March 25, 2011

एक थी साईकिल..

सातवीं क्लास में पढ़ते थे हम.  आज भी याद है.  शनिवार की शाम थी.  पापा की छुट्टी का दिन, जब मेरी नयी साईकिल घर आई थी.  BSA SLR, 18 इंच!

शाम को माँ के कहने पर थोड़ी देर के लिए किताब खोल कर बैठ गए, क्यूंकि इसी शर्त पर तो साईकिल खरीदी गयी थी.  लेकिन, किताब के पन्नो पर भी मुझे मेरी नव अर्जित संपत्ति ही दिख रही थी.  आश्चर्य लग रहा था कि कैसे माँ-पापा साईकिल छोड़ दीन-दुनिया की बातें कर रहे थे.  कैसे TV पर कुछ अलग नहीं हो रहा था, और कैसे हर रात की तरह आज भी खाना खा, दूध पीकर मुझे सो जाना था.  असल में, मेरे लिए तो सब बदला बदला सा था.  दुनिया रंगीन लग रही थी, मानो जीवनसाथी मिल गया हो.

रात भर हम यही सोचते रहे कि कब सुबह हो और अपनी नयी दुल्हन को दिन के उजाले में देखें.  इंतज़ार करना कठिन होता जा रहा था.  इतना कि आँख लगी तो सपने में ही साईकिल चलाने लग गए.  नए मेहमान के लिए ऐसा शौक-ए-दीदार कि रात ढाई बजे ही नींद भी खुल गयी.  और अगले आधे घंटे प्राणप्रिये के दर्शन में ही बीत गए, सुबह की योजना बनाते बनाते.

तभी कमरे से आवाज़ आई, "अनुपम!" और माँ से डांट पड़ गयी.  मन मार, दिल पर पत्थर रख हम  वापस सो गए.

ये तो मेरा अपना

March 18, 2011

Women- Better or the Bitter Half!

Life begins from a Lady's womb. The sole Privilege and Power to create- Srijan- is what makes her the lord of this world in the true sense. She is the force behind every man in one form or the other- Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and so on. But all these sound mere rhetoric and speechifying when the majority suppresses and downgrades its Better half, making them no more than a Bitter Half.

And, I'm dejected to say that the world comprises more of rhetoric and less of substance. Some on the part of Men who profess and preach of liberty and equality of the fairer sex but never practice it, and to some extent, on the part of Women whose cynicism and frustration towards men fill them with vengeance and negativity leading them nowhere ahead.

While on facebook, I had recently quoted a UN source that said, “Women do 66% of the world's work and produce 50% of the food but earn10% of the income & own 1% of the properties!" There was a female who pounced upon me like a Kali, and later even declared to me that I better beware of Kali! She was deeply revengeful of Men and her comments filled with negativity all around. She talked of Women empowerment but was herself so frustrated & prejudiced that her rhetoric didn't match her intentions. She may have found my facebook update a mockery of Women, whereas, in fact, it was meant to shed some light on the sorry state of our Battered half. The world can not move ahead with gender confrontations. Rather, women and men are made to and have to compliment each other for humanity to progress.

Feminism today has predominantly become male-bashing and measuring up women on the parameters that define men and masculinity. Women are the prime-movers of society and Feminism should strive to replenish, rejuvenate and strengthen this prime-mover. A woman should be able to look into the eyes of a man and disagree or disapprove of him. This is, what I believe, is true empowerment, and gladly, there are women around us who perform this role with panache and aplomb.

Thus, fighting for women rights, dignity and respect comes at a later stage or rather superficial level. Society's prime concern should be to make Ladies out of females. Women, at an individual level, should strive to be ladies par excellence, so should Men. One female role model in a locality can achieve much more than what feminism movements or women rights activism can do. These movements, after all, will always run parallel to our society as tools of socialism without any substantial percolation to the grass-root level.

Now, talking of men, I agree that we are the biggest deterrent in women empowerment. We love, admire, respect and care for ladies- our mother, wife, sisters, daughters. We acknowledge their role in our upbringing, our support system, our inspiration, but only until all these women in our lives revolve unobtrusively around our success and persona with a nondescript presence. A lady plays her part with utmost missionary zeal. At times, far greater than a man ever does. But she is endorsed by the society only when the benefits of her mission is reaped by the male. The moment you see a Woman dwarfing your persona, you are hit by a Tsunami. You can never be a woman's support system if her dynamism and charisma overpowers or rises above you. Here, my mind strikes of a movie "Abhimaan" which beautifully showcased a couple's relationship being marred by this unjustified sub-conscious tendency of men to dominate. You could be the most subdued personality in the world, but you can't manage to see your wife dictating terms to you. Yes, its discomforting but true to the core!
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