Monday, February 27, 2006

Incident That Moved Me

I often recall this particular incident that took place a year ago when I was coming back to Kathmandu from Bhaktapur in a local bus after paying visit to one of my friend. I don't use public transportation to go to places since I have a cycle and whenever I need to, I take it as an opportunity to watch people from different walks of life. But I know many won't take it that way and using public buses for daily purposes is not a pleasant experience here in Kathmandu. Mostly female passengers, who go through many awful experiences while using public buses. On that day the bus was packed with noisy hip-hop youngsters but luckily I got the seat. It looked like they were returning home after picnicking or might be some sort of gala time. Some of them were excessively boozed and so loud, which made the atmosphere inside the bus quite unfriendly. When the bus was about to move an elderly woman carrying an infant hopped in hurriedly and seeing this woman I thought, 'Oh God! She got the wrong bus'. For a moment I felt pity for her but instantly I made up my mind to leave my seat for her to sit. But before this woman reach near me one among those noisy youngsters stood up and let her sit at his seat. Good heaven! I couldn't believe my eyes for few moments because I didn't expect that those youngsters would be ever show such generosity to that woman. I was so happy inside and at the same time I felt little pang of guilt for underestimating those hip-hop youngsters. Incident like this move me a lot and I feel so good that still this earth don't lack men who respect women.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

'Sex, Lies & Stereotypes'

Ok now stop raising your brows in surprise to see above title of my blog, it actually is title of the book by Dr. Gary W. Wood, which I've ended reading last week. It's a good book to kill numerous curiosities about 'Men and Women relationship' in social context. Little difficult to understand but you definitely get to see male and female in a very unique perspective. Hitching through writer's psychological tour, you even develop an urge to define men and women in a new way on your own like this Jiten ;). And may be you too start to ask, why not 'Pink' for boys and 'Blue' for girls. Sound interesting, rite?

Ok let me cite some vivid outlooks Dr. Gary W. Wood has emphasized in his book Sex, Lies & Stereotypes. If you take visit around your hometown, it's curious how you can start getting excited about things you normally take for granted. And these things didn't change overnight, it is your new perception of trying to see things through the eyes of someone else that changes your experience like when people see beautifully composed pictures of an ordinary thing through photographer's eyes. Beauty lies there and nobody sees it because we never try to see it. Blindfold of our society's stereotype filters is one reason. Exactly like various optical filters photographer use in photography. You can make sky look deep blue by using polarize filter.

By far the largest difference between men and women is the view we gain from gazing through different filters. The filters through which we view the world are based on a variety of personal factor: expectations within our culture, upbringing, individual tastes, motivations, life experiences and even moods. These factors combine to form our personal perceptual filters.

Dr. Wood very interestingly pulled an example how filters compel us to see things differently. Fancifully, we wonder that we would get up to watch the sunrise. Suitably inspired, we'd set the scene and map out the course of the book. As the day rolled by, we imagined watching the Sun course across the sky before seeing it sink beyond the horizon. What better inspiration could there be? After all, there is something quite magical about sunrises and sunsets. Except that the Sun never really sets, the Sun doesn't rise or move across the sky or set. The Earth turns! Everything else is just a perceptual illusion.

Sunsets and sunrises mean that the Sun moves round the Earth, but the fact is that the Earth moves round the Sun. We've known this universal truth for a few hundred years. The idea of sunrises and sunsets belongs to a view of the world that comes from the past, but is a far too romantic notion to let go. What we are really talking about is how it is possible to have different perceptions of the same thing, even something as fundamental as the nature of the universe. There is a strong parallel between our understanding of sunrises and sunsets and how we view the roles of women, men and relationships. It's a case of 'head' versus 'heart'. We know the science but crave the comfort of the romantic 'spin'.

Dr. Wood put forward another vital views saying that; we often talk about biology as if it has a consciousness and a sense of maleness or femaleness. But biologically we are the same species, and the similarities between men and women far outweigh the differences. Furthermore, the differences are more often quantitative and not qualitative. While our genitals may be the outward signs of our biological sex, we share a common origin and continue to share many of the same capacities and experiences.

The biological symbols for female (Venus) and for male (Mars) are perfect to explain the whole process of sex and gender. Stripping away the similarities in the symbols leaves us with the symbols of the true male and female differences. A bit of a detour: This brief review of human biology leads to the conclusion that women and men have many more similarities than differences. Our preference for black-and-white thinking distorts the perceptual filters with which we view women and men.

These views really do challenges us to question our assumptions and accept that there are grey areas in most people's gender identities. Men are from earth and women are from earth, it's high time we got over it. Popular psychology often states that it is our perception that creates our reality.

Well I am not a vicarious reader as you would expect but wide range of subjects tempts me to become one and tell you what, chemistry of MEN & WOMEN Relationship always excites me. Books like 'Man are from Mars, and women are from Venus' by John Gray, 'Why women can't read maps and Men don't listen' by Allan & Barbar, and 'Why Men hate Women' by Jukes are some nice books I have read on 'men and women' relationship. Book 'A Women's Worth' by Marianne Williamson is next in the row.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Days Slip By

No matter how mastery I think I am in 'time management' sometime somehow I still find list of undone things before I retire my day. I guess this is a similar story of many working people like me. I know 80 percent of our jobs depend on dealing with other person or people, so chances of undone jobs are always there. I tell you what, chasing days is such an uneasy state of bewilderment in life. Lately that's exactly how I've been through. It's like days governing me and I just let flow myself where it takes. Besides, my outgoing nature which allow me get involve in various activities at a time is also a reason why I tangle up in such situation often. I held myself responsible for this state. I know everyone lives a day consist of 24 hours. Not one second more or less. So instead of grumbling I must learn to live my day within 24 hours

Previous two weeks, I have devoted huge chunk my days for wedding photography. This season I have shot 4 weddings so far. Wedding photography is both respectable and tiresome job and needless to say, I do it for my friends and families because it's very special moment of their life. Shooting wedding ceremonies consume lots of time not because wedding procedures are long but because we Nepalis value our time poorly. In contrary we, Nepalis are so concern about 'Lagan' (the auspicious time) predicted by astrologer priest to perform those ritual of wedding ceremonies in perfect time but most of the time we just miss it. And still no one shows remorse about it. Common phrase 'Nepali Time' is an easy excuse people pull with much ease but I simply can't let it go that way because it not just spoil our worthy time and also disgrace our potentiality.

During those weddings I had restless days. I even had to skip my regular meals at home and sustain on those oily and spicy foods of wedding parties. I've jeopardized my health due to those foods and my unrest routine. I was in poor health and had a violent cough caused by dust allegoric and be under medication for few days. I agree that to some extend I also am bit more careless about my health, which I must not do. Anyway now I am back to my good health.

Back home political stunts, royal circuses, municipal election are some high and low dramas that have dominated all domain of Nepal. It is so agonizing to see Nepal's portrayal in the international media as a country that's spinning out of control. I don't want to write any of those misfortunes here in my blog at least. Instead let me share some pictures.

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