The American Dream is a Segregated Nightmare

The American Dream is a Segregated Nightmare

Short Story Long

Hate won last night. Hate won after a long, gruelling campaign.

And no, when I say “hate”, I don’t mean Trump.

But if that’s what you think I mean when I say “hate”, then hate is still winning.

I want to preface this by claiming that I am Canadian, not American. And as a Canadian, I watched the American election so much more closely than I did the Canadian election last year. I was so determined to stay awake and watch until the end…but I fell asleep and woke up to learn Donald Trump is president-elect with a majority house and senate.

It took me a long time to decide how I was going to approach this. I considered talking about the flaws of democracy and the American electoral college, but I know nothing about political science. I thought about condemning people who didn’t vote or voted third party, but…

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Short hair and an existential crisis

Let me tell you something about myself. I am twenty year old girl; tall, thin and usually dress in western attire. Not more than a fortnight ago, I got my hair cut very short. Short enough that I do not require to comb them. This is when my story began.

In the past two weeks, I have been asked more than a hundred times whether I am a boy or girl. I find this question completely baseless. What does my hairstyle have to do with my sex? Who decides the haircut I like? Why is it mandatory for girls to have long hair and boys to have short hair? Why can’t the society accept a girl with short hair as readily as it accepts one with long hair?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. I am the only child of my parents. When I go out with them, people joke around saying “You have a son now.” They have heard enough taunts already for not having a son. Now people ask them whether they have a son or daughter while they look at me.

The point is that stereotypical ideas of the appearances of boys and girls must be done away with. Many of my male classmates have long hair. If they like their hair long, nothing else matters.

Dear society, I will keep my hair the way I want to. If you cannot recognize me anymore, I too refuse to recognize your stereotypical and patriarchal notions of femininity and masculinity. I am no less a female by keeping my hair short. I am and will always be proud to be a girl.

You have yourself

Dear me,

I know you are undergoing troubled times. There is so much to do that you can barely do anything at all. To add to the mess, your birthday falls during examinations. Could it get any worse?

That is exactly the point. It cannot get any worse. Like Hagrid told Harry, it is not every day that our young woman turns twenty now, is it? The fact remains that you’ll complete twenty years of age in less than two weeks. Nobody can take that from you. You may have nobody keeping in touch from your hometown, but believe me, it does not matter. If they cannot find time to ask if you are okay once in a month, are they really worth bothering for at all? There is no greater tragedy than a life where there is no time for love. Dumbledore rightly professed that “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all those who live without love.”

I know you feel dejected that nobody remembers that your birthday month has begun. I know it is unusual for you as you never forget to wish any close one when her/his birthday month and week begin. But all cannot think like us. What else can you expect from a generation that depends on social media for remembering, wishing and celebrating birthdays? Genuine emotions have no place in a world where technology has spread its tentacles so far and wide.

So, my dear self, I want you to know that it hardly matters whether people remember your birthday month or not. I do. You have yourself and that makes all the difference in the world. Wish you a very happy birthday month! It is going to be very special because special people like you deserve all the special things in the world.

Smile and enjoy the last two official weeks of your teenage. Official, yes- because you are never going to grow up, are you?

Lots of love,

Me

Escapist

Let us drench in the rain
and let our sorrows dissolve
Let us shout in vain
and release the storm within

Let us revel in memories
and travel back in time
Let us write poetry
even it doesn’t rhyme

Let us close our eyes
and avoid what crosses our sight
Let us believe it never happened
it was a nightmare we saw last night

Let us numb the pain even if
it’ll be worse when we feel it
Let us disappear and return only when
there remains no need to heal it

Criminalizing ideologies

We live in a world that only accepts what it wants to. Anything other than that is either sanctified or profanized; it is always an extreme case. It is a risk to think different than the rest or even to think at all.

It is a sin to be a feminist, because the society does not view assertive or ‘bold’ women in a good light. One must not support homosexuality because it is abnormal. Women are sluts or whores if they explicitly express their sexuality. Men have monopolized the rights to hurl women-centric abuses. Misogyny is never problematized, but a feminist is immediately essentialized as anti-male. A feminist and an ideal daughter/sister/mother/daughter-in-law are mutually exclusive categories. The moment a woman questions the patriarchal setup of the social order or questions a male in the household, she ceases to be ideal owing to her blasphemous behaviour.

