Monday, June 19, 2006

Doors of perception

Who is taller?

Our world is just raw material. Something as bloody intangible as perception makes finished products out of it. What is reality then?
Is reality a constant or is it a customized commodity packed to confuse the hell out of every individual?

'If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is- infinnite' William Blake

What is fear for instance? I am scared of supernatural things. And at this point in life when there is no electricity in my house when I am alone it is really not a great idea to write .
Considering I missed being almost neurotic by one point in personality testing class.
HOWever, when i look around my house , it is the same things I see , just subtract the light.
The sofa, my slippers lying haphazardly ,the bottle of lotion with the cap almost not shut. Yet, a small creak outside the house causes unnessecary depletion of adrenalin from my system. I have obviously been gradually conditioned , tortured to believe that dark is scary.

When you have preconceived notions about something , no matter what signals you receive , you understand a situation in tandem with what notions you already have.
When I think about this , it makes sense to me. When I blog about it I have an inkling of dooubt creeping in. Do i make sense?
You on the other hand could probably think I am a retard.
AAAAH!perception. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday checklist

To think about:future

To learn : to say no to people

To get : Driving license

To use better: Camera

To save: money

My random Sunday checklist doesn't have any relevance to your lives bu tI will post it for my sake.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The world's oldest profession

A prostitute to her daughter - K. Satchidanandan

Dear child, say without shame
that I am your mother
and this city is your father.
Go, tell the chaste wives,
I teach their men how to love.

I offered myself
in place of a thousand women,
and became a saint.

Man, my child, is endless Desire,
you should cross that sea
the way I rose above my body.

Raise your head;
be my survivor, grow to be great.
You should have a tryst with tomorrow:
you should see the sun
that I could not.

I do not want to weep before Jesus
nor do I want Upagupta to weep before me.
Every night I turn red hot,
every morning I become gold.

I conquered lust;
you should transcend greed.
We are the bountiful Earth
and we, the giving Nature.

(Translated from Malayalam by the poet with Rizio Raj)
R was doing a project on violence against sex workers. I went with her to a dingy little room in K.R market, a group of sex workers working against HIV chatted with us there. On their profession, the challenges, the ostracization, life.

From Rio to Rome, from Dakar to Darwin, laws on prostitution are illogical and contradictory. They reflect the confusion felt by lawyers and by the general public about work so clearly connected with sex.

An estimated three million women do sex work in about 400 red light areas in India, approximately 30 per cent are children; a majority are dalits and tribals - issue.

‘My husband doesn't know I am a sex worker. I work by day and go back home by night. I tell him I am working in an NGO spreading awareness about AIDS'.

'My children are made fun of because I am a prostitute. They resent me.'

'Legalization will expose our secrets to an unaccepting society.'

'I hadn't heard about HIV, condoms, AIDS even years after joining the profession.'

'I am much better off living this life, earning a living than in my husbands house where I was beaten up, and our earnings were used for alcohol. My daughter is in the second year of Bsc . I can't afford it anymore. Tell me what opportunities she has.'

'At least now I have this support group of other sex workers. It helps me deal with it.'

'You are paid less when you insist they wear a condom. Out of four fifty rupees, I am left with hundred. The rest goes to the lodge owner, the police or the 'pimp'.'

The 'pimp' refers to the role that is inevitably played by a blackmailing male presence in a society where a man less woman is nothing. To rent a house, they need a man who pretends to be married to them.. Revealing the details of their profession will mean they will be vacated. These men constantly blackmail them and even threaten to break into their house. Hence trapping them into a vicious cycle.

'We can't complain to the police because they will say that we as 'lose women' deserve it. They will go to the other prostitutes when they want sex.'

'I need to drink to forget that I have to sell my body to earn a living.'
'Only they drink. (Disapproving). We are Muslims. We don't drink.'

‘HIV workers don’t care about sex worker welfare.’

'In my next birth I don't want to be born as a woman. That is the worst fate.'

We asked if they would mind alternate employment like sewing, working in a factory etc.
They said that if they were paid at least three thousand five hundred rupees a month, they wouldn't.
'We are sex workers. We are still entitled to a life of dignity.'

(Translated roughly from Hindi and Tamil) Photo from flickr.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Did the planet betray us?

I forgot when it stopped being an urgent thing to do.
When I was a child in Hyderabad , they cut down about seven trees that lined the plot next to our house. They RANDOMLY cut the Jamun tree in my house one day. The wires were causing problems . I was sick upstairs with Malaria then . I wanted to cry.


I wanted to grow up and save the environment and become an environmentalist.
I am extremist in loving animals. Nowadays when I think of the unimaginable cruelty meted out to animals everyday I shut the thought out , divert myself and start thinking of something saner.
I used to actually worry about what would happen when all the non renewable resources like coal and petrol got over.I used to consciously use less plastic, paper etc.
Over the years its just been ' why not?' without thinking. It's stopped being an urgent thing to do.
I've been caught up with my own life while doing small things like not going to McDonalds and KFC and putting up with being called an hypocrite.
That logic doesn't make sense . You might as well do SOMETHING and be called names than do NOTHING
One McDonalds beef burger removes for ever from this earth an average kitchen sized area of rainforest.

Last week I went to hear Medha Patkar speak. I was amazed, moved, inspired and ashamed.
I was ashamed of my relative indifference to what is happening in the world . I was ashamed of considering a career in the corporate world to be part of the little drop that defiles the entire ocean with its needs.
It was career confusion again.
Yet when I was at Mango yesterday I wanted that stupid soft grey t shirt that cost a thousand bucks. I told myself that I can afford it when I start earning.

link through chamique

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I am 19.I am 19. I am 19 years old.


That might sound awfully young to some of you but the fact is I can't bear the thought of not being 19 anymore in a few days.

Because when I think I still think like' when I grow up' or when I think of what I have to do next i quickly run 'maths , english , social studies....' in my mind though I don't do these subjects anymore.
Not like am going to be a grandmother at 20 but still!
Because I have lived so much and done so little and don't know what the hell I want to do with the rest of my life.
I feel so young and am expected to be so old.
And that world that you are unconsciously promised to reach when you 'grow up' doesn't exist.Because I am such a baby and yet I can't deal with how Pipe Dreams: clinical vegetable?!">">dependable,Clinical, intellectual, cynical I seem to have become. Posted by Picasa

little moments in a cluttered shared judging public place

The street isn't yours.You can't behave like its your bedroom. But there are moments when you are so lost , you lean to the side of the auto and look out , in awe of the cloudy windy weather that Bangalore is blessing us with these days. You sing and you are lost in your own world. Till suddenly you realise people are staring at you like you are weird. You quickly assume the defensive sitting straight, being rigid and attempting to buy your self respect back by typing self importantly on your phone.
These little moments in a cluttered shared judging public place are so beautiful.

Today V and I were walking on the beautiful tree lined road from Cunningham Road towards M.G road singing on the top of our voices. James Blunt and Coldplay type!
Suddenly it was all quiet. I was jolted out of my singing 'reverie'.
ALL the traffic had gone ahead and at that moment it was just V and me on that usually busy road SINGING.
Imagine a traffic less road in this city shocking me so much! Posted by Picasa