What is an Ideal Society like?

Does the dream of a utopian society create blind followers?

Are we following rituals blindly? Or do we deny them boldly without understanding the reasons behind them? We need to discuss the logical threshold of such beliefs to understand the world around us.

The intent here is to analyse the psychological profile of the followers who are strong in numbers but weak in logic.  Is it the fear of God, hope for stability and prosperity, peer pressure or consuming what’s served on the plate – that drives people towards self-proclaimed Gurus and Gods. How shamelessly the people attack other fellow humans who are also created by their ‘beloved God’. So much in the name of God and the irony is none of the teachings of God have mentioned violence for nirvana.

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The ideal society ideas have several cells integrated to make the larger part functional. Perhaps, this could explain the crores of cells working together to form the ‘Dera Sacha Sauda’ (Indian religious cult group) kingdom.  It took 15 years to award a sentence of 20 years to a rapist, the leader Gurpreet Ram Rahim singh. Does the blind following corresponds to that of the Hitler or Mussolini, who were dictators and ruthless in their own ways. Is it the same psyche which is attracting people to a power that they believe can change the world and create a utopian future for them?  And is it the same drive that is making people insensitive to the pathos of women because they think that ‘Gupreet Ram Rahim’ (former Indian sect leaders charged with several crimes) is the visible avatar of the invisible God.

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The infamous case of mass suicide at Jonestown at Guyana is another example of the devastation caused by blind cult following.  913 People committed mass suicide/ murder on November 18, 1978. The leader Jim Jones was a self proclaimed churchman. When he realized that some of his followers wanted a way out of the set up, he ordered all of them to gather and drink poison. A few followers obeyed and the rest were made to do it in on a gun point.

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Inspired from such examples of cult following, Canadian author Margret Atwood wrote ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ which has recently been documented as a TV series was based on the fact that followers are made to blindly follow the acts that is being fed to them as ‘God’s will’. ‘The Handmaid’s tale’ is a dystopian novel about the manipulative power of the mighty – a class of women called handmaids are kept only for the purpose of reproduction and are forbidden to perform any task that can be even slightly related to freedom of expression; all done in the pretext of a better future.

Indian mythological characters can help us to understand the concept of the two famous kinds of kingdom we had. However, any profound example of an ideal society hardly exists. Simplifying the definition of an ideal society we can deduce that it is ‘a man’s dreams of a better world’.  So, let’s compare Rama’s and Ravana’s Kingdoms, as they portrayed a clear distinction of thoughts that ruled both the societies

Here are some points that mark clear differences in their approach

 Rama ‘s Kingdom Ravana’s Kingdom
Society Person belonging even to the lowest strata of society can also question the king Even the king’s own brother cannot question him
Environment Art of living in harmony  with nature Kumbhakaran was given 6 months of sleep, otherwise he would have eaten up a lot of  food
Wealth Use of wealth was aimed at fulfilling the necessities Wealth was collected for pleasure and show off
People Everyone was happy The happiness of the society could be killed for the king’s pleasure
King Deedful and lived for people Was indulged in pleasure and devoted his life to become powerful
Family Difference of opinion was permitted but they shared the same feeling of love for each other No one was allowed to differ in opinion from Ravana

But the situation is quite tricky, irrespective of the presence of various intellectuals trying to build a model society; ‘my ideal society’ never came into existence. There could be various reasons for it; clash of egos, or too many possible outcomes from combining different opinions that affects decision making skills.

Even today, if we get all the intellectuals to decide the country’s future, the possibility of building an ideal society will be one in a million. Now, if we factually know that even the great epic like Ramayana couldn’t create an ideal society, how can proxies from all around the world, who have no right to rule the fate of thousands of people can create a utopian society for them?

Fuck You Zindagi (life)

As a naïve knowledge seeker I came across the ruthlessness of life and so I run away to the wild where I find my peace in collecting berries, building leaf houses and catching butterflies. I do miss human interaction but I don’t have to pretend anymore, I now am a mannequin of my own choice – I can freeze or move, my logics are concrete now. Everything falls into place; my memories behold me and drag me often to the city that stands across the hill.

I seamlessly want to enter the void following the visible smoke, totally vanishing into oblivion. The evils in the Pandora box could be alive or dead but as long as I am told that I am alive, I need to smoke up the reality and get stoned till infinity. Here, my oblivious world of finite thoughts is crippled and insipid because some real thoughts are frequent passers-by.

