“KHAMOSHI”

A couple of days ago, during my usual Facebook procrastination, I came across this image which a friend had shared, and my nerve endings went numb. Not because the image was painful or NSFW, or even gory, but because it resonated with me on a deeper level.

I shared the image with another friend who called it “unsettling”, but I believe that the image had to be the most powerful one I had ever seen.

 

fb_img_1475244652251

 

A lot of you might have already seen it, and after a little research I found out that this image dawned from “Khamoshi”, a bridal couture collection by designer Ali Xeeshan, which apparently addressed the taboo of child marriage, and also is a part of a small film by Abdullah Haris.

You can watch the film here!

 

Now, I’m not here to talk about child marriage or the horrors of the situation itself. I’m here to talk about something else- another crucial yet sad thing this image reflects.

 

Notice the bride’s expressionless, tired, sorrowful face. Notice the happy, bustling people surrounding her, and manhandling her. And most importantly, notice the lock placed on her lips.

The lock signifies the silence that is forced on a bride, regardless of the situation, or the standard. It tells you about how the bride-to-be isn’t allowed a say in her own wedding festivities- ranging from not getting to choose her spouse to not being allowed to arbitrate the wedding party. What’s worse is that her smile (God forbid one exists) is shamed on during the proceeds of her OWN wedding.

And this injustice hails from continuation of bland, rusted cultural marital pressures- both on the family, and on the victim.

And desi families are so accustomed to these pressures and expectations, that they’ve blurred the line between necessary and pathetic. In desi cultures, it is never about the bride (or the groom). It is first and foremost and ALWAYS about society. Each action, each function, each decision is only finalised after weighing it on a societal importance scale, which we are more familiar with as, “log kya kahenge?”

According to some people (and unfortunately people I know), they believe that you can only function as a part of society if you’re willing to accept everything they believe in, no questions asked. And I find all of this supremely foolish.

WHY is your hunger for acceptance and admirance so distressing that you’ve allowed yourself to be encompassed in idiocy? WHY is your respect in society so important to you that you’re willing to spend on superficialities rather than essentials? WHY do you think random people who you say hello to in passing hold more substance than the people inside your own home? WHY are other’s amusements more influential than your kid’s?

 

People like me are accustomed to rebuke, especially when we put the words “simple” and “wedding” in the same sentence. Its sad, really. I had read this quote once, on instagram I believe, which went something like this-

“In today’s world if someone were to have a simple wedding, people would think it’s because they’re poor.” (or stingy)

 

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, having a grand wedding will be robbing me of my credibility. Sure, most people don’t really care about stuff like that. But I do. As a staunch believer and supporter of “No Band. No Baaja. No Baraat.”, it is horrifying to be silenced and blackmailed into accepting and giving into cultural pressure.

 

If only the elders opened their eyes to reality, then maybe, just maybe they’ll reform.

 


 

You can visit Ali Xeeshan’s Instagram at @alixeeshantheaterstudio

As A Matter Of Fact

Imagine a girl.

Now imagine a group of guys.

Imagine the girl passing by these guys.

I don’t need to tell you the next situation, do I?

A while passes by, and the girl and one of the guys in the group are dating.

Fate happens and they break up.

Now. Another guy from the same group approaches the girl to console her, to ‘talk it out’. He charms her, and tells the girl that he had ‘liked’ her since day 1. After getting over her initial jhatka, the girl and the second guy start going out.

The second guy goes back to his circle and starts telling his friends about how he managed to patao the girl. And they all laugh about it, and talk about how the girl lacks moral character. And ofcourse, the group still has the first guy in it cuz ‘bros before hoes’, right?

And but of course, they discuss about how another guy from the group will date her once the second one dumps her.

And SHE’S the one without character? Absolutely.

Character. I hate this word.

Despise.

Loathe.

Abhor.

In our extremely ‘modern’ and ‘culturally rich’ society, we are so quick to judge a person’s character without knowing them inside out. And even if we do, we feel that we have a birth right to taint a person’s soul with crude remarks and incessant gossip.

Our values have been moderated so much that a person’s respect is a joke to us.

Agar hamaari izzat nahin hai toh dusron ki kyun rahe?

People go to universities and colleges to observe, categorize and brand other people. And it is a universal subject- something we never get tired of.

But yeah, a course book or a class totally puts us to sleep, until someone says, uske bare mein pata chala?

WHY do we pride ourselves on being so culturally diverse when we can’t even stand a person who isn’t from the same geographical location as we are? When we look down upon somebody who might be financially weaker than us? When we’re not of the same gender?

WHY is it that when two people break up, the female is the immoral victim and the dude is the one that gets away with it? And let me add the scenario where the guy is fooling around with multiple chicks, it is still that poor chick who is blamed for everything. So much that other girls are asked to refrain from becoming friends with her because wo sahi ladki nahin hai.

Our generation is full of guys who LOVE to gossip and tell tales, sometimes even more than women. WAY WAYYY MORE. They’ll pick a chick from their college or mohalla and gang up against her existence. And then they talk about respect. Fuck-off.

Exactly how much time do you have in your life?

Let me rephrase that-

Exactly how much WORTHLESS time do you have in your life? Apparently, all the time in the world.

And then you’ll run around to fix your attendances, and your grades and your rapidly descending and empty life through jugaad.

Good going, mate. You da real MVP.

0DEEtgkk

I don’t relate to feminism too much because these days, people take it as male-bashing and/or for females to have their clothing/sexual rights.

But I believe we NEED feminism.

Why?

For what I explained above.

For a woman to not have her dignity or her respect taken to the circus.

For a woman to be able to make her mistakes and learn from them. Because that’s what they are- mistakes.

For a woman to be able to walk into her place of education or work without avoiding eye contact with people because of what is being said about her.

For dudes to start respecting women, because clearly, that isn’t the case anymore.


In case you’ve noticed, I haven’t used the term “man” anywhere for the male sex.

Because real men don’t behave erratically.

Because real men don’t indulge in crazy talk.

Because real men respect women.