Last week I witnessed something .
I witnessed one of the most vibrant moving canvasses in front of my eyes. I was at Varanasi with friends.No I hadn’t seen Arjun Rampal but something as soothing to my eyes. We have all heard about the grandeur of the Ganges aarti by the ghats of Varanasi.Here is something I saw in addition to the spectacular beauty of the Arti that to my astonishment doesn’t turn up in a google search and finds no mention in any blog either.
My friend very casually mentioned about the last visit where she has seen handsome(read:hot) pundits by the ghats performing the aarti. Of course I hadn’t paid much attention to her words as I was all soaked up in spirituality.Moreover you wont imagine good looking men all queued up at a ghat in Varanasi.
But Lo and Behold! As soon as our boats perched at the Ganga water front at the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat I saw something I had never seen before. The air chanted of cymbals and smelled of marigold.The bell chimes cast a spell as the entire audience was gazing wholeheartedly at the aarti being done in front of us.
As for me the artist in me was aroused. It was a dark cold night. The ghats were ancestral.The scene in front me was iridescent with handsome men so neatly wrapped in silk dhoti and colourful kurta that accentuated their slim waist and masculine physique.Initially I was hesitant in appreciating the pulchritude of the sight before my eyes for these men were performing a holy service.Later as the event progressed I realised that the entire exercise before our eyes was indeed a performing art . Art for me is solely a matter of appreciation and reverence. As these pundits took the heavy lamps in their hands that only flaunted their toned biceps and arms,I couldn’t help but draw even more closely towards them to have a look.I was awestruck at the finesse in their wrists which turned the incense sticks with such grace.It was divine to see them pour the holy ganga jal around their feet in a semi circle so in sync . It was exalting to see their hands wave the fluffy wand in the air right and left.They enthralled the entire audience by holding those heavy brass lamps and making circular flights of fire in the air.
It was a brilliantly choreographed show that ended in the pundits blowing the conchs.We i.e my friend and I stood right in front of them with our backs facing the Ganges and looked at them in a trance. The Pundits noticed us too,continuously gazing at them. We were unabashed in our admiration.
Connoisseurs of male handsomeness or Adam teasers were we?
I surely had to pass on this information to my female friends for them to witness this “handsome” show.
And today as I recount that incident the feminist in me thinks about why is there no concept of adam teasing in retribution to whatever keeps happening on the streets with every single girl of the country.Had there been pretty ladies doing the sandhya aarti I am sure the entire country would have known,with thousands of pictures and videos of youtube just like any other beauty contest. Why is it that her beauty and body is not respected for its rock like strength that braves monthly cycles to give birth to an entire generation but is looked at with lascivious eyes as an object for sexual pleasure. Why do so many male eyes probe every single part of her body and make her feel visually raped?Why is it that four men together have to pounce on her as if she were a football?
Why is it that she has to fight for her life for no fault of hers ?How does this kind of libido exhibit in these rapists and eve teasers? Just because she wanted to come to a place where she could study and happened to travel in a public transport because her parents were extremely poor. Why do I constantly write about such issues?
Why is it that the face of rapists is always that of a man?
What is wrong with this percentage of guys?
Yes , I being a feminist I worry for the future of my gender.More importantly being an Indian I am worried about the future of my country,for we all know that a country cannot progress without equal opportunity given to 50% of the population.We feminists are often sneered for vociferously crying for our rights. We are undeterred because at least we have a sense of purpose.We are atleast fighting for a cause.Being a feminist does not mean being against men but being against men who are against a woman’s demand of social equality.
I appeal to the brothers,fathers and husbands of the country to join our struggle!You cannot exist without us.