Thursday, June 4, 2009

To, The Indian Female...

No. I’m not feeling sleepy. I was feeling sleepy though, some 8 odd hours ago. But not since I decided to browse around a bit for some updates if any before hitting the bed. I found an update on Nikita’s blog in the form of 'A Letter' to the 'Indian Male'. And the rest of the night was spent twisting and turning trying to discover a comfortable position which could get me some sleep. But, which wasn’t to be.

Well, the reason for my sleeplessness was the sheer amazement to how she had put into words, the contents of a part of my mind. She had tossed a coin pretty high. But it would have been much better if she had turned the other side of it too. The other face of the same coin which was staring right at my mind’s eye…. refusing to let it drift into sleep.

So let me toss the coin again….

I first faced one such situation after completing school. It was some cold December evening when I was with three of my colleagues in a restaurant. Having ordered, we were in the midst of some discussion which suddenly shifted to the females of our batch. And suddenly, I found myself rather uncomfortable. I made two futile attempts to divert the proceedings elsewhere. But I guess they had got the ‘masala’ for gossip. And it was getting filthier as each second passed.

I could feel my eyes starting to burn, hot air escaping the ears and my head nearing the point of bursting. And just as they started to use names, I lost it. I completely lost it.

People who have known me would tell you that they have never seen me lose my temper. They would be surprised to know if I did. But, personally, I surprised myself by the sort of anger that I let loose then. I gave them a public dressing-down which I never thought myself to be capable of. All the people sitting around were looking at us and I wouldn’t be too mistaken if they actually expected me to get rough any second considering the state I was in. Soon, I was storming out of the place with my colleagues absolutely shocked and the onlookers pretty surprised.

And guess what !!! One of those colleagues of mine later married a girl of our own batch (not that very day… of course).

Coming to another incident which happened right during class hours. We had our batch divided into smaller ones (groups of about 20) for the sake of the numerous subjects we had to study. During one such class we were still waiting for our professor while being busy in our talks. As usual, the girls occupied the first two rows of chairs in the room while the boys sat at the back.

And the group in the last row got busy in their usual disgusting talks. One or two of them made sure to use the filthiest of expletives in the loudest of voices so that it may reach the ears of each and every one sitting in the room.

The girls were busy in their own talks. In fact they tried their best to portray exactly that. But the intense observer that I am, I could see that people were very uncomfortable. And then there was a repeat of the feeling I had at the restaurant.

And suddenly I got up, and stormed out of the room without a word. I was furious. In fact, I was in a rage. I could sense two forces having a battle of sorts inside my head. One wanted me to go back and teach the perverts a lesson. While the other tried to reason. If I did confront the perverts, I would in fact be bringing the filth out in the open which, the people had till then told themselves, didn’t exist. I would make it obvious what everyone was trying their best to ignore. Cause for great embarrassment. And that was exactly what those pervs wanted. I ended up missing the class…

Maybe I should have confronted them in order to prevent any future repetition of their misbehavior. But I guess my inexperience got the better of me.

And guess what !!! One of those colleagues of mine later married a girl of our own batch (not that very day… of course).

Which is what makes me ponder to my wits end. And what Nikita wrote in her letter to ‘Indian males’ underlines the very crux of my pondering.

“I understand that all of you are not the same, but I do not know which of you to address. I don’t know which of you is a ‘safe bet’. And I have no way of knowing it.”
But wasn’t it something else I knew all the time ? Something which said that, men’s minds are absolutely simple to understand. While a female’s mind is the most complicated thing you’ll ever come across.

If a male’s mind is so simple to understand, why can’t the females evaluate his real character ??? Why is there a dilemma in knowing the ‘safe bet’ ??? Why is there no way of knowing it ???

Consider a situation (in India, of course). A girl is away from home (be it a market, at work or the college campus) and a boy comes up and says that he would like to be her friend.

The reaction…. ??? Well, it depends. If the girl in question is a bit more adventurous, the answer would depend on the type of footwear she has on herself at that moment. A not so adventurous girl would let her eyes do the work of the footwear instead. But, almost in every case, the outcome is the same. Which actually means…. “How dare you could come up and talk to me like that?”

