Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The 'Hate' Word

Before I begin to write, I affirm that I am going to proofread my post again before publishing. I have done it for some posts and for some I haven't. Nevertheless when I happen to read any of my post and find any small error, I 'hate' it. So hate is what I am going to talk about on this post. Oh by the way, I am not well today and am typing this on my iPad. I went to a doctor sometime back and much to my dismay, he gave me an injection and my immediate thought - I hate injections, I hate falling ill. Soon after the thought, I remembered something my friend Ed used to tell me, back during Deloitte Days. Anytime I would say hate, he would say, "don't use the 'hate' word, use something more subtle like dislike." He would follow that with,"Hate is a very strong word, it doesn't allow you to let-go of something you are trying to cling on to knowingly or unknowingly. Hate is as strong an emotion as love and using the word would mean that you are still being emotionally attached to a certain thing you claim to be hating."

Needless to say, I have not given up using the word completely, but when I do use it, I remember what he said. Considering that lately I 'hate' a lot of people, I attempt to replace the hate word with dislike. This has actually led me into thinking about long term memory and emotional attachment. I have seen people including me having a lot of hatred and grudge for some people and things. In very simple words, I guess it is fair enough to say that these people are unable to both forget and to forgive. So unconsciously they remain attached to these things they supposedly hate and find it impossible to forget the reasons for the hatred in the first place. I personally would like to research more on this topic. But nevertheless for the purposes of this post, I would say, it is worth giving a shot -replacing hate with something more subtle.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Other!

On my blog, so far, I have never posted anything that didn't come straight out of my head. But today for a change, I want to paste, something which came out of my memory. Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite authors. The following a story I have taken directly from his book - " By the River Piedra I sat down and wept". Significance of the story? I keep getting reminded of this story every time I feel overwhelmingly anxious about things I am not doing or not doing right. Nevertheless here it is...

A man runs into an old friend who had somehow never been able to make it in life. "I should give him some money," he thinks. But instead he learns that his old friend has grown rich and is actually seeking him out to repay the debts he had run up over the years. They go to a bar they used to frequent together, and the friend buys drinks for everyone there. When they ask him how he became so successful, he answers that until only a few days ago, he had been living the role of the "Other."

"What is the Other?" they ask.

"The Other is the one who taught me what I should be like, but not what I am. The Other believes that it is our obligation to spend our entire life thinking about how to get our hands on as much money as possible so that we will not die of hunger when we are old. So we think so much about money and our plans for acquiring it that we discover we are alive only when our days on earth are practically done. And then it's too late."

"And you? Who are you?"

"I am just like everyone else who listens to their heart: a person who is enchanted by the mystery of life. Who is open to miracles, who experiences joy and enthusiasm for what they do. It's just that the Other, afraid of disappointment, kept me from taking action."

"But there is suffering in life," one of the listeners said.

"And there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggle for your dreams than to be defeated without ever even knowing what you're fighting for."

"That's it?" another listener asked.

"Yes, that's it. When I learned this, I resolved to become the person I had always wanted to be. The Other stood there in the corner of my room, watching me, but I will never let the Other into myself again even though it has already tried to frighten me, warning me that it's risky not to think about the future. From the moment that I ousted the Other from my life, the Divine Energy began to perform its miracles."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The greatest enemy of a woman is another woman!

There is a saying in Tamil which when translated goes like this - "A woman's enemy is another woman". So very true...I was watching the usual talk show Neeya Naana the other day. The debate was between feminists and women against feminism. It was a pretty hot debate with women on both sides screaming. Surprisingly more noise came from the non-suffragist side. They portrayed the part of the society which I hate the most. Before I proceed, I have to make it clear that I am a big time feminist and a proponent of men-women equality. I also want to put a little disclaimer here - Most of what I am writing in this blog post would perfectly fit Indian society, culture,women and might/ might not be suitable with respect to women of other countries, cultures etc mostly because of my limited knowledge of the lives and statuses of women in other countries. So getting back to where I was. The women against feminism reminded me of most women in our society who in my opinion are the biggest enemies of other women. These women are advocates of family and children are more important than self for a woman. Women should cater to the needs of husbands and family and should make that their priority. According them women should almost have no dreams and aspirations except those which do not come as a hindrance to their family or husband or even parents' wishes in some cases and that they should go ahead to fulfill these dreams when their families or husbands allow them to. In their opinion, sacrifice, adjustment, compromise are trademarks of women and define who women are. These women themselves have been brought up by their parents constantly telling them that they are girls and that they should be ready to make sacrifices and should consider everything but themselves more important than themselves and that men are gods on earth etc. And these women carry the legacy forward by passing them forward to their daughters. The kind I am mentioning here includes not only downtrodden and uneducated women but also women from some well-off and educated families. In the eyes of these women, feminism is a disgrace to women community. They fail to understand that it is because of feminists that their conditions in society have improved atleast a little. It is very easy to portray feminist women as the kind who just give up their families and bring disgrace to their families instead and that these women way more than ultra modern women who could give up anything even their own dignity to do anything. Even as I write this, I am made with rage. Feminists only advocate something which is going to bring equality to all. But the non-feminist women ruin not just their own lives, but the lives of other women as well. A 'good woman' in our society is one who can is the epitome of self sacrifice, who doesn't do anything against the wish of her family, who agrees and even advocates that men are superior and better, who talks, acts, dresses up in a manner approved by the society, family etc. Non- feminists make sure they fall into the category of 'good woman' and are more concerned about how society looks at them. While feminists care more about what they feel is right and fair enough, this does not mean that they bring a disgrace to everyone or that they are incapable of care and affection towards family and friends or that their intentions are only to insult the society. Feminists prefer to be themselves as opposed to being something other want them to be. Anyways, the whole point about women being enemies of women is close to indisputable. Non - feminist women who keep advocating directly or indirectly that men are better are enemies of women, mother-in-laws who think their daughter in laws are witches who snatch away their sons from them are enemies of women, women who because of jealousy or any other reason talk as badly as possible about other women are enemies of women, women who keep emotionally instilling a sort of guilt in other women of being not- good when they do not completely follow society's so called norms are enemies of women. As much as many men try to suppress women, in my opinion, more than that, it is some women who suppress other women. Why should a woman be another woman's enemy, aren't they supposed to support each other? Aren't they supposed to stand united for the equality of men and women?