Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why is crying de rigeur at marriages?

Why is crying de rigeur at marriages?
Hardly is the wedding over and the whole company dissolves in tears. Not just the bride, but her entire family and entourage, some even sobbing away, for the entire world as if some major tragedy has befallen then.
Yes, there are many to whom marriage is nothing but an unmitigated disaster. Why then marry in the first place? And the usual run-of-the-mill marriage arranged or love match, is arranged well before hand, much anticipated with flurries of shopping and rituals and glamour and giggling. Why then these tears?
Are the tears not an insult to the groom and his family? That the entire bridal party is taking for granted that they are going torture the bride, so the apprehension over her leaving home, never mind the glamorous trappings.
If it is a stranger and the bride is walking away into an unknown entity, some apprehension is warranted. But What if the bride is getting married of her own free will, to a guy she loves?
The crying of the older women can be understood. They are weeping at one more falling into the marriage trap. Is marriage such an onerous trap and ogre? Who has made it so?
First social rules were formulated to throw the two together, for better or for worse. Look at nature; sounds totally unnatural, doesn’t it? Then the males of the species, threatened by gender, created rules to maintain their foothold and inflicted those rules on society forcibly.
“Ghar ki baat ghar ki char diwaromein”. So that they would beat and bruise and massacre, but she’d never breathe a word of his murderous brutality to anyone?
“Ladki paraya dhan hai”. So she will ever by a guest in her own home?
“ Parayi beti” alienates her in the sasural too. Na idhar ki, na udhar ki.
To kahan ki?
“Ladki saat gaon door byave, ne koi aaye, na koi jaye”. So the in laws may starve, beat, even murder her and no one will be the wiser. Why? Just so the male can have his way with her? And to give it a fancy touch, the rituals and ceremonies?
Bride’s fathers were often a garish lot, breathing down the necks of daughter, wife and other sundry ladies in the family.
It is Mothers who are supposed to be obsessed about their daughters’ fates. That they will soon have to bear the woman’s traditional burden of two families. So why do the fathers go overboard?
There is something very typical of men who go overboard over their daughters. Suddenly, as wedding time approaches, their egos start hurting at the thought that Baby Doll finds someone more attractive than her OLE Man.
And worse, they begin to view their own marriage in flash back. Every sadistic detail is recalled, those little games of emotional blackmail they lashed their own wives with. Then they inwardly pale and cringe at the thought that some one is going to do the same to their beloved Daughter.
Of course, they can never admit that to either Wife or Daughter. So Bombast is the only solace. And since it is bombast, then why not overdo it?
Que. sera, sera, what will be, will be

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Whither Women's Lib?

For those of us, footsoldiers of Women's Lib in varied arenas of family and friends, authorities in school, college, public life and work places, Women's Lib then was a quest for an equal space under the sun, the right to do what one desired, rather than submit to ancient stereotypes.
Is it therefore not painful to see the next generation lapsing so easily?
There are those who tamefully hand over hard won freedoms to dissolute husbands who have become tyrannical because they themselves are frightened by the challenge of the confident women in their workspaces.
And then there are those who cheerfully step on the heads of their hubbies, mouthing vacuous Women's Lib lines and rudely defy all social norms and graces.
Was the movement not about giving women choices, rather than having them take the same tinpot despot road that males have taken over the unchallenged centuries and run society into the ground?
And between these two extremes, whatever happened to equal rights and respect for each other?

No response to mumbai terror?

One hears such inanities on newschannels. There was this anchor who tried very hard to convince everyone that any strike at the terror training camps in POK would be disastrous all round. REASON ?
If India attacks Pakistan from the east, it would withdraw its troops from the Northwest to cope with the invasion.
Didn't they have a large enough army for both fronts, when they can afford to export units of their army to other countries?
The net result, it was argued, would be that Taliban/AlQuaida would walk into Pakistan with impunity.
Aren't they there already,in any case?
So India must sit on its hands while Pakistani "non state players' strike at will anywhere in the country?
Condoleeza Rice was brought in to bolster the no-strike theory: that she came to specifically advise against any IAF strike againt the terror training camps in POK. So what's new? Is that not what the US has been doing for decades since Paksitan became its client state? Holding back India to protect its human and other assets embedded all over Pakistan and POK, even when it has no guarantee against those assets falling into rogue elements, Pakistani/Taliban/Quaida.
So how long do we continue to sit on our hands?