Re-visiting; Re-reading.

I read this following poem time and again, very often, so often that by now I have most of the lines by heart and yet I do not get enough of it.

How can I? Because every time I read this, it gives me, well I won’t say new insight but the very same old feelings that I live with. The feelings are always there, they are ever present, only they come out or I let them come out not too often. These are the feelings I live with, most women live with.

Though there are some days when they flow so rapidly that I fail to control them, or give them a direction and on those days, I read, I read anything, and everything, I read poems, novels, stories, plays. I read this poem all over again.

Today is one such day, and I will share this once again. Because, I am flowing, I am hurting, I am smiling, because it’s all mine, because I am I.

An Introduction. 

I don’t know politics but I know the names
Of those in power, and can repeat them like
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
I am Indian, very brown, born inMalabar,
I speak three languages, write in
Two, dream in one.
Don’t write in English, they said, English is
Not your mother-tongue. Why not leave
Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins,
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in
Any language I like? The language I speak,
Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses
All mine, mine alone.
It is half English, halfIndian, funny perhaps, but it is honest,
It is as human as I am human, don’t
You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my
Hopes, and it is useful to me as cawing
Is to crows or roaring to the lions, it
Is human speech, the speech of the mind that is
Here and not there, a mind that sees and hears and
Is aware. Not the deaf, blind speech
Of trees in storm or of monsoon clouds or of rain or the
Incoherent mutterings of the blazing
Funeral pyre. I was child, and later they
Told me I grew, for I became tall, my limbs
Swelled and one or two places sprouted hair.
WhenI asked for love, not knowing what else to ask
For, he drew a youth of sixteen into the
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten.
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me.
I shrank Pitifully.
Then … I wore a shirt and my
Brother’s trousers, cut my hair short and ignored
My womanliness. Dress in sarees, be girl
Be wife, they said. Be embroiderer, be cook,
Be a quarreller with servants. Fit in. Oh,
Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sit
On walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows.
Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or, better
Still, be Madhavikutty. It is time to
Choose a name, a role. Don’t play pretending games.
Don’t play at schizophrenia or be a
Nympho. Don’t cry embarrassingly loud when
Jilted in love … I met a man, loved him. Call
Him not by any name, he is every man
Who wants. a woman, just as I am every
Woman who seeks love. In him . . . the hungry haste
Of rivers, in me . . . the oceans’ tireless
Waiting. Who are you, I ask each and everyone,
The answer is, it is I. Anywhere and,
Everywhere, I see the one who calls himself I
In this world, he is tightly packed like the
Sword in its sheath. It is I who drink lonely
Drinks at twelve, midnight, in hotels of strange towns,
It is I who laugh, it is I who make love
And then, feel shame, it is I who lie dying
With a rattle in my throat. I am sinner,
I am saint. I am the beloved and the
Betrayed. I have no joys that are not yours, no
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.

Kamala Das. 

You are a Reader.

Today I have another reader realization, Bare with me..

 

You know you are a reader, you are certain that it is the only pleasure in your life, that it is the only solution to all your problems, that reading is the only source to digress yourself from all those problems, that reading is the only way to maintain sanity and that it is the only way to run away from reality.

 

So you think that you are a reader.

 

At least I thought so, or rather I think so, every time I see a book and find my mouth drooping at the magical words.

 

Until recently when I literally dozed off early in the morning, a book in my hand, and woke up after two hours only to realize that I was already running late for the day.

 

How come I dozed off? Well, as it happens, I am up for reading anything any place by anyone only till I am willing to do it, which is of my own accord. But as soon as someone pressurizes me for it, my mind stops working and I go numb. In this case, I am being pressurized by the so called ‘College people, here the examiners’.

 

My exams are coming up and I don’t understand why that this time I have to really try hard to even study what I like. My papers consists everything that I like, at least mostly what I like. I have to read theories, novels, stories and poems for them and yet here I am, trying to not nod off while preparing for them. Seriously, what is wrong with me? Had I heard of something from someplace else, I would definitely go and hunt down every little information about it and read it even in the middle of the night. But since it is in my syllabus all I am thinking about is that I have to study it, prepare an answer and then just write it down in my exam. I absolutely understand that this is wrong, the entire concept is wrong, this way I don’t understand anything and will be blindly following the teaching method usually applied. I have never been this, but I don’t know what is wrong. I am concentrating only on the fact that I have ‘exams.’

 

I’ll give you an instance, if I had come across the word ‘Marxism’ some place else then I was sure to Google every detail about it and read it till I understood it, but now that it is in my syllabus, I am almost day dreaming about sipping a drink near the ocean under the warm sun after my exams.

 

And I called myself a reader? I guess the problem is that not only I have to read it but understand it, retain it and prepare for the ‘exams’.

