Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Yeh Larki Zara Si Dewanee Lagtee Hai

A couple of days ago Dipali-ji tagged me into listing my " sins against gender stereotypes" , I spent the better half of the day vacillating over whether to take up this tag or not . I think Unmana spells out my dilemma best when she writes "saying that you are against a particular stereotype only causes that stereotype to be brought out again and looked at, and I believe all stereotypes should die quick deaths". Surely the recent posts on this issue coming from bloggers with such diverse backgrounds should prove that we have to rethink certain stereotypes. None of us live those living- by the- book lives any more. And it has not just been our generation , 'a change has been coming' for a while. For quite some time we have been surrounded by women who dont bhangra to the same hackneyed tune any more. Three decades ago my mother upon widowhood should have taken to a life of a white dupatta and sewing machine waiting for the day I pranced in twirling two pigtails " Maa kal Vicky key Mummy Daddy ney chai pay bulaya hai,hee hee hee" . But she didnt (and I said adieu to the pigtails when I turned 16).

What I can do (I just cannot say no to Dipali-ji, it is like telling Mother Teresa, isnt what you do bad for the skin) is list the times I didnt confirm to certain expectations of me as when it comes to my life choices I continue to " rock the boat".

1) Growing up I was never a sucker for the meesni Cinderella or dreamed of a Prince Charming taking me away from the hum drum of my plebian life. The only fairy tale I liked was The Snow Queen, girl you go out and get that man.

2) I refused to settle down. I guess for most people reaching that point in your relationship meant making a deposit on the Crystal Ballroom at your local Marriott and going on a diet, for me it was grabbing my running shoes and making a sprint.
Oh the number of times I got cold feet and chickened out on some really decent guys was just not funny. They were actually planning on asking Julia Roberts to dump the twins to play me in Runaway Bride Part 2. Even when I met Gman and knew he was the one I took a long long time before signing that paper. Hell it was so long another month and he could qualify for a pension for amount of years put in in this relationship.

3) Getting married didnt " settle" me either. I continued gallivanting and working in cities that may or may not host my significant other. (I use the word " settle" as thats what a relative told my aunt " she is married now why such an unsettling life, cant you tell her to stay put? Why does she work like this?")

4) When I had Arhaan I defied expectations of me (and this time I disappointed a certain wave of feminists). I did not juggle work and baby and become the fun ferocious fearless female Cosmo taught me to be. Yes initially I did turn up at work. The first six months were to prove (to me and the world) that Nothing Has Changed. I have written before about how my love for coffee and personal space made me run out of the car and not even turn around to look at Arhaan but then one day I just packed up bags , baby and life in a house with a picket fence(and not enough books)to follow my man to a flat in Dhaka where the Gul in Gulshan has long disappeared. I flirt with potential employers, come back home and take a look at Arhaan, and dont sign on the dotted line.

5) I am a new mother, and as a rule should be watching over Arhaan with a hawk eye. My life mission should be to give him stability and a routine or at least keep him away from the crocs. Sigh! I have not been very good. Arhaan has seen 18 cities in 17 months. We could not keep him away from the crocs as well.

Apologies this did not turn out the Ek Gunah Aur Sahi post it should have been. But at least you now have Five Fun Facts about me.


  1. Whoa! You really echoed my thoughts about the tag ( But boy, this is a fun post!

    And I almost never leave your blog without the song in the title stuck in my head.. like today :) Unless ofcourse, I don't even recognize the song.. which happens ONLY on this blog.. so you're officially One of The Few Who One-Upped Me in Collecting And Remembering Pointless Bolly Trivia!

  2. Aneela I have read and loved Unmana's response to the tag. A huge population in India even today is totally bound by stereotypes. The tag is about being oneself and about not being bound by gender stereotypes.

    Being able to work or be stay at home dads or moms, being able to do what one has aptitude for, not what the Gender Stereotypes dictate.

    The tag was a (subtle, polite) response to some of the entries I read for 'what women want' (a contest)... It seemed everybody believed that all women wanted the same things? One read about how all women want to get settled, and all men have commitment phobia. (I disagree, so do many more women and this doesn't apply to you either).

    Or all women are multi taskers (I am not) and men, even little boys, better not show emotions - (and then we wonder why they don't).

    All the tag achieved was to convey that men and women are individuals - some love outdoors, some love reading, some hate jewelery, some can't resist a peek in the mirror.

    It wasn't about what they should do but about how each is a person first, and a man or a woman later.

    I have been reading your blog in my reader - on and off visiting too, but haven't been commenting. Glad I visited today :)

    I also feel it's okay to take pride in being one's own person, and not being shy of defying norms of one has to - that was why the badges...


