Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Who am I?"



I watched this tele film by Naina Kapur and Smita Bharti in Doordharsan. It's a creative exploration of segregation and integration of self and sexuality as experienced by the students and teachers of an all girls school pursuing the pathway to sexual awareness. I felt it is a very good initiative and is important to conduct such a workshop in all schools. Those girls were confident, comfortable with their bodies and eager to face the world. Read more about it here and watch the film if possible.

When we were in the seventh standard, there was an short film that was shown by the Johnson and Johnson. Although it was an advertisement program for a Sanitory Napkin, it introduced the changes that a girl would undergo to acheive womanhood. And believe me except for a couple of girls who had entered early puberty, none of us even knew such a thing existed (And we were all 12 years of age which is the start of puberty for girls). And that did open up the atmosphere and we started talking about each others experience and realised it's natural and not something to be scared of. And it was not that we didn't have questions before. Seeing the ad of a beautiful white packet with small flowers, we did want to get the same. Our conclusion was that it is something to drink because in the ad Mom gave a drink to the girl and said something like "I'll always give the best to my daughter". Later when we asked our elders to get that drink, they told us it's not a drink, but failed to explain what it is. They just said "You will know when you grow up". errrr automatically?

And I guess there is a greater mystery for sex education. We are just afraid to broach the issue. As a result young people are left to fend for themselves. Things are made worse when they are surrounded by so many "Don'ts". I remember one discussion that we used to have. As girls we were constantly reminded that "cheethappeerundaakkaruthu"(Don't bring shame to the family/school) and we used to wonder "how" and "when" do you get "cheethappeeru". We had no clue whether it is talking, looking or sitting together. Having studied in a convent school for 14 years, I feel the gender relations projected there are really skewed and no where healthy. Boys were introduced to us as some scoundrels waiting to pounce on the prey. I have to confess I was scared even to talk to guys thinking something terrible will bestow on me.

I might be completely wrong in my views as I'm comparing with my school days - a system that's more than a decade old. It might be totally different in metro's like Bangalore, but I am not very confident that things have changed too much in other conservative socities. I am not bluffing here. Do check the excerpt from the rules of a college in chennai.

Denial is the best way to mislead. By refusing to leave the door open for healthy curiosity, we are generating an unhealthy response. Kids will anyway find some workarounds to get the information that they want. And today it will be accessing internet, pornography, misinformation and this will lead to irresponsible behaviour. Instead they should feel it is normal and acceptable and adults should offer guidance, direction and build responsibility around the issue. When we make a choice to know ourselves, to know who we are and what makes us, we become informed, healthy and complete as sexual beings. All we need today is healthy information.

Any other views?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud..

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

"Daffodils" By William Wordsworth

I remember this poem from childhood.. It is one of my favourite poems and loved it since school days.. But at that time I liked it more for it's natural beauty - the host of golden daffodils, the waves of the lake , the drifting clouds , the bright sunshine.. I could visualise the beauty of the place and longed to be there and dance in the breeze with the daffodils :)

But now I love this for a different reason. It's about the power of memory and the joy it can bring in times of contemplation, grief and loneliness. The poet stresses on how something so simple in nature could continue to give him pleasure even when he is not around it.. for the memory of the dancing flowers lasts with him even when he is at home...

In our life too, we have so many such small moments that we have enjoyed without realising it's worth. It could be anything - things like playing with our sister or brother or fighting with our friend for a piece of chocolate or the laughs that we shared with our family at the dining table. We might have forgotten those moments now, but then there are times when suddenly such moments flash back into our mind and that feeling takes us back to that peaceful, pleasant moments.. and our life becomes bit more pleasant to live on..

To me, the poem serves as a reminder that our happiness is best served if we live our lives noticing the simple beauty that nature gives us daily. It's a reminder to stop and smell the flowers, to reflect back on small things in life, to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.. Simple and wonderful..

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I know it's quite sometime..

