Kim vs Aish!

Honestly, I’m not a fan of either and I’m not a feminist too. But aren’t there some similarities in the controversies regarding their pregnancies and more differences over the way people are dealing with it. 

I mean, yes their pictures pre and post pregnancy (in Aish’s case) are not their usual fabulous selves but seriously give them a break. There is a whole person growing inside of them. 

This post might sound a little confused, because while I am all for letting them grow bigger and taking their time to slim down, I am also surprised by the overwhelming support Kim is receiving from her ‘peers’ in Hollywood. Reports of new Hollywood moms asking the media to let her grow fat, are pouring in from all sides. While, this is very evidently well placed on front pages of glossy magazines and newspapers, thanks to Kim Kardashian’s hardworking Public Relations agency, there are also rumors about her actually being paid to get fat.

Now isn’t that more shocking than the fact that she is actually that big! I mean, what’s real anymore? Is she really getting paid to grow bigger? And does she have any control over her body whatsoever?

On one hand, no one, absolutely no one came forward to lend Aish a helping hand. Note: not even her in-laws. In fact, a random google search on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan only pulls up images of her in beautiful Indian dresses (that nobody notices, now that she is fat), with some baby weight. 

Again, no, I’m not a fan. But I think she is unfairly targeted sometimes. For instance, a few years back she was highly criticized for her wardrobe at Cannes, designed by Neeta Lulla.  Lulla was an upcoming fashion designer then and wasn’t much of a name in the industry. While I didn’t find anything wrong with her intricately designed dresses and saris, the fashion police went bezerk over a pin that was apparently sticking out of her outfit. Honestly, she looked gorgeous. And since there wasn’t anything to criticize, might as well blame the designer for the disaster. Who is to say that these media opps were not planted by the older more experienced and jilted designers? It’s all about appropriate media placement after all. Where you get seen and who sees you.

So back to Kim vs Aish, the only difference here is that Kim apparently is making money out of her pregnancy. She is getting paid to put on all that weight (which I highly doubt) and she will be paid millions of dollars to shed it. Aish on the other hand was the laughing stock of Bollywood for the past few months. Unfair, isn’t it.

But wait, I don’t think this is the problem either. The problem is how these controversies are confusing young women about their body images. The issue here is much deep rooted than you can imagine. Earlier, all we heard the Kardashian sisters do were criticize anyone who was a size more than them. Now we see them defend their fat sister.

Isn’t that a little to complex for a woman who is not too sure of herself to begin with? A young woman who is blindly following trends to keep up rather than be herself.

I’m pretty sure Kim and Aish will take care of themselves, but who is going to stop women from spend thousands of dollars or rupees on beauty treatments and slim clinics. We’ve got to watch better television!

 

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Why has education failed India?

Think about it. Has education changed India? Has education made us think? Has education prompted us to think ahead of our times? Has education created anything except engineers and doctors in our country?

Has education been unsuccessful in instilling humanity within us?

Here’s some more stuff to think about if you’re not sure of the answers to the above questions:

A woman is roughed up, photographed and flashed on the front page of a cheap vernacular newspaper for going out with her friends and having a good time.

Rape is probably the most googled word in the country.

Why is there still a strong sense of discontent at the birth of a girl child in the family?

Why is morality defined in such narrow terms in India and why is morality a larger issue when it comes to women?

Why is it that you can hangout with an open minded female friend or colleague, but when it comes to taking her home to your mother, you want a woman who stays at home, cooks meals and looks after your kids. Basically has no life of her own.

Why do I hear you chuckle every time I make sense? Why do I see you ignoring me every time I’m good at something?

Because education has failed at educating India. We know our tables well, we can spell better than anyone in the world, our grammar is perfect and yes, our history is altered, but all of this at the cost of a degrading society.

A society that has not bothered to keep up with the changing times. A society that is pulling us so far behind, that inflation is not an issue anymore. A society is so bothered by what others think, that it completely disrespects you.

We are so comfortable in our hideouts that we fail to see the light in progress. Progress in India means more money. It means a higher standard of living. It means you can buy more stuff to make your house look pretty, but nobody cares that it comes at the cost of deep internal deterioration.

Has education worked in India? Has it made any difference?

Date a girl who speaks her mind

She’s loud, she’s opinionated, she’s verbose and she kinda argues about everything. 

What more? She’s independent, she’s charismatic, she knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. 

She drinks, she parties, she has her own set of friends and a mind of her own. 

Date her. And here’s why:

I guarantee she is the most interesting person you’ll ever meet. If she’s all of the above and she still wants to go out with you, she probably knows you’ve got it in you somewhere.

You’ll never have a dull moment. She’ll find a way to turnaround the most boring sunday afternoons. 

She’s probably done more fun stuff than you have. Learn a thing or two from her. 

She has a hobby. 

She is not constantly trying to change you. She doesn’t believe in making you a ‘better person’. She is confident you are perfection. 

She’s assertive, not dominating. The difference is that she is open to an healthy discussion and capable of understanding your point. 

