Tuesday, February 28, 2006



UM..... S....

in the moments of melancholy

i lie
as if dead
on my bed
dead on
my bed,
dead spread on my bed.

and this
on my
blue bedspread.
looks cold.

a cold
blue death
on a blue bedspread
my orange room.

and i open my eyes.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

truth bites????

I am a very honest person.
I try not to lie.
Mostly I manipulate the truth so well I don’t even need to lie.
Am I not honest?
I mean who would say that?
Say that they are manipulative?
And off late I am trying to fight the urge to tell my mom that I am gay.
I mean should I or not?
Many friends will tell not, especially since I am Bi (I think, right now I don’t know, but I just am not straight)
And perhaps should wait for what if I find a great guy to marry? Then it will not be worth putting my parents through heartache and me through constant ….something…..i don’t yet know how mom would react.

I mean it wont be totally a surprise.
I mean she knows.
Once we were out for dinner, and my sis tells my mom and dad that “Piya is seeing a girl now” and my mom freezes for a sec and then recovers and says, “But whatever it is she is going to marry a guy from Calcutta”

So see! She refused to pursue it.

Or may be she did but I said that I admired her and thought her brilliant and were not going around.

Oh yes! I am a very honest person.

Who is kancha Ilaiah?

This is an excerpt from an earlier assignment of mine in a course of mine called 'Cultural Studies Critical Themes ' modernity, nationality in India.
For the people who want to read. it is 1000 words long so BEWARE.


According to his detailed self-description, Ilaiah was not only born in the backward Kuruma caste in a backward Telangana village, but of actually rearing sheep while he was young.

He describes at length how meticulously he learnt the intricacies of his caste-craft and its lingo; of the esoteric techniques to distinguish various sheep like the bolli gorre, the pulla gorre, the nalla gorre; of the diseases that attack the sheep; of the rustic herbal concoctions used to cure the diseases; of the hot-iron application in case the paltry medication fails; of the task of mid-wifing the birth of sheep-lings; tending to the young and grown-up sheep; above all, the expertise to shear wool from sheep without hurting it.
He acquired a doctorate in academic studies and became Associate Professor of Political Science at Osmania University.
In a critical review of the book M. V. R. Sastry says “A disturbing trend in the battle against this social evil is the emergence of a nexus of hate-filled Islamists, Christian missionaries, misguided and marginal/elitist ‘Dalit’ leaders, Marxists, Anglophile Indian elites (still bearing the white man’s burdens) and lately, western Indologists/South Asian Studies’ specialists. These disparate groups seem to have only one thing in common – a deep hatred for Hindus and Hinduism. Kancha Ilaiah’s book “Why I am not a Hindu” is a manifestation of this disturbing trend.”
Also “There is not the slightest hint that he did any impartial and methodical study, however sketchy, about the Brahmins. What all we know of his knowledge about Brahmins and Brahmanism is his so-called discussions with one or two of his colleagues. And these colleagues are, per his own admission, feminists well known for their pathological hatred for everything connected with Hindu tradition, notwithstanding their own Brahminical birth.”

I am not going to acknowledge Mr. Sastry, and debate over his review, but say that then according to him, a woman, feminist, educated and anglicized has no right to question and defy patriarchal norms.

As a woman, being aware of patriarchy, and as a Hindu, being aware of Brahmanism, I read this excerpt from “why I am not a Hindu”, expecting pleasure of some sort. Perhaps another ‘Annihilation of Caste”, I thought. Well! Like ‘Annihilation of Caste’ this piece to objectifies (for lack of a better way to express myself) Hinduism. It is as if, Hinduism, and thus Brahmanism is an absolute whole. He talks of ‘brahminical narratives’ and ‘brahminical paradigms’ as if they are almost tangible constant and all caste Hindus would understand what was being taught in the classroom. As a Hindu myself, I would want to say that Hindus too might find such narratives oppressive and exclusive of themselves. But my saying that will be the equivalent of a heterosexual male complaining of sexual-harassment at work place by women.

In a column in Indian Express by Sagarika Ghosh, Kancha Ilaiah says that just as the Vatican meets periodically to modernize Catholicism, the shankaracharyas should meet in conclave to modernize Hinduism. They should decree that everyone, every woman, every tribal, every Dalit, has the right to be priest of God and God is not the exclusive preserve of the Brahmin. The event will have tremendous symbolic value, provide a turbine charge to India’s quest for modernity and Ambedkar will at last be vindicated.

