On sex, religion and rights

This post written by Melody seems to have sparked off a storm in the desi blogging teacup. I’m coming in rather late (ah, Saks, don’t smirk at that!!) but I feel compelled to put in my two-bit worth for a lot of reasons.

1. I do have an opinion on this. And this involves three subjects close to my heart (see the title of the post)

2. The discussion seems to have wandered off on weird tangents.

3. I actually agree with the viewpoint of some of Melody’s detractors but not with the way they’ve expressed them.

Okay, let me start again. The question as I understand it was about desi girls and whether they were ‘doing it’ or not. That’s a fact (debatable on either side since there’s no way to really authenticate it). Now whether they should or not is a matter of opinion.

Melody as I know her is a lady with strong conviction in her opinion but (or should I say ‘and’) with no hang-ups about needing others to agree. This is a rarity, I well know. I’m not a big fan of God and religion myself and I admit I’m more than a little biased against religious people. This stems from the fact that all my life I’ve had God thrust on me by people who believe in the concept strongly and tried their level best to force me to. Let me not even start on the cause of most of the violence in the city, in the country and across the world today. My own personal experiences deter me from  being overly fond of the ‘missionaries‘ as I call them.

Melody, however, is NOT a missionary by that definition. In all my interaction with this lady, never once has she tried to convert me or anyone else to her point of view. If anything, I find talking to her refreshing and interesting simply because she has a different point of view from mine and conveys it without needing me to agree. So Sakshi, Sonya, while I’m up there with you on the anti-organized-religion front, I have to say you’re probably equally blinded by your fervour as the fanatics are. With all due respect, it takes all sorts to make a world. Not every religious person is spiritual but they aren’t all mercenaries either.

Coming back to the original question. My take on this is simple. Personal freedom is about the only thing I really believe in. It’s your body, your life. Do what you like with it, take responsibility for it.

If you are a woman, an Indian woman, you are well aware of society’s norms, how they can be flouted and the consequences of being ‘caught’ or even heard and misunderstood. Sex is a personal thing, it means different things to different people. As long as you are able to live with yourself during and after the act, I’m not drawing any judgements on you.

Taking responsibility is vital. If you trust the man, that’s your judgement call. If he dumps you later, feeling used, abused and worse still pregnant (Yes, this is wrong if it wasn’t planned for. If you can adapt to the situation and handle it, I applaud you.), that is a judgement that went wrong and you will have to bear the consequences. If tomorrow, you are married or with another man who is not able to accept the fact that you aren’t a virgin, that’s something you’ll have to deal with too. Either don’t have sex before marriage or make sure to only pick guys who think the same way you do or just learn to face the consequences. Society is like that, try and change it if you dare but there’s no point cribbing over the way it is.

And finally, practise safe sex if you do. It’s good for the world’s population, it’s good for you.

(A side note: There’s a link to another blog here that I haven’t linked to, before. If you’re interested, yes, that was written by me too when I was in a more spiritual/soul-searching frame of mind. I can feel that coming on again so I’m thinking of migrating the posts from there to here and continuing writing future thoughts on this right here.)

Also cross-posted on IFSHA.

Torn

It doesn’t take a lot to make me cry. It doesn’t take anything to make me cry. Because I don’t cry. No matter what, tears don’t happen for me. And yet I used to be a blubberer. No, not a blubberer…but someone whose tears would suddenly well up and just keep flowing silently, incessantly. Then I stopped.

I haven’t cried in years.

I didn’t cry when my uncle succumbed to cancer and my family gave in to the madness called grief.

My eyes haven’t misted over with all the poison-arrows these two have been shooting at me in the past three years.

I didn’t cry for all the men that were in the past year and the heartache that came along with them.
Not that I didn’t feel bad at the time. I did, in an unhealthy, dreary, suicidal way
With the last heartbreak, I ached at the sight of him and the sound of him and the thought of him
But not one single tear did I shed in his name

I’ve been swayed by the high/low of realising my personal and professional dreams, all of which have been happening through last year. But I didn’t even make an acquaintance with the proverbial ‘tears of joy’.

I’ve been losing people, so many of them, so dear to me…willingly pushing them away just because I can’t stand waiting for the axe of seperation to fall. No crying then either.

So many plans made, so much effort and dreams and all of them gone to shambles. I amazed myself at how quickly I jumped on to something bigger and better. Maybe I was just escaping. But I never cried.

But this evening, a thought unbidden rose to my mind.

I don’t remember the last time I felt whole.

And suddenly, sitting in an autorickshaw, neck deep in peak-hour traffic, I was crying.

Torn – Natalie Imbruglia 

I thought I saw a man brought to life
He was warm
He came around
And he was dignified
He showed me what it was to cry

Well you couldn’t be that man I adored
You don’t seem to know
Or seem to care
What your heart is for
I don’t know him anymore

There’s nothin’ where he used to lie
My conversation has run dry
That’s what’s going on
Nothings right
I’m torn

I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I’m wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn
You’re a little late
I’m already torn

So I guess the fortune tellers right
I should have seen just what was there and not some holy light
But you crawled beneath my veins
And now, I don’t care
I have no luck
I don’t miss it all that much
There’s just so many things
That I can’t touch
I’m torn

There’s nothin’ he used to lie
My inspiration has run dry
That’s what’s going on
Nothing’s right
I’m torn

How appropriately inappropriate.

Expression

When my words stop getting through to you
All I have left to express myself, is silence.

night_butterflies_by_silent_reverie.jpg

Will the real IdeaSmith please stand up?

