Thursday, August 17, 2006

Of stereotypes and sundry

"Now don't go and write about this evening!", she said.
"What? Why would I convert something strictly personal into a blog post?" I asked unable to figure out where she got that impression.
"Oh! All you writers are like that. Then you romanticise the whole affair and make it either tear jerker or something which turns in your favour."
I suppose she was expecting me to lash back in defense. I couldn't help smile at her, because she was and is very dear to me. She nearly held a dare in her eyes. Never give an angry person what s/he wants, said the Old Mountain Monk to me, before he quaffed his 10th bottle of whiskey.
"How many writers do you know?"
"Oh! E, let's not get down to statistics and numbers and the like. Something more difficult to handle than a writer, is a writer whose core is in the sciences and numbers."

Tu hi meri shabb hai , subah hai, tu hi din hai mera (Ignore this line, as it is from the song I am listening to over and over again)

I simply laughed at what she had to say only to realise that laughing at the face of a girl who is disturbed (whoever dear she is to you, and howsoever well she knows you) is firing a shotgun at your little toe.

I loved the combo that she cooked up (she wasn't at McDonalds earlier). Writer with a head for numbers!!! :-)
People love stereotypes, don't they? I suppose I have been guilty too in my younger years. All Americans were blonde to me (till I met Lucas. Thereafter, they were either blonde or fiery red).

I have heard so many statements like "Sindhi? Gosh! Watch out. If a snake and a Sindhi cross your path, then kill the Sindhi first!" and I would throw my eyes wide open and request them not to generalise. Dean Jones recent remark was in similar taste. Sad.Mouth Shut

But the casual remarks go unnoticed and accumulate to influence our sensibilities. "He has no girlfriend? Must be a good guy" (of late that has become "He must be gay!") and various other statements make me smile and the going trend hurts my cheeks. Amongst the most common class of remarks, I think the inter-sex remarks outnumber other categories in casual remarks. Recently my friend told me over the phone: "I told him that I was an independent girl and a free bird. I sure hoped he would not want to have anything to do with me after that." As it so happens a independent and free-spirit girl is not considered good "marriage material". I really love that girl. :-D She used the stereotype against her own sex in her favour (she didn't like the guy and didn't have the heart to say it to him). Then come the "typical geek", "typical nymph", "typical alpha male" and "typical bahenji" type of comments. I wonder what a "typical guy" means!! :-)

Can we ever do without stereotypical notions? Do you see a day go by without ever forming an opinion laced by your prejudices? Is it a healthy concoction to live with? Is it an essential evil? Is it an evil at all?

Wondering aloud...

Two women made me write this post. Women! ;-p


  1. Generalisations help only anthropologists, botanists and zoologists, I suppose.

  2. Nice post..managed to rake up quite a lot of thoughts, too lazy to type..:D

  3. oh boy! :-))
    i can almost hear u say "Women!"
    good to have u back.

  4. E,

    Women... if it was not for them, we, men, would not have invented languages!

    We would not have written reams of poetry; wars would not have been fought...

    Life would not have been lived. Aah! Women! The very word conjures up magic.

    Stereotypes exist. Sometimes, prejudices become an experience. Or, vice-versa.

    And like all good writers, you did write. Even though she warned you not to!

    Good one.

  5. Generalisations help only anthropologists, botanists and zoologists, I suppose.

    Are you a masters in Chemistry?btw?
    Hey...what about me?
    Forgot to mention that 3 women made you write the post may be...haha...anonymously yours
    just kidding never serious...

  6. Dear P,
    I suppose so! :-) and people who love to irk another!

    Dear P,
    Laziness is in the air, dear? Hope your weekend was good.

    Dear M,
    Good tobe back, dear! Gimme a few days to trudge over to your blog.

    Dear A,
    Yup, women are so essential to life like a glass of wine to a poet. Naa tajirubakaari se vaayiz ki ye baatein hain. Iss rang ko jaane,poocho to kabhi pee hai.

    Dear U,
    Welcome here. Well I didn't do my masters in Chem. I remember doing it in computer science! I have the pleasure of knowing the women who made me write this post. Your inclusion would be an exception, but welcome!
    Why be serious?