The unspoken side of the #Metoo Movement.

Image result for me too royalty free images#Metoo… Er., #NotMeToo…

I was at the terrace of my village school. I was catching crows. Seriously, don’t laugh. I was a bit weird by society’s standards even then. I had challenged a friend that I am capable of catching crows (damned if I know why) and was in my zone as I quietly sneaked behind crow after crow for like 100 crows.

My little face all screwed up in total concentration, I was about to take down a bloody crow, when 2 hands grasped me from behind. It was the headmistress’s Grand son, a college student. He laughed and sat on the parapet wall, all the while holding me, “Catching crows!?” “Yes Anna!” “I see!” And then he pulled me closer and locked me between his legs loosely.

Each time he asked me a question, he would pull me fast towards him so that I hit against his private parts and held me there. He made it all look like a play. I knew nothing about anything back then, but it went on to be a searingly uncomfortable memory.

I was 7 years old. I was studying 2nd standard and I certainly didn’t want to touch him.

A new male teacher joined my school. “Your hands are so cool to touch, put them under my shirt and keep them there!” Was his standard instruction.

I was 10 and I certainly didn’t want to put my hands inside his shirt.

A few years later, a gangly boy on a cycle came at super speed, came close to me and hit me with force on my breast. My inner bitch just snapped, I gave chase like Angelina Jolie in a Hollywood block-buster, caught him after 2 streets. I did claim my honour as I pushed him down and thrashed him to the bone. I am sure the bloke has nightmares of this wee flying girl even now.

I was 14. I certainly didn’t want to be touched on my chest.

And then began the phase where I wanted to be touched…

I tried to kiss my boyfriend for the first time. My father caught us and like all Indian fathers, spoke cinematic dialogues, worked himself into a fine rage and slippered me right on the staircase. And to add insult to injury, my boyfriend would distribute my private letters to my class. Every boy in the class would go on to call me a ‘slut’, some to my face and some behind my back. It would go on to be the most harrowing experience of my teenage.

I was 16 and I certainly WANTED to kiss this time. But I was character assassinated by everyone who knew me.

So “Me too” is not the complete story…

The other half is when I am sexual and I am called names… And told #notyou —

When people see me as a sensual being and get threatened…
When every parent of a girl child starts abusing the child’s character the moment they see her awakening to her sexuality….

When every jerk on the road is a ‘prostitute’s’ son… why not call him a politician’s son.. why only a prostitute’s son??
When every woman who wants to marry a person of their choice somehow becomes a disappointment to the family.
When every new bride who exhibits lust on her husband becomes a bad daughter-in-law?
And if she wants to move out in to her own house., don’t even ask!

This society has still not successfully explained, as to why taking care of the parents is only the son’s duty and not a daughter’s?
Why is it that when a man has a sexual urge, he is a stud, why is it that when a woman has a sexual urge, she is a slut?

As much as you fight for protection against sexual predation, I wish woman fight for their right to be sexual as well without facing character assassination. As much as they need a lawyer for solving disputes they need advocates for their right over their own bodily impulses.

Today I am a fully grown woman and I still continue to face the same kind of non-sense, both from men and women.

Men, they just assume that since I am single I might be interested in a fling. Women, they just assume that since I am single I might be going around having flings with all and sun dry. I have learnt to laugh it all and try and deal with them with humor.

I went for a business appointment a while ago. This elderly guy is one of the most influential in Tamil Nadu. He asks to hug me. I smilingly refuse. And then he opens his drawer and tells me, “here, take how much ever money you want to, take it, just take it. I just want a hug!” I kept the smile on my face and told him, “I am delighted I have a grandfather who wants to write me an inheritance. Have always missed family money. Please do write me a will instead of cash.” And as I expected he called the meeting to a close. I have neither got their business nor was I called to meet again.

I was 37. I certainly didn’t want to hug.

And these experiences are not even starters for the truly horrible ones. But I see the joke in all of them. . Because, what’s the point? All stories are pointless in the long run.

The joy of life is in how well you flourished , despite what happened to you. There is no greater joy than challenging the patriarchy on your own, giving it your all, and winning! That’s what I do, fight, fight for every opportunity, give it my all, and I win mostly. I wish that joy on every woman.

Fight for your every right, not just this one. Say “Me too!” every time the society says, “not you!” …For everything that is denied to you, right from career to dressing choice, to mating choice to taking care of your parents to every bloody thing that they think is not yours.


