Where are we going?

Today, a colleague asked me, sorry I am generalizing an entire country but India is a rapist country what is wrong with the Indian men? I had my head hanging in shame, and I wished I could defend it and say not all Indian men are like that but honestly I cannot, not with the statistics. I used to before when I would say US is among the highest, based on the statistics but now I don’t want to defend, because I feel helpless and angry. It makes me wonder, where has India gone wrong!? Is it because all of us have so much of negativity about everyone and everything as Indians!? Or is it because of social media and overexposure to it? Or is it due to lack of laws of legalized prostitution, porn, or lack of sex education? Or all of this? Think about it, from the basics of civic sense to the most “modern” use of technology, do we just criticize each and everything that we have stopped looking at the good we have always had!?

I am not a teacher, I am not yet a parent and not a psychologist but I have imagination. Imagine a world where kids grow up knowing no violence, only love and respect. What can the repercussions be? Just imagine when they are growing up, they are scolded only for discipline but apologized to and explained the reason of doing so. In a world where they do not know what bullying is because no other kid knows what bullying is, they do not know what a slap is, they do not know what pushing shoving is because they are corrected by the parents and given attention when they need it the most, if you are going to say who has time for that, then look at where the problem is, you have excuses, you can make time, even in the trains, without pushing shoving they let others go with respect, can you imagine a world like this?  I know it is hard but not impossible if we start right now.

When I was growing up I remember I was admitted to a ‘Sanskar varga’ not because we were bad kids but it was like a traditional thing to do where they taught us to respect elders, wash our hands feet when we come home, light diya and thank God for today, touch our parents feet and ask blessings, respect food on our plate and all the morals. It changed soon after my father got a heart attack and mother had to step up and take charge of the household but as kids, we grew up like that respecting elders, neighbors, every man and woman, we did not distinguish between poor and rich and color and caste until the society made us think in a limited way. I remember my sister used to wander off as a kid in her little petticoat and the fruit vendor, the vegetable vendor, the laundryman used to bring her back with no sexual intent ever.It was only when we started to grow hormones, we started realizing a few changes in us, we started feeling the difference between touches and knew who to stay comfortable with and who to stay away from. We have had our own share of eve teasing and molestations in public places, mostly during Ganesh festivals and Jatra, but we have also handled them with whatever limited maturity we had. Our parents were open to communication and helped us to heal from those scars by always encouraging us to speak up, call for help or take action, always supporting us whenever we needed them to take care of such issues. We had male friends all the time and as long as our parents were informed they were always accepting. We always were touching and joking and hugging, sitting close to each other but as we grew up we were told, not by our parents but society even by the paanwalah to stop wearing shorts, sleeveless clothes, neighbors telling us to cross our legs when we sit even when we wore full pants, to not touch guys too often, to keep a distance. As a growing woman you have to be independent and I was always the over sensitive one. I could cry at the drop of a needle. I hardly understood the hints men gave be it in professional life or personal. Ignorance was bliss. Now I look at the vegetable vendors, fruit vendors and laundrymen with doubt, making sure I don’t open doors for marketing guys or strangers. If I had to share a cab to work I would be careful. All men were suddenly threatening. But growing up I never heard so many stories of assaults, it may have existed but not to the extent it is today. Or is it better today because people have been quiet about it for so long and with the boom in social media they can use the platform to bring those crimes out in the open, if that is true, what society are we?  Aren’t we the same civilization that pride on Khajuraho, the same people who have goddesses with clothes clinging to their bodies, then suddenly why is everything sexual? Even little babies? Why is everyone a hypocrite? The other day I was asked why are shorts not appropriate in your country which only expose legs while you can wear the most revealing body hugging cloth called saree which is basically a crop top that shows cleavage all the time and has the back and mid riff always open!? I was speechless. How do I explain!? What needs training? Ofcourse the mind and getting rid of the pervert mentality that grows within young men. If we are hammered with pleasing the other half especially a woman taking the center stage to always look good, stay fit, always be presentable, look fair, set impossible standards, to be dictated terms on what to wear, how to sit, how to eat, be pretentious and careful all the time of her social existence and bring other women down to pull herself up, we are bringing down an entire country to its feet! With training young minds to treat each other with dignity and equality we also need to look deep down within ourselves to be aware of our existence as humans with skin and bones who has a limited time on earth with some kind of purpose that we were born to accomplish and what can be the biggest purpose than to serve humanity, to be kind and respectful, to be generous and forgiving? I am learning and growing everyday to be a human first!

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Judgement Day!

The beautiful thing about this post is that the title is not related to any religious sentiment, so I hope it won’t trigger any religious responses but when I start by saying this it makes me realize how easily I can come to the point that I know each and everyone reading this post will have a judgement. That is what this post is about.

