Why Pretentious? What Profound?

The long over-due explanation for the latest streak of self-indulgent madness on this blog :

Just like Word Muses, thoughts can be muses.

Sometimes a thought gate-crashes into my head, screams, sings and laughs aloud, and makes quite a nuisance of itself. A thought may have had real-life walking talking triggers, or it might be a love-child of something I am reading and something I have been obsessing upon. A thought might simply want to vent, or want to go out, mingle and breed. But all these thoughts are unabashed attention-seekers.

The only way to get one such thought-muse to behave is to indulge it with some blog-post attention. And that is what I do in this lazy, sometimes silly, sometimes serious series of posts.

Plus, calling these posts ‘profound’ makes it easy for me : your not understanding them doesn’t make me a bad writer – it makes you a bad thinker. Yes, I am going to be THAT pretentious! B-) }:-)

So, that explains the ancestry of the Pretentiously Profound posts, and absolves them of the ignominy of being bastard urchins. [dusts off palms]


Feminism – Level II ?

Let’s play a game.. I throw a word/phrase/concept at you, and you nod if you have heard allllll about it already.

Okay? Here goes..


Rape culture.

Rape victim survivor. 


Dowry Deaths.

Female foeticide.

Honor Killings.

Girl being the family’s honor up-holder.

Different rules for girls and boys, growing up.

Women having to be told.. “Listen.. YOU are BEAUTIFUL! Believe us!”.

Equality at the workplace.

Women’s clothing being their own business.

“Women’s” safety.

Women being women’s worst enemies.

Women being “given” their rights.


You nodded alllll through that, didn’t you?


Come closer, and I’ll let you in on a secret.

This stuff no longer makes me think. Righteous blog posts and facebook posts about all that makes me yawn. Quite like sitting through the same course three semesters in a row.

I am thinking there is a huge void in the blogosphere where the stuff that comes after “Feminism 101” had to be there.

Don’t you? Or have I gotten just a bit more of a “know-it-all elitist” now?

Word Muse #5 – பாவை

For what are ‘Word Muses’ and the list till now, look here.


Request : Please forgive spelling mistakes if any. I am largely out of touch with the written form of any language except English and Mathematics!  Free spell-checks and corrections hugely appreciated [sheepish grin].


பாவை விளக்கு


பெயரில்லாத பாவை விளக்கவள்.
தேயத் தேய ஒளிரும் தேகத்தவள்.
இடை ஒடித்து இதழ் குவித்து,
தீபம் ஏந்தி நிதம் நிற்ப்பவள்.


நேற்று கவிதாவின் மண மேடையில்,
இன்று செல்வியின் மஞ்சள் நீராட்டு விழாவில்,
நாளை குழலியின் வளைகாப்பு கலகலப்பில்.
என்றும் உள்ளங்கையின் சுடு காயம் மறந்து,
வலி மறைத்து மெலிதாய் சிரிக்கப் பழகியவள்.


அவர்களும் இவள் இனம் தானோ?
பேசவும் தெரிந்த, பேசாதிருக்கவும் தெரிந்த
குடும்ப விளக்காக செதுக்கப்பட்ட உயிர்க் கற்க்கள்.


பாவை இவளுக்கு ஓய்வு – திரி சுருங்க.
பாவம் அவர்களுக்கு ஓய்வு – உயிர் சுருங்கவும் உண்டோ..
சுயமும் ஸ்வரமும் உயர்த்திப்  பேசாதிருக்கும் வரை?



Transliteration :


Paavai ViLakku


peyarillaadha paavai viLakkavaL.
thEyath thEya oLirum dhEgaththavaL.
idai odiththu, idhazh kuviththu,
dheepam Endhi nidham niRppavaL.


nEtru kavithaa-vin maNa mEdaiyil,
indru selvi-yin manjaL neerAttu vizhaavil,
naaLai kuzhali-yin vaLaikaappu kalakalappil.
endrum uLLangkaiyyin sudu kaayam marandhu
vali maraiththu melidhaai sirikkap pazhagiyavaL.


avargaLum ivaL inam dhaanO?
pEsavum therindha pEsaadhirukkavum therindha
kudumba viLakkugaLaai sedhukkappatta uyirkkarkaL.


paavai ivaLukku Oiyvu thiri surunga.
paavam avargaLukku Oiyvu uyir surungavum undo..
suyamum swaramum uyarththip pEsaadhirukkum varai?


