Sunday, March 04, 2012
I was 14 years old on the threshold of my womanhood when our eyes met for the first time. He was sitting on the dais fixed in the corner of the alleyway 50 yards away from my house. I looked at him coyly and shyly from the corner of my eye in a beautiful cool day in New Delhi. I was completely taken over by his masculine slender body. In no time, I discovered that he is a ladies’ man and in fact every woman admired him as much as I did. That was the time, our relationship first established.
Next week, when I was coming back from school my friend informed me that a party has been organized and dances will be performed in the evening. I often got excited about the events that took place in the community centre. I rushed back home, fixed myself, got dressed and left. My friend ‘G’ and I walked together to the centre and there was this teeth clenching, nail gnawing moment. Yes, I spotted him again - the Man who captured my attention and made a special space in the middle of my heart. I was curious to know more about him.
G and I walked in, found a pew in the back of the row where hundreds of men and women gathered to see special dances performed by Children. He and I still glaring at each other smiled and I pretended not to pay much attention to him. I didn’t want to be seen by aunties who also secretly worshipped his slender body and masculine charm. He was indeed particularly famous amongst women. No, not only his body was astounding, he was also a remarkable dancer. He did not fit into your usual social norms and socially constructed values. He was a man ahead of his time.
He held gatherings and parties in cemeteries, stayed up till late and often remained intoxicated on pure grass and wine. Everyone was invited to his merrymaking adventures. People tagged along whenever they could. He had his nose and ears pierced, and wore band around his neck and wrist. How cool I thought. While he enjoyed being part of social scenes, you would also notice him wandering around all by himself living a desolate life. There was this rebel, an eccentric and unconventional man right in my back yard. How did I remain so oblivious of his existence and his explorations?
The event finished, I took the courage together, went up to him and asked if we could meet privately. With his peaceful smile, he communicated ‘yes’. Wow, I thought. “He looks fairly young, perhaps in his mid 30s, hey?” G pronounced. But that did not bother me. I was excited about the prospects of meeting him again. I wistfully waited for the dusk to fall.
We met the next day in the same alleyway where we first caught each other’s attention. There he was sitting and waiting for me. It was dark and late. I only had 10 mins to speak to him and didn’t want to be seen alone in the dark standing in an alleyway. He was sitting on the same dais as before. He looked calm and eccentric. I told him much about my troublesome life at school like home work, how difficult was it to wake up and go to school in the morning. He advanced an admonished smile and comforted me. He finally glanced certainty and offered to support me with my homework.
I remember going home with a different feeling altogether. This man had captured me. I am seized by his entirety and his presence in my life. We carried on meeting. The never ending rendezvous involved me always talking of course and He patiently listened and smiled. We both learnt many things about each other. I found out that not only was he a charmer, he was also a big softy. He believed in expressing his emotions gently and calmly unlike many men who are uncomfortable about being effeminate. He, on the other hand, was at peace with both his masculine and feminine characteristics. So good to be true.
Imagine a strong man with a heart of gold. “No wonder he has many female admirers”, I thought to myself.
I also found out about the vibrant woman, no less than a deity, sitting next to him. She was one of the major influences in His life. She never stopped herself of speaking her mind and in fact once she was in such a rage, she went on the frontline to express her prowess as a feminist.
There were influences of masculinity, femininity and feminism right before me who had influenced me big time during my teen years, and have kept on influencing me.
Lord Shiva - symbol of Masculinity and Femininity musings on the eve of Maha Shivaratri.
This is a piece written by a friend of mine, Dr. Ritu Mahendru. It is an interesting way to look at ourselves and our relations. It is important that we understand the duality in our existence and how every aspect of our life revolves around a complex emotion - Trust. There is more to this piece, it speaks of how we tend to transfer our fears onto someone we trust and seek a happy existence. We are on our own, and yet every one of us is a piece of the larger jigsaw puzzle – we need to understand this. I found it as an interesting read, and wanted to share it with all of you. You may find the original piece here.
For the uninitiated, Lord Shiva is a Hindu Deity and is the destroyer God or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the Divine. Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life according to Hindu Religion.