservations for months, paying super high prices and staying on point in uncomfortable tight/formal evening wear…. compare that with an evening in sweatpants, bare feet, home cooked, no wait, authentic meal. Yum, I always pick the latter.

2- Boring movies/entertainment, super expensive VS Netflix and solo chill 😉

The next important thing after food is your entertainment. The hours that build upto midnight are crucial. You are supposed to have fun YOUR WAY and what’s better than your own sofa, lots of cushions, and movies picked by you with no commercials and no extra prices to pay.

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My choice of movie was PK, Amir Khan’s legendary film. I know it’s a lil old but I had not yet found time to watch it and lucky for me, now that it’s on Netflix, I loved watching every second of it. My kind of entertainment, with my kind of food.

3- Cold and wet streets VS cozy home sofa with loads of blankets, cushions, and heating

I know this is highly subjective and I am not saying that my way is the best way. But when it comes to ambiance, I always go for non-crowdy spaces. Watching a LIVE firework somewhere amongst a million other people has its own charm. But it gets old. Not something that one can enjoy every single year. Good to try once in a while especially when you visit some iconic city. But otherwise, as you age, you rather be in your cozy spot rather than large crowds for hours in the cold. It really is so much more nicer.

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4- Better views of fireworks from different angles VS from the crowds

This might again be up for debate but watching the midnight fireworks on LIVE TV is a lot more fun because you get to see all these different angles and you are not holding your phone trying to record it, getting pushed or groped among endless crowds.

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5- Do YOU VS do what the crowds on Insta and Snapchat and FB are doing

No doubt this is the age of social media. And when you see all your friends on beaches, music concerts, under landmark buildings etc. you feel like you are lame and people will judge you for being boring or uninteresting or whatever.

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But let’s face the facts here. Like me, many of you might not be in the best of health to stay on your feet for 3-4 hours or more in public areas. Many of us have visible and invisible illnesses. Many of us also have money constraints or families to care for. Staying outdoors until midnight with small children or elderly people is risky and frustrating too.

Other than the above restraints, there is also an internal mood of the soul, depending on the kind of person you are. If you are someone like me who prefers quiet places without crowds and dim lighting… you don’t need to beat yourself up just cause you are not the life of the party. I am not a drinker myself but I don’t see why if you were a drinker, you could not do even that by yourself. Probably that way you’d have more control over your consumption and save yourself from a terrible headache on the first day of the year.

The point I am trying to make is DO WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE DOING AND NOT WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA TELLS YOU. Be happy with what you have and who you have. Life is precious. I know at least 2 people who died on the 31st itself and could not see the morning of 2019. Life is precious. Don’t spend it living up to someone else’s standards. Set your own standards and find happiness in the little moments.

And most of all- learn to enjoy your own company because you are all you got. I know countless people who are so shit-scared of being on there own, they chose to live with partners that mistreat them like slaves. But the fear of being on your own keeps them in ‘doormat’ position.

That’s my message to you. I hope you all have a great year ahead.

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Why did Dr. Ford or Tanushree not speak earlier about sexual assault? #MeToo

Originally published on Youth Ki Awaaz.

‘Since last week when Tanushree Datta’s interview claiming Nana Patekar assaulted her have caught fire, the most common attack against her (other than her character assassination) has been this narrative of time lapse. 

I can’t recall how many comments I’ve seen from people on social media and how many celebrities have mentioned this time thing that if Nana assaulted her she should have done something then and there. 

What’s the point of speaking up after 10 years?

So in this article, I wish to clarify. 

First of all, as confirmed by Janice Sequeira the journalist, an outraged Rakhi Sawant and devils advocate Ganesh Acharya himself: it is 100% true that TANUSHREE did complain then and there. 

First to the choreographer then to the director and then to the Artists and producers association including the cops. 

So all those people who are saying that this media trial is useless and she should have taken a legal road then and there; she did and guess what happened? Nothing!

