An Infinity of Genders.

Feminism.
This single word carries a lot of meaning to different people.
For some, it would refer to the upliftment, the empowerment of women in the world.
For others,  people who would have seen Emma Watson’s stirring speech at the launch of the HeForShe campaign, it would refer to equality of the genders in this world.
Quite some people would grossly mistake it to be the granting of priveleges to women at the expense of men.
The abolishment of the patriarchal system. Equal wages.
Putting away with stereotypes and gender roles. Representation of women’s interests.

And so on.

Feminism could mean a lot of things.

However, recently I was introduced to a novel concept in a debate workshop. A concept which would go on to smack me BANG in the head for not thinking of such an idea before.  A definition of Feminism which includes everything stated at the beginning of this post, and much, much more.
I’m still in awe.
That definition was bang on.

Let’s start at the beginning. The concept of Feminism started in the late 19th C in some cultures and solidified around the world in the 20th C. It’s roots trace back to the women movements which sought equal rights for both men and women. Hence, the term ‘Femin’ism. Women, having been oppressed for centuries, wanted more rights to place them in the same pedestal as men. And out of this, came the wrong assumption that Feminists wanted Rights at the expense of men.

However, as time has flowed by, it has become apparent that not only Women, but people as a whole are stereotyped and maligned. Every person in this world is affected by stereotypes. Their identity is pre-determined by existing stereotypes and gender roles.
Men don’t cry. Men who look ‘feminine’ in the eyes of society are Gay. Women like Pink. These are some of the simplest examples of such stereotypes. Stereotypes can go on to more serious issues such as Women are the primary caretakers of children, men are primary breadwinners, Gay couples can’t bring up a child and so on.

Feminism has grown, in today’s world, to address these issue and much more. It has grown to encompass all the people in this world who are discriminated, maligned, and stereotyped. It is a platform for anyone- be it man, woman, asexual, transsexual, LGBT- anyone to state their views and be heard.

Coming to the definition.
Feminism refers to the ‘Fight against Sexism -discrimination based on sex- through questioning the Gender Binary’
The revolutionary, life altering aspect of this definition is that ir basically challenges every single stereotype on the face of the Earth! Not because of its all-encompassing definition,  but because it addresses the root cause!
This definition, by questioning the Gender Binary, basically puts away with Genders! There are no genders! If there are no genders, where would the concept of gender-related stereotypes come from?!

Alternatively it could also mean an Infinity of Genders!
Every single human being on the face of this Earth, is a gender by themself! Every single human being would be a single entity and can’t be categorised under a broad concept of Gender.
Mathematicians can relate this concept as a Singleton Set. A set in which one person is included.
Chemists can relate this concept to an Atom. The world is made up of Human Atoms, and can’t be generalised.
Bilogosts can refer to tho concept as a Cell. The World is made up of Human Cells in the primary form, and they shouldn’t be grouped together as a tissue or an organ.
Physicists can relate this concept to a Quanta. Th simplest entity and it can’t be grouped.

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Everybody is a gender by themselves

This definition of Feminism could be referred to as the concept of Humanism, as it refers to all Humans on the face of this Earth. Personally I feel that, Humanism could be a better term for this movement, because it would remove any discrepancies in perception of the term ‘Feminism’ and would gather infinitely more support because everybody falls under this term.

In short,
Put away with the concept of Genders, you put away with gender based discrimination, malignment and stereotypes.

I am Siddharth Saravanan,
and I’m a gender by myself.

Philosophiqe #1

Based on the first quasi-poem I posted, some of you may already know my deepest fear; as to who I am and who I’ll turn out to be.
I’ve been pondering and I’ve come up with a few results.
This blog post will deal with the first question, as to Who we are.

……………

As to the integral question of Who we are, I believe that it is simple enough.
We are simply the sum total of our experiences and surroundings.
When we come into this world, I believe that most of us are born with a similar skill set and aptitude level. This is because it has been proven that neural connections, the pathways whose strength influences our memory and general aptitude is not related to Heredity. Notice that I use, the word ‘most’. I am disregarding the born geniuses and the born retards from this equation.

So I believe that a the function of population with respect to the Skill sets and Aptitude will look like this.

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However as we grow up this graph generally tends to get modified into this.

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This is called a Bells Curve.
This Curve says that in any indigenous population, there are invariably going to be some geniuses and retards with most of the population averaging out between them.
The question that can be derived now is that Why does this graph change? Why does the normal indigenous population, which at childbirth were at the same aptitude level change into a curve, with some becoming more-towards-genius and some becoming more-towards-retard?

