This blog post gives me hope, but patriarchy takes it away.
I do not have children so it would be easy for me to dismiss this problem, citing my lack of progeny, but I won’t. Violence against women is a systemic problem, which we need to understand discursively. That’s the only way to figure how to raise children (not just boys) in these times.
The main motive of these crimes — both sexual and otherwise — is the victim’s gender and the meanings we associate with it. For centuries men have had very fixed ideas about women and how they ought to behave. Their protective/violent behaviour towards us is a means of reinforcing said ideas. Which is why we see men desperately trying to protect their women, trying their best to subjugate the inferior subspecies. Rape is an act of domination. Violence is an act of domination. Protective behaviour is an act of domination.
Women are expected to be weak, docile. Any deviation from this behaviour is seen as an act of transgression. What are we to do, then? We abolish discriminatory practices: we treat people the same, regardless of whether they have a penis or a vagina or neither. We stop celebrating rakshabandhan: it’s a fucked up concept. Then we take it further and kill the protectionist attitude that’s so deeply ingrained in our society. And then perhaps some day men will stop assuming ownership over the women in their lives, and start to treat them like real people. What next? We could then try to stop worshipping women and bring them back to the sphere of the human. When the woman is a complete human again — not a goddess or an object — we could try to let her live her own life as she sees fit. This basic freedom should be every human’s undeniable right, and not just a privilege reserved for men.
So how are we to raise children? I think that now, more than, ever, kids need to be raised to be gender-blind. Educate them about sex — as early in their lives as possible — and tell them what it means to be raped. Tell them that people can be hurt in other ways too, and teach them not to discriminate.
Einaudi is a fucking genius, and I still cannot believe I share the planet with such exquisiteness. I love listening to him, and I love the way he moves his fingers over the piano. His love for his music gives me hope.
So. Music does bring back memories — as most of us have known all along — and I hereby declare Primavera the theme song of my life. It reminds me of everything I have ever said, done, heard, seen, smelled, tasted, touched, thought, experienced. It brings back my entire history and yet manages to tease out a coherent story from the chaotic mess.
I want to die listening to it, and I want it to be played at my funeral. Can I pay someone to do that, or are best friends expected to take care of these things?
This sounds like the queen’s necklace on a balmy Bombay night, like all of Delhi’s ruins compressed into three and a half minutes, like the mango tree I planted in Dehradun when I was in kindergarten, like Clarke Quay tinged with sorrow and hope, like the smell of the books that are my childhood, like long morning walks, like the joy of rain falling on my face, like dancing with mum, like having long conversations with dad, like gossamer sunshine on a December afternoon, like the shivering leaf I turned into the first time I kissed.
How does he do it?
i am disappearing a little with each passing day.
i am being replaced by the exquisitely minimalistic einaudi’s compositions. they follow me everywhere, curl up inside of me, stick to the soles of my shoes and jump up when i lift them; they peep at me from behind people’s eyes, and burst from their mouths when they laugh.
i wore my longest string of pearls today and my flowy dress and tried to move through air the way i giorni moves through me.
someday, i will be just as magical and beautiful. i will slip away from my body, be reduced to sound; compressions and rarefactions; furious rains; radiant sunflowers; gossamer sunshine; gentle lapping of waves on the shore; skin bathed in moonlight; long eyelashes and long fingers; smiling faces and familiar voices; hibiscus tea and solitary evenings; paper boats.
i love experiences much much more than i love people.
is this something i need to work on? (do i even want to know the answer to that question?)
i wake up feeling scared most mornings, but the comfort of being surrounded with magic makes me feel glad about being alive.
these are the best days, honestly.
i will stay up all night swaying to i giorni and sipping hibiscus tea.
i am the happiest person alive.
it’s raining. i’m reading things i don’t remember writing: stories, poems, anecdotes.
i remember so little of the past.
the more i try to recall memories, the more they retreat into the unknown. each time i try to reconstruct one, i add something from the present to it. i now have different versions of each, and no way of telling what really happened.
even recollection is an act of defamiliarisation.
redesigned memories are falling around me, simultaneously pushing me away from and bringing me closer to other points in time.
water never precipitates alone.