Social Constructs

I love my religion and my race. Nothing on earth could possess me to want to change being an Indian or a Hindu. I feel blessed for the language I speak is so complex yet so beautiful, for my dark skin, for my beautiful temples and artforms.

But when someone tells me that rites are rites and they are meant to be followed because they have some symbolism, I get very irked. Not that I feel that rites are not meant to be followed, but the issue of contention here was one example of a rite that has outlived its true value in today’s society. I felt very disturbed as much as I love my rich heritage, humanity is of paramount concern to me and if you asked me to protect one of the two; its the rights of a human and the happiness of that person I would choose to protect. So let me put this to you my beloved readers to decide. Do you think that the following issue is one we as Indians and Hindus should continue to protect and allow to be part of our culture. Many of you might debate that this is no longer an issue because of the era we are in, firstly this is NOT about whether the issue is still relevant but more so about whether it should be allowed to happen. Secondly, I will beg to differ as I know of many women who have had to endure the pains mentioned below.

Vidva

Vidva refers to the phase in a woman’s life when she very unfortunately becomes a widow. Indeed, we have passed the times of Sati (which is the burning of a widow along with her husband to denote that her life ends when his does). But the rites are still as painful for a Hindu woman undergoing this ordeal. In my opinion, its bad enough having lost your significant other, but to have to be forcefully reminded of these things is simply inhumane.

What are these painful rites I am talking about? The widow is dressed in her bridal wear that she wore on the day of her wedding. Other women would then rub the red kungkumam powder off her forehead, break her bangles and remove the jasmine flowers off her hair. If I am not wrong, she is also made to remove her thaali and throw it into milk (really cannot remember if this is true because I learnt about it a very long time ago).

Indeed, these rites do have a much more humane aim; which is to remind a woman that she is now a widow and to allow her to face reality much faster. Unfortunately I don’t think I am being critical when I say that these rites fail terribly. If at all, the woman is traumatised by this entire ordeal and never manages to fully recover from this. People don’t come to terms with death just through a terribly graphic rite like this, it takes time and healing of wounds before they can embrace the past.

And on a sidenote, I cannot understand why anyone would insist for a widow to go through these rites. But here’s the deal. It is often the other WOMEN who insist a woman undergoes these rites. How sad is that since you would expect one woman to understand another woman the best but why would they insist she inflicts such pain upon herself?

Similarly a widow is no longer allowed to dress in colors or allowed to participate in auspicious events. This makes absolutely no sense to me because last I remembered, this was a matter of heart and if you truly wish well for the people involved in these functions; you could never be inauspicious. And when on earth was your happiness solely dependent on your marital status? If anyone was to be inauspicious at such events, it would be all those gossipy aunties who are there just to see how much gold you have on or whether its a shotgun wedding.

So tell me now people, why do we still have such undesirable aspects in our society. How fair is this to the women or in fact to any married woman? My friend told me that this is only unfair because there aren’t similar rites for men. I disagree because this isn’t a matter of equal rights – no, this is about humanity. I would have reacted the same way if there were such rites for men too but there aren’t. Lets not look at issues of conflict, patriarchy and inequality though we all know they are deeply embedded within such practices. For a start, lets just have a scratch off the surface – humanity and compassion for a person who just lost a loved one.God didn’t preach or demand such practices to be in existence. These are SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS – determined by society and people at the top to dominate people at the bottom.

And to end on a lighthearted note – here’s an ad that pokes fun of the entire thing.

Would it really kill you guys?

Note to self and to all : This very biased entry was written in blogger’s sudden bra burning fit aggravated by a terribly uncomfortable keyboard. This post might turn out angsty but in actuality I am really not that irritated. Gosh who am I kidding?

To all the men who actually do read this blog (I truly wonder if there are since I never actually write of anything worthy to men and the only other dipshits reading it would be men from the past or dimwits trying to get a hold of something against me). But anywaaaaay… IF THERE ARE SOME MEN OUT THERE, LIKE REAL MEN, PLEASE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD,  ENLIGHTEN ME

Would it really kill you to tell us we’re beautiful? I mean sure we may not all look like a member of the Pussycat Dolls or possess the fine booty of JLO. But really, does that mean that we just aren’t beautiful in your eyes. Yes okay I get it you don’t see the need to constantly remind us we’re pretty (since you’re already dating us) but would it really kill you? Firstly, we don’t have any inbuilt radars or systems that tell us exactly what goes through your head. Secondly I don’t think we are in ANY WAY asking for too much when we genuinely want you to give us that teeny weeny compliment. WOULD IT REALLY KILL YOU? Sure you say that we should already know since you are dating us and stuff BUT what if you were just dating us cos you couldn’t get anyone else? Or because you took pity on us?? How would we know right!

