The Indian Daughter

The Indian Daughter

I am a Man… Yes… I know that this very statement would inherently attract a lot of biased criticism. And, why shouldn’t it? It is not as if we have set the best collective example. This article, though, is not a feminist’s take against the evil within chauvinists. This article is for parents. Yes, the Indian Parents. Those who are famously regarded as the most caring and nurturing of all; the Indian families being the personification of the word ‘family’ in its true sense. What if I say that it isn’t so? I’d definitely gain a lot of hate from the ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ brigade, who are blindly and ignorantly lauding everything and anything about India. Nevertheless, I was telling you it isn’t so, and that’s primarily because the quantification of the units which measure the unity and stability of our families doesn’t consider one important aspect of it. The most important aspect of all… the daughter.

‘India’, derived from the word ‘Indus’, which in turn was further derived from the word ‘Sindhu’. Goddess Sindhu, the giver of life, was a prominent archaic Indian deity. The purity and fertility of the river Sindhu and its banks had inspired the conception of the prevalent Goddess. She represented the true idea and ideal of what was India and what it is supposed to be. A society which hailed women in their eternal freedom and capability, which held women above rather than holding them inside. What changed? The foeticide and infanticide aside… let us talk about the women who unfortunately get to live a life in this country. Let’s come to our daughters.

India is very far away from ‘great’. It is because of the way we treat our daughters. One only understands the importance of freedom when it is taken from him. The Indian daughter is the most ignored and formally accepted prisoner in the world. They are convicts by gender. The moment they are born, a separate constitution is constructed for them. A communist constitution, one that follows the principles of maximum control and surveillance. ‘Time Brackets’ for being ‘outside’ is just the first step to it. It comes to the clothing. The perverse eyes are way more acceptable in India than a visible waistline. It is her fault he looked. It is her fault he turned. She cannot laugh in public. Why? Because if the ‘world’ sees a gregarious woman, it will banish her from the society.  She cannot have a lot of male friends. Why? Because then it would cause a lot of hindrances in her marriage. Yes, it all comes down to the main subject of ‘marriage’. The be all and the end all for Indian Parents. Marriage is not a choice in India, it is a ‘stage of life’. We are not to marry when we are ready, we are to marry because we are supposed to. Girls are the greatest victims of this unwritten law. Some raise them as liabilities, whilst others consider marriage as the only acceptable form of ‘settlement’ for women. While the boys are hearing the ‘beta aur khalo’, the girls sometimes go through the excruciating ‘Mat khao, moti hojaegi, koi shaadi nahi karega’.

‘Shaadi’ or ‘Marriage’, why is it considered so mandatory? What does it do? Does it ensure cent percent happiness and stability? Does it guarantee peace of mind? Does having kids do that? The plain and simple answer is NO. While you are using the excuse that ‘Everything would be fine after marriage’, a budding human is losing the time of her life to learn, yearn, dream and live; and losing the only possible time to do all that, since it doesn’t actually get better after marriage. With increasing responsibilities, the dreams are soon displaced by hollow regrets. And thus, millions of dreams and thoughts are crushed in this ruthless process. Neither does she ever gain the happiness once promised, nor does her life ever stabilise. Moreover, being trained the way she is, she would fear deterrence against expression of any form of grief and would always keep her hollowness to herself.   Expression of grief by a woman is considered disrespectful in India, because they are expected to oblige involuntarily. ‘This is being done for your benefit’ is all she ever hears… and her life comes to an end before even witnessing a hint to the said ‘benefit’.

Why is all this done? For the society, isn’t it? That’s what they say… always… That’s their alibi… Culture and Society. The Indian families spend more time gratifying the treacherous society than they do in keeping their daughters happy. It is high time that the parents realize that even at the end of the worst possible day, they would only find an honourable five-minute mention in their neighbour’s bedtime gossip. Why traumatize your daughters to avoid five-minutes of inevitable, futile and immature judgement? What if she doesn’t want to get married so early? What’s the worst that could happen? She would break bread with you for a couple more years before getting a job of her own. Can’t you spare a loaf for a little while? Maybe she already has a job of her own and her independence is only subject to your consent. Can’t you let her live life as per her wishes? For her happiness? What if she laughs in public, or wears that pretty dress that she has always wanted to wear? Pandey Aunty and Sharma Uncle would stare and judge with their objectifying vision. Do you owe anything to any of them? Would their judgement harm your life, or even scratch it? Why don’t you understand that they don’t matter, but she does? Instead of teaching our daughters to fear the cruel world, if we teach them how to punch the world in the face, we’d have a much better world. What she wears, how she walks, what she eats, how she eats, how she cooks, how outspoken is she, etcetera, all these don’t matter and won’t ever. How she feels is all that matters. She is important. Understand that… Accept that… Let her live… Let her go.

