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June 9, 2008

Is sex against the Indian culture?

“There are no coincidences in life, everything is planned,” wrote James Redfield in The Celestine Prophecy. There has much debate about that logic what with Christian theologists claiming that God has indeed planned everything and even though we might think an event/occurrence is a coincidence, it was supposed to happen. Hinduism too believes in Destiny being preordained and while we might make our choices, our path in life has already been decided. As far as I am concerned, both decided Destiny and coincidence could well be true.

Like going underground (hiding on the fourth floor that is) for three months and the night I decide to go out, I crash a guy’s party with common friends – without any intention of meeting any prospective love interest – and the host turns out to be by Partner now. And two years after I wrote it, he is word for word the man I had wished for in a post called, Here’s my Soulmate.

Like from going on a decided path to becoming a doctor, my father gets posted to Delhi, we have a neighbour who’s daughter was studying journalism and lo! I enroll into a journalism course. Or as I wrote earlier, on our first class assignment, a professor declaring “You are the next Shobhaa De” (we will never ask my Dad for his opinions on that, ok?) and then being a panelist with her on a TV show nine years later… What was destiny and what is coincidence?

Like is it coincidence that the next chapter on Mishraji’s Musings was written right after I participated in ‘We the People’ in January 2008… and now that I am going to republish it, last night NDTV re-ran the programme? Destiny, coincidence, convenience?

If you have had experiences that seemed like coincidence and turned out to be of major importance, write in and share… let’s get spooked!

Mishraji’s Musings Chapter 6
Sex is against the Indian culture

It was a perfect January morning till the madly chiming doorbell woke one up. After no interaction with one's elderly neighbour Mishraji for a fair bit, there he was, standing at my door, in his pyjama-kurta and looking very angry. One opened the door and waited.

For a minute Mishraji just stood glaring, then pointing a finger at one's nose said, "You lied. You are NOT a journalist, I know WHAT you are." Having just woken up - that too rudely - one mumbled something about showing him the appointment letter and immediately wished one had kept shut.

"I don't care what your appointment letter says madam. How is that you work for a TV company and I have never seen you on TV?" Mishraji demanded. One pointed out that one worked for the Internet company owned by the TV channel and not...

"STOP lying madam!" Mishraji growled, clearly in no mood for even logical interruptions. "I know exactly WHAT you write on the Internet." That statement removed all vestiges of sleep and one was wide-awake. All the previous posts about the Mishra family flashed before one's eyes. One knew that Mishraji did not read blogs, but it was apparent that someone had told him. Even as one thought of a suitable response to explain why one had been writing about the Mishra Family Drama, Mishraji spoke.

"You cannot masquerade as a journalist anymore madam. YOU are a... are a... SEX writer!" One was stunned. Mishraji continued, "You cannot deny it. Someone I know saw you on that TV show with Barkha Dutt." And then it hit home: Mishraji had found out about an episode of a talk-show where yours truly was one of the eight panelists on a discussion on blogging. One had not realized that some Mishra family acquaintaince could also be watching the show. They had and one wanted to kick one's own backside for not thinking about the ramifications of participating on the show earlier.

One tried to explain that one wrote on women's issues, child sexual abuse, relationships and... Mishraji would have none of it. "This is a respectable colony in respectable India, madam. We don't talk about such things here. I have grown up kids and they will get wrong ideas when they read you. My very dutiful wife will get new ideas when she reads you. Sex is against the Indian culture," he declared. One wondered aloud on how new ideas were against Indian culture... Mishraji exploded.

"I always knew you were the danger-to-society type. Living alone with two dogs, too outspoken, wearing only jeans, no shame... You are the type of scarlet woman who misleads the youth of this country. You are a shame on India, on this colony..." Mishraji nearly frothed at the mouth.

At that precise moment - even as one reeled under the attack - Pinkiji (Mishraji's 19-year-old daughter for those who don't know) came running out of the house. She was wearing her pink nightie, had morning hair and her face was chalk-white.

"Papaji, papaji, please come quick. Tinku bhaiya has... he has..." and Pinkiji burst out crying. Even as an alarmed Mishraji turned towards his house, Mrs Mishraji came running out too.

"Aap gussa mat kariye, please don't get angry, everything will be all right, keep your cool," she said trembling. She held a sheet of paper in her hand. Mishraji stopped dead in his tracks and took the note from her and read it aloud. It was from his 22-year-old son Tinkuji.

"Dear Papaji,
I know you will never forgive me. But I really love her and I don't care about approval, though I would like to have yours and Mummyji's. The new generation does not think like you do. We don't care about religion, at least not when it comes to love. I love her and will marry her. I am leaving house. I am marrying Catrina. Married couples with age difference and religion difference is nothing new. It's happening all over. You can check the Internet."

Tinkuji had run away with Catrina Kohli who was a Sikh and 10 years older to him.

Everyone stood silently; yours truly shivered in the cold January breeze. Mishraji crushed the note into a ball, his shoulders shook, one didn't know with shock or... He turned and as he looked at one, his face was full of hate and his eyes mere pinpoints.