Then there are those of you who say you feel it in your hearts and that is enough. Or that you’re not really that great with words or that you never knew we didn’t know how you felt about us. Well sweethearts, it ISN’T ENOUGH. I mean would that 5 cents you spend on your sms kill you? Or would you get a locked jaw just by saying, “Hey honey, you’re looking good today”.  And for the last group of you – HELLO HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL IF YOU DON’T TELL US right?

But this doesn’t mean you go on a rampage and tell us every few minutes that we are God’s gift to you (PFFT) because firstly we know when you’re faking it and secondly we’d much rather the compliment come when you truly mean it or when there’s reason for one. We want you to tell us we’re special and beautiful in your eyes but that doesn’t mean you have to spout it every OTHER second.

AND for those of you who think I am just uber whiney, I am NOT being whiney (not now at least). I do think its very important to tell the ones you love how you feel about them. If your lady wouldn’t flinch when she tells you that you look great in that shirt or that your new cologne smells awesome, I don’t see why you should think it would KILL you to say her dress is nice (though it is advisable to say you look great in that dress).

AND for those incorrigible boys (trust me I’ve dated some) – who think a compliment is when you tell a girl that her skin would look nicer in that colour and that the dress she’s wearing makes her look pudgy – that does not count! Sure we’re all up for constructive criticism but trust me we don’t take to it as easily as we make it sound like we do. Yes we do want to know when we’re wearing some utterly crappy or when our hair looks like a relic from the 60s but unless you’re gay or very very brave – leave this advice to our girlfriends. We turn to you when we want to be pampered, we want to be loved. The last place we’d be looking for fashion advice would be in our boyfriends!

And to all the women who ask stupid questions to your boyfriends such as “Do I look fat in this?” Why oh why do you ask questions that evidently ONLY have one answer. If that’s your idea of fishing a compliment then please be reminded that men have very very VERY thick skulls and the only word they’d have registered would have been FAT. Plus you can’t really yell at them if they say you look like a fat cow. Save those questions for your lady friends because they can and will be honest and you wouldn’t feel like killing them. Don’t fish for compliments – Let them come to you straight. Kapish?

And yes I am done. By the way the excessive use of capitals was partly due to my half-working brain and the half-working keyboard that chooses only to be EXTRA sensitive when it comes to the capslock key which by the way is way too near the alphabet A.  

Barbie Moments 3

Apologies that I haven’t posted anything proper in a bit but I promise to get to it once I settle my exam mugging. Also this wretched keyboard of mine has gone bonkers so now apart from J,T K and M and a host of other alphabets are dead. Am using a portable keyboard made of rubber and it is such a pain to work with. Here’s a blooper to last you guys till then..

Marian: Siva can you not be so health conscious?

Aarthi: Ya la you only live once right. Just whack la.

Siva: I want to live very long unlike you all.

Aarthi: What’s the point cos the rest of us would be dead.

Siva: NEVER MIND! I WILL COME TO YOUR GRAPHS AND LAFE AT YOU ALL! (what he actually meant was – i will come to your graves and laugh at you all.)

Tsk.

Barbie Moments 2

With regards to Raghu’s previous comment about my 500 plus Barbie moments…

One day in school,  Raghu very excited tells me about the Fish N Chips at the Olio Dome in NUS.

Raghu: You know the fish and chips I had at Dome?

Aarthi:Yea?

Raghu: It was not bad la for the price. There was fish..(excitedly) and… there was chips!!!

No shit Einstein.

Just spreading the love…

Barbie Moments 1

Aarthi: You know right! Sometimes my brain not working lah! I will forget people all. I think I got anemia.

*silence*

Raghu: You mean amnesia?  

