Comedy is the only performance oriented art form where you can be noticed on the basis of your content irrespective of what body type, caste, gender, nationality, race, profession and sexual orientation you are from. Although mentally I kept contemplating about standup comedy since 2016, I tried it for the first time only in January 2018. The show was at a generous person’s drawing room and organized by the new but sassy Mahila Manch.
Today, I am a part of this vibrant group that focuses on doing comedy about important themes in the Indian society such as body shaming, politics, gender, marriages, alcohol, singlehood and much more. I am exactly 12 performances old. Even with my limited experience, I can easily say that the open-mic comedy scene in Ahmedabad needs more audience.
Of course, there are other issues too:
An open-mic is a place where comics go to try out their new jokes infront of a relatively smaller audience set (25-50) so when they go on a big stage, they are more confident. National and international comedy stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen Degeneres, Hasan Minaj, Vir Das, Ali Wong, Aditi Mittal, (long list follows….), had once performed in front of a smaller audience. Continue reading “The Open Mic Comedy Scene in Ahmedabad Needs Real Audience”
What if there were 20 commandments for being a feminist? Would that be relevant to all, would it change much? It’s just like when the laborers come out against discrimination by the factory owners, they may have not read Karl Marx. But the crux of what they are doing maybe Marxism, and it comes naturally out of their agony. Having said that, there is a lot of interesting reading (both fiction and non-fiction) out there, that can be done. It may have been omitted from our history textbooks, but Feminism is not new. It dates back to the 17th century and is responsible for some of our most basic rights like voting. Not even Indian Feminism, even that’s not new.
So in simple words, I’d say feminism is about speaking for women’s rights and growth.
It is not ‘humanism’ because women are not discriminated as humans. They are discriminated because of the structure of their chromosomes- women. This is just a pacifist philosophy which can only be to be nice to the discriminator.
They will be uncomfortable, obviously, because when we seek equality, we are going to shake the roots of their comfort. We are shaking them (mostly men but not limited to) off their years of comfort, the hell they will be angry, upset and want to shut us up.
It can’t be anti-man. It needs to join hands with supportive men and there are a hell lot of them out there. It needs to be pro-woman. But it also needs to call out women who pull other women down (just for the heck of it).
In the process, feminism cannot bear the burden of justifying or diluting the mistakes feminists/women make as flawed human beings. I won’t take the blame of a flawed feminist. I will call it out and move on.
Also, sometimes you need to see the whole picture and how big a part this flaw is because no one is perfect. Nevertheless, the last thing we need right now is people swiftly pulling someone down (feminazis) because they call themselves a feminist, even when they are putting out the right point. That is an irrational fallacy.
There are good doctors and there are bad doctors. You don’t question health services when you read about a surgeon who forgot a gauge in the patient’s stomach. You can be your version of a feminist and strive to be a better human on the way. But not being a feminist in this world is not a luxury we have.
Why should you be a “feminist” and not a “women’s rights activist” while it means the same thing? It does. You can call a doctor as one who heals, politicians as governance activist. Whatever suits you. But don’t do it because you are scared of the ones calling you ‘feminazis’ or whatever. This is exactly what we need to fight.
I know people say you should do Yoga to loose weight. I am sure they are right but back then, I always thought I need to loose a little weight to be able to do Yoga!
Tapi Village, Gujarat: Tribal Youth Stripped for Hunting Pigeons by Forest Officials: “The purpose of stripping them was to help them understand the importance of birds as they are also living beings and should not be killed.” justifies Raghuveersingh, one of the forest officials.
Young Men Stripped. What happened to the good-old system of filing a case and going by law? Hooliganism. If you think this is being made a big issue, well it is a big issue. When have we seen upper caste, privileged and influential men being beaten/stripped for hunting (even deer and other endangered species) for joy and fun? They receive a pat on their back for their glory. How is the system different for two humans of the same society? Hypocrisy.
Meanwhile, Tapi Village Sarpanch tried to explain, “There is a general tradition that the village youths go into the forest and kill birds and cook a meal of it.”
We have a habit of constantly stepping into the habitat of tribal people. This is the same in India and even America. Tribals look ugly and backward to us while we are in our so-called virtuous path of development. The truth is that they understand nature, food cycle and the ecology far better than us. They have lesser crimes with better social lives and moral codes. None of the poachers, animal skin mafia and joy and bounty hunters are tribals. In fact, in various parts of the world, tribals have been helpful to conserve the ecology and nab the poachers. These people don’t kill for fun, they hunt to fill their belly. You don’t have to agree or disagree with their customs. I may not relate to hunting and be eating a pigeon and find it disgusting but my opinion is not bigger than someone’s life and self-respect. Co-existence.
They respect the forest like their mother and are better protectors of it. We are the ones who infiltrate and destroy nature for our selfish motives like mining and polluting land for various reasons. And they are silenced when they raise the voices to save their land and nature. In the human quest to acquire, we have created irreversible natural damages. Instead of learning ways of conservation from tribals, they are shown power. If you disagree with what is happening, you must speak up and share now.
Although the world has seen revolutionaries travel alone and discover places, I don’t think it’s been more than 10 years that the idea of solo travel has become a popular trend. Before you think, “oh, I have done it!”, be sure to check off from your list, those kinds of travels which are done to a familiar/comfortable place, even traveling for work (majorly going into an office setting) doesn’t count unless you take time out to travel and explore the place. So yes, I mean traveling alone, outside your comfort zone and exploring a place.
In a close-knit society such as ours, the first thought of solo travel makes a person appear as selfish. “O my god, you’ll go alone? What is the purpose of that anyway? It sounds so weird.” Continue reading “The Enigma of Solo Travel”