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Showing posts from April, 2016

Listen to your inner voice

There are times when I read an interesting perspective, only to discover that I, too, had been tantalizingly close in my unpublished draft (there are many). Why didn’t I publish them then?
Whatever little I had written was written overcoming time-scarcity, laziness, lethargy and sense of futility in one magical moment when ego momentarily triumphed humility.  What else explains a writer’s foolish endeavor to add more to the tomes of printed material accumulated since writing was invented!
There were times when I had voluntarily silenced myself to escape the scathing disapproval I had come to expect from others.  When I later chanced upon a work that reinforced what I had always felt (but didn’t articulate), I couldn’t help feeling stupid to have not pursued that line of thought to the end. During one of my maths class back in school, I effortlessly waded through the complexities of the problem only to reach a dead-end and gave it up thinking I got it wrong somewhere. Imagine my frustra…

Is Hinduism misogynistic?

If one were to follow news of Sabarimala and Shani Shingnapur, he might be forgiven for presuming that Hinduism alone needs to be singled out for apparent misogynistic traditions while other religions have long transformed into egalitarian societies. 
Here, we will take up the common charges levelled against Hinduism and scrutinize them.
The greatest pitfall of Indian feminism is that most of their rallying points are Western imports lazily adapted to Indian scenario without sufficient homework. Let us begin with the most common feminist harping point - that men are afraid of women’s sexual agency and hence curtail it through patriarchal discipline - in Indian context.
Behold the pancha-kanyas, whom ladies are urged to invoke at dawn: 

Ahalya Draupadi Kunti Tara Mandodari tatha Panchakanya smaranityam mahapataka nashaka (Ahalya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari: constantly remembering these virgins five destroys great failings.)
All these five women aren’t technically “kanyas” (maidens)…

How writing helps us heal: Writing as a therapy

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou.
In the age of social-media fueled narcissistic fetishism, the very suggestion of writing about one’s problems invariably invites scorn if not disinterest. However, research indicates that there’s more to this than meets the eye.
The crucial role of writing in helping alleviate trauma wasn’t so apparent to me until I read “Eaten by the Japanese (review here; briefly a story about a British Indian soldier captured by Japanese as PoW during World War II). Richard Crasta’s essay makes a very insightful observation about his father’s book which, according to him, was probably an effort to “exorcize his ghosts by consigning them to paper” (what a vibrant phrase!). Likewise, the after-taste of Richard Crasta’s The Killing of an Author (review here; the story of the struggle of an uncompromising, independent writer) lingered in my mind long after I had finished reading the book.
Lest one dismisses this as a…