Instead, thanks to the corrupt legal system, she and her family got re traumatised over and over again to the extent that she flees the country and her career ended. She has about 40 films signed but film sets got so traumatic for her, she decided never to return. 

Now that this has been cleared, let’s assume that she didn’t speak up then and is only coming out now. 

Lets say it’s been 20 years. 

Or may be even 30/40/50 years. ‘

Continue reading here.

5 Reasons Why People Hate Valentine’s Day (I Don’t) ;)

It’s the 14th of February, the day young couples in India are publicly humiliated, beaten up or forced to marry while the chocolates and flower prices touch the sky and cheesy couples share cheesy love messages on social media while sleeping in the same bed next to each other within a distance of 2 inches (yet express their love on social media).

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While you see plenty of people having their first honeymoon phase years together, there will be plenty of unhappy couples and also a ton of singles.

Many single people who have been in awful relationships celebrate their solo status. Others are mad at all the people who are in love and get bitter at them.

 

From what I notice, there are 5 main reasons why those people love to hate Valentine’s Day:

#1 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- Lack of someone to love, so let’s be mad at those who do

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It’s the same logic that if I don’t have something, I will spread rumors about it and hate others who do. Simple bitterness at its best. Since the advent of Facebook, this has become way easier since our love lives are on display. So people can just spy on other peoples timelines and get jealous in their own home for free. Best time pass for valentines evening.

#2 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- some moral/religious issues

This one I absolutely despise. People do all sorts of immoral and so-called ‘against culture’ activities and when it comes to two people choosing each other and loving, then all of a sudden the moral fabric and the cultural history is falling apart.

I call BS.

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#3 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- unable to cope with the pressure of impressing your loved one

There are plenty of people on the fence, undefined relationships. Valentines Day can put a lot of pressure on people because they fear their partner might be expecting something big and if they failed to impress them, they would hurt their partners’ feelings. Or worse, look like a cheapskate and uninterested person. Fair enough.

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#4 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- ‘why should there be one day for love’ brigade

There are idiots who’d protest against Valentine’s Day to argue that one must love their partner all the 365 days of the year and that celebrating this one day is stupid and meaningless.

I called such people idiots because Valentine’s Day is the death anniversary of St. Valentine who was executed for getting people married in the times when it was illegal. You can Google the history if you already don’t know about this. Hence, this day is celebrated in his memory and has historical significance.

In the modern day, where life has gotten too busy, it is just an excuse to find some moments to spend with your loved ones, to do something special for them. Of course, whoever you celebrate this day with, you love them all through 365 days, that’s obvious, but you don’t go for a date night, or buy them flowers, or gifts every single night of those 365.

It is nice to be reminded that there is love, there is something to celebrate and cherish, so why not?

#5 Reason to hate Valentine’s Day- Capitalism

Can’t argue with that.

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So, my lovely readers, whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, please remember these 3 things:

1- Your first love should be yourself. If you cannot spend time alone with you, then you need to work on that first before even thinking of getting into a relationship.

2- When you do get into a relationship, give it your all. Cherish it and be faithful, no matter what.

3- Love doesn’t hurt, and if it hurts, it isn’t love.

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We Need To Talk About Men’s Entitlement to Women’s Explicit Photos & Videos

“A recent study has shown just how common it is for teen boys to coerce or threaten girls into sending nude pictures: an analysis of 500 accounts from 12- to 18-year-old girls about negative experiences sexting found that two-thirds of them had been asked to provide explicit images — and that the requests often progressed from promises of affection to “anger displays, harassment and threats.” In an article about the study for The New York Times, psychologist Lisa Damour writes, “Teenagers are drafted into a sexual culture that rests on a harmful premise: on the heterosexual field, boys typically play offense and girls play defense… Most schools and many parents already tell teenagers not to send sexualized selfies. But why don’t we also tell adolescents to stop asking for nude photos from one another?”

