Sunday, March 22, 2009

Schizophrenia and a convoluted mess!

A sad day for all of us. 
We're discussing here if what Jade Goody did by selling rights to the media to cover her last days before she left this world, was right or wrong, while the IPL is going to be held outside India despite being an asset, a property created by Indians to churn wealth. 
What a convoluted mess we are in?!!!
Don't we see how popular reality shows in India are? 
Take 'Roadies' for instance. 
I am hooked to the show and wait for it every Sunday. 
Watch Paulomi, Numan, Palak, Samraat, Natasha, Sufi, Bobby and Tamanna do the most daring things to survive the race so that they are noticed and recognized in a world where the only other way you can be given a chance is, if your father or your mother is/was a celebrity. 
If you don't have a lineage to fall back on, then the only option is to be like these kids, who go through a selection process which is next to humiliating, who do rounds which range from having their genitals flogged, rolling down a hill into water in a giant bubble to reach a flag the fastest, being lowered into a pit filled with crocodiles to collect the most coins which are thrown in it, fight WWF wrestlers, often two at a time, and retch because they are forced to deal with the most uncomfortable circumstances. 
Eventually at the end of every episode they come face to face with their best friends at the time when one person has to be voted out each week. 
Wow! and this group of unknown kids come from different parts of the country to participate in one reality show which exposes their looks, talents and all other capabilities, showcasing them week after week, until they are voted out, for them to then carry their portfolios in a jungle where they will have some hope only because they will be recognizable faces. 
Let me tell you folks, all you so call intelligent people, quick to sit in judgement, that it is not easy to tear through the clutter and be noticed for your courage and for your abilities, in this day and age. 
Jade Goody came from a low middle class back ground in England, who knew she was dying and understood that if Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie could make a huge buck by selling the exclusive rights to the media for unveiling their twins, she could do the same by selling her dying days. 
And she knew she was not taking the money she was making, with her to her grave. 
She knew she would leave it behind for her two sons, who are leass than 10 years of age, and have a whole life ahead of them. 
All those sitting on Barkha Dutts show 'We the People' tonight, except for Rakhee Vijan and Rajeev were lying. 
Only Rakhee and Rajeev know what it is like to be on a reality show and why one would actually die to be a part of it. 
You don't volunteer to be a part of a reality show. 
You enter stiff competition to be a part of one, and do anything it takes, to last as long as you can, in it. 
So move over all you guys who've got it easy, or those who have forgotten how they made it, and pretend to be holier than thou today. 
You reveal yourselves a bit much and can't hide facts anymore.
We are in a phase and time, when kids know that if they want to be noticed, they have to risk their lives, else why would it be worth living?!
A young boy from the slums who wants to be a model came to my friend who is a fashion designer and gay, asking for help. 
My friend asked him if he knows how tough it is to find place in the sun, to which the young boy said, "I'm ready for anything Sir. Mujhe maloom hai homo sex karna pade ga'. ( I know that I will have to have sex with a gay man). 
Another guy came to me with his portfolio and as I was going through it looked straight into my eyes and said, "Ma'am, I am ready to do anything. If you want me to, I am ready." 
I told him I am a woman, and it is obvious that he takes his portfolio to male directors as well. What does he offer them? 
And to that he smiled and told me that its important to be flexible these days. 
You have to charm a man as much as you have to charm a woman, and that he is ready to go with either. 
He was bewildered when I couldn't stop laughing and thought I had gone mad. 
I had to ask him to leave my office and come back another day, before I made a spectacle of myself. He knew what he wanted, it was I who was taken aback. 
In his eyes, I was really mad.
People who are determined to be noticed and sure that they want to make it in any field, are ready to do anything for it. 
They know that being brilliant at their skill is not enough.
And that is what made Jade Goody step into a Reality Show, get recognition by agreeing to behave racist, very like what Varun Gandhi despite his last name is doing, so she could stand out in the crowd, and ensure TRP's for the show, and finally sell the rights for the coverage of her last days, for a huge sum of money that would help to see her two little sons through their lives.