We spend hours thinking about the ultimate motive in life – the so called ultimate truth, rendering around secret societies of sarcasm, procrastination, weighing humanity, analyzing profanity and integrating languages, geometry and poetry together. Apparently, the more one searches come closer to the truth but as the velocity becomes zero, the speed never decelerates. And when one rests or loses hope, what we see becomes reality, – ‘the so called ultimate truth’.

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Courtesy: pinterest

“Main apni Shadi main na jayu, meri marzi” – this line stole my heart when I heard it for the first time, the concept in magnificent and pardon me when I compare it to the classic ‘Catcher in the Rye’ feeling. I know the comparison is catastrophic but don’t you think there is a vague similarity in the gist – basically the right to choose for yourself. We encounter many moral dilemmas, those that fall in the grey zone – there is no right or wrong. Certain situations exhibit confused minds traveling between one extreme pole to the other. And accepting that you are a pole dancer who is clueless about the next move makes you a naive seducer; the one who is constantly after cynical schizophrenic accomplishments. Even if mentally you achieve it, you lose the curve via which you reached your destination. The accomplishments remain a state of mind. The curve also remains a state of mind but a legitimate one.

In any case, whatever you choose leaves you with the curious mind asking – what if I would have chosen the other option? And in mind, it licks you just a little bit above your senses of realization.

The only thing I understand is that I will consume life as it comes to me, I will go with the flow without any pre defined notions;

I am the one who knocks – ‘Fuck You Zindagi (life)’.

 

Director’s Special : Onir

Every director has a pattern, a lens through which he visualizes his/her movies. The lens could be a prime one or a one with rotating zoom, depending on how he/she perceives the society at large. Huge chandeliers, extravagant makeup, larger than life sets or daily struggles, injustices, real issues – we need fantasy at times to relieve ourselves from the daily bread battle, it empowers our imagination and sprinkle glitters on our polaroid view. But, at the same time, movies also reflect the reality, and some directors take this unconventional route to magnify the disturbing facts of life with nuances.

Director Onir is one of them, with movies like ‘I Am’, ‘Sorry Bhai’, ‘Bus Ek Pal’, and ‘My Brother Nikhil’ – he tried to coherently sabotage the higher status that patriarchy enjoys in a society like ours. So, all his movies have a few common elements, like –

Social Issues: Onir has raised issues like LGBT rights, child abuse, molestation, women empowerment,the plight of the people of Kashmir in his movies. He has dedicatedly immersed himself in the flowing ripples of societal bondages.

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Insecurity / Complicated Relationships: ‘Sorry Bhai’  narrates the story of a complicated relationship between a girl and two brothers who are in love with the same girl, although it looks like a normal love triangle, the twist in the story is that the girl had been already in an established relationship with one of the brothers and everyone knew about it.

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Minimalistic Approach: All his movies are economically made without expensive production elements. Shadows and murmurs highlight the depth in the story and not the blinding lights.

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A still from ‘Chauranga’, Produced by Onir, Courtesy: ndtv.com

 

Gyno-centric : The female leads are always powerful. Thinking from a women’s perspective his movie was named ‘My Brother Nikhil’ and not ‘My Sister Anamika’. Against all odds Juhi’s character supports her brother and fights against the phobic society, where sex is a taboo and a person affected with AIDS is considered an anathema. In ‘I AM ‘, Nandita Das decides to become a mother using a sperm donor. The movie was released in 2010 but still a decision like this in our society is explicitly difficult for a single mother.

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Courtesy : rudrastech.com

Defying Heteronormativity – Onir’s movies break stereotypes of males and females of the society having predefined roles. It is individuality that matters and not the gender.

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With all these common features we are looking forward to ‘Shab’ which is set in the cosmopolitan city of Delhi, about people coming from different walks of life –  some in the search for love and some towards realization of their dreams.

Let’s see how differently this movie has been treated, where we are again expecting the bold characters to defy societal norms.

Shab is slated to release soon

Trailer : Shab

 

 

 

 

The Curious Case of Lost and Found –

The Story of My Great Grand Mother

Even if the wrinkles have transformed your caricature, and white hair has camouflaged your structure like a thread like snow cover, the beauty of growing older with your heart growing younger is something beyond the horizon; an unexplainable experience of being mature and childish at the same time. Only one thing comes to our minds while chatting with our grandparents – ‘It is beautiful to grow old, the only thing you need to sustain the beauty is to be happy’.

That reminds us of these lines from the song ’Dil to Bacha hai Jee’.