 

Okay, enough with the word ‘exams’ today, I guess I’ll go and pick up some long forgotten book which I might have read so many times, only to remind myself that I am a reader. 😀

 

 

The officer in Power.

They say that you should follow the system, the system is definitely right. But who may I ask makes this system? Who follows the system? Who executes this ‘system’? Are all the people in the system following the system? Can any one answer that, truthfully?

 

I don’t think so. I don’t believe that anyone can tell me the correct answer, or I don’t believe that the answer to all of the above questions can be answered positively.

 

I will tell you which system I am talking about. I am talking about the government officials, about the government methods of doing the things; of the system we are supposed to follow implied by the government. I don’t usually interfere in these matters, I like to stay clear, nor do I like to have my opinions about such issues because I know I don’t understand everything related to it, and that I may be wrong. But today I am furious and raging with a very small incident, which has some how decided to not leave my nerves.

 

I was at a government office today, trying to understand the process, which needed to be done in person, and by the end of the day all I could hear was, “Take another appointment and come gain.”

 

Well, this is not the very first time I have been postponed so I will share some of my experiences here when it comes to such official issues.

 

Most often than not, you are called for at a very punctual time, which in any case you must not miss. So you reach the place before or on time since you don’t want to mess up, and as soon as you reach you think everything is so systemized that you will be done in no time. But as time ticks by you see absolutely nothing happening around, except for the time ticking and you getting restless. Then slowly you reach the lunch hour, and realize that the person being called before you has still been waiting, so you do the math and think of how to kill time without using mobile phones. Finally the time comes when your name is being announced, and honest to God sometimes I have felt that I have been called in for some hearing in a court. But then you are to wait in a second waiting room, where you find the person who came before you. Another few minutes, may be an hour, and then finally you are next, but oh alas! You forgot the tea break!! You hear another laughter and a little bit of gossip, trying to find out what exactly they are talking about, what is so important and serious, that is keeping them for more than 30 minutes for tea. But you hear nothing.

 

Then finally, you go inside in front of the official, all nervous in my case, because these things never go right with me in a go. You just don’t understand why. So you see a lethargic old guy in front of you sitting and sipping that tea. Wasn’t the tea break over? Anyway, you shove your files in his way, and then he pretends to be occupied with something else. Then what seems like an eternity to you, he gets free from whatever he was doing and takes up your files, and examines them as if he was looking into a crime report.

 

Hmmm….

 

What?

What’s wrong?

 

But he will not say anything; he smiles instead. So everything all right, you guess? He seems to be in a good mood, so you just try your luck and ask very, very politely what all the delay was about? Why the 11:30 appointment had to be kept waiting till 4:30 to which he replies very callously, “Oh, we have a lot of work around here. It just got delayed.” You smile so, so politely that your jaws hurt when you do it. You try to understand exactly how busy he must have been, (Drinking tea for 30 minutes?) Anyway, of course you are polite your work isn’t done yet, when suddenly he finds a mistake in some of your papers, and he says this is wrong and that you need to rectify it. And suddenly he is absolutely rude and all business as if what he was going through was after all really a crime report. Your time is up suddenly, you realize as he calls for someone else, but you are not even answered. By now you have lost the entire day’s patience, and are bold enough to ask how to rectify it, since you don’t know all the rules about it. He simply avoids you. You are right there, but you could not be right there too. The other person is in a flux as to talk or not, but he goes on anyway, and suddenly the very professional official realizes that there is a flaw in his file too. “How to rectify it?”

 

A blank face looks up at the two of you, asking you to leave. You both do not move, and seem to wait for the answer. Of course you cannot talk up to him, remember, your work isn’t done yet? And the ego these days are most certainly taller than the person’s height. And so you cannot even talk with him now, with the fear that sooner or later you will have to come back here, to get your work done, and then he will make sure to keep you waiting more, or worse to not do your work, basically to make your life worse. After all he can do it, he has the power, at least you think so then.

 

So, back to waiting for the answer. The flaw can be rectified with only words that your stupid, stupid brain don’t get and then since you know that you cannot simply take any of this shit longer, you decide to leave. Just when you show your back to him, you hear the third person’s voice asking the same question politely again, to which there is a fuming answer from the person at power. You turn back; to see a scene as if you are in a school, the principal expelling a student and realize the situation isn’t any different. It could be a funny situation, but since even you are facing the same thing, it isn’t anymore. You feel humiliated. It is only natural that not every person knows everything, and it is his job to tell you what is wrong. Even if it isn’t his job, there is no power bestowed on him to shout at you or disrespect you. Yes, he has power, but he cannot simply degrade you. He would not want to answer, so he should not, but how in the world is he allowed to do that?

