Dance

Sharing a short little verse that I had written few days back in the train for Ink Elan

Image Courtesy: https://www.pathofshe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Imbolc-Teaching-Shadow-Dance-Blog-02-18-550×343.jpg

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Pulwama Massacre

Dr Partha Banerjee wrote a fiery article in Bengali on the Pulwama attack, here’s the link to that:

https://goo.gl/DcTstr

I translated the same in English:

https://humanitycollege.org/2019/02/16/pulwama-massacre-and-the-politics-of-hate/

Do read, react, comment and share the thoughts.

Image Courtesy: https://images.indianexpress.com/2019/02/pulwamablast3-759.jpg

Midterm Elections

Dr Partha Banerjee wrote an article in Bengali for the Abp on 31st October 2018 on the American midterm elections, here’s the link to that:

https://www.anandabazar.com/international/us-midterm-elections-2018-i-hope-my-prophecy-will-prove-wrong-1.890021#.XGhCxcGB1iM.link

I, in turn, had translated it to English, which was uploaded to
HUMANITY COLLEGE here’s the link to that as well:

https://humanitycollege.org/2018/10/31/november-elections-hope-my-ominous-predictions-are-wrong/

Read any at your convenience and let me know.

Image Courtesy: https://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/dam/fox-news/midterm-2018/bg-1280-2x.png.img.png/0/0/1524864838003.png


Well Past Midnight

It is well past midnight now and I am here sitting in the railway station with you. Countless earthen pots are lying beside me as you can very well see.

Heyy! Look!—What? Don’t you see?

See that young lady over there, gracefully mixing with darkness at the horizon. She is out my sight now. Fear not! Her silhouette is with me and I will tell her story, yes I am determined now! I will only tell her story!

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And you, will you listen?

She was stranger, true, but in this godforsaken place, she became a stranger to herself as well. She felt lonely. Nobody knew her and she knew nobody.

The isolation was eating her by the day

She had no one to say ‘hey’

We are a rational animal they say

And True!

A social animal, yes, so was she…but an animal without food

Isn’t that an insult to the neighbourhood?

She didn’t know how this world worked; she was an amateur, a hungry amateur.

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Come on let’s get on this train, it’s the last one! We’ll continue our story there. Make sure you put on your woollens properly, it’s chilly.

Ahh! There’s a seat, come.

Whooo does that yuckkkk! Look at that kinky poster and it is stuck with a gum, how cheap is that!

I can never get these people with stupid agendas you know, I mean, how foolish do you think people are huh?  To fall for these cheap tricks? The government must do something to protect the innocent people who perhaps are getting fooled by these tricksters every day! My head is so on fire you know, I will write a letter as soon as I get home to the highest of authorities.

I have a LOT of connections!

Ohh! Damn it why isn’t the train moving yet?! I need to have a chat with the driver, pronto!

Come down the platform with me……

I need to talk to the driver about the problems and the damn posters people are sticking, incorrigible!

Oh, your story! I am so sorry, I almost forgot, happens to creative peo—-

Isn’t this that girl??? Yes, it is her!

What is she doing? Is she, OH MY!

She is putting up a poster… it is the same poster…

IT also reads…

RIYA WANTS TO BE FRIENDS

CALL  **********

She’s the one who really needs the FRIENDS.

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You see I may not be the most popular guy in the world, but I have you as my friend and I am grateful to you for that, and I will be in this year and in the next!

Make friends; talk with people… because you never know who might need one!

Don’t just wish Happy New Year,

Make someone’s New Year, Happy!

CIAO! This train was for the Car-shed anyway.

Image Courtesy:

 

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The Last Ball

Two groups of women were battling for supremacy on a foreign turf. But, the fight, irrespective of the context, seemed familiar to many others who observed it from a great distance. The world had never seen anything like this before.                                                   Like many other high-born women, Raima was also traditionally sold into another household.   Putting her dreams in the dumpster, she took charge of the kitchen during day and kisses during the night. The noble Pal bongsho had just acquired a new scapegoat.