“Umar kab ki baras ke safaid ho gayi
Kaari badari jawani ki chatt ti nahi

Dil to bacha hai ji”

– Gulzar

My Great Grandmother (My mother’s Dadi) was no different, she was a character straight from a Bengali novel – always draped in a serene white sari she would carry her own utensils and pooja items.  She would accompany her grandchildren in reading at night, just by sitting at the corner of the room with a lamp burning alongside. Her pure bright aura was profoundly sensitive to love.  She relished the emotional bonds with all her loved ones.

Although, she was one of the cleanest of the souls wandering this earth, she had to go through hard times that changed the course of her life. While coming back from her daughter’s place from Bengaluru to Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, she lost her way and ended up wandering without knowing any local languages, as she could only speak Bengali. She was made to sit in the ladies coach and a male colleague of her daughter was supposed to help her change the train in Allahabad, who was traveling in the same train but in a different coach. The person responsible fell asleep and the coaches were separated. Who would ever know that such a trivial mistake could become disastrous for her?

Finding herself in the middle of nowhere she was baffled and shocked. She somehow analysed that following the rail track would help her reach home. So, day and night it was the railway tracks that she kept on following. She reached Itarsi(M.P), i.e around 234 kms from Jabalpur, but the walking took over her mental and physical health. Children who played on the tracks mistook her as a mentally unstable old lady and had hit her with stones. Fully drained of energy she met an affectionate  middle aged couple who lived by the railway tracks.

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They provided her with the life’s essentials and asked her about her family. She would eat only fruits because eating cooked food at someone else’s place was forbidden for widows. Days passed by and nothing happened. One day, while talking about something else they came to know that she used to live in Jabalpur.

Meanwhile, my grandfather’s family held themselves responsible for the incident. But in 1966, one couldn’t post the videos online or wassapp images to make the search convenient. The only ray of hope was to believe in fate. When the couple brought her back to the city, she started remembering the landmarks and met my grandfather’s friends in a factory who knew her. That was the moment to rejoice, could meet her family and love her grandchildren again.

Back from a traumatic journey, she fought back like a rebel and worked hard to regain her mental strength. It was not easy for her to forget everything at once but as you say, love cures everything.

She was about 66 years when this happened but she lived up to 88 years of age to elegantly deal with her problems of old age. Sometimes, a golden kiss on the forehead, a misty touch, or just a smile is needed to make people live again and not just survive. She was fortunate to have a loving family.

But what would be our motivation when we turn 80?? Being Mortal – we need to beautify all stages of life, isn’t?

Is God Deaf

Why the noise surrounding me is slitting me into pieces, turning me into a robot and boiling my heart? Why are we poking our nose into someone else’s business constantly? And the most important question – what have we become?

The recent incidents where the discussion goes beyond logic, makes me wonder the authenticity of being a human. Religion fanatics are butchering people and announcing death sentences in the name of God, so I ask loud and clear –

Is God deaf?

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Source : fedsig

Singer Sonu Nigam ranted on Twitter about the disturbance caused by religious rituals/ceremonies, and then no stone is unturned in abusing him online for expressing his views. Everyone is mum in the name of God- no one can touch the subject because for sure hell exists and the dead human skin will peel off; leaving skeletons to suffer. Ironically, the same people have myriad problems when the youngsters party. So, are your ear drum prone to the sound of bells and religious sermons, and only on other musical beats do they create chaos in your mind?

The question remains the same –Why do you think we need to shout the sermons –

Is God deaf?

Ayn Rand & Me

We first met when my friend handed me the iconic book ‘The Fountainhead’. I wasn’t a literature person then; this friend was my only medium to peep into what I now call ‘Anatomy of thoughts’. Friends are people through whom you get a glimpse of the abandoned aspects of life. They introduce you to the world of a ‘Strick No No’. So, whether I talk about watching the late night semi pornographic videos on YouTube, humming ‘Sutta Song’ or reading the classic ‘Fountain Head’, I owe it all to her.

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Source : Youtube

 

She completed all the 753 pages in 2 days in the pretext of reading textbooks and when she started drooling over the personality of Howard Roark (the protagonist), I knew, I had to read it in all possibilities. And yes, her drooling was infectious. I was bitten by the snake of individuality. I met the inner thoughts of Ayn Rand in my teen ages and it affected my way of thinking profoundly. I was immediately enamored by her writing.