Taking a hypothetical world, where the physical characteristics of a person doesn’t affect the mental strength and vice versa, it can be seen that the ONLY differentiating factor between the way Humans grow up, is the Environment and Experiences. Therefore this has to be the only differentiating factor between whether a Human realises his/her potential or not.

It can be stated as follows,
In a world, where physical characteristics do not affect the mental characteristics and vice versa, Human beings are a direct function of Environment and Experiences.

This may seem like a basic result, however it carries a load of significance.
It now is fairly apparent, that the only difference between a person who realises his/her Human Potential and a person who doesn’t is the Environment he/she lives in and the Experiences they undergo.
Therefore, by controlling these factors, we can directly influence how Humans turn out to be

Life of Pi – Part 2

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We’ve all seen the movie ‘Life of Pi’. It’s an amazing movie with awe-inspiring graphics and a heart-lifting soundtrack. The resilience displayed by Pi instils within us the belief that if you have faith, anything is possible.
However, one inconsequential thing which would have leeched onto our minds like a parasite would be Pi’s Religious Plurality.

His religious plurality is evident in the fact that he visits the temple, attends mass at the Church and never fails to pray in the Mosque on Fridays. This is reflected in his calm demeanour and serene attitude. Indeed, religion and the concept of God play a very integral part of the movie.

……………

This particular post is a memoir of how I became Piscine Molitor Patel for a day; an evening to be specific.
Of my voyage into 6 major religions in the space of a few hours.
Of my fledgling attempt to understand the minds of people.
Of my attempt to escape the throes of boredom.
Let the voyage begin.

……………

Okay. I’m being brutally honest here.
It was the Boredom.
Extreme, mind-numbing boredom.

Boredom is a fickle thing.
It sometimes brings out extreme creativity within a person. Creativity as never experienced before, assails us, bashes into our minds, possessing us to almost mercurial levels, never leaving us and constantly bugging us until we end up doing something.
Or sometimes, we fall dead to the world and enter the intoxicating mind palace of slumber.

That particular day, I had one of those rare mo’s where I had a choice.
Of sleeping.
Or doing something crazy.

Crazy I chose. xD
\m/

…………..

A germ of an idea grew in my head.
I wanted to go around Bangalore, an uncharted territory by me, alone, with no idea where I was going. I hopped on a bus.
And off I went.

……………

The Temple

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I went to the temple first.

Temples are wonderful structures which most people don’t appreciate. A look into the seeming intricacies into the architecture will leave you spellbound. Every single pillar is carved out of a single piece of rock! One. Rock! Just imagine the difficulties in transporting a huge piece of rock over tens of hundreds of kilometres, carving it with precision and fitting it. Now imagine doing that for a hundred pillars. Add to that the need to make the Temple structurally soundproof so as to make it stand for hundreds of years.
An Architect’s nightmare.
A king’s dream.
A city’s pride.

This particular temple is called Kempamma Devi temple. Kempu
In Kannada means ‘Red’. The founder of Bangalore City, Kempagowda, used to love this temple so much that he named himself after the temple!

Serene and calm, like a ripple-less pond, the Temple beckons us.
Hinduism is a way of life. You see different kinds of people at the Temple.
Devotees prostrating themselves before their God.
Foreigners taking pictures.
A priest going about doing his Pooja.
A child running around.
Beggars going about doing their occupation.
Hawkers outside the temple selling their wares.

Indeed, this seems chaos. This doesn’t seem like a ripple-less pond! More like Ranganathan Street at peak time. However, there is Order in this Chaos. All the activities of various people are centred and dependant on the deity. To the close observer, a symbiotic relationship is visible.
Hawkers. Priests. Tourists. Devotees.
All of them require or desire the Temple.
And the Temple needs them.

As I stood and watched this bustling spectrum of life,
I felt fulfilled.

……………

The Church
*No picture of that particular Church available in the net. I’ve been let down by the net :'(*

My feet carried me to a Church.

This particular church was in the grounds of a school. A little apprehensive, I entered the Church. I half expected a man to shout at me and say that I can’t enter the Church since I wasn’t a Christian.
Nothing untoward happened.

Sanctity.
That’s the first word that comes to my mind when I think of a Church.
The familiar architecture, the open arms welcoming you, the feeling of Belongingness… you feel Part of.

Sitting there, I listened to a priest sing prayers and preach in Kannada.
I didn’t know the meaning of the words.
But I understood them.

No matter which religion it is, being in the presence of a God; an idol people perceive to be a higher power, I automatically say One Prayer. Just one. This may be because I’m an Agnostic, or maybe because I don’t want any wishes, but I don’t ask for anything.
My prayer has always been,
Thank You for everything you’ve done to me.
That’s it.

