Friday, August 31, 2007

at 19, still growing up

"have u ever noticed nething small....something discerning...n found the happiness in discovering a reality u were never conscious of?"

We had been making light conversation till not so long ago. To say that the question threw me off would be an understatement of sorts. Not because I didn’t have an answer to it, but more because I had a ready long answer and it is rarely (if ever!) I come across a person willing to talk about such things as a part of a conversation. If I try to raise a topic like this with my friends I’m either met with blank stares or an expression that clearly says, “Kritika, u have finally lost it”. K

At that point I gave as coherent an answer as I could manage though probably knowing my skills as putting forth a view without seeming like im gonna bite someone’s head off, I wonder if he understood. J but I did wonder about it later at night. My answer… a conversation between my mother and my maid

For the most part of my life I’ve lived in a world which has noone but me in it. All my actions, reactions, ideas, notions and thoughts for the major part of my life at least have been an answer to how a particular thing, incident, act or people affect me.
Though I’m ashamed to admit it, I have never been able to imagine how life must be as Mr. A or B or whatever. Even on the rare occasions I did, it seemed like such a tedious task that I gave up within the next 10 seconds.

Till not so long ago, everyone’s life seemed to exist till the extent that it was connected with me— my friends, cousins, relatives or house help. And a visit to their houses would amaze me and to a certain extent disillusion me—their everyday activities, their relationship with their parents, how they carried themselves around and small things like how they maintained their things. Their smallest of actions, everything used to be so different from what I had always imagined or felt it to be! But being around 11-12 years I was hardly able to pinpoint as to how or why did I form such different notions and ideas and why was I always so disappointed in people that they didn’t come upto them.

Over the years I’ve grown and started to believe that I understand people better now—can interpret their reactions, can make out from their expression how genuinely they mean what they say and blah blah. To summarize, I’ve started toi understand people (if not the world!) a bit better.

But then again, that was till about a month ago when I realized that my thinking is still self centred and small in perspective.

What triggered it? Well a conversation between my mother and my new maid while I happened to be lolling around… she was asking her about her life in her native place—her family, studies, work, life in general. Listening to her answer made me feel that for all my lately acquired worldly wise notions, I still havnt stepped out of my world of surrealism, naiveté, self complacency, whichever way u want to put it.

For the life of me I couldn’t imagine how could anyone live a life so different— so completely unlike the life that I live!

After having read this long an entry I’m sure you must be wondering what about this incident did make me happy? Well…to overcome this feeling of belonging to a different universe, I offered to teach her as a way to help her as well as myself. And no matter how stupid it may sound, it made me feel happy. J

Monday, August 20, 2007


WASHINGTON: It has all the trappings of a wedding: the proud tuxedo-clad father, the frosted white cake, the limousines and an exchange of vows. But there is no groom and the girl in the long gown is no bride. She's daddy's little girl, taking a vow of chastity.
In what is becoming a trend among conservative Christians in the United States, girls as young as nine are pledging to their fathers to remain virgins until they wed, in elaborate ceremonies dubbed Purity Balls.
Many fathers at the ceremonies slip "purity rings" around the finger of their misty-eyed daughters or offer them "chastity bracelets" and other jewelry that the girls can entrust to their husbands on their wedding night.

This being an article on the DNA network website

now isn’t this funny? This new chastity fad hits the states and everyone starts talking about it. Suddenly everyone seems to be aware and talking about the need for ‘self preservation’ and ‘abstinence’. Bite me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this exactly what our older generations have been telling us about, asking us for!? When they say that having multiple partners or indulging in pre marital sex is not right, we boo boo them, thinking them to be old fashioned, outdated, hypocritical and orthodox.

But now that suddenly America is preaching abstinence, it becomes uber cool! :
Talk to a few people around about it, and they go like, “oh, but there is a difference you see… Indians preach chastity only for moral reasons, whereas people in the US are all for it for the medical problems that can occur… to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS. Indians on the other hand are least concerned about this aspect!” :O

Point taken. But it certainly isn’t as simple as this. This is simply a manner of putting same information in a new avatar just to make it palatable and acceptable to the present generation. Here, we are willing to give it a chance just because US believes in it. What people don’t realize is that in the US itself this concept is mainly prevalent in the central states where the population is largely religious and conservative. Also, like everything else in the States, this too is just a passing fad. What else can explain the bizarre concepts of walking down the aisle with your father in a ceremony akin to the wedding ceremony, the only differences being absence of the groom and taking of celibacy vows instead of marriage vows. Or wearing chastity rings. OR (if these weren’t ridiculous enough!) going in for surgery to regain your so called virginity. I mean… how funny can it get!? :O if this clearly doesn’t smack of hypocrisy, what does? Well…to each his own, and hey! If it makes people feel good about themselves then why not go for it? But what I don’t understand is WHY does this sound so believable and acceptable to us? Why doesn’t the concept of virginity sound right to us on its own accord?

The funny thing is that the media that was all for sexual freedom of any and every kind as a symbol of a liberated society is now holding special talk shows, discussions etc on it, asking questions like “Now that the chastity fad has taken the US by storm, do you think you are going to follow suit?” So much for liberation :

Hey… I’m all for the concept of chastity, preservation till sure and stayinf faithful to our partners. But what is the guarantee that he/she has been equally faithful? How can we be sure that the problems we have been trying to safeguard ourselves from wont occur after marriage? If you abstain till marriage for moral, emotional and safety reasons, what is the guarantee that the person you marry has done so too and is…to say…a ‘safe’ bet? And WHY do people generally take chastity to mean abstinence on the part of women only?

i dunno much about these things but what iv always felt is Life doesn’t come with any guarantees. At the end of the day it all boils down to the choices we are willing to make and the gambles we are willing to take. Following a certain precedence set by others is not going to get us anywhere if we ourself are not sure about the reasons of making our choices... (to end on a peachy preachy note! :>)