It is a sin to be a leftist, because it is only the capitalists and aristocrats who run the country. Being a leftist is therefore equivalent to being anti-national. It does not matter if a fair few infringe upon the rights of an ‘oppressed majority’. It is these wealthy giants who pay taxes and that is all that really matters. Money is more important than lives. There are so many poor people in the country that it is hardly a concern if a few more die of hunger or suffer from displacement. That they have employment is enough; they have no right to demand good and hygienic working conditions, wage hikes or anything else. Beggars cannot be choosers.

It is a sin to be a promoter of the rights of the marginalized, because you may be assassinated for talking against the state.
It is a sin to question the status quo, because disrupting the traditions of oppression,  and subjugation and exploitation turns the powerful against you.
It is a sin to be a woman and think for yourself.
It is  a sin to express your discontent against the existing state of affairs.
It is a sin to violate rules and break the norms the society has been following since eternity.
It is a sin to adhere to any ideology that counters that of those who possess power.
It is a sin to dissent, refuse or negate.

It is a sin to take a stance for something you believe is true.

 

Live, love and grow…

Life is not about surviving
it is about growing
It is not about capturing the most attractive view
rather it is about learning something new

It is more than the promotions and pay hikes one gains
it is the little things that matter
It is the joy of drenching in the rains
or a cup of coffee with a partner

It is finding time for the people one loves
it is introspecting and communicating with the self
It is being aware of what goes on around
it is not whiling away like a dusty book on a shelf

Yes, life is work
but only work is not life
Life is sharing cheers and smiles
it is about making it worthwhile

Years later, lost moments return as regret
but happy ones linger forever
They reinvigorate lost hopes and spirits
they help one feel stronger and better

Life is not a race to be won
it is a quest to find oneself
It is not drowning oneself in a sea of responsibilities
but learning to swim towards the shore of one’s dreams

It aims at success and wealth
but not at the cost of happiness and health
It is about kindness and companionship
Care, empathy, love and friendship

Don’t miss the moon while counting the stars
don’t miss the train you’ve always wanted to board
Be the flower that bloomed its best before dying
Be the bird that higher and higher soared

Embrace your passions, challenge your fears
be the one you want to be
Love yourself and explore the horizons
make it the show you’d love to see!

Parasitism in humans?

Parasitism may be an entirely biological phenomenon peculiar to certain species, but why can’t it be said that it is found among humans as well? Not biologically but socially we are parasites.

We depend upon the machines we ourselves invented. We are handicapped without the internet unheard of until 26 years ago.

Humans created smartphones; smartphones created dumb humans.

We cannot spend a day without checking our social network or updating our fake, exaggerated and masquerading identity on our social profiles. We cannot while away time unless messages keep pouring from various contacts and groups. We cannot consider ourselves worthy unless we have a thousand virtual friends we need not have met in person.

We are dependent upon fashion for making our choices. We rely on celebrities to select what occupies our wardrobe. Without cosmetics, we cannot enrich our external beauty. Without material possessions, we cannot build our self-esteem. We cannot celebrate birthdays devoid of cakes and parties. Without flaunting all these, we cannot conform to societal norms.

We bank upon the society’s approval for choosing our actions, behaviours, careers and life partners. We eschew anything that shall attract the indignation of the society we stay in. We feed upon our own conscience to nourish our desire for being included in a society whose rules were framed aeons ago.

We breed upon anger, envy and lies. We prosper in the adversity of the other. We thrive in the decline and misery of others. We flourish when we are appreciated more than others and perish when we are outdone by them. We take huge strides trampling others on our way.

Not only are we parasites, but also we are gradually turning into slaves. We are slaves of the phone that maddens us with anxiety if it does not buzz every ten minutes. The internet which brings the world to our fingertips and thereby deactivates the thinking faculties of the mind. The likes and comments on our pictures which judge the identity that never belonged to us. The gifts we exchanged and the money we made which determine our status and position in the society. We are enslaved to our own greed, anger, desperation and desires.

