I apologize to my non-Hindi speaking readers for the title to this piece, in true nuance-sucking style the literal translation of which would amount to a ridiculous equivalent such as ‘a soft slap.’ Unfortunately, the English carries neither the restrained rage nor the purposeful levity of my intentions.
Levity, yes. For how else does one contend with the nature of the vile comments that have spewed so viscously from the mouth of our dear Softie? Are the misogynistic musings of a vote-hungry power-monger worthy of anything but laughter? Well, derisive laughter at the very least. And yes, mine is a restrained rage. For, as the equally loathsome comments of that abominable twit Azmi join in as a sycophantic chorus, the measure of my anger must necessarily retain its decorum, its sanity.
For what are Softie and Azmi in the daily course of women’s lives? They are megaphones amplifying a dominant ideology, a malaise spread far and wide through misogynists of both genders: men and women who perpetuate the denigration of women and those who question systems that uphold heteronormativity. To battle a beast of this size and stealth, one’s rage must be contained and pointed, it must work, necessarily, through the recognition of its own strength before the other’s weakness. To combat the vitriol of repugnant political ‘leaders’ such as the aforementioned, effigy-burning and similar purges for instant gratification cannot suffice. To smother the swelling of the sentiment spurring such voices on, another voice demands augmentation. The sort of voice that neither squashes nor suppresses but effectively disengages, renders incapacitated, as it were.
In the interim, or for this time at least, I choose to laugh irreverently, derisively, all the time imagining the sonorous peals of my laughter strumming a delicate but decisive two-beat on the fleshy jowls of these odious… (add suitable descriptor as per your choice – language no bar).
© Ayesha Sindhu 2014