Let’s Talk about Personal Space

See I’m a closed up person. I’m not the book type where the more you get to read, the more I open up. In fact, I feel as though you are the wrong type of reader or you just don’t spend enough time in a library, you will be getting to read a different book. Actually, for every reader that gets the right book, every wrong reader gets a different book because, different approaches and let’s face it: I don’t want you comparing notes with each other.

However, (keeping in line to the excellent book analogy because I’m fabulous for thinking of it in the first place) all readers alike get a common introduction. #NoHate #AllLivesMatter I like to (try to) be funny, a bit chatty, open to listening and being a cheerleader about saving the world and spreading sunshine on rainy days #haw

Still for all, there are few things I don’t speak much on for various reasons among which include:

(Local and International) Politics

No, I’m not trying to be diplomatic about it. Truth be told, unless it’s the UNFCCC or your names happen to be Trudeau or Macron, I’m not interested in knowing about you either. Mostly because I am a little blissfully unaware about what really goes on. Shameful I know, but I’m not lying when I say that it bores me. Sometimes to near death. I’m not proud of it needless to say but at least I’m being honest about it and avoid partaking in conversations I don’t quite understand much of.

On How Parents Should Parent their Children

Of course I will give ample advise on how I would raise my unborn children and in my mind write countless blog posts about how wrong I think you are raising your own. But, I for one will most likely not be able to afford any of my own and since you are bravely raising children, I genuinely do believe that you have a better idea of what you are doing with your kid(s), I think.

Education

While education is essential and a right for all, let’s face it. In reality, not everyone has access to it and due to various reasons, those who do have access to it sometimes leave it behind due to commitments, financial concerns, more lucrative job offers and the genuine lack of interest in wanting to study. While education is one way towards the road of smart(dom), it isn’t the only way and learning happens in everyday life and not just in an institution.

Sexuality and Gender

I added both, despite knowing very well that one is different from the other because I am unable to clearly explain as to how one differs from the other. My Gender Studies lecturer from 2012/2013 will be disappointed, I know. But like what you may, who you may and do whomever you please, so as long as you stay away from my man, you and I can always, ALWAYS drink together. I’ll even buy you a round.

Body Size

Let’s just say, #AllBodiesAreBeautiful

and they are! If you are unable to see beyond that, you and I clearly cannot be friends.

Facebook Relationship Statuses

If you are not on Facebook, well I don’t think this would apply to you, but irrespective of you being single, married, widowed, divorced and any other new type of relationship you choose to be in, I’m chill, with the exceptions of you either complaining about your chosen status or making out with you bae next to meet when we meet every four months for dinner. (ew)

Religion

These include the beliefs and practices of my own, of yours and those around us. Unless otherwise provoked with hateful comments on any religion, I will continue to believe that all religions speak of love, unity and togetherness because that’s what all religions preach. I think.

Coz we all love the pope.

This also means that I bear judgement (maybe a bit on parenting one tho) and have no biases (unless you are a child of war or divorce) on the different perspectives you and the rest of the world choose to believe in.

Because, personal space right?

We will soon speak on religion and agnosticism. However, if the sun chooses to shine and rays of inspiration hit me, I will speak of travels.

Let’s Talk about Prostitutes

A lot of people have already begun talking about it and clearly this post will not necessarily make a difference, but there are rants in my head that need to be written somewhere and if you don’t feel like reading it, no worries!

This is totes obvs with reference to the piece of shit writing on The Sunday Leader yesterday, which was shared by the lovely Aisha. I strongly suggest you read the ridiculous article by The Sunday Leader either way, in order to add some context to the story. 

Let’s start by saying that I, for a long time have been bias towards the cause of prostitutes. I’ve always thought that there was nothing wrong with selling your body and making a living out of it, because a) at corporates people tend to sell their souls anyway, haha and b) the way men leer is actually no different to the “male” customer that goes in search of female prostitutes.

