Bastards rule the world

Adversity has a huge role to play in shaping the person. Most people bow down and back off when faced with adversity, but some of those who don’t accept the marginal existence rise to the top. History is filled with examples of illegitimate, outcastes & disowned children rising up as powerful tycoons, rulers and generals. Few of the names are:
1. Mahabharat: Karan was a bastard, Krishna was not raised by his parents, Dhritrastra & Pandu did not have even an ounce of the royal blood, Pandu was impotent yet he had 5 sons.
2. Ramayana: Sita was found abandoned in the fields, Ram was not supposed to be the legitimate ruler.
3. Ashoka was neither the eldest, nor was he born to the queen.
4. Aurangzeb was the 6th child of his father and had to resort to Fratricide to consolidate power (he arrested his father and hence did not have to indulge in Patricide)
5. Rome was founded by 2 abandoned orphans (sulking on the wolves milk)
6. Alexander was born out of wedlock and had to resort to Patricide the moment the crown prince was born (he was the head of the royal bodyguards and the king dies under his guard paving way for his rise to the throne)
7. Nobody knows who Jesus Christ’s father was
8. Hitler stepfather Johann Georg Hiedler was recognized as the birth-father only 20 years after his death (and 30 years after the death of Hitler’s mother)
The list goes on: Confucius (ca. 551–479 BCE), St. Vladimir the Great, Grand Prince of Kiev (980–1015), William the Conqueror (1028–87), King Joao I of Portugal (1358–1433), Leone Battista Alberti (1404–72), Antoine, bastard of Burgundy (1421–1504), Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536), Ferdinand Columbus (1488–1539), Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603), Jean le Rond d’Alembert (1717–83), Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), James Smithson (1764 – 1829), Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824 – 95) etc.

Some say that one needs ruthlessness to succeed and bastards are born with it. However many of them were kind and gentle. What they had was an obsession, the passion to succeed against all odds. The world was not handed to them on a silver platter, but that never scared them. The out of the box thinking and challenging the status quo. While the common man lives to collect his inheritance, these guys go out of the way to create theirs.

 

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toe-ring, sindhoor, managalsutra

Married women cover their heads with a ghoonghat… out of sight, out of mind. If you happen to catch them without one, you would see a bright red mark (sindhoor made from lead oxide) to warn you to look away. For those who like to check out the torso before looking at someone’s face… there will be a mangalsoothra hanging. If you observe from the side, there will be chuda (6-8 inches of bangles.. white red). For those with foot fetish, there are silver toe-rings worn only by married women.

All this makes me wonder why would anybody go to such lengths to make sure that their marital status is rightly advertised? Irrespective of from which angle you observe, whether its a shadow or a partial glimpse… there is no excuse for a a guy to confuse a married woman with a bachelorette.

On the other hand there are no corresponding marks worn by men. Due to Christian/Western influence some men do wear rings/bands, but this is more out of fashion and not due to cultural/religious beliefs.

In my earlier post, I wrote about how some woman make sure that their presence if felt (even when they are away). But except human beings, no other animal mark their body or wear signs to show their relationship status. But again man is an aberration as no other creature on this planet practices anything remotely close to a marriage.

As many feminist argue, marriage is a remnant of patriarchal institutions that existed for millenniums. Through a public ceremony, the whole society was notified that the women is in a relationship. This allowed men to travel for war & trade for extended periods without the fear of returning to an empty nest. (finding that their wives have eloped elsewhere). Even today’s Indian laws on adultery highlight the same perception… men are punished for having sex with someone else’s wife and not the adulterous wives. (even though, in the true sense its the wife who broke the contract not the outsider)

Although humans developed a concept of kinship & family early on, the early hunter gatherers developed marriage only around the time of extended military campaigns. Yes, you would blame me for linking wars & military history with everything.

A nice article on how the institution of marriage has evolved in the past 2 decades

Movie: FIREPROOF

It is a simple movie about a dysfunctional marriage which is finally saved by the husband. The guy’s parents entrusts upon a book with a 40 days step by step workout on how to rekindle the love, care and affection. Also embedded in the movie are some references to Christian philosophy, religion and sanctity of the marriage as a bond that can only be broken by death. However I would say that it is a must watch for anybody who has overcome the marital difficulties.

30 year old virgin

Traditionally, in India a person is supposed to be a virgin till he/she gets married. However this was usually not a problem because Indians used to get married early almost immediately after they start working. Being financially independent (strong) is important because in most cases the bride and the groom have to seek approval from the parents and the approval comes easily if the boy is financially able to support him and the girl.
However now a days with the emphasis on university education and even post-graduation degree, the marriageable age is getting pushed. So it is not uncommon to meet a 25 year old virgin and in some extreme cases he/she can be as old as 30 years ago because it now takes longer for a guy to complete his education and get a stable job. Times are changing and pre-marital sex is no longer a taboo, but still for many it’s a problem if they lose their virginity to someone other than their fiancé (or would be fiancé).

According to my African friend, who once had an Indian girlfriend and has spent a lot of time in India, this delay is sex creates a barrier between the desires and the practices which is unnatural. It creates a sexual tension and uneasiness, a barrier that prevent the Indian youth to express themselves freely and openly. According to him this causes frustration and might even lead to the increasing crime level.
Being no authority on the subject, I am unable to impartially and accurately comment on the issue. However I strongly believe that it’s only our generation that is facing this transition hiccups. The previous generation had not much problems with chastity because they used to get married early. It’s this generation that wants to follow the traditions, yet be considered cool enough in the modern society with changing values. Most likely the next generation will not face this problem because the transition from a conservative traditional society to the modern liberal society would be complete by then.