Why do we objectify ourselves?

Last night I was lying down on my bed when my dad sat next to me. He took away the phone lying next to my pillow and set it aside.

Dad: “Now that you don’t have your laptop, your phone or a book in your hands, tell me what you’re thinking of?”

Me: “ …. “

Dad: “You’re so busy in life that I’m worried you’ve forgotten to live. You’ve forgotten to set time aside for yourself. For things that matter to you.”

That conversation blew me away. It was so short yet so stern; so informal yet so deep. Had I really forgotten to live?

Wasn’t I doing things that I loved? I love keeping myself busy – it makes my blood rush and gets me excited. I love having a fast-paced life. I love doing stuff.

Frankly speaking, everywhere I go, I see people selling themselves. Why do we objectify ourselves so much? Why do we put a price on everything we do and everyone we meet? Why do boys try to be cool, and girls try to be hot – isn’t that just a way of getting attention – a twisted, psychotic way of bribing others to give you what you want (in this context, admiration/attention). Why can’t we just live a decent life, happy with what we do? Not giving a single f*ck about anyone around us; of not caring about what others think.

I’m not talking from a pedestal. I, myself, love doing things that others would want me to do. I love doing things that I can add to me resume – that I can show off in front of my future bosses. I’ve always wanted to be the perfect candidate – the (prospective) employee that every single company would want to have.  And I know it’s wrong. I know I’m worth more than I give myself credit for. But then again, aren’t we all? Who is to say that one person’s time is worth ten pounds an hour, while another’s is worth a thousand? Why is one girl treated like a Goddess, while others are not even gifted with a second glance? People need to stop being hard on themselves. We need to stop objectifying ourselves. We need to stop comparing one another.

Albert Einstein once said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

I’m sorry, but according to this comparison, most of us are fishes. If the world wants someone to climb a tree, I suggest the world goes and finds some monkeys (there are millions of them here anyway).

It’s a societal issue. Since the time we were born, the race had begun. Our parents kept showing us off (or at least tried to) in front of other parents. Then came school – the grade system. “How much did your son get?” became the most asked question. Why does it have to be this way? Society compares students the same way a shopper compares the price of an iPad in two different stores.

Our lives have become so competitive that we’ve forgotten to live, lest we be left behind. But what’s the point of winning this competition? Money? I’d rather die a happy man with no money than an old, beaten and tired man with a huge bank balance.

And it doesn’t just end there. This competitiveness has transcended our commercial lives and has seeped in our personal sphere too. People have started objectifying love now. I’m pretty sure girls carry a boyfriend counter to high-school these days. Why? What’s so great about having a boyfriend? It’s funny how teens call something that lasted a couple of weeks ‘love’. And then they idolize movies like ‘The Notebook’. Hello? Have you learnt nothing at all? Please go study Pythagoras’ theorem, and forget about the ‘cool dude’ sitting in front of you. Stop posing and clicking and posting hundreds of profile pictures just to garner ‘likes’. You’re all beautiful. You don’t need a virtual thumbs up counter to tell you that.  Stop stooping so low. It’s this that makes guys think they can get you.

The problem with all of us is that we worry too much about what others think of us – of where others place us. I think we all need a holiday. A day where we forget everything and everyone. We forget all notions of work and friendship. A day when we are with the one person we have to spend the rest of our lives with – ourselves.

Spend some time with yourself. Remember to live.


Why I Write.

‘If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.’
– Benjamin Franklin

A while ago, a close friend of mine asked me a simple question. It took me some time to fully comprehend the extent of the chaotic contest that went on in my head when I started to ponder over the answer. The question was, ‘Why do you write?’

Staring at a blank notebook page or a blank word document can be very daunting. Getting started is the hardest part. We end up making excuses like “I’ll come up with something better when I have more time”. But frankly, this fast paced world has not really left us with enough time to count on our fingertips.

According to me, the first step to being a successful writer is by taking a pen and writing nonsense. It doesn’t matter how awful it is, as long as you finish each and every article/poem you decide to write. The first few pieces of your work are destined to be loathsome, but having hope in yourself is the key.

A person’s writing needs to be a reflection of what he/she is on the inside – without a mask: I still remember the day I realized that most friendships are a mirage and that we all need a flood of pseudo-images to live through our scripted destiny. My writing is a reflection of what I am on the inside, the real me. The me without the mask.

I write because creating narratives makes my soul dance and helps me feel at home with myself. Also, when someone else reads my stories, it’s like a magical invisible connection between me and another human being on Earth. And nothing can beat that feeling.

Having pondered on this topic for quite some time, I finally realized that one doesn’t really need a solid answer as to why he/she writes. And maybe that’s why my cursory response to the question, “Why do you write?” was “Because I can”.