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The match was nearing a nail-biting conclusion when the gods of thunder from all mythologies joined heads and decided to intervene. The ominous clouds came from all directions to dampen their spirits. To their utter shock, nothing could deter the spirits of these amazons.                                                                                                                             Raima wanted to be a player herself but failed, as maintaining a chaste demeanour was considered more important than the very unwomanly barbarianism she was interested in.

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It was a do or die situation now, the last moment of action would seal the fate. On one side, a burly lady was charging in to deliver at a great pace and accuracy; on the other hand, a meek Raima was attempting her first roti. Stakes were high: pride of the team and the soshur-bari were at stake on both the sides. The lady delivered with great pace but it was dispatched with equal vigour. Raima flamed one side of the roti for far too long: it was burnt!

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The girls’ team were distraught, it was the first time they had reached such a stage but couldn’t capitalise on it. Raima was shocked on seeing the shape of the roti and had started imagining the unimaginable.

Just when everything was falling apart, the girls saw the entire stadium giving them a standing ovation. Kottababu was taken aback by Raima’s grim look. He went beside her, smiled and said “ashte ashte hobe” and hugged her tight.

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It was then that these women realised, the apparent defeat is just another stepping stone for success.

What if a war is lost? The battle is there to be won!

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Glossary

bongsho-family

roti– a type of flatbread

soshur-bari– in-laws’ house

kottababu– head of the family

ashte ashte hobe-give it time

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Peace,Protection,Patriotism.

A hand rises amidst the sea of heads…

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*silence*

The speech begins as the mic lays out a high-frequency screech…

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Hello,

You might want to sit back and clear your mind (or your bowels if you want to) for this. The matter is serious and has already gotten out of hand. So, I have decided that enough is enough, and speak on behalf of my community.

Considering the majority of my audience, I assume that most of you might have used us over and over again till we have given your senses a sore.

You have oppressed us, ogled at us and even thought of exchanging us, but we didn’t complain. You judged us by our “brands” and our so-called features, we suffered in silence. We charged your soul with hours of emotions: laughter, anger, angst et all! Yet you resorted to other means of entertainment leaving us high and dry! Did we retort then?

Then why do this to us now?

Why do you keep breaking us over and over again? It is true that we can’t speak or say a word against your supremacy, your control, it seems we are to only dance to those signals you throw at us!

So, think before shattering us, breaking us with your pseudo-brutality, because remember-

What goes around comes around!

Yours Truly,

The Television Union

and its predicament after the face-offs of arch rivals.

11

The silence is broken by a young guy draped in mono-colour…

How can you be so cruel, madam? You can be a very good orator and everything but you can’t randomly sexualise this matter for your ends! Do not think that we all are sitting ducks here! Do we not understand your propaganda? You are deliberately trying to make us empathise with your problems by giving it the subtext of a sexual harassment! We do think that your issue demands an answer but please don’t use one of the most pressing issues in our society for your benefits!

The young man has to stop now as he realises that the lady has already left without paying heed to his comments.

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I, myself, standing right at the corner of this very room was carefully observing the proceedings till now with a solemn brow while impersonating a serious Sukanto. But, me being dormant thus far now feel a need to say something to you, my friend… Be it the communal, sexual issues or the protection of certain lactating herbivores- every issue demands our undivided attention, true, but do you know what we need more at this crucial juncture…. unity. Why do I, a mere narrator/writer thus far, feel the need to say this to you (without being a character in my own story)? I do because it is not the race for the throne which is a real threat to us it is the things that lie beyond the wall. Period.

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image courtesies:

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Oh God!

The darkness of the stage is broken by a momentary flash of blinding light and loud cracks.

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The light silhouetted darkness is now pervaded by two characters who enter from both ends.

[drum roll]

enter Oh and God!