I wonder if that will make any difference to the average Dalit? Will that make any difference to the Hindu who freezes when a Dalit is nearby? Ilaiah here is trying to fight the Vedas. As he thinks that the average Hindu, Brahmin looks at his Vedas to perform his daily rites. Or even looks to the shankaracharyas to actually tell them what to believe or not. Hinduism is the way the Hindu lives, not only his religion. I feel that the only way to fight the puranic Hindu will be to consider him a minority. I might be idealistic her but, a man-to-man relationship is easier to establish and maintain than to fight a non-existent figure.

Historian Giri Deshinkar gives the example of the book on Mantrasastra, written by one of the shankaracharyas known for his zealotry, which justifies the sacred book by claiming that its conclusions are supported by modern science, as if that made the text more sacred, it also says that the author is a BA, LLB. These words modern science, BA, LLB are used so that Hinduism (or religion) gets sanctioned by modernity. ‘Caste system, in its earliest face had a scientific base’, this you will hear all Hindus mouth blindly. Whether this is true or not, I cannot say, but that it has been told again and again to Hindus so as that the average Hindu is able to defend himself, and his Hinduism on the grounds of modernity.
It seems like Ilaiah uses almost the same tactic to make Dalit bahujan acceptable (?) to his readers. He says, “It never struck them that the Dalit bahujan gods and goddesses are expressions of the productive cultures of the vast masses.” He then goes on to give examples of how the goddess Kattamaisamma, is the discoverer of tank system, a Pochamma is the discoverer of herbal medicines for all diseases. Tank system and medicines, are modern systems, and in attributing them to his gods, he is modernizing hid deity. This is unnecessary in my eyes. I try to dismiss religion, and this attempt to make it more acceptable on the grounds of modernity is, I feel, defeating the purpose. Like in Ambedkar, Ilaiah uses modernity to justify the injustice dished out to the dalits, since time immemorial. Humanity, a pre-modern concept, to could have been used here, to some effect, I feel.
Why this stance makes me uncomfortable, because, Ilaiah seems to suggest that Dalit gods were modern, the average Dalit man’s body is “like that of a person in a circus. It is ready to lean anything in any condition. But for this make-up of the Dalit-bahujan mind, it would have been impossible to acquire skills we have today...”, thus the injustice against the dalits is wrong. But anyway, any discrimination is wrong. Ilaiah, I feel, is giving too many explanations.
His using the Hanuman/Dalit character and relating it to modern day politics is yet another example of his ‘modernizing’. But in this case it seems more apt and interesting and having references in history.

Friday, February 24, 2006


"Would you call yourself a feminist?” I still remember the last time someone asked me that question. I was on a long train journey with a group of lively young men and women – most of us in our mid- to late-twenties – returning home after a strenuous trekking
expedition. We must have run out of conversation or food, or both, for suddenly one of our male companions turned to the girls and loudly asked, “So, are you feminists?”
course not,” scoffed one young woman, an advertising executive. “No way!” replied another, who worked for a multi-national corporation. And so it went down the line. The fitness trainer, the doctor, the investment banker, each one dodged the label. “Feminist? No that’s not me!” said each young woman quickly before she turned to look at the others. It wasn’t just the certainty of their answers that took me aback. It was also the meaning implicit in their replies – that somehow it was not good to be a feminist and that those who were feminists were somehow misguided and incongruous beings.
“Why not?” I asked the investment banker next to me. “Because feminists are aggressive, angry and bitchy women, who hate men and are against marriage,” she replied quite easily.
Sameera Khan reviews Paromita Vohra's film AND RECOUNTS THIS INCIDENT.

when we began our course in feminism in third year of our graduation under the banner of literature, our lecturer, a feminist herself started the class with quite a defensive stittude. ours was a mixed class. as in only girls but girls from all walks of life, all religion, all class. and she was recieved with a mixed reaction too.
she hated us, cos she thought we would be like her last class wherin someone had said that she still planned to get married and did not want to pay too much attention to the class incase she beacame.....horror of horrors!!!! A Feminist!!

