Tag: life

#MeToo

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I tried writing this blog from the POV of a sexual predator but I gave up after a few attempts. I couldn’t get myself to think like an entitled imbecile who throws himself at women and believes that their gratitude for this attention should be paid by servility and sexual compliance.

This grey zone of sexual harassment is a judgmental space. It’s a zone of judgement and opinions. Men and women both get summarily dismissed by colleagues and observers for the ways they behaved or failed to behave at work.  From allowing a hand on the thigh to drinking with a male colleague to being someone’s favourite at work to consistently dipping into the office pool to hone their marksmanship… the list is nuanced and long. The enforced bonding on projects and long hours at work have made the workplace a hotbed (pun intended) of potential exploitation in this desire for power and possession.

However, what constitutes sexual harassment? In my considered opinion, it is anything that involves :

  • Stalking
  • Preying
  • Luring
  • Baiting
  • Using aggression, blackmail, power, promise of retribution, fear, undermining someone’s spirit … All for sexual dominance.

So, to clarify …. Gentlemen predators,

  • If you believe that you own the women who work for you or with you …
  • If you believe that women are basically dumb props and have made themselves available because they stepped out of their home to earn a living
  • If you believe that women exist for your pleasure
  • If you believe that women cannot achieve their goals without your proprietorial hand on their ass
  • If you believe that your female colleagues need sex education
  • If you believe that you are populating your personal harem while employing young, fresh ’talent’ then …

You are about to have your mask ripped off. And the world will see you for the self-entitled oaf you are. Because your Time is Up and you had it coming.

This applies to predators across the board, irrespective of gender or their leaning. 

Time travel

I was sitting at a coffee shop waiting for a friend. I had enough time to observe the people around me. I noticed a couple sitting in the extreme corner. The guy was clearly uncomfortable because the girl was sobbing and he seemed torn between wanting to reassure her and hoping that the people around wouldn’t hold him responsible for her tears. All of a sudden, while the guy seemed to be earnestly saying something, she threw the mug across the floor and ran out of the cafe. He appeared stunned. No, he did not get up and run after her. He placed his head in his hands and stayed that way while the waiter went across and cleared the mess. Soon enough, he got up and left for the exit without meeting anyone’s eye. Since this is real life and i’m not involved in this character’s story … i guess it will remain incomplete. It will come back to me from time to time in different ways … sometimes the boy’s expression, sometimes the girl getting up and flinging the cup across the floor with disappointment writ large on her face, sometimes the turning of several heads as they register the disturbance and look around, sometimes the defeated look on the boy’s face as he walked out the door … sometimes in slow motion and sometimes in sharp cuts.

Isn’t that what happens to our memories too? Over a period of time the interpretation is sweeter or not depending on how we want to see that moment.9d75c9ad3cd5dec88faa9f8ff1c5b0ba

The images don’t really alter but the way the light falls on them, the way the expressions remain, the selective bits we remember or those that we discard … decide how we look back on our past. Time is a great healer. It is also a great concealer.

Dear Life,

At the age of 82, stooped, gnarled hands, knobbly knees … i pause and marvel at this body that houses me. I feel my heart beat. Steady. My blood thrums in my veins. My brain is sharp. I know the clock is ticking but so far my body and mind have stood rock solid by me for all these years. 0946b0911defb3036cd61b9d64ed1b29.jpg

I’ve experienced joy, love, sorrow, loss. My heart has sung and it has ached. My liver has too.

In my 20s, i didn’t give my body a thought. It was there and i pushed it as far as i could. I whipped it. I disregarded it. I took pleasure from it. I took it for granted. It absorbed all the pressure and unpredictability i put it through and yet, it stuck with me. It must have complained. It must have felt abused. I couldn’t have cared less. I was young and i was driven. I was the master of my destiny.

As i grew older, i had to get my machine serviced from time to time. A fracture. Pneumonia. Appendicitis. Flu. Heart attack. Diminished eye sight. Diminished hearing. Stuff. Each breakdown reminded me of its value. This wonderful machine that works so hard. Relentlessly. No weekends off. No power naps. No holidays. Definitely, no vacation. It keeps at it. Noiselessly. On and on. I feel such admiration and awe for this incredible gift. There is nothing i wouldn’t do for it as appreciation.

Maybe, its that partnership I formed with my body that allowed it to give me its best. Or maybe I’m one of the lucky ones. Whatever it is … i am grateful.

I pray I’m also one of those lucky ones to pass over in my sleep. Peaceful and happy.

Affectionately,
A young old man