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February 25, 2008

Neighbours don’t like screaming…

OR, The natal connection
OR, How men and women are really different
Currently the TV speakers are blaring with horses neighing, Boers dying, many 303s going off together and commands being fired on all sides. Strangely, for a war movie there are hardly any screams. This movie was made in the late 70s and the glorification of war (or ‘gorification’?) that we see in Saving Private Ryan – young soldiers crying while holding their unraveling guts in their hands – had still not happened. The movie is Breaker Morant and I've refused to watch it. (pic courtesy)

I am not averse to war movies, just that I need to school myself to be prepared to be depressed for the rest of the evening. And if the movie really gets me, depressed for the next day as well. Young boys. Dead. Fathers with little babies. Dead. Husbands with fresh, eager wives. Dead. Old parents and their only son. Dead. Or even if there are two sons or seven. Dead. Shit. I also know that if there was a ever way and voluntary or forced conscription, both Partner and my brother will join in. And die. For who? Narendra Modi? LK Advani?

What will happen if we have a World War 3 tomorrow? What if Narendra Modi becomes the Prime minister of India? Will we finally nuke Pakistan? Or will he go for China first to prove he has bigger balls? Or would it be better for India if Mayawati becomes the PM instead? And HOW can I give up my citizenship if either becomes the “leader” of India? Partner asked me last evening, that if it ever came to Modi vs Mayawati, who would I rather have as the PM? I chose Modi. Not going to get into the reasons here… But honestly, for once in my lifetime I want to vote. Just that I STILL don’t know who to vote for. Partner on the other hand, has pretty clear ideas about who he supports and who he’d vote for

And that’s how men and women are different. I wanted to pick up Happy Feet to watch today: it’s an animated movie on penguins. Dancing penguins. We forgot because I was protesting (and arguing) NOT going to the dentist. My teeth have been just fine for 29 years and I don’t see ANY reason – unless I wake up with one side of my face paralysed with pain – which has happened only once in 2002, and never after that. My BIGGEST fear of going to a dentist? That the fuck will pull out my teeth, use a drill on me and ask me to STOP smoking. Sigh. But of course I will have to go. You cannot beat a man’s logic. Men ALWAYS use logic and sometimes it is very irritating. I have postponed the appointment for at least a week quoting house-shifting. I have more reasons ready for subsequent weeks.

Men are also very good at handling pressure, particularly parental pressure. They usually hang up the phone, start watching movies or sport or read the news. Women, on the other hand, they stew. No matter how many times the same things happens. Like when parents unwittingly – and I am sure not intentionally – press on the wrong buttons. When their ‘protectiveness’ only serves in denting holes – big, cannon-ball sized ones – in the defensive armour we might have around us.

‘Generation gap’ was a phrase that was thrown around a lot in the Indian scenario when I was about 13 – that was in 1993 – when parents and children didn’t see eye-to-eye on various things. From inter-caste marriages (now of course rich parents get the offending party bumped off), to watching cable TV, to not wanting to become a doctor/engineer, to wanting to follow the Arts, to brain-drain… The ‘gap’ between what the children wanted and what the parents thought was right.

While to the credit of the parents, there is an entire generation of them who are constantly battling with daughters working late, their children living in ‘sin’, divorces, drug addict sons and without-wedding pregnant daughters… Some basic things have not changed. And perhaps will not. Like the NEED to control. Or at least to impose their will and thoughts on the children. And when neither the control nor the will can be imposed… There is psychological warfare.

Like holding back words of encouragement. Or playing up on fears. Or saying JUST the thing that will shake your confidence. Like asking, “Are you sure the man is in love with you? What’s so special about you that he will stick around?” Well Ma, perhaps because I am tough. Or perhaps the most beautiful woman in the world. Or ‘snarky’ as one lady called me on her blog (What is ‘snarky? Anyone?) Maybe because I bake good cakes and can cook for 20 people in two hours. Maybe because I cannot sing. Maybe because I will never back out from a fight. Maybe because I can STAY loyal to my people, my man. Maybe… Who the fuck knows? What I DO know is that I don’t NEED to be thinking like this. That I don’t need to justify my being loved or my existence. That I don’t want to be scared about the Outcome or The Future any longer. Even if it might mean being foolhardy. And then WHO says am being foolhardy? And then, “I am saying this so that you think straight. Parents want the best for you.”

And perhaps they do. Just that their ways can be funny sometimes. Not because they hate their own children, but perhaps because somewhere they are scared. From deciding everything for your children, the kids become adults and make their own decisions. It makes parents redundant in certain ways. And if the parent has been used to control, it makes things even tougher. So perhaps they still want you to think ‘right’ or what they think is right. Shrug.

Everyone makes their own mistakes. Sometimes, when warned, perhaps we don’t make that mistake or delay making it. However, parents made their mistakes too. So do we listen when they warn us or blaze ahead? And how can anyone be sure that what is being suggested or the opinion/advice being offered is not a wrong one? Do you believe your heart or do you believe your parents?

PS: About the neighbours: I thought the landlord had asked us to leave because Golu Dawg barked a lot. Apparently, it’s not just that. The two old crones who live a floor below didn’t seem to like my rosy glow. I am also loud so perhaps their sleep was disturbed with my screaming. And early mornings too. Bwahaha. GOOD show I say. I will go, but I will fucking go screaming. Yeeeeehaaaa.


Maxine said...

Live for this moment.Live for the one,the heart stays young.Fear not the mistake,unsure of dawn.Enough of this loneliness,flashes of the bygone morn.
Blessings shall come,prayers are sent.Until then...here I stand.. in my previous birth.I'm your mother,I offer you my blessings.Find your father,make it quick ;)

Asheesh said...

Believe the Heart. I am sure parents want the best for you, but you have every right to make your decisions (right or wrong) and live by it.

Silvara said...

I believe the heart - I have probably battled my parents for most of my life and was proved wrong and right in a lot of decisions I made - but if I had to choose...I'd believe my heart.

avijit bakshi said...

Parents and children. There is no getting away from that. I have found the best way to deal with yourself in relation to your parents is to decide which areas you are open to them and will listen to them and which areas you will not. For instance you could say all areas relating to parental approval and validation I take away from them and keep for myself. I will henceforth be the decider of my own validation. By my own values. On the other hand in all the areas of giving love I am open to them and shall always love my parents ans support them. So on and so forth.

So one decides for one's own mind which areas the parents have a say and which they don't (of course there could be overlaps). So when one is communicating with them it becomes easier to decide what weight is to be given which piece of communication. This is of course an ever evolving method but has the advantage of making up your own mind and being in control and not feeling victimised, in short: growing up.

Anonymous said...

Hello, nice blog...
men and women are not just different...they are different species!

Surprisingly women use logic when it is least wanted or expected from them! Like when a guy says -'I don't feel like *xyz something*', that's when the 'logic' starts!

And, i don't think the generation gap has changed; it's just got scary! i just found out that my dad is on facebook! it's all great, he being tech savvy and stuff, but it's like 20 guys sitting together to smoke up and one of them realising that the 20th guy sitting in the dark spot beside the lampshade is your dad!

Oh ya, there are some trademarked dialogues from the 'parent' species - they dont learn it, but i think their is this intel chip which grows in their brains that has stuff like -''Now, son, you are our only hope'' or, ''we are thinking of the best things for you''. It's an acquired behaviour patten that comes from some alient planet or some dormant gene just starts blooming!

Sandy said...

snarky means : (informal) irritable, crotchety, impertinent, critical

Source: WordWeb