When I began this monthly newsletter, I envisioned it to be more than just a roundup of recipes that are featured on the blog. I wanted it to be a way for me to connect with you beyond food, so you see the real me, flaws and quirks, warts and all. Because in this huge world of creatives/bloggers, we follow a select few because something about them or the things they create calls out to us. You have chosen to follow me here, and it’s only fair that you know the person I am, the things I’m passionate about, my beliefs, truths, misgivings and strengths.
I am a classic tree hugger – I like nature better than people and believe that if you take care of the planet, the planet will take care of you. Considering that we have no other spare planets to hyperspace jump to (yet!), it seems like the most prudent thing to do. I am also a liberal at heart, the human equivalent of a ‘no judgement zone’ – I think that people have the right to be whoever and whatever they choose to be, and as long as they are not going off on a killing spree or being a total nut job and encroaching your personal space, it’s nobody’s business to judge anyone. If there was only one right way to live that works for everyone, life would be so robotic and mundane to the point of insanity. It’s our differences that brings out the true beauty of life. I enjoy the curveballs that life throws us and revel in the tapestry that diversity creates.
Which brings us to this month’s topic: It pains me to see that in this day and age, people of varied sexual orientation are being persecuted for the crime of simply being different than what is considered ‘normal’. This is where I should probably explain that I am a heterosexual, cisgendered person of Catholic upbringing, who feels strongly against the amount of hate and injustice that is directed towards the LGBT community.
In a world burning down with hatred, how can love be a crime?
I grew up in India, where homosexuality is still illegal (see correction below); historically, we are also the country that married rape victims to their rapists because it was the ‘right thing to do’. For a country where sex in general is a subject of taboo, we rank pretty high on population as well as rape statistics. Irony abounds. When I was in senior high, someone found two girls from my class kissing in the restroom. Chalk it up to 16 year olds who cannot keep a secret, but needless to say, it became a huge topic of discussion. It also didn’t help that the two girls were very physically affectionate in public, holding hands and forever loitering lonely corners. In a school run by Catholic nuns, you can imagine the consternation and aberration this issue drew. It inevitably reached the ears of the teachers, which led to the girls being called to the Principal’s office to be reprimanded. Flash forward a decade and one of the girls is heterosexually married now. What happened to the other, I cannot say. I always think back to this incident and wonder: Why were we, as children/young adults, so prejudiced? Is it because we grew up with the knowledge that anything but heterosexuality is improper? So, if we, as adults, began conditioning the next generation to be more progressive, accepting and open-minded, will there be less hatred in this world?
Whenever I think of change, I think of cigarettes. Back in the 50s and 60s, even upto the 90s, smoking cigarettes were considered chic and cool. Today, not so much. I look back at these people who were basically feeling cool while inhaling poison and think, ‘What were they thinking?’. Which immediately begs the question: what is the thing that we think is awesome today, that future generations will look back at us and disdainfully say, ‘What were they thinking?’. Me, I think it’s this war against sexual orientation we’re secretly (and not so secretly) waging, oppressing a huge chunk of society based on rules that were taught us centuries ago- by the same people who also believed the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved around it.
Sometimes, ‘wrong’ is just something we haven’t yet learned to understand.
“This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another.” – Ellen Page