Few disclaimers too (because the world gets ridiculously offensive at everything we have to say now):

  • I’m not going to call them commercial sex workers because it makes no difference anyway. Or maybe it does and it doesn’t really matter to me. It’s different to the differently-abled / disabled debate. Let’s just call a spade, a spade okay.
  • All supposed relationships in this are for heterosexual people. I don’t know too much on homosexual / bisexual prostitutes to speak as much on it.

***

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Dear Ashanthi,

As my friend Aisha points out, “young girls are suffering from the loss of virginity” is not a disease. Sometimes girls, if not women, lose their virginity at a young age due to rape. Or maybe due to consensual sex with their teenage boyfriend. You don’t “suffer” because of this “loss”. Such sufferings occur in the “loss” of a family member.

More on the “loss”, you don’t really “lose” anything. True there is the story of the hymen breaking and what not, but really it’s not a loss man, grow up for fuck’s sake. It doesn’t even work the same way for all women.

“In most cases innocent but naive young girls, seduced by their boyfriends, lose their virginity due to their affairs. But then, instead of coming back to the right track, they wander away in life astray dipping deeper into the abyss.” 

Like what the actual fuck. What if these girls who have gone “astray” have done so because it is a choice that they have made? Just as the misogynists would say that rape is something women bring upon themselves because of the clothes they wear (another rant for another day), sometimes women go astray, sleep around with multiple men, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. Grow up lady, the world is not as rosy as you think it and there are women who enjoy having sex with one man or multiple men, and if they are sexually consenting adults who would do it for a fee, what on earth is your problem?

“However, in Sri Lanka, this has become a serious issue due to the ignorance of the authorities for many years.”

Dearest Ashanthi, have you stopped to realise why there is an increase in “commercial sex workers” and an increase in rape? Because men are fucking frustrated. I’ve always thought (and I know that I’m not alone in thinking so) that if prostitution was legalised that there might be a slight decrease in rape because of the increased number of sexually consenting women? I might be wrong, I don’t know, because I don’t have the numbers. But logically, this works out well in my mind and in my utopia, male and female prostitution will always be legal and girls can walk home in mini skirts at eleven in the night. (and so can men, without being harassed or mugged, because we are all equal here, Jesus.)

“But the second group which consists of the majority, are women who have become helpless without anyone to look after them…. The opinion in the society about these women varies as some have criticised their work while some have felt sorry about their misfortune. When we look into the real reasons that have compelled them to become sex workers, we too tend to justify their fate.”

I actually agree with you on this statement. When men who are husbands, fathers, care takers, breadwinners or whatever else you feel fit to call them, fail to do what “society deemed them to do”, women have to take on their role of providing for the family. Some women, who are fortunate enough to have basic education, finds work at a minimum-wage job and the more fortunate middle or higher-class ones are able to find work in the private sector. The rest of the women who are not at such an advantage have to fall back on either daily labour or prostitution. Those who are able to would naturally choose the latter because it’s human to want to make more money faster. I work three jobs, you see.

“In a corrupt society, the lack of solutions for their social problems have compelled many women to become sex workers.”

Our society is corrupt for a number of reasons that I think include: those who come in to power, mismanagement of people’s money, greed, lack of solid foundation for education (and the necessary tools that come with it) that can lead to things like prostitution yes. (I can rant on infrastructure and inefficient government services but I don’t think that’s what we are ranting about now).

Besides your blatant ignorance, supposed reasons for gallivanting at three in the morning in the name of trashy investigative journalism and most importantly the lack of really good sub-editor, I am yet to find enough reason as to why The Sunday Leader would run something on these lines. Or perhaps, they were needing a publicity stunt and thought that this trashy piece of writing would make us buy the paper despite the terribly cheap print quality they have.

Go get laid woman.

From, a lot of angry women.

