For the first time ever, I attended a live comedy show, Pune Comedy Festival 3.0, and it was a memorable experience.
While Kunal Kamra stole the show with his political witticisms, Biswa Kalyan Rath - hubby's favorite - was pretty amusing, too. His style is crude and therefore funny, and obviously abuses make up the crux of the content for all comedians out there. There were some others like Abish Mathew (more hype than meat) and Jeeveshu Ahluwalia (more childhood stories than gags). Daniel Fernandes and a couple of newbies were part of the performing clan, and it was an evening well spent.
The venue was huge - Royal Palms on Koregaon Park road, but the washrooms were terrible, and I'm never going back again on that count. You charge a bomb for tickets, you extort more money for food and refreshments, then the least you can do as organising committee and event venue is to have better toilets. Those mobile, plastic closets with no lights inside, placed in dingy corners do NOT qualify as safe or usable. Shame.
( Don't know Game of Thrones? Watch all seasons now before the finale next year! Winter is Coming ... )
There's this park I used to frequent in my previous residential area, and there's this young love that I enjoyed watching bloom.
Now I understand that what appears a matter of life and death (literally!) at that age, appears so amusing and silly to you when you grow up to middle age.
( Yes, I am middle-aged and I know it. The greys don't excite me, but the thought that I am wiser and non-materialistic has its thrill. )
So, this boy and girl, both in their mid teens, meet up (almost) everyday in the park, and while their friends go doing their games and banter, this pair sits under the tree discussing sombre stuff or announces their romance discreetly in Romeo-Juliet style, balcony et al.
That the boy is lovestruck is evident in the way he tries to play it cool and suave, macho yet courteous, but his bulk doesn't entirely give him the superhero, world savior look. The girl couldn't care less about that coz she is hopelessly impressed with his style, and her simplicity and spontaneity, accompanied with a little shyness, do little to conceal her emotions. They're a feast to the senses, the way they talk a tad too casually like they don't care, yet switch in a second to become overly concerned, how they flirt without flirting, and care without wanting to show it openly. If you've been in love, you'll know what that means.
So, while Aarush is frolicking in the sand, I walk away so that I don't lose my calm with all the specks flying around and getting in his hair and clothes, and that is when I overhear these love birds, talking about how seriously one takes life, or how busy one is with studies, and generally, the one is the girl, and the guy dishes out wisdom in truckloads. The girl watches him with stars in her eyes, and he talks like he's Bill Gates reincarnated.
Now don't go judging me, coz I really do not intend to pry, but the chap does speak too loudly, and the park is only so big that I end up covering the circumference in 5 minutes or less.
The other day he started off his rant with "Yaar main itna depress ho jata hu, tum log itna jaldi kyu shadi karte ho?"
( = "I'm depressed, why do you guys wed so soon?" )
I was deeply concerned about a couple of things here.
What do these kids know about depression? Has the word lost importance since I last knew it? Did he not mean "sad" or "upset", instead choosing to substitute it with such a terrifying state of mind and existence?
Why are they talking about marriage now? Is the girl getting married already? Were they talking about someone else? Are they planning something? Will their action retain their safety, physically and emotionally?
Needless to say, my questions remain unanswered, and the duo are on my mind.
But here's a confession. I was depressed to a fair degree in 2015-2016. Post partum depression could be a possibility, but I realise it only now, and I was a mess back then. I was also going through a personal crisis at that time, and life seemed lost. I wasn't hungry, I wasn't sleepy, or I slept in bursts. I was a wreck, either crying or shouting, losing my cool with everyone and everything. I was a ticking time bomb, and my parents and a few friends were my rock. They took my trash behavior and stood by me. I did not know how it felt to smile, and having a little child dependent on me made my life harder.
Time doesn't stand still, fortunately, situations changed, and when I look back now, I am just so glad that it's over. It seemed like forever.
Dealing with depression is hard, dealing with someone who is depressed is harder. You can't do anything right with them, and you don't know what is the right thing to do anyway. You don't know when and if things will change, what will make them change, and they're as predictable as a parrot (meaning not predictable at all).
So thankful that people are now aware that mental illness is just as normal as physical disease, and that there is nothing to be ashamed about. Most of the things that are cited as vices of the current generation actually existed in all societies earlier too, just that people did not seek help nor talk about it. Divorces don't happen more in our time coz we don't know how to maintain relationships, they happen because we don't believe in being sad forever. Abuse isn't a curse of the 21st century. It happened earlier also, but people did not have the guts to take action. Our older generations believe we are doomed, the truth is we are more accountable and strong than they ever were. We speak our mind, and we do what we believe in. If that is called disrespect, so be it. At least we don't repent for someone else's mistake later or stay dependent on someone for life.
Follow your heart, follow your head. Follow what you believe in, and what you can stand up for. No matter who's on the other side.
People will come around. Or they won't.
It doesn't matter. What matters is that at the end, you'll feel like you lived your life your way. Mistakes, achievements, joys and sorrows and everything in between.
But what's absolutely gruesome right now is the rape culture and scandals that have come to the fore. Due to Unnao / Kathua / Asifa, The entire country has finally woken up to the fact that our womenfolk are not safe. Not by religion, not by age, not by clothes, class or behaviors - everyone is at risk for rape by our uncontrolled men and their vile desires. It pains me to see this situation and unfortunately, the most that people can do is voice their opinion on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, talk or blog about it, sign change.org petitions and then go back to their life and routines. Kalyug is going from bad to worse, and I'm worried.
What am I doing about it? Raising a son with the right values and respect for others, be it young or old, male or female. But I also bear the brunt of statements like "You're still your dad's daughter, not a woman yet" and "you and your feminism" (if I so much as question why rules are different for men and women). Yes sirree, men in our country need a royal washing down, coz no matter how much they pretend to respect women, the reality is 99% of them still don't think us equal, or consider it a favor and applaud their generosity and open-mindedness.
It's not called open minded when the thought crosses your mind, dickheads.
Shame. On the men themselves, and the families that raise them.
And yet we shall survive... and voice our opinion...till we can.