Not Man Enough

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Not Man Enough Page 2

by Santosh Jha

  A close relative, who truly wished well of me told me – “This society is a bunch of mindless conformists. This culture of monotonous idealisms is a baggage of conveniences. Here you follow what others have been following, having seen others follow others. You have to marry to qualify as a cultured man; otherwise, you shall not be welcome in civilized society. It is better to marry and get divorced than being single after 30 as men and women in the society start doubting about your credentials.” I never doubt his good intentions. What he said remains a truth with me. His golden advise that ‘majority must be respected even when it is an established fact that stupidities of majority have always crushed the minority voice of sanity’, is something many people have repeated to me.

  Most people, who advised me to get married as soon as possible in public platforms, would admit in private that somehow, being a single is the preferred state for all men but it is something you cannot live without. A married friend of mine said, ‘Marriage is never a profitable venture of life yet, there is perceptibly no major loss in it. You just do it accepting the hypothesis that men do many enterprises, where the operative prudence is not profit but optionlessness. Anyone, who is born must die and must get married. You need to be man enough to face the inevitability with a smile.’

  Another senior relative preached me, “Discipline is good for a man. However, small bit of freelanced and wild adventurism in life is also instinctive for a man. A man should do it. Life is for living and good living must have all colors and shades of life. Enjoy the endowments of life. A man must be adventurist. And who stops you from these adventures… after all you are single, not married like us”. When I told him, I am happy the way I am, he quipped in dismay, “If you have any medical problem, you can tell me as I know many good doctors”. That was, closest I have ever come to the label of being not man enough!

  Very recently, someone said, “If there is no grey shade in a man, he is either not real or something is amiss”. This person aired her opinion apparently to disapprove of my priorities. This is common label for me. I have been told that I show so much goodness that it becomes very surreal… often doubtful… reality must be grayish!

  I went to some social networking site, determined that as I would not be real there and as I would be unreal, I would definitely attempt to be what I am not and see what happened. However, I could never do that. Here too, this label chased me, as I probably could not be man enough, despite my resolve. A woman from a different part of the world wished to start a relationship with me, asking me to relocate as she said I was what she was looking for. However, she added, “You are so caring, so nice and make me feel so happy but this makes me distrust you. How can men be so good, are you real or are you faking it?” As I politely refused to relocate, she must have her doubts proved right that I was not man enough!

  Sometimes I think, if I talked to them the way men do, and would say to them, “Hey baby, you look so cool, let’s have some real hot fun”, may be, they could have believed I was a real person and “a man enough”. Not sure though! Could never test that; surely was never a man enough to attempt this much….

  I do try to tell people that I am probably man enough and enough of a man but what I am is my conscious choice. It has nothing to do with any desire to be great or good. It is simply the ‘common sense’ that I have accepted for myself, after reading and analyzing all possible sources of traditional and modern wisdom. Common sense is what all wisdoms are all about. And it makes me accept myself as a “mind” and a pure mind is positioned higher than the cultured mind.

  Being “man enough” or “woman enough” are all purely cultural benchmarks and value-preferences of a societally or culturally trained mind. A pure mind, attained after a cycle of unlearning, is not man or woman in culturally defined sense of term. It takes a lot of persevered mind training to de-culture your consciousness and accept yourself as something beyond the populist benchmarking of gender-appropriates, the contemporary society makes you learn.

  It is not only about being not a man enough. This predicament is similar for women too. This label of not man enough also extends to women as being not women enough. Rather, I admit that women in contemporary culture have to struggle with this label far more than men. In modern culture, there are so many stupid and populist benchmarking of a women’s desirable persona and imagery that it is really tough for a woman to feel comfort and wellness with her natural body and mind, let alone with a choice, which does not conform to populist imagery. I have a firsthand experience of this. That is why I am accepting that being not women enough is far more pervading and powerfully destabilizing label than being not man enough.

  Few years back, I had a beautiful girl in my life. She was barely 20 and very simple and innocent. She took on me as she found her innocence safe and mutual with me. I was happy being a father figure to her and shared her consciousness with mine in many ways. One day, she came to me in a mood, which was quite unlike her. She was usually very chirpy and playfully teasing, especially when she was with me. That day, she was grim, palpably in conundrum as her face betrayed she was lost in some thought. I asked her and like a child, she narrated her trouble.

  A friend of her father visited her and before he left, he asked her something, which she could not understand and that is why she was confused and also a bit unsettled. Yes, it was something associated directly with the label of she not being woman enough!

  This friend of her father asked her whether her periods were normal. She could not at first understand the question as it was something very unexpected. She was also not sure, whether this person was within his rights to ask her such private question. She answered him right that it was normal but she surely felt offended. She came to me and asked me as why this man asked her this question.