So after finishing thanking this higher being,
I left the Chruch,
With wholesomeness and satisfaction trickling into me,
Leaving me
Fulfilled
.

……………

Shridi Sai Baba Temple.

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To be frank, I don’t know anything about Shridi Sai Baba. I don’t even know if he’s an extraordinary man or a God. If it’s a religion or anything.

I went for the PRASADAM *Eeee*
Prasadam. Prasadam. Prasadam. Prasadam. Prasadam.

I was fulfilled :’)
Literally.

……………

Mosque

*No image of that particular Mosque available in the Internet. The internet has failed me :'(*

I admit it.
I was apprehensive.

I had no clue about this religion. A lot of my best friends are Muslims but I had a very vague idea how the religion as such worked. How to pray. What to wear. Should I wear that cap? Is there a specific way to pray?
No idea. Chop chop.

I consulted with my friend on the phone. Removed footwear.
Went in.
Came out.
In and Out. As simple as that.
What stuck on to my mind was a plethora of Greenness.
A blur of Green.
In and Out.

I have taken a small step to understand another religion.
And that effort left me fulfilled
.

……………

Wine Shop. xP

This is a religion right?
Right? x’D

Millions of people are hooked onto it and can’t go on without it. Check.
The thought of it gives them motivation to go through the day. Check.
It gives them a sense of community bonding. Check.
Yup. Wine is a religion.

I pulled up a chair and saw the people walking in, buying bottles of wine, beer and an assortment of drinks and walk off.
I learn that they sell wine in tetra packs. xD
I learnt that they also sell Cavins milk, God knows why O.o
I learnt that people from all walks of life come to the roadside and buy wine from a simple shop. Wealthy businessmen. Simple coconut vendors. Old people. Mid-20s. Tall. Short. Fat. Thin. Dark. Dark.
All for a Quarter.

I learnt a lot that day.
In a weirdly garbled way, I felt fulfilled
.

……………

Playground.
*Eeeeeeeeeeeee*

This is MY religion.
I have many gods.
Basketball. Cricket. Football.
These are my Religions. And the balls are my Gods. _/|\_
I went there and I finished off my highly fulfilling day with a game of Football.
*Eeeeeeeeeeee*

Fulfilled.
‘Nuff said.

……………

Worst Nightmare.

Ask any Indian kid what his worst nightmare is. The thing that makes him want to pull out his hair with agony. Gnash his teeth with frustration. A thing so evil that its akin to being boiled in the Burning Pot Of Hell.

Okay, you may get the general varied response.

Its like a Bells curve.
Stuck in one extreme of the varied Indian spectrum are the Smart Iyer Boys and the TamBrahms. On the other end are the Social Media Twerkers. And in the middle, Me and a few other million Indians. So much for standing out, huh?

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Wait till you hear our nightmares

……………

You might expect a Smart Iyer boy’s nightmare to be like this.

This might be a little clichΓ©d but bear with me.
Aiyo! What if I get 98% in an exam?! The very idea!

Abhistoo

……………

Well, TamBrahms? What do I say about them? I’m pretty sure this might be what most TamBrahms dreams look like (no offense to anybody)

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And don’t forget the Potatoes.
Very very important.
Whoever thought of a Curd Rice without Maanga Oorgai and Potatoes? Sheesh.

……………

And then come the Netizens. These people (I would love to use the word ‘Literally’ here, but since I don’t want to face the wrath of a few Grammar Nazis…) figuratively spend their life on the SocialMediaverse.

Brought a dress?
Post a status on Facebook.

Baked a cake?
Tweet about it.

Took a walk in the park?
Instagram it.

They do every single thing in their lives with the goal of sharing it to the SocialMediaverse.
And if they don’t get appreciation, in the form of ‘likes’ they bawl it out.
This is their nightmare. Not being socially accepted on this pseudo ‘Social Media’ platform.

……………

And then comes Me and the million Indians.
Do you know what terrorises me?
The thing I absolutely loathe?

Here. x)

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*runs away and tries ties the rope to the fan*

SERIALS.
TAMIL AND HINDI SERIALS.
GOD. SAVE. ME.

You may think I’m overreacting (You’ve never seen a serial have you? πŸ™‚ GO TO YOUR GRANDMAS PLACE NOW)
Or
You may emphatise with me (Join the club bro T.T)

But what can we hapless citizens do about it?

