Is it woman, Is it man!

Posted on August 19, 2006


As I watched them walk in, a line from Metallica’s song came to my mind…”sometimes you can hear them talk, other times you can’t; the same ‘ol cliches, is it woman, is it man! And you always seem outnumbered, you dare not make a stand”

3 people…(i say people…because before we call ourselves “male” “female” which are actually just our biological sex…we need to realise we are PEOPLE.) dressed in low rise jeans, snugly fitted at their round bottoms, with figure-hugging t-shirts and and jingling belts walk into a not-so-happening pub in the heart of Bangalore city within the confines of a really happening mall.

I was there at this place with few of my friends in the Friday night spirit of checking out a new place. It was quite the usual, drunken couples, drunken adolescent boys, some after-work-getting-a-drink ers…and then, the 3 people who are the center of this writing entered. Immediately they were shown to a quiet corner of the pub. Away from the prying eyes of the world. The 3 seemed content, though one of them did try to get a seat more towards the center of the seating area…but it went unnoticed (by my friends atleast) that they were ‘ushered’ into what seemed like an unsuspectable corner.

To me it seemed like the corner of the world, a margin, a limit, a boundary, that was set and the three of them had to be content being allowed their space there. Where they could look at the world, and the world could look at them, but there would be no interaction here atleast, as long as there were waiters hanging around what I thought was a “Lakshmanrekha” which would spew fire in case, someone dare cross it.

A little more about our protagonists…they were MEN…dressed as WOMEN…they had long hair…they had fake boobs…they had great jeans on…they got into the corner, ordered their drinks and began to sway to the music. They kept each other company, they were friends. They had a good time. There were people looking at them. I am being polite, there were people staring at them. Some in curiosity to check if they were WOMEN or MEN and some to watch the “nautanki“…I watched in fascination at the people around, and at the three people in admiration.

I am not here to accuse the starers or sympathize with the 3 who were being stared at. I am simply saying that it was fascinating to watch so many ecosystems interact with one another with the advent of the 3 well dressed people into this nondescript pub. The socio-eco system, the pub-ecosystem, the marginalized-eco system, and the personalities of various people in question. How they swayed to the music, with grace, that would put most women dancers (proud of their moves on the dance floor) to shame. One of them caught my eye, I smiled and was rewarded with a 1000 watt even toothed flashing smile…I wanted to get up and dance, but I was afraid what my friends would think…I was afraid what they would think…I was afraid of my motivation in doing so…whatever it be, I did not get up and dance…

But it got me thinking…why did they not insist on being allowed a table in the center…my friends said, maybe they were regulars, it was a nice corner to sit in (then why the hell were we not sitting there!!!!!)…the answer to me was clear…they were allowed some space…they were to be content with what they were given…they took it even, maybe as defeat, maybe as a beginning, maybe as a truth of life…

The truth of life is simple, we live in a jungle sometimes, and sometimes we create a zoo within the jungle…I think I went to a jungle disguised as a zoo last night…and all I did was look at the animals on display, or wait…was I the animal staring out of the confines of the limits and boundaries that I let society set for me…yes, I think, thats it!

Hopefully, I will get up and dance the next time!

Henri…August 20th 2006…

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