“Blogging and reading provocative blogs by others has made the good girl in you go corrupt.”

Sharing an email from My Era. 

This post (“Can I really marry and live with a guy who is so uncomfortable with the fact that I am open and expressive?”)  finally, helped me make up my mind to write all I wanted to tell you, in hope that perhaps, my experience might be helpful to someone, somewhere.

I have been blogging from over 8 years. My earlier blog was more of a professional one that no longer exists and my current blog is around 4 years old. During my journey as a blogger I came across your (IHM’s) blog around the time when difficulties in my married life were slowly creeping in (around 2009). Slowly but surely, the open-minded discussions on your blog, inspired me to question life and the people in it more often than before. I learnt the importance of paying heed to my heart and not giving up unless my questions met a satisfactory reply.

This phase was very important in my life because it was when, my ex-husband started complaining that I was a changed person altogether. These mild complains in no time turned frequent and on one occasion when I was adamant to know what exactly he meant by me changing, I received a startling reply.

“Blogging and reading provocative blogs by others has made the good girl in you go corrupt.”

I have to admit that it took me a long time to realize what he was truly hinting at. While my ex-husband was aware of the existence of my blog, he was never inclined to reading it, owing to the fact, he was least interested in any of the topics that interested me.

However, at the time when I had discovered your blog I was so excited that I used to discuss at length all the points of view I read here with him. His usual ‘hmmm’ held a deeper meaning that I learnt at a point when my life started to fall apart. Without my ever doubting so, he had gradually started checking my browsing history and actually spent time to read the blogs I had slowly begun frequenting when I was not at home.

Much later, when our marriage was on the rocks and our divorce case was in the court, in one of the hearings he told the Magistrate, that ‘I had lost my mind, forgotten the duties of being a ‘good’ wife because I was being brain-washed by the anti-social blogs that I read.’ These were his exact words, which not only left me flabbergasted, but made the Magistrate give me a ‘look’. After a brief pause, my ex-husband took the privilege to actually blame our divorce on my habit of blogging.

Needless to say, I never gave up blogging despite these insane allegations and ended up with a divorce.

Today, looking back at those events after reading the letter shared on your blog, I was tempted to tell the letter writer, that if someone is ‘disturbed’ after reading your blog, that holds account of the real you; it is definitely a red flag.

I say so, because the person is actually expressing his dislike for the person he has encountered in the pages of your blog. He seems to not only find your being openly expressive as objectionable but is also trying to re-frame your approach to life, attempting to remould you.

In my limited life experiences, I have learnt that though people may learn to adjust, seldom do they change from their core beliefs. Trying to mould our lives, thought process, and everything else just to suit someone’s liking ( whom you know for hardly 10 days, are not in love or in a relationship with, is a big ask or rather too much an ask to even consider obliging for) is not worth it.

What has started on the note of expressing ‘dislike’ towards your freedom of expression at this stage, is a sure sign that you are heading on a road where ‘freedom of expression’ or making choices you like, will not be considered acceptable.

Moreover, I feel your best friend is quite right in saying that this man will never be at peace with your past about which he has read at length on your blog. For someone, what his sister thinks about you holds such paramount importance at this stage, ‘Log kya kahenge’ will be a weapon that he’ll blatantly use against you at every point in life from here on.

If for a minute, we assume, that you make your blog private and are happy to accommodate his request to not write a public blog in future, what is the guarantee that this is not just the tip of the iceberg of requests asking you to change as per his perception of a ‘good wife’?

Mind you, we are yet to give due thought to your happiness, peace of mind and integrity staying alive and healthy now and in future (if we consider you marry him).

I have learnt in life that there can never be enough sacrifices a girl can make to please her husband and in-laws in an arranged marriage setup. No-matter what you’ll do (killing the real you) it will be seen as expected from you as a ‘sanskari’ DIL.

Before you take a plunge into the endless pit of ‘adjustments’ please reflect on where your happiness truly lies. The usual norm of believing ‘Shaadi ke baad sab theek ho jayega’ is a blindfold our families tie on our rational minds, to let them decide everything for us, that opens at a time when major damages have been done.

Wishing you the best in your life and hoping you’ll pay heed to your inner voice that has already set the alarm off.

Warm Regards,

My Era

( https://theerailivedin.wordpress.com/ )

Related Posts:

To an Anonymous DIL

An email: He says what am I expecting out of this marriage if I cant even make him happy.

I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

“Can I really marry and live with a guy who is so uncomfortable with the fact that I am open and expressive?”

Changing Someone (or oneself)

“I think most problems in life are when we look for approval and validation outside of ourselves.”