‘Send Nudes’- A New Study Shows How Often Boys Pressure Girls For Explicit Photos

While I was ending school, personal mobile phones were becoming common and home video cameras were still a luxury for some but gaining a place in society slowly.

As the use of technology grew, so did the pressure from men. Sometimes this would be for sending explicit pictures, sometimes to do video chats in skimpy clothing and other times just sex chat with explicit language.

I always had reservations and never, ever gave in to such pressure simply because I am a shy person and never felt that the pressure and threats from the man in question were a reason enough for me to withdraw my personal boundaries. In fact, I blew off several guys who were pretending to be ‘friends’ but turned out were just perverts that today we call ‘fuck boys’.

Years passed and now I am in my early 30s.

But guess what?

The pressure from men has not gone down.

Recently, I was catching up after 10 years with a guy friend who I had never met but had text and Skype conversations with at times. This guy had revealed his liking for me in the past and asked if I would consider marrying him.

Considering that I am still single and have no plans to tie the knot, you can imagine how ridiculous the idea of marriage was to me back then.

Anyway, he got married and now has 2 young daughters about 6 and below, the pictures of whom he often shares on his timeline.

Catching up with him after 10 years on FB Messenger was a delight. I thought it would be good to know how life has treated him and exchange some grown-up talks on a lazy evening.

Unfortunately, he had different ideas.

For him, the conversation was about how awful his wife was despite working as a teacher and looking after the household chores entirely alone. And then it came down to turning the video camera on and posing.

I agreed to talk on a WhatsApp call after a ton of please..please and begging.

And while we talked he was worried that if he wanted to talk the next day, would I still take his call. Actually, his wife was visiting her parents for a few days and he wanted to make the most of his time by flirting with women.

The next day when he called, I was in the bathtub and when he began pushing for the camera, I told him I cannot and knowing about the bathtub his pervert inner self just jumped out of his balls and he began pushing madly to turn the camera on.

The guy is blocked till eternity so that was the end of that. But did it really have to go like that?

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Why do men feel it is OK to bluntly ask women to send nudes or sext or come on video and worse, why do they handle the rejection so bad?

The article I talked about in the beginning was about teenagers but even as grown-ups, that entitlement from men does not stop, does it?

And I have no words for the manipulation they try to trap you in when you say NO.

They will appear all sad and try to make you feel sorry and pity for them.

Then they will try anger and the ‘I won’t talk to you either’ threats.

And ultimately when they go out of patience, they even abuse and say all sorts of curses because they did not get their way.

We are talking about teenage men but grown-up men, father of two young daughters… when they have no respect for boundaries and exploit every second the wife is away to flirt and fuck with other women, what can we expect them to teach the younger generation of men?

 

 

3 Things Men Must Learn From Liam Neeson’s Rape-Revenge Fantasy and Racism Row

I’m sure you may have come across this news about Hollywood actor Liam Neeson’s comment on a movie junket about this deep revenge urge.

Basically,  a friend of his who was raped about 40 years ago had confided in him and Liam talked about his reaction to the news.

And his reaction had 3 major points:

1-The urge to lash out
2-The need to defend her honor
3-The desire for revenge

Before we go ballistic on him criticizing him, calling him a racist, let’s focus on the fact that Liam was not ‘caught’ being racist. He in fact admitted to having this hatred that he felt. There are 3 things to note:

1- Admitting the fact that this happened
2- Willingness to change and learn (still continues)
3- Sought help after

Trevor Noah has the most logical take on this issue which summed up to: people have taken it more seriously than they should because it’s Liam Neeson. Also, Liam going around saying he’s not a racist is just making it worst.
Of course, it was racism, hatred against the entire community for the crime of one.
Muslims would secretly be muttering “been there, felt that”!

