So what did your mom send for lunch today?

By | March 10, 2012
First Guest Post by Ashish Mukundan, my classmate from engineering.

I look around. In the middle class  bubble  we interact in everyday, where your daily luggage includes a box or two with lunch (with  a little extra to share with your colleagues), where a print out at home is taken only when necessary (only in front-and-back, in b/w), I many times sit with a particular thought running: How do these people  ever  have sex with each other!?  The middle aged blue-collar army is probably the most unattractive sect I can think of. You can look through the women’s moustaches, the men’s rice fed bellies and see they cover a half way  decent physical  body under all their gross coats. No, not to be shallow and sideline character and emotions and all that good stuff, but in the matter of sex, physical attraction has a huge role to play in enticing and thrilling your partner, I’d think. These unattractive men and women, I’m sure make as good couples as attractive ones in all other realms, except I don’t see them match their prettier counterparts in the deeds of the night. They procreate! They make India a nation of a billion and yet it’s a mystery to me. 

Why is this at all important? Maybe these people are completely satisfied with their appearance; maybe they enjoy making love to their ungroomed spouses. Hmm. This would be quite a feat after media of all kind today bombard our brains with the idea of a perfect body, perfect lifestyle. Anyway, why does this concern you, or I? We’re, after all, the pretty, new and improved generation, right? I see this as a small nagging end of a huge problem. It is why on the night India won the world cup last year, people filled streets and danced up to late in the night, but half the population of the country had to be locked in and celebrate from home, safe from “the men”. It is why many schools have girls and boys sit in separate 
sides of the class. It is why for the silliest reasons, men wear tee shirts and women dawdle in their salwars in the wave pools of Wonder La. I have a problem with this.
As we grow up into our teens in these middle class homes, we’re taught not to waste our time indulging in “trivial” deeds like getting fancy haircuts or exploring a chic wardrobe. Anything done to sexualize yourself is seen as vulgar  or “western” and almost immediately objectionable. With years of reinforcement of these ideas, we’re made sexist, taught to lie about our feelings- very important and very prevalent sexual feelings- and brainwashed to think this right. Boys are made vary of girls, hurting their social comfort around girls and women, and girls are taught that boys are untrustworthy and must be kept at bay. Not only does this make a young adult’s life difficult, but also makes them devoid of an organic experience with their peers.
Next. The kids are old now. They have degrees and jobs and the parents do what “society” deems right next. They start “looking”. This is essentially a process of reinforcing and letting casteism, classism, survive another generation. With “love marriage” deemed a taboo  amongst relatives and neighbours, there is great drama and dialogue the adults experience if they stray. You’d think that today in the global village we live in these matters would be trivial. It is only disheartening to see it being carried forward by much of the crowd. Many alliances come and go and soon the pressure builds. Many times it happens that a choice is come to out of frustration and defeat. Sure, the boy is from “a good background, with an IT job” and the girl is “fair and humble” and there is much pomp and fare at their wedding, that night when these two strangers are to play  coitus. It works. Sure, you’re probably not “in love” or something fancy like that, but you learn to adjust, learn to live with and tolerate the other person. 
The man works, the woman cooks, cleans and might work too and soon she might tend to her baby as well. Oh, where’s the time for little trivial things like lookingpretty for your spouse or to watch what you eat? It’s a middle class life after all. Looks and style are for someone else. The mother’s little girl or boy will grow up. Grow in this middle class household, with the same sacred “middle class values”, reinforced and rekindled at every generation’s advent. But sure again the day will come, a young lad might look at these unattractive parents sitting on a mopedgoing to a wedding and ask: How do these people ever have sex with each other!?

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7 thoughts on “So what did your mom send for lunch today?

  1. Curious Reader

    dear ashish
    interesting article. let me ask u a question. if u have a sister or girl friend wearing a 'stylish, fashionable and chic' tee shirt in the wonder la wave pool, r u ok letting her in the same pool with a bunch of guys with(out) tee shirts, u know, same pool, crowding around her and jumping, accidentally having elbows touching boobs. a situation entirely avoidable by keeping them separated by a rope, no?

  2. Ashish

    Hmm.. Would I even let my sister dressed in a conservative slawar get into the same pool by herself? Probably not. But the question is this: Who's at fault? The victim or the perpetrator?

    I have a question too. If you're a guy, would you and your friends want to crowd around a girl, jump, accidentally cup a feel just coz therez a lone girl in 'stylish,fashionable and chic' clothes? Or would you need a rope separating you from this girl?

  3. Curious Reader

    dear ashish
    thank you for replying promptly. I hope u didn't take anything personally, this is just for argument. now why would u not let ur sister in conservative clothes into the pool? u are worried about something, no? naturally the perpetrator is at fault but u see that the vile action does not necessarily need a lone girl. I might be a vile person who thinks it is a great idea to get a quick feel. a rope prevents me from doing it.

    don't u think this is why we have anti virus software, firewall etc. on our systems? I am sure we dont place adequate trust in humanity. the rope and decent dressing style will help lessen undesirable attempts just like firewalls help thwart attacks. you see that attacks may still happen in both cases but the numbers are greatly reduced. dont u now think middle class people have displayed great wisdom?

  4. Just some reader :P

    @curious reader: Firstly,I find it quite funny that you mention the author's sister and girlfriend and then expected him not to take it personally!! (Although he did respecting your response) I am still wondering whether to term it as hypocrisy or stupidity (unless you don't consider a sister or a girlfriend to be personal). But anyways, It doesn't have to be one's own sister or girlfriend to discuss about such differences in opinions when either person respects the other's opinion ( otherwise there is no point in the discussion at all).
    I personally believe that the level of urbanity of a society is shown by the amount of freedom available to it's women. Now, It's not a totally un-kept, un-organised local swimming pool we're talking about, we're talking about Wonder La… it's the biggest amusement park in our city, I would say the experience of people there would represent the life of our city as a whole (If you do not agree, then stop reading further) if women (or the men is their family) have to worry about the consequences of being free there, it is actually something to be ashamed of, I find it bizarre that one can see wisdom anywhere in such a scenerio. If a crowded pool is a concern, then why doesn't the wise man think of reducing the crowd by having bigger pools or by allowing fewer people?! and speaking about a vile person trying to feel up women, if the men are thinking in terms of fire-walling the women curtailing their freedom rather than thinking in terms of chopping-off the perpetrators' hands, I think they should themselves go to wonder la in a salwar the next time they are there.
    Well what I'm saying is… ofcourse people would be worried for/about their women and will insist that they stay 'on the otherside of the rope' but we need to be talking about working towards reducing such concerns and avail more freedom to everybody (at least at amusement-parks!!) rather than talking about the wisedom in putting a rope across the pool.

    @Asish: Good post, liked it.

  5. Ashish

    @ Just Some Reader :P, I couldn't have said it better! Thank you.

    @ Curious Reader, when you say, 'we dont place adequate trust in humanity' it sounds like you think of yourself outside the term or rather above the bulk of this Humanity. The point I'm trying to drive in the essay is that if the seeds of change are sown in every home in the way we're brought up it would reflect on the society at large and then maybe the vile person in you will recognize his urges AND also appreciate and respects the other person's rights and so do the right thing in a public pool.

  6. Anonymous

    I think the underlying concern is to change the whole conservative status quo. Deprivation of sexual-ness (for lack of a better word) is only going to fuel the need for more of it. I'm not saying that we can all be conditioned to be asexual, we can at least try to inhibit ourselves more often and be less pervert-like.


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