Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Of Bitches and Witches

On the other day, in a movie,  a man calls a woman in the midst of an angry fight,  "You Whore!"  -  (goodness knows why, but they muted it on TV) but you could still see his lip synching perfectly.
However, the sub-titles ran a different word "Harlot" which is acceptable or far less offensive, I suppose. Wonder why, the dictionary offers the same meaning for both these words:
Whore - "A woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money"

Not only men, It's not uncommon for women to use such words to insult other women. Slut, whore, hussy, jade, you have to just pick one, and the words just fall over you like the falling gems in the Cadbury Gems advertisement. There are a plethora of words to describe women in this context all over the world. Every language boasts of at least a hundred to speak of women who believe in free sex, or rather sex for sale.

One wonders, is the feeble, nearly male equivalent of these words used in the same way? The dictionary reads thus:
Gigolo - "A man who has sex with and is supported by a woman"

Unlike women, men supposedly can't earn money freely out of sex like a woman, unless he is "supported by a woman, so implies the dictionary. Or could it be that the dictionary implies that a gigolo could be but only a slave of a whore? whatever!

The English dictionary, like that of any other language, is seriously partial against the masculine gender in this regard. It's shocking to say the least that it sadly lacks with equivalents for the male, who are "disputably" still burdened with having to play an equal if not larger role in socially unacceptable scenarios.

Yes, there are terms like mother-f**ker, sister-f**ker and the like - Sad, you need to drag in the female
family members of a male in order to insult him.

A few more words exclusively for the females:

Bitch (the ubiquitous, most loved-to-use word)

The dictionary reads thus:
1. An unpleasant difficulty
2. A person (usual but not necessarily a woman) who is thoroughly disliked.
3. A complaint, the act of complaining
4. Female of any member of the dog family. (So now that nails down what was only hinted in #2)

Whereas, what's in store for the word "Dog" offers some surprises!

1. A dull, unacttractive unpleasant girl or woman. (Attributed again to a woman)
"She's a real dog" 
2. Informal term for a man
"You lucky dog" (that's in a praising tone)
3. Someone who is morally reprehensible
"You dirty dog" (definitely not exclusive to men)

Witch & Wizard 

Dictionary reads thus for Witch:
1. A being (usually female) imagined to have special powers derived from the devil (indeed!)
2. A female sorcerer or magician
3. An ugly evil-looking old woman 
Now the last meaning is given without so much of a warning as vulgar, or slang - implies it's
totally acceptable.

Curious what Wizard translates to?

1. Someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field. (!!!) 
2. One who practices magic or sorcery (Devil offered the male no powers. He had to practice by himself, poor thing!)
3. (computing) feature of a computer program or script used to guide an inexperienced user through a sequence of steps.
Sad, it's always the males who's got to share their nomenclature with computer programs.

And to top it all words like fool, moron, git, idiot, stupid, half-wit, scoundrel, rascal, and countless others are frustratingly gender neutral!

Note: Dear readers, (if any of you there) your thoughts please? Anything to put an end to this blatant Misandry of the English Dictionary. Now, wonder why the dictionary should carry a female equivalent of this word too, as it hardly claims of any -  Misogyny.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

I have never been around here much

I have never been around here much.  

First I spent quite some time holding others hands with the stupid and the smart crow, the hare and the tortoise, the lion and the mouse and other talking animals.
Then one day I went on my own with the little round bun that hopped out of the window sill, off to the porch, and met a series of animals, escaped them but finally got tricked by the sly fox that ate it.

Misha and Masha were always fun. They often took me with them to spend a few days at their granny’s. Misha used to laugh how Masha cleverly tricked the bear from eating her up. I loved Masha.

Then came Ivanushka with his magic horse. I became the princess he fell in love with; sometimes, I was Ivan myself.

School times were more fun, when I pretended to be at the Malory Towers, Riverdale High or St.Clares. Jyothi became Darrell and I was Alicia or Sally. 
The famous five gave me painful envy with their splendid times on Kirrinn island… I followed them like a shadow, as they had all sorts of picnics and exciting adventures.

Solace was always at hand with Enid Blyton, during the bitter domestic wars that sometimes waged for days together.
Dull and dreary teenage days brightened a little with Harlequin romance.

Adulthood came to a standstill and I relished going back several years in time with the magical saga of Harry Potter.
Even in the first few rosy years of marriage, languor was wiped off whenever it seeped in, as I managed to shut myself in the fantastic world Rowling had created. I have never done drugs, but I could almost imagine how it would be. In more sober times there were the good old classics.

Household chores were not so dreary as I mulled over tit-bits from mags. Escapades from the mundane; fantasies to dwell. Noesis was lucky to come by, if any!

Things have changed. With life’s most inevitable changes, came reality hard and fast. For the first time in life, I had to be here…right here, not miss a moment. I was engrossed in the all-new experiences and I couldn’t care less for self-indulgences. May be, I could live without them after all?
How very wrong I was? The more I turned my back on them, the more I missed them; sorely. They slowly became conspicuous by absence.

Now again, for goodness sake, they are coming back. Masha has come to baby sit my kids. She has grown slightly distant to me, but she smiles at me, her old acquaintance. As the kids play with Masha and her bear, Thumbelina and Ole Luckoie, they got new friends too. Bubbles, Jessica and the elephants, Martha the monster, to name a few. I weave in and out of their worlds and mine, so different, yet so connected.

Can’t wait for Enid Blyton who’ll soon be around; whom we’ll share, join in their picnics if they let me there!
Right now, as the kids are safely tucked in bed between Pinocchio and the blue fairy, Huck Finn and Jim are beckoning me for a ride on the river for a few hours before sleep. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Love letters

Old letters are nostalgic, endearing even, written between family and friends.

However, there is always something sinister about love letters; even as the love gets consummated.

Love letters are out of this world, they do not belong here, except for those stolen moments they are written and read, re-read, and re-read for quite some time.

Like stealthy kisses, fateful impulses, they are born out of fervent passions, minds in a whirl, momentous ecstasies, or desperate agonies.

Like fireworks on the sky, magical flowers that sprout and wither overnight,
they are glorious, yet ethereal in their own accord.

Scandal and shame always await them,
or worse, the inevitable purging.

But the worst happens to those that manage survival and hold honorable places in chests,
for they lose their lusture like aging actors.

True love like wine gets better with age,
love letters decay, fade over time.

Like illegal drugs, adversely therapeutic, they lurk in locked chests, these phantoms of your past.

As you pass by them in silent weary afternoons, an eerie solitude creeping over, unsaid,

you first hear them smirking and giggling,
slowly turning into painful groans;

finally they come, the unmistakable shrieks soaring to such levels, as though you locked them just seconds before...

Like devilish naughty kids, they plead at you with sly eyes, asking to be with you, promising their atonement
your heart wrenches to forgive, but know that you shouldn’t

You budge, giving in to their victory, undoubtedly as you must.
with streaming tears you embrace them, spend some happy hours with these fugitives,
cooing with them over the past, only until  it’s time to get back to the present.
you then watch them go back to their graves, carrying undue poignancy,

Every time a bit more aged,
more faded,
and more dog-eared than the last.

Time for tea? Time for two!

Lone lunches have never been uncommon or unpleasant. Even when work has kept your nose to the grindstone all through the morn, if you just...