And if by any chance the boy happens to be her batch mate she has known for years…. SACRILEGE !!!

I may be over-exaggerating the situation but that was pretty much the norm in my younger days. Youngsters now are much more sensible than they were back then.

But yes, the same girl would probably be meeting a complete stranger sometime later in life who has been discovered by her parents as a probable match. (Again a norm in older times)

So what…. ??? Her parents have investigated everything there needs to be.

The guy is an MBA, working in the US with a huge salary package (would take his wife abroad with him) and has reasonable family background. What else can one ask for ? Character ??? No. That’s obvious.

So what if the guy robs the parents of their life’s earnings in the form of that sacred ritual called dowry. So what if he is having an ‘affair’ or two. So what if he is the same old pervert while with his ‘gang’ of friends. Marital rape ?? Oh. Come on. That’s nothing compared to the comfortable life she will get after marriage….

But obviously she just can’t accept an offer of friendship from a colleague. She didn’t know if he was a ‘safe bet’. And she had absolutely no way of knowing it too… !!!

Mind you, I too, understand that all of you are not the same. Just as you understand that all Indian men are not the same. But we have this habit of stereotyping the other gender. Don't we ?

Just for a tip, a high level of educational qualifications, luxurious levels of financial status and even a sound and respected family background cannot rule out perverseness.

Accepted. So many males are perverted. Maybe even to the extent of a majority. But that doesn’t mean you put all of them in a box, blindfold yourself and pick one out. And once picked, you place him on a pedestal which equals to that of God. What I’m driving at is that many times, even the knowledge of a man's true character is ignored by a woman, specially if he happens to be the chosen one and/or family.

Thankfully, females now (specially the youngsters) are sensible enough to identify the character of a person quicker and more accurately than their elder generations. And I actually don't blame the older generations of not being able to judge a person's true character too. What I fail to understand is how and why some females tend to ignore the perverseness of the men close to them.

Maybe patriarchy has its effect on this too. But you need to destroy it's shackles as much as us males need to. Patriarchy actually affects males as well.

Sleep…. Dear sleep…. Where are you…. ???

P.S. : I guess I got delayed in posting this bit which I had managed to do in the morning courtesy the Electricity Supply Association.


  1. there is so much i can say in response to this post, but that'll be enough material for a separate post in itself! sorry but i dnt agree that indian women are unable to judge a man. if you expect that they b able to do so the first time they lay their eyes on the man in question, you are expecting too much. we are not x-ray machines. it sometimes takes years to really know a person. besides, sometimes men (or women) do a brilliant job of hiding aspects of their true character. so it isnt simply a woman thing.

    and no, i dnt bracket all men together. if u felt that i do, u missed the actual feelings behind the post.

    and btw...there really is NO fool-proof way of knowing. juz some trivia- there is actually no demographic or psychological profile of men of are sex-offenders. there may be some high-risk characteristics, but for most part any man can turn out to be any which way. so i don't agree with your questioning of my expression 'i have no way of knowing it'.

  2. I agree with you, not all indian men are the same and same goes for women too, infact i am of the belief that every individual is different, every thought which originates in any human defines the person hence generalisation of any sort is completely futile.

  3. Nikita : Thanks for coming to and reading the post.

    No. I never meant that women be able to judge a man the first time they lay their eyes on him. In fact, the two examples I gave depicted how some girls couldn't judge the guys in question even after knowing them for years.

    You are right about some people doing a brilliant job of hiding aspects of their true character. But if you choose someone to be your life-partner, then shouldn't you be knowing the person's true character at least ?

    And no. I didn't say you bracketed all men together. I got your point as you had meant it to be.

    Yes. There isn't any fool-proof way of knowing. But at least one can turn his or her antennas on when a particular person is sending out very clear messages (I mean those which say.... "Keep away from me").

    But it was nice to know your views about it all. Thanks once again for adding some different perspectives to my line of thoughts. :-)

    Do keep visiting. And commenting....

