Mashable is my life, basically.
Mashable is my life, basically.
Sent shivers down my spine. Something to ponder… Enjoy.
Peace & Love,
By Niveda Anandan (via TamilCulture)
Dear Young Tamil Men,
Remember this conversation?
“So what do you think of her?” says one young Tamil man to another.
“She’s banging. But yo, I don’t think she’s the type you’d want to marry,” his friend replies.
“What do you mean? You heard something bad about her?” The young Tamil man presses his friend anxiously but dreads hearing more.
“Well, how do I put this lightly? Let’s just say she’s been around. Her ex told me some messed up things about her. I would stay away from that girl if I were you.”
The young Tamil man is downcast yet relieved. “Is it just me or are a lot of Tamil girls sluts nowadays? There are like no decent girls left.”
“Word,” says his friend as they shake their head in derision and disgust while they repeat the process, this time with another female target in mind.
Are you surprised by this conversation? Shocked? You shouldn’t be because this is a conversation that occurs frequently within the Tamil community.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not solely targeting Tamils. In fact, this conversation could be applied to any society that places a strong emphasis on female chastity. Yet regardless of the culture, this is a conversation that should not be happening. Especially not in this day and age. (And to add as a disclaimer, I have no problems with women who choose not to be sexually active. That is their choice. What I do have a problem with are people – men or women – who assess someone’s character solely by their virginity or lack thereof.)
There seems to be a flawed assumption somewhere in the depths of our patriarchal culture that the ideal woman should be angelic and innocent, blushing at the mere mention of words like “sex” or “penis”. Sometimes, when my anger doesn’t blind me, I kind of empathize with you.
Some of you grew up hearing stories from the epic Ramayana and learning of the modest, angelic Sita. You probably sat there thinking, “Of course, one day I will marry a Sita. A Sita who will constantly prove her chastity to me and the world by jumping into a fire whenever doubts were cast upon her character.”
As if this wasn’t enough, the Tamil movies you grew up watching added to the damage. You were constantly bombarded by meaningless plots that depicted a meek, beautiful Barbie doll who emulated Sita. On the other hand, it was the villainess of the movie who oozed sexiness and lust that was at once appreciated in the form of an erection yet hated for being “slutty”.
I’m sure you whistled with all your might when Rajnikanth famously differentiated the three types of women in the hit film Padaiyappa. In his opinion, the three types of women were the type you revere like a goddess, the type you want to have sex with, and the type you’re in mortal fear of. Of course, the character Padaiyappa chooses the homely and innocent Soundarya while defacing the strong sex appeal exuding Neelambari, a decision you probably applauded.
In these narratives, you were accustomed to seeing depicted women as polarized figures – either modest and righteous or sexually active and evil. Well, did it ever occur to you that women – even Tamil women – can be both righteous and sexually active? It probably didn’t because the idea of sexual purity has become the measuring stick for assessing good character in Tamil women.
Yet this is not the case for Tamil men. Let’s be honest – Tamil men get to have full sexual freedom when it comes to dating and hook-ups. And we Tamil women are expected to complacently accept your indiscretions as if it were your right as men to explore and enjoy life, and as if questioning this right is blasphemous.
Let me tell you something that may boggle your mind. Tamil men – you may have to sit down for this one. But we Tamil women get horny too. Contrary to popular belief, we have sexual urges as well. Just as you experience complete sexual liberation, we wish to have the same without being judged and ridiculed as “not marriage material”. We are not objects to be judged as “easy” or “used” and are disgusted that you would even use these terms to describe us.
Along with this, not all of us believe in the idea of marrying the first guy we date. And just like you, some of us want adventure and fun in our teens and twenties. Stop putting us on a pedestal and comparing us to an ideal that is not only completely unnatural, but boring.
And while you’re at it, please erase this barbaric idea that being modest is the only way to be righteous. There are many sexually promiscuous women who are also intelligent, charitable, kind, empathetic and many other positive traits. The choice to be sexually promiscuous or chaste should not be central in defining a woman. So instead of putting virgin on the top of your checklist when assessing a woman, try putting qualities such as intelligence or independence and see where it will take you.
Hoping for a change,
Young Tamil Women
Today is day 27 in Chennai. I should honestly do daily blog posts but I am literally burnt out during the weekday. The past three (three and a half?) weeks have been surreal. I’ve been to India a couple of times but this is by far the most unreal experience. I’ll elaborate on it as I go on.
Growing up in the west, you’re accustomed to a certain lifestyle, no surprise there. But India has kind of shook me in a way that I’m finding it difficult to describe at the moment. I mean, it probably has to do with living on my own in a totally different country that doesn’t live up the quality of life Canada trains you to expect, but it’s weird because there’s literally almost two whole different worlds in this country — at least in Chennai and other major cities like Mumbai and Delhi. I feel as though I have so much to talk about but it’s all coming out completely jumbled right now so let’s walk through a timeline of my move here so far.