..and my friends were pestering me for a new post. When I started this blog I was thinking why on earth would someone ever want to read my meaningless musings.. But through this I got the opportunity to know so many wonderful people whom I would have never known otherwise. Sometimes I'm absolutely bewildered when I see the visitor locations from which this blog has been accessed. It's a nice feeling to know that someone living thousands and thousands of miles away in a place which I haven't even heard of is accessing my blog and care to read my thoughts..

And today something different happened - A tag Attack. I got tagged by Guy in the middle. This is the first time I'm getting tagged and at the moment he is a complete stranger to me but I'm sure to know him better in the coming days through his blogs.. But guess I should be careful as amooma who passed the baton to him has described his Innocent Posts as not so innocent ;)
Coming back to the tag, I have seen different tags in other blogs - some really funny , some thought provoking , some silly and enjoyed following the game.. So I decided to abandon the post that I was writing till then and have taken this tag (aarambashooratham :P )

The rules of this game:

* Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
* People who are tagged need to write posts in their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
* At the end of your post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

So here it is..

1) I am a travel freak. I have traveled quite a bit around India and some abroad. But I still feel that I haven't seen anything yet :(

2) Although I like photography I have absolutely no idea about it's various technicalities. The camera I own is a simple POS and until a couple of years back, I didn't even know what an SLR means. And for me that big bulky camera was something that was used only by the professional wedding photographers or the studio people.

3) I am a confirmed chocoholic. In school n college, people used to pay me back in chocolates for helping them with tough maths problems! Me and Akhila (My best friend and the only one who can beat me in this choco gobbling) used to make sure that even the last bit of chocolate on the wrapper is taken. For us wasting even a little bit used to be an inexcusable sin ;)

4) I'm scared to go to a theater to watch movies. I don't like that atmosphere: the darkness, the crowd, the bass,... It's nauseating. Many of my friends have tried their best to drag me for a movie, but.. Think the last time I set my foot in one was when I was in the 5th Standard..

5) I did all my studies in Thrissur and all those institutions where less than 2 kms from my house. Probably for that I made a stupid mistake as well. Although I joined the EEE in REC Calicut(now NIT), I took a TC later and joined GEC Thrissur coz it was nearer to home!!

6) I absolutely adore children. I would never ever get tired with them.. I'm a good baby sitter as well especially for the new-borns. I believe I can handle these little bundles of joy much better than many elders(Self praise :P) There are many new mothers who will certify that ;)

7) Like most other girls, I'm an ardent Krishna fan, but I don't worship him. For me he is a playmate with whom I can play, talk, fight just like any other human being..

8) And finally (since I'm not getting anything else to write).. I hate to be addressed as an "only child". The one thing that I wanted so badly was a sibling and I used to feel so lonely that I even used to tell my mom to adopt a child from the orphanage.

Phew.. It was tough.. When I started writing I thought it will be a cakewalk but it took quite sometime for me to finish. And now that I have said them, I realize it was all very personal and none of you would have wanted to know any of them at all..

Anyway I move on and my tag victims are

Alexis - A very versatile person I got to know recently(or should I say today?). I'm not sure if he'll take this tag but anyways you can read this hilarious post for another tag

Vidya Vijayan - Another person whom I met online. It would be interesting to know more about her.

Sini - A friend who writes well but claims to have nothing to write about.. So let me give her something :)

Priyanka Prakash - Another talent pool..

Sadhana - One among my kids in office and today's birthday baby (07/07/07)..:)

Jaseem - Though my senior in college I got to know him online!! He seems to be a hilarious guy.. Let's see what he has to say..

Richy - A very creative ex-colleague of mine..

and last but not the least

Mathews - Though he is not a regular blogger, his writings are very thought-provoking..I have multiple relations with him : my seniors brother, my batch mates brother, my professors son , my neighbor , my good friends cousin - but the paradox is we too met online and have never met in person!!