Come, lets go dreadfully back in time

I have been reading a book of short stories by Milan Kundera, one of the best known Czech authors. He is actually a Czech and French writer of Czech origin. Some of you, who haven’t read the author, may be familiar with the name because the guy has been in news recently for having allegedly once betrayed a spy to secret police. The author has however denied any such incident.

The book which has stories alluding to love and sexuality reminded me of how constrained we are as a society. In a particular story, a nurse trying to seduce the doctor performs a mock strip-tease and the gathered people end up discussing how the doctor should give in to the advances for the sake of her. I couldn’t fail to notice the openness of language and the candidness in referring to so many topics that we pride ourselves in banning in our beloved country. The head of the medical department does not stop the drunk woman from doing her quick dance despite the other doctor in question sitting there all blushed and embarrassed, and the fourth person in the group – a lady doctor who finds the young nurse very annoying, sits there quietly letting her articulate herself. Agreed it is a book of fiction but books, in any case, are some of the better sources of interesting insights into the lives and cultures of people far away that we cannot physically talk to. The author himself has found many of his books banned because of unsuitability to the values. But you have to read them to know why those books are banned. Even 10% of that written here would mean the author being chained, sawed and sent to space in an empty barrel with Rakhi Sawant for company.

I did imagine such a conversation unreservedly taking place in most educated homes in India and was suitably relieved about the freedom of expression. But I cannot fathom such a conversation taking place in most parts of our country. Which according to my limited understanding of psychology means suppressed opinions and needs? And which in turn means going about your life with concealed views and never knowing the bohemian pleasure of thinking beyond what is obvious in your own life. And this, even in close relationships like that of parent-child or husband-wife. And there is no reason to suspect this is not the case in India with news about Sati and child-marriage shockingly surfacing every now and then.

And just in case you wondered why I found the freedom of expression reassuring, (because that’s what I wondered when I gave the post a quick re-read)? Well. A bikini in Big Boss means a court case. Some flaunting of affection by couples in (or not, but how does it matter) love means Valentines Day is banned. The suggestion of inclusion of sex education in schools means a laughable furor. I mean I personally find Valentines Day too frivolous and I also believe that there has to be some amount of judgment that needs to be exercised when you are doing something that may impact other people. But how can you tell somebody else what they should wear or say or do! Who gave Bajrang Dal or Raj Thakrey’s men the power to decide what the rest of us Hindus or Maharashtriyans think? I cannot believe Christians cannot breathe in peace in Karnataka and Orissa; or north Indians cannot walk without being plagued by fear in Maharashtra! Ok, taking an example - what Hussein did was objectionable because it affected the religious beliefs of people from another religion but isn't that something in another league altogether? I think that falls under the category of society as a concept having been actually instituted so that people can peacefully live together... But at least let them 'Live' together.

Anyway with all this is happening around us shamefully, talking about societal constraints related to sexuality looks like a case of trying to jump to the fiftieth century, when people around you are stuck in the first.

No seriously, what is happening here? Did I miss a news piece somewhere being aired through our omnipresent Indian media, which declared the rechristening of India into hell?


Not to forget, here's wishing everyone a very bright and happy Diwali! :)


Voice said…

When i came here i realized i had come here sometime back... how and when all gone into shadows of my memory.

maharastra episode is tragic indeed :(
>>hope its ok if i just flew by for some random blog reading?


it is 'more' ok if u flew by for 'more' random reading :)
Ganja Turtle said…
hey girl, how you doing and what have you been upto lately? I just finished a year of blogging silence... will restart on November 8th again, touchwood! Whats up with you?
Chitty Cat said…
u know what i feel?

things were better in the past - there was more opennes. we are a regressive society getting worse with each passing year. Read this short story "my son the fanatic" by a Pakistanic writer whose name I forget - it shows a classic case of how things get more moral and preachy with each passing generation..

of course, not in entirety. I also believe things have become better for us. The very fact women/ daughters in law can work is kinds HUGE the way i see it.

It is indeed hypocritical that the land of Kamasutra and high population, is so hush-hush about sex. But it is also a big step that we now have rights for mistresses and children borne out of wedlock. (there are loopholes there too, but at least it is a first step..)

as for television, well, big boss is one extreme, and mtv splitsvilla is another ;)
Canary said…
it must have gone into your dormant subconscious memory instead of the conscious (a clear effect of some gyaan)

oki, blog-world awaits you *applaud*

Totally agree! I guess it's a mix of some groups progressing and others regressing, so the widening gap is getting too big to bridge with every day
Arunima said…
Good read.

I think religion should be abolished first. Thakreys (hope I spelled it right) sent to the moon.
yamini said…
Hi Happy Diwali, yeah its been long but things somehow are a bit listless and so it goes on.

As for Milan Kundera while I cant say i really like or anything but he's one of the rare writers I felt who makes you ponder one hell a lot.
I read his unbearable lightness of being some of the passages there almost convince me like nothing else usually does.

Then i read Ignorance which i have yet to write and now i dont remember much except the way it shatters so much of the everlasting love / love at first sight and such stuff.
Suma said…
happy diwali to you too...
Canary said…
We need more people like you! :P

Yeah "Unbearable lightness of being" is next on my wish-list..

Unknown!!! said…
Thanks for remembering me and wishing me.Happy Diwali to you too.

you rock! as always!.

I've exams now otherwise wld have read all those posts which I missed.
Take care
Endevourme said…
50th century!
good, you are optimistic that our race will exist by then hehe
happy diwali :D
Swati said…
Hi Canary..Thanks for visiting me.. I loved reading your post..and its all so true.. Raj Th. sucks!! Its shameful!!
Anyways, will stop by here whenever I can .. and you too are welcome... always!!
Canary said…
you can change your pseudonym, coz we all know your name now :P

Unless the predicted earthqualkes, volcanos, tornados, hailstorms, meteor attacks and global fires are on time.

thanks :)
Unknown!!! said…
How do you know my name? if thats the case then I shud change me name to known_to_all
Abhay said…
rightly said...we'll do every ritual, celebrate every festival with a lot of spirit and enthu but when it comes to discussing about these core issues, no one seems to be open enuf to have a healthy beneficial discussion. It is such exchange of thoughts, which in turn clear several misconceptions, that will help us mold the fabric of our society.
anks said…
what a post!!!

shame is too small a word for what is happening in our country... and i don't have the right word for it...

'divide and rule' proved fatal once and we are still reaping fruits of that.... wonder ho long before ppl realise it....
D said…
Why to bother..if you can't make a change. Or otherwise be the Change. I'm too happy being not bothered and living in constant.
Canary said…
hahaha, good idea!

quite true...

zank-you! and well, India is more racist than any of the british or french rulers who invaded us - the caste system is an epitomy of unfair and mindless segregations, me thinks

well, I believe it impacts me and my life, so I am forced to bother even i do not want to.
Humjoli said…

very well written piece of blog...

came to your blog after quite long... may be couple of years.

I share your views on suppression of thoughts in most part of India. Even thinking about certain things is considered bad in our society...

But I am hopeful about new generation... they are changing the way things are looked at in India. For example you and me and fellow bloggers...

take care!
Canary said…
Lets all be hopeful and change will take place... Amen

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