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But the point here is that aside from the race aspect, the most important thing is absolutely undiscussed.
What help did he offer to that friend?
Did she visit the doctor?
Did she get the appropriate help from the police if she reported?
Could she report it?
What was it /would have been the consequences of openly admitting to being a rape victim?
How did his Catholic community treat rape victims and what help was provided?

Just like this incident, a million movies are made where the rape of a woman is used merely as a plot point that unleashed the wrath of the powerful male protagonist and women are reduced to mere props and eye candy.

What men need to learn from this incident is that this is NOT ABOUT THEIR REVENGE THEIR FEELINGS, THEIR HONOR OR THEIR WOMEN.

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It’s about the woman in question and for once in your lifetime just please take the backseat and ask what does she want. How she feels. What could you do to help?

Don’t make it impossible for her to share her pain with you because she may already be feeling guilty (as society does a very good job of blaming women for rape) , upon that when you lay the burden of a revenge murder or revenge rape on her, she may take her secret to the grave but never share it with you as she may fear you going to prison and that would also be somehow upon her.

Does that make any sense at all, guys?

What Liam did well was:
Admitting his act
Talking about bigotry
Urging to have difficult discussions on race and toxic masculinity
Willing to learn and look for the teachable moment

The 3 things you should thus learn from this incident are:

1- When a woman confesses her pain to you, keep your savior/knight in shining armor cape aside and just be there for her, empathize with her.

2- After listening, ask what she wants, what is her wish, how does she want to deal with it. Don’t force her to tell the police or family and neither force her to hide. Let her take the wheel of her life and let her decide what she feels is best for her.

3- Don’t lash out to hurt other people in order to take some sort of ‘revenge’. Not against the people of that race/religion and not against the women of the rapists family either.

I had a friend who once confessed to her husband about her rape incident and the husband was insistent that he will have revenge by raping the sister of the rapist.

Ultimately, it is an innocent woman who will suffer the consequences of a man’s actions. Please don’t fulfill your rape fantasies and justify them as ‘revenge’ for the pain caused to your wife/girlfriend.

Yes, it is awful to see your friend or wife as a victim of rape, traumatic even.

But remember you are not the primary victim here. Try to be there for the rape victim who actually suffered that trauma instead of acting out in a way that is the opposite of helpful.

Why Both Hindus & Muslims Need To Shove Their Judgments About Khatija, A.R. Rahman’s Daughter

So, only if you live under a rock, you may not have heard the song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire movie and be unaware of world-famous musician A.R.Rahman.

These days his daughter is in the news and not for the reasons one might expect.

She was spotted in a complete Hijab in a couple of places and people took notice.

She was also invited for a show on TV where she interviewed her Dad in a hijab.

Quint had a blog story about it.

Both Hindus and Muslims in India had opinions on her attire and both need to just f”””k off, excuse my french.

Just take a look at the comments under the Quint article.

 

 

 

To sum it up for you, Muslims defend her hijab because ‘a woman is a pearl, chocolate, gold (some object that needs protection).’

And for non-Muslims, the judgment is all for being non-progressive, anti-women and offensive.

IT IS NEITHER!

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Khatija is an enterprising young woman who is very much capable of making her own choices and decisions. And her hijab is NOT FORCED by the males in the family.

It is as normal as a man wearing pants to work. Whether women wear skirts, saree, pants or hijab, it is great as long as she is the decision maker behind that attire.

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And for non-muslims, please focus on your religion because not one religion in the world is without sexist traditions and customs. So let the woman do what she wants and please get this stupid notion out of your mind that every woman who wears a hijab is somehow living under Al-Qaeda. THEY ARE NOT!

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Muslim women are NOT forced by Islamic laws to wear a hijab.

Islam prescribes ‘modesty’ and respect for the opposite gender, which is mandatory on BOTH GENDERS and not just women.

So inquire first before passing judgments, they just make you look stupid.

And lastly, as a believer of equal rights and feminism, if you demand women’s rights to wear what they want, I hope those rights include a woman’s right to wear hijab and a man’s right to wear skirts… not just white girls in bikinis.