Imagine a kid who is trying to find her right place in the world – whether she should be friendlier and laugh at jokes she doesn’t find funny or should hang out with cool people and be more fashion conscious. Maybe trying to understand why are people rude, weird, awesome, deceitful- and how to cope up with them.

And then, Bam! Rand comes in and tells you to show a finger to anyone who doesn’t like you the way you are. And why is this? Because, you are an individual and have the right to live in this world the way it makes you happy, without any expectations from others. There is no point hating and wasting energy on things outside of our control.

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Source : pinterest

She described the nuances of architecture and I deciphered her lines confining areas as rules liberating life. I started valuing freedom of expression at the cost of being ostracized from society. I thought it was okay to disregard the materialistic world and following the simple rule of doing good work without expecting anything in return. The introvert in me received an extra backbone to lean on. I didn’t only shake hands with Rand’s philosophy; I let it enter my veins too.

Although with time & tide, my views of me kept changing – a subtle part of me still believes that it is not okay to be pretentious. But the rest is quite chaotic in mind – now, I seek acknowledgement, I indulge in worldly pleasures and most importantly, unlike Dominique (the female protagonist) I don’t want to keep something away from the world just because I think that the world would not understand the worth. And her philosophy related to smoking that makes it royal and elite has never excited me to handle fire with passion.

There are many different interpretations of her work. Her attitude about ‘Being Right’ rather than convincing is often a questionable take, examples like destroying an entire building because you don’t are not satisfied with the output, or the infamous sex (rape?) scene of The Fountainhead – Rand has her fair share of opponents.

Here is a need to understand that her stories are in extremes, each character representing a totalitarian view of an ideology. The characters are not supposed to be realistic – they are simplified and their personality traits are exaggerated. Her novels are not meant to be a series of events, but a mindful journey committed to the philosophy of life. Roark (or Galt) is her ideal man upholding the values of individualism while Keating is the anti-hero who has no sense of what he stands for as an individual, he is only concerned with what others think of him.We need to decide an ideology in our lives and try to live up to it.

Her ideas always created tremors in my mind, however realistic or not- one cannot estimate the degree of accuracy, but it is worth thinking over. People have opted for architecture and have decided to marry another Ayn Rand lover; just because they were influenced by her philosophy. In any case, Rand’s work provides for interesting discussion material and you can discover a lot about a person based on her philosophical views.

And same favorite books make for long lasting love!

DuckTales Rebooted

One of our favorite childhood cartoon show, Ducktales  is back. It rejuvenates many cells of the brain with the episodes that are not so vivid but release happy hormones. Though, the cartoon has been rebooted by Disney for our entertainment, let’s dig a bit and brush up the concepts that established ‘Scrooge McDuck’.

Uncle Scrooge made it big with his survival instincts – a phenomenon called ‘Social Darwinism’ – existence of the fittest in the social context. In fact, in Charles Dickens’ “A Christams Carol’ , Scrooge mentions that the poor must be secluded to the public workhouses. The parallels could be drawn between the Nazi philosophy and Scrooge’s character.

“Those who are badly off must go there.” But, objects another man, “Many would rather die than go there.” To which Scrooge coldly replies that, “If they would rather die, then let them do it and decrease the surplus population.”

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Courtesy: deviantart

But, Scrooge McDuck’s character is grey and one can easily dwell between the positives and the negatives.

Ounces of gold drops from everywhere in the vicinity, Uncle Scrooge is an investor and now he is back to accumulate more & more. Scrooge’s story is like rags to the richest – no mother, cruel father and the fear of poverty made him what he is. Named after Ebenezer Scrooge, we don’t know what new flavors Disney has added to the stinginess of Uncle Scrooge this time.

“I’m Scrooge McDuck, I made my name being tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties.”

We hope this type they would have worked more on the personalities of Huey, Duey, and Luey, providing them with individual characters.

Here, enjoy the trailer:  

DuckTales

Love and ‘Other Factor’

Many have died and went insane, many have lost their hearts in vain, and many have scribbled on walls, or have cut their wrists. The lower class hard working love, the middle class struggling love and the elite elegant love; they all have to go through the same bridge of ego, narcissism, adjustments and criticism.

Tied across two egos, if the thread of love is constantly shaking then it may not be the right tempo to tremble, and you may decide to move on in search of the right tempo. Now the question is lucidly straight – how do you find the right tempo, so that you can absorb the tremors and enjoy the vibrations?  And when you keep moving you are deemed to find the right rhythm, now you are just left to do the mixing to please your love.