  Surely, I had the answers, as I was also the victim of the similar genre of questioning. I first made her comfortable and then explained things to her. She was a 20-year-old girl and probably her father’s friend disapproved of her tomboyish mannerisms, she had in loads. She usually wore boy-like clothes and she was anything but shy in her disposition with anyone. She, unlike a grown up girl, whom many would like to behave like a woman at 20, would not keep distance with people she interacted with. She would hug anyone and would usually be all touches with people she even knew once. Her language was also loud and she would freely use words, marked exclusive for boys and men in society. As this friend of her father watched her ways and mannerisms, he probably found it not woman enough and doubted her womanhood. His question was a natural doubt that he had about her womanhood, as some people had about mine. To be sure, she was woman enough; this man asked her straight forward something, which would answers his doubts. Though my girl answered him, I doubt this man’s doubts were answered!

  When I told this all to my girl, she turned very serious. She asked me in utmost innocence, “Do you think too that I am not woman enough? Does this really matter? Can’t I be the way I am? Isn’t this good enough?”

  I understood that she did not need my rational and intellectualized answers. She just needed the assurance, which a father must extend to his doubting kid. I hugged her close and kissed her forehead. I simply told her, “You are the most beautiful woman I have seen in my life because; you have something, which only a few beautiful women have in this world and that is your innocence.” She was happy, as she believed in the honesty of my innocence.

  She definitely shared my consciousness as I shared her. She was happy once again and returned to her usual self in few minutes. Half an hour later, she was riding her scooter back to her house, all the way howling and chatting up with any known face she saw on the road. She definitely did not bother whether she was woman enough or not. She felt assured, she was good enough as she was innocent and her consciousness was truly beautiful like a real woman.

  She was however brave and fortunate. Her innocence and trust in me bailed her out but not all women are fortunate enough. They have to face this label and questio
ning of not being women enough as the society they live in has hard-lined perceptions of the benchmarks of the gender divide. I can understand this and that is why, I am adding this issue of being woman enough along with my own issue of not being man enough. This I make a joint advocacy.

  The good thing with all cultures is that they are value-neutral in their popular stupidities. Cultures do not discriminate between genders, while throwing up their labels. That is why when it comes to the label of being ‘not enough’, the men and women are labeled with the golden sense of equality and proportionate postulations! It seems, there are many such positives in the popular cultures across the globe, despite loads of stupidities defining them and that is probably why, all these cultures are continuing to be the way they have been since ages. Humanity’s instincts of profound aping and the innate desire to be part of the majority of vices lend the much required strength and support to enable this catalytic continuity of cultures in fixated moulds!

  Equality is a big leveler of sorts. When a boy grows up, he is in tremendous pressure to be man enough and if he does not have enough girl friends, he is labeled as not man enough. You think it is a bad thing for cultures. However, in reality, cultures are very leveled up entities. They ensure that equality is always the guiding light of societal acts and behaviors. That is why, even when a girl is growing up, she too has the same pressure to be woman enough. If by a certain age, she does not have enough boyfriends, she too is ‘equally’ labeled as not woman enough.

  You just sample the data available in public domain. Teenage girls are in loads of pressure to have boyfriends and for that they do things, which they may not approve of otherwise. In a developed nation, very proud of its liberal culture and society, more than half of teen girls admit pressure from a guy as a reason girls send sexy messages or images. They fear to lose their boyfriends if they refuse to be what may be construed as not being woman enough.

  The girls in our contemporary culture brave a lot of peer pressure to be in the cultural benchmarks of ‘gender-appropriate’ acts and behaviors. Researchers have come with amazing data. Women in this liberal society experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year. One in five teens – age 11 to 14 – say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half who are in relationships, know friends who are verbally abused. Two in five of the youngest teens, ages 11 and 12, report that their friends are victims of verbal abuse in relationships.

  Still, they do all sorts of things, considered culturally appropriate to remain with the majority of people. They have to face loads of hardships, abuses and mental torture to keep pace with the pop cultural benchmarks of being woman enough. Still, they keep doing it. This most surely is a result of the teenage boys doing those things, considered appropriate to be man enough. These collective stupidities in all cultures are in continuity for ages. The boys break loose the hell on girls just to be men enough and girls keep accepting the disastrous fallouts of such stupidities, as they need to be within the popular benchmark of being woman enough. The majority must be there to ensure the continuity of stupidity of pop vices as minority voice of sanity must never prevail!

  I understand and accept that wishful thinking and soft emotionalism over hypothesis of idealism is not considered man enough realism in contemporary culture. Still, I wish to say that if could be possible, in any culture, in any part of this big world, where boys and girls would be expected to be just ‘good enough’ – not man enough or woman enough. We all just need to be innocent enough, honest enough and compassionate enough, irrespective of the body-type our consciousnesses wear. Gender utilities and appropriates can never be wished away as man and woman have been made different and their body-mind mechanisms too have been designed to be different. However, this distinction, evolution engendered not for competitiveness and conflict. It was there and shall remain for the beautiful symbiosis, mutuality and complementarity.