  3. Aneela: I love them. No reason why you should settle down. See the world, and let Arhaan see it with you when you can take him along.

    IHM: Thanks. I loved the spirit behind your tag, but I just couldn't do it the way it was. :)

  4. :) You and me both Aneela! I think it is a pathan thing for us! Your post echoes my life exactly (I mean exactly) so far, my friends and family call me the runaway bride too (all I regret are the Tiffany and Tiffany wannabe rings I returned, I still have one I have to pawn when I get around to it)! They asked my husband at an interview what was his biggest achievement so far and he said it was "convincing my wife to marry me" last excuse to him was I want to wait for my hair to grow long for the wedding, and I am afraid my mail will get lost in mail forwarding when I move in with him (and it really did!) You don't know me but I stop by your blog now and then and I really enjoy reading your posts....see it is all about defying the stereotypes and pushing boundaries of acceptable because that is what makes you the person you are and I know you are quite happy with the way you turned out! Hugs!

  5. PART 1


    You see, Bush Sr., & Jr., Clinton, Regan, Carter, Obama, Ford...ALL these presidents are in what is dubbed a SECRET SOCIETY called The Moloch Axis Demoniacs (i coined the phrase myself...Dr. A.P. and i don't use my full name because WHO knows WHAT sinister crap they'd do to me IF they found out?) or M.A.D. for short.

    These people, and there’s obviously more of them (Cheney, Rumsfeld etc.) than the ones mentioned, control KEY positions not just in government, business, society etc. They are GRADUALLY erroding MORAL/FAMILY VALUES in society. SO gradual that it's like hairloss! You see it ever so slowly and you have to be a keen eye to boot!

    For example, women in the workforce...they go to work so WHO takes care of the kids? Some goofs getting minimum wage who could care less about those kids. Family split apart because NOW both parents work and the cost of life itself purposely increased to perpetuate this separation. Kids grow up with NO moral/family values. Repeat this a few generations and before you know it, you have mindless zombies that don't know RIGHT from WRONG! Easily programmable to get in debt, be anti-christ-like etc.

    Also, the coming mark of the beast 666. Remember HOW it all used to be ca$h only? Then they introduced checks, then credit cards to get yourself in serious financial troubles, then ATM cards, and now that STUPID SWIPE-PASS card. What is the purpose of all this? To get people broken down enough and stupid enough through putting FLUORIDE in the drinking water and ASPERTAME in soda drinks/pop cans so we ALL can accept the 666 chip. So NOBODY can buy or sell or own ANYTHING lest he has the mark of the beast (anti-christ) which is 666.

    I can go on for days & days as to the subtleties and more examples but i think you all SEE the points i make here. It's all SUBTLE and GRADUAL negative changes day in & day out that these M.A.D. demons (because they are demonic and have placed their trust in demons in exchange for their souls and material possessions here on earth) are passing into laws in Canada, USA, UK, SPAIN, FRANCE etc.

  6. Yeh Dipali-ji kaun hain? Kya majaal unki ki aap ko pareshaan karein!
    Khair, settled or unsettled we love you, Aneela- living life on one's own terms beats every stereotype there is:)
    Duniya deho, aur apni nazaron se humein bhi dikhaati raho:)

  7. The only way something will die is when it ceases to matter and it'll only cease to matter when it's been proven to be unimportant. IMO.

    Either way, I rather like your take. I especially like the idea of you doing a Runaway Bride. Such fun. :)

  8. We have point 4 in common, I think everyone was waiting to see how I juggle the multiple balls of work, baby, home and hearth and social life and I kind of disappointed them all by chucking everything else for non stop diaper changing and baby feeding.

  9. Thankyou everyone for being so gracious with my passive aggressive apology. As Sue rightly pointed out elsewhere I should (and I will) attempt this post again (and in the right spirit).

    Anonymous: Though not at the stage that he is going to ask for a Pride of Performance come Republic Day but I think he has something to share with your husband. Thanks for visiting and dont be a stranger.

    NMOTB: as long as we are happy and not reaching for the drinks cabinet anything goes right.

  10. adarkcomedy; no i dont think your knowledge of all things bolly has been one-upped...there have been times when Ive sourced Pakistani ghazals. I believe that desi music like Hallmark will never fail us " have occasion will commemorate".

  11. I've said it before, I'll say it rock! And you inspire me too!

  12. Loved reading these facts about you...and the way you have added a twist to the tag. I too, just like you, have not taken up this tag only because I think that itself is becoming a stereotype :-) And more so, I don't want to give it that much importance coz the minute I do that, my hubby dear will say - only women can do such things. What a stereotype! :-)


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