I was walking towards the gym one day and passed by the community pool and heard a little voice almost too excited, exclaimed ‘Hi!’ I looked back to see who it was and if it was me that they wanted to say Hi to, it is not very common these days to get even a smile from strangers forget a Hi! It was a little kid about 3 or 4 ready to jump into the pool with his little shoulder floats and just shorts accompanied by his mom or guardian who didn’t manage to curve those laugh lines even a little bit. It was more like an invitation from him to say Hi wanna come swim? I just smiled back. I always do. Also, I had read somewhere to always smile at kids it boosts their confidence rather than turning away or looking away that sends a message of shutting down. Another day it was a little girl just jumping around splashing water everywhere, she was older about 6 or 7 and even bolder who asked me in a sweet voice, Hi, why are you not swimming? I replied, I am not wearing the right clothes and she replied so innocently so what, the water is so nice, you should come. I considered it for a second and then I glanced across at the pool ‘rules’ board. I must admit I am not a daring person to break rules. It does take guts and sometimes stupidity to break rules. Sometimes I lack the guts sometimes the stupidity. But the way she kept convincing me I was thinking wow if only her mother heard her talking to a stranger and she did, the glare her mom gave me to stop talking to her daughter, I just scurried off saying may be I will see her Friday afternoon if she comes back. As soon as I stepped away the little girl got an earful about not talking to strangers. I felt bad for the kid who has no idea or judgments on what a stranger can do if he/she is friendly or a pervert. No judgement at all. Whereas both mothers had already judged me just by glancing at me that I was no good talking or responding to their kids. I am sure by the age of 9 or 10 kids start immitating adults if they see adults not interacting socially they refrain as well and then it triggers the aspect of judgement. Kids start judging peers, start having trust issues and get bullied or bully others, if only adults can show them it can be a better place if people are more friendly and peaceful towards each other.

Believe me I judge a lot, each and every day, everything and everyone. But that innocence struck a weird chord in my heart, where is that innocence, that trust, most of us had it, but where did it go? I remember vividly my sister just 3 or 4 would wander away even with the nanny around house. The fruit vendor, vegetable vendor, the laundry man would bring her back holding her hand and she was the prettiest of kids with bluish grey eyes, fair skin and red lips wearing mostly her sleeveless one piece cotton dress. Were there any trust issues? No, not really. How did it change over the years!? Who is to blame? I keep questioning, doubting everything and everyone. Is it just that thinking that attracts crime or misfortune? Judgement day will come when it will come but isn’t it time to judge our own thoughts and correct them first before we pass judgements on others? Judging people on their color, race, age, decisions, appearance, past. Then again who are we to judge others in the first place? For that reason alone can we rebuild the innocence of children when it comes to trust and make this a safer place for the future generations to grow up?

Tomorrow never comes!

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So here I am it’s almost 10.30 I’m done with breakfast and I’m waiting to go running at 11 am in the morning when there’s not too much rush at the gym and I can be myself and go at my speed and there’s no judging there are no bulky muscles around and I’m thinking to myself, all right get off your bum wear your clothes, tie your shoes and get out. I am so motivated today. Let me just fix my hair, wash my face, pick out my clothes, get my socks, by then I look at the clock and it’s 10:45 and I’m thinking, in 15 minutes I’ll have to leave and go hit the gym and then suddenly I remember Uh-oh I forgot to call a friend or I forgot to check on the recipe for lunch or I forgot to write something in my diary or I just remember random stuff to do like making a to-do list, I need to iron my t-shirts or clean the bathroom or do other chores and then it’s 11 am. The dreaded 11 a.m. I’m not out of the door I’m not wearing those gym pants or the gym shoes and I’m thinking oh well, the time’s gone so let me decide now, do the gym at 4 and then I start watching TV, I cook lunch and then I catch up on my FRIENDS re-runs and by the time it’s over, I look at the clock and its 5:00. Oh no, I missed the time again. Alright maybe 6:30? But then all the office crowd just comes back from work. Are  you sure you want to hit the gym now when there could be a little bit of judging a little bit of flaunting, a wee bit of flexing muscles. Argh, I don’t want to go now, it’s too late . I carry on with other work and then it’s time for dinner again and I’m thinking laying on my bed it’s almost 12:30 am. I must go to the gym tomorrow I must run on the treadmill I must walk outside I need some sunshine for myself, I must go out. I end up sitting on my couch watching TV at 10:30 thinking I need to go hit the gym. Groundhog day anyone!?

Battling with myself

There was an incident recently that made me doubt myself, to an extent that I cried and cried and got lost into a conversation that kept building up and there was no one around, the conversation was with myself! I have talked about loneliness and my positive side is to overcome it, but when loneliness makes you talk to yourself, you need to stop and wake yourself up. That is not right, its just not right. Letting people affect you, make you doubt yourself, letting them control your emotions is just not right. It is me who will decide if I did something wrong, if its not as bad as killing anyone, telling lies to hurt intentionally, stealing or cheating, it can be fixed. My bad habit is a small thing gets blown up in my mind, becomes a big issue and has its consequences. Do I stop living for that!? No, of course not, yes I cry, but I know that the pain can be healed, the hurt can be cured, there is always a second chance, if forgiving or forgetting is the greater thing to do, I need to do it. I am not perfect and I should not even aim to be, I will make mistakes. I need to learn to trust myself and not doubt, I need to be thankful for what I have, look forward to what I can do to make things better, to help and uplift others while I try to walk on the path of righteousness. Is there a judgement of right and wrong? No, not from my end, I am no one to judge others. I can judge myself because I know myself better than the ones who try to judge me. So I need to forgive myself if I think I did something wrong and move on. If I don’t treat myself as I want others to treat me, I am doing things wrong, I need to stop, take a step back and then move forward. https://poohalicious.wordpress.com/When I start treating myself right, I can treat others well, and expect them to treat me the same way. Unless they make peace with themselves, they won’t be able to release good into this world, does that mean, I have to stop doing good? No, all the major holy books will also say similar things. I just have to be patient and empathetic to myself and others. I need to learn to forgive myself and stop hating myself. I don’t have to try to be perfect, I just have to know and realize there are others just like me struggling and fighting their own battles.

Aside

Prayers Unlimited!

Dear God, there are many people who are always striving to achieve things that they have always wanted to,bless them,but also remember me who is happy with what you have given,help me enjoy each and every moment of this precious life,may I be slow and wise when I talk and only be able to spread good in the world.

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