Wait a sec..

So, this country doesn’t offer safe roads and public spaces for women.


Does it, for men?

Last I checked – men get mugged, robbed, murdered, run down by imported cars on the roads of this country.

If women get raped, men get beat up and shot at – even in bright day-light, right on the road.. road rage, anyone?

If it is an inhuman violation to rape a woman, and it makes our hearts go out to her.. It is just as inhuman a violation to strip and beat up a man? Hearts don’t go out to him?

And men get just as harassed by the police as women do.

Plus, the judiciary is impartial – it delays and denies justice to men and women, alike.

Did all that change while I was in hibernation? Or am I missing something?

Oh wait.. so, is the difference that homosexuality is still a concept of the hidden minority in this country and men don’t get bundled up into a vehicle and gang-raped?

Oh no, oh no, oh no… It is about ‘honour’! It is about ‘polluting’ the women of this country – the property of the honorable, culture-abiding families of this country!

I’m soooooo sorry I took so long to get that simple point. Really, I’m terribly sorry for being such a dumb-head.. I really am!

P.S. : Now, please don’t remind me of female foeticide and dowry killings – I’m really tired of listening to that at every mention of ‘Indian women’. I’m only talking about problems that pepper spray, self-defense classes and random mobile apps for ‘safety’ allegedly solve!

Of things Liberating

An hour back, I absent-mindedly looked up and into the mirror while washing my hands in the restroom. There they were – streaks of silver glistening against the blackness of my hair.

Yet again, I had parted my hair right where the population density of white hair is highest. A bit too high for a 26-year old.

The involuntary reaction was to think ‘adjust the parting now – hide them brutes!’.

The voluntary action was to smile at my reflection, admire the silver streaks, and walk back to lab.

Being able to shrug off aging – premature or not – is liberating. Makes me smile to myself.

There are more such ‘silly’ things that are liberating to me..

It is liberating to be able to sport un-shaved arms in short-sleeved tops and be completely oblivious to it until you over-hear some girl exclaim “Oh, I have to go for waxing ASAP. I look like a bear!”. And then smile looking at your own ‘bear’-arms.

It is liberating to be able to not go red in the face when you realize that you have been going around with a bra strap peeking out for  hours.

It is liberating to be able to not ‘notice’ that there are males around and to carry a sanitary pad to the restroom openly – no more handbags entering the bathroom, or wearing only clothes with pockets during ‘those days’.

It is liberating to be able to say – aloud – “Could you please look at my eyes while talking to me? They are above my neck – not below!” to a guy who talks to your chest. And then smile at him warmly while looking in his eyes – till he goes red in his face and flees. It is quite amusing too.. oh, who am I kidding? It is pure sadistic pleasure!

It is liberating to travel alone – at dawn, after dusk; in notorious Delhi, to unknown cities; into crowds, into dark deserted ruins. To hell with the rapists on prowl.

Gender-neutral liberating things? Umm… let us see…

It is liberating to..

To be able to impulsively get up mid-work and walk off to meet the rising sun at the Qutub.

To be able to go for a purposeless walk truly alone – without the company of an mp3 player or a phone conversation. With just thoughts for company.

To be able to explore a city in the rain – carrying nothing – no umbrella, no wallet, no phone, no camera, no map. And hum softly to yourself. Free of burdens, free of destinations, free of inhibitions.

To be able to decide now and set off on a trip tonight.

To be able to travel to a tourist place, and not go on a ‘sight-seeing’ spree or photograph everything.

To be able to stay off email for a week – in spite of having ready access to it.

To be able to forget that your mobile phone exists – to lose that 11th  finger.

To be able to live alone – without feeling lonely.

To be able to buy books and travel with your own earnings.

It is liberating to say NO when you want to.

It is liberating to ‘want’, ‘demand’, and ‘get’ – without guilt.

It is liberating to turn away from people who drain you – for good, with neither hard feelings nor guilt.

It is liberating to know your weaknesses and that it is okay to have a few.

It is liberating to ask ‘Yes.. So?’ .

It is liberating to simply feel ‘I don’t care!’

In a world that teaches you to conform, to be self-conscious, to not stand out, the tiniest of things can be liberating. More so to women.

One just discovers a few.. and then it becomes an addiction.

I am addicted. Are you? 🙂