Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Ils deviennent des hommes

A few things happened in unison today

1. My French class - I have been attempting to learn French for almost a month now. I used to love the language in school and i am rediscovering my love for it again. 

So, as part of the course, I was revising a few sentences  when this line came up - "Ils deviennent des hommes" - it translates to "they become men". (In a way I was annoyed as there was no sentence about women. I would have liked to write that translation.) It felt so powerful. This transition from one state to another. It is always gradual, so the become makes sense and it is usually painful so I wondered where the pain went. Is it inherently understood?

2. I was chatting with a friend of mine from college. We had not been in touch (I am not really that good at keeping in touch. Have a slight problem there) and when we started talking, I started rambling like it was just last week that we spoke. 

Given all this, I was reminded of the place where I started growing up to be this woman I am now. BITS - Pilani. 

To say that I loved the place would probably be an understatement. It was the first place I felt that i truly belonged in. (I sucked at making friends in school and really learnt to socialize much better in college) 

I always felt at home there and also met my best friends there. It changed me for the better. (Well, not enough, but growing up is a lifelong process, so i am going to be nice to myself now)

I never thought I would forget the time spent there.I had all this plans about going back to campus to recruit. (I also had plans to retire from my first company, but that is a story for another day) 

I was reminded of my last view of the gate when I left. I was in tears then. (I didnt want to turn back time though. I wanted to start working) An era over. A life so long ago. I have changed and I am still the same. I would like to think that i have hopefully become a little nicer and a lot more mature after making the same mistake in various forms again and again. 

I was so caught up in my present, that i never truly had time to pause and ponder about the past. Today, I took sometime off. To remember that naive and silly girl who was convinced she knew it all (who still thinks so. :) ) and to remember that place where I learnt that I was ok on my own and reconnected with the poet in me. 

BITS - Pilani - I will always love you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for everyone. The future can wait for a few more hours as I sit and remember a glorious past.

19 comments:

Sun Ray said...

BITS.. you must be incredibly smart.. how are you interested in so many things..?

Harini Padmanabhan said...

Smart is a point of view. Being interested in things and seeing things through are two different things. :)

Sun Ray said...

Yeah. I hope many others would have taken the same point of view with regard to you. :)

Harini Padmanabhan said...

Over a period of time, I've come to accept that IQ is over rated. Some of the smartest people I know are the most intolerant ones too. But thank you for thinking so.

Sun Ray said...

I have seen it both ways.. smart people being a pain (because they can afford to be) & smart people being a pleasure to be with (bcoz they know better).

I still haven't got a grip on IQ vs good character (tolerance including), because both needs to be in demand. The 1st for progress & 2nd for making life palatable.


Harini Padmanabhan said...

Character is a heavy word to use. And trying to peg Good vs bad is so dangerous at times. In general it's easy to make a snap judgement which can even be right. But nowadays I wonder what is good and what is even bad. Though I stick to my version of good like a chewed bubblegum.

Sun Ray said...

Yes, attitude might be a better word. Defining good & bad is tricky.. I use to think of them this way - good is something which can be done by everyone to each other & still the world / society won't break down. Bad is something when if done by everyone, the world would break down. This definition was brought about while thinking if war / fighting / jealousy / anger is good or bad.. at that time, I was bent in categorizing actions & behaviors. But, then lost interest, :)

What's your version of good?

Harini Padmanabhan said...

See, society is itself a man made construct. You can cut all the trees you want and breathe laboratory made oxygen. Society won't break down. It will just thrive in a different way. My version of good...I think it's kindness. Empathy. Empathize even if you don't agree but still stand your ground. This is what I think now. Can change tomorrow.
I can't empathize with someone that violates or abuses the trust someone else places on them though.

Sun Ray said...

It is not just man made but has taken thousands of years to evolve to where it is. If there's an ideology or action that threatens the way society is woven together, then it's fair to call it wrong.

It is tricky though. I think in the gita, there's something like this "what you want is what is right". If you think critically, every action ever taken by a human can be justified in his / her own frame of mind at that moment. History & retrospection is what differentiates right from wrong. The present always labels an event as "right or wrong".



