Monday, July 26, 2010

A Warm Thank You

Today, my blog has become one month old. I already have twenty one followers, and the number of visitors has almost reached six hundred and fifty. I am extremely grateful to all those who have taken interest in my blog and have been with me till now. I hope to continue with my blog for a long, long time to come. Maybe someday it will become a much more widely read, widely visited blog. My daddy says that it has been a good effort. Also, I am open to any suggestions about how I can make this blog more interesting and attractive. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Equal? Are you sure?

Men and women are equal. This is what we hear everywhere nowadays. However, a strange suspicion keeps bothering me. Is it really true? Are we really equal?

There are stark proofs against this notion in most of the places I go to. My school is an all-girls Catholic school run by nuns. The teachers and the sisters in school are always emphasizing on how there is no difference in a boy and a girl, and how girls can do everything that boys can. But whenever anything serious has to be done, like signing a report card or writing an absent note, it is mandatory that the father does it.

If men and women were really equals, then why are there special seats kept aside for women in trains and buses? I am hardly someone very well versed in politics, but even with what little ideas I have, it has often been a wonder to me that special seats have to be reserved for women in the parliament. If there was equality between men and women, then I’m sure women would not need special bills to take their seats in the political Houses. 

Coming back to much more regular household matters, we see so few women drivers. Women usually need their fathers, boyfriends or husbands to take them to wherever they need to go, but we hardly ever see a man waiting for his girl to take him anywhere. Whenever I go to the market in this town, I find that the overwhelming majority there are men, doing the shopping. Of course, it might be that some of them are loving husbands helping their wives in running the household, but surely not all of them?

Even the movies we watch propagate this sense of inequality. Most Hindi movies have a very common storyline. Somewhere in the middle, the heroine gets into trouble, and her lover comes running to rescue her. He is the one who does the brainwork or the fighting, whichever is required, while she just gazes wide-eyed or emits tiny squeaks like a cornered rat. Now I am not a cinema buff, but most of the Bollywood movies I have watched follow this pattern. In fact I can think of only one or two movies in which the heroine behaves like anything better than a money plant growing on her lover’s shoulders. Ironically, these movies are old ones, those of Hema Malini and Rekha. Equality was not preached so loudly in those days as it is now, but things seemed to have been better then.

On a related note, girls seem to have made out a very twisted version of equality for themselves. Many girls I know love using swear words. When I tell them not to, their invariable reply is that, “When boys can do it, why can’t we?” According to these girls, it is their right to copy all the bad habits of the boys. The good things about boys can be left aside. They are too difficult to be copied, and would mean leaving behind much of the feminine crookedness and meanness.

In my opinion equality, while it is certainly a birthright of every citizen, should be used with much care, and never bent and remade to suit one’s own selfish wants. A nation where every citizen is considered basically equal regardless of their caste, creed or economic status outstrips all other nations in terms of progress.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why Bootle?

Some of my readers might be wondering why I have named the blog as I have. The name has been taken from a book called “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell. In that book, Gerry had been given a boat for his birthday. Gerry had wanted to name it “The Bootle”, but his older brother Larry had wanted to call it "Bum Trinket". In the end, “The Bootle Bum Trinket” had been decided upon.

In my family, we have shared personal jokes revolving around ‘bootle’ and ‘bum trinket’ ever since I was a baby. We have modified the words and given them a personal touch, and have used them as code words for each other. As a child I had considered the names to be my father’s invention, and had been very proud of them. I had been so sure of them being baba’s composition, that when I read the name in the book two years ago, I remained grief-stricken for quite a few days!

When I was just about to create this blog, I had quite a bit of trouble coming up with a nice name for it. Everything I thought of turned out to be solemn and quite common, whereas I wanted this blog to be cheerful and out of the way. It was then that baba suggested calling the blog “The Bootle Bum Trinket”. Now that was bound to be an uncommon selection. I was all for it from the moment baba put the idea into my head. So unless I find a better, more uncommon name, “The Bootle” it will remain.