Archive for the ‘Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation’ Category

Social Categorization – Visibility and Invisibility.

February 11, 2011

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2010

She just stood there at the front, pointing to the power points slides lit by a projector. The participants were just listening, many of them dozing just like me while the beautiful mid thirties lady just went on discussing the different aspects of social categorization. While discussing one of the aspects of whether social categories can be visible or invisible, she proceeded with a personal example. She just told it to out face. “I was a prostitute for one year in Dubai in the mid nineties.” These very words from the elegant lady mouth landed like a spell on fellow participants. All were just staring at the face of this lady who was just scrolling her eyes around the room with her mouth closes, her face color turned red with sparkling eyes as if tears would start flowing from them any moment. The next 10 to 15 seconds turned the seminar room of almost 40 participants into complete quietness that you could hear the sound of wall clock perking through your ear drums. She was the first one to break the ice by saying “No I was not!” which came as a relief to everyone that as figuring from how sweet this lady was, it would be such a cruel injustice of her being a social taboo. She went on clarifying that she was considered to be a prostitute when she was on her own working for a firm in Dubai in the mid nineties which saw a peak in prostitute business when the local Sheikhs were pretty much fond of getting the taste of blondes from the Europe. She went on explaining on how she learnt few words in Arabic to woo passersby away when cards used to stop for her on the road. And how she would lower her gaze when people used to stare her being as the scum of the society. She explained this one incident that brought her to tears when showing her love to a small kid at a shopping mall, the kid’s mother came around and pulled the child away from her and kept on babbling in Arabic that not to socialize with her as if her invisible social taboo is like a contagious disease that would spread even by affection. She called that year the worse she has ever felt in her life and this made her to resign from her job and leave the country.

She asked whether we have been victims of such invisible social categorization being entrusted upon us. She only had to ask this question for a sea of responses that were to unravel from the participants. We being the social victims? Of what part of our 2 plus years of stay in Europe has made us felt socially acceptable? The conditions might have changed in Dubai at the month for European blondes to be considered prostitutes. In present years a lady with blonde hair would be most likely to be taken for a touring and the only exploitation she would be getting would be from shopkeepers looking for a healthy bargain. But on the other hand brown skinned people like us would find the situation deteriorating day by day in this part of the words. Called by names such a garlic people or paki –whatever you can add with that is been a routine situation which browned skinned people like us have to live through. The very fact that you have to hide your green passport while standing in airport queues just to avoided unnecessary attention you might get from the security. So invisible social categories, where do we fit in now?

Sorry for sounding so naive but I needed to get this out of my system.

Pictures are from Pic 1 and Pic 2.

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The lives you live; in the game of life – Sunday Scribblings.

February 11, 2011

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2009

Being experimental with life, it always happens that you get to play games or you ought to play games at some crisscrossing highway sections of your life. I happen to play games as well, and am still playing them now. It not that I always realize that this is the game I am playing. The realization comes a little after there comes this GAME OVER sign in front of you and you just realized that it really was a game.

Today I would be telling you about some of the games I played and keep playing in this life of mine. The most comprehensive game I still keep on playing is with my supreme Divine. The more I keep telling myself that this isn’t a game, the more it turns out to be a competitive challenge. I move on doing the tasks laid down for me. Sometimes I blink and pass on a few unattended chores, hide from them until you get to that point, you have pretty less life support left to play with and you run again to the chores and tasks laid down for you by the Divine. It also happens with me, a secret of my life I haven’t relieved till now, I put myself to a task, and challenge myself that if am not able to do it, It would be the end for me. And yet I stand up to the challenge. Very less I don’t succeed in it; not that am a pretty hard challenger or that I have that courage and support to stand by it, but it’s the nature of the task that helps me get through it. Still am often out of my breath and sweating as if mid of some Arabian desert.

Another game I found myself playing since past decade or so would be turning a blind eye on entities striking against my moral belief or my self-integrity. The question arises and why I do that. The only answer that keeps echoing in mind is I SIMPLY DON’T WANT TO! Call it fear or call it insecurity. Its ME.

In life there had been numerous times I found myself on cross roads. And I did take decisions. Sometimes by myself; Many times guided by other people. Sometimes I repented them but most of the time I felt completely at home by those very decisions. And that should be the important part of it.

Then there are the multiplayer games which ought to be the favorite category of most of the people for sure. Sometimes the results might not what we always expect. But the thing is how we value those expectations keeping in mind the results we achieve. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; maybe both frequencies are not the same. But still we should be thankful at least we are part of the game. Look around; how many people are still left with playing the solo games. These games can be competitive and sometimes can be strategic as well and that’s when partnership plays an important role.

Be it which so ever kind of game, it doesn’t matter that you win or lose it. But the important thing would be that when that sign of GAME OVER comes in front of you, you must be sure no one gets hurt and you for sure have left a smile on every participant face.

Credited to Sunday Scribblings.

The pictures are from Pic1 and Pic2.


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