There is a reason why I liked Padmarajan’s Namukku Parkaam Munthirithoppukal more than his Thoovanathumbikal. Same reason why I liked 22 F Kottayam, despite its mixed reviews and violence. The message that being raped does not mean your life is over. I have, like most other girls in Kerala, grew up with the belief that if you are raped you need to commit suicide. You are not supposed to live after that. I don’t know what first prompted me to question why should the victim suffer more. But when I did, I saw the problem of the values being fed by the society and the stories it made. They said that the wronged had no place in life, she had to go. When it had to be the other way around.
So when I saw Namukku Paarkaam which did not try to kill Sophie off after her rape because she had to be a virgin for the hero, I felt some sort of justice. For here was Solomon coming for her in his lorry, and asking her “Why didn’t you come out after my second honk?” When she hesitates “I thought…” he pulls her up to the vehicle and drives away with her. I felt such calm. Maybe 22 F tried a modern version. Tessa was no virgin to begin with. But what made it good for me is that she doesn’t kill herself after two rapes. I am not saying rape is such a small thing to be ignored and be brushed off like a ‘dog bite’. But it is definitely not the end of your life. Like any other accident, you take rest, you take your medicines and you get well and come back to life. If a thief robs you, you punish the thief, not yourself. I don’t know which misguided soul started giving the message the other way around and punished the girl for the rape. But I am glad the misguided soul and his misguided ideas are being thrown out of the window now.
I am outraged by a lot of assault cases of recent times. I only hope the girls will bandage their wounds, let it heal and come back to life, brighter than before.
I had some really serious stuff to talk about. No honestly, I did. But I am stuck with this line I hear a lot “You are funny. That’s strange. Women are never funny.” Sense of humor, it seems is one area women are not blessed with. I hate to agree with anything that may suggest a ‘low’ for my species, but reluctantly I have observed it’s rather the real picture. We have a lot of funny women in this world, but lot is not always enough. Women are a serious lot. There is a majority of us that way. I can only think of one reason – Newton’s third law. When one half of the world is busy falling off their chairs rofl-ing (that includes me), there has to be an equal and opposite force staring at them with the tired-sigh expression that reads ‘Neanderthals’.
I know we have a Whoopi Goldberg, a Lisa Kudrow. I know we have an Erma Bombeck, and come local we have a Manorama, maybe occasionally a Sukumari. But look at the ratio – think of a male comedian and you have plenty of names to give, but if a female comedian rolls out on the screen, it actually hits headlines.
Why are people so serious? Why do they seem offended at every little thing, especially an over-cheerful face? They have got to be putting on an act. I have a hunch people are naturally light-hearted. Think of it logically – take a typical example – me. I am natural, and I am light hearted. See a connection?
There are serious men too! Not Manu Joseph’s. The other kind, in white hair and raised brows and a don’t-talk-to-me-I-will-bite face. All pretense! Everyone should find something funny right? Even those tough principals at school, those frowning managers and bosses, those scowling parents, those skeptical friends and partners. You think they never smile, let alone laugh. But catch them at a weak moment, and you will find them peeling off that solemn mask.
(It is close to 3am and I seem to have left this thought unfinished. Oh well.)
Innocence can be a really confusing term. You’d think it means being natural, sticking close to your primitive instinct. So then I was thinking, say there are two hungry friends and they see this little piece of, say a mango. Wouldn’t the primitive instinct be to jump at it and munch it all by yourself? Isn’t it because we moved away from the “natural” bit that we’d be willing to share or even offer it entirely to the other? So does becoming “human” mean you are losing your innocence?
There is another idea. That innocence can be related to naivety. Which in my opinion takes away the whole beauty of innocence. Being naive is, well to put it lightly, being dumb. Which is in fact yet another word associated with innocence. So I have trouble figuring out what exactly is innocence, and if being called innocent would count as your weakness or strength.