Can people living in India support Pakistan in a cricket match

A few weeks ago Virat Kohli made some remarks that went viral and annoyed a lot of Indian cricket fans.
Growing up I was always oceans away from cricket as it didn’t interest me at all however whenever there was a match between India and Pakistan, there used to be a unique buzz in the air.
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Even in my home where no one liked cricket, everyone was excited about the results.
There were talks of some bad Muslim families who supported Pakistan and I remember my mom being furious at that. She’d scream “if you eat and earn in India, you’re supposed to root for India”. It seemed absolutely fair and natural.
That would be absolutely traitorous to be an Indian, live in India and support another team.
My naive, cute, patriotic self was happy in her bubble world until I traveled abroad and lived in the UK.
The English cricket team is one of the finest I hear and the match between India and England have that special backdrop of Lagan movie hence the deeply embedded patriotism bursts when the match is on.
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I found it weird that Indians who live in the UK, earn in the UK, struggled and acquired the British passport are rooting for India when the cricket match is on.
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This confused me to bits.
When one changed their nationality and don’t have their bread coming from anywhere else but this country, why would they not support it?
It feels very natural for us to call someone a traitor who lives in India and supports any other nation.
But when we live in other countries we want all the liberty and freedom to support countries that we want.
What kind of patriotism is this?

Indians in the UK, literally have their festivals celebrated, their restaurants, their cultural and caste-based organizations and groups. They parade around Piccadilly chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Great.

But if there is a ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ or Long Live Britain on the Indian soil… there’s sedition charges and national shaming on the media channels.

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I fail miserably to understand why one is traitorous while the other is a civil right.

Can A Woman Ever Really Have A Room Of One’s Own? Sasural or Mayka, which one? Neither?

When Virginia Woolf might have written about the need for a woman to have a room, a corner, a place of her own… I am not sure if she knew how relevant this idea would be for years after her.

A friend of mine who is considering divorce recently was talking about her ordeals and how she felt like an imposter, a bother in her husbands home where she lived for about 5 months after they got married.

She was told what to do when to do and during a fight, her husband threw at her face that she ate £500 worth of breakfast in that first month after their wedding. (while he ate most of it because of his manly appetite but good to blame the wife)

Unfortunately, she is not the only one, the only woman who feels like an imposter in her husbands home. This isn’t much of a surprise coming from women who are married into joint families (its the Indian family system in which the guy gets to live with entire family while the women are supposed to leave their parents homes and settle in their in-laws’ homes).

But is the freedom of a woman as restricted when she lives with just her husband, as a couple?

Apparently so.

One woman I know tells the tales of her husband literally locking her inside their home as he feared she might go out and cheat on him. Don’t even get me started on the physical abuse and the whole ordeal of pain.

But there’s another very weird but real case.

This woman lives with her partner and they have been together for about 8 years. There is no physical abuse. They have some issues, they sometimes fight but there is no ‘fear’ of the man as such.

However, since she isn’t the earner in the house, she doesn’t have that authority. The guy feels like he can say whatever, do whatever, make rules and she is supposed to follow because he is ‘right’.

A few days ago, her partner went to see his family for about a month. Before he left, she cried in secret because she knew she was going to miss him.

When he left, she did miss him.

She felt that silence around the home and she often talked to herself out loud.

But something really weird happened that she had not expected.

She loved the freedom.

She watched whatever she liked on TV (there was no struggle like every night where he puts on blood and violence despite knowing she gets nightmares).

She cooked whatever she liked just for herself (she has to make two separate meals because her partner eats bland food so every night she first cooks for him and if there is any time left, she quickly whips up something stupid for herself, survives on junk or eats frozen leftovers because she puts him first). Being on her own was easy.

She often did not cook when she didn’t feel like and ordered food which she enjoyed eating for 2 days. There was no judgment for ordering food or rants about money wastage, it was all up to her.