My first week here was not all that exciting. I went to work, met a few people, fan girled over a couple of hotty shotty movie stars and tv personalities… the end. My second week here, I was joined by a friend Thusi who is here for a month working at Apollo Hospital. Since the city really is a bit difficult to explore in by yourself (a female who’s a foreigner, especially), I was excited to have him join me on all the things I wanted to do here. We went to a few places that my coworkers highly suggested we vist. They were apparently the ‘high end’ restaurants and bars of Chennai and would probably make me feel at home. So, off we went to the Radisson…
OCTOBER 3, 2013 UPDATE:
I’m back in Toronto! It’s been almost a month since I’ve been back (Sept. 8) and I know I’m such a huge fail at updating my blog but I will be back with a lengthy update… soon!
Peace & Love,
Can we discuss why I’m sitting at home instead of sitting at work, nursing a damn sore throat and stuffy nose? Holy jalabees. You can’t live with AC, you can’t live without it.
All I’ve done so far is work, work, and more work. Definitely not as easy as I thought it’d be but it’s a nice change. I’m being forced to be a lot more creative and step out of my comfort zone (let’s not discuss how terrified I was during my presentation). The work just doesn’t seem to stop though — I’m currently *working* as I speak… or type.
On another note, I’ve made 2 little kitten friends. I don’t know where they roam during the day, but I can always find them at night when they’re hungry. Last year I took in two dogs, this year’s for the cats I suppose. I’ve also set up a volunteer meeting with Blue Cross, Chennai Chapter. Excited to see what I can do to help out.
It’s currently 12:55 PM. I’m going to go blow my nose and go back to getting some work done so I can free up my weekend and finally go back to my yoga class. I’m in dire need of it!
Peace & Love,
Note: Sorry about being so MIA recently. I have so much to write about but I can’t seem to get the right words out. I suppose this is my writer’s block. I have quite a few drafts saved on here that just need some editing and publishing so here’s the first one! xx
The root to happiness is not money… Or so they say.
I disagree. Although I don’t believe money should dictate your life or be the utmost priority in your life, it’s a much needed necessity to live life the way you want; stress free and burden free. Yes, having too much money can result in other types of stress but that’s not the point I’m getting at.
This morning, my friend Amy and I were giving ourselves a pep talk. Sometimes pep talks are necessary. They give you that extra push you need or re-motivate you when you’re feeling down. Amy is my number one girl when it comes to pep talks. We have the most in common in terms of goals, dreams, visions and financial ambitions. We talked about how society plays up this image of being able to drop everything and ‘find yourself’ but let’s be honest — that’s not realistic now is it? It’s the whole Eat, Pray, Love shenanigans. We’re made to think that we can just up and leave our lives behind so that we can make a new one for ourselves. If only it were that easy.
Life is a struggle in itself. Money makes it that much worse. Do work that reaps benefits and work hard. Life doesn’t get any easier. Love is great, but money helps keep it great. Far too many families are torn apart because of financial burdens. You don’t need to be swimming in wealth, happiness will fill that void. But try to get to a point in your life where you don’t need to think twice about how you’ll pay next months rent or mortgage. And please, please don’t have children if they’re going to grow up feeling your hardships and go through it themselves once they hit post-secondary age. So many parents put their blood, sweat and tears into providing for their families (a lot of times that’s the only option). It’s admirable, respectable and forever cherished. But no child wants to see their parent go through all that because they’ll know. They’ll know that everything you’re going through is because you want the best for them.
So next time you have a bright idea about dropping out of school, spending your last five dollars or having kids because you were careless and adventurous.. think about the future. Life can be scary but we’ve got this.
Peace & Love,
I hope all the mothers and mother figures had a great Mother’s Day. It’s the hardest job in the world, no doubt about that. I’ve been trying to eat a lot more healthy recently (minus this weekend, horrible Mother’s Day dinner and party temptations), and I’ve started to go back to the gym too. It’s a nice addition to my regular yoga. My legs are unbelievably sore though, but that’s a great feeling! Here are some of the snacks and meals I’ve been incorporating. I’m not a chef or creative with food, so this is the best I can do. I also don’t believe in cutting things completely out of your life. Live the life you love. That includes eating the things you love, just in moderation and smaller quantities.
Peace & Love,
By: Nico Lang
1. Try to have conversations with people you casually meet in everyday life. Find out the name of the woman you see all the time at the grocery store and engage her. You can have small talk or unexpectedly talk about the big things. I once ended up having a three-hour conversation with the girl who worked the cashier at the thrift store I went to all the time. Not only did I fill my afternoon in an unexpected way, but I also made a friend out of it.
2. Remind people in your life how much they love you and mean to you. You don’t have to get super gushy all the time or reenact a James L. Brooks screenplay. Just give back to the people who give to you.
3. Text people back right away. I know we all like to pretend we’re so cool and busy, but who doesn’t love to know, in a small way, that the person on the other end of the phone is fully engaging with you?
4. Ask yourself how you can be a better friend to people or better support them. Work on making yourself a little more accountable to the people around you. Sometimes this starts by talking less and listening more or being our more authentic selves with those around us.
