Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vagina Monologue Part 2

I needn't have written this post but tonight my hands itch to type. Ganga Mail is largely neglected these days, for a variety of reasons, and it is a good idea to water it once in a while before people forget all about it. The blog, after all, is an account of my journey on this planet -- I started writing it when I was yet to turn 35; and now I'm almost 42 -- and I am possessive about it.

The primary reason for the neglect is my commitment to write things other than the blog. Another reason is Facebook (and Twitter): a thought that can be developed into an engaging 400-word piece is often wasted as a status message.

Then there are travels that you don't feel compelled to describe once you've uploaded the pictures on Facebook: 'They've seen the pictures anyway, now what is there to write.' Sometime ago I went to Kasauli; more recently I visited Santiniketan -- these are places I really wanted to write about but found myself busy uploading their pictures. Someone intending to write a travel piece should never carry a camera or a smartphone: you need to decide whether you want to show the pictures or paint pictures with your words.

There's something else, too, that makes me hesitate to express my thoughts freely about certain subjects these days: spiteful comments. If you look up the archives of Ganga Mail, you'll find plenty of posts related to sex and relationship, but if you go through their comment boxes, you'll hardly find a comment that can be seen as a personal attack. The occasional chiding, yes; but no personal attack.

But in the last couple of years or so, my posts have been attracting their share of poisonous comments (as opposed to criticism), and that does make me somewhat sad because I have not, at least knowingly, harmed anyone to deserve such malice. An easy way to tide over this would be to enable comment-moderation, which a number of respected bloggers do, but the Ganga Mail supports free speech and uninhibited expression of thoughts. I consider it unfair that only the blogger should be allowed to have his say while the comments of the readers be subjected to moderation. And in the seven years that I've been blogging, I have rarely needed to delete a comment.

Not anymore. For my previous post, Vagina Monologue, which was merely a reaction to the advertisement of a vagina-tightening gel being already peddled in the market, I've had to delete five malicious comments so far -- some more instantly than the others, thanks to Blackberry. There were a couple of others which I was tempted to remove, but did not do so for the sake of free speech. One male commentator, quoting a 'good' feminist friend of his, screamed at me: ITS NOT A VAGINA! ITS A FUCKING VULVA!!!! Quite obvious that the feminist friend cannot distinguish one V from the other -- unless the feminist in question is a man with pathetic knowledge of female anatomy. You can't tighten the vulva, brother, you can only tighten the vagina.

Vagina Monologue, in fact, kicked up a reaction I never expected, even though it is an extremely harmless post compared to what I've written about sex on the blog over the years. Ganga Mail is not the most popular of blogs: on normal days when I do not write anything, the number of hits it attracts barely exceeds the 200-mark, but on the day I wrote Vagina Monologue, the number of 'unique visitors' alone crossed the 200-mark (total hits were nearly 800 on a single day).

And then the whispers I overheard in the corridors:

"Did you read his latest post?"

"No, I haven't. What's it about?"

"Haven't you read the one about vagina?"


"You haven't? Go read it. You'll know what the fellow is up to."

Oh well, this fellow is up to what any other normal man is up to. A man, any man, is cursed right from birth: he is born with an extra piece of flesh that keeps him on his toes all his life. The smart ones know what to do with it, the remaining make do with titillation.

The word 'vagina', as I just realised, offers far more titillation than the word 'sex'. (Personal vagina trivia: for long I thought it was 'wag-eena' and not 'vuh-jaaina', because the biology teacher had deliberately skipped the chapter on reproduction and there was no way of getting the pronunciations right. Even penis was 'pen-is' and not 'peen-is').

That reminds me of yet another comment to the Vagina post, which I am reproducing verbatim:

What next? Penis-vagina dialogue? You are reducing the entire human being to the piece of flesh between the legs? Will you be able to talk to your mother, sisters and wife on these lines?

Dear Respected Commentator: Human beings are indeed born out of the penis-vagina dialogue, just in case you did not know. I am not sure if you descended directly from heaven, but as for humans, they are indeed a piece of flesh who are forever in pursuit of another piece of flesh -- all the time looking in between the legs. As for my being able to talk to my mother, sisters and wife on these lines -- well, my mother is no more; I never had any sisters; and as for my wife, she reads my blog posts and often shares the links on her Facebook wall. But let me assure you: if my mother happened to be alive, or if I had sisters, they would have asked you, even before I could, to fuck off.


Anonymous said...

Paint pictures with your words..

Hema said...

Well said BG :) And, for the record, please keep writing as you always do! Not for anyone else but You.

