Saturday, October 18, 2014

To the women in my life

To P, for initiating me on the path of caring for those who are worlds
away from mine.

To S and S, for giving me feedback that I seriously needed, when I
needed it, and thus slaying the monster that I was turning into.

To O, for being so alive and so in-your-face.

To S, for making me realize that to love a woman doesn't mean wanting
her to be with you; it means wanting to see her happy and full of life
wherever she is and whoever she is with.

To A, for showing me that resourcefullness and intellect do not need
to have a well-off financial background.

To X, Y and Z, and subsequently many more, for sharing with complete
trust and vulnerability the pain and trauma of being sexually abused,
for making it so real and close for me that it fundamentally changed
the value systems I'd associated with masculinity.

To P, for making me rethink how our streets can be made safer.

To the attendant at the petrol pump, for making me aware though her
silent terror and insistence on me getting off my bike first, how it
feels to be teased and groped by customers when you're serving them.

To D, for showing me that strength comes from vulnerability.

To L, for helping me notice when walking on the streets together how
fundamentally different it is for a woman to be walking in public in
my country; how much sexual harassment behaviour has been programmed
into our otherwise normal Indian males by the society we're living in.

To S, for displaying a mastery over power tools and hammers and nails
and wood so skillfully that it destroyed my preconceptions of what are
masculine and feminine jobs.

To K, for showing me when it's a good time to shut up and get things going.

To N, for standing up for yourself, having extraordinary courage under
institutional fire, yet remaining vulnerable, and for continuing to
care for those under your charge, even while you were being paraded in
your whole fraternity as a bad person.

To L, for showing me when it's a good time to take a pause and talk
about uncomfortable things.

To S, for showing me how it's not such a good idea to panic about not
being married yet after the 29th birthday. (:P)

To R, for constantly reminding me about the OTHER perspectives that I
was missing out in my understanding of the world.

To S, for showing me how not to take things so seriously, to be and let be.

To V, for showing me how far behind a person can leave their
well-protected, fortress backgrounds to care for their fellow human
beings.

To S, for showing me a life full of compassion and love for all, and
the unlimited extents one can go to and impossible things that one can
do when living such a life.

To R, for showing me how to celebrate differences in opinion and stay
friends with people despite disagreements.

To K, for showing me how superior bottom-up, organic growth in plans
is to top-down "intellectual" planning.

To S, for showing me that being a feminist does not mean being rough
and tough like a man; but rather to celebrate the feminine; to be
delicate, creative, colourful, embellishing, vulnerable, vivacious,
loving and caring.

To R and U, for showing me the powers of openness, generosity, friendship and good feelings for all, and how to age gracefully yet youthfully.

To the women of the villages, for the strength, the generosity, the
self-reliance, the kindness, the full-of-life laughter that you fill
the air with.

Thank you. Hope to keep meeting you again.

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