Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Burqa & the Blogosphere

A certain prophet who existed 1500 years ago is said to have decreed that women should completely cover their bodies and faces in a largely shapeless, dull-coloured garment and veil. Why?

To render them unattractive to males…

To prevent males from getting the slightest glimpse of their femininity…

To sanitize their interaction with males and to render their communication sexless, genderless.

I wonder what the good prophet (peace be upon him) would have to say if he could see that 1500 years later, some men and women wouldn't even see one another, and communicate facelessly, voicelessly and even namelessly with only alphabets on a glass or plastic screen.

"Wonderful! The faces and voices of both men and women are completely veiled! Praise the Lord!" he might have said in an ecstacy.

And then some worldly soul would have gently and painstakingly introduced the immortal prophet to the ways of the blogosphere, chatspace, email, Facebook...

"Well, I sense that these words on the screen mean a teeny bit more than they say," the bewildered old soul might have remarked after he had acclimatized. "Despite being faceless and voiceless, I sense that people are interacting here as men and women -- people who have no good reason to know each other! Some people who should positively be kept away from each other! I sense that there is man-woman interaction going on here. These words are not genderless! But how?"

"I thought that if you cloaked the womanhood of a woman, one could no longer relate to her as a woman! How do you people relate?" he would wonder.

With painful slowness, the venerated old soul would watch and learn some truths that weren't so obvious in 500 AD:

That an ordinary-looking middle-aged woman in a salwar-kameez could be miles ahead of a bikini-clad babe (seeing whom the venerated old soul would likely have an apoplectic seizure)…

And a woman who approached you as words on the computer screen could be far more nakedly seductive than naked flesh itself!

One would educate the saint in the ways of the 21st Century, when larger-than-life images of perfect boobs and thighs ambush the eyes from the pages of respected daily newspapers, roadside hoardings, television screens. And men pass by without batting an eyelid, without a second glance.

But what arrests their attention for hours, and days, and weeks, and months? The fine distillate of feminine and masculine thoughts here on the blogosphere!

Thoughts that may be penned thoughtfully or playfully by someone in his or her 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s -- who knows?

The thoughts of an attractive, trim young lady or from a flabby mother-of-three whose face and physique no longer excite fantasies.

The thoughts of an athletic young man, or of a bald, paunchy, world-weary man who is far from exciting to know in real life.

The merely physical aspect no longer excites the imagination --  because when all is said and done, there is only so much sexiness that the flesh can be burdened with.

But the sexiness of the mind? Ah, how infinite, how exquisite! How ageless, youthful and attractive is the mind, that it spreads its wings and flies about freely in the atmosphere of words, far above and beyond the body that it nests in!

O Prophet, you could never have devised a burqa that is more opaque than the internet. But see how this mask, this veil, liberates the irrepressible sexiness of human nature!

See this and weep, O Prophet!

Or, if you have it in you, old man, see this and laugh!

Laugh until you split the sides of your white robes, and then proceed to log in as prophet.blogspot.com!!!

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