Tuesday, December 25, 2012


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.


kk said...

totally totally agreed. but we also observe that the situation is changing indeed, even if at a snail's pace. hopefully d pace shall rise, as L.P.G. show its signs in wider parts of the country.

funky-philosopher said...

as Orwell had put it, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

equality is indeed a skewed concept and no wonder, had women been doing the same, it'd be all over the press.

this september while in munich, i decided to shell out 8 euros (after a discount) to watch a movie called Magic Mike (really, i've no comments on the movie itself!). it was just clean appreciation and enjoyed it along with scores of dignified ladies, some of those who'd even turned up with their better halves, just to appreciate the way this movie breaks conventional stereotypes! no, they didnt turn up to vent out frustration of their private lives.

likewise, i'm not a lesbian if i just give a compliment to a girl. i'm not thinking of "raping" some guy if i praise them in some way. artistic appreciation of beauty is rare, and that's the reason why i cudnt share many of the beautiful sculptures i saw in Louvre. they would be subjected to judgement and objectification, sans the artistic interpretation.

i think its really difficult to not mix with possession the appreciation of something we perceive to be weaker than ourselves. and perhaps that could be a reason for rapes.

consider this analogy, where i see a vast stretch of beautiful countryside greens, abounding in flowers, birds, trees, lakes... simply put, nature at its beautiful best. but i'm overpowered by the desire to possess it. so without any geological surveys or anything, one day i decide to plunder it for a gold mine beneath the verdure, of whose existence i'm pretty sure about, though i have no logical explanation for it. it doesn't even "belong" to me. but i decide to take over it anyway. i "rape" mother earth, causing harm to both she and me.

why can't we just appreciate beauty and feel good about it, regardless of gender stereotypes! i'm so glad you and your friend decided not to miss such an elegant spectacle! holy can also be beautiful, and perhaps women would be subject to objectivism by the audience, and may be thats why they decided to get male pundits to do this??

i totally love this post (and also the pictures!). keep writing and keep sharing!

funky-philosopher said...

oh, and for all those people who think its only the women who make a lot of noise about their rights, please face it... its because women ARE suffering in unthinkable ways. there is no need for evidence i guess... of course, i dont mean to say that men or children or elderly have no problems in their lives. but women are being made to face some additional problems which shouldn't happen in the first place. so we make some noise.

Anonymous said...