5 Reasons why understanding someone is like peeling an onion

peeling-the-onion-3Ever tried to understand someone? Why does that perfect boyfriend turn into an asshole at the blink of an eye? And you agonize over hours together asking yourself… “What just happened? Why?? Why would he do that??” Why would he say that???” Your mind becomes hell for those few hours, doesn’t it?

Well, trying to understand people and peeling an onion are one and the same. Your eyes tear up and after all the peeling… you land up nowhere. NOWHERE.

Here are the reasons…

1. We live in the age of smart phones and stupid people.

People are becoming stupider and stupider when it comes to relationships even as our  phones become smarter and smarter in our social networking. All that smartness has screwed up our relationship dynamics. For example, I saw this post in FB today.. “I am married but actually I am single because I feel lonely”…An utterly stupid thing to put on Fb…  Imagine your spouse has seen that post on facebook.  Ten minutes later you tell him/her some perfectly innocent thing like, “I am going to meet my friends.” And while in a bad mood, the internal mechanism might just go whirring like “You with friends = I am single” And the next thing you know, you are hearing things like “Maybe I should have married my first love after all!”

Now can you seriously understand why he/she said that? Will they tell you? In the first place, do they understand themselves?  You will never know. There is noway you can understand all that stupidity.

2. Face it, everyone has a multiple personality disorder.  me

Seriously! No single person is one person. Somebody who waxes eloquent on keeping India clean could be a pig inside his own house. One could be angry in the morning, happy in the evening and somewhere in between during night. And all three are different people. Not the same person. Before you have understood someone they are gone and another person has taken over. So who do you plan to understand? The core of the onion is absolutely empty, you see?

3. You are no Appatucker.

Are you a mind reader? Are you God? How the hell do you know whatever logic you have attributed to the other person’s behavior is indeed true?  Whatever you understand are within the frameworks of your thoughts, your logic. They are assumptions, not truth. Unless you occupy the same space and time as that of the other person, there is no way you can understand the other. You will come round and round in your mind and land up nowhere again, which is exactly the core of the onion. Nothing. Please do yourself a favor and don’t take yourself or your thoughts seriously!

4.  It’s a freaking dance with far too many strings. locusofcontrol

People are basically pulled by many strings at the same time. They dance to those strings. Indigestion can make them bark, a slight change in the atmospheric pressure could spin different thoughts in that delicate brain, Rains can subconsciously remind them about the spanking they received long ago and corresponding responses can be triggered. We all are basically ceasing and arising experiences every moment dependent on a million, million factors. If you try to understand all those factors, you will once again land up in an asylum. There are only experiences not persons. Remember, onion??

5.  “You” are a ‘myth’ too.

When you say ‘I’ am trying to understand, that ‘I’ there implies  you consider yourself to be who you actually are, a concrete person, but the fact is you too are merely a  collection of decisions put together to cope with past incidents. You are a myth too. One myth trying to understand another? A big fat onion core is what you get.

I think I have confused you sufficiently?!! Now you are wondering what the hell should I do if I cannot understand the weirdos in my life? How do I cope then?

1. Experience, Experience, Experience every weirdo in your life. Look at people as experiences not as characters.

2. To have peaceful relationships, have structured forums to discuss your needs and wants every week. Ask structured questions for feedback. “Is there something that I did this week that irritated you?” Ask your partner if it’s ok, if I give feedback on what pleased me and what didn’t. These questions and ensuing conversations will tune you both up. Instead if you jump into silent understanding of the other person’s flaw, you are cooking up the perfect recipe for misery.

3. If your relationship has turned out into just a series of ‘situationships’, then its time to walk away.

3. Once again Experience, experience and experience everything that comes your way. The dates in the calendar are closer than they appear, and in no time you will be up there. Stop machinating in your head and start living.

Hopefully, you won’t struggle with the onion core anymore.




Real Life Heros

3 30. in the morning! Now, that’s no time to be out on the roads, unless you are flying high on a late night party or it’s the day of the Dream Runners Half Marathon and you are the volunteer-cyclist. Fired up with Adrenaline, I was there sharp on time to be the route marshal for the third woman runner. Laying for her a bridge to run on the sea of eager runners was my task. Man, did I enjoy shouting on top of my voice “Please move, winner running!!” to a sea of runners,? You bet!

The first two women runners passed me by like bolts of lightning. And then came Kavitha. Slender like a willow, dark and with not an extra ounce of fat in her body. I happily took my position a little behind her as it was a free road. And I loved seeing her while she ran. The graceful form and rhythmic movement of an elite runner was indeed a treat to the eyes. Not to mention my wistful fantasies to be able to run like her and wishing for the nth time that I had taken to running when I was younger.