Oh, a highly cynical lady of age surveys her surroundings and keeps stuttering towards the middle of the stage while letting out a puff or two. On reaching, her eyes fall on a young man who wore deep purple robes, a cap and a shiny long necklace, which was the cause of much amusement for the lady.

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God!, a young lad, most probably a teenager, perhaps the calmest one there ever was; casually strolls into the stage and looks at the smoking old lady dressed in a curious manner. Her head was covered by a cloth, like a hippie! He couldn’t control his chuckle and let out a loud sneer.

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[The coincidental bursts of not so subtle scorn swiftly gained their ways into each other’s ears.]

[Long pause and melodious violin plays as the characters start to dance towards each other and stop at once when they meet]

Oh: So, why do you dress in such a fancy manner eh? RELIGIOUS ARE YOU? Don’t you know that there is nothing called God! How can you be so backwards that in spite of living in the modern times you still cling on to these ancient beliefs? Allow me to illuminate you, YOUNG MAN!

There is no proof about God! Science triumphed way back when Darwin paraded the minds of the intellectuals with his groundbreaking theories! And yet, you crackpots…still believe that someone is up there who created us, eh? Do you even Science, huh?

Religion was introduced as a mean of oppression to thwart the voices of the subaltern! It was nothing more than a fancy narrative, meant for striking fear in the hearts of the laymen. The oppressors enjoyed the shunning of these classes as that allowed them to reap the fruits of their “sinned” lives! How else do you explain the concepts of sin and retribution or whatever measures they have for wiping sin away in a jiffy!

And, you know what, all of y’all think that your faith tells the absolute truth and all the others are absolute nonsense! And that’s MY BOY is the root of all evils in the modern society!!!!!! The devastating wars are wiping the universe of anything human that is left in society, Why doesn’t your God look after us now? Do you have an answer you ignorant fool?

[The young man, after a long period of constant ranting, finally opens his mouth while fingering the insides of his ear]

God!: Calm down madam, such rage is not good for your pursuit to heaven.

[The lady’s face turns purple and she prepares to throw her walking stick but decides against it at the end]

Why are you so angry madame? The evil forces have taken your soul over I am sorry to say. I do understand what you’re trying to say, madame.

See, we, the so-called religious people do understand the reason for your frustration as you all will never be accepted by the almighty. So, you all decided to rant against him to hide your deep seated angsts.

[The lady manages to keep her cool, in spite of shaking vigorously with anger]

And with your science stuff, with all due respect madame, your lot are always coming up with new explanations and theories every day…

Which one do we believe?

Are the modern explanations true? Not even you can guarantee that! Can you?

Coming to the tortures and making others to forcefully believe in your belief,

Is that not what you were doing to me till now?

[The lady opens her mouth and every sane living being could foretell the ranting that she’d be going on right now]


But, whoops!!! Powercut !

All the cast and crew are left irritated with this mishap, the room was pitch black.

The final rehearsal of “Oh God!” sadly met an abrupt end.

The director was forced to scream “Pack-up!” and promised that he would try and squeeze in another session or two before the first screening of the already full house production!

The main characters Oh (played by Adidi Warrens) and God!(played by Hitchen Dawkins) were left disgruntled but hugged each other out after a virtual phase of mutual scorn.

Before leaving the set, Hitchen came running towards Adidi and returned her cross necklace which she takes everyday to church. He almost threw the necklace to her and ran homewards.

“Have some respect!” the lady yelled.

“You and your religion..ugh!” came the reply.


Rumour has it that never again were actors so committed.

One can show their bodies in spite of reluctance but,

Can one reluctantly acknowledge the other side of their beliefs?  

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image courtesies:

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He is Manik and He is Felu!