She doesn’t want things her way, she wants them the right way. And she’s willing to meet you halfway. 

It doesn’t have to be her way or the highway. Her balanced, well read and educated world view makes her reasonable.

She cares and thats the reason she’s passionate and moved by most things. 

Most importantly, she does not believe in manipulating you. She likes to put herself out there and bear the brunt, rather than deceiving you and getting things done her way. 

She says it the way it is. Wouldn’t you like that? 

She loves beer.

She’s competitive. Why wouldn’t she be? She’s awesome at everything. Wouldn’t you like a good challenge?

She does everything you do and she does it better.

She wants to come home to you.

She hates pink and loves asymmetrical designs. So your house will never look like a perpetual doll tea party.  

You’ll never find yourself in a boring conversation about nail colors. Instead, you’ll be thrilled every time she makes a point.

She cooks, but only stuff that blows your mind (in an extremely delicious way). 

Your friends will love her. 

And finally, she doesn’t need you, she wants you.

I could get better at receiving compliments.. if I try..

Ever complimented a woman on the lovely summer dress she’s wearing to brunch and in response, she shrugged and said, “Oh this old thing. It’s been lying in my closet for the last five years”.

Throws you back a little, doesn’t it. You wonder, why women do that. Why are they incapable of taking a compliment? Why is it so difficult to handle some praise? Is it me? Did I say something odd? Is she pmsing? Phew!

Woman can be so confusing. On one hand they go out of their way to get your attention and on the other, they’ll just brush you off when you give them some. That is very irrational behavior, but there are several reasons that cause it.

I get super flustered when someone compliments me. I go red in my face, my head starts buzzing and I’m never sure what to say in return. From this point on, there are two ways to go about this:

1) You can either thank the person graciously and move on.

2) Or you can make a sarcastic remark about whatever it is he complimented you over. 

I always choose the second. I’m not entirely sure why. But I always do. It’s not that I don’t like to hear good things about myself, neither is it about the person. It’s more about the massive confusion in my head. There are contradictory voices in my head directing me to be modest, use sarcasm, do something absolutely non-sensical and completely ignore the compliment. 

The fact, however bad it sounds is that i’m not use to receiving praise. I am not conditioned to take good things said about me well, because I didn’t hear them growing up, or in school, or in college. All I ever heard was, I could do better. And I never realized that in this endeavor to do better, I’d reached a level of excellence. In whatever that I was doing.

As a school going kid, my teachers were always unappreciative of everything I did. Which five year old is worried about being perfect. They just want to run around, play in the mud and go to sleep. 

In the second grade, I failed a dictation test not because I spelled the words wrong (I got all the spellings right), but because I used a capital letter at the beginning of every word. Instead of talking to me, my second grade teacher failed me in the test. To teach me a lesson. To teach a seven years old a lesson. Needless to say, I never did well on my dictation test then on. 

And it doesn’t end there, in India, no doubt the extremely authoritarian schooling and family culture makes you stronger and try harder. But what they don’t notice is that in the long run, these teachers and some families are just burdening children with their own insecurities. Shooting their self-esteem down, taking pleasure in shaming them and ridiculing them.

In the years that follow, the whole system sort of conspires against you.. extended family, peers, other influencers, younger siblings who are ‘doing’ well, neighbors, absolutely random people who don’t give a damn about you.. they are all responsible for the fact that I cannot take a compliment well.

Most women have set their standards so high, that they kill themselves everyday to reach their goals. And everyday they inch a little closer, only to go back to bed feeling dejected that they haven’t reached it yet. In this struggle to get somewhere, shrugging off a compliment is just an attempt to help them keep going. An effort to keep themselves grounded and try harder next day. She loves the compliments. But she can’t afford to let herself believe them. 

 

 

 

 

 

Living the stereotypes

Women nag, men cheat. Women shop, men drive cars. Women cook, men earn.

Has anybody wondered how difficult it is to live up to these stereotypes today? The fast-paced, equality driven work and personal lives that we lead, makes it extremely difficult to stick to these roles assigned to us by the society. And yet, we so commonly hear people passing random judgements on somebody’s life.

Women are great at trickery, I read, recently. Not surprised at all, as it came from a recently jilted lover. I haven’t heard this for the first time and this certainly won’t be the last, but does it take a lot of effort to have an open mind? To distinguish people, not based on the widely accepted notions, but to take them for what they are. Even when we don’t know them, judging them, should never be an option.

I’ve met people who’ve live by every stereotype there is. And i’ve also met people who by principal and to a large extent  understanding the harm caused by categorizing people, live life on their own terms.

It’s not difficult, you know. You just don’t do what the society thinks is right. Instead, you do what you think makes sense in a situation.

Stereotypes are very pressurizing. At a certain level I am forced to live by them, just so that the world can make sense out of the deal. And in my own small ways, I fight them.

Can there be a world where men and women exist without having to check mark themselves into small boxes?

You’re either fat or hot.

You’re either a lair or a saint.

You’re either a nag or careless.

You’re either a success or a complete waste.

Let’s try to have in betweens. And exceptions.