  4. Rashmi : Thanks for reading and commenting.

    I'm against generalisation of any sort too. I just tried to give some examples which simply twist my mind into knots.

    Every human is completely different in his or her thoughts. What theses posts actually did was bracket some particular thought processes which are common to some or most people. Instead of bracketing people to be similar themselves.

    Do keep visiting and commenting. :-)

  5. when you ask 'shouldn't you know the true character of your life-partner at least', you put too much pressure on the person who has to judge, almost in a tone of blame if they are unable to do so correctly. why 'should' someone have to judge correctly? and in such a case it's almost as if it is this person's fault for having had a lapse in judgement, not the other person's who actually has a faulty character!

    many things can cloud judgment unfortunately. it can be deception, foolish optimism that makes you believe against all ur instincts, being madly in love, n so on. so i find it a lil odd that u feel a person who is unable to judge is 'wrong' on some level. i would rather call them foolish or unfortunate, as the case may be.

  6. Nikita : I'm not blaming those who do not or cannot judge their life-partner's character. I just wanted to suggest that when one chooses something for himself or herself, is it right to blame it on the faulty thing being so ? Even more so when the character is shouting out aloud to be faulty itself...

    But you are absolutely right about the reasons for such wrong jugdements. I never said that a person who was unable to judge was 'wrong'. But then he or she shouldn't try to portray the judgement to be right at least.

    But of course, as you said, love is blind.... :-)

  7. Okay! I think I am lost somewhere!

    The 2 examples u mentioned - were they abt our school days? If yes, then let me tell you, most females in our times (things have changed a lot from subsequent batches!) were too uncomfortable to approach a guy, or be even seen talking to one! I know it because I was the one who usually had to do the 'billi ke gale mein ghanti baandhne waala stuff"!

    But u say ur friends were indulging in filthy talks abt females of the batch? Now if they wanted to be genuinely friends with someone, why would they talk filth abt her with their friends? And if they were bad-mouthing the girls in question (whom they later got married to, I don't know how!), then obviously they never had any intention to be friends with those girls! So... I am a bit lost on this one!

    Apart from that, yes I agree that females generally don't entertain "fraandship requests" from strange men... but I haven't yet found a single girl who has issues being friends with a classmate/colleague! Of course, as we all know, most guys can get a bit clumsy when they offer a *formal* friendship request to some girl, and none of us girls like to be put in embarassing situations in front of ppl who know us!

    Just gvng a personal example, remember Diwakar Sharma in our batch in 11-12th. We had always been pally, without any formal declaration of our friendship, since the day he joined our school in 11th. As u know, I was friendly with practically everyone in our batch, guys & girls alike. It was the same with him too! Then suddenly one day we happened to be sitting in class without any teacher, and I was hungry & cribbing abt it to anyone who'd hear, and Diwakar, without telling anyone, went & bought a chocolate for me from the school canteen! Now he obviously did it coz we were friends and he happened to go to the canteen at that time, and remembered a hungry friend! But the rest of the girls made a huge issue abt it in class... and I was teased for the rest of my stay in school regarding him! Naturally, the comfort and ease with which I could talk to him earlier disappeared. In fact, I couldn't even risk being seen anywhere around him! So you see, it's not that females don't want to be friends with a classmate, but sometimes we're just scared of such hell we might be put thru in case of such embarassing occurences!

  8. As for picking one pervert out of the box and placing him on the pedestal... lol! We don't do that! Haven't u heard? "We choose our friends, fate chooses our relatives"... and husbands also comes under the category of relatives (or 'family' in the larger sense)!

    I know of many women (even educated ones) who are married to such perverts and can't do anything abt it, being restricted by the norms of our society. Not everybody is strong enough to stand up against the entire social structure!

    That being said, I know too that "there do exist males who would accompany (me) through such lonely streets as a companion to protect (me) from any perv eyes..." and I hope I meet one of them soon! :p

  9. Kaddu : I'm as lost as you are about the 2 examples I had mentioned. Well they did talk about all the girls of the batch and later started taking names. Can't say about the guy in question, but the girl surely didn't get to know his true colors then atleast, even if she hasn't found out by now.

