Tag Archives: culture

On Criticism

Criticism is something which has always fascinated me. I have read many a times that constructive criticism is good and have seen people claiming that they are fine with criticism. However, like everything else, it is easier said than done. To be very frank, there have been quite a number of times when I abhorred the person who criticized me. I am sure it has happened with majority of the people, at some point.

I always felt that it is way too easy to criticize someone or her works than to actually understand her and her works. Hence, I consciously try to keep myself away from criticizing people, even if I don’t like them or whatever they are doing. Nonetheless, I find it rather astonishing how some people keep on passing judgment about others day in and day out. It is next to impossible to like everyone, every film, every book, every song and so on and so forth. However, using harsh words for everyone and everything that you dislike, not keeping in mind what the other person beside you might be feeling, is something which I personally detest.

While going through my Twitter Timeline or the Facebook status messages, I find that there are people who like to criticize something or the other. Some do it articulately, with clever usage of words and some do it blatantly. For some people everything that is new is bad, and for others vice versa. Prejudice and dogma are the traits, which I feel, can result in stagnation of your growth as a human being, emotionally as well as professionally. Yet, we love to stick to them and see anything beyond that. We will criticize a universally acclaimed personality without even going through his works. When someone confronts you and ask you to first read and then criticize, the critique will come up with bizarre reasons of not reading their works. It might be an attack on their characters, their way of living or something negative which they might have heard of. Then again they will compare them with other reputed people who, according to them were more talented than them yet due to various reasons did not reach that point of success. For such people, those famous creations are not even worthy enough to read or watch. The word ‘logic’ is often missing from their point of views. It is true success is something which more or less everyone craves for and a few can go to any level to reach that level of success. But, it is also true that if you are not talented and hard-working you will never able to succeed and maintain your honour. In the field of literature and culture, your creations are not limited to the narrow confinement of your office. It is the readers, audience and the viewers who will make or break you. Whatever is good will be appreciated if people are able to understand them. The inimitable creations of a Rabindranath Tagore or a Satyajit Ray are universally liked by people. The laurels and adoration that they have received and continue to receive from all corners of the world can never be simply fluke or due to destiny. Their creations must have struck the right chords with its innumerable readers and viewers and it is foolish to even overlook that very achievement, if not the others. Yes there are millions of people who might not understand or like their works. It is perfectly fine not to like them, but to demean them and their works is something which can be avoided. More so when you have hardly any knowledge about their works. No need to value them or their fine works, but the negativity can be spared.

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Time to Change the Disgraceful Prenuptial Affairs

Walking down the aisle with the person of love is a dream which is cherished by nearly everyone. A marriage is a celebration of love and bonding between two individuals. However, there are certain prenuptial customs which can deter the charm and enjoyment of a marriage.

The matrimonial ads have always fascinated me. Even a few years ago me and my friends, in our free times, used to read them aloud and laugh out loud at their sheer absurdity. The “Brides Wanted” ads were so similar, whether it was meant for Hindus, Muslims or Christians. Though I do not follow them anymore, it remains the same till now. The grooms and their parents are always on a lookout for a bride who is “fair, really beautiful, convent-educated with traditional values and modern outlook”. Are they looking for a single girl? The other requirements notwithstanding, people are still obsessed with fair complexioned girls. It acts as a mirror of the Indian psyche which is yet to shed its fetish for fair skin and embrace inner qualities of a person. When I was a kid, there was only the Fair and Lovely advertisement which was seen on TV. The people around me and the culture in which I was brought up gave no importance to superficial aspects like skin colour. On the contrary, priority was given to our education, our thinking and our power to judge things in the future. However, the past few years have proved me wrong again. The consumer market is now flooded with fairness products who unabashedly flaunts their bias toward fair skin. Popular actresses and well known celebrities are all promoting the so-called fairness products. I feel it’s a shame that we are drawing the younger generation towards a notion that beauty is all about possessing a fair skin and not a fair mind. The concepts of fair ideas and fair judgments are nowhere being instilled in the minds of the young people. For a country like India where majority of the people are below the age of 25, I feel there is the utmost need for all of us, at least the so-called educated ones, to be the change and stop this shameless portrayal of our preference towards fair-complexioned people.

For a girl the insult does not stop with the ridiculous matrimonial ads. Arrange marriages are something which have been part of our society from time immemorial. The arrangement is done after following a number of prenuptial steps, the first being the grooms side visiting the brides place, with or without the groom! As a part of such affairs, I was a witness to the bizarre methods which some of the family members resorted to.  The reason –  to find out whether everything is fine with the bride. The most interesting thing is that all those were done by trick methods – the girl being asked to serve tea to everyone in the room to see whether she walks properly or not, the girl being asked to lift her sari a bit in a bid to know whether the her facial colour matches her other body parts! Can customs get to be more ridiculous and demeaning?

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