From the 'skeptic' in me to the 'thinking' me...

I choose the other path...
Liberal, Radical, Non-conformist, Non-religious, A-political, Agnostic
All the 'alternate' paths.
A friend of mine terms it the easier route. After all, to follow and to confirm takes guts and gumption.

The alternate paths are always relative. They move on a continuum with graded milestones. Who defines these alternate paths? Do the ones following them mark the distance and set the benchmark? Or does the outsider looking through his tinted glasses judge the perimeter?

To me, being Liberal is to be able to have friends of the opposite gender and care two hoots about campus gossip? It is about WE being able to decide when 'we' want to have a baby and not have the world make our timetable.To me, being Radical is to not follow hierarchy and not treat a senior like 'GOD', just because they deem it necessary.To me, being a Non-conformist is to be able to do much more than my research, expanding boundaries and merging horizons; to explore my potential, be an active student on campus and to be able to say that the lab is after all not my favorite place on campus. To me, being Non- religious is to let people pray, believe and have faith of any manner and let people understand that i do not necessarily have to follow the prescribed faith. Is there anything termed the 'global faith'?To me, being Apolitical is to understand that each political agenda has something good in store but not be blinded by the shiny curtains that rise. And being politically correct is very simple- not to say anything or do anything that hurts anybody's sentiments, targeting a sensitive aspect of their life; refusing to smile at crass jokes that bend the rules of gender, community and individual cpompetence. To me, being Agnostic is to know that when good comes out of what I do or when the little I can do, makes someone happy; my prayers are answered. Rituals, ceremonies, mores, traditions do little to my understanding of my personal faith; though I admit, am yet to completely dis-entangle myself from them. But yes, I have chosen the alternate path..

Why this multitude of thoughts on International Woman's Day! Am I not supposed to enjoy the attention, the special treatment, the scores of newspaper supplements talking of successful women, awards for the great women achievers, the jewellery ads proimising us infionite happiness through a metal or stone. Screaming news about a Kathryn Bigelow winning the Oscar for best director on Woman's Day!So, does the day make her award special or the award make the day special!??!
I somehow am not enjoying all this. We fight for equality and then wqant reservations; claim we are intelligent and yet crosscheck our every decision with an esteemed opinion. We gloat in the success of one successful woman and then bury in self pity looking at the scores of them who are at mercy of nature for survival. We want to save the girl child, stop female foeticide, work on marital laws, check violence against women, continue ranting about the glass ceiling. Let us do all this but standing as EQUALS:) At school quizzes, teams never have a reservation for girls, then why later in life we want a special place, a reserved seat, a chivalrous gentleman!

Being special is a right reserved within us and demands chivalry from our end to accept it.
Didn't I reascertain that I chose the other path!

for whatever it may be ...

P.S: Wrote this while invigilating the HRM mid term exam, 1015 hrs


Nitin said…
Welcome to the club. I thought I was the only fellow who thought this was the way :)
Reservations are needed, but should come with deadlines after which they are nullified. More importantly the approach should be bottom up instead of top down.
Being equal is an attitude not some qualification. And that attitude shouldn't waver at the first sign of adversity(which normally is the case)
And above all it requires an active participation which should be devoid of upholding family traditions/respects or lineage. As long as the latter conditions prevail, there is no hope.
Women should stop trying to have the best of both worlds. That would be the best beginning!!
maneesh said…
From experience I think it's harder to be alternate; there's nothing to hang your fears on.
Blue Lily said…
Well... What can I say but that I am there along with you.

But I do not want to celebrate this togetherness either, cause I have come to realize that when two or three people start saying the same thing, it is like sparking off a radical or alternate movement. That is not my goal and I know it is not yours either.

For that matter, I am not a feminist, just because I am a woman who is juggling both worlds. I do not believe that men and women are the same. We are equal yes, in some ways... But I also believe that we should celebrate our differences rather than competing to be the same. Why should we not enjoy our uniqueness. About reservations... I am neither for nor against it. I know I managed to do it without help, but do everyone have my kind of family support? But then again, will the right people get what they deserve? It is tough to make these decisions and simple reservations without actual empowerment is meaningless.

All this makes me choose the alternate path. So be it. But this is not because I want to be different or to prove something, but because I am different and don't need to prove it to anyone. I am unique and yet the same.

It is after all a matter of perspective. I will always believe that everything is "relative". The difference that lies in the person looking at things!

So go for it! Make your mark... leave your footsteps on the grains of sand... "Live your life and let others live too..." That is all to ask for and that is all there is.

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