This lecturer got used to us and liked some us and tried not to scream at the rest. poor feminist!

my friend recently joined my college as a lecturer herself and her now colleage, our old pol science lecturer (who is perhaps a closet feminist) asked my friend about me and if i were a feminist!
I was so thrilled she realised from afar that i was what is was.
but my friend had a problem with it and said, something like" no she is not a feminist, she just believes in the equality of women".....or something like that. anyway, so recently this this first year student in our M.A programme was heard saying......"what is all this feminism crap, i dont believe in all this"......she doesn't Have to believe but I wonder if she would have been sitting on the tank of our post-grad college campus smoking a cigarette,a nd saying tjhis if not for feminism......

anyway as i was saying.


Monday, February 20, 2006

do we or do we not make an ugly couple??

kunal kapoor of course!!

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Eyes like december
Fascinate me yet;
Eyes that can't remember
What I cannot forget.

Hands like december
Cool my fevered brow,
Kill this passion's ember
Forever here and now.

Lips like december,
Frozen and forbidden.
Whispers cut and withered,
In death's silence hidden.

Flesh like december,
Once bright and warm,
Now a languid cinder,
Lifeless evermore.

Heart like december;
Blood of bitter snow
And I the sick pretender
Unable to let go.

the poem is not mine and right now i forget whose, but definitely found it on an FtM website

somebody got married yesterday,
somebody got to give him up.
i am writing this for writing sake and i obviously dont care.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I See You Baby

Monday, February 13, 2006

“It is not that I don’t like men, cos I doooo…….”

But men don’t like me anymore cos they have found me out.
Men, straight men know that sometimes I am staring at their naked body and not really admiring it but fervently wishing it was my body.
I like certain body parts (male) so much more than other women friends of mine and I always wondered why! Now I know. I am wishing I had it. A bad case of envy and I feel sick (kind of) to say (or in this case write) it aloud but aaaaaaagh! There it’s out.
I am generally trying to out-guy a man and can totally understand why that might be repulsive.
Just for a friend of mine:
I am not confused really. "She knows she is a bisexual; she cut off her lovely hair and dresses like a man now, confusion is all that she has."
I of course dint cut my hair cos I am bi, that’s just silly but in a way to not look too feminine and get rid of the pressure to look nice. And have I not almost always dressed guyish. This had nothing to do with sexuality but all with gender. You being ultra feminine and sooooo straight might not understand that. And that’s ok really. So chill

Saturday, February 11, 2006

to a lil m....


let's look at it this way!!!! yummmm.

silver stuff

It was my parent’s 25th anniversary yesterday. 25 years! So my sister, grand mom and I planned this whole surprise dinner where some 20 friends of my parents turn up when we had been telling my mom that we were too busy in studies (right!!) to do anything of that sort. My sis and I gave them a glass photo frame with their wedding pic and little cut-outs of my sis and me.
Everybody turned up on time and all was fine. Except that the kids table had to be managed by me and thus I was constantly looking at menu and asking kids and grandparents what they want to eat. Was wearing my now famous pink saree, and was looking like a woman, after a fashion. And the smart-aleck captain (or whoever takes orders for the food) tried acting smart-alecky, so we laughed at his face. Dad gave mom diamond earring and chain-pendant. Mom gave dad gold-pearl ring. I think mom is happy about the fact that we planned so much (there were people she never thought we would remember calling) and I am so glad she is happy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

on her wedding day

is she not pretty?

Ugly Girl

i am back online. so yes i had stopped being online and now i am BACK!
The blog problem, i dont know what happened, but soo i was not able to go
online even and all because a lil wire had come loose, and even the landline was not working. i was playing with my dog and it suddenly hit me...to check all the
wires and realised that the wire had come loose. i fixed it and voila.......Am Back.....

Sunday, February 05, 2006

not able to access my blog!!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Lament of an Ugly Girl

as i watch your face
through the fire
that burns between us.
i pray i get over you
before the fire touches me,
for beauty till now did not affect me
and now that i stare at you
i am aware
i am aware
that i could have looked away
had you looked like me.