 

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Satyajit Ray

Contributed to Ink Elan for observing 23rd https://www.facebook.com/inksfromyoursoul/photos/a.1388273137878638.1073741829.986575891381700/1740521299320485/?type=3&theater

Image Courtesies:

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https://goo.gl/Uynbri

Commonly Uncommon

We have a man with us today, a common man, just like you and I; but, today he made a fatal mistake: he entered a Modern Art Gallery.

I didn’t know how he committed that howler, till he told me just now. It seems that his mind had plunged into the great depths of depression. I should not make fun out the follies and failures of my subjects but this incident was something a little too special to keep it from sharing it with y’all.

A storm was brewing, so the layman sought refuge under a grey canopy. Some five minutes later he was caught off guard as few uninvited droplets embraced his cheeks like a pin on a cushion. Betrayed by the shed, he decided to move and that is when he noticed a glimmer at the corner of his eyes. He rolled them eyeballs to look at a sign in subtle blinking neon: “Musée des Beaux Arts”.

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He looked in awe, not at the sign, but trying to imagine the possible pronunciations of the foreign script which seemed like English. And then the unthinkable happened; to the incredible incomprehension of the old gods and new, he, the ordinary man decided to step foot inside the hallowed grounds of the modern art museum.

The security guard looked at him with a solemn brow and cheeks pale to the very lips as if to say: “What on the seven continents are you doing here?”

But he ignored all the possible omens and with a denim reminding his passersby about what he had last night, a shirt too tight and a misspelt Starbucks cup, he entered the infamous place.

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He felt like the only sane person in an asylum as the glances from all possible directions were shot at him as if he was a platter of delicious meat waiting to be fed to hungry lions.

With trembling limbs and a wearing, a shawl of naivety he proceeded in his business but the tragedy was that he didn’t know what it was.

The strangest of objects surrounded him and it was supposed to be art for it had classy Italian names.

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From empty frames, 3-D burgers to random stones behind glass panels everything was supposed to be a piece of modern art.

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Moving on from every piece to another, it seemed to the innocent man that his life was flashing before his eyes and questioning every decision that he has ever made.

With every piece of art came a connoisseur, upon whom the gods had bestowed the duty to evaluate true art whose knowledge they get from the back covers of the reputed books. They are obviously rich, otherwise, how can you appreciate art? Have customary long and unkempt beards, resembling the forlorn lovers of Shakespeare and wear the trousers which surely were an heirloom. The half moon Dumbledor-ish glasses certainly add to their expertise. The long flowing ethnic top wear with gibberish decor fits right into place.

One such species was explaining a rather curious piece of art: a pair of glasses which were lying on a stand just beside the washroom. Our man edged closer to his heart on his hands and listened with intent at the random throws of a little Derrida here and a little Foucault there.

Then, the unthinkable happened, an old man stepped out of the washroom and was taken aback by the humdrum near the glasses, then he lowered his hat, wore ‘his’ glasses and left at once.

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The world stopped rotating, everyone’s hearts skipped a beat, no one looked at one another, they all ran in other directions and started to sob. The common man stood still, his nouveau knowledge about the -“isms” and its appreciations went for a toss, he ran outside and screamed and kept running till he reached here.

-A CYNICAL GOBBLEDYGOOKER

Inspired by true events: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/27/pair-of-glasses-left-on-us-gallery-floor-mistaken-for-art

Source of Images:

https://goo.gl/mJurQf

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Deconstructing Sheeran!

There is always that song which is stuck in your head! Ed Sheeran’s latest phenomenon: Shape of You is one such track. I have listened to this song so many times that I form new critical viewpoints every time I hear it again! Vomiting my rather ‘uncanny’ thoughts on paper can be seen as a way to get rid of them which has been troubling me for quite a long time to get out, a dirty place my mind must be!

In accordance with the en vogue way, the songs present themselves in a tripartite manner: the audio, the lyric video and the video. In this case, these versions add to the diverse interpretations.

The song in itself is very catchy with its peppy tune, sharp beats and free-flowing lyrics. Apart from that, if anyone listens closely, Shape of You has much more on offer.