“10 years ago, the girl would have been counselled on how to change her dress sense for the boy, how to do as he says.”

Who would you never ask for advice?

What are you criticised the most for?

Does loving someone mean we should improve them?

 

 

If our love for our people and our country needs being ‘proud of them’ then, here’s what we should be proud of.

Delhi elections restored my faith in the Indian electorate and the Indian Democracy. Indian voter, it seems, has not forgotten their power and their right to choose how most of them want to be governed. [link]

And it seems most of them (more than 50% of them) continue to choose to move forward and not backward. Maybe the entire humanity is the same, we all want to live and let live?

In a recent discussion on facebook, a proud Indian defended the “India’s science and technology minister, Harsh Vardhan, [who] made another startling claim at the conference, saying that ancient Indian mathematicians also discovered the Pythagorean theorem but that the Greeks got the credit.” [http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/indians-invented-planes-70…/]

This proud Indian said: “true we have nothing to be proud of our present…. i am a proud indian as any proud american french or british…..true my TODAY IS DISGRACEFUL but that is our in house problem that we need to deal with….this i say without any political bias…..in fact i dislike all religion based political parties too like you”

If we do need to compare and if our love for our people and our country needs being ‘proud of them’ then, here’s what he should be proud of. This Democracy that is still alive. The Indians I am proud of are the Indians who love their country and it’s people enough to continued to work for this Democracy. This Constitution that respects the rights of each one of us be our own bhaagya vidhataa.  Our founding fathers who foresaw it all.

And of the fact that a majority of us continue to choose freedom, democracy, equal rights for all.

I am still feeling overwhelmed. Did Delhi really come out in huge numbers to give 67 out of 70 seats to Democracy and equal rights and to Right to Information and to honest politics?

Congratulaitons India 🙂

Related Posts:

I am Proud of India Today. Not India of Yesteryears.

Arvind Kejriwal.

Why Don’t Indians Understand their Rights? – Bhagwad Jal Park

RTI, Criminals In Elections. Now They Want to Tear up The Consitution. – Bhagwad Jal Park

Hazare didn’t subvert democracy – he strengthened it! – Bhagwad Jal Park

I am Proud of India Today. Not India of Yesteryears.

Three young women… what do they have in common?

Where am I? My tryst with destiny makers  Ritu Lalit

Arvind Kejriwal – 12 years ago

When Kumar Vishwas quoted these lines from my sidebar 🙂

Tracking the first month of the Aam Aadmi Party 2015 government in Delhi – Vidyut

Keep up the momentum AAP! – Vidyut

Plain-clothed police officers, warning signboards, cancellation of permits, helplines: SC directs States to take serious steps to curb Street Sexual Harassment.

And if Sexual Harassment is reported, the bus driver must immediately drive the vehicle to the nearest police station.

This is what we do when we take a crime; and safety, rights and freedoms of citizens seriously.

Realising that more and more women are now using public spaces and transport, and are finding them unsafe, and that safety of women and girls is ‘of extreme importance to a civilised and cultured society‘,

Supreme Court issues directions to curb sexual harassment of women. 

* All states and UTs are directed to depute plain-clothed female police officers in the precincts of bus-stands and stops, railway stations, metro stations, cinema theatres, shopping malls, parks, beaches, public service vehicles, places of worship to monitor and supervise incidents of sexual harassment.

* States and UTs to install CCTV in strategic positions which itself would be a deterrent and if detected, the offender could be caught.

* Persons in-charge of the educational institutions, places of worship, cinema theatres, railway stations, bus stands have to take steps as they deem fit (IHM: I think it is clear that this would not be considered a serious step.) to prevent sexual harassment, within their precincts and, on a complaint being made, they must pass on the information to the nearest police station or the women’s help centre.

* Where any incident of sexual harassment is committed in a public service vehicle either by the passengers or the persons in charge of the vehicle, the crew of such vehicle shall, on a complaint made by the aggrieved person, take such vehicle to the nearest police station and give information to the police. Failure to do so should lead to cancellation of the permit to ply.

* States and UTs are directed to establish women’s helpline in various cities and towns to curb sexual harassment within three months.

* Suitable sign boards cautioning act of sexual harassment be exhibited in all public places including precincts of educational institutions, bus stands, railway stations, cinema theatres, parties, beaches, public service vehicles, places of worship etc.

* Responsibility is also on the passersby and on noticing such incident; they should also report it to the nearest police station or to the helpline to save the victims from such crimes.

* States and UTs would take adequate and effective measures by issuing suitable instructions to the authorities concerned including the District Collectors and the District Superintendent of Police in order to take effective and proper measures to curb such incidents of sexual harassment.