A non-statistical Analysis of the 2015 Presidential Election

Lol at the title and happy new year! 🙂 There was another post I had written halfway down the line but clearly, more important things got in the way noh, like the elections! Haha. To be honest, I was the least bothered by it and voted for the “now” opposition or former Government, shoot me, but I had a few reasons I thought (and still find) to be justifiable, at least to myself. However, when the news of the “new” President was made public, I was happily snoring, drooling most probably too, with my mouth open when Mama walked into the room at six-something in the morning. Apologise for the overly graphical image over there. Haha. As I said, no the election was not my primary concern and I was thinking of the best way to save up for a pair of Sarah Jessica Parkers, a Kate Spade handbag and a car. At least some of us have our priorities sorted.

Also this post is bound to get very country-specific and for those (if any!) who are not Sri Lankan, this might be a good time to go bake cookies.

Sunday I was having dinner by myself dead in the night, coz food happened in between meals and well you know. I was going through the Sunday Times supplement with all these information and given that my food was hot (and I don’t eat hot food), it turned out to be the perfect opportunity to map for trends and number patterns and what not. Not that I’m good at math or statistics but whatever okay I like comparing numbers and figures and judging people with my oh-so wise judgement. Lol. There are three main “patterns” I saw in the stats when compared to 2010. The Times supplement had given a side-by-side analyses of both the years. I am too lazy to get the physical paper from wherever it is so here it goes in no order of importance.

1. Registered Voters 

There are two (very obvious) significant changes that have taken place.

a) An increase in the number of registered voters;

b) A decrease in the number of registered voters.

So besides the very most obvious result of children growing older and being eligible to vote, (did I mention that this was my first election? shoving showing selfie) my first best guess is migration, for both a) and b).

It’s interesting to note how there are significant increases in the numbers that are closer to the capital city and other podi capital cities. But for people to actually “remove” themselves from their gama and register in the city closest to them? I asked my Mum on election day if people did that but she said that it wasn’t too frequently (or we both maybe wrong). But these were significant reductions and increases I tell you. Maybe when I become less lazier I will get the paper and quote the statistics.

Another reason could also be that people might be dead? (wait, the war ended) or they migrated,

by boat.

2. Voter Turnout 

From my not-very mathematical analysis I will say that the average voter turnout as a percentage of the registered voters was between 72-78%, which seemed promising, especially when compared to the figures from 2010. I narrow this occurrence down to three reasons.

a) An informed public

Maybe those not living in the city have been educated on the importance of casting their vote and the awareness generation programmes have done its part, voila.

b) A liberated public

Not in an attempt to take a hit at what took place six years ago, but I don’t panic (as much as I used to) when I leave the house without my NIC.

c) Democracy at its best

I nearly cringed when I wrote the title for c) but I don’t know man. The “Common” Candidate was by the People (we elected) and the “People” spoke and elected him. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here but if you get what I am trying to say, have a cookie.

3. Change in Preferences 

Damn son! Certain areas, which I will insert when I get hold that wretched piece of paper, which were pro-now-opposition had completely transformed its views and political opinions and preferences over a matter of five years or even the start of the “new” campaign. Amazing. As someone who is genuinely interested in marketing campaigns this is truly fascinating.

I’m a big girl now.

There were a few more I noticed while nomming down the plate of rice but these were the three that struck the most. Until I write, hopefully soon, and get that piece of paper, you babies stay safe. I’m excited about the Pope coming here. Woots.

#4 India Posting: People on the Side of the Road

For Issa. An ardent ‘fan’ – he says – of my writing. Yay readership. 

When I start off with the infamous line, “This has been a long time coming” I trace it back to a few weeks ago. India leaving-time is coming and you know how we all hate transition. Also, I know that my previous ‘India Posting’ well posts haven’t had any subtitles but this had to as it was mainly based on my walking-to-and-back-from college experiences that ‘inspired’ me (if I may!). In the line of formalities, let me also apologise to my *ahem* ‘readership’ for not having written anything sooner. I’m in my emerging-adulthood phase where I try to negotiate with realities 😀

I like to consider myself an observer. I try to be a passive one, so that my opinions are not formed on biases. However, the stereotypes are strong in mind and at times, I find myself, not-overlooking what ideally should be. I’m just using my human form as an excuse.