Having insomnia, she sleeps at weird times and her partner being away, she was free to wake up and sleep when it naturally happened and the quietness in the house was a big factor for uninterrupted sleep.

She loved being on her own despite the few extra responsibilities.

She loves him, missed him terribly, was on the phone all the time and flew into his arms when he got back.

They spent a few very happy together and some weeks in… it was back. The rants, the small things that people don’t talk about because they are not life-altering acts but it does make a difference in the life of someone who goes through it.

Having to watch whatever you like on TV, is FREEDOM.

Having to cook anything you prefer or not cooking at all is FREEDOM.

Sleeping and waking, whenever you like, is FREEDOM.

While the majority of the women in the world are suffering from domestic abuse, lack of basic education, basic human rights, and choice, it might seem like a grand luxury to demand or dream a ‘Room Of One’s Own’ OR more sensibly a HOUSE of one’s own (because a room inside the house of a controlling man is still under his power and doesn’t have much freedom).

Since the moment an Indian baby girl is born, she is reminded constantly that her husbands home is her actual home and she is merely a temporary passerby at her parents’ home where she grows up and builds her earliest memories.

However, she is forced to leave that home and go live with her husband (and often his family) however far that may be.

Only if all this was worth it.

Only if all these sacrifices gave a woman that place where she could be free. A place where she could breathe free.

One may call it selfish and that even to live with a friend or any other human, one would have to make compromises.

I ask, why does one need to live with someone at all in that case.

To have a room/home of her own is something women are promised as soon as they are born and they die like fucking unwanted guests but they never get to live in any place that they could feel like is their own.

Single women rock this ish. I guess they got this figured.

 

Why Piers Morgan Shouldn’t Have Asked If Co Host Susanna Reid is Doing The Janu-hairy thing #GMB

Let me begin by explaining what is Januhairy month.

Body positivity has become sort of mainstream, albeit very slowly but thankfully it is at least talked about. One part of it is body hair. Every normal human being has hair, all genders.

Yet while no one bats an eyelid on men like this

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women, on the other hand, are socially shamed for keeping their body au natural.

This double standard towards body hair is pervasive and sexist and hence, Januhairy is a body positivity movement in which women are sharing pictures of their unshaven bodies on social media and breaking the taboos, showing off to the world their natural beautiful selves without the ton of grooming.

As you can guess from the expression on Piers’ face from this image below, he looks disgusted:

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Piers made it personal and asked co-star Susanna if she personally would take part in the movement and go unshaven for the month.

While on the surface the question might sound logical and straight forward, but it is absolutely idiotic and offensive and let me explain why.

I personally hate this idea that women have to follow such a strict rule of beauty standards and keep their bodies certain ways in order to be not looked down upon in the society. But this wokeness or sense of self came to me when I was over 25.

Sadly, since I was a teenager, the messages I received from the society and friends were the stereotypical white skin color preferring, highly damaging beauty ideals very common in India. This involved going hairless.

Although I never did bleach my skin to lighten it, I was forced to get my eyebrows shaped by my sister who also introduced me to waxing and stuff.

In conclusion, I did groom my eyebrows and shave elsewhere. The grooming became a habit so routine that I cannot go 5 days without removing the hair now. And if I don’t remove the hair, I cannot fall asleep at night due to the irritation and the pokes of the stubble.

As much as I love this idea of embracing our body in its natural form and not shaving any hair to please the people around… I am now eternally under the curse of it.

This is why asking such a question to any woman is a highly offensive thing because you are asking a woman to reveal her grooming habits to you-who the fuck are you, who gave you the right to ask a personal question like this?

You are allowed to support a social movement without actively participating in it. Same goes with religions and cultures. You are and should appreciate other peoples religious practices without practicing them personally. Because there may be more hiding underneath the surface. Like my case in which I support the movement, and I would want to participate but unfortunately, it is too late for me because now my body is already in such a stage. But this is my individual case.

