Free Will

This incident came to me when I was reading this post by Scribblehappy. Seriously, go read the post! It says everything I want to on the matter. 

I remember once, I was talking to this girl I went to college with about abortions. She is a religious fanatic who believes that abortion is equivalent to killing and was actually sending out mailers and getting people to sign an agreement to appeal to the govt to make abortions against the law.

My opinion was that she was allowed to have her opinion and was free to do as she pleases with her body and her beliefs, but it shouldn’t be forced upon others. It was my body and my choice as to whether to abort or not. She disagreed, told me that that was wrong, that everyone who was pro-choice was WRONG!! That they were KILLING and didn’t know any better, and shouldn’t be allowed to KILL!

“What about if a girl gets raped and she ends up pregnant?” I asked.
“If God has willed it to be, then she should accept that! If she doesn’t want the baby, there are many orphanages or adoption centers she can give the child to.”

“So, you’re saying that not only does the girl have to go through the physical and mental trauma of having been raped, she should carry her rapist’s child for 9 months inside her and undergo the emotional and physical stress that comes with being pregnant and giving birth as well? And then once a baby is actually born, give it up to an orphanage, where what? He’ll become another Oliver Twist?! ”

Had she seen any of the orphanages to India? Did she know what the population of the country was? Did she have a clue as to how many children don’t have access to even the basic necessities in life, like clean drinking water or air, or a place to live, where they can feel secure? Do you know of the atrocities being done against children, one of the reasons being because there were too many children and not enough people to care for them? So many of them don’t go to school cos they are forced to work instead, don’t have a safe place to sleep at night and are literally starving to death.

“God will care for him” she said, a bit more uncertain this time.

Riiiight! 

That was the last I spoke to her.

We weren’t really that good friends anyway!

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Tolled Out!

After reading my previous post, a friend of mine pinged me on BB saying ” It seems like being single has taken a toll on you”.

He was referring to the line in my post where I’d mentioned that I’m tired of men behaving unprofessionally in a business environment cos I’m single.

I’m not sure if sick-of-being-single is the impression I gave to anyone else who read the post, I’m not and that is not what I meant to convey when I wrote it.

Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with my being single, cos I meet jerks who don’t know if I’m single or not and they still try and hit on me, or talk inappropriately just after a single conversation on the phone. But I remember my boss telling me that she used to face the same kinda crap before she got married, but now that people know she’s married and has a 4 yr old, they don’t try anything funny. I guess what she said stayed in my mind, leading me to believe that my single status is the reason these jerks behave the way they do.

Of course, if you think about it, that’s not true at all. Men who are jerks will behave the same way with single or married women. Their main concern would be whether they can get away with it.

A few weeks ago, I had talked on the phone to a prospective client about doing business together. He seemed fine when we were chatting on the phone. But then, in the evening, he sent me a text saying ” It was nicee (sic) talking to you this morning! I would love to work with you! You voice is so sweet!”

I wasn’t very sure how to respond to that, so I didn’t. So then he calls me, asks me if I was offended by the text. And when I  didn’t respond in the negative, he interrupted me before I could say anything beyond “well..”, apologized and said to forget it ever happened.

I let it go. And then, on the day I wrote the previous post,  I receive a text from him again – ” thinking of you. :)”

WTefffffff is that?!

And this, my friends, is just the tip of the twisted and creepy iceberg! When traveling, sometimes I’ve been asked by people to “check out the view from my room” and  all sorts of crap.  None of these have been by my colleagues thankfully, I work with a bunch of extremely decent men! But the ones I have to work with, the clients and the vendors…. while a lot of them are nice, quite a few are absolute creeps.

And when I face such blatantly inappropriate behaviour, I’m not really sure how to respond to it. I usually try and ignore or laugh it off as a joke, though I’m seething inside. I’m not sure if that’s the right response anymore. But I don’t know what to do! 

So you see, it’s not that being single has taken a toll on me. Dealing with men such as these, who disrespect  and objectify women, who try and get something on the side if possible though they are “happily” married men … that’s what’s taken its toll!

For Women’s Day…

To e.e cummings who said “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
To Jennifer Aniston who said “A relationship isn’t going to make me survive. It’s the cherry on top.”
To Mother Teresa who said “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
To Sandra Bullock who said “I’ve made mistakes, and I know why I made them, but I made that choice. Nobody’s ever made a choice for me.”
To Shonda Rhimes (creator of Grey’s Anatomy) who made her character say ” Do you know when to walk away? Do you know when not to take less than you deserve?”