The only way to end this bondage is to love oneself. It is important to be true to oneself and there is nothing to be ashamed of being what one is. No possessions except truth, love, hope, compassion and conviction are invaluable.

Let us rise above these trivialities and embrace the truth of life which lies not in things but in living itself; fighting battles each day and evolving into an independent, sensitive and sensible individual. Nobody but we can emancipate ourselves from the shackles that bind us to the negativity we want to refrain from. Remember, life is a circus and you are your own ringmaster.

Live for yourself. Live free!

livefree

Sunshine blogger award

Thank you, RavenclawSam, for this nomination. Apologies for the delay in answering; but better late than never. So let’s get going with the questions!

  1. Did you listen to the Hamilton soundtrack?

    No, I didn’t. 

    2. If your answer to that question is Yes (or ‘OMG YES!’ preferably), which are your favourite songs (I know it’s impossible to choose just one), favourite character, favourite voice to listen to? Go on! Fangirl/ fanboy!!

    If your answer to that question is No, what exactly are you even doing with your life?!
    While that question started out rhetoric, now I’m curious. What’s happening? What’s new? What are you excited about in the short term? Tell me.

    I’ve finished an internship and I have got a lot to work upon. I am excited about a research paper I now have to resume writing. It revolved around the lessons learnt in gender, education and equality from the Harry Potter novels. I also have to read quite a long list of books.

    3. Do you have any tattoos? Would you like any (more)? Describe them.
    If no, why not?

    No, I do not have any. But if I ever do, it shall be the Deathly Hallows/ Always and Peace (the latter for sure).

    4. If you were a Greek God (or Goddess) what would you be the God of?

    I’d love to be the goddess of wisdom. I really like how Minerva is described as ‘goddess of poetry, wisdom, medicine, commerce, weaving, crafts and magic’.

    5. Why do you think cats can’t fly?

    Simply because they don’t need to. If the need ever arises, owing to adaptation, they may acquire the ability to fly. The possibility cannot be routed out completely. Then it could actually rain cats, if not dogs!

    6. If you could hop into a time machine right now, where would you go, past or future? When and where, specifically, and why?

    I want to go back to the past. The past, back to my junior college days, which were the best days of my life. But I wouldn’t want to stay there for long, heeding to Dumbledore’s wise advice: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

    The future- I am not in a hurry. As Hagrid said, “What’s coming will come and we’ll meet it when it does.”

    7. Which is your favourite book cover? Why? (Of course attach a picture!)

    I am in love with the latest jackets of the Harry Potter series. A dear friend gifted me Philosopher’s Stone and it was one of the most beautiful jackets I saw. It felt as though if I prodded them with a wand, they would definitely come bursting out of the page! But the best one in the series, according to me is this:

bookcover

8. What is your comfort food?

I have completely lost taste, but chocolates are still my instant pick-me-up. A Dairy Milk is enough to ward off all Dementors.

9. Tell me a funny and/or cute story from your childhood. (You can and should ask your parents for help in this one!)

This may be embarrassing. My mom and I were on a long journey in a train. We were sharing a seat when my mom opened her eyes and sensed that I was no longer sleeping beside her. She panicked and saw all around, only to find me sleeping on the middle berth, holding another woman. Fortunately, that woman didn’t notice me. She quickly brought me down and I don’t remember if I was scolded or not. It was kind of creepy how I must have woken up in my sleep and hopped on to someone else’s berth, thinking she is my mother.

10. Which F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character are you?
(Take this Buzzfeed quiz and post a screenshot of your answer!)

It was quite sensible of you to provide the link. I got Gunther and I have a foreboding he might not be one of the best characters on the show, but never mind. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?

11. *Bonus question space!* What question do you wish I had asked you? Ask yourself it and then answer.

This is interesting. I wish you had asked me what I am reading currently. I am happy I’m rereading my Harry Potter books. I finished Prisoner of Azkaban today. Nothing makes me happier!

Merci beaucoup, au revoir!