Other women, especially younger girls who are developing body hair must not fall into the same trap as we did. Hence it is absolutely crucial to talk about and spread the social message of the body positivity movement and take a strong stand against body hair shaming in order to save young girls.

It is very simple if you think about it. Society has always had different rules for men and women and when it comes to beauty, men have always gotten an easy pass while women have gone through painful procedures and expensive hectic beauty regimens in order to look beautiful and young because physical appearance is how a woman’s worth was/is judged in our society.

It’s 2019 and this notion of a woman’s worth based on her physical attributes alone is still very much prevalent. The Januhairy movement is a very tiny body positivity movement to tell women they don’t have to follow such ridiculous rules in order to look beautiful.

And then there are people like Piers Morgan. I used to adore this guy but he has just lost his respect in my eyes lately.

Single Mothers Are Everywhere But Where Are The Single Dads?

My best friend and I were having a conversation about someone today. She seemed to be worried about the daughter of one of their family friends. That little girl, about 12-3 years old is raised by her grandma.

My friend began her conversation by asking –

“How can mothers be so selfish and awful?”

And then she went on to diss the woman who is allegedly a bad mother because she fell in love with some other man and divorced her husband and left the little daughter behind.

While I don’t want to comment on that mother who left the daughter with the husband alone, because I don’t know her side of the story… let’s assume she is a bad mother because she abandoned her daughter and moved on in life to live with some man she fell in love with.

To call such a mother selfish and narcissistic would be fair. But not once I heard from her a word about the man. She only continued to claim what a loving father he is.

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I asked how. The father lives in Abu Dhabi and is a busy man. The daughter who is now a teenager is raised by the grandma.

I asked her why doesn’t the father keep the daughter with him in UAE. And pat came the flood of patriarchal excuses that has been giving an easy pass to men when it comes to raising children or caring for the elderly.

He is a busy man.

He has a job.

He often travels.  Bla bla bla

I asked her if a single mother, any single mother who has a job abandons her kids to be raised by grandparents, would you feel the same?

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My own sister and her daughter when she was 4, were abandoned by her husband five years ago. My sister although lives in my parents home but has been raising that little girl on her own. My sister struggled, tried doing business, appeared for several exams, interviews and has few opportunities waiting to come to fruition while she is teaching in a school, just to raise some money so her girl has some sort of sustenance from one parent at least.

My sister is also about to go to UAE for her job and two years before this happened, she was already researching schools, creches, babysitters etc and whatever hurdles he might face as a single mother.

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I know several other women who either got a divorce or their men abandoned them and they are proud single moms. They work outside, earn a living as well as raise their kids. Sometimes with the slight help of relatives, friends or paid sitters and other times all by themselves.

Yet, I am not aware of one man, a single man who is a single dad, raising kids on his own.

When a woman abandons her kids and moves on in life, she is selfish but when a man does the same, we don’t even bat an eye. Why is that?

My friend started her conversation dissing the mother but by the end when I asked her all these questions, she was provoked to consider why can’t a man keep his teenage daughter with him if he claims to love her?

No one can replace the love of a parent. No matter how much the grandma and the uncles and aunts love her, the emotional security she can avail with her father is incomparable. Yet, his excuses are all we hear.

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My friend also said in his defense that she doesn’t think he would do that on purpose. That made me point out the life of a single man where he is free as a bird, date, do casual hookups, do anything as he pleases. But having a teenage daughter at home is responsibility. You got to feed her, get home on time in the evening, check up on her school, homework etc and a million other things that countless moms do every single day like a boss. But men… no way.

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Men have this ingrained in their brains that child-rearing is not their job. They totally see themselves as separate from this responsibility and do the talk talk talk… All words and no actions are BS.

Think about it- how many single dads do you know?

