I disagree with JT Eberhard – Valentine’s day is actually kind of fun

I actually disagree that Valentine’s Day sucks. I quite like it, it’s a silly day where you are encouraged to be silly and romantic. You don’t need that excuse on other days but sometimes it’s nice to be part of the crowd. 
Look, days like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and all the other days are just days where people do something special. The meaning of christmas to some people is Jesus and all that jazz, but I was a Hindu. Christmas was about sitting with your family and laughing as you try to make “white people food”, complain about it being too bland and then spicing up the recipes (My turkey used to be cooked in a tandoori and we had curry rather than gravy). You can still enjoy something even if it doesn’t mean the same thing to you. 
Yes, it sucks to be single on Valentine’s Day. But you know what? If you are single and you think it’s a problem then every event where you are in contact with people in relationships is irritating. A simple dinner with my cousins often turns into me looking awkwardly at the ceiling while they discuss “married people things”. Being an odd numbered wheel sucks sometimes. Being the odd wheel around a public display of affection sucks. The only difference between Valentine’s Day and any other day is the quantity of people who are doing the whole PDA thing. It’s the same at Christmas or Easter or any day where people get together in large groups with their significant others and you are on your own around a lot of booze.

And I had to spend Christmas holidays this year by myself locked in a room with medical textbooks instead of with my family. I had a break for a few days for a friend’s wedding but my holiday was mainly educational. Let’s just say that calling it a “depressing holiday” is an understatement. Imagine knowing that you HAVE to sit and study while every person you know is out eating, drinking and having fun? Imagine seeing all your friends get married, settle down and have a kid while you don’t even have the time to go out and get a beer. It all sucks when you aren’t getting it but you know what? It’s my choice to trade in my 20s in exchange for a medical degree and it’s my choice to get my degree in India. So I can complain but I cannot change the reality of the situation. 

I have been single for 2 years and 8 months now. In that time period I have had a single proper fling and that was less about a feasible relationship and more about “high school reunion with someone who I fancied and vice versa who lives on the other side of the globe and who I hadn’t seen since I was 15″. And it frankly sucks, but what makes it suck isn’t the fact that all the people in relationships are having fun or have a day where they rub it in my face. It sucks because I have an issue with it. I mean that’s like saying that I shouldn’t hit on women around my friends who are in monogamous relationships because they cannot. I am pretty much doomed to a bare minimum of another 3 years of being single. I pretty much live and work in a place where 
  1. The normal dating arena is way too expensive for me. I make roughly 700 rupees a week. A drink in a bar is 120 rupees .Entry into most clubs is often more expensive than what I get a week as a stipend and my stipend mainly is spent on food and treats.
  2. Where I have a completely different cultural upbringing to the people who surround me and so have absolutely nothing in common 
  3. Where my baldness is a major issue to the point where people have stopped me in the street to ask me if I had an accident or cancer and where people actively pity me for my hair loss at such a young age.
  4. My course treats me as a dog’s body and tends to give me the worst jobs. HIV/AIDS patients are the modern day lepers and thus I am stuck working with them. My choice of who I work with makes me a social pariah to a lot of people.

And what would insult me more is if people treated me like my feelings were so delicate and fragile that I would be insulted if I were to see people having fun on Valentine’s Day. No more so than my feelings being insulted for seeing people having fun on Christmas or Easter or St. Patrick’s Day or pretty much any other day of the year. And you know what? One day I will not be stuck here, one day I will be back home and one day I will have a social life. And at that point, I wouldn’t want to have to pussy foot around someone else worrying about their feelings with regards to my relationship.

So don’t worry about us single people. We don’t have someone to date, it doesn’t mean we are big giant babies. Most of us can handle Valentine’s Day just fine!

Rights of the Silent majority – Love is a Battlefield

Earlier, I wrote about women’s shelters in Afghanistan and how the funding for them was not regarded as important even for our own governments which state that they don’t have time to enshrine the rights of 50% of a population who existed as little more than slaves.. I wrote about the horrific abuses that women had to face, even showcasing examples of them who had tried to flee horrific abuse.