Another link: Curb eve-teasing with an iron hand, Supreme Court fiat to all States.

Related Posts:

Is stalking of girls and women illegal in India?

Why a ban on jeans may not stop street sexual harassment of women.

Can sexual harassment be compared to Terrorism against a whole community called women?

Those charged with our safety should have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

Allahabad girl Aarti Yadav beats harasser, sets bike on fire

When a college principal refused to be a Taliban ally 😉

Where in India are you likely to see teenage girls doing this?

“Sometimes it seems like every single thing I do has the potential to be something ‘provocative’.”

Men in Delhi Metro women’s coaches fined Rs 32 lakh

He said, “You’re a very beautiful girl, but don’t wear such clothes…”

She started a fight between two men?

Reserved seats and coaches are not a special indulgence towards women, they are an indication of a serious social problem.

What’s the best way to fight for your rights and freedoms and to prevent Talibanization of India?

The fearlessness of the Indian ‘Eve teaser’ (sexual criminals)

An email from an American reader : “He then said… ‘..my wife is very sexy.’”

Said Noodle strap to the Sari

Not just a pair of jeans

Is Democracy possible without a chance for everyone to argue about issues that matter to them?

I am delighted and relieved that,

“US voters chose women of color, women with disabilities, women who are gay, pro-choice women, and rejected men who minimize rape. … A big night for progress.” [Read more at Shakesville]

But I am even more glad that many of us in India watched on our television screens, how elections and politics in a Democracy can be.

“That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.” [full transcript of Obama’s speech here]

‘People in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter.’

Is Democracy possible without a chance for everyone to argue about issues that matter to them? And without ensuring that nobody is silenced with either fear or shame?

Related Posts:

Why I am jealous of the Americans.

What bothers me is how quickly we are getting used to our freedom being taken away and how we are willingly shutting ourselves in our homes for safety.

Do you realize that you are supporting the rights of others when you continue to live your rights, by dressing, socializing, travelling, working,  partying and generally refusing to have your freedoms snatched away?

And I am glad that all those of us who do wish to fight, generally have the law by our side. 

Sharing an email by a Gurgaon girl.

Dear IHM,

I have been following your blog and I love how the comments turn into long discussions and how so many people feel so strongly about the terrible attitude people have towards women in our country.

Also, from the tone of the comments, I have a feeling that things are going to change – bit by bit, but change they will. Maybe it is just a handful of us who feel so strongly about this, but I am sure we will at least try to change the attitudes of the people around us. I know I try to and am sure others do too.

There is one thing that worries me though. It is how we impose restrictions on ourselves as much as the society does.

In the one year that I have been in Gurgaon, I have seen the ‘curfew hours’ being advanced from 9 to 8 to even as early as 7. Though, usually, it is family that imposes such restrictions, I have seen women themselves being afraid to step out alone even not so late in the evening and even on crowded, well-lit roads.

A friend of mine had to travel from a metro station to meet me on one the busiest roads in an auto for a distance of about 1.5 km at 7:30 P.M. but had to ask a male friend to accompany her. Maybe it is because of all the incidents of women being assaulted that have been reported recently, but things were not considered as bad as this even just one year ago.

What bothers me is how quickly we are getting used to our freedom being taken away and how we are willingly shutting ourselves in our homes for safety.

This thought had been bothering me for weeks so I decided to step out and reclaim my space. At 8:00 P.M., on a major street in Gurgaon, walking a distance of some 2 km, I came across a lot of men- in cars, on two-wheeler, on foot- but just one woman- in a car with her husband. Thankfully, nothing untoward happened (could have something to do with the small rock I had in one hand 😛 ), but people did look at me as if I were crazy. After all, if you see a woman alone at ‘such an hour’, the least you would expect is for her to be in an auto, looking anxious.

I couldn’t help but think how just having more women on the streets after dark would make it safer for us. This is a terrible vicious circle we are letting ourselves fall into- the streets are not safe in the evening because there aren’t enough women there and there aren’t enough women on the streets after dark because they are unsafe.

Like a lot of people in Gurgaon, I am a working woman who lives alone and comes back from work at or later than 7 P.M. So, if I were to impose such restrictions on myself, I wouldn’t be able to get any of my chores done – basic things like getting my clothes ironed, buying groceries and getting milk for the next day’s breakfast, forget about wanting to go for a walk or a run.

The day is already here when a girl walking on the streets alone after dark is seen as something out of the ordinary, almost insane. It won’t surprise me if it becomes normal for such men to assault women who ‘dare’ to step outside after dark because they think these women are ‘looking for trouble’. Lets not allow our society to get used to not seeing any women outdoors.

