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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

THE GENDER WAR

In this post I will be talking about a war, a war I was fighting since I was the height of the table in my drawing room. Somehow I realised too late that my side of the team as well as the counterparts had moved out of the battlefield long back while I stood there thinking that the enemy could do with a few more whacks.

Being a kid meant all the good things, say wearing pretty dresses, getting cuddly stuff toys (at times getting treated like one), not having to worry about walking long distances (one sad look on the face & you will be lifted up by a noble soul i.e. either parent) & not worrying about bad hair days (a kid with messed up hair equals absolute cuteness). If there was something that would ring alarm bells in my head, it was war with my male contemporaries. It’s funny how as kids I & my friends viewed the people in the world as two major tribes- the male tribe & the female tribe. I must confess that I took this tribe thing tad too seriously & as I mentioned in the beginning this illusion lasted comparatively longer for me.

So, courtesy the tribe divide I viewed boys as vile creatures who:
a)      had no brain;
b)      were always mean; &
c)       couldn’t even remotely come close to the ‘friend-zone’.

Studying in a co-ed school meant enemy was all around me & could attack anytime so, I was always on the defensive. I have distinct memories of thrashing up guys starting from my kindergarten days. I have thrashed boys for a variety of reasons..some for the good, some unintentionally (c’mon now..accidents happen) & some simply because they dared to mess up with my brother (I & my brother were a team back then & messing up with my brother was and still remains my copyright).

Few years down the line, I felt like some war veteran who took utmost pride in talking about her war glories. On the other hand, some members of my tribe had started interacting with the opposition in a cordial way. I didn’t view those friends as traitors, they simply confused me & made me wonder- How in the world you can have a normal conversation with boys..aren’t they the same brainless counterparts who we are supposed to beware of? But in the due course I accepted the possibility of cordial relations with boys.
By the time I reached this point I saw that my friends had taken yet another leap. They were developing soft corners in their hearts for the opposite camp members (having first crushes of their lives). I would listen to their mushy talks & try hard to understand the games god was playing with their once-normal brains. The next step was eventually the intensification of feelings & then my friends were crying their eyes out as they were heartbroken for some or the other reason (You see, life sort of came a full circle..enemiesàfriendsàmushy timeàheartbreakàenemies).
Somewhere in my head where I had buried the memories of the gender war a light bulb was lit. The enemy was at it again, hurting my tribe’s members. But because this time it was a consequence of love gone sour (that involved the boy & girl equally) I had no plans of restarting the war. Instead I built my own kingdom, at a safe distance from boys, they were allowed only till the periphery of my castle.

Another few years down the line it was time for some introspection. I asked myself if living a guarded life meant not living life at all. So the war veteran went back to the war planning room (that’s where my brain has always worked the best :P) & a question popped in my head:

“Boys don’t bite or eat girls alive, nor have there been any such cases in my war years so why this animosity & fear?”

The answer was clearly an enlightenment that was always waiting at the entrance of my kingdom:
“Boys are like my own tribe, made of flesh & blood, have both a heart as well as a brain & are certainly not cannibals.”

With this question answered my kingdom welcomed all the same, the world now seemed more like the world map in an Atlas & was no longer the earth divided into two halves, demarcated by the stereotypical colours of pink and blue (I love both of these). Ultimately & gradually some amicable interactions happened with the long misunderstood contemporaries. Today when I count the people who matter in my life I am glad to say that some of them are males & central parts of my life (lift your jaws back up please).

Now the memories of gender wars from the younger days make me giggle. I am sure you & your friends have been there & done that (though I don’t know if you took it as literally as I did).

So here’s to the serene co-existence of women & men!

*PEACE & LOVE*