Ever wondered what you might have to face if you cross the road right after a cat has Crossed it?
Ever wondered what it would be to others if you sit near them when you are on your periods? And maybe touch the pickle bottle and hand it over to them?
Ever wondered how the society would react if they don’t find your forehead smeared with Vermilion after marriage?
Hell will break loose, if anything of this sort happens in our society. And why not, after all it is us who have made these not-so logical norms. Trust me, I have touched many pickle bottles when I was on my periods. And no, they didn’t rot. Your thoughts did!
Before I actually start writing things hurting your sentiments, brace yourself. And if you’re weak hearted who swears by societal norms, no matter how stupid they sound, please don’t even bother scrolling down. It will tear you into bits.
My take on societal “norms” is slightly different from others. And I have all the good reasons for it. No, it’s not something I detest. It’s definitely not something that I’ll care to follow, especially when I am forced upon. I believe in science more than illogical beliefs. And if that’s what makes me sound obnoxious, so be it.
There are some things which really gets into my head in a bad way, which keeps on lingering in my mind, till the day I manage to either fart it out (only if it was that easy) or do what I like doing the best. Write about it.
Ever since we were kids, we have had our share of the rules laid down in front of us by the society. Rules which define whether you belong to the society or not. Rules which make you leave all the scientific advances inside the gutter and blindly rely upon some absurd reasons. Rules, which if unfollowed, will make the most popular phrase spring up. Aakhir log kya kahenge?
Yes. Log kya kahenge. We are talking about that group of people who’ll celebrate your downfall more than your victory. That group of people who is so ever ready to take out faults in the way you speak, the way you dress, the kind of demeanor you maintain in front of others, the kind of people you hang out with, how late or early you return home from school/college/work, how often do you go out with your peers and the like. It is that group of people who eagerly waits to fill your mind with rotten values, try to instill those upon you and sometimes even Christen you with it. It is that group of people who’ll find pleasure in giving out advices when you don’t need it.
As you are reading this, I am sure there are some people lingering at the back of your mind. Let’s be honest about it. We all have such people in our lives, who are so deep rooted in the norms and values, that it sometimes turns suffocating for a society to progress and move forward. How do you expect a society to head towards progression when certain illogical values still exist. Forget about being compared to the likes of the superpowers ruling the world. We aren’t even close to being civilised in the truest meaning of the word. And if we don’t change the way some people think, we are surely heading towards doomsday. Sooner or later.
Let’s get a bit realistic here. It’s the 21st century, for all that we care. But are we actually living up to the likes of being a 21st century citizen or maybe a netizen? Because that’s what we prefer to call ourselves, now that we are so tech-savvy. But how often do we realize that it’s not the gadgets which are making us move towards progression at the pace slower than a tortoise. It’s the mindset. It’s the way people end up looking at some simple things in life, in the most critical way they can and coming up with some equally mind boggling reasons.
Let me take a common example. The most natural process of Menstruation. In a society of ours, sanitary pads are still covered with newspapers and in black colour polythene bags once purchased. How many of us still shy away to say that we are on our periods? How many of us still are treated as untouchables for three days, sometimes more, in a month? How many of us are made to believe that if you sleep with your husband when you are menstruating, it will decrease your husband’s life tenure, as you are passing out germs from your body. Or to be more precise, your vagina. Let me tell you one thing here. I can actually go on and on about the taboos surrounded by this so-called unhealthy, unhygienic process.
I have been blessed enough to grow up in a family where I have entered the kitchen, ate my food with others sitting on the same table, gone out with other family members, touched the pickle. Everything when I was on my periods. My parents have always been progressive in their thoughts and actions. They didn’t stop me from pursuing things I wanted to. I might not have been the most popular social being amongst my peers (I still isn’t one), but I definitely had my own share of living a life the way I wanted to. And I am glad they have changed their thoughts over time and moved towards what we term as ‘progression’. Maybe that’s what has made me so outwardly in my approaches towards social stigma and norms. I have grown up in a family where social norms were never dictated upon us. We have always been practical in our approaches, looking for valid reasons and justifications for everything. And I am glad being the way I have been.
The ones who know me really well (in my truest form), knows the kind of person I have been. And such people are only a handful of them. The ones who don’t question my ideologies nor my way of tackling things. We all know what’s best for us. The kind of atmosphere we live in. And there’s no one better than us to pursue the things or situations that we face. Social stigmas are certainly something which have bothered me since a long time. One doesn’t become a rebel just because it sounds cool. I prefer being a rebel because I choose to. That’s again something most people would look into with a twitching nose, but let’s get over it. Accept the fact that we are still away from the light of the other end of a distant tunnel. And yes, being in a democratic country, we do have the full right to voice our thoughts and opinions. After all, it is a free world! And there has to be someone to move forward with guts, to point out the flaws in the mindset and come up with ways to change the thinking process. I am not saying I can be the game changer alone. And I don’t intend to fly with accolades pouring in.
After this piece ends, I am sure most of you reading this will look at me in a questioning way, as to how dare I question societal norms of billion years old. Because I have the guts to speak up. Because I choose to speak up. There’s already enough of the silent spectators in the lot. Try being the game changer. Trust me, it will do good. To you. To me. To many more like us, trapped in the chains of the society and the ‘log kya kahenge’ mentality, ready to break free any damn time. It’s all about how you look at things. It’s all about how deep you think. It’s all about breaking barriers. It’s all about treating everyone equally. It’s all about being yourself. It’s all about trying to bring a change. It’s simply not about proving others wrong, but rather showing others that we are right too, in our own way.
And yes, if writing all this makes me a rebel, I have no qualms in accepting that I am one. Because I choose to. Period.