 

Yes, it is a monotonous job, sometimes people get irritated, and sometimes the people that come to that officer are those who don’t understand things easily. Some are illiterate, and have no idea what to do, but they are there, trying. You understand that the job requires the same work 8 hours a day 5 days a week, all year long. But remember whether you chose it or not, it is your job, and whatever the circumstances, you have no right demeaning the other person. Had someone from any other business or sphere behaved this was, there could have been a solution. There are people who listen to the customers and their grievances, probably leading to the person in power being fired. But since this is a special case, you know anything you do isn’t going to work. Here, even you have to be a loyal and honest citizen, and in most cases you are not. There is no possible way to avoid dealing with him. You will have to do it, whether you like it or not. So you breathe in and leave the room, for now!!

 

Peeping back you find the officer in power glorify in his days work, and signing off for the day. You stand and wonder what you have done with your day? Nothing, except realizing that that the officer in power is always right.

 

By the time you leave, you don’t even care if the work is done or not, you are simply too tired, from dong nothing and waiting. You suddenly realize that you haven’t had anything to eat since morning and wonder if you should go home, or go out eat, or put in the effort to rectify “the mistake”.

 

You hear someone say that he was just doing his job, he has to make sure that nothing is filed wrong, and that the security is more important, no mistake should happen with the paperwork. Of course no mistake should happen otherwise the whole economy would come crumbling down, otherwise so many crimes could be committed, and as it happens every one is so specific and responsible in their work that we have no such issues ever.

 

But you just don’t care now, and go home and ramble this in your blog, and may be even disrespect someone who might be into government offices and who might be reading this. Again, not everyone is the same, and I might not mean this to you, but yes, I have the right to say I am yet to find a day, and a person who would not take too much pride in his authority and that my work has ever been done so much as a little smoothly.

 

I am sorry if I have crossed a line here. I may not have faced this entirely today, but yes this is more or less the truth that I always come across.

 

Yes, we have to follow the system, but does the system follow the system? I don’t think just getting frustrated with your job or losing it when someone is trying to understand what you are saying is completely following the system. And not to forget the unending wait, today, tomorrow and I don’t know how long. Yes, I agree it is always important when it comes to the work of government, but do we as citizens not have anything else to do? I mean yes, the officer in the power has important work to do, but don’t we? Probably not as important as his, but I can safely say that I have never kept my customer or client waiting all day long, not because I fear getting fired, but because I value time, theirs and ours. I have never shouted or been arrogant to one of my clients, not because I am scared of losing my job, but because I think it is unethical and immoral.

 

I may not know much, but I am absolutely certain that unless and until we learn to value time (everyone’s), and learn a little morality (The irony, this being said in a country known for its culture and morals), we will never ever change!

I am a Reader!?

I am pretty sure that many of you here will be book readers, so much so that reading would be an inseparable part of your life. Yes, I’d say that too, that I love reading books, I love to get lost in an imaginary world. But today I read something which shook my beliefs, that I was or am a book reader.

So I say that I read books, but how many, which ones? There are so many books and which ones do I pick?

I know the quantity does not matter, the quality does, but wait till you read this..

books.jpg

 

What do you say now? 😀

I am not much of a calculative person, but I am pretty sure that I am not reading since I was 5, I sometimes take more than a week to complete a book, and what more? I might not even live to be 80.

So I don’t even read 1% of fiction, non-fiction that is available to me and I call myself a reader?

This or That Tag.

Recently I seem to have been participating in all the quote challenges and the tags, which is absolutely unlike me. But here I am participating in another tag namely, “This or That Tag” in which I was nominated by Richa at http://iscriblr.com

As always I will dump the rules and simply answer all all the questions that I have been asked.