  Let there be open competitiveness in all cultures, for both men and women to be ‘good enough’. Let there be neutral and common benchmarks of goodness, for both genders. This I say because I understand, cultures have the innate energy to sex-up even the objectivity of goodness idealism. Let there never be segregation of goodness benchmarks. Anyone, who is honest, innocent, affectionate, compassionate, amiable and well-spoken be considered good enough. It is not important whether this set of benchmark is found in a man or woman. The stupidities of contemporary gender utilities and appropriates must be unlearnt and should be de-cultured from our mind consciousness. Goodness is trait of the consciousness and whether this consciousness is in a man’s body or woman’s body, no culture should ever dictate.

  Man and woman together and in perfect wellness and mutuality is a combined reality, which can engender such joys, utilities and satisfaction, which nothing else in this universe can. Any culture, which has such notions and practices, which lead men and women to disturb this idealism of man-woman wellness, is definitely not good enough. Only those men and women are man enough and woman enough, who are good enough to enhance this life-living wellness of mutuality in societies. This benchmark alone must qualify for cultural appropriates.

  However, I accept that all the above sentimentalities remain culturally inappropriate. Cultures have the embedded energies to remain in the state of continuity of catastrophe. Therefore, the last word of the advocacy is the acceptance that the blames of being not man enough and woman enough are going to be there and you only understand and accept it. The limitations of cultured consciousnesses, which are in majority in the populist cultures all over the world, are huge. Very few can rise above this limitation.

  I am truly happy with what I am… whatever enough or whatever not enough I am. However, sometimes, it pains you a bit when those persons, whom you love too much and keep in custody of your love and compassion, also refuse to see you this way and also join others in labeling you this way… One feels bad but then, cultural benchmarking are very powerful. One has to be at peace with them.


  Accept My Gratitude

  Writing something is a daunting task as there is always a lurking apprehension of it not being in utility for some readers. I however feel at ease, because of my faith in magnanimity of readers. I am happily sure; you shall forgive if my efforts could not be up to your expectations. Thank you so much for being with me and allowing me to share with you. Wish you an empowered life; with the prosperity of the consciousness.


  About The Author

  People say, what conspire to make you what you finally become are always behind the veil of intangibility. Someone called it ‘Intangible-Affectors’. Inquisitiveness was the soil, I was born with and the seeds, these intangible-affectors planted in me made me somewhat analytical. My long stint in media, in different capacities as journalist, as brand professional and strategic planning, conspired too! However, I must say it with all innocence at my behest that the chief conspirators of my making have been the loads of beautiful and multi-dimensional people, who traversed along me, in my life journey so far.

  The mutuality and innocence of love and compassion always prevailed and magically worked as the catalyst in my learning and most importantly, unlearning from these people. Unconsciously, these amazing people also worked out to be the live theatres of my experiments with my life.s scripts. I, sharing with you as a writer, is essentially my very modest way to express my gratitude for all of them. In my stupidities is my innocence of love for all my beautifully worthy conspirators!


  Other Titles By Santosh Jha


  Literary Fiction: A novella about life-living choices from the perspective of a very successful contemporary woman: Word- 38,000 approx: Language-English

  Short Description:

  Dumped by her billionaire fiancé, a resplendently beautiful woman, the reigning royalty of Hollywood’s dream factory, lands herself in all sorts of woes – hospitalization for slipping pill overdose, bad Pr
ess, peer group backstabbing and paparazzi. She escapes to anonymity at India's Yoga capital but the threat of paparazzi follows. A young yogi bails her out and detours her to an unusual world where he introduces her to the super consciousness of ‘Onlyness’ within her. The redeemed empress unconsciously discovers her true elements being in linearity with that of the yogi and believes, she may be second time lucky. However, more shocks await her.


  Back To Bliss: A Journey To Zero

  Literary Fiction: Novel: A Love Story In Contemporary Culture Of Conflicts: Word- 78,000 approx: Language-English

  Short Description

  Battling against hypocrisies, sadomasochism and perfunctory pursuits of pop benchmarks of successes, he refuses the passion-oriented male worldview of karma and life’s purposes. Metamorphosed by compassion, that love’s innocence fills him with, he opts for a journey that takes him far away from the stupidity of self-worth, calculated in terms of personal utility, individualistic possession and unfettered consumption. Does he arrive?


  Autobiography Of A Duffer

  A witty but insightful narration of ‘normal’ and ‘orderly’ cultural realisms of contemporary world, from the perspective of a young duffer. This duffer believes; a normal person should know how this world looks to a stupid, whom the world loves to label ‘abnormal’ and ‘disordered’, to truly visualize realities of benchmarking. This duffer’s wife asked him to make it different; he truly does it!


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