When jokers throw punches….

8 02 2009

In the frenetic hours before starting a blog, I’d decided that this would be a blog that people would sit up and notice.  Something was going to be said, and by Gawd! It would be something momentous, stupendous, marvelous, remarkable, fantastic, something that would serve as a fearless catalyst to lingering moments of epiphany, something that would seize the reader (MY reader) by the unmentionables and make them want to burst forth in a creative supernova. 


That’s what I’d decided, and I thought it would be pretty smooth sailing.  I was going to talk about big, weighty issues that in part or as a whole commented upon the existential question, world politics, what’s holding us all back from coming together as a nation, a country, a planet even.  The state of education, the exploitation of women, global warming, the fact that the Male Chauvinist Pig refuses to die out, even natural selection fails us there (Get that no-good rat Darwin! This is not what we signed up for and we want our money back!)


The trouble with natural selection is that even if you admit it makes sense that the fittest should lead, procreate and continue the march of mankind on the world, somehow, owing to a twisted joke some guy with a Metaphysical hold on the universe decides to play on us, it almost never happens these days.  If it did, I am sure that the strain of weakness and the utter incapability to appreciate strength in another would be eradicated in all men cutting across class lines.


In this post though, I’m going to tackle the Mangalorean wimps who beat up girls in a pub. 


The inability to see strength, confidence and above all power in the hands of another, or as we learned to say in discourses of gender and inequality, ‘The Other’ really cannot be called anything apart from a debilitating weakness.  It is weakness and a deeply rooted sense of inferiority that leads to an almost ritualistic sense of inflated ego and perception of self that is supported through the conscious and deliberate dehumanizing and destruction of the ‘Other’. 

When a self image is defined and sustained only through an acknowledgment of difference and opposition from the Other, it leads to a problematic and uneasy construction of identity that is prone to rupture and decay as time passes and such constructions (that are static) find it difficult to negotiate with new systems of self recognition and identity. 


A man who identifies himself as a man only because he is something that does everything a woman cannot do and should not do will find it painfully confusing, infuriating and mentally destabilizing to watch a woman, indeed an army of women literally kicking his arse while they surpass and outclass him at what he does and does not do.  For the cardboard cut-out males produced by the million in this country and others, the revelation that a female is capable of using her mind, her body and her brain to function so that it serves her purpose and empowers her is a blow to the family jewels, an attack on the fortress of manhood, an act that robs them of everything precisely because their idea of self and self worth is determined by what a woman is NOT in relation to them.  It symbolically rapes them and leaves them devoid of a sense of being. 


According to the Mangalorean wimps, they are men:


1)     Because they have a Y chromosome in their DNA strands.

2)     They are anatomically men

3)     Wait, you need more reasons than that?!!!

4)     Well, they’re smart BUT they can’t be expected to think – that’s just too much trouble.

5)     They are brave BUT they need to be in a group of 10 to 20 guys to feel safe beating up three girls outside a pub.

6)     They’re custodians of Indian culture BUT it’s alright for them not to know what that ACTUALLY means.  I mean, how many things do you expect the poor fellows to remember when there are important things like Culture Defending to worry about.

7)     They are not scared of anyone BUT they piss their pants if they see a girl from their community talking to someone outside the charmed circle. (This is because they know the number of female options open to them is dwindling even as they speak and they really can’t afford to have these Other Religion guys come steal their women.)

8)     Profanity is their big ticket to manhood. Unless they can spout two or three curses involving copulation, they really don’t get the feel of being a man.

9)     They can talk and debate too BUT they would rather roar and growl and create several high pitched animalistic sounds to sounds how fierce they are. An extended vocabulary is for sissies.

10)                        They’re doing all of this to protect women. 

11)                        They really don’t get what the big deal is, all they did was beat a few girls o teach them a lesson, isn’t that the Vedic way to doing things anyway?

12)                        They’re getting their lunches packed.  They got tipped off that there are lewd, indecent and naked figurines of men and women involved in gruesome acts of Foreign Influence in Khajuraho, so they need to go there and bust things up.  It’s not temples; no way!  That’s just Muslim propaganda!  Our gods and goddesses were very well behaved and proper. 


When you have a psychosis as messed up as that, it is no wonder that some of these men have to prove that something still moves and breathes in the blocks of wood they carry above their shoulders. 

What say thou?


Post the First

31 12 2008

I am always, unfailingly, unswervingly impressed with people who know exactly what they want to write the minute they attach their rear-end to a chair, bed, bean bag, lap, what-have-you. What is the deal with that? Do they keep thinking about what they’re going to write as they’re walking around finishing other stuff, or is like a gun goes off in their heads. boom! Folks, iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s writing time and some tappity tap tap later…voila! They’ve actually managed to conjour up some words on the screen.

It’s mortifying.

Enough to make a girl quit at times. Because as it happens very often with me, I sit down to write, I know what I want to convey yet…yet the words just won’t budge. It’s like fishing for tadpoles with a torn net. You spot the bugger and just as you’re about to swoosh in and net him, poof, he’s gone. One good thing is that anyone’s who’s been watching you gets a great laugh. And if you want to go kill yourself over something as silly as knowing what to write but not being able to do so is clearly not anybody’s problem.

I thought I figured out a way to deal with the problem. Lists! Yes, make lists. Lists of ideas, characters, places, seas, rivers, continents. fictional and otherwise. The idea behind the whole execrise ios that if you keep these lists in your head, the words will trigger memories and connections to various objects, effectively bridging the gap between “ooh I got a great idea for a story!” and “I’m finally finished with this chapter!”. As of now, I’m stuck between “ooh I got a great idea for a story!” and “Errrrrr…..well…ummmm.”

So I chucked the lists but found a substitute soon after.  Mind maps!

When I was in 8th grade, about to graduate Middle School, somebody (don’t remember who sorry) came up with the idea of having mind maps as our yearbook write ups.  So next to your gangly picture in glasses (in my case, braids….don’t remind me)  you’d have a mind map. 

Think of it this way.  You write your name in the middle of the page and then draw small lines that branch off towards circles (or whatever other shape you like) where you write about things that describe you or excite you, like your interests and hobbies.  And you keep adding to those.  So, in effect it will create a cloud of words, phrases and pictures that describe your time spent at school,  activities, interests, fun stuff you did with your friends, crushes, the love of your life stuff like that and the end result would look similar to a tag cloud only it was a tag cloud about you. 

You are at the centre and the words surrounding you are your world.  It was interesting to see the sorts of things that lived inside people’s heads.  Of course, it was 8th grade…so there was a lot, I mean a LOT of posturing. BUt, even so, for some of us that mind map became like a mirror we went back to year after year, to see if we could add something or remove something from it. 

It really is your journey as a person. 

Maybe you should try it sometime.  It might surprise you.