The goats. No they are not people. But they are ‘persons’ I see most mornings and every evening. We had a change of route as a result of the two-month-long construction that was obstructing our usual one. For a non-animal lover, I find the smelly goats an essential part of my day. I need to see the goats, whom I named Blacky and Spotty for obvious reasons and lack of creativity, at least once a day. My mind inquires their absence, if there is one.

The Harijan slash Untouchable slash Dalit man who peddles a bicycle with  a huge gunny bag attached to its rear end. I wonder how he manages an uphill climb. A few days ago I left college early. I was tired, annoyed and had a splitting headache. If walking in Colombo at 1.30 pm is bad due to humidity, walking over here becomes worse because the sun roasts you. Upon reaching home you start to sweat and realise how dehydrated you were. Point being, be with humidity; it protects you. While walking home I see this scavenger (they are called) stop his bicycle on the side of the road where the shadow of the building provides adequate shade. He sits on the ledge of a pavement, leans back on the wall probably covered with various specimens of urine and closes his eyes. I am walking on the opposite side of the road when I see this. My pace slows down and my mind races. Should I give him my bottle of water? But there isn’t much, so would it be of use to him? Would he take offence if I did give him water? What if he attempts something else upon me handing him the bottle? Why the fuck do we think so much. I accelerate my pace and walk home.

The little girl who sets her book on the pavement. She is as tall as my knee.  She takes a book out of her bag. I notice her bag having many broken zips and safety pins. She is as tall as my knee. She takes out a book and sets it on the pavement. She kneels down as well. I look at her with curiosity. I want to ask her many questions but my inability to speak the language keeps me away from this. Does language now truly become contextual as I always advocate? My Hindi is worth a tuppence probably. She has found a feather. A crow feather, my limited understanding recognises. The book is an English book. She is learning the alphabet. She places the feather on the picture depicting a quill for the letter ‘Q’. As an English major, I think to myself, why would any child want to know what a quill is when learning the alphabet? How long would it be until they use the word quill? How would a teacher differentiate to the child learning “Q for Quill” different from feather (in appearance) and a pen (in function)? Should we then not make our words in an everyday context? “Q for Queer” would have been more contemporary, appropriate even! 😀

Street vendors. There are many of them. From the ones who sell fruits, to the one who sells vegetables, to the one who sells jewellery, to the one who sells luminous coloured belts and brown wallets and plastic combs, to the one who sells sacred threads whom some of us, out of artiness accessorise it as anklets of wrist somethings, to the vendor who sells ‘chappals’, to the shish kebab boy, to the one who sells pirated copies of The Oath of the Vayuputras with the last few pages missing, to the North-Eastern momo-guy who sets up post 5 pm, to the chat-walah and to the pani-puri walah. I’m sure I missed out on many more of them selling all sorts of well, commodities that can be sold. Oh, like my bajji aunty and roomie’s kati-roll walah. While part of me advocates for relocating these street vendors to a common complex to avoid unnecessary pedestrian traffic, we would not only take their comfort zone away from them, but also not have the tapioca-chips-walah on our way home from a long boring day in college.

Then you get the occasional drunk guy lying on the road. 8.30 am, 2.20 pm, 4.50 pm, 7.00 pm, 11,26 pm. It doesn’t matter what time it is. He will be there, down some road, waiting for you to pass by him, look at him and probably pity him, abuse him or weave him in to a blog post.

So I don’t know where this brings me to. I am aware of their presence in the road. I best like a road when there are no obstacles. Even my jogging track has little potholes caused by rain and mud that present themselves as obstacles. But at the same time, responding to the cliché, I believe that this a very part of who we are, constructed in ourselves through others.

India, will always have a very special place in me. I abstain from using the word heart because I force myself to not think from my heart. Fuck those romances.

I haven’t written an India post this long and as I proofread before publishing, I’m glad I did.