Thursday, 10 March 2016

Malli poo. Cupcakes. Carrots.

One guy once called me a malli poo - probably the most derogatory usage for a name of a flower. Like cupcakes. Like carrots. To those of you who are struggling to understand why I think its derogatory, here's another example. Would it be okay to refer to a tradition loving brahmin boy, as thayir sadam ? I mean I LOVE thayir sadam - I have lived on it all these years and would vote it as comfort food number 2 (right behind rasam sadam hehe). All that though does not make it okay to call someone thayir sadam.

I was in class 2 weekends ago - a small community of volunteers and kids aged 5-8 come together to read stories, engage in story-telling, in effort to increase their curiosity to learn. There was one particular kid who was having a rough day, and trying to garner attention. While us volunteers were trying to channel his energy into his book away from his friend's pencil, another kid from across the room called him a retard. One of us moved to speak in private to this opinionated kid and explain class rules. The others acted like it didn't happen and continued to show our attention to the rest of the kids.  

I came across this post a few days ago, a shaming of a huge part of India's women and their purpose - 11 Easy Steps To Become A Sanskaari Superwoman. It makes one wonder if respecting parents and having a bit of faith is judgement worthy. I get it. It is meant to be a light-hearted take on a saas/bahu stereotype. But is it? Who are you to make mockery of a person's purpose in life?

Let's take a step back.

Would it be okay if your slightly traditional dad/mom/granddad/grandmom shared a light-hearted buzzfeed article on 11 Easy Steps To Become a Career Superwoman?

I felt like a loser years ago, that someone would refer to me as malli poo TO ME, irrespective of their intention. I wonder what the kid thought if he did indeed comprehend what retard meant. I wonder what a mom, who gave up her small dreams and wishes in order to be the best bahu possible, thought when she saw the Sanskaari Superwoman article on Facebook. I wonder what a girl who aspires to become a pilot feels when she overhears a livingroom conversation of women these days wanting too much.

We all make mistakes. I am certain I have judged people in the past and probably continue to do so. The key to #tolerance and #acceptance though is meta-cognition. Awareness of our own thought processes and understanding.

Look at this beautiful video of a mom's dream of acceptance for her child - growing up confident, having a decent set of manners, having a great sense of humour, having a good time, and having good friends. That I believe will create a world of equals, of acceptance, of growth!

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