It rained today… . Uncertainly. “The weather is somewhat positive”, my thoughts as I got ready. Drizzling. Tiny droplets of silver. As they float and sway in the wind before falling. Mystical and beautiful. A good day to start. A good mood to move ahead.
I reached metro and found a safe seat to find solitude and lose myself in the electric voice of Nina Simone.. Feeling good.. . Generally I don’t pay heed to the people around. But there was this person who was holding a hand bag which was feminine. He himself was having a feminine persona. Confident. Dressed sharp with a scarf around his neck. Suave. The way he stood while reading a small novella, radiated the I-Don’t-Give-a-FUCK attitude. As I returned my attention back to the melodic excellence of Nina Simone (god bless her soul), I noticed the rest of the people in the coach. Watching him. Every individual thinks in a different manner and thus everyone had a different look in their eyes. Judgmental looks, smirks on the faces, possible innuendos and comments ringing in their heads. I even saw two adult grown men whispering in hush hush voices and snickering while looking disgustingly at him. The fact he didn’t say or do anything to these judgmental, rather expressive people at a personal level; got me thinking.
Our society judges,discriminates and what not, based on the self-expressions of an individual; based on appearance (and this is only one aspect of our explicitly judgmental society). The decision of an individual to live his/her life as he/she wants somehow affects out society at a level where the existence of individual entity is dictated by a set of rules which are considered to be “obvious”. A woman should act like a “woman”, and same goes for the man. These dictating “obvious rules” ranges from the type and style of apparel you wear (rather how to wear); to the way you should behave in society.
As children, most of us has been dressed as the opposite gender by our parents for fun. At that stage it is not considered “bad”. Why? Because children are innocent! They are pure at hearts! But when some of us grow up to dress as we please, it suddenly becomes “bad”. Why? Because a male should dress in a “manly” fashion! A female should keep her femininity by dressing in “appropriate” cloths! The fact that our actions and our karma are not considered enough to be acknowledged as good individuals, in a society which has an Epic written on Karma, is hypocritical.
I too once was homophobic like many in our society. But as I matured as an individual , who respect people for who they are rather then their actions and appearances, I understood. I actually saw and understood the difficulties people face when in such situations. As I ponder upon this, there might be a number of individuals who might be forced to live under the said “norms” of our society. Who might be closing their real self into some dark deep vault and pretending to be someone else. Just to be recognized as the respectable citizen in our society. Just because there are norms set by society, followed by our parents, family and friends.
A friend, who belongs to the LGBT community, likes to wear tee shirts, shirts and jeans. She despises all the apparel considered feminine by the society. She works with an NGO from time to time. She has adopted a child and bear the expanses of his education. She is a staunch supporter of gender equality and she believes in making positive changes around her to create a better society. But when she embraced who she really is and came out as her real self, phenomenal changes was their in people’s attitude. The goodness in her and her actions were neglected just because of the fact that she accepted herself as she is. Before that the same people, the same society cheered her for the work she does. Now they despise her and see her with the same judgmental looks, people gave to that guy in metro today.
I asked, “Don’t you hate it when people look at you like that..?”. She said, “No I don’t. It used to bother me before… now I am habitual. People will throw anything at you.. You don’t have to catch it all the time.. you have to let go of some. One time a relative shrugged away from me when I tried to give a hug. Most of the time it is the people who are close to you who behave as strangers. I don’t regret any thing that I have done s far and accepting who I am is better than pretending to be someone I was not.”
The purpose of society and the code it follows were to create a sense of discipline and reduce the random chaos in the masses. To have order and to make the masses more productive and less aggressive. Our society, with this code has stood the tests of time throughout the history of the Indian subcontinent. I do not hold grudges against our society, but I do towards the out rightly orthodox views which forbid individuals to embrace their true self and forcefully want them to behave and act in manners they cannot. To know one and to live as oneself.. this is what all individuals strive for. Live and Let Live. This has been one of the primary teachings since the ages. The progression of society encompass the growth and expansion of the intellectual horizons which accepts individuals in their true self.
The word “being” which is used in conjuncture to “human”, while describing ourselves, holds a deeper meaning. The state of awareness of one’s existence and the state where one knows who he/she is. People are coming out to the world. Declaring to world. Embracing their true nature and self. The need is for us to stand with them. They are our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our acquaintances, our neighbors. People.