To my mom, who, at the age of 57, has gone back to school to do her Masters in Yoga.

This was my haphazard reply to a magazine’s question as to which woman I’d like to celebrate for Women’s Day.

While I’m glad there’s a day to remind us that there is a reason to celebrate and that women are not as oppressed as they used to be, I feel saddened that for a lot of women out there, little has changed.

Female genocide, dowry issues, rape, abuse etc are still as prevalent now as they were before.   And women and men are equally to blame for it.

But I cannot deny the good that has happened, though the journey is far from over.

The fact that I’m sitting here at all, educated, single and independent, is a mark of how far we’ve gotten.

So to that, I shall drink! (and yes! Now we can drink too! :P)

Salud!

A mom and more!

My mum, and her mum, have not had easy lives.  I’m not comparing my life with their’s or equating their suffering to mine. Times were different, lives are different, and the paths we come across are different.

My mum and I don’t get along. It’s not that I don’t love her, I do. But there’s always been a lot of tension between us since I went off to college. I wasn’t always very sure of what I wanted (I’m still not, but I am sure of what I don’t want!) and this has conflicted a lot with what my mom wants from me, which created a rift between us that has just increased the older I grew.

But she’s always been Mom. She’s always the person who will take care of me when I’m sick. When I got my shoulder injured last year, I cancelled all my other plans and went back to India, to mom. To eat mom’s cooking,  to heal in her care. And though the woman drives me crazy, we also have a great time together whenever we agree on things! :P

My sister, who my mum is extremely close to, left for higher studies to the UK around 3 years ago, and my mum’s been pretty much at a loose-end since, feeling lonely and upset and missing my sis a lot!

But last year, she discovered yoga, got interested in it so much that she took a course to become a certified yoga practitioner, and  now… now she’s doing her MSc in Yoga! Yeah! :D

Before she left for uni, she left enough food to last dad the 10 days she’d be gone and ensured that everything would be alright while she was away (she’s a very traditional conscientious wife that way). But dad still missed her presence and was calling her 2-3 times a day anyway (which is so weird! If you knew my dad, you’d know what I meant! He usually claims to be completely self-sufficient! :P)

She’s back now, after a long and exhausting couple of weeks which she seemed to thoroughly enjoy!

Chatting with her usually involves her trying to get me married to someone or the other she’s found on some matrimonial site (yes, I’m on all of them I’m sure! She’s created profiles for me everywhere!)  which ends up with us arguing about the same thing again, leaving us both feeling frustrated and depressed!

Today though, it was all about her Uni and the people she met there and the way the students treated her so nicely (the ones she befriended are students around 20-25 years old) and how amazing it all was.

The university she’s in spans about 25 acres and going from the hostel to the canteen is in itself  a 15 min walk.  And going outside the campus was out of the question as she’d have to walk at least 20-25 mins to get anywhere. This one day, she had a headache and told her friend that she’s going to skip lunch and went to sleep. A while later, this girl comes back with some medicines and a sliver of watermelon, saying that she shouldn’t stay hungry if she had a headache! She’d gone out and bought it all for her!

It gladdens my heart that she’s meeting people from different walks of life, and that they love her and respect her and are actually taking care of her!

But…I do feel slightly… jealous? :o/

I mean, she’s my mom! She’s my mommmm!

But suddenly’s it’s like she’s this whole other person, with a whole new life! A life that I’m absolutely not a part of!
I’m so proud of what she’s doing! And  incredibly happy for her, and yet, just a little … I dunno… is jealous the right word if you feel like you’re missing out on something?  I’m so used to her just being in the mommy role that I just find it a little disconcerting that she’s got this other life going on now that has nothing to do with the person I know.
Does that make sense?
But that’s just a transient feeling! Cos I’m liking this new person that she is.  She’s finally got something to do other than just obsess about my marriage! We’ve got things to talk about now that don’t involve shaadi.com! :P
It’ll be another year before she gets her degree. So that’s a year’s worth of profiles I won’t have to look at! ;o)
Seriously though, I’m thankful that she’s found something that she’s really passionate about, and can only hope that I too will one day, be able to follow my passion as she has!