Most of us have pierced ears. We love wearing pretty earrings. A lot can be decided based on a pair of earrings.
Here in India, the ears are pierced at a very young age by an Acharya, who specializes in the art. Ear piercing has numerous health benefits according to Ayurveda.
However, do you remember how and when you got your ears pierced? Maybe!
I was at a jewelry store recently, they have an in-house Acharya, he was tasked with piercing the ears of a young girl of about 9 years old. Her mother, father and younger brother had accompanied her. She was excited about the ear piercing and was oblivious to the process.
Once earrings were selected, she happily perched on the stool next to the Acharya. He used a cotton swab douched in alcohol to clean her lobes and started sharpening the wire of the earring. The girl seeing the friction between the wire and the stone realized the pain sharp objects can inflict. The fear then took over and she started crying, crying loud and begging her parents to take her home. Her mother refused and said that this is important. Her father reluctantly agreed. They held her head and the Acharya started the piercing. I could hear the wire go through in her screams. She clutched and hugged her father tighter. One ear done! By now her brother had started crying too, asking why are you cutting off my sisters ears? It took less than 1 minute for the second ear to be pierced. By the end of it, her mother had damp eyes, her brother was crying and her father had this weird sadness engulfing him.
This was not the end of it. They will have to make sure that it does not catch an infection and heals properly.
Between my sobs, I realized that I have never given this a thought. As far back as I can remember I have worn earrings. I always wanted to wear big earrings and would tell my parents that buy me big earrings when I grow up.
Reaching home, I asked my father as to how and when and who pierced my ears. He had a story. He remembered the story. My crying. The healing. The thrill of my first earrings!
As small and as insignificant it may sound. It is a big milestone for parents. A reluctant one maybe. A happy one maybe. Now I understand the glowing smiles on their faces each time I would wear earrings they would buy.
Just one of the things they give us. An experience, a story, that we hold for life. That we take granted for life.
I have asked this question several times over the last few years. There is this constant feeling that I do not have that “one” person who is going to feel the loss. I am nobody’s love of life. Nobody is going to miss me every day, the way I smiled, the way I smelt, the things I liked, nothing. I will just be a mist that vanishes in the sunlight!
For the longest time, I wanted to be someone’s love, reciprocate the love. Just feel loved!
I have come to realize that I do not have that. However much I try, I am setting myself up just to get hurt. My friends, the beautiful souls that they are, always tell me that, it will happen, you deserve love and you will find it.
But, in all honesty, I do not believe that. I rather think “so, now, I do not have that and probably never will. So, what is the best way I can make through this? How can I be happy? Does it matter that nobody will cry when I die? Should my happiness depend on that “one”? Since I live alone, will anybody ever find my body, if I were to die?”
The answer is NO. A reluctant, but, a well thought NO. I am my own happiness! As cheesy as that sounds. I have an amazing family and a beautiful set of friends. So it is ok that, that “one” person does not exist. It is ok if nobody finds my body when I die!
On the same note, I do not want my family and friends to be upset when I die. I have always been a happy person. Even, in my adversaries, I pretended a great deal to be happy. I do not need anyone to cry!
Also, I cannot spend my life worrying about how well liked I am, if I will be missed, what others perceive of me etc. And as far as a lover is concerned, I dont want to worry when he leaves me, I don’t want to feel “not good enough”. I do not want to feel jealous and rejected.
I want to live now!!! I need my people now, I need that “one” now. Not when I die!!! I want to open my wings and fly high with them. Laugh till my stomach hurts. Create memories, reminisce about childhood and sing songs in pyjamas, tight hugs, warm kisses and so much more. Live my life. Just live it the best I can.
I do not care what happens, when I am not there, what comes after me! All I care for is now, right now, my present!
Ask yourself this: “the things that you are worrying about right now, will they matter when you die? Will you take them with you? How do you want to live? Just live or worry to death?”
You will have all the answers you need. So, don’t worry, live your life, free of obligations, loneliness, fear etc. Live before you worry about dying!!!
In this hashtag world, that we are living in, it is bracing to see a new hashtag every day.
Well, this one isn’t all that new. It is an old concept. Women in the late 18th century and early 19th century revolted against wearing corsets. As beautiful as corsets looked, they were uncomfortable to say the least. It was a well-documented and well-articulated movement. The women focused on the mental and physical health issues they caused. The result? Well, the corsets are obsolete. Our organs are free!
Let us talk about brassiere. The sexy sounding word, for the support for our breasts!
Every woman detests wearing a bra. Finding a good supportive bra, that does not hurt is way way more difficult and extremely impossible than, finding a good man who, respects and loves you. Both are a “myth”!