The pseudo intellectual ‘love’ doesn’t know that everything around it is imaginary – the maniac doesn’t understand the hypocrisy-

“I have to be independent but mutually.”

“I have to be decisive but have to consider you in every decision.”

“I can deceive you, but you cannot do it.”

“I can hear the truth; your ears are too weak”

The greatest verses in love have people making poetic claims, the wordsmiths have made it a royal phenomena and and poets/poetess have celebrated it with decorations and vibrant colors from ages. ‘Love’ has been pushed to the highest pedestal and all other emotions are treated like step children.

The love described above is the general presumption, but there are some kinds of love with the ‘other factor’ where love is interconnected with other emotions, where it is not the sole credit winner but the step emotions climb the ladder simultaneously.

Here are some couples with ‘The Other factor’ prominently holding a place of honour in a relationship.

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Source : Axfashion

Abuse: Joker & Harley Quinn (characters from DC comics)

They are the most abusive couple, Jocker tries to kill Harley when he starts feeling attracted to her. Every bit of insanity they have, binds them together and they kill each other’s sanity. Joker can be fully devoted to her, become caring and all; but the overdose rots him from inside and to neutralize everything he has to abuse or brainwash her.

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Source: Khan Academy

Open Marriage : Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera (Kahlo was Mexican painter who married Diego )

Long before the concept existed, they passionately loved each other but had multiple affairs. Frida was bisexual and Diego loved only women, but this never interrupted their passionate love.

Kahlo quotes :

“I cannot speak of Diego as my husband because that term, when applied to him, is an absurdity. He never has been, nor will he ever be, anybody’s husband. I also cannot speak of him as my lover because to me, he transcends by far the domain of sex. And if I attempt to speak of him purely, as a soul, I shall only end up by painting my own emotions.”

Alter –Ego: Dominique & Howard Roark (Characters from Ayn Rand’s novel Fountain Head)

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Source: Anonymous

When people are insanely alike, they cannot get together too well. Dominique understood Howard’s creativity but she didn’t want him to waste it on the worthless society, and so she wanted to destroy him. On the other hand, Roark didn’t care about society and kept on creating master pieces.

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Source : moviepilot

Sapiosexual : Sherlock Holmes & Irene Adler (Characters from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories)

Holmes brain is trained to think faster and deduce logic, he had never fallen in love because he never encountered a girl with whom he can relate his intelligence. Irene was the only lady one who befooled Holmes and thus he was unquestionably attracted towards her.

Rationality of being Agnostic

In the words of Marx,

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of the soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.”

If religion is a system of dogma for the benefits of a particular sect than analysis has no value but if religion is a construct of moral codes, maintaining decency in society than beliefs and benefits can be kept on the two sides of the balance.

“A view that tries to please both sides of the debate and, like most compromises,
ends up pleasing neither. It stands, it seems, for lack of belief or commitment,
for indecision, for non-engagement.”
-Robin Le Poidevin

The delusional religious beliefs denounce the core of logical questioning, maintaining that curiosity is demeaning and non- believing is blasphemous. Religion and Antagonism beliefs are only parallel in the vicinity and they might intersect in an imaginary world. The foremost argument that vividly distinguishes the two is ‘reproducibility’. Logical and scientific methods are reproducible under pre-defined circumstances, but unquantifiable beliefs cannot reproduce, they have no solutions for a previously worked out problem.

But ‘Faith’ is the master of all trades, we create delusional Gods for our conveniences, a very prominent example can be observed in ‘life of A Pie’ that explains why people who have choices between believing and non-believing go for the former one. It is a perfect agnostic take on voting for the one that is more interesting and accommodating at a given time. At the same time just because one wants to believe in a version that contains fantasy, does not make it the true version.

“If you stumble about believability, what are you living for?
Love is hard to believe, ask any lover.
Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer.
What is your problem with hard to believe?”
– Yann Martel, Life of Pi

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About agnosticism as the belief system, Martel has to say the following:

“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
– Yann Martel, Life of Pi

A novel of the Second World War “My Name is Five” by Heinz Kohler is another example of how one becomes a believer and a non-believer under different circumstances. Spitfire guns kill the protagonist’s best friend dieter while standing right next to him on a bridge, which makes him curse the existence and belief that someone called God helps people. And at one incident his grandmother died and he keeps on believing that it is because he took out the mark of a 14th person present in a celebration, as in Germany it was believed that 13 people present in a party can be a cause of death for any of the members. And then the ironical statement that “We Germans Fear God and Nothing Else” is shouted by the nationalists throughout the book.

