“I walked to my desk and was about to resume work, with my cup of coffee, when my desk bell rang. I was called by Sridhar, ideally he is my boss, and this was the second day at my workplace, and I was yet to understand the entire business set up, so I thought maybe I had made some mistake in the submitted files.
I went in; he locked the door behind me, didn’t waste a moment pulling me near him, and whispered in my ears, ‘would you like some piping COFFEE tonight at my place? .......If you do, all your files will get cleared, and within a week, you will be promoted to the next level, where you can actually have double the salary’,
I was taken aback, for a moment, I went numb, he was one of the most influential persons in the company, and this was a hard-earned job………….
With my two strong arms (which now felt stronger) I pushed him hard and he fell on his chair.
I ran and opened the door with a bang (to draw attention of all my colleagues), went forward to Sridhar again, picked up the glass from the desk, and threw the water on his face……
on hearing my experience; each one in office did congratulate me, but exclaimed (to my surprise) that ‘this was so NORMAL with every female employee in this office, yeh to badi companys may hota hi rehta hai’, but as on my part, I was clear, I could not accept this bullying and sexual harassment in a workplace as something ‘NORMAL’…”(Anonymous)
It is true that most of us subserve to various situations, which have been happening for a long period of time in society, at a stretch, and term them ‘NORMAL’ as because they do not get changed at the right time. Racism, dowry, bullying, female objectification, communalism, female-infanticide, child marriage, late parenthood stigma, sexual harassment and there are many more issues on which society has its own opinion, and that is ‘NORMAL’.
If a girl is eve teased, her mother restrains her from reporting the matter, saying, “its normal, don’t worry, the same man won’t follow you the next day”, but what if another rascal just matters to comment on your girl the next day!
Huge dowry is termed NORMAL in Indian marriages, infact, it is tagged as ‘RIWAAZ’, i.e. custom of gifts to the bridegroom in most parts of India. It is shocking that though the law and constitution is against this motion, but people themselves so lovingly believe in this extortion as ‘NORMAL’.
“Normal is something I can never take for granted again,” well said by Andaleeb Wajid, the beautiful woman author who inspired the world with her books, which redefined romance, and love for food.
Minds which think beyond normalcy make a mark for the world.
Normality is actually a delusion. It is largely defined by what society thinks and practices, and the notion of normality keep changing from time to time. What a large group thinks in common becomes normal.
Even an intellectual person, posing his great ideas incoherently, is termed as abnormal, because he is just different from the mass.
What is Normal?
- Some action or incidence that keeps happening in society, as it is recreated by people again and again.
- If the practice serves a purpose for our living, (like brushing teeth in the morning keeps cavity away, or paying money for goods balances the economy)
- Or if some idea is receiving acceptance from the mass, since time immemorial.
When we can break this cocoon of submissive acceptance, we can do something for a better change.
Always file a complaint for eve-teasing, do speak up against workplace bullying, always say a ‘no’ to dowry, because it is illegal, and most importantly, logically unjustified.
Acceptance can only encourage the inflated ego of the cowardly bullies in society.
#SensitiveIndia shouts against being called ‘intolerant’, when honour killing and communal persecutions are still very much alive, because in those regions, they are ‘NORMAL’.
A girl should choose her family responsibilities above her career, because that is ‘NORMAL’, someone has to look after the family, so ‘normally’ that is the woman’s role.
It is high time that education and economic equality be brought to terms with high hand, so that women themselves identify their worth, and oppose to the sense of normality.
Though not great movies, but characters like Ananya Swaminathan (from Two States-the story of my marriage), and P.K. (from P.K.) does inspire us to revive our thoughts on what society terms as normal.
When Ananya takes a foot forward to oppose dowry, stating clearly, that she, being a girl earns more than a boy does, and only because Duke is a boy, it is not obvious that he will be more valuable to the society, to receive big cars, we really clap to her courage and candidness.
Equally, when P.K. dismantles the concept of what we call religion, by dressing up a Hindu in burkha, and a Muslim in church clothing, we realize, that it is the acceptance of ideas, which goes on to distinguish between religions. We accept that it is normal that a Muslim will wear a net cap, a Christian will wear clothes more of English origin and worship Jesus, and Hindu will be in saree; that is the base of religions, and when that changes, our vision towards religion changes. We come to realize that all of us are of the same blood.
Similarly, it is normal to get average grades; it is normal to be punished in class; it is normal to be ragged by your senior; are not facts, but notions that become functional when we accept them.
Some great person has said- “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know, how amazing YOU can be”.
Facing failure is good, but accepting that you have limited capabilities is not good.
Strive towards improving yourself never ends, if you do not take your previous low performance as normal.
So today, we have courageous people like Sapna Bhawani, who refused to accept her juvenile rape as normal, and strived and struggled towards making her place in society, we have Tasleema Nasrin, who has been a victim of political communalism time and again, but refused to give up, and continues to write candidly on social and political stigmas.
And currently, we have Amir Khan. Our so called ‘tolerant’ India hurled anger, hatred and vengeance on a citizen for using his fundamental rights (that is ‘freedom of speech and expression’), but Khan continues to maintain resilience on the face of adversity, he stands upright to the political communalism that is going on against him, and states what he feels is right. Such stories motivate us to cultivate ourselves and our abilities, fight against fate and achieve something great, which may not be ‘NORMAL’.