Having said that I have to turn to IPL.
It's one thing that the show must go on and another that it has to go on at the cost of the nation losing face.
If the tournament could not be held later, it could have been scrapped this year. 
But for the world to percieve India as a country which is unsafe for the game is really stretching it too far. 
We are a nation of 1 billion people who were held to ransom by 10 men just four months ago. 
The NSG and Navy Commandos took 60 hours to bring 10 guys under control.
It's obvious that security for 59 matches in 10 days during elections is impossible.
Is it necessary to take the tournament out of the country?
Or is it that there is a political conspiracy behind the sport to show the present government in poor light?!
We all know that the event is a collaborative effort which will help churn a stricken economy.
Shouldn't we have waited a few weeks and rescheduled it, or scrapped it for now, instead of handing over the business to UK or South Africa?
But then, it's the present govenment which had kept the nation in denial of recession, for fear of losing elections.
Is this the price we are paying for being in denial?
Whatever it is, going by International Media reports, I fear that we will not be able to hold the Commonwealth Games next year.
India, like Pakistan and Afganistan, will be henceforth known as a troubled state.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

THINK LIKE A MAN

It is the 8th of march and once again the whole world is echoing the word 'EQUALITY'. 
Who are we as women talking to at the time when we demand equality? 
By the sheer demand, we declare ourselves a marginalized lot, and expect acceptance in this world as an equal sex.
My experience in this world as a priveleged person who was educated and given equal rights tells me that we are going wrong somewhere. 
If we want equality as women, we have to stop demanding it and stop crying for it. 
We have to collectively make it possible and do it quietly. 
We have to stop accusing men for deliberately holding us back and look within ourselves to see where our faults lie and why we are unequal.
How many of us come together to do something substantial which achieves commercial success and is inclusive of women? 
Why do we expect men to do it for us?
How many of us trust and depend on each other to come together, without the help of men to achieve a position of equal representation in all walks of life? 
Who stops us from doing that? 
No it is not men whom we accuse, it is us, ourselves.
We hand over our opportunities to men. 
We give them more importance than ourselves and buy their affections by doing that. 
It's we who do not accept the responsibility of taking charge of a family, leave alone anything else, resting the burden on the shoulders of our men, and then we cry foul and complain that our men dominate us.
Let's look at ourselves long and hard on this day and let us get honest here.
How many of us have the courage to tell our men to enjoy life, raise our children and take charge of the home, while we will go out there and bring back enough for us to eat, drink, educate and provide shelter for ourselves? 
Most of the working women I know earn and treat their income as their own money, while the responsibility of the family is on their husbands. 
Unless they come from low middle class backgrounds or are a poorer lot who have no choice but to contribute towards the income of their households, all so called priveleged women who are meant to lead by example and supposed to be inspiring and aspirational, sink into the comfort of neither taking responsibility nor being accountable. 
It is convenient to be a home bird, be house proud, be a great mother and a perfect hostess, rather than to step into the world, call the shots, make mistakes, survive and create worlds within worlds which provide platforms and opportunities for more and more women.
Yes, men like it that way, but would they dare stop us, if we were to defy the norm and step forward and actually do what is necessary?
Men operate collectively and create place for other men. 
They look after women, children and employ men and women to give them a better life. 
Show me how many women really go out there and collectively do the same?
We're afraid of being labelled loose, forward, lesbians and whores. 
We are the first in casting aspersions on another who is more forward and progressive than us, rather than applauding and honouring her. 
We give it to men on a platter because they need to do nothing to stall a woman from taking flight, except unleash other women upon her,
We are afraid of being judged by the very men whom we accuse all the time anyway. 
We fear their opinion, therefore get manipulated by them to compete with each other rather than to work in harmony 'with' each other.
Lets face it, if we do not rise, and if we do not take a collective responsibility to bring women up as equals to men, it is never going to happen.
Lets endorse a new culture in the world of women where we are equal to men. 
Where better to start than within ourselves, who are educated, priveleged and given to believe that we have equal rights? 
If we change, we will certainly see the effect percolate down to the lowest common denominator and realize how important it is for us to understand that fault lies with us and not with the opposite sex.
If we do not become innovative, creative, business minded, ambitious, risk takers..... 
If we do not empower ourselves by employing more women to work with us.....
As long as we trust men to protect us more than we trust each other, we will never see the day that we are waiting for.
For starters, we just have to 'think' like men and stop expecting them to be there to bail us out everytime we are in trouble because we are women. 
We must depend on fellow women and give them first the right to our own trust, before we expect anything from them.
Believe me, even men are waiting to see that day!