08 March, 2009
Are we Programmed for Life?
All of us have been provided with inbuilt or complementary landmarks and yardsticks for life that we need to or are supposed to cross and move ahead. They come free with the existence that is bestowed on us. In fact these are such generic milestones that without crossing them perhaps we just might or at least are expected to grope our way into nothingness. The great playwright Shakespeare classified life into The Seven Ages...quite aptly though...infancy, school-life childhood, the burning lover, career oriented soldier, the wise justice, the aged pantaloon and the eventual despairing age of second childishness awaiting the doom.
However, life is not as simple and wistfully not so well categorised, especially for my women folk. In the course of natural progression it is not just expected behaviour but a way of life to move through education, career, wedding, children and eventual spirituality; perhaps with a score of other do’s and do not’s that the moral police has subscribed for us. A natural delay or a conscious refusal to confirm to any of these standards is not just doubted but also tantamount to almost blasphemous. Like say a slight hesitation to help the injured man on the road may be regarded as subconscious fear of consequences but a bit of reluctance in adapting to motherhood is branded as bad character in a woman. If you are a woman of 30 and minus a baby or worse still 30 and minus a shaadi, these are cardinal sins my friend, that you have to groan under and that too silently. Who makes these guidelines? Who gives others the authority to judge us or set limitations?
Are we really in need of these landmarks or are we just programmed to breeze through them without the slightest of dilly-dallying, complaints or whining?
Almost into our third decade of life, a few very dear friends of mine have still not walked the aisle...so to speak. As if it’s not bad enough to encounter ridiculous propositions of the so-called suitable men “arranged” for their courting, these women have to face the constantly scrutinizing eyes of the social buffoons who sit with their hoity toity smug noses, raised in critical judgements. To them we just say, sit on our middle fingers and spin, for all we care...
On what particular achievements and their own highly dubious merit have they acquired the right to condone or condemn our actions and predicament?
What the bloody f@#$!
So when this lovely friend of mine returns home after the arranged meeting with the self professed “perfect” guy....she calls me up and we have a gala time shredding the nincompoop into pieces through our digs. Every week or so, she is put through the ridiculous drill of these ‘meets’, thanks to shaadi.com and well meaning acquaintances, which abound in our vicinity in greater amount in India than the beggars on our streets. Initially the thought of another disappointment would shove her into despair for days...now we just laugh it off....
Like this very ‘nice’ munda commented to her that he wore only kurta pyjamas when he went to watch Hindi movies in theatres.....WHAT?????? And if it was an English movie would he wear bermudas or oblige the audience with a strip tease then and there...I reasoned. Then there was another one who appeared shocked when he saw my friend in person with very short hair, as opposed to her longer tresses that he had seen in her picture shown beforehand. So the wise guy commented upon the state of affairs...and when this kiddo kind of justified... ‘Oh it’s just a temporary thing and anyways my hair grows pretty fast’....He retorted... “They better”. Helloooooo control freak!!!!!!!!!!! Bhaisaab, aapko yeh adhikar abhi mila nahi hain. Another would proclaim that they would eat whatever the lady would order and then quickly add in “suggestions” for what would suit the occasion from appetizers to downright the desserts. Such insane queries and conditions galore at these set ups, which makes me almost red with fury at having my wonderful buddy to go through this torture just to please the social bugs. She is stunning to look at, well settled in a career she has carved for herself...but no, she has to have the married tag stamped on her forehead to be a part of the civilized mess.
I am not approving of being whimsical yaar...but then you can’t embrace a bizarre situation or person, completely contrasting to your sensibilities and aptitude just because you have the world watching you, and waiting for you to take the plunge....Oh come on!
Or maybe you have to....!
Ah! So much for democracy, freedom, rights and all the rest of the politically right crap...!
What a perfect world it would be, when we would be given the authority over our own lives! How idyllic though far-fetched the day seems, when we would be able to rise up and say that “I” have taken this resolution, because “I” choose it to be like this and “I” accept all responsibility for it! When do we realize that we have truly grown up...when we are given the choice to take our decisions or when we realize that the decisions we are mouthing are not those of the people surrounding us, but come from our own latent desires and aspirations from within...!
So much for my expressions on Women’s Day!
Happy Women’s Day, my friends!