How NOT to approach a girl on Friendster…

Apologies my dear readers for the hiatus. My wireless had been down for awhile and Deepavali preparations were mounting. Happy Belated Deepavali to all of you.
Friendster.Facebook.Hi5.We live in an age where virtual meetings are virtually impossible to escape. At some point in time, almost all of us have gotten a random message. Most of the time, these messages don’t go beyond hello or a request for an introduction. That’s fine since most of us aren’t averse to meeting new people I think. But once in awhile you meet the extremes, the odd-lings and simply put the ones that you’re glad you’re only meeting online.

I trawled through my old Friendster messages (about 94 pages worth since I hardly delete messages on Friendster) and found some that I couldn’t help but sharing with my dear readers. These messages are ALL real and I’ve pasted them in their entirety. Friendster links and email addresses have been removed but I kept the main layout of the Friendster message (not because I am evil) but to prove that these people do actually exist.

So these gentlemen, are the ways you do NOT approach a girl on Friendster unless you want her to send you a slap (they should add that on Friendster since they already have “Send a Smile”). I urge you guys to think twice before sending one of these classics because the world IS small and one day you might actually end up meeting this girl in reality and she’s gonna remember you as the freak from Friendster (has quite a ring to it, no?)

Case #1 : No need to share everything that runs through your head.

From:

Date:  
Subject: hi
Message: you’re sooo hot, you excite me soooo much, if you dont mind me sayin…! xxx

Case #2 : Spare us the mystery

From:

********

Date: Thursday, 29 March, 2007 3:53 PM
Subject: Suresh has sent you a smile
Message: Suresh wants to brighten your day with a smile. Check out Suresh’s profile and send a reply.

A message from Suresh:

Hi Aarthi…

You are so……….

Soooooooo not interested?

Case #3: Same guy as Case #1

From:

Date: Saturday, 31 March, 2007 5:04 AM
Subject: hi
Message: you have an amazing body…make me too excited

I don’t think I need to say anything about this clown anymore.

Case #4: Don’t confuse.

From:

*****

Date: Sunday, 1 April, 2007 1:02 PM
Subject: hello
Message: had to say hello that is one crazy profile i dont think i ever read one like it, so i had to reply i dont ever boast about if i’m handsome or for that matter ugly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so it really doesnt matter what i think i am and ur not antisocial unless of course there r some dead bodies lieing around ur room yes ur narcissitic but u have to be a little which is generally called confidence and u take confidence add a little sarcasim and wallah u got u the bottom line is i kept reading because it was interesting and it was different, the most important thing isnt how many friends u have but how many of those friends really love u and not superficially we can all get friends the trick is too keep them ur the only one i ever wrote this long tooso i think its because i’m rambling and can’t sleep and yes i think i would love to be ur friend, be good to urself because noone will probably ever beable to be what u want louie

Huh? Please learn how to add fullstops and not litter your messages with THAT many idioms and “wise sayings”.

Case #5: Spare us the tackiness

From:

****

Date: Tuesday, 3 April, 2007 5:59 PM
Subject: Desh has sent you a smile
Message: Desh wants to brighten your day with a smile. Check out Desh’s profile and send a reply.

A message from Desh:

position vacant : friend!

how u doin? take up the offer…?

landing in a city near u soon…

From:

*****

Date: Sunday, 8 April, 2007 12:13 AM
Subject: heyy cutyy
Message: hey cuty or wateva hehehe…really like to talk with ya..sooo if u dntmind send me ur msn aaddress…i vll add u thx…btw dnt judge me from ma pic..lol…coz i luk sooo small over there..maybeu dnt like to talk with younger ppl than u …mmmm soo im same age as u …hehhe…sooo if u dnt mind send me ur msn address…thx sweety cuty gurl…
tc
i vll wait for u ..
xxxxx


Why am I his sweety cuty gurl again?

#Case 6: Lets take it one step at a time

From:

*******

Date: Friday, 19 October, 2007 10:51 AM
Subject: sd
Message: hi how ru vanakm cnau talk tamil giveme ur emailid u so nice ilikeu cnaube mygf

Can you first learn to type?

From:

****

Date: Thursday, 24 May, 2007 6:34 PM
Subject: hiiiiiiiiii
Message: joel wrote:
>hai vanakkam _/\_ h r u?
>can i make relation with u if don’t mine!!!
>can i know abt yr family ” ” ” “?
>u very cute maaaaaaaa…
>k bye…

“Relations with me” right after one message? Of course i minE!