The first surprise came when she called me to the front and asked me to be sure to clear a big way for her on the way back. It was still dark and I didn’t notice the details of her face. It was just surprising that she didn’t even gasp after having run a kilometer. She did not seem to be able to follow even a simple sentence in English. I don’t know if I am going deaf or if her tamil was so different from Chennai Tamil, I had to make her repeat her instructions thrice. She did without losing her breath.

All of a sudden, my eyes landed on her feet and what the heck!!!, She was running BAREFOOT!! Imagine running 21 kilometers on tar roads, with all its tiny bad spiky pebbles which are quite tricky if you just walk, how bad can they turn when you are landing on them at fifty times your body weight!? I kept waiting and waiting for her to slow down, but she didn’t. And the worst part? When I told her that I am assigned to lead the third runner, she firmly shook her head and said, “Second, I will finish second.” That was on the first kilometer. How awesome is it to have such confidence on your own abilities, when you are just in the first lap!

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Dealing with feeling

Why is it impossible for kids and teens to listen to their parent’s advice?

Face it! There is not an advice that the teen does not know for himself or herself. “Do not mind your friend’s taunts!” Tell me what is brilliant about that piece of advice? “physical appearances are not important!” Your child probably rolled her eyes and said, “Oh, yea!”

As a parent you are interested in getting your children to behave right. Since you love your child more than anyone else on the planet, you probably want to make her feel better instantly. And you start your advices. But it doesn’t work that way.

Negative feelings become all the more intense when that feeling is not allowed expression. When those feelings are invalidated! When you try to thrust your wisdom on your child as she feels low, it complicates the problem in two ways. First the child’s problem is no more the original problem. The problem now is you! They got to convince you that they really do have a problem. Second the focus is shifted from finding a solution to struggling to validate one’s feelings.

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Why have I not got married?

Ok, I am going to answer this one last time. I am sick and tired of facing this question spoken or unspoken, thrown at me by every Tom, Dick and Harry. In future I am planning to give this link to anyone who asks me the question. funny

Why have I not got married?

The fact is I honestly don’t know. But I have some theories.

1. It might be because of the marital profile I have put up in the Bharat matrimony site. The usual profiles in Indian marriage market go on to say, “I am kind, sincere, good, decent back-ground, fun for life blah blah, which when summed up means, “I am God’s perfect gift to humanity and I want another one of his masterpieces as spouse.” Maybe my profile fizzles out instantly in comparison as it says:

“I am a good girl, Oh really I am, and I do believe in fantasy creatures like dragons, goblins and good men. 

Now for the man I want to hunt down, I mean find, you must look like Brad Pitt and earn like Bill Gates. Must be interested in mutual hate discussions and must be skilled at insulting, screaming and slamming doors in public. If you are what they say as ‘Mr Right’ then you will know instinctively that I am ‘Mrs Always Right’. My favorite hobby is designing night-wear for ghosts. It will be great if you can be supportive and give me ideas on that one. I can talk for hours without any topic. You must be willing to listen and contribute meaningful ‘Ohs’ and ‘Ahas!!’ but nothing more.If at all things don’t work out well for us, then I give you permission to unfriend me from real life but don’t ever unfriend me from Facebook.”

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Archetypes and Kedi Billa and Killadi Ranga!

Now, the archetype is a very interesting concept in psychology. Just like the body has its organs,the mind too has its organs and some    of its organs are the archetypes.  If a single thought can be equated to a single cell, then an idea can be equated to a tissue, and a personality is a collection of ideas that get glued together.

The common man’s understanding is that we all have our own individual personalities and that each of us are unique in our expressions.Some people have delightful personalities while a few others have really some screws missing in their box.  But that is only a very superficial way of understanding ourselves. Our personalities, that we so proudly proclaim as ours, are most often not really ours.

There are typical personality stereotypes in the human psyche, the human unconscious, called as the archetypes that we begin to channelise. There are no exceptions.  Each of us, however unique we might think we are, however successful or failure, each one of us have these archetypal personalities that controls the way we experience our lives.

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The blokes living in Chennai have it better?

A sample: 

“My whole life is spoiled because I had married you. How I wish I had got married to sangeetha.” – This is the husband talking. 

“But Sangeetha is already married and with two kids. The past is past and we have to focus on us.” – The wife. 