 

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Politics and the Intellectuals

Politics and the Intellectuals

The following article does not represent any political bias or promote any political or socio-political propaganda. It is just a neutral glance at the idiosyncratic, ever-evolving political affairs of the largest democracy of the world, India.

India… 15th August 1947. It reminds us of the unforgettable opening address by the first Prime Minister right after he was handed the democratic authority over the new sovereign power. Visualizing the era as the hypothetical third-person observer, we find ourselves in the midst of intense political ardour. Especially within the vehement youth of the nation. Ignoring the communal idiocies on either side of the fresh border, both India and Pakistan showed signs of umpteen dedication to the cause of their respective motherlands. The youth scouted or rather hounded after the newspapers to find incidents and happenings which could have intrigued their interests. Everything started coming with an Indian tag and an Indian flag. This added to the zeal. The diverse ages coalesced to form the core molecules constituting the emergent republic called India.

Back in those golden days, the whole of the country eagerly waited for their founding principles, all combined into one Constitution. Good or Bad, people had opinions. Criticism is always better than ignorance. We were adamant on improving the existing system, even if our alternate theories weren’t efficient still. Over the due course of development and the iterated predominance of the bourgeois in India, we slowly drifted away from what formed our primary purpose of existence, viz. a better nation.

India is often referred to as a ‘One big family of cultures and traditions’. A ‘Unity in Diversity’. ‘Family First’ has always been the inherent traditional policy of India; and soon, the country’s prominence in our families became evanescent. It wasn’t a fault on anyone’s part. Thinking of one’s own bloodline and family is one’s birthright. The private social and economic issues preponderated over the larger ones. The demographically and the geographically huge nation had never experienced the need for so much self-sufficiency without an imperialistic power or an autocratic monarchy looking to its functioning. The free man had a plethora to explore and hence the political vigour had faded in the late 20th century. The voting population had reduced drastically. People did still contribute, rather majorly, to the country’s advancement- as an engineer, as a doctor, as a lawyer, as an administrative officer, as a scientist, as a farmer, Etcetera. Politics became the least aspired and the most despised occupation. Even the common critique became ignorant of the Political section of the newspaper. The Indian philosophy of ‘Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise’ came to function. There were a few emergent incidents involving the entire nation, but the then concentrated and crude political hierarchy indirectly curbed them. The fear of the obscure politics ingrained a basic conclusion in our minds…’Politics is a dirty business’.

The country dynamically-developed following the same static of political ignorance. We achieved marvellous feats on the international forum, across all fields of Agriculture to Space-Tech. Assuming the dramatic façade, we might say that there came that one fine day when the renaissance happened; but it isn’t so. Over the years of unawareness, we realized how detached we are from the Unit called Nation. The realization was latent, unintentional, and happened over a long period of time. The reappearance of the critics reflected a bright light on their importance for the country’s functioning. ‘Incapability’ was the precipitate of ‘Not Knowing’, and we had realized that. We discerned our infinite capability in our area of knowledge. Thus came the advent of the ‘Right to Information’. We collectively formulated a few principles for the transparent functioning of our nation. We wanted to be aware and not just ‘let it be’. The citizen, once again, wanted to form the constructive units of the nation over being just the spectating subject. We wanted to influence, to cause, to save, to achieve and to build a greater Nation than India already was.

In the past ten years, the politically-aware population of India has increased in geometric progression. The minutest example can be seen in the 2014 central elections, where there was the largest ever voter turn-out of more than 66%; and also in every commoner being aware of their ministers and their educational background. Negative incidents, not to mention any, do take place. But they just go to show the willingness of everybody to present their ideologies on the political front. To care enough to conjure up failing plans is still better than ignoring the situation altogether.

It is difficult to match the initial momentum of Indian Politics. The leadership and youth of the new India had faced challenges on a scale unimaginable to the Indian of today. The circumstances had trained them to fulfil the needs of the young nation. Politics, for the new India, was a religion bigger than anything else. The thought of building a novel and great nation was prevalent everywhere. In the fast and tiring era of today, it is difficult to gain that impetus again. Yet, the drive we have gained in the last decade is commendable and should not be condescended upon in contrast with that of the past. We have all somewhat managed to create and administer a system of oscillation between the private and the public. Even if in small amounts, the most ignorant of citizens now give a heed to the affairs of the nation. On a relative scale of time and circumstances, it can be very well said that the Indian of today reflects the revolutionary Indian of the past, that is the one from the adolescent ages of the country who was willing to nurture it into the country it is today and the country it’d be tomorrow. Thus… the India of today… is a yet again emerging India… a significant India… an aware India… a new India.

