Category Archives: books

Coming to terms with silence

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Warning, Spoilers Ahead, Do Not Read, if you haven’t read Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee.

My country is Maycomb county.

I felt restless and disillusioned after finishing Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. But unlike before, I was glad to be unburdened of my illusions and happy for the scales to finally fall from my eyes. After all these years, it turns out that Jean Louise Finch and her father Atticus Finch were casual racists. At first Jean Louise is furious when she finds out her father is a gentleman racist. She goes into a rage and is about to leave Maycomb when she is slapped into submission by her uncle. As if her fury about her father’s truth was just ‘womanly hysterics’.
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So much more than just getting robbed

In Jonathan Stone’s ebook ‘Moving Day’, senior citizens Stanley and Rose Peke are robbed of all their belongings on moving day by a team of robbers posing as a moving company.

I have been robbed a few times, but never of all my belongings like the fictional Pekes. It has happened to me twice this year already and every time I have felt deeply violated. The feeling will never leave you and it scars you for life. The character of immigrant holocaust survivor Stanley Peke in ‘Moving Day’ is so finely etched that it helped articulate my own feelings about the incidents in my life. For the first time, after reading ‘Moving Day’, I found a voice for what I had kept unexpressed and suppressed all these years. Continue reading So much more than just getting robbed

Why blue jeans are feminist

The hardest thing to do is to come out from behind the glass walls of the tribe. You become so good at covering up, appeasing, never telling on its members, even when you know there is something wrong with the picture. As members of a tribe,  glass walls of silence are built around us, the dominant among us think it’s safe to do what they want, get way with it, anyone who has felt their tyranny know to keep silent as they will be violating an unwritten social contract by telling.

You can scream, but no one can hear you through the glass walls. That is where feminism came in a generation ago. It broke through and told on everyone. But there was a price to pay, to come out and tell, for trying to upend the social order. Blowback. Things have come to such a pass that even the word feminism is now tainted with unflattering nuances. It now needs UN campaigns and celebrities to reclaim its place in the world.

I write in search of expiation. This is a piece I had wanted to write more than any other, but one that turned out to be the most intimidating to attempt. The effects of a lifetime wracked with guilt for not doing what is the norm won’t easily wear off. A norm that instinct tells you is deeply prejudiced even if socially sanctioned.

Continue reading Why blue jeans are feminist