I’ve been breaking resolutions and rules and not feeling bad about them
I’ve been breaking resolutions and rules and not feeling GOOD about them

I’ve been the one doing the dumping the past few times
I’ve been checking if my shoelaces were tied more often than the state of my hair

I’ve been getting introduced to people as ‘Idea’ and ‘smithy’ recently
I’ve been getting into arguments and monologues and stopping abruptly
Because they’re both the same and both equally boring

I’ve been skipping birthdays, weddings and anniversaries like crazy
And shopping ruthlessly
But my credit card bill is back to my stingy-three-years-ago self
And the invitations are still flooding my mailbox

I’ve been sizing up men I meet. And women.
And stopping only because there’s nothing new to see

I’ve been saying all kinds of random things
Behaving as erratically as I can get away with
And in fact, not too…but I’ve always been getting away with it

I’ve been mean to those I like
Pushed away those I love
Shut out those who are really important

And I’ve welcomed with open arms all the riff-raff
And hugged those who stick needles into me
And continued…in the hope that I bleed and feel…a little

I’m…not exactly restless….that would mean I had some energy to get out and do something different. I just feel sedated.

Everyone who read this and asked how I was….thank you very much. I’m fine, I’m alright, I’m just not myself these days. I’m on a trip somewhere outside the place I find my body in. But I’ll come back, I always do. After all, strange as this planet may be, it still is the only place I can call home. For now.

Anesthetized

I was at the hospital last week. I didn’t schedule it well ahead on my calendar and keep looking at the date with gnawing hunger. I just picked up my bag at lunchtime and walked out after a brief word with my manager. I took a cab there, walked in, waiting for the appointment and took a cab back when I was done. When my colleagues asked me where I was, I uncharacteristically didn’t say a word, just a “Some stuff to get done.”

I stopped to have a dosa in the hospital canteen before the appointment, which is when I actually thought about it. When did I get so numb over the experience?

My earliest memory of a hospital visit was for my grandfather’s cataract operation during the school summer holidays. We were told to keep as quiet as possible and ‘see’ thatha but not disturb him. I was on my best behaviour and since my cousin-nemesis-fellow mischief maker was too, things went off smoothly. We came back with thatha who had to wear an eye shield for awhile after that. I was glad that experience was over.

The next time was a few months later for the other grandfather. And this time round, I came back to school to an essay about a visit to the hospital. My descriptive 7-pager got the proverbial star as well as a discreet comment from the teacher on how to spell opthalmology.

There was the time mum was in the hospital for a fortnight, when I was in college. I froze into an ice-block, carrying out all the required tasks, robotically moving between home, college, hospital and the empty darkness inside my mind. It never occurred to me till much later when I was reading a book about body language that for six months following that period, I slept curled up foetus-like.

I do remember sitting outside the gates in the rain, alone, waiting for it to be visiting hour. And I remember walking down to the paediatrics department to listen to the breathing of newborns. And a baby in the incubator there. Her mother would cry every evening watching the 6-month-preemie gasp for breath and I remember telling her that the baby had finished all its suffering before she was fully born so she was going to have a good life from there on. She died 2 days before we left the hospital.

There were the months in and out of hospitals and clinics and labs in Delhi and Mumbai. There was blood transfusions, a rainfall of test reports, chemotherapy, consultation fees, second opinions, third opinions, so very many opinions. There was cancer. Twice over. And above all the overriding antiseptic smell.

And then there were none.

Midas In Reverse

He insisted,

I tell you I have the Midas touch!

She said,

I believe you. Only you are Midas in reverse.
You only touch that which is already gold.

He laughed. She did too.

She didn’t tell him she was thinking

Midas turned life into cold metal.
But you could bring gold back to life.

Desires

We are challenged by the audacity of our desires but also restricted by their focus.

 

Thank God then for life’s miracles…and its disappointments.

~o~

Virgin

So you’ve been held in passionate embraces
But never captivated by someone’s glance
You’ve made love,
But have you ever lost your sense of self becoming one with another?
So you have never been sullied by someone’s touch.

You bear the unmarkedness of sweet innocence
Virginal in your soul
Not burdened by other people’s attentions
Crystal clear and sparkling bright
Unblurred by the hangover of someone else’s mistakes

So pure I’m almost afraid to breathe in your presence
For fear of sending a ripple across your fluid surfaces
Or perhaps I fear that after the ripples have subsided
The waters will be just as calm again
And it will be as if I never was
Close to my sweet virgin

Blue

So you’re feeling blue
on a day that I’m wearing blue and feeling good about it

You call me to tell me that it reminds you of Anil Kapoor
And I know you’re thinking of my wailing

Why’s everything so blue???

at a movie we saw once
You liked the idea but it disturbed me.
I said so. You just smiled.

eve.jpg

In that conversation you were me and I was you
Does it matter then, who says what
And this time, how each of us sees blue?

Weird Weather Day

It rained this morning. In Mumbai it only rains between June and September. Deadening, depressing, gloomy rain.

But today was a cloudy, cloudy day when I left home. Dark clouds blotting out the over-hot sun that turns a Mumbai morning from morning-sun-pleasant to god-its-hot HOT. Dark clouds are supposed to be foreboding of doom, aren’t they? Somehow I like cloudy days, especially cloudy mornings. I hate the rains though.

Cloudy mornings are almost like the heaviness that has come to a peak and will crash any minute and you’re standing at the very edge of it, ready to fall with it, gloriously, deliriously into restful, submissive darkness. Isn’t that weird now?

It only rained for a few minutes. Enough to make the roads damp and turn the weather sticky. But the sun is out now, joyously bright. There’s sunlight on the dirty puddles, reflecting off so bright, it’s virtually blinding the drivers and passers-by in a gleeful

Look!!!!! I’m here! It’s morning! We’re all alive!!

Very much joyful. I love the weather today.

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