THE INDIAN ENTREPRENEUR

THE INDIAN ENTREPRENEUR

India, a great country indeed. But the diverse cultural paragons and the underlying commandments are often subject to criticism when it comes to the issue of development and progress. Sadly, Indians constitute the majority of these sceptics. The confounded mind of the common Indian leads to the paradox of what exactly to call ‘right’. We are all helplessly stuck in between the Utopian and the Contemporary. But, how does that affect the life and choices of the Indian Entrepreneur? The straightforward consensus would be that ‘It is difficult to be an entrepreneur in India’. Yes, indeed, it is! Yet, we manage. Let’s see how.

‘What is an Indian Entrepreneur?’ Firstly, the foundations and principles of our forefathers imply an imperative rule of settling down in our mid-20s. This is where the primary obstacle gets implanted. From the birth of the child, every parent/guardian inadvertently fantasizes a well-settled daughter/son, rooting out all the risks and uncertainties.  The universal catalyst of the inadvertently patriarchal society is the universal Sharmaji Ka Ladka, who tops his IAS interviews, marries a housewife Miss. India and gives birth to Abraham Khan whose dancing is only amusing for the neighbours till he is 10 and after that, it becomes an academic distraction. Yes, this robotic program-code finds an exemplary position for all genders of the Indian Masses. This instills fear in the Indian mind.

 From the beginning, we are provided ultimate security by our parents who make the most ‘convenient’ choices for us. We hardly see struggle, till we are let off for higher studies. Then the real tussle starts. To make choices without a navigating mentor, it is much more difficult than one can imagine. We can basically contrast an Indian Entrepreneur against one from the west in one simple mathematics analogy. A western innovator doesn’t fear the complex mathematical problem. He arrives at the solution and patiently awaits the corroboration. We, on the other hand, prefer the ‘Prove That’ part of the paper. We need answers and directions before we take our first step. Yes, uncertainty is what we fear the most. But, the fear doesn’t stay long. We eventually evolve and that fear formulates the most concrete of all defenses. Caution!!!

 It is known to the world, the deft of Indian Cautiousness. One of the few places on Earth where we have to oscillate our necks up, down, left and right before crossing a road. When an Indian stands at the doorstep of innovation, the caution tries to pull him back to the clerical world. But, as soon as he takes that step towards infinity, that caution builds his resolve and bolsters his decisions.

It becomes even more difficult after that first step. ‘What is a start-up?’ is an interrogative which is harder to explain to our financial institutions than our parents. The fear of uncertainty still loiters inside our minds and the very first of noes dishearten us. We can never get used to the Noes. There are no algorithms and cooking guides to being an entrepreneur. We would always hear noes. We would always fail. Some say that the lack of fear in the western counterparts make them the better entrepreneur. No… It isn’t that simple. For the Indian restless mind, which seeks perfection and nothing less, even a half-hearted yes is not a success. That is why there is the phenomenon of negative reinforcement, and we Indians unintentionally exploit it the most. We get a boost from our failures. It carves our success, slowly and slowly. We haven’t taken the first step just like when we had picked up a guitar to be the ‘new cool’. We have given it our all. So when we achieve success, no matter how long it takes, it is impeccable.

So much self-judgement and skepticism; All the fantasies of parents and a probable peaceful life on the line; So much uncertainty, fear and caution; And the insomniac subject trying to defy or exploit all the odds to his own ends- the out-product is not a normal entrepreneur. It is an India Entrepreneur- One made of steel.

No Offence

No Offence

 

The basic conspicuous disparity that contrasts humans from other species is their ability to have diverse forms of momentary feelings and emotions. A dog loves its master and shall continue to do so till the end of its life. But we, as humans, keep developing on our latent and existing emotions every second. We might hate someone. But we might end up loving him if he miraculously transforms and successfully impresses us. This is because of our intelligent conscience. Something which, as of yet, has merely been observed amongst humans and species of folklore and myths. The unique competitiveness of humans has had them develop a strange emotion… that is to be personally and non-physically ‘offended’.

Offence-Initially described as to strike or take the first step against competition or opposition. But nowadays it has become an object of self-esteem and pride… “Wrong as per my judgement” we say. “I am OFFENDED…” we conclude. Offence is one of many universal traits amongst us which in the third person we perceive as immature, and in the first, it becomes morally the most ethical thing. It is anything but immature. Immature behaviour is always correlated to our primal instincts. Maturity is subjectively increasing every decade. Hence, our primal or animal or basic instincts can be logically termed as immature. Offence is an advanced and contemporary emotion. It is increasing by the day. Hence we can rightly and euphemistically call it super-maturity…and the offended… the super-mature.