From:

*****

Date: Thursday, 21 June, 2007 3:57 PM
Subject: my dream girl…
Message: my beautiful Angel…Wow….I never seen beautiful girl like u. Hey… You are so beautiful like an Angel and Your beautiful face, rosy lips, sexy eyes unforgettable. Your boobs r really superb. I wanna kiss ur Heart. U r really lucky. I never forget ur cute face. So i’ll call you Angel. I need ur friendship. Will u accept me as ur friend. Plz tell me. I wait for ur reply.Plzzzzzzzzzz……………..Your’s…..
Ashu (*********@*******.com)

My boobs are really superb and you want to kiss my heart? Good lord.

Case #7: Go to AdultFriendFinder if you need other companionship, spare Friendster

From:

*******

Date: Wednesday, 22 August, 2007 3:12 PM
Subject: hi
Message: you’re sooo sweet looking,care for some open minded phonechat with me
From:

*******

Date: Tuesday, 25 September, 2007 4:46 PM
Subject: hi
Message: wana phonesex with me.i can call u
   

And last but not least, I leave you with the winner. This one I had blogged about in my old blog but I decided he needed to make a comeback. I couldn’t find the entire message as I extracted it from by previous blog but here’s the champion.

From: Suresh
Date: Tuesday, 4 July, 2006 7:50 PM
Subject: hai

HAI
I AM VERY SORRY IF MY MAIL HEART YOU OR
DISTURP YOUR MIND
I LIKE TO BE VERY SINCERE TO YOU.I REALLY
ATTRACK ON YOU WHEN I SAW YOUR PIC.
VERY LOVELY FACE
WELL ATTRACKTET DRESS
NICE SOFT HAIR
LOVELY BREST
LOVELY WEIST
NICE BACK SITE
SURE VERY SWEETT VIRGINA YOU HAVE
I REALLY INTRESTET ON YOU
I AM VIJAY SUNDAR.MALAYSIAN MALE.
AGE 31, 65KG,174CM,HAIRY.BLACK SKIN
I AM MANLY
MY DICK UNCIT 7 INCH
PLEASE SEE MY ATTACHED PHOTO
ONE PHOTO FULL MY LEG
TAKEN FEW YEARS AGO
THEN SOCOND PHOTO
VERY CLOCE UP OBLY MY DICK
TAKEN RECENTLY
BOTH ARE ME
I LIKE TO MEET YOU
IF YOU INTRESTET
LOOKING FOR LOVELY HOT MEN
I WIILING TO SEX WITH YOU
WE CAN ARRANGE FOR OUR MEETING
I AM NOT FORCING YOU
ALL I LEAVE TO YOU
IF YOU REALLY LIKE ME
WANT TO HAVE GOOD SEX
PLEASE REPLY
WE CAN TALK AND THEN DEVELOP OUR
RELATIONSHIP
IF YOU NOT INTRSTET PLEASE IGNORE
ME.THANK YOUSINCERELY

S.VIJAY

Cheers y’all!

Volunteers Needed.

Hey guys. A lot of you have messaged me with regards to helping out at my sister’s school. Well here’s your chance to spread the love during the festive season. I have forwarded the contacts of those of you who have messaged me thus far. However, we still need volunteers for this coming Tuesday and the Tuesday after that. This Tuesday, the 6th, the kids from Singapore Autism School would be heading to Tekka to walk around,see the deco, the fair and the expo. The entire school will be going for this so you can imagine the kind of chaos. (The last time, 3 of us brought 7 of them and our hands were already full).

If you can lend your services, please please PLEASE come forward to help these kids. It will be from morning till 12.45pm only. These few hours could make a whole lot of difference to these kids. Trust me, I have only worked with them once, and even then when I saw their faces light up from seeing the Deepavali lights or the yummy Thosais, my heart really melted.

The week after, on the 13th, there will be a concert at my sister’s school itself. This is a Deepavali concert and you’d be needing to assist the children at activity stations and assist the teachers as well. The kids are really adorable and they will get attached to you very quickly.

So if you want to make a difference this Deepavali, you can do so by leaving an email/contact in my comments area, to my email aarthisankar@hotmail.com or email directly to my sister, brindha81@hotmail.com . Thank you guys so much.

Looking forward to seeing you guys there!