MAN CAVE

When I was asked to write on this topic, I had a bit of an idea of what it might mean. But when I resorted to google and started reading the wiki page on this, my reaction to what I was reading changed in the following way –

– Within a few sentences I felt – “C’mon, this is totally bogus. You got to be kidding me that a term like that even exists.”
– After a few paragraphs I felt – “Ok, maybe this makes a bit of sense. It is not as bogus.”
– Towards the end of the article I felt – “Oh God, I too need a man-cave.”

So, now keep reading and figure out what you feel towards this concept of man-cave
By definition, man-cave is a man’s own space. Something that he can call his own where a female presence is not appreciated. The décor of this space and cleanliness (or lack of it) is something that the man is in control of. He doesn’t like or approve of his mother, girlfriend or wife to have any say about how this place should be designed or maintained. It is typically used when a man wants to do his own stuff. It could be something creative or destructive or just time-pass. What he does in that room is also something that a female doesn’t have a say in.

This concept, as I understand, stems from the fact that the woman is the boss of the house. She is the one who decides what colour should be the walls, curtains, couches and everything else that needs to match with this. She is the one who is responsible for the cleanliness of the home; that also makes her the one who is often shouting and screaming and losing her peace of mind when the place is untidy. Yes, we see this happening in almost all the households. This concept arises from the very basic stereotypes defined for a man and a woman.

I am totally for this concept because I feel that there should a place not just for the man but also for the woman to be oneself. A place where there is no pressure of keeping it a certain way, a place where you could do whatever you want to do. I was sharing a flat with 2 girls who are also very close friends before I got married. 2 of us shared the room as well and we hardly ever had any concerns about how either of us wanted to keep the room. The room was always full of stuff toys (mostly pink). And that room had a big thermocol sheet attached to one of the walls where we used to display our earrings. Both of us were extremely fond of collecting all kinds of earrings and loved to put them on a display and every day we would pick and choose which one we wanted to wear. I loved that part of the room.

When I got married, I ended up staying with 2 boys because my brother in law also moved in with us a few weeks after our marriage. Living with 2 boys was so different than living with 2 girls. Within a month, I was missing my female friends so badly but now there was no going back (of course). Sharing the room with my hubby meant no stuff toys and no display of earrings. Living with 2 boys meant too many house parties at the end of which I would only be cleaning up. It also meant that FIFA world cup and IPL matches were the highlights of every year. It further meant that it became my responsibility to handle all the laundry, all the cooking, all the cleaning – in short, I became the woman of the house (which included shouting and screaming and losing my peace of mind over lack of cleanliness).

I wish I knew about this concept then and had a bigger home. I would love to have a room that we both share, but also 2 separate rooms for each one of us to do our own stuff individually. A room of my own which I could decorate in pink stuff toys and my earrings. And similarly, a room where he could play his guitar, play his Xbox or watch “Man vs wild” the whole day.

My family has grown with a kid and because of our son, our in-laws also live with us. So, the place that I could call my own (woman-cave, maybe) became almost non-existent. My husband moved out a year back to a different city for career reasons. It was a difficult decision and distant marriage really sucks. But one advantage of it is that I have a room that I can call my own now (I share it with my son, but he is too small to impact it in a big way) and my husband has a whole house that is only for him. One of the positive things of a long-distance marriage.

So, man-cave is a great concept according to me. I just want a woman-cave as well.

IS WEXTING A NEW TREND?

“Do you know this park is quite old and I used to come here with my cousins in our childhood”, I pointed towards a children-park on the other side of the road. “This park has a beautiful fountain and …” I turned my face towards my friend but couldn’t find her beside me. In a shock, I turned around and what I saw was surprising and funny at the same time. She was lying on the ground as she fell down. Quickly I went to her so that I could help her.

“Hey, will you stop laughing and help me? What sort of person you are?”

“Okay feisty girl I got you”.  I picked her up and asked about how she fell. I saw her knee got skinned and she was facing problem while walking. She told me she was wexting. Nowadays, wexting is quite common. Wexting means to chat while walking. In this era of social media, we all have done wexting. I too have done this. There is one more incident when I and one of my friends were out for shopping. I was so busy in wexting that I didn’t realize I took the wrong way. My friend was new to that place and so she wasn’t familiar with the roads. When I looked around I found myself lost in some other place. We had to walk back and it really wasted a lot of time. Maybe, I could have met with an accident as I wasn’t attentive. However now I have controlled myself from doing wexting but still, sometimes I tend to look at my phone whenever I receive an important message. And I am pretty sure many of us do the same.

I have done wexting so many times and luckily nothing serious happened but that doesn’t mean I should continue with wexting. At times when I am in the supermarket or when I am heading towards bus-stand, I do wexting. Even during the morning walk, I have seen youths of my age busy in wexting. They seem to be so happy during that particular moment. Although they know they might stumble or fall or hurt themselves.