Best,

Ankita Yadava

PS – A friend of mine just started taking self-defense classes so that she could step out at any hour.  🙂

Do you agree with Ankita?

Related Posts:

How does the Gurgaon administration make it even more difficult for women to find employment, and stay safe on Gurgaon roads?

In Gurgaon, jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm, reserved for men?

So who said these words, and do you disagree?

How do you feel when somebody else puts in a few crisp, simple sentences something you have always wanted to say?

On being asked,

“At what point of time, does liberty for yourself becomes license to abuse others?”

This person (can you guess who?) said,

“It’s a loaded question ofcourse because I am not talking about liberty for myself but about liberty also for others to abuse me, which they have freely utilized. I am not trying to say that I am the only one who gets to speak, only that I also get to speak. The question of the limits of freedom – unfortunately, these days, people have begun to fall into the trap of believing that it is right to limit freedom, at that point which you were mentioning the point of where other people don’t like what you are saying, I am telling you, if you go down that road, nobody will be able to speak at all, because everybody can object for whatever reason to somebody else and you silence all speech…that’s the consequence of that mindset, it is better to be in a world where people say what they want and if you don’t like it, you say so in return. That’s how the debate of an open society proceeds. Of course I am not saying I am the only one who gets to talk, obviously I am not saying that…”[Link] – Don’t click before attempting a guess!!!

Can’t guess?

Here’s some more from the same source!!

“Freedom. It’s a beautiful sounding word. We say, who would be against freedom? It’s a word that you would automatically be for, one would think. You think of a free society as one in which a thousand flowers bloom, in which a thousand and one voices speak… what a simple and grand idea… But in our time, many essential freedoms are in danger of defeat and not only in totalitarian or authoritarian states, here in India also a combination of religious fanaticism, political opportunism and I have to to say public apathy, is damaging that freedom upon which all other freedoms depend which is the freedom of expression…”

Now?

Answer and win the Prestigious Yellow Polka Dotted Cup!!!

Not publishing the correct answers yet – please do mention if you agree or disagree with the speaker.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE FACING ANY DIFFICULTY IN COMMENTING BY EMAILING ME AT indianhomemakerATgmailDOTcom.
Related posts:

An email: I want my parents to know the real me, why do I have to lie?

Many Indian women and girls can’t follow much loved and harmless activities because their grandmothers didn’t. Or sometimes because the activity might seem like a waste of time (or worse!) to the families of prospective bridegrooms?

How would you respond to this email by Too Independent?

Hi,

I have always lived life my way. Tactics to get what I wanted include lotsa fighting and stuff. So I have always been branded selfish, ungrateful, insensitive. My relationships never lasted. Of course my fault. Like, when I acted touch-me-not, guy’s possessiveness became too much to handle and suchlike… I don’t want to give up my freedom and independence for anyone…

My sisters know everything about me. Both married and settled abroad. Truly, they are the best daughters. They share everything with mummy/papa. Clothes, career, life partner everything was chosen by my parents till they got married. And they are happy too. May be that’s why they overreact when I move off the track. But ever since I stopped open defiance and started hiding things from them, there is peace.

I have always wanted a bike and now I have saved enough for a Bajaj Avenger. I daren’t tell my parents. I don’t have to, I know… But I am getting sick of hiding things from them and lying. I am an avid back packer and go for adventure, camping trips alone… if my parents know this they will kill me…
What if I get a bike without their permission and cause an accident? I don’t make sense do I?

I have always disappointed my parents… may be I am too independent for them… No one seems to understand that I don’t enjoy hurting people… Why do I always have to choose? Could you share your thoughts on your blog… its not a big deal enough to blog about… after all in a country where bride burnings, rapes and dowry deaths are common, my peevishness seems very petty…

I learned biking secretly when I was in high school… Just as I was screwing up my courage to tell papa that I want a bike, he surprised me with a scooty pep after my high school.. I’m not saying pep is bad and it was really awesome of him… had some great fun with my pep. But desire for bike is burning more than ever, obsession may be…

More than that I want my parents to know the real me and accept it. That I wear short skirts; that I go for unplanned trips; that I am pranking my suitors away because I don’t want to marry at present; that I am trying for M.Phil and will go to City X. (was planning to lie and say I got transferred to City X).

What dya think? Lie or truth? But the prospect of handling the drama… Phew!!

And I know that as a parent you wouldn’t like your kids to lie to you… Hell, I would hate it too if my kids lie to me…

I am yet to learn the art of tact and sensitivity, but really trying…

Thanks,

Too Independent (26)

Do you think insulting should be a punishable offense?