NO FLAW IN BEAUTY IS A FLAW IN BEAUTY ITSELF, I read someone say. (Ummm…..I know it sounds weird)
And I hate to admit this but I have been thinking of beauty a lot lately. Well ever since I cut my hair that is. And my recent trip to Calcutta, accentuated for me the fact that I am stared at. Firstly I am tall. 5’ 6” is no big deal really but in a country where the average woman measures 5’ 3”, I seem huge. I board a bus and all these women are looking at me. For years I told myself that it’s just me and people are not really looking but I am just being paranoid. But I used to feel stares hit the back of my neck, and …um… other parts of my body. Nowadays especially now that I am fatter I look up and look at these people who are looking. Did you notice what I just said? What has being fat got anything to do with what I am saying? Well …along with the fact that I don’t feel like a woman (well I don’t know what that feeling is so I don’t know whether I feel it or not) and instinctively (even if wrongly) feel that I look a freak in women’s clothes. So when people look I feel that they are able to see me the imposter trying to dress up as a woman. And I feel so gauche around women as a woman. So with all the fat (sometimes unevenly distributed over my 5’6”frame) I realise I am less attractive and thus in a way exempt from the line of lust of men, and you have no idea how wonderful that feels. Its not that I don’t like men, cos I do (I think), but this dread has nothing to do with sexuality but gender. So even now women and sometimes men stare, and even laugh at me (especially on trains) is it because they realise that I am trying to be a man and laugh at my body, wholly incongruous (especially the 5-10 pounds worth of breasts) with my attitude , body language and even movements. Or is it all a fragment of my imagination?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kunal Kapoor

this guy deserves to be worshipped for the sheer beauty that he is.
and oh! he reminds me so much of somebody else.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


To My own sapling of love

my favourite story about me.

My grandparents have been here for about a month now. I love it when I get to sit with my dadu and dadin and my Mom and sis and talk about the past. Much of what we speak is the oft repeated past. The more number of times I hear these stories, the more I want to hear them. Of course my favourite story is about me. This incident, completely true, happened about 8 to 9 months before I was born. My great grand mom (my ttham-amma, my mom’s paternal grand mom) was staying with her younger son in Benaras (now Varanasi). One night, or may be sometime at dawn, she had a dream about her husband who had then passed away 2-3 years ago. She dreamt that her husband is asking her why she is away from home (the home in khardah) “let’s go” he said, “why are taking so much time to get dressed? We have been away for so long a time, now I can’t wait”. My ttham-amma perhaps was taking some time to dress, so he tells her that he is going to wait at the pond near the house. My ttham-amma asks which pond, to which he says the one at the end of this road, to the right.

As far as I know today the dream ended with my ttham-amma following her husband and not able to catch up with him as he walked really fast and kept saying how he wanted to go to his granddaughter (my mother).

Ttham-amma wakes up and immediately asks her son if there is a pond anywhere close to the house. My chhoto dadu (my granddad’s younger brother) says, that if one takes the road in front of the house, and turns right, there is a little pond.
My ttham-amma is now certain that her dead husband is coming back (it sounds so dramatic and scary when I say this in English but in Bengali it sounds so possible).

So within few days she comes back to Calcutta and my dadin opens the door for her and the first thing ttham-amma asks dadin is if my mother is pregnant. Dadin is shocked because my mom had missed her periods that month. Dadin says may be she is but they are not sure, they hadn’t gone to the doctor yet. My ttham-amma jubilant and all-knowingly tells my dadin that she has had a premonition, and that of course Bulu (my mom’s pet name) is pregnant and of course its going to be a daughter and of course it will be her husband reborn. Because she had been visited by him in her dreams and this was what she had interpreted of that dream.

Within a few weeks they knew for sure that my mom was pregnant, within a few months everyone in the ‘parra’ felt that it was going to be a daughter, and ttham-amma knew who was coming.

I was born on 25th July 1982, about exactly three years after my great granddad had died.

As soon as she was able to, my ttham-amma bundled me up in a white-orange towel and took me around the room which she had shared with her husband, “see everything is exactly how it is, the same bed, the same cup-board, only now I have bought a radio, you never knew how to relax, I am now going to”.

Today my mom tells me for about the 1237th time how her grand dad had always wanted to be born a woman as he had had to take care of the whole family when he was young (he meant that women always had someone to take care of them….ah..Well) and had said a lot of times how he wanted to be my mom’s kid as she really pampered him.

So karma is to be blamed for the fact that I am really lazy and that I let my mom do everything she can to ‘pamper’ me.


Rose coloured glasses make you see the world in all its glorious details, sometimes even if they, the glorious details, do not exist- Is that not how good mood works?