Friday, May 29, 2009

Reflecting on a Smile

If your smile were the light
That shined the testing paths
Along the treacherous walks of life,
I would gladly walk along.
As if it were just a path
Of flowers and lazy petals - un-paced.
I wish you were mine then,
For the known and unknown eternity now
to only see your smile
sparkle my everyday with love.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A broken heart's song

A broken heart wishes hard,
To mend itself from a few broken shard.

Tears of blue blood,
In fear of the next stray sword.

Slayed by pain of wrought memories,
I own a mind fray in vain worries.

The last fall sparks a distant cue -
All the play & games, ends in an unfair rue.

I hold on to a tiny thread of hope,
Lying await for your words of love speak to drop.

I push harder in a stray hope
To make you feel my silent hope.

My last wish now, I wish a little harder;
To stop my broken heart's leak!

~Arun Raj

Friday, May 8, 2009

Men, take your Women more seriously !



Conversation after conversation that I have engaged with women I have been privileged to have the company of in my life, I have observed one thing : the innate power of a woman to endure pain – physical and mental, is by far unmatchable by men. And this I feel makes them more divine than human. If most of them have learnt to live with it then it is not out of feeling physically insecure of surviving without men, but an ability to see things beyond a man's sensibility can perceive – unconditional love.

Observe this in their fights and protests, they will always prefer to not cause pain and any induced suffering. In complete contrast would be a man's position, which is then to take to arms and battle it out. Very few men have been able to understand the value of the women to the society and stand for there cause – Gandhi, Vivekanada, Periyar, and many others. Even though to date their efforts have brought great relief to the oppression on our women, but still the silent battles rage daily.

In the process of natural evolution, the women have by design had to endure a cycle of recurring pain, unimaginable by us men, from – the menstrual monthly cycle to the agonizing physical pain of carrying and delivering a child. And, they take all this in continuity with a smile and very often say 'Oh it nothing!' Add to this a brain that is able to reason and rationalize, they can then only take the pain with a pinch of salt and accept it as is.

Be it your mother, sister, friend, girl friend or wife, they all endure this with minimal protest. It was destined that the women were the ones who had to bear the burden of sustaining us. Their wombs are the holy grail of our existence. Imagine if all the women went on strike!

And when they expect a little sensitivity from our end, it becomes difficult for us to put forth. Is it that we as men presume we are the ones that are tougher and more capable of handling pain? A rare broken arm, a wound or a punch clot is only a one time pain. Imagine then if you had to have a finger broken on your good hand every month?

Beyond nature's bestowed responsibilities of sustaining our species, if that was not a challenge enough, they had to be enforced with another challenge! They now also had to become - by definition of society and communities by us men – the keepers of the moral system. Think about it, who really defines these values & systems!

They had to restrain their sexuality and chastity, while the men could then wander around defining their own moral system. They are trained and conditioned by resolved force, to restrain their desires and drive to express, so as not to add to competition in a man's world. But a man, questions and reasons at every chance he gets to find and establish his expression above all other. And he is presumed to be the one with the greater understanding of the intricate system of right and wrong.

In religion and all forms of belief systems, there are a larger number of women who engage to sustain these systems. But then again when it comes to religious leadership, it has then to be the men who lead from the front. The messenger of God almost always has to be a man, the woman then is only 'bestowed with the honor of bearing the child'. Ironical but true!

In a Hollywood or Bollywood flick, the damsel has always to be in distress and the man has to come and protect her. Especially in Bollywood flicks, the damsel is almost always a character with minimal depth of character, is good for two things – dancing to a raunchy item number or crying 'help' while the villain scurries her away. And if you take a middle-eastern movie, to identify a woman you have to look for the long burkha robes and would always be found as a silent acceptor of commands and orders; as if a soldier stand covered in full camouflage.

A deeper look into countless other traditions, perceptions, belief and systems followed by us will indicate that there is a sub-conscious desire of the system to somehow suppress women, as though they are a threat.

Today we are at a relative peak of crimes and acts of violence against our women. We are in fear of separation from our women, for they could not protect themselves. I feel us as men need to take a greater responsibility towards our Women than to just secure them physically. We need to give them an equal opportunity to see the world the way we, as men, see it – The World of Opportunities to Express! They sure deserve it and I believe more than we do!

These words are in the honor of the many great women that I have been honored to have loved and lived with as friends and family and their ever-flowing rivers of love. A special note to my Mom & two lovely sisters – Veena & Vidya!

Again, to the all the men out there take your Women more seriously!


(Image Credits: AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)