Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ve[i]l-la Wars

"If you don't want to lift the veil, don't vote". Ground-breaking as it may sound, the Supreme Court ruling has not even the most remote significance towards secularism, as many people, including the man I worship, Jug Suraiya, seem to be suggesting.

It is just a matter of security and identification, and as such shouldn't be opposed by anyone. Getting a photograph clicked is not a big deal, and the guy at the polling booth isn't a predator. Then again, the decision should be left to the woman concerned to be made. No matter what Muslim groups say (and most of them are in favour of the court ruling), the decision is ultimately the woman's.

As for France, their decision is simply a violation of human rights. The hijab is not always forced on women, and individuals have the right to wear what they like, without being dictated by the government. Not being a Muslim myself, I really can't tell, but a suggested reading is "Does My Head Look Big In This?" by Randa Abel-Fattah.

Friday, February 12, 2010

You lose, Mr. Darcy...

The first time I read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen didn't seem like the wonderful writer I had heard her to be. I was, after all, 11 at the time. Apart from the fact that I didn't get much of her sense of humour, I really didn't understand what was so great about Mr. Darcy.

Then I saw the movie (with Aishwarya, I remember), and was bowled over. I saw all the chivalry Darcy was known for, and resolved never to criticise Jane Austen again.

A few days ago, I read Sense and Sensibility. It is one of Austen's lesser known works, but it is much better than Pride and Prejudice. Don't get me wrong--Pride and Prejudice has its very own place in every girl's heart. But Sense and Sensibility is much more...sensible. Or perhaps "realistic" is the word I'm looking for. It has no perfect gentleman Mr. Darcy, no just-enough intelligent Elizabeth Bennet, and no super-rich suitors. It has just ordinary characters, and though Elior is too patient sometimes, Marianne Dashwood's character is the best-drawn. It showcases all sorts of human hypocrisy and folly, and Austen's place in my list of "Best Authors of All Time" is reserved. I am currently reading Northanger Abbey, and I must say it is the best satire written during Austen's times. Highly recommended.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Here I go...

People have been telling me to blog; people have been telling me not to blog. That's just how people are: always contradicting each other, and leaving me in a confused state of mind. That's my favourite state of mind, in case you wanted to know (different people, different wants). Blog posts are supposed to be either funny or intelligent or (if Wodehouse started blogging) both. You don't know who Wodehouse is? I banish you from my purely Wodehouse-loving territory! Go and read some boring blog about a woman ranting about how her kids don't listen to her or something...

However, if we started talking about how blog posts are supposed to be, don't be surprised to know that I DON"T care how they're "supposed" to be. If you know me, or if you are risking your sanity in going forth and getting to know me, you would be content to read whatever insipid and uninteresting things I post here.

Then again, my heart's not completely in this. I have the Board exams to worry about, and somehow I can't think of them without simultaneously thinking about the oft-used phrase "Bhaad mein jaye". I shouldn't talk about exams, though. I didn't start blogging to talk about examinations. Certainly not. I swear I didn't. Really.

Parting warning: expect sarcasm, raillery and venom from me in future posts. Toodles!
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