Life is indisputably full of variety. It is said that genes, though fundamentally the same, are engineered differently in all of us. It’s not just these cells that are different, there are also the quirks that one acquires in a lifetime.We become so full of these thousands of tiny quirks that make us different, that if we were to start putting them in boxes, there would be many colourful boxes filled, all labelled different names. There are so many answers one can give to questions like ‘Who are you?’or ‘What do you do?’ I could be a privileged person working in a corporation owned by my father or I could be an Indian who has the liberty to impose my ideas on people through my social media influence; many answers sound acceptable. However, there are answers which aren’t completely acceptable; which are capable of inciting rage, even. For example, if your answer to the above questions is that you are a queer Dalit Muslim woman of colour who is a scavenger (though there is a seriously rare chance of someone being so doomed), there is a high probability that if Society doesn’t exploit you, it will at least not accept you, all thanks to these quirks, which you shouldn’t be embracing or at least, shouldn’t be seen embracing.
Not all traits or quirks which set a person apart can weigh the same. Why, you ask? Because that’s how life works, apparently. One absolutely has to be crushed down for the other to make them a stepping stone to reach their final destination. Hence, if you make the likely mistake of not boxing down the unconventional quirks which found their way to you, then itshall be your responsibility to shield yourself against the people who don’t understand you or don’t want to. To walk on the streets blatantly with not just one or two, but many quirks which remain hidden or shoved in people’s bodies, purses, or back in their closets requires a different kind of courage altogether; how else can one walk this confidently knowing there is a possibility of them being lynched, of beaten by a lathi any hour of the day? It surely takes inhuman fearlessness to not change your truth to fit in the narrative of what is deemed conventional.
However, people who have given up so much to mould themselves to fit in the boxes that this Society accepts are too maddened to appreciate this bravery. It is understandable though because it is extremely difficult for one to not start hating the world around them when they are continuously asked to prove that they are what they claim to be. When the standard to measure nationalism is ‘vandematram’ and ‘saare jahan se accha’ and masculinity is measured by a man’s loudness, unapologetic behaviour and ability to not cry, it is bound to happen. Hence, these frustrated people want things to be fair—there should be the same amount of compromises, sacrifices and struggles, and no less. On such occasions, the heroes of this esteemed Society rise to save the day. They shout slogans of saving the downtrodden! Some support minority religion; some, the lower castes; some, the LGBTQ+ community, and some, the people of minority languages. But there is a catch—these heroes often stick to shouting slogans just for one purpose, the onethat gratifies them. Though there is no problem in supporting a cause, be it however small, the problem lies in these same heroes discouraging, or rather suppressing other causes. These heroes are woke, but selectively. The same person promoting the spirit of nationalism can be seen indulging in the mob-lynching of a Muslim. The mother fighting for equal pay for women can be found telling her daughter that she will be disowned if she succumbs to the deadly disease of being queer. In such circumstances, it is hard to make out if these heroes do more damage than good.
If I could take the liberty, I would blame this Society, consisting people whose identities shall not be disclosed, for programming us to be selectively concerned and consequently, hypocritical. New ideas and their influence take long to travel from one end to of Society to the other. Before that happens, if a person is made so rigid in their comprehension of the world that they refuse to take, see or accept anything new, this journey of change or revolution is hindered. Often, these new ideas are not even new in the truest sense; they are old repressed traits that we try to repel and throw out of our cells. This exercise in futility might tempt us to curse at the damned engineering of the amazing human body for, unfortunately or fortunately, despite repeated efforts by numerous frustrated souls, it remains impossible. You do have a choice in the matter though. It is up to you to deal with it with rage or be subjected to the rage you will be blessed with when you accept it.
This post was written by Khushi, Ist year.