"YOU! It's Internet people like you who are teaching these things to our children, showing them ways different from the way things have been. If my son does not return, YOU will have to answer," and Mishraji threw the balled note on one's face, spat on the ground and stalked off.
To be continued...


maxine said...

Decided or destiny?Tough.When sometimes we think of coincidences to be god given divine destiny and then suddenly gets that sinking feeling of mistrust.Then its time to make that decision to disregard the will of god and see who wins.Gods will or mans forced decision.

Never Mind!! said...

As a 'Sex Writer' I thought you would know better than to ask if sex is against Indian culture! Of course it is. Dint anyone tell you that we are all born out of immaculate conception either when flowers kiss or when young women pray and are blessed to have babies?

No spooky coincidences for me to tried my hand at lame humor. :)

mixedblessings89 said...

I do hope you're Okay... and that you continue to be in excellent weather or not Tinkuji returns...
Luck to you!

Anonymous said...

i came to bombay (i find raj thackrey very hot, but i shall call it bombay and not mumbai!) to be a writer for TV , secretly wanting to be a film writer. while sitting in the train, starting the journey, literally and figurtaively as i was sobbing my heart out i decided to distract myself and read whatever was there in my handbag. it turned out to be a film script (was carrying it for a friend who worked on that film, she had forgotten her script with her parenst), which was HILARIOUS and so well written and that i was awed by the genius of the writer. the script didn't have the writer's name though...i hoped to meet that writer one day...
CUT TO (hee hee)
5 months later, i am sitting with a fairly known film writer who is looking for an assistant, and i am DEADSURE that this man will never hire me...
but he does...after dilly dallying for 6 months. and what do i discover on the first day of working with him, that he had written that brilliant script i had read on the train :D
THAT was the spookiest exp of my life.
yes despite being a wannabe writer i haven't described it well enough (dramatically i mean) i know...
but as a practicing buddhist, i ascribed it to my practice and not fate...
yes most people think kismat and karma are same but i think they are different...
i like to believe that we have two kinds of destinies waiting for us at any given point of time and our efforts decide whether we take the nicer one or the not so nice one...
sounds naive?


avijit bakshi said...


'Sobbing my heart out' Wow! 'N', I didn't know you could cry! Thought you couldn't stand all whiners and cry babies. A fact you are never tired of repeating. Would your sobbing make you a whiner too, just wondering, just like the whiners you hate so much?

Anyhoo, I think sobbing your heart once in a while is good for you, lets you move on. And I am glad to know that you're stronger than the never-cry person you portrayed yourself to be. Good for you. All the best!

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha avijit, when did i say i HATE whiners/people who cry...i thought we were talking SPECEFICALLY about PUBLIC CRYING!!!!
i have no problem with men/women/third sex people crying. i don't have a problem with people crying when there is a valid reason.
but for attention...er...it doesn't suit my tastes...i am sorry that you see me as this heartless bitch who dislikes people crying....

you are really funny.
or maybe you have decided not to like me.


avijit bakshi said...

To 'N'

Nothing like that, I have no reason not to like you. And I don't use or think the "B" word about women. Not my taste or my style. I don't think you are heartless either, in fact that's just my point that it's ok to be full of heart as well as head.

Just that you are always on about people who cry to get attention and so on. (In the discussion on office matters and other places) But how do you know what their reasons are, it could be as valid as the reasons you find for crying. It shouldn't be that your crying is for sorrow but others' crying is for attention. Saying a situation is wrong or hurtful to us, is not always whining. And as for crying in public you were crying in a TRAIN, what could be more public than that?

Anyway, I like you as much as it is possible to like anyone over the internet. You seem like a great, independent, stubborn, fierce willed person. Just interacting since I saw what seems like a contradiction between your public stand and your actions, specially when you use that public stand so fiercely.

Anonymous said...

oho Avijit, when i say i disapprove of people crying for smaller thing ONLY for attention i am obviously ONLY talking about people i know.
so therefore i speak with experience. and from that i started the generalisation
i know loads of women (especially) who cry to get ATTENTION and to show that they have sensitive hearts when their actions have proven otherwise. and i also know men who have ONLY cried to impress women.i speak of such people.
and it started with that cricket episode which i thought was ODD and ONLY IN MY OPINION immature and attention grabbing.
aahhh in the same vain, i didn't think (at least didn't seem to me) kapil dev crying on TV was ONLY for attention grabbing purposes but i know a lot of people saw it as convininent crying


p.s no sarcasm intended but i am flattered that you read and remember my comments :D

avijit bakshi said...

oho "N"...ha ha...

Cool. No worries. I get your point.

I remembered your comments because you said a boss having an affair (Long ago post on this blog)with a juniour was ok and when someone complained you said you didn't like whiners and criers. That was the context of my remembering your comments. No sarcasm taken...ha ha ha...

Anyhoo, carry on commenting, yours are always lively and ferocious, look forward to reading them even though we may not always be in agreement. But that's the fun of the fifth estate isn't it?

Take care. All the best.