Harini Padmanabhan said...

I don't think I agree. Take how we treat women for example. It's been happening for centuries. This discrimination. Is it right just because that's how it has always been?
And what gives us the right to destroy mother Earth who has been around for much longer than any of us? Even going by your logic, what we are doing is unforgivable.
The present doesn't. We do. History is written by the Victors.
I've not heard that interpretation of the Gita. Let me look it up and comment. In my new avatar, I'm trying to get my facts checked and not get carried away in my effort to make a point.

Sun Ray said...

If it's for the atrocities (rape, domestic violence), it is wrong I agree. What other women discrimination are we talking here?

Earth - you are right. We did spoil earth
But, only because of coal & oil, there's so much progress. It was needed to fund all the industrial progress. But, very soon solar would take over & coal, oil would become do negligible. Or of we take use the fertilizers, it was needed to fund the ever increasing number of stomachs.. but, soon there would be alternatives.

Earth does not have a mind to say right from wrong.. without humans, the quest for these things does not arise. As much as we crrated about these dilemmas, it's up to us to sort them out, which we will :)


Harini Padmanabhan said...

I'm not sure if you're a guy. If you are, please don't take offence to this.
It's not the outright discrimination alone. It's the implicit ones. Asking the woman in the house what's for dinner when there's a man sitting right next to her. Why? The simplest example I could give. Telling a woman she's much better at taking care of children. Not in a way that you are complimenting her, but more to get the male out of doing it.
Age and gender are the two things that form a very essential part of our identity and I feel from what I have seen that we abuse the gender so much more. So obviously and yet it's not something we talk about.

Harini Padmanabhan said...

Why is a human life more valuable than that of a cow or a dog or a cat? What makes us special? We give our species too much importance.

Sun Ray said...

Am a guy. See, it's division of labour. It so happens that women have birth to children.. so, like it or not women had to rest at home for nursing children, for mrnstrual cycles, etc so, maybe the job of taking care of home fell with women. Plus, hundred years back, most of the jobs required high physical effort, something women may not have been comfortable with.

Also, women's mind evolved to better understand children & care than men. A by product of taking care of all house hold things & managing finances is that they are much smarter I think in multi tasking, in patience, in determination & bearing pain (bcoz of labor).

But, only recently men have started realizing it bcoz they have enough learning to support these. So, it would change soon.


Sun Ray said...

Well. It's true that every species is just another branch in evolution, but the way I think is this. Which species is equipped to save other species?.. us. So, we naturally feel higher on the scale of importance.

Say, a mad dog which is an endangered breed tries to bite a man. & Say the bit would lethal. The man would certainly not think twice before trying to kill it to save himself. Wild life activists would take the side of the dog.
I would take the side of the man..

Harini Padmanabhan said...

It's subtle. It's persistent and it will take time to disappear. I've heard this reasoning too many times now. There's no hard labor now. But most of us (including women) are hard wired to accept and propagate this discrimination. Unless there's awareness, it will never change.
It will just be Plato s cave.

Harini Padmanabhan said...

What makes you think the species need saving? I'm saying that the life of the dog is no less valuable than the life of the man. We feel more important. But we actually are not. At times I think if like in h2g2, when someone tries to raze down Earth, maybe we'll wake up

Sun Ray said...

The Allegory of the Cave, or Plato's Cave, was presented by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work the Republic to compare "the effect of education and the lack of it on our nature" - interesting. Never heard this before.

Only in the last 10 years or so, the so called soft fsvoit I.T jobs came into existence, till then most jobs were not suitable. As you say, women were hard wired to remain at home & remove themselves out of the labour force.. (due to hsbit) & men are not mentally prepared to nurse young children bcoz they don't have example men doing it, if men take care at home - means women work outside - means women's income needs to be sufficient to run the family - means women need good laying jobs & accommodating husbands, & right lower groups.. all these don't happen over night. So, patience Harini.

Harini Padmanabhan said...

What you don't get is why I talk about discrimination. What I mean by it. I haven't done a good job explaining it. Let me take a stab at writing something. It's got nothing to do with a woman working or not working. Nothing at all.