The primary reason for getting offended, contrary to what most believe, is not dislike. We LIKE getting offended. The need to be contradicted and get the sole opportunity to refute and display our red-faced so-called distress, it is what ‘offends’ us. We want someone to question our veracity. Every Theist wants to tell them all the address of God. And every atheist looks for the one opportunity to throw in the pragmatism. To be more than the surroundings is the nature of us beings. We are so afraid of being lesser than the other that we latently sediment whatever they perceive. Every religion originally had better things to do than just surface up when somebody questions it. How often do you hear Temples and Mosques doing donations or uplifting the poor? But every now and then you hear Arnab shouting on the ‘Sanctum-Sanctorum’ and the ‘Fatwas’. Maybe the media shows us only the wrong. But that proves it further. We want to be offended. We love to notice the wrong and totally judge it. It helps make us feel important. Yes… it does. (For all those who are going to be OFFENDED after reading this paragraph and are going to come up with the ‘Rapists offend us’ argument… That argument is all genuine worry. And worry requires for action. Not being offended.)

Being offended gets a boost from Bollywood as well. Salman Khan bashing a guy for touching his collar, the famous “Jaykant Shikhre ka Ego”, Etcetera. These all sound so cool, don’t they? Let me tell you what I experienced in college a few days ago. I was casually walking with my friends in the canteen when a few mistaken backward steps caused a guy’s foot to almost be squashed by my shoes. It is always painful. But from his reaction, it seemed like he had a near death experience. I immediately apologised. He turned and retorted “I said once to be careful… you repeated it twice… you blind fellow…”. He said it in such a confident and programmed dialect as if he had been waiting there at that spot for me to come and step on his foot. I apologised again, as was implied by my friends’ expressions but also honestly remarked “I just stepped once… not twice”. This time, he turned around furious. At that time, I hadn’t realized that I had inadvertently called a random person ‘Wrong’. He was now OFFENDED. He looked eager to have a go at me. I gave a smile, apologised and shook his hand. His expressions changed. I said “It was unintentional… Don’t be offended…” He then, for the first time that day, started looking non-villainous to me. I there and then realized. He was not a bad guy or a bully or whatever people might think. He had just not been offended as much in a long time. Yes… this a true story.

So, we come to a short and cute conclusion. Offence is something you cannot avoid. Yoga brings in Tantra, Medicine brings in hormones and religion brings in mantra. Yet, there has been no definite speculation of human behaviour. We are all different… but still the same. We are building perspectives every second and even destroying the old ones. So… after reading this I am sure you must have understood what I wanted to tell you. If you haven’t then let me tell you I don’t like alternate opinions. Nah… just kidding. Say whatever you want to. I am open to opinions. But yes… Try… not to get offended.

Krikos: The Vertical Horizon (Author’s Preface)

Krikos: The Vertical Horizon (Author’s Preface)

I opened my eyes and saw walls all around me. The symbolism of a restriction… of a limit. The stereotypes were formed. The Universalities were decided. But it could never be known that the only thing universal is eternity. There is no known limit to thought. Therefore, one particular day… I didn’t just open my eyes. I woke up…. and I saw nothing. Because when you see ‘nothing’ … then you can create ‘anything’. I didn’t go by the stereotypes. I didn’t go by the norms. Novelty is a direct aftermath of Idiosyncrasy. Idiosyncrasy of thought that is. The majesty and impeccability of this novelty can be compensated only by this Vertical Horizon of thought.

Imagine yourself walking inside a vertical bicycle tire tube. For you the General horizon shall rise upwards. If two such tubes were attached perpendicularly and scaled to a hundred times larger than the Sun with the radial hole inhabiting the Sun itself, then it forms the Krikos. And the horizon rising upwards is the Vertical Horizon of Krikos.

‘Krikos: The Vertical Horizon’ is a science fiction novel comprising the various struggles of mankind in a futuristic idealistic environment. The basic interrogative is “When we have everything then would the urge to seek more die?” What when all that we have been working for, and moreover ‘living’ for has been achieved? Man has always thrived on his strive to prove his self-importance. Will this make man succumb to the archaic irrationalities to generate this so-called ‘Purpose for Existence’?

In this book, two stories run alternatively in parallel chronologically a millennium apart from each other. The first that is the ‘Diaries of Flex’ being the story of the creation of the Krikos along with the plethora of conundrums and secrets involved. The second story that is ‘Into the Dimension’ is the current scenario of the Krikos which is drifting rapidly through the corners of the Milky Way and exploring its different ends a thousand years after the events of the ‘Diaries of Flex’.

Can the anthropocentric man combat his basic urge to explore… his basic need to know more? The gravity of this query intensifies when man comes across another intelligent organism.

‘Krikos: The Vertical Horizon’ contests many such queries and provides possible answers to all of them. But answer doesn’t always mean a solution.

                                                                                -Rishabh Dubey