Want to watch a Cricket Match?
No πŸ™‚ Your Grandma’s watching a serial πŸ™‚

Want to study?
No πŸ™‚ A woman is bawling the Pacific Ocean in the TV πŸ™‚

Accompanying your grandma to the market?
Good boy πŸ™‚ Now listen to your grandma harp about some random serial to the Maami on the street for half-an-hour πŸ™‚

Torture.
Absolute Torture on Earth.
And the thing about this is that It. doesn’t. End! Some serials go for about 1000 episodes and more than 5 years.
5 years of cricket matches gone down the drain x) 5 years of Torture πŸ™‚

And once that 5 years end, do you get relief? No! Kolangal ends? Metti Oli comes. That ends? Saravanan Meenatchi comes. They’re not crying enough? You have Uttaran.
And some of these serials feature 2, maybe 3 generations in a family! And they ALL cry.

I mean isn’t this taking Genetics and Heredity too seriously? Hell, Tear ducts are not even an Inheritable characteristic.

……………

All I can say is that I can relate to the millions of Indians out there, suffering.
To their angst. Their pain. The immense agony.

……………

Vote for Jayalalitha guys.
At least you can hope to get a free TV.

A Pot.

It matters not what someone is born, but what they turn out to be.
~J.K Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)


……………

You must have already jumped to the conclusion that this particular post must be somewhat of a philosophical nature after reading the quote above.
Yes it is x)

I’m a Potterhead :’)
I’m proud to admit it, and like all Potterheads, I analyse every shred of text, every fact, every single theory from the Potterverse, dig deep into it and correlate it with our daily lives.

……………

As I came across the aforementioned quote in the book, my mind suddenly came up with a new perspective on Life.
Okay. Admit it. We all, at some point in our lives, have grappled with the amazingly simple-looking yet utterly mind-boggling question of
Who am I?!

Well, I’m not going to offer a philosophy for THAT question xP
That’s just a teensy bit too much on my Philosophy-making abilities xP
However I’m going to try and offer answers, or better a new perspective, for two other related questions;

1) What makes us who we are?
2) Why is it so difficult to change our personality, habits and behaviour as we progressively grow up?
(You know when all our pattis and aunties and even our parents say its difficult to change a particular irritating habit? Or when they say that they can’t learn anything new? Like, just WHY? )

So here comes my perspective.

……………
Early Morning

At the Inception, we are all just a lump of Clay.
Easily Changed.
Easily Mouldable.
Easily Influenceable.

Our Parents are the first potters.
Toiling away, they work immensely hard to pour in a constant stream of Love, Care and Adoration to shelter us; protect us and nurture us.
They take in more soil from the ground, add it into us and build us according to their image.
At the same time, they shape the way we think about the world.

The initial years are the most crucial; as they will determine on what kind of a pot we will turn out to be.
That shape will be our Inner Core.
Our Primal identity.

As we grow up, more potters join the Cause.
And the wondrous thing about this is that the new potters are not potters at all! They are also pots-under-construction! They jostle with us, play with us and merge with us. Some dent us but most shape us into something better; in the process, changing themselves!
Yes!
They are our Friends :’)
They become an inseparable part of our identity :’)
Separate you may, but the initial dents those friends make in you, will stay with you Forever :’)

And then comes the Midday.
The most crucial part of our building being over, we head out into the world, travelling to new places and braving the harsh conditions.
The harsh Sun, the life-numbing Cold, the relentless Rain all harden us, forging us into a hard, unceasing shape.
Some pots get broken along the way.
Most pots modify themselves, to better adapt to the surroundings.
We brave the harsh, new world with the skills that were ingrained in us when we were fledglings.

However, it becomes extremely tough to imbibe new qualities within us.
We, who have already been hard-wired for survival from our formative years find it extremely difficult to modify our personality, our habits and to learn new things.

We’ve become a Pot.
We stay a Pot.

We, the Pot, grow up.
We acquire blemishes.
We acquire cracks.
We get chipped.
And we call it Experience.

Twilight

As we grow up, we slowly make a tender spot within us. The relentless weathering by the forces of nature has made a depression within us. And slowly,
we find another Pot to fit that tender spot :’)
They merge with us.
We call it soul-mates.
We call it Marriage.
And Two becomes One.

And the cycle starts all over again :’)

Night

However even Pots have to break one day right?
There comes a time, where we, the chipped pots filled with cracks and blemishes slowly disintegrate.
A time when we look back upon our meandering life, filled with Happiness… or Regret.
However slowly a sense of contentment oozes into us and we pass into the Other.
Disintegrated, we become specks.
However we don’t entirely fade away!
The legacy we’ve created, still survives as specks in the soil.
To be imbibed in the new generation,
Who start as Lumps of clay :’)