Sometimes I have been reminded by my parents and my elders that wexting can cause harm to me. I know they say the right thing. It’s not that we don’t know the consequences of wexting but as soon as we get a message we ignore everything and we get engrossed in replying. And then begins the process of wexting. In that particular moment we may be enjoying and smiling ear to ear but who knows we are about to meet with an accident or something unexpectedly bad happens to us.

One day my cousin came home and I was horrified to see his skinned elbow. He told me he was replying to one of his friend’s message and he stumbled to a stone and fell down. Still, he does wexting. Not often but he does.

It’s good to stay in touch with our near and dear ones through various means of communication. But one must be cautious enough while walking. We should keep in mind that our life is precious and just for the sake of little happiness or pleasure we must not risk our life. From past few months, I have made a habit to turn off my data and keep my phone inside just to be attentive on the road while walking. Moreover, I advise my friends or people to do the same while walking. Once we reach our place we can reply to the messages we receive and this won’t harm us.

WE’RE CHANGING OUR WORLD WITH TECHNOLOGY

Few years back I came across a documentary, “Love Child“. The documentary is based on a heart wrenching incident where a South Korean couple starved their 3-month old daughter to death because they were addicted to an online video game. Do you know what is the irony of the story? In the game they were addicted to, they were nurturing their virtual child while they left their real child unattended.

The game ‘Prius’ allowed them to create virtual characters of themselves as if they have a new life, after certain levels in the game they would be awarded with a child whom they would be parents for. A virtual reality game made them forget their real life’s responsibilities for a 12 hour stretch starving their baby to death. The state in which the child was found by the police in their apartment not only shocked the entire nation of South Korea but many other people around the world were left to wonder how much technology can effect us. 

Parenthood is considered sacred in South Korea, hence it is not culture but the addiction to ‘technology’ which is the main culprit. This is just one story, there are numerous others. 

Advent of internet, advancement in technology are the greatest achievements man has ever made, truly letting us do more in less time. Technology is not confined to internet, mobile, computer or other high-tech inventions, but any invention that can improve our life-style falls under the umbrella of technology, like airplanes, washing machines etc ., 

Majority of our every day tasks have some connection with technology. We cannot step out of our homes without mobile phone – we loose connectivity, we cannot navigate, we cannot even remember important dates without reminders.

It may not have been so obvious during the early stages of the development of technology, but our technology-driven world has taken a toll on today’s relationships. The use, and now dependency on cell phones, tablets and computers that our society faces today has changed the way we live. While there are many advantages of it, we cannot escape the negative effects of technology. 

  • Lack of socializing: We are so engrossed in our smart phones that we barely feel the need to socialize. We are able to talk, exchange feelings with anyone around the world in the blink of an eye making us totally forget what it is to have a fun evening with friends in a patio. 
  • Lack of physical activity: Cars, grinders, washing machines helped us save time but deprived us of physical activity. Video games erased the need of playgrounds confining our kids to play indoors. The second major reason to obesity to over-eating is ‘not exercising’…
  • Loneliness: Reduced interactions with people in office, at home is increasing at an alarming rate making people very busy with their virtual lives. While we are in a party we find it convenient to stare at our mobile, earphones with music on we commute, slowly we will find ourselves to have fallen victim to loneliness.
  • Reduced Empathy: This might sound untrue, but according to psychologists more population is becoming self-centered and selfish, making us less altruistic. Our anger levels have increased, carelessly we say “Get lost” or “Don’t ever talk to me again” forgetting that gadgets can be used and thrown, not people. 
  • Deteriorated Health: Continuous exposure to radiations emitted by screens of gadgets cause harm to eyes. Over exposure leads to head aches, migraines. Wrong postures lead to neck injuries, cervical spine or  even can damage parts of brain.

Aforesaid are very much inter-related. They can effect our family, social interactions and relationships very negatively increasing stress. As we run out of time spending our precious life with lifeless gadgets we cannot engage time into useful activities or even self ! 

At this juncture I want to share something that disturbs me when I hear it from my colleagues and friends – cellphone distracted parenting. As both husband and wife are working, they don’t get time to deal with tantrums of their kids . The most opted resort is to engage kid with a cellphone. Parents take pride saying, “He/She knows how to browse for favorite videos to play them”. Usage of gadgets at such tender age deteriorates brain growth. Studies also reveal that such kids play less with other kids, eat high levels of sugar and grow up depressed. 

Environmental damage, increase of global temperature are warning us of getting deprived of a place to live. Air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, industrial waste are disrupting ecology. Heard of the word “technotrash” ? Waste produced from outdated or damaged electronics contains hazardous materials gets disposed making the environment unsafe.

I am in no way against technology or down-playing how awesome it is. I love being part of the generation who saw many strides in technology. We know exactly how it is to live with and without technology. Without the current technology you couldn’t be reading this article. While being thankful to technology to have helped us have this seamless  life, it would be wise to not fall prey to it so much that we stop to live, live in the true sense appreciating our relationships, lovely people around.

Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ~C.P. Snow