Here is another such case.

It’s simple, its Romeo and Juliet, only everyone knows and wants to kill them because of some stupid idea about honour. To sum it up, boy and girl fall in love through what appears to be the most persuasive of slipped notes and decide to get married. Everyone else has a hissy fit because they aren’t of the appropriate community and everyone knows the Montagues do not deal with the Capulets. There is no other reason for this but the idea of caste and that different communities do not mingle. It is incredibly tribal bullshit.

Killings of such romances occurs in a lot more literal way with the death of the couple. In this case the father and uncle of the girl go as far as openly threatening the girl with death while she is in jail, in full view of the law which cannot do anything to protect her.

Awwww!!!

And the ultimate joke is that their romance is just utterly childish. They are being threatened for behaviour that we would find incredibly cute. Asking a girl out by surreptitious note passing based on awkward feelings that came about from a glance is what 12 or 13 year olds do. They then go out for pizza and have grandiose ideas about romance and marriage that their relationship will last through all eternity and we nod and smile because we know better. We think it’s adorable and take them out for their awkwardly saved up McDonald’s Date (oh come now! I was 13 when I took a girl I liked for a Happy Meal! My aunt thought it was adorable that I saved up. The staff thought I was being a dick because I paid in pennies).

The article even points out that they fell in love over the ridiculously sappy romantic music that comes from Iran. If they had tape recorders they would be sending each other a tape of their favourite songs.

It’s not that its romantic or cute, but that it is a basic human right to marry another human of our choice. Not to be denied that because someone thinks along such tribal lines.

In Herat province there is JUST ONE women’s shelter, in a province with 1.5 million people in it. This single bulwark protects such couples from the wrath of the people. It is run by Voices of Woman, any support you can give will go a long way to protecting Afghani women.

Let something good come out of our invasion, let us work to enshrining women’s rights in Afghan law, not showing a lack of spine when it comes to 50% of the population.

This isn’t the first couple who have been threatened, it won’t be the last. The year before a couple were actually stoned to death for the crime of love. Let’s try and make that the last couple.

Write to your politicians, this isn’t something that we should let happen in a modern world. 

It Gets Better – I have appealed to your humanity, now I appeal to your greed.

Andrew Sullivan  writes for Newsweek about his marriage. His GAY marriage.

We forget that gay people just want love and that they have the same feelings as us. I have loved and still love someone in my life that I would do these things for without even questioning. I know I would do these things for the people I loved and for those I still love.

All they want is a stupid piece of paper that recognises their marriage in the eyes of the law. We don’t lose anything. Infact, the USA has lost so much denying them this simple piece of freedom.

How many hours and how many dollars were wasted by idiots trying to deny gay marriage? How many hours of debate? How much disruption caused by both sides of the argument with their protests? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper simply to give them the rights?

How much time could have been spent doing “anything else” than argue over what two people do in the privacy of their own homes and the personal feelings of what constitutes grossness. It doesn’t matter if someone chooses to love and indeed have consensual sex with the same gender or is compelled by their genetics, their upbringing, the effect of androgens or the effects of the gay agenda. It does not matter one bit. What matters is that people assume that love between two people is unacceptable because they cannot see the attraction.

To put it into perspective, I am not that attractive. The last woman I loved (and still do love. She is sadly out of my physical reach and thus it remains unrequited though we do stay in contact) is incredibly pretty. I would be incredibly hurt if people wandered around telling her that her feelings for me (should she have any) are unnatural because I lost a fight to the ugly stick, It  hurt every time someone brought up the fact that “I was no good for her solely because they couldn’t see the attraction”. It didn’t matter about who I was, it mattered as to what I looked like.

And I figure it’s the same when people think that gay people cannot feel the same kind of love that we do. Just because we don’t see the attraction, doesn’t mean a gay man cannot.

And so I appeal not to your sense of humanity, but to your sense of greed. Save money, let gay people marry. It won’t solve the economy but it will solve the traffic disruption at the very least!