  • Dog or Cat?
    I know my first answer will send away many of you from reading any further, because it is none.
  • Netflix or YouTube?
    YouTube
  • Phone Call or Text?
    Phone calls, it shows that an effort is being made.
  • Toast or Eggs?
    Toast.
  • Cardio or Weights?
    None!!!
  • Facebook or Twitter?
    I can literally sit online for a long time and just watch videos from pages that I have followed on Facebook. But Twitter seems helpful for my blog.
  • Ice Cream Cone or Snow Cone?
    Ice Cream
  • Mobile Games or Console Games?
    None.
  • While walking : Music or Podcasts?
    Music, but I like to think too.
  • iOS or Android?
    iOS
  • Cake or Pie?
    CAKE
  • Swimming or Sunbathing?
    Swimming, though all I do is play on the water because I don’t know how to swim.
  • Big Party or Small Gathering?
    Small gathering, any day.
  • New Clothes or New Phone?
    New Clothes, but if I have an option then new books too would do.
  • Rich Friend or Loyal Friend?
    Is anyone really loyal these days?
  • Football or Basketball?
    Not a sports fan actually.
  • Nice Car or Nice Home Interior?
    Nice home interior. I could really do with a comfortable home and a library in it 😀
  • What’s worse : Laundry or Dishes?
    Anything that I have to do that does not relate my interest is worse, including dishes and laundry.
  • Jogging or Hiking?
    Hiking
  • Bath or Shower?
    If only I could have that much time to spend in a bath!
  • Sneakers, or sandals?
    Ummm, Okay I will digress, I say boots. I just love them.
  • Glasses or Contacts?
    I don’t wear either. But I’d love to see how I look in blue eyes.
  • Hamburger or Taco?
    Tacos
  • Couch or Recliner?
    As long as I am comfortable, it doesn’t matter.
  • Online Shopping or Shopping in a Store?
    Online Shopping, anything to avoid humans.
  • Receive : Email or Letter?
    I used to write letters when I was a kid, but now emails are a better option, only because it is faster. But come to think of it, no one even writes email these days, a small message and it’s done.
  • Passenger or Driver?
    Passenger if the driver isn’t talking to me and letting me enjoy the view, or else I’d rather be the driver.
  • Tablet or Computer?
    Computer.
  • Most important in a partner : Intelligent or Funny?
    ummm, It doesn’t matter if he is intelligent, or funny, or smart or rich, what I’d rather have is that he respects me for who I am.
  • Car or Truck?
    Car
  • Blue or Red?
    Blue
  • Money or Free Time?
    I’d have money and then appoint people to do things for me, that way I can have a bit of free time too.
  • Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?
    Day at the Beach, reading soothing, bathing, and having all sorts of fun.
  • At a movie : Candy or Popcorn?
    Popcorn.
  • Pen or Pencil?
    Pen.
  • Cups in the cupboard : Right Side Up or Up Side Down?
    Up Side Down.
  • Pancake or Waffle?
    Waffle, my latest addiction.
  • Coke or Pepsi?
    Coke
  • Coffee Cup or Thermos?
    Coffee Cups
  • Blinds or Curtain?
    Blinds.
  • Train or Plane?
    Plane, just because it saves me time and Well, Indian railways aren’t very well known for punctuality.
  • Phone or Tablet?
    As mentioned above, if I am choosing a computer over tablet, then I’ll chose a phone here, I don’t need a tablet too!
  • Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee?
    Oh come on, it is coffee, hot ? cold? I am up for it.
  • Meat or Vegetables?
    Vegetables
  • International Vacation or a New TV?
    How can someone ask such a question (Over dramatic) International Vacation!!!!!
  • Save or Spend?
    invest some, spend some.
  • Honesty or Other’s Feelings?
    Honesty, I always wonder if ever that was in trend.
  • Coffee or Tea?
    Coffee.
  • TV or Book?
    Book, any day.
  • Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater?
    Movie at the theatre. I don’t go out much so it is just a chance.
  • Ocean or Mountains?
    Nature lover, anything would do.
  • Horror Movie or Comedy Movie?
    You lost me at H for horror.
  • City or Countryside?
    City.
  • Winter or Summer?
    I like to enjoy every season in parts.
  • Mac or PC?
    Mac
  • Console Gaming or PC Gaming?
    None.
  • Soup or Sandwich?
    Sandwich
  • Card Game or Board Game?
    Again not much into games.
  • Camping or Binge Watching Shows at Home?
    Camping.
  • Working Alone or Working in a Team?
    Working alone, but if I have to work in a team, I am up for it, though not very enthusiastically.
  • Dine In or Delivery?
    Delivery, I  am not much of a cook, but yeah if you are cooking them you are most welcome 😀
  • Sweater or Hoodie?
    Whatever goes with the dress.
  • Motorcycle or Bicycle?
    Motorcycle.
  • Book or eBook?
    Book!
  • When sleeping : Fan or No Fan?
    I am a human and I need the air in the extreme summers that we have here. I switch on the AC and the fan!
  • TV Shows or Movies?
    Actually, both.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this and it wasn’t much waste of your time.

I will not nominate any of you, but if you are reading this and if you like do participate in this, would love to know about you too.

Have a good day.

3 Day Quote Challenge; Day3.

This is my last quote and since I have made it all about women, why diverse from it on the last day. So, I will share another quote from a beautiful woman flaunting only more how more powerful we are than those men. (Men, no offence, but we are.)

Unknown

Need I say anything more?

Yes, we are powerful, we are strong and we can do whatever we want. Just because sometimes, we listen to the emotional side of our heads more, does not mean that when required we will not pick up the swords and run on that battlefield to crush our opponents, whoever they are women or men, friends or foes. (Just saying!)

Cogito Ergo Sum. ["I think Therefore I am"]

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