Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The countdown Begins . . .

The wheels are in motion again, the minds abuzz with crazy ideas and we have put our heads together, yet again, to bring our readers the most interesting, chatpati, classic salted stories- with extra toppings of spice and fun! Now again comes the rush of meeting almost impossible deadlines, the last minute changes, the untainted excitement and the binges of adrenaline rushes we get hour-by-hour! 
With lots of 'OhMyGod's and 'Oh shit's, we spend each passing moment in a frenzy of multi-tasking. 
And of course, we have some very reliable companions throughout- some of them being endless cups of coffee and stealing snippets of gossip from all around us while "working"..!
However, working for the magazine, for us, has never been 'work' in the sense most of us understand this much-hated word! - It is an experience, or more aptly- a journey we await every  month- without really bothering about the 'destination', our journey is what we cherish the most.
And the most crucial are the last 10 days of excitement before the deadline.
so, to share our addictive journey, we plan to share these last 10 days with everyone. Another 'mean' reason for this ( ofcourse there has to be- me and Monisha being 2 extremely selfish people) is that we long to cherish this experience for ever.

Some people get high on Alcohol, some on drugs and some are simply high on life- but we- we are high on "RISE" .

So, let the countdown begin . . .


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

How Sexist is Honey Singh??

                                                                         by Monisha Dhingra
Welcome to the land of Honey Singh,a land of punk-ed up Punjabi dudes and sexed up Russian dancers. A land where music is defined by unoriginal Hip-Hop beats and tasteless Punjabi music. A land that thrives on offensively meaningless and sexist lyrics...

Let me give you a few pointers on how to spot such nuisance. The absurdly pimped up Punjabi music would alert you, but rest assured just look for the following:
Look for a Punjabi munda trying to unsuccessfully ape a Hip-Hop star (that’s Honey Singh). See closely he'll have disproportionally hot girls next to him i.e. either too tall for him, or too hot for him. Next, listen to the lyrics. The song will besung too fast to cover up the senselesslyrics. For example “Don’t do dope- shope and stare at men, don’t spoil your liver by drinking neat alcohol have some food along?” Now obviously making no sense what so ever isn’t enough for him. As it is the trend with fools, they tend to make maximum noise, and in this case “noise”, I assure you, is a rather polite word for his songs. Next up are lyrics about female genitalia, that borderline misogyny – splotched with women centric abuses. As is typical, the men in his songs are self-righteous Punjabi – Hip-Hop punks, with strong body and small hypocritical minds. The women show more variety they are either sluts wanting to be used for sex, or alcoholics who babble when drunk or better still, gold diggers with too many boyfriends. Sometimes brown and other time’s anorexic girls are also featured in his songs.
If you still can’t identify the source of the stupidity you are being subjected to, listen carefully. In the middle of the mumbo-jumbo of dumb lyrics you'll hear a deep Punjabi voice owning up to this mental torture screaming “YO, YO HONEY SINGH!"

Now let’s analyse this man,and see why and how he got so (annoyingly) famous thatI am forced to write this article about him.
Well for one, most of his songs are about women, and his sole object seems to be slandering them. The fact that this strategy worked for him brings out the question - Whether this strategy uniquely discovered and used by Honey Singh, or many a fools have tried it too?
From where I look he is doing  nothing but carrying forward the age old tradition of using sex and women as a means to sell products in the market. In fact he is not even being subtle about it!

This selling point rests on the idea that when say white is the norm ,then black becomes more attractive . White exists as an ideal and black exists as anti – thesis to that ideal , white is salvation black is the tempting distraction .Women who are demure ,subtle , disciplined are white and women who are bold , blunt and rebellious are black .White is normative and black is anti normative . Black exists to guilt women into white , and as a reminder as to what would it be like if all were not white .
The idea essentially is  that when societal construct favours white then black assumes a position that is more attractive , by virture of it being anti normative and extreme .The white norm  portrays women in a light of perfection, such that it’s unnatural and does'nt exist , Black on the other hand is an anti-norm, everything opposite to what society says. It’s a contradiction, and it guilt’s women into following what the society thinks is ‘Ideal’ and natural because if a woman chose to follow black or anything other than white she would be reprimanded .'Black’ despite being labelled “depraved “ gets more attention , it is a tempting distraction .

That’s why you are able to recall the Axe Deodorant advertisement, better than the one for a Harpic. This is why movies like Agneepath uses song like ‘Chikni-Chameli’ for more publicity. The song for its own sake has no bearing or importance in the movie. Men like Honey Singh think it’s cool to sing about abusing women.Anything and everything to do with nudity and sex becomes a rage.
We hence come to conclusion that black works!The next question that I ask myself is why it works? Why does an anti-norm attract us? When an external object attracts us, it represents an unfulfilled internal need, in this case an unacceptable object is vying our attention which means the existing norm has not been meeting certain needs that we harbour, since these needs are internal and hence natural. Could it be that existing norms are indeed unnatural and unyielding to our needs? In other words we are so sexually repressed that a slight sexually explicit stimulus excites us and that existing norms for women are so unnatural that a slightly contradictory idea thrives by virtue creating controversy?
Is the image of pure virgin woman a myth represents nothing but denial and frustration? Image of perfect woman, the perfect wife, created in a way so to make women guilty for not conforming to it? But at the same time as I accept the fallacy of the norms, I also ask whether it is okay to exploit the dichotomy in the system and degrade women as sexual objects and portray them as playthings and sell anything and everything in that name, because if every woman is not Sister Mary Jane she is also not a use and throw sex machine as she is so often advertised.