However, the protagonist moves from being agnostic to atheist after he witnesses the cruelty done in the name of God and Religion during World War II.

In ‘The God Delusion’, author Richard Dawkins questions the agnostic beliefs and insists that we look at the available evidence closely and decide on the probability of existence of God. One of the major errors the agnostics make is to confuse God for nature, spirituality and morality. In current scenario, there is a need to understand that God as a phenomena is irrecoverably linked with religion and there is an urgent need to accept or reject this version of God and religion.

“One of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.”
– Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Dawkins also contends that most agnostics are actually atheists being nice to the believers and it is time for them to come out of the closet.Also, the question he asks is- do we need evidence for non-existence of a phenomena. If we have so far found no scientific evidence of existence, can we not rule in the favour of non-existence!

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Sagan, a self-proclaimed agnostic, however, could not find enough evidence for non-existence of God and hence chose to reserve judgement.

“My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it. An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.”
– Carl Sagan

You cannot deny that there is something called coincidence and the probability of coincidence is 1 minus the number of events with no coincidence. Here, one can find God in the condition called ‘minus one’ to become a believer, or believe in the pure statistical concept of probability to become a non – believer, or become an agnostic by trusting the instincts of randomness.

Image Credit: jagran.com

Women & Art

Women wear an artful camouflage – the signature curves, the smooth pastel strokes of luster on the skin and the coquetry behavior make them the muse for many. What goes unnoticed is the spiritual and intellectual inclination that has subdued itself over centuries of dictatorial patriarchy.The world famous artistic paintings have used women bodies as a consumer of passion & love, as a possession of the lover, as a portrayal of chained emotion. Hardly, if ever, we come across such work where men are depicted submissive!

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Courtesy :pratanacoffeetalk

One of the most expensive paintings in the world – Nude, Green, Leaves & Bust by Picasso, the painter’s mistress and muse Marie Therese can be observed in full obedience to Picasso, whereas he is guarding and enveloping his love, also branding her with his own initials PP for Pablo Picasso, a way to make her tied up to him in all forms. The artist always believed, ‘there are only two types of women- goddesses and doormats’, so he depicted Therese as a fertility goddess and positioned her in a submissive way to portray her as a doormat too.

Alternatively, there are artists who have questioned this submissive behavior by women through their work – If we keenly observe the work of Indian artists then many have questioned the taboo surrounding women’s body – Amrita Shergill’s each painting depicted a unique reincarnation for women. Gogi Sarojpal emphasized on the animal instincts of a woman. She perceived woman as KaamDhenu. It was important in the medieval period that women showed animal instincts in her behavioral pattern.

Virginia Woolf’s essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’ analyses the many layers of prohibition because of which we didn’t have great women in art & literature in the Shakespearean era. She imagined a scenario where Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister, called Judith.

She goes on to describe –

“She was as adventurous, as imaginative, as agog to see the world as he was. But she was not sent to school. She had no chance of learning grammar and logic, let alone of reading Horace and Virgil. She picked up a book now and then, one of her brother’s perhaps, and read a few pages. But then her parents came in and told her to mend the stockings or mind the stew and not moon about with books and papers.”

With the given facts of that time, she came up with the most probable outcome –

“She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross-roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh”

In Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical book ‘Persepolis’, she explains the effect religious restrictions have on women’s intellect and identity:

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Courtesy :fanpop

“The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself:

Are my trousers long enough? Is my veil in place? Can my make-up be seen? Are they going to whip me?

 No longer asks herself:

Where is my freedom of thought? Where is my freedom of speech? My life, is it livable? What’s going on in the political prisons?”

The constant war against women’s intellect had severely damaged the thought process, where the nerves of emancipation have become numb. Even if societies have become so called liberal, these issues have not become archaic but are contemporary in ever form.

On the other hand there is literature like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and ‘Twilight’ which is not supposed to be taken as serious reading but still goes on to form the culturaltone of the society. These works ultimately state that women have a chance at a happy marriage and fulfilling life only if they choose to forgo their identity or have no identity of their own to begin with!

As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie points out in her essay and a TED talk by the same name, ‘We Should All Be Feminists’:

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”

 As varied the descriptions of women in the arena of art and culture might be, whether it is holding a mirror to society or dreaming a big dream of an equal world, we definitely have a long way to make our women free in their wilderness.

Featured Image Courtesy : The Atlantic