Shallow Perceptions

Recently while watching a beauty pageant, a colleague of mine in all seriousness remarked, “what a disgrace such contests are on women kind”. My curiosity to probe his, mind prompted me to oppose his view point as I always had a strong conviction about the very concept of these contests that is rightly captioned “Beauty with Brains”. The idea of skimpily clad contestants walking on the ramp in presence of the male audience was the target of his scathing attack. Knowing his religious bent of mind and staunch beliefs I saw no point in putting across my views and quietly backed out of the conversation. He went on to add that posing a few customary questions is neither a genuine yardstick to gauge intelligence nor being crowned qualifies the nominees as epitomes of beauty.

The gentleman’s remark did not come as a surprise to me. Of late, this issue has attracted a lot of media hype and was subject to severe criticism by many women’s organizations. These self proclaimed guardians of women’s dignity even took to the streets in protests, demanding that the event be banned. If people at the helm who deem themselves fit to protect the interest of women, can harbour wrong notions and misinterpret the motive behind the spectacle, then who would make a commoner understand?

It would not be fair to shun the perspective of these lobbyists as a sham. The crux of the problem lies in one’s perception. Thrusting individual opinion is no means to drive a point across, though a rational discussion may influence the thought process to see reason.

The most discerning feature is that our thoughts always border on the evil side and these negative images take precedence over the positive connotations. My colleague who took objection to women flaunting themselves in swimsuits is a case in point. On would applaud the guts of individuals who admit this fact rather than resorting to hypocrisy. But, such exemplary conscience is hard to come by, partly due to the pressure of conforming to the dual societal norms on morality. In fact, the coterie that projects a genuine concern for exploitation of women, enjoy leering at the fairer sex as objects of desire.

How easy it is to draw a line for demarcating permissible moral code of conduct from the illegitimate and label things as taboo when it comes to the family. Ask any respectable father of middle class lineage if he would allow his daughter to be a part of beauty pageants. Their answer will only be in the negative, but they would spare no occasion to turn around and ogle at others with disrespect. Those who cannot regard others with equal reverence and refrain from such voyeurism themselves, have no right to raise hue and cry over feminist causes and disguise their true self with pretence of piety. Only a serious resolve to mend their biased demeanor could add weight to their argument, else their justifications would turn out to be damp squib.

There are many teasers that keep cropping in our minds which remain unanswered and ultimately end up as misgivings. For instance, some tend to liken the participants with other women who they feel are at par or superior both in terms of intelligence and physical beauty but cannot afford to reach this platform to upstage others. This may be true but any sane entity would not toy with the idea of congregating all female species under one roof to vie for the crown. Others, who would shudder at the thought of facing an interactive session are critical about this exercise and mix it up with evaluation of one’s intellect without realizing that this is just a measure of spontaneity. Moreover it is just not the facial charm, the vital statistics or intelligence quotient that is singly put to test. Rather it is a blend of these determinants that forms the criteria of selection and an embodiment of these aspects truly represents a complete personality.

How different the scenario would be if we focus on the contributions made by the winners, right from working on numerous social causes by raising funds and garnering support of the masses to rally behind these issues, representing their countries as ambassadors to being role models of millions of aspiring people. It’s high time we start making efforts to broaden our vision and take a peek at things in proper light.

Boredom Syndrome

I wonder why “Boredom Syndrome” is so rampant among the single expatriate population out here in U.A.E., the clue to which still eludes my reasoning capabilities. I can testify that this state of mind is not synonymous with me alone but many of my acquaintances or in fact many a stranger would rally behind me to support this view.

Despite living life in the fast lane where the day-to-day routine of hectic activity at work place, the race to get ahead of times and strive to make the most out of available opportunities always keeps one on the move, deep within a vacuum still persists resulting in dreariness. It seems a paradox that people crave for some means of entertainment to pep up and enliven themselves even after a grueling day of hard work rather than crashing down to catch up on their sleep.

Many would dismiss the boredom phenomenon as a cliché that has caught the world by storm and call it a farce. They are not to blame as only stepping into the shoes of distressed souls and actually undergoing the travails would make them realize this fact. I would personally attribute monotony as the root cause for allowing boredom to creep into our psyche.

How long can one endure the routine of jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn, heading straight for a quick shower and getting dressed up to look prim and rushing to make it on time to work. People who are unaware of this lifestyle would be nonplused to know that the planning to this sequel begins a day in advance soon after returning from office. Having cramped all the chores within a span of few minutes, more anxious moments await you. Setting out on the streets, all your conscious efforts to stick to the timing goes haywire owing to traffic jams stretching an few kilometers. Hoping to take a breather on arrival at the office, a pile of papers and stack of files greet you and constant reminders to meet the deadlines from the seniors play havoc with your nerves. Seeing the day through, the loners in the hope of finding solace in the cozy surroundings of their confines return to their abodes only to be confronted with stark reality of mute walls giving a hard stare, as though seeking an explanation for their very purpose of existence.

What else can you do to get away from the shackles of boredom and rejuvenate yourself for facing the same plight day after day except indulge in watching television. With not very many alternatives to chose from and an almost non-existent social life, the search for an ambience that exudes warmth and obviates the feeling of root-less-ness continues unabated.

The day everyone cherishes and looks forward to is Friday, the last day of the week. This is when all and sundry have some engagements lined up for themselves, preferring to be left on their own. Moreover, one comes across a distinct pattern of socializing among different groups. Families tend to mingle with their own ilk which is a subtle indication that bachelors are not welcome. In a place like Dubai, which is a conglomeration of diverse cultures, glimpses of a group of people from different origins hobnobbing is a rare sight. The restricted movement of masses within known circles leaves the single fraternity in a lurch, who often are seen taking a stroll in crowded parks or thronging the cinema houses.

Fortunate are those who have friends, acquaintances and relatives whom they can relate to. A feeling of belongingness, a support system to fall back upon during difficult times is of great essence to overcome the pangs of isolation from our kith and kin. For those bereft of this luxury, keeping one-self engrossed in constructive activities and wholesome entertainment is the only consolation.