 

Reacting to ‘Faye D’Souza & Barkha Dutt speak on India’s Me Too movement | Times Lit Fest Delhi’

I loved watching Faye and Barkha, two of my favorite journalists, speaking about #MeToo in India. Tavleen had some rather weird ideas about the movement and was brave enough to say them out loud in public.

Until the end though, she didn’t seem convinced, so here I summed up the objections and answered them in the most straightforward way possible in two sentences or less. She didn’t seem to get it but here is another attempt.

Why do women not slap a man who tried to kiss her or go into a room with a man where he is in his underwear?

Many do, plenty don’t. Its called the ‘freeze’ reaction. It’s the Neurobiology of Trauma. 

We had to go through Sati and the likes. And you young women can’t stop a man from kissing you. Why?

Every generation has its own problems. We didn’t have to fight for voting rights, doesn’t mean we don’t value them and doesn’t mean our struggles are less important.

City women are hogging the space with their unimportant agendas and protests against sexual harassment when there are issues like sex trafficking that are more pressing and need more attention. Why not focus on them?

It’s like saying when there are diseases like cancer, why are you researching flu drugs? Stupidity is all.

Why didn’t they just kick M.J.Akbar, why not get him sacked, why become a victim and use the ‘victim card’?

When you aren’t believing them now in this advanced age, with years of experience and professional history to their credibility… would you and others have believed them back then? Plus, there was no technology.

‘#Me too’ only empowers the elite class?

First of all, every woman in every class of society has a role to play in women’s rights struggle. And secondly, why don’t Tavleen and the likes of her do something for the non-elite and lead by example? Just because one lives in an apartment doesn’t mean she has to lay the onus of cleaning up the filth on women’s rights on the most oppressed women. What logic is that? Each person can play a role and its got to start somewhere.

Men like women. What’s wrong with it?

Like whoever you want but treat them like humans- with respect and decency. Akbar employed women journalists with the hidden agenda to hit on them and take advantage of their fragile advancement. Here comes the faux feminist the suffragists had warned us about.

Why are not men included?

They are. Watch Terry Crew’s #MeToo speech. And guess what happens when men come forward with their stories and who supports them? It’s people like you who mock men and disbelieve that a man can be assaulted and its feminists who stand with those men and fight for their rights.

Why didn’t women speak earlier?

Many did. They lost their careers, lives, trust in humanity. Plenty didn’t because they saw what happened to those who did and didn’t want to deal with the consequences. Plus, if you don’t believe them now, you won’t believe them in the past. You’d have found another excuse to discredit them. Why Didn’t Tanushree Speak Earlier?

Why doesn’t #MeToo recognize the difference between groping and rape and treat them both differently?

When has anyone ever said that a rape convict should get the same punishment as that of a sexual assault convict? The boundaries of what’s a violation and what should or shouldn’t be included are arbitrary in the movement but one thing that’s for sure isn’t arbitrary is CONSENT. Being groped or violated in other ways physically has life-long damaging impacts on a person’s psyche. Why is their trauma not worth our attention?

Why media trials? Why not just go to the police?

Oh yes, because we know how prompt and efficient is the justice system in India. Besides, if the #metoo was not a movement and had the media not talked about this constantly, would big shots like MJ Akbar ever be taken down? Watch SPOTLIGHT film to know the true powers of investigative journalism.

We all have women like Tavleen in our lives who will do everything possible to tear down other women instead of simply being empathetic to survivors. And they are such exhausting people to deal with because no matter how much you try and explain, they will keep changing the goal post of their argument and never admit that they are causing so much harm.

Tavleen claimed to have sympathy for the 5-6-year-old poverty stricken rape survivor but guess what will happen when such girl would go to Tavleen and share her story? She’d say “where is the proof?“, “why didn’t you kick him and slap him?”, “why were you alone with him, where are your parents?”.

When you say victim blaming statements like these, all the women around you are internally thinking they can never trust you with their traumas. You just don’t deserve it.