The club isn’t the best place to find a lover
So the bar is where I go
Me and my friends at the table doing shots
Drinking fast and then we talk slow
Come over and start up a conversation with just me
And trust me I’ll give it a chance now
Take my hand, stop, put Van the Man on the jukebox
And then we start to dance, and now I’m singing like

Initially, it seems like any other boy’s pursuit to ‘find love’ and dance ‘at the bar’ as ‘the club’ clearly isn’t the best place. The narrator here is recounting the events of his past and moves on to talk about a song which he sang to his partner while dancing in a bar. So, it’s a song within a song!

Girl, you know I want your love
Your love was handmade for somebody like me
Come on now, follow my lead
I may be crazy, don’t mind me

The first part of the song within a song is that of a boy who directly addresses the girl and carries his flirtatious attitude forward with a lot of subtlety by accepting his weirdness.

Say, boy, let’s not talk too much
Grab on my waist and put that body on me
Come on now, follow my lead
Come, come on now, follow my lead

The wilful coyness of the boy is shattered by the girl as she doesn’t pay much heed to the foreplay and almost orders the boy to keep dancing, rather sensuously, and insists on following ‘her lead’!

I’m in love with the shape of you
We push and pull like a magnet do
Although my heart is falling too
I’m in love with your body

Moving on to the refrain, the boy finally confesses that he is in love with the ‘Shape of You(her)’ and that he is in ‘love with your(her) body’. This is where it interests me the most, but more on this later! In spite of stating that they ‘Push and pull like a Magnet’ and ‘Although my (his) heart is falling to’ reaffirms the fact their relation is one of mutual participation and not platonic in any sense of the term as they have their own viewpoints and do disagree with each other on certain aspects. It also suggests their intimate physical relation by hinting at the sexual movements with the image of the pushing and pulling magnets.

And last night you were in my room
And now my bedsheets smell like you

The physical image is extended in the very next line to almost a metaphysical sense where the boy states ‘last night you were in my room /And now my bed sheets smell like you /Everyday discovering something brand new’. 

These lines heighten the intimacy, quite similar to that of Andrew Marvell’s declaration where he requests his coy mistress to ‘roll all our (their) strength and all our sweetness up into one ball’ indicating an organic whole.

Every day discovering something brand new

I’m in love with your body

Every day they discover something new which proves that there is no monotony in their relationship, they don’t need to roam the world in order learn something and can easily do that in each other’s company! This statement alludes to the poetry of Donne where he counters the Elizabethan spirit of discoveries by stating that ‘

And makes one little room an everywhere. /Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, /Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown, /Let us possess one world, each hath one and is one.’

Faiz Ahmed Faiz also shows similar sentiments in his famous Urdu Shayari:

‘aur kyā dekhne ko baaqī hai /aap se dil lagā ke dekh liyā’(what else is there now for me to view
I have experienced being in love with you)

Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I’m in love with your body
Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I’m in love with your body
Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I’m in love with your body
Every day discovering something brand new
I’m in love with the shape of you

 The repeated Oh-I’s in the next few lines can be seen as a reaffirmation of his admiration for the girl, or, can also indicate the moaning sounds made during sexual activity.

One week in we let the story begin
We’re going out on our first date
You and me are thrifty, so go all you can eat
Fill up your bag and I fill up a plate

The song progresses as the narrator proceeds in recounting the phases of their relationship. The ‘story’ apparently begins after a week when they set on their first date. It interesting to note that, the first significant date takes places only after the relationship has been consummated, so is the body just a key to the mind/soul?

We talk for hours and hours about the sweet and the sour
And how your family is doing okay
Leave and get in a taxi, then kiss in the backseat
Tell the driver make the radio play, and I’m singing like

The deep bond that they now share is vividly shown through the lyrics here as they take interest in each others’ families! As the driver plays the radio, a hyper reality is projected as the refrain appears through the radio itself indicating a transcendental approach.

Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on

Once again ‘Come on, be my baby, Come on’ is repeated many times to suggest that they are taking their relationship to greater heights. In spite of discovering something brand new every day, he is still in love with the ‘Shape of You’ shows that he is not materialistic or hedonistic in his approach.

The lyric video not only substantiates to the claim made in the song but also unlocks another viewpoint.

The refrain part is seen as text messaging indicating the active participation of both individuals.

The graphic associated with ‘Body’ changes from a James Bond style image to a basic text as the song moves on which suggests a deviation from the physical pleasures as lovers mature in due course of time.

The discovery of something brand new in the lyric video has been associated with the images of a half circle transforming into an imperfect full one representing the ‘heaven on earth’ that they have created for themselves.

 

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The most striking image in the lyric video, however, is that of the heart sign in which ‘Shape of You’ is written. This raises a question of duality in the depiction of ‘shape’: is it the shape of one’s mind/soul or just the body?

The video of the song is the actual game changer as it deconstructs the entire concept as it has been built till now from the audio and the lyric video.

The video shows a ‘boxing scenario’ where the girl is a boxer. From here on, the entire concept of physicality changes as it is not limited to the objectification and commodifications.

It is very natural for an athlete to admire another athlete so as for being inspired by him/her. The ‘Shape’ here indicates the fitness and the perfect shape the girl is in and the boy is intimidated by her perfect shape and also is trying to imitate her.

The ‘dance’ can be an indication to the moves which the boxers practise in the ring.

Their mutual admiration takes the relationship forward where they indulge in the basic pleasures of life.They push the limits together and try to stay together through thick and thin.

The last part of the video shows the boy getting beaten into shreds by a sumo wrestler…

…and just when every hope was lost, the girl suddenly intrudes from the audiences and ‘attempts’ a kung-fu kick at his opponent.

The video ends as the screen freezes where the girl is flying mid air and the sumo has just realised about the impending danger.

By doing this, a finite closure is denied which forces the audience to think! 

This song along with another hit number: ‘Galway Girl‘, holds a mirror to the vibrant city life of the United Kingdom as evident by the repeated use of the ‘shots’, ‘bar’, ’club’, ’friends’, ’jukebox’ etc.. In the hindsight another hit, ‘Castle On The Hill’ puts more focus on the country life and its uniqueness. These songs present to its listeners and viewers a myriad of experiences and feelings whilst taking ‘em on a virtual trip down the memory aisle. Moving on to the little more serious and very relevant topic that ‘Shape of You’ puts forward is, of course, the treatment of ‘the body’ or ‘the shape’.

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On hearing this for the first time I was taken aback by the audacity of the artist to use the connotation of physicality in such a light hearted manner. Had the same opinions been put forward through a groovy item number, activists wouldn’t have wasted a single second in taking to streets and blatantly scream for ‘equality’.

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Another question that I would like to raise through this platform, is that why do we see objectification with such a perverted mindset? It’s nothing but an admiration for something which constitutes a human being. If someone is in love with one’s mental faculties, sassy terms like ‘Sapiosexuality’ is used to denote the superior intellectuality of that individual, but a person is immediately branded as a ‘meat-lover’, ‘objectifier’, ‘pervert’ and what not if the admiration is based on the physical aspects. At the same time, it is also true that taking these admirations to a level of infatuation or obsession is indeed not desirable, but that applies both in the case of physicality and the mental aspects.

The physical and the mental aspects together constitute the whole human being and without any one of these, a person is simply incomplete! 

So, let’s not unnecessarily discriminate between these, as “Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar”!!!

Note:

Many images used in this article are taken from the Youtube videos of Ed Sheeran, the rights are of-

Written by Ed Sheeran, Steve Mac, Johnny Mcdaid • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

The other images are taken from:

https://goo.gl/2af36b

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https://goo.gl/tWFxIM