1. Do you think ‘insulting’ should be a punishable offense?

If yes, then why? And what kind of punishment?

2. Are threats of violence an insult to the Indian Constitution?

3. Do violent protests achieve their goals better than peaceful protests? Could it be because they are generally politically motivated?

And so,

4. Are violent protests politically motivated/supported, or are they spontaneous?

And finally,

5. Salman Rushdie it seems has visited India earlier and there were no problems, why do you think has this become such an issue this time?

Updated to ask: Isn’t Freedom of Expression the Right to express what we can’t express without the Freedom of Expression?

 

 

Related Posts:

Who defines the ‘limits’ of your freedom?

 

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

What exactly is ‘reckless and unabandoned freedom’?

Do you think love-marriages, live in relationships, premarital sex, women seeking divorce,  men and women interacting, couples breaking away from joint families, women entering temples during their period, marrying out of caste, raising a child born out of marriage (planned or unplanned) is reckless and unabandoned freedom?

Or children being sent (by the parents) to work as domestic helpers and road side eateries is reckless and unabandoned freedom?

Is smoking in non smoking zones, under age drinking, drunk driving without helmets, cheating one’s spouse, throwing plastic wrappers on the streets or bribing a traffic cop reckless and unabandoned freedom?

Are some of these about ‘ freedom’ which is a legal right,  or about breaking laws?

Does Freedom of Expression actually (a legal right) give us reckless and unabandoned freedom? 

What about parents beating, controlling, black mailing, marrying off and killing their children (and generally getting away with all of these)… is that reckless and unabandoned freedom?

When we talk about Freedom of Expression, are we generally talking about being able to express our opinions and feelings, does it include freedom to disagree and to find faults? It does of course!

Should Freedom of Expression mean one was only allowed to pay compliments (where ever permitted)?

What about mockery? Is mockery illegal? Mockery and sarcasm can be rude and unpleasant and are not freely permitted to one’s spouse or coworkers (as Cruelty and Harassment). It seems there are some checks in place to ensure that Freedom is not seen as a Right to Abuse.

Where have you seen ‘Misuse of Freedom’?

Supreme Court allows criticism of religion too. Is that seen as misuse of freedom? Why? I feel, only someone who is afraid that what the speaker/writer is saying could be true (or  convincing) would be worried about shutting up criticism. Is it okay to control what other people hear and see? If yes then, who should be empowered with such controls?

Like, if I say Ram’s going for vanvaas was a bad example for today’s young sons, who might see obedience to illogical parental demands as a virtue. And because of that today many Indians see irresponsible parental demands as perfectly acceptable.

That’s my opinion. Anybody would be free to disagree and criticise (And not just Hindus.) but it is not okay to expect me to hear, read, agree, publish or share their opinion. So I guess Freedom to disagree/criticize/ignore comes automatically with Freedom to express,  and both are necessary.

In my opinion so long as what we say does not actually harm another innocent person it is fine, so bad mouthing is disgusting, but it is not a crime unless it affects somebody’s career or personal life, and we do have laws in place for that.

So when does it become reckless and unabandoned freedom?

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

I may disapprove of what she says…

I disagree with a lot of what Arundhati Roy says here – read a rough transcript of her speech here or watch her speak here.

But I disagree even more with those who think she should be stopped from expressing her opinion.  Here’s one of the reasons why,

‘Azadi to espouse azadi
Freedom Of Expression In A Vibrant Democracy, By Madhavi Goradia Divan’

( The Statesman)

Here’s a point of view I agree with…

“That a seminar titled “Azadi ~ the only way” could be held in the capital city and that Roy and Geelani could say what they did in the full media glare is testimony to that freedom, an azadi … The Indian State is resilient and robust enough to bear a slight or two now and then. Why diminish its dignity by muzzling dissent or even disloyalty?” (click to read the entire article, might require log in, but it’s worth it)

‘Home minister P Chidambaram today said Delhi police not filing a case against noted writer Arundhati Roy for her alleged seditious speech recently was in accordance with the letter and spirit of law.

“Not taking action is also an action,” he shot back when a journalist asked him why the government was not acting against her for her “Azaadi” (independence) remarks made at a convention on Kashmir here recently.

“Section 124(A) of the IPC (related to sedition) is for deterrence and punishment. The spirit of the law and true interpretation of law is that unless there is direct incitement to violence, the state must show tolerance and forbearance.

“Delhi police is acting in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law,” he said.’ [Link]

Arundhati Roy not Guilty, says P Chidambaram

And I agree.



The Indian state is resilient and robust enough to bear a slight or two now and then.”

I would be more worried about speeches that incite violence and hatred.