    Of course I agree guys being clumsy and no one would like to be put in an embarassing situation. But that doesn't mean it has to happen publicly.

    Regarding your own experience, I think you made the wrong decision. Just as I did the first time I found myself in a similar condition. Distancing yourself was not the correct thing to do. It only gave something to those who teased you to think there was some reality in their talks. By distancing yourself, maybe you sent out a wrong message to a good friend. Who knows, after that he would have become hesitant in helping any other friend who was a girl. Would surely think many times before getting a chocolate for a hungry batch mate.

    I have been through it too, and by distancing ourselves we only encourage people to talk more by providing them some base.

    But like always, we learn from our experiences and become more sensible... :-)

    Ok. I did go overboard about the "picking one pervert out of the box and placing him on the pedestal" thing. My apologies to the Indian female on that. But I sincerely wish that the Indian female, who has been always the strength behind the Indian male, should be "strong enough to stand against the entire social structure!" Atleast us few males who want her to be so would be there to back her if she did.

    Kaddu, I hope you meet him pretty soon. But don't go walking through lonely streets just for that... :D :p

  10. Oh yeah, if you approach any female classmate or colleague when she's not surrounded by her "friends", I don't think she'll ever give u "the look", unless ofcourse you guys say something cheap!

    As for my experience, naah! Didn't deliberately avoid him or anything, but it's just that all the girls kept a close watch on me after that, and well... you know, it DOES get a bit awkward! Besides, I was used to being on the "giving end" always, rather than the "receiving end", so it seemed really weird! :p

    He, on the other hand, started going out of his way to be extra friendly with me since then! LOL! I now understand he was probably doing it for the reason u mentioned above! Ha ha! We were really so immature back then, weren't we? :-D

    But fun memories! We always laugh when we look back at such idiotic things!

  11. Kaddu : Would rather term them as funny but sweet memories... :D

  12. I read both your and Nikita's article. I think your and her debate has gone out of proportion. Nikita isn't exactly blaming all of us for the prevailing condition, but at the same time even you are right in some places like we wished girls understood us better. At the end of the day it's an age old debate which has no solution, men and women are two riddles who on coming together give the solution. In simple words men and women, both are imperfect and both know the others imperfection better than their own.

  13. Prithvi : I wasn't debating Nikita. In fact, I back her statements about the mindset of some men. She had already stated that she wasn't blaming all males.

    I was just putting forward some observations of my own regarding females.

    But you described the inference very correctly... :-)

    "both are imperfect and both know the others imperfection better than their own.

  14. Hi dude,

    I like to believe that there is no perfect person. Perversion is not the only deviation from ideals in the human personality. Isn' corruption(monetary, thoughts, ethics) an important issue too? I think ideally we should not be judging people cos' none of is perfect. We are all bad in varying degrees.

    Yesh, about the question of a girl wearing spaghetti and going out in India, ....I am speechless. How dare you wear a sphagetti in a place that you know can possibly invoke trouble. Are you wearing sphagettis to beat the heat?

    A question to you Shobhit: How far can you go to protect a female friend of yours who wears sphagetti or behaves in a way that can invite trouble? Do you enjoy being in such situations?

  15. As a girl,with all d experiences i'v had, all i can tell u is tat it is difficult to trust guys.i am sure i dont need to elaborate it furthr.In the two incidences the reason why u barged out of awkward situations, explains it well enuf.

    they say girls r complicated,well i think,guys r no exception.

  16. Magus :

    Yes. It's understandable. The sort of people we have around us in today's times.

    People are really complicated.

  17. Most of the girls do not entertain guys who walk up to them and asks for friendship because the girls are always watched and if they are caught talking to an unknown guy or a known guy classmate for that matter, it will be received as a complaint by her parents and her parents will shout at her and make her life strict and miserable because they have to answer to the society.
    Moreover the guy knows at heart that if his sister speaks to a guy on the road he will get angry on her and complain to his parents, but when he goes and asks for friendship to a gal, he expects her to be nice to him.

  18. Preethika Shenoy Padiyar :

    Exactly. There is fault on both sides. :-)



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