I remember the first time I wore a bra. A teenager bra. A training bra. I was very excited, I had seen my mom wear one and I knew it was a grownup thing. So, the little girl inside me was happy and excited to taste the adulthood.
After the feeling sunk in, I remember feeling very girdled, something heavy on my chest, the straps digging into my flesh. Little did I know, this is going to be a part of my existence henceforth.
Us women spend a fortune trying to find a “comfortable” bra. And, the range of choices, OMG, it is not even funny. I mean I am like talking to my breasts like: “guys this is for you, I am done spending so much money! What is it that you guys want? Underwire, lacy, t-shirt bra, sports bra, push-up bra, demi cup, xyz!!!!” well, only if they could answer! That would be magical, I would have magical breasts!!! And every man’s dream come true!
I like the days I am at home, not needing to wear a bra, my girls are free, they can breathe, jiggle, sag and be happy.
But, for the life of me, I cannot imagine not wearing a bra when I step out.
I can handle the potential stares and the hands trying to reach, but, I am not comfortable with the girls jiggling when I am traveling via metro or in an autorickshaw, or when I am running down stairs. I would find that extremely uncomfortable.
But, I get the thought process behind the whole free the nipple thing. It is to break the shackles. The restrictions. If the men can go shirtless and not get molested, so can we, so should we!
Heres the thing though! Our bras are equivalent to the men’s underwears. Both are restricting soft, round and jiggly things. Men sweat down there too, they find it uncomfortable too. Men do not parade naked and call it male chauvinism!
Seeing a random naked guy on the road is scary and scarring!
Us women are made a certain way. Do not turn our anatomy into prejudice. Let us fight for equality but also be understanding of the opposite gender. Isn’t compassion one of our greater qualities?
Just because we suffer, does not mean, the other gender doesn’t. Or that their suffering isn’t valuable enough!
Fight for freeing the nipple only if you are willing to tolerate naked penises around. It is justified isn’t it? Going shirtless just like men is not going to take us too far.
The women in the 1960s burnt their bras in the freedom trash can along with lipsticks and high heels to protest against the Miss America Paegent. They wanted to be not judged and not just be a face.
Why not protest against wearing heels? They are uncomfortable too. Wearing a pair of heels is a choice. Nakedness is a choice! They have nothing to do with feminism. There are better ways of making a sound for equality and this is not it. So, for now, my nipples and I are going to take the high road on this!
“Once, in a village, there was a goat. No one knew where she was born. The birth of an ordinary life never leaves a trace, does it?”— Poonachi, Perumal Murugan.
This is the first line in the book. A great introduction indeed!
I am an ordinary person, have always been and will always be. So, this line established an immediate connection between me and the book.
As a child, I have seen the goat herders take their goats out for grazing. I belonged to the “educated” well to do” class. So, I always found them fascinating. The multiple piercing these men had, smoking tobacco and just chatting away, collecting whatever caught their fancy, giving caution to the wind, carrying a box full of just rice, all of this just drew me to them.
And who can ignore the stench of goats? Ugh! the weird stench, and they would drop their fecal matter all over the place. Their cry bleeh, bleeeh, ugh! So, they looked cute, but, I was never fond of them. As an animal, they never really caught my attention like a dog or a cat or a horse or an elephant. I mean I never thought of them, until, this book!
The protagonist is a goat, a black doe goat. We are introduced to the old man who receives this goat by a stranger referred to as “Bakasura”. A small, feeble and black goat. She was so tiny, she resembled a kitten and the old man’s wife named her Poonachi.
We are taken through Poonachi’s life from her struggles as a weak, motherless child with the old woman as her angel guardian, who does her best to keep Poonachi alive, to her friends and playmates, to an opinionated, fierce, thoughtful doe in love!
But, does her life belong to her? What is her role in this world? Does she not deserve love?
The fable answers it all.
She is a miracle doe, gives birth to seven kids in one go. Nourishes the old man and his wife through a drought.
The first set of her kids are not from the one she loved, she loses all the childern as the old man and his wife could not take care of them. She gets reunited with Poovan, only to lose him.
And loses herself in the process.
Sounds familiar? It is. It is. This story is us. Going through the life as we know it. We think we own it, but there is so much more to it. Obligations, stereotypes, traditions, genders etc.. they are never ending. And our lives are the consequences of it all.
Life does not always give us what we want. Our dreams, expectations and aspirations are a small part of a big picture. But, is all of it worth our happiness.
Poonachi will make you ponder on this, see if you can find an answer for yourself.
Poonachi’s ordinary life left a trace, I hope your’s and mine does too!
For me the first line summaries the whole book. Do read it if you get a chance, you will be glad you did! Mankind or animalkind, we are all the same.
This was my review of Poonachi, I hope you do read the book and immerse yourself in the beautiful world spun by Perumal Murugan