5. Get up early. It’s a whole lot easier to take the day by storm if you grab it by the circadian cojones.
6. Smile more and laugh more. You don’t have to smile all the time — because that’s called “When I Was on Lithium” — but you should always seek more opportunities for humor and laughter in your life. Be aware of the joy that’s already around you, and if all you see is pain, transform it into laughter. Transcend it.
7. Do something you didn’t think you could or always wanted to do. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an artist, but I found out the hard way I couldn’t paint or draw. (My human hands look like mashed potato flowers.) But over the grad school break, I found something art-related I could do with my downtime: cut stuff out. I decorated my house in crossword puzzle collages, dirty Mad Libs and made pages from a beat-up John Updike book into wallpaper. It wasn’t the greatest art that’s ever been art-ed, but it was fun and my DIY saved me a whole lot on decoration.
8. Learn how to apologize. I think there’s nothing that makes us more beautifully human than making mistakes and owning up to them, whether it’s not being the best friend you can be or accidentally bumping into someone on the train. But we should be more aware of our effects on other people and hold ourselves more accountable to being a force for good in the world.
9. Let go of our anger, envy and hatred. This is a hard one for me. I have this certain Facebook friend of mine (who I unfortunately can’t delete) that I loathe with the fire of a thousand suns, and it used to kill me whenever something good happened for him. I would transform from the gorgeous, hyper-literate vixen you see before you into a swear-spouting mean girl. But you know what I did? Blocked him from my news feed. Ain’t nobody got time to obsess over other people’s accomplishments. Go out and accomplish your own crap instead.
10. Don’t use your iPod all the time. I think there might be an automatic genetic reflex that leads us to plug into our headphones as soon as we leave our houses, and while music is great (and my boyfriend), we sometimes lack awareness when we’re so focused on Frank Ocean. We lose one of our senses and become less present to the world around us. Next time you go for a walk or ride the train, let Frank rest for a second and listen to the soundtrack of the world around you. The world makes such beautiful music.
11. Complain less and make fewer excuses for yourself. Learn to enjoy your life and not always focus on what is bad, what is wrong and why you can’t or didn’t do something. Have you seen Parks and Recreation? Chris Traeger is kind of my life model, except for that part where he got weird and sad. You don’t have to ignore the dark side of life, which (as Chris shows) might make things worse in the long run. You just don’t have to live there either.
12. Do something nice for someone else — the kind of favor you might not see returned. One of my resolutions this year was to try to do Random Acts of Kindness for people every day — to let people sit down before me on the train, actually give the homeless guy a quarter rather than lying (not because I think it’ll make a difference, but because he’s a person whose humanity deserves recognition), hold doors open for people and a lot of cliché things that aren’t that interesting. It might not affect others’ lives, but these things are a daily reminder to me that I’m not the most important person in the world, and I should continually try to be of service to others, even if that’s just letting them go first.
13. Give someone a completely unsolicited compliment. During my sophomore year of college, I sat next to a girl who scared the crap out of me. She was beautiful, confident and one of the smartest people I’d ever met, one of those people who walks into class like they mean business. She didn’t talk to anyone, really, because she came to learn; she didn’t come here to make friends. But she was so interesting, and I knew I wanted to get to know this girl. So I made sure to compliment or say something nice every chance I could, knowing that one of those could lead to a real conversation and the intellectual pickle jar being opened. And wouldn’t you know it? We were close friends by the end of the year.
14. Do something completely unexpected or spontaneous, even if it’s as simple as getting a new haircut. To use an extreme example, I recently found out that my friend’s mom went skydiving a couple years ago — because she had a Groupon for it and why not? I couldn’t picture this tiny den mother of love (who looks like the mom in That 70’s Show) throwing herself toward the earth like a meteor. But more than being concerned for her safety, I was immediately jealous. Who knew she was such a badass?
15. Try something new — just for the experience. Whenever I go out to a restaurant, I try to get the bizarrest thing on the menu. I decided to start doing this four years ago, when I realized that I was only eating bland foods. I wasn’t challenging my palate. So, now when I eat out, I always pick something that sounds gross or interesting — like tripe, lengua, chitlins, pork skin, eel or squid. Sometimes this works out — like when I found out alligator tastes like chicken, but better — or not so much — like when I found out chicken gizzard tastes like chicken, except that it doesn’t at all. It’s like chewing on an eraser. As Mom said, you’ll never know if you like something until you try it.
[Source: Thought Catalog]
Happy May! I hope the weather is treating all of you beautifully.
I may potentially have an amazing opportunity coming my way. I won’t know for sure until tomorrow or a couple days after tomorrow, but when I do, I will surely share it. I just feel extremely blessed for the opportunities that come my way. Hard work definitely pays off and good karma as well. I feel as though my life has been extraordinarily beautiful since last summer. Despite having experienced loss (rest in paradise thatha), everything has been nothing short of a blessing and achieved through dedication, hard work, and good karma passed along from good people.
Peace & Love,