Karishma VP said...

standing ovation for that last line by itself!

Anonymous said...

I was quite disturbed with your previous post, but I could not organise my thoughts well.This one is much better, true and not patronising....

Udaya said...

Awesome Comeback! Haters are gonna hate, but please keep the good work coming!

Sepiamniac said...

The Ganges has always allured me. I am sure people who read and understand the post are here because they are sucked in by the words, whether they are about vagina or penis.


Deepika Munot said...

Hey Bigs! never know you to have developed such a thin skin! There will always be those that do not have the knack for co-existing with opinions other than their own. But don't let that stop you!! And anyway I feel their angst is more against themselves than you - maybe they are jealous of your ability to tell it like it is and they are moralists who are actually closet liberals but lack the balls to say so!
So do what you do best and to those that bark the loudest - ignore the dogs!

nam said...

Hi Bishwanath! u have aptly rebutted the pseudo-moralists. Negative criticism should never be a deterrent. Be urself, as always, and continue to write the way u have been all this long. It is difficult to ignore the undeniable allure of ur pieces. It is not everyone’s cup of tea to react to situations and put those thoughts so effortlessly and beautifully in words. Congrats!

Subhakeerthana said...

Quite profound! But never forget to point a middle finger at the idiots who think they're better.

Pradip said...

BG: I have been a follower of your blog for quite some time now and have met you once in person for a short while on your last visit to Delhi.
What I have seen of you suggests me that you will continue to write the way you like most no matter what the haters say.
Aren't the haters your secret admirers? but for them, we had never known what you mentioned in the last lines.
Secondly, I am reminded of a very good old friend telling me that if someone attacks you in the back, it always means you are ahead of them. It's now your choice whether you want to look back and reciprocate or go ahead and let the written words do the talking.
If nothing else, the two of us share the view on the Ganga, and she tells us to move on...

Anonymous said...

read both the posts. You have thrown a pebble on still waters. Now, your critics (read secret admirers)want to create ripples too. It's as simple as that..

Must admit I was a lil shocked at the crudeness of the post dated
14th august, but truth is harsh. You have painted your words well and if someone doesn't like it, he/she can fuck off!!(Have these people ever heard of the shivalinga or kamakhya devi!!)weird people!!

Anonymous said...

If people have a problem with a piece of writing they don't have to read it and neither do they need to leave their crazy ass comments... A blog is a place where people write what they want, express their points of view without having to deal with hate. If anyone wants to comeback, let them comeback with an articulate piece of writing too, rather than stupid and immature questions like "How will you talk to your mother, sisters and wife?" Besides, many a time, it is the lack of such an open dialogue (because sex is so taboo in Indian culture) that leads to such intolerance when there is a discussion about it. I may or may not agree with what you have to say, but I can definitely be tolerant of it, analyze it, and if need be, make an opposing/conflicting point in a more adult fashion. Not bring the whole mother, sister nonsense into it!

nb said...

u presented your point of view very gracefully on an issue which u thought was weird. I think the dissenters should be equally graceful in putting forth their opposition to what u said. But unfortunately, everybody is not as balanced and decent as u r. so its better to ignore such elements. They r not worthy of any rebuff.

Anonymous said... you are now writing with an expectation that all your readers should be on par with your intelligence level(which is quite a tall order). Write...just write.

Anonymous said...

plsssssssssssss ....jus keep paintin pictures....making music....transporting back to those good old days.... tickling...soothing....enraging....with ur words..... u r articles ....books....blogs....r more than jus waited for.....they r longed for....i speak 4 myself

Unknown said...

The last line says it all.Continue writing the way you do.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bishwanath,

I was looking up on some good material on Ganga and cam across your blog. In my quest to understand more about your work I got sucked into this post, after some earlier foreplay with a few other of your posts. Let me just say your posts are well written and very straight.

I am very surprised that you being in India and choosing to speak up openly on some of the taboo topics got so pissed off by some shallow people.

I salute your views and am 100% in agreement of most of your views (not that it is so very important) and I would endorse some comments - Let the ones who do not agree with you and chose to use 'cutting edge tongue technology' to play on you, do so. Our's is a democratic nation with too many hypocrites. Let them be.

Do keep an open mind and simply write. Tagore da be remembered 'Where the mind is without fear .....'
Jai Ho!

TT said...

"Oh Bishwanathji" ROFLOL..this (post) is too funny.

Anonymous said...


"taboo topics" always attract attention....critics ego never allow them to talk so openly. u r the voice of all who wanted to write on such topics..many out there silently praising you for your guts and thoughts including me...