Friday, January 18, 2013

Taleem ne jin ka kuch nahi bigara

The practice of killing daughters at birth has been long since banished. However, it is believed that there are more ways of killing people than just one. Ways which do not involve stopping a person’s heart from pumping blood but are responsible for much greater damage. Methods which adhere to killing someone’s ambition, someone’s spirit, devoiding a person of self confidence, driving someone to a point where they may start to doubt themselves, forcing someone to believe they are good for nothing, snatching away the right to make decisions, or simply not allowing them to do something they very well deserve to do.

If you have the guts to categorize such things as killing then beware that you live in a world where either you are at the receiving end of the these day-to-day activities or you are at the famous giving end.

This is what happens every day in this male-dominated world. This is what the ladies are required to go through every day if they are to survive. Or else they can simply accept the supposed weakness that is attributed to them more often than not.

You would think that all those years of education may have taught people to refrain from discrimination, deeming it an unjustifiable trait. But it’s a shame to know that this aspect of education was wasted on them.

Females are still considered to be weak creatures, owners of small minds. One look at them and judgments are made just like that. Embellished and you are too “out” to have any brains. If you choose to present yourselves otherwise then you are too conservative.

Fighting the discrimination war for as long as I can remember, I am so much consumed with anger that there is a high chance of this frustration spilling over the edges and poisoning everything it touches. And this is true for all females.

Luckily enough, I have been raised by a father who held the education of his children; daughters and son alike; of utmost importance. But, with the rest of the world, I am surprised that I had to prove that I too have some brains, some skills, some talent.

And this is the story of every other girl. We have to work harder to prove our worth. In a job, we strive to work, going out of our way to accomplish tasks assigned to us so that no one gets the chance to say that females are no good.

Of course, there are some limitations. Most of the ladies refrain from late sittings. Females may not be allowed by their families to travel abroad. But don’t the guys have some sort of limitations as well? Or are they all super human beings.

I beg to differ. In my experience I have seen the female staff reach office even on the worst of days, whereas, the male staff deemed it unsafe to leave the premises of their homes.
Females, on the other hand, go out of their way to make up for these limitations. They come on time and mostly stay glued to their desks, completing their work on time.

And it’s not as simple to go work in an office as you may think. Standing on a bus stop more than one pair of eyes may stare at you. Walking on your way back home and you’ll get to hear some colorful, obscene comments.

In spite of all of this your colleagues consider it their right to judge you. And this judgment, though I have been a target, is not something I feel comfortable mentioning.

Spending four years in academics and almost 5 years in professional environment I have learnt that I am not supposed to be a programmer, let alone be good at it. I am not allowed to participate in a programming competition.  I am not allowed to talk or laugh out loud because that is not the trait of a “good”, “nice” girl.

I didn’t know that this is still a world where I will have to fight to be allowed to go for a badminton championship. Where my team leads will have to fight for my promotion, not because my performance is below the scale but because I am a girl and I am supposed to get married soon. Where I may not be given responsibilities because I MAY get married and I MAY resign as a consequence (and that is a big MAY). Where if I do get entrusted with some kind of responsibility it’s because no one else is left to shoulder it.
Where a female, if she ever gets a chance to lead a team, is ridiculed and criticized more than anyone else. Where your reserved nature may not be taken as your choice but  lack of guts to talk face to face with the opposite gender. And if you do talk then you are too bold, too cheap and may be given the dazzling tile of ‘chipkoo’.

Where the opportunities I clearly deserve are handed over to male colleagues, because, well, because it suits them better. And while we are on the subject; cricket suits them better. All events are tailored so that they suit the not-so-‘fair’ sex. While international travelling is considered sinful for the ladies, attending a company sponsored dinner conveniently arranged far away from most of the employee’s homes is mandatory. Where your resignation is not as important as you-know-who’s because you weren’t doing anything worthwhile anyways. Where an already planned event may not actually happen because it could not have been carried out by a gentleman for the ladies, which makes me wonder if we normally sit with our male colleagues with thick layers of curtains separating the two genders.

Where a girl’s CV is considered only as an afterthought, or maybe to fit the slogan “equal opportunity employer”.

Where you can work as hard as you can, and still be considered incompetent.

So yes, I give up.

I have lost all will to go on.

I am sick and tired of this all.

I have lost the spirit to prove myself anymore.

I admit, I have lost, and they have won.

Because there is nothing I can do about them besides stating:

Taleem ne in ka kuch nahi biagara

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer ~Book Review

As I browsed through the children’s section of Liberty books with my elder brother, I happily chippered away;

So what if Artemis Fowl is a children’s book, I didn’t read it when I was a child, so I’ll read it now.

Thank fully, my brother agreed.

And more importantly, it was no mistake.

Artemis Fowl has fairies, a centaur, and all ingredients of a children’s book. Yet, it is enjoyable to the core.

Artemis Fowl is an astute criminal mastermind. One who happens to be a twelve years old. Filled with the ambition to restore his family’s fortune he puts himself to the task of discovering an underground world of fairies.

The fairy land, on the other hand, is not even close to what we’ve come to believe. The term fairy is enough to conjure up an image of a beautiful world, where everyone love everyone, have no unresolved issues with humans, and where everyone has their own happily everafters. A place devoid of animosity. And a place replete with magic.

However, the world portrayed by Eoin (pronounced Owen) Colfer is a different place altogether. There are fairies, yes. But no wings of their own. And there is even a hint of gender discrimination. (Sounds so much like ours, doesn’t it?)

They have a book. They have rules. And they have a police force. And one officer, haplessly finds herself in the siege of our protagonist, or shall I say, antagonist, the one and only Mr. Artemis Fowl.

The story continues with one after another non-magical trick by Artemis, while the fairies come up with magical ones to get them out of this mess.

Eoin Colfer, skillfully fills in the details of the underground world of fairies. Painting it different from what we’ve been led to believe in since childhood. Well, he did write it for children, afterall.

It is a must read. It’s a book you would have drooled over as a child. Doesn’t mean you’ll not love it if you consider yourself an adult now.

So go, get your hands on it, before you grown any older! I know I plan to fill my book shelf with the entire series. Yes, there is a series!

And, as usual, my favorite lines from the book: 

You have to be the best you can be, Short, and that has to be better than anybody else.
Science was taking the magic out of everything.
Desperate times required judicious risk-taking.
And if history had taught him any lessons it was that humans couldn't get along with anyone, even themselves.