Tag: life

Predator in Hiding

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I tried writing this blog from the POV of a sexual predator but I gave up after a few attempts. I couldn’t get myself to think like an entitled imbecile who believes that women should be grateful for his attention and should respond with servility and sexual compliance.

The grey zone of sexual harassment is filled with judgement and opinion. What is ok or not ok can be hotly debated and ranges from allowing a hand on the thigh to drinking with a male colleague to being someone’s favourite at work to consistently dipping into the office pool to hone their marksmanship…. The inevitable bonding on projects and long hours at work make the workplace a hotbed (pun intended) for potential exploitation.

What really constitutes sexual harassment? In my considered opinion, it is anything that involves :

  • Stalking
  • Preying
  • Luring
  • Baiting
  • Using aggression, blackmail, power, promise of retribution, fear, undermining someone’s spirit … all for sexual dominance and power trips.

In case there is any difficulty understanding the points above … I am clarifying them here for your benefit.

  • If you believe that you own the women who work for you or with you …
  • If you believe that women are basically dumb props and have made themselves available because they stepped out of their home to earn a living
  • If you believe that women exist for your pleasure
  • If you believe that women cannot achieve their goals without your proprietorial hand on their ass
  • If you believe that your female colleagues need sex education
  • If you believe that you are populating your personal harem while employing young, fresh ’talent’ then …

My suggestion is STOP. There are several instances of men being toppled from their seat of power by the very women who they chose to subjugate. It could be your turn.

This applies to predators across the board, irrespective of gender.

The Unexpected

Life happens without warning. When everything is smooth sailing and there are a million plans waiting to unfold, lightening strikes and the storm has us in its thrall. When we look up, the landscape has changed. Forever. Irrevocably. It leaves you no choice but to accept, allow and take those painful steps forward hoping to steady yourself on the unfamiliar terrain.

It jolts us in to thinking about so many fundamentals. Bodies that we take for granted, people that we assume will always be there for us, health that will continue to keep us going in our ‘important’ assignments … inevitably, these realities change.

We must assess and appreciate today. What is so important that if it disappears we will be bereft/incomplete/inconsolable? We decide. We learn to savour it before it disappears. Like every transient thing in this world. Including us.

Time Travel

I was sitting at a coffee shop waiting for a friend. I had enough time to observe the people around me. I noticed a couple sitting in the extreme corner. The boy was clearly uncomfortable because the girl was sobbing and he seemed torn between compassion and self-consciousness. Aware and worried that the people watching would hold him responsible for her tears. All of a sudden, while he seemed to be earnestly beseeching, she threw the mug across the floor and ran out of the cafe. He appeared stunned. No, he did not get up and run after her. He placed his head in his hands and stayed that way while the waiter went across and cleared the mess. Soon enough, he got up and left for the exit without meeting anyone’s eye.

This is real life and I’m not involved in this character’s story and unfortunately I will never know what really happened. It will come back to me from time to time in different ways … sometimes the boy’s expression, sometimes the girl getting up and flinging the cup across the floor with disappointment writ large on her face, sometimes the turning of several heads as they register the disturbance and look around, sometimes the defeated look on the boy’s face as he walked out the door … sometimes in slow motion and sometimes in sharp cuts.

Isn’t that what happens to our memories too? Over a period of time the interpretation is sweeter or not depending on how we want to see that moment?9d75c9ad3cd5dec88faa9f8ff1c5b0ba

The images don’t really alter but the way the light falls on them, the way the expressions remain, the selective bits we remember or those that we discard, decide how we look back on our past. Time is a great healer. It is also a great concealer.

Dear Companion,

At the age of 82, stooped, gnarled hands, knobbly knees … I stare at my reflection and marvel at this body that houses me. I feel my heart beat. Steady. My blood thrums in my veins. My brain is sharp. I know the clock is ticking but so far my body and mind have stood rock solid by me for all these years.

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I’ve experienced joy, love, sorrow, loss. My heart has sung and it has ached. My liver has, too!

In my 20s, I didn’t give it a thought. I was young and I was driven. I was the master of my destiny. I pushed it. I whipped it. I disregarded it. I took pleasure from it. I starved it. I over-fed it. I abused it. I took it for granted. It didn’t break under the relentless pressure and stayed strong, absorbing the punches.

As I grew older, I had to get my machine serviced from time to time. A fracture. Pneumonia. Appendicitis. Flu. Heart attack. Diminished eye sight. Diminished hearing. Stuff. Each breakdown reminded me of its value. This wonderful machine that works so hard. Relentlessly. No weekends off. No power naps. No holidays. Definitely, no vacation. It keeps at it. Maybe, its the partnership I formed with my body that allowed it to give me its best. Or I’m just one of the lucky ones.

I look back at my life and see my body as my constant companion. A sensory bridge that allowed me to experience this life to the fullest. For that, I can only feel grateful.

As I near the end, I’m conscious of my failing and tired body and all I wish is for it to go gently into the night when it is done.

with immense gratitude,
A young old man