Few days back, I was talking to a friend of mine (she's actually my roommate) about how India was a very broad-minded country and how its thinking was narrowed down because of the Mughal rule. Every time I think about it, I find it hard to believe that my ancestors were cool about love and sex. And here I'm talking about the era much much much before the Mughal Empire and before all that nonsense of pardah-system came into being and before a woman was treated not just as a piece to be protected and kept inside the four walls but as a symbol of Shakti.
Have you ever visited Ajanta Ellora caves or observed its carvings? Have you noticed how explicit they are apart from being one of the most amazing archaeological sites in India? Or Kamastura-a book written by Vatsyayana, an Indian. Or even the ‘Shivling’ which is a symbol of deity of Hindus i.e., Shiva and which represents the inseparability of the two genders and creation of life. Although our very own culture gives a divine nature to sex, we treat it as immoral. Ironical indeed.
Now let us come to the no-love-before-marriage cliché.
Love is something very godly. Yes? But we Indians have a different theory. We do find it divine but when it comes to our own children falling in love with someone else’s children we close our eyes and ears and go into an I-will-not-use-my-mind-no-matter-what mode. According to the views of our parents and their parents and so on, a person is selected for us and we are told to fall in love, marry that person and have sex with that person, procreate 3-4 children and make a happy family and lead a happy life. Wow! Such a well mechanised ideology. Huh.
Further, girls can hang out only with girls and boys can hang out only with boys till they are married off. A spark of doubt is ignited in their heads,the moment we tell our parents that we were with a friend of opposite gender.
And yes, how can I forget one more important notion which says that the seed of love can never sprout before marriage. It is a shame and should be crushed immediately if it does because the ideology tells us that it’s wrong. A spinster and a bachelor cannot fall in love. It is a slur. It is immoral. Ask them a reason and they will come up with ‘Tumhari abhi padhne ki umar hai’ (You are young and you should just study) or ‘Hum badhe hain, hume zada pata hai’ (We are elder to you, we know better).
Logic? Uhh...What’s that?
Sometimes I wonder that these simple things of life would have had an entirely different meaning if I were born in a nation of deep-seated and radical ideology, where I would have had freedom to not just SURVIVE on others’ terms and conditions, where this famous line ‘Do what your heart says’ would actually have carried some weight in my life and where people would have used their minds before using what had already been implanted in their heads by their ancestors.
“Only animals are told what is to be done and how it is to be done. We are no less than animals if we don’t use our brains.”, Divyank told me today.
It is to live on our terms.
The above Haiku has been written for the prompt #89 - Haiku Heights
Image source - deviantart