“No, I can’t be without talking to her atleast once a day. You are of no use to me.” 

“Then why did you get married to me?” 

“What will I do if you get married to someone else.??” – The husband, in an obvious, matter of fact tone. 

The girl was inconsolable. This is a sample conversation I had with a college girl from Sivagangai. 70% of the girls from that college were married and all 70% were in a personal hell of varying degrees. Not one person who didn’t have tears in her eyes as she recounted experiences out of her marriage, mother in law, husband and parental pressure. 

It so happened that I trained in a finance minister initiative. Minister P. Chidambaram had wanted his constituency Sivagangai’s students to be trained and my company had bagged the contract. I had gone there personally to set pace and spearhead the training. And the experiences that I had were real eye-openers. 

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Couple woes

Been counselling a lot of married couples of late. It was surprising how each one of them began their stories just a little while before marriage. Apparently they were dissatisfied with the spouse for one reason or the other. One felt the to-be-wife was fat. Another felt the husband was miserly. Yet another felt the wife was immature for her age. But each of them had hope that the spouse will change for the better after the marriage. And thus began their journey towards marital doom.Ofcourse, none of them changed. And so began a long war to change the other, to tailor make them for the specific requirements. One marriage has broken now beyond repairs, the one with a miserly husband. The rest of the marriages I was able to successfully resolve the differences and I am very happy about it. But the point is, why say an ‘yes’ when you had the power to say a ‘no’? If you are clear that you could be very happy only with a thin woman, why spoil not only your life but another person’s as well just because you had hope?

Obviously you cannot wait until you came across the perfect lover. And that’s why you married whoever came along that best suited your needs. Then why the hell are you still trying to create the perfect lover instead of investing your time and energy in creating the perfect love? Still cannot forget the woman’s voice trembling with so much hurt and tears spilling out unrestrained as she said “He keeps saying I am fat every opportunity he gets!”

You do this too??

In a few days Ragini, the poor girl, who was gang raped will be forgotten. In a few days IPL will take over, or maybe a political stunt by Rahul or Modi or even thalaivar’s latest release. The infidelity of the public outrage will be happily explained away in a single sentence, “India cannot be changed.” And we all shall become complacent once again with our own goodness, because, come on, we are good men we are, because, well… we haven’t ‘raped’ anyone!!!

But you, the very man, who posted sympathetic and outraged comments on your wall, extending full support for Ragini, might continue to rape your wife, sister, female friend… You rape our opinions, our free-thought, our right to have a say, because, well, we are women. You can beat us in the privacy of your home when you get enraged, and the same thing your wife cannot do to you. She cannot even raise her voice against you. She, who leaves her family to come and live with you cannot have problems adjusting with the new environs. But you could forbid her to speak with her family, well, because you do not like them.

You are very clear you will be the one who wears the pants in your house. And that speaks for itself. There is a convenient word that covers all your atrocities. “TRADITION AND CULTURE.” “A family’s welfare depends on the girl in the house’… Bull crap! As though you didn’t have any part. Did you know that, traditionally in India, sages like Maitreyi and Gargi rode on the horses to the yagnasthal and performed the havan just the same as a man? Well, you woudn’t!  DSC_0985

If you really want to change the way things are in this world, If you really want to show a protest to what happened to Ragini, and if you really want to ensure that this does not happen to your daughter twenty years later, would you look at the real issue besides going to the protest? Do you have the guts to take action where it matters the most? Or are you the hippocrite who protests in public, only for gangrapes and rapes our thoughts in privacy? Would you take resolutions to change your attitude towards us both in small things and bige things?

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How Far is Far?? – II

So this is a common snapshot of highly disturbing relationships with NPD people.  

When the relationship begins, you cannot believe your luck that you have so charming, intelligent, handsome/beautiful successful a person who treats you so special. Probably, taken in by all that love and attention and wanting to speed up the process you made the first move and spoke your feelings. Wham! The trap closes around you!! The narcissist was waiting for exactly this. This is the stage instead of responding like normal people in the negative or in the affirmative, they put conditions.

A person who has not dealt with a narcissist will ask ‘what is wrong with this? Are we not being specific about our expectations? It is a good thing to do, isn’t it?’… Yes, putting conditions are not a problem as long as the conditions are specific and each of you get a chance to do it. A condition that says, “My Mom has gone to extreme ends to bring us up and I want a wife who respects her” is perfectly fine. “I am a woman who is interested in career and I will not give that up for anything” is a valid condition.

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