So whose fault is it? The society that formulates the norms? Honey Singh's songs that thrives on these norms, or the women who accept it?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Coming Soon!

a one-of-its kind endeavour!!
All of you are cordially invited on the launch of the magazine!
chief guest: Ms Rajni Abbi!
please be there to support me .. and our cause also!
Monisha Dhingra
Safoora Zrgr

Friday, 17 February 2012

our inspiration ...

It was the words of Maya Angelou that inspired the name of our newsletter. Words so strong and so courageously full of emotions that we were firmly enveloped in the scope of her idea. We found confluence in the words of her poem, as if what we feel and what she says are in essence the same thing. Hence at the commencement of our newsletter and this blog we wish to quote her poem…

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 

16th February 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

Only there’s no camera or lights! But still lots of action!
I reach college exactly at 8:30, all determined to complete and wind up the designing working for “RISE” by the end of the day! I take out my phone to call my partner-in-deed   Monisha, and I see my Nokia 1200 flashing, ‘Goldilocks Calling’!
I press answer, and the sweet sing-sang voice goes, “heyy! M in the canteen! Where are you?” I look at her from the entrance of the canteen and smile and wave.
She has bought coffee for me, and as usual forgotten to mix extra sugar. (yes, I do take extra sugar, and yes that too in JMC canteen, which is already extra-sugary!)
And then, after having our morning chat we open our laptops and go-
“mon, mail me the Honey Singh article”
“safoora I did, let me do it again”
“ok, also mail me, the diary one, one pretty picture of yours and the event reports”
“did you write, A to A? mail!”
“acha, lets sit and chalk out the final sequence of the articles k”
“no, this is looking too dry here”
“listen, let’s shift this on the 3rd page”
And this is how we keep firing at each other for the next 2 hours.
And then finally, I get up, at 10:30, to go receive the designer who is waiting for me at the gate.
I get him in, and we go back to the canteen! Being in a girl’s college, walking with a guy right through the compound area, at the peak hour of 10:30 am, when the whole college is in college!, trust me, is “uncomfortable”. Well, becauseee, you undesirably become the “star of the day”..!!! The stares, the glares, the giggles and the whispers- are hilarious- when you look back- but certainly not at that time!
When I enter the canteen this time, I suddenly realize that the whole canteen is jam-packed now, girls rushing everywhere, exchanging pleasantries, in a definitely non- pleasant but very chirpy, giggly tone!
The humdrum feels really exciting and enthusiastic!
I approach our table, and smile to myself- the whole of our WSDC team is there- running here and there, firing instructions at each other, our president- Shreya, right in the middle of it, surrounded by a mixture of personalities! Working frantically.
And then, suddenly, I get all super excited and want to push myself right into the working hurricane of my friends, as fast as possible, and get absorbed in the electric enthusiastic vibes it is emanating.
Akki (aka Akshay Singh, the designer of “RISE”) and me, sit down at the already over-flowing table and get to work!
Somewhere in between, I realized, the whole canteen was staring at us!

At 4, we realize, its 4:00 pm! And ‘OH My God!!! We have to rush home’ and so, we start frantically packing up stuff, which is strewn in the whole common room (somewhere during the day we had moved to the common room, because our laptops were screaming for batteries!)
We pack up, hug each other! Plant and blow kisses in the typical ‘JMC way’, and rush to the gate, where my cab is waiting for me, all other cab mates wearing bored, smug expressions (well, they had to wait till 4 for me, when they all got free by 2!)
Finally, I sit in the cab-
Message 1- Goldilocks: “ we rOck”
Message 2-  shreya: “today was great, good work team. I am proud of you all”
Message 3 – “we make a great team, yayy”

I reply-  “yes sweatheart, today was an inspiration”, to all.

And then, I doze off for my daily nap in the cab!

Although lights, camera, action happen, ‘Cut’ did not- we were not able to finalize the design, but that does not matter,
Because, “today really was an inspiration”!

Safoora Zargar

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Forces of mind and Forces of change ..

We are not men or women. We are a group of individuals who believe that gender need not be a primary highlighting factor of our identity. We believe in the person, in the mind of a human ,we believe that it should not be bound by  gender. 
But the fact remains that gender today has encompassed the individual ‘s identity so completely that two concepts have become almost equivalent.
 We propose  a school of thought that doesn’t judge , doesn’t label , doesn’t ask , doesn’t tell . We just want society to let us be . We don’t need stereotypes, false norms or induced guilt. We propose a gender less society where we humans can be what we want and develop a guiltless identity.
We hence come to you with an agenda to create awareness  about a gender centric society , about  a society that has snaked its way in our souls, engulfing our lives from the moment we were born. We believe it’s the cognizance of change that determines the change. In order to free ourselves from the oppression of a forced identity we first need to be conscious of that identity . 
Hence we are here to join the force of that change.