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Shikha Tiwari

"Wonder why some 'walks' become 'journeys'! I'm actually enjoying the hot summer Sun. Sounds crazy. But when I go out during the day, and see people working in the scorching sun especially the rickshaw pullers and the fruit sellers we stand and wonder! And when you have a chilled bottle of a Coke, you feel good about yourself. You wonder whether summers could ever be so nice. I stare at the sun may be just for a second and ponder that even the sun is hot for a reason. Without getting into the intricacies, I feel good, about the sun, about myself and about everything around it.

This is what my friend wrote to me that morning which left me wonderstruck. Probably he was right but if I talk about summers I can't take it. Probably that's the only thing that I hate or say can't bear at all. People say one shouldn't hate anything; it bounces back on us with greater force. And it took me back to a few years when I read somewhere that philosophy is just a way of dealing with life. But I need to question that why cant we simply accept the fact that we are upset or we are uncomfortable. Why do we need some external theory to put us to ease? Is the truth so difficult to take? This difference in truth and untruth is difficult to comprehend. What we understand to be true might not be true actually. Sometimes it's really difficult to comprehend life but I guess sometimes its important not to understand. At the same time its pretty unnerving too. It gives me the feeling that someone apart from me has control over my life something, which I don't like. Though I am not sure that even if I do understand, I understand it right. But I think its a matter of living all those phases, whether while we understand it or not, by conviction. At least I think I know what's happening and why and whatever is, I am the reason. None is doing it to me. His mail put me into such oblivion and I didn't know where to find the way?

It seems one does not need to comprehend all that goes on, with one self or around. Difficult? You bet! How you pass through that period, how so ever long it may be, is what matters. People give-up on the length of this period. But the longer the period, the better it is for the individual. All of us wait, wait for something that we do not know about. Why we do that, again a difficult 'why' to answer. But surely, we wait. Everybody does. It is the wait that teaches, not the result. In retrospect, the experience of this wait looks more romantic. Result comes out as a bland experience. Think about this! When you wanted something so badly that you could go to any extent, the post-achievement feeling makes it look so ordinary. It is there that you sometimes feel 'was it worth the toil'? That's life on a platter. I haven't had much to celebrate till now in my life. My family and friends term it 'over-ambition'. But what's life without an impossible dream. Finding 'answers' would not be that easy. It never is. Because there are no answers; only 'partial solutions'.

How often does it happen that we are not able to think about the other perspective, why is that the other seems so far off? We exist in the midst of our confusions, confrontations and conflicts and resolutions. Underlying all the disagreements over what is confusing and unnerving to anyone lies ones attitude and underlying anything which sounds unnerving to men runs a constant line of thinking that blinds us - whatever our political beliefs - to the nature of male predicament.

Ask feminists to diagnose men's problems and you will often get a very clear explanation: men are in crisis because women are properly challenging male dominance. Women are asking men to share the public reins and men can't bear it. Ask feminists and you will get a diagnosis that is, in one respect, similar. Men are troubled because women have gone far away far beyond their demands for equal treatment and now are trying to take control away from men.

The man controlling his environment is today the prevailing image of masculinity. A man is expected to prove himself not by being a part of the society but by being untouched by it, soaring above it. He is to travel unfettered by it, beyond society's clutches, alone - making or breaking whatever or whoever crosses his path. He is to be on the drive's seat, the king of the road, forever charging down the open highway.

But women began to free themselves from the box in which they were trapped by feeling their way along its contours, figuring out how it had been constructed around them, how it was shaped and how it shaped them, how their reflection on its mirrored walls distorted who they were or might be. Women are able to take action, paradoxically, by understanding how they were acted upon. " Women have been largely man-made." What had been made by others women themselves could unmake. Once their problems could be traced to external forces generated by a male society and culture, they see them more clearly and so challenge them. Men feel the contours of a box too but they are told that box is of their own manufacture, designed to their specifications. Who are they to complain? The box is there to showcase the man, not to confine him. After all, didn't build it - and can't he destroy it if he passes, if he is a man? For men to say they feel boxed in is regarded not as laudable political protest but as childish and indecent whining. How can kings complain about their own castles? Women are men as guarding the fort, so they are influenced by the culture either; in fact prefer not to. If they would have to let g of he illusion of control. The very paradigm of modern masculinity - that it is al about being the master of your universe - prevents me from thinking their way out of their own dilemma, from taking active political steps to resolve their crisis.

Because there are no answers; only 'partial solutions'.








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