Sunday, January 18, 2015

India : Cheapest place to live in the world

According to the expat website movehub India is the cheapest country in the world which it has shown through an infographic (shown below) created by the data collected by Numbeo.

I was amused to see that the cost of living in our country is lesser than the cost of living in our immediate neighbours like Myanmar, SriLanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and even Nepal. Nepal is second last in the list of 119 countries and India is the last one. But there is one more interesting and very positive point that I noticed about India in that list from Numbeo. The last column mentioned the local purchasing power index(PPI). And it was 65.79 (for India), way more than any of the above mentioned neighbours. And to the extent of my surprise the purchasing power index value for china is 48.64, country which has got much greater position in this list.

This give an idea that we are the cheapest in cost of living but we have more purchasing power than most of the countries mentioned in that list. We are the lowest according to consumer price index(CPI) which is 26.27 for us (India). To make this point more clear lets take the example of our nearest developed neighbour Singapore. Its CPI is 93.61 (almost 3.6 times than that of India) and PPI is 75.40 (1.15 times as compared to India). Singapore's cost of living is 3.6 times of India but its local purchasing power is only 1.15 times of India. Which puts India in much better position. Well, India is at 39th position according to purchasing power index (PPI).  

The list has taken cost of food, transport, restaurants, utilities into account. Housing, Education, Clothing and other such essentials were not considered. CPI in the list is relative to the cost of living compared to New York.

An interesting map from MoveHub reveals living costs around the world.

Global Living Costs Map


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gender Policing Around Us

Before starting I would like to share this video which explains it all very well..........

for defining I tried using Google search which gave me the following result :-                               define: Gender Policing                             
Gender policing is the imposition or enforcement of normative gender expressions on an individual who is perceived as not adequately performing, through appearance or behavior, the sex that was assigned to them at birth (see gender performativity).

Okay, let me start with my little experiences in recent days about the same. How deeply few wrong things get instilled in our brains? It is just amazing to see around us.

     Being a person who is not very selective about colours, I have always found myself in a great dilemma when someone asks this common question "which colour do you like?". For me the whole spectrum of visible light is equally beautiful (along with black and white too). I do not not find any difference in my excitement when there is a change in colour of anything. Yeah but sometimes the intensity of brightness or glitter affects.
  So, the other day I bought an earphone. What I did not notice or did not care to notice was the colour which was pink. And I did not realize how big of deal it was until I witnessed the reaction after 3-4 weeks when one of my friend saw it while I was using it. He gave such an overreaction that I felt something disastrous happened. He was stunned and made such a posture like I've been through an accident and he came over to see me in the hospital and suddenly he found out that I lost my leg or something.
  Joke's apart that day I realized that abstinence from just one colour has defined my friend's masculinity overall. And I don't know why he was feeling so emasculated just to see one pink coloured earphone with me. It was like he has been taught the day colour pink touched you consider yourself out of the male community. But for me things are different. My masculine identity is not limited or dictated by colour or any other traditional trait attached by any orthodox section of the society.

     In one other incident, one of my female friend mentioned that her father was going to visit her again. With a little smile on my face I said " I've not been visited by my father since the first time I took admission in my first college, its just that I go visit". I said it just for no reason, I think it popped up in my mind from nowhere. Interestingly, her reply to this was a common one for everyone else sitting there other than me. She said it is because you are a "boy". It was not quite expected. Actually I wasn't expecting any reply at all. 
  I resisted and said It depends on personal choice, availability of time and all other situational constraints but it can't be related to gender. She said no I am girl that's why my father visits me. I said how is it possible "do parents love their girl child more?" (because this doubt I have in my mind from my childhood). Now the reply was "No, there are safety issues". 
  This seemed even more illogical to me. I found two hidden embarrassing meanings in this reply. First of all she is not acknowledging the parental affection and love to be the reason for the visit of her father. And secondly only girls have safety issues. This is the serious denial which leads to many undesirable situations. There is one more point, it could be related to one more embarrassing fact that girl child is kept under more control.

     I might be feeling a little twisted but I guess above mentioned people are not wrong in the sense that they are just doing what they have been seeing. What they have been told is right, they are following it in the best ways they can. I might say that I was shocked to see their reactions but I am fully aware that it was not totally unexpected.  I would say it came from the people whom I regard as educated and literate ones. I was more shocked to see where these reactions are coming from. 

     I found this post which appeared on sociological images from Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College, few interesting lines of which I am quoting here :
    "The phenomenon of being questioned about one’s performance of gender is called “gender policing.” Generally there are three ways to respond to gender policing: 
        (1) apologize and follow the gender rules, 
        (2) make an excuse for why you’re breaking the rules (which allows you to break them, but still 
              affirms the rules), or 
        (3) do something that suggests that the rules are stupid or wrong. 
     Only the last one is effective in changing or eradicating norms delimiting how men and women are expected to behave."

In the same post she also gave examples of the two famous personalities doing the last one
1. first example is given by a picture depicting the interview of
Eddie Izzard amazing reply to the question-
               (Q)    why he wears “women’s dresses,”
               (A)   “I’m not wearing women’s dresses. I’m wearing my dresses. I bought them. They are
                         mine and I’m a man. They are very clearly a man’s dresses.”

2. In second example she gives a video of an interview of Johnny Depp with David Letterman in which he is wearing a (so called) women's ring :

I regret that in the "pink earphone" case I chose the respond in accordance to the second way mention in Dr. Lisa's post.  I told him (which was in fact the truth but not at all related to the context in which I presented it just to calm him down) that "It was the last piece remaining in the offer that day so I found it at much cheaper price and didn't care about the colour. I think I did it under pressure from the kind of massive reaction that I got from him. Succumbing to reactions from society is the last thing I would want to do. Still I succumbed to the simplest dramatic incident that day. Hope I shall never do that again.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Search for Silver-lining

My 10 days long journey from Bangalore to my home state (Uttar Pradesh) started on 29th Dec 2014. I was excited and a little bit anxious too because I had to cover 6 places in 5 different districts of U.P. which is apparently facing the biggest infrastructural challenge these days. I guess the lovely province of U.P. never came out of this challenge since I opened my eyes in this illusionist world. The only solution I think for anyone living there for these challenges is philosophy of contentment. I think my state’s Government has two very good options to tell people.

  • “Public infrastructure is an illusion which western countries or these few of our own so called developed states are trying to put in our little brains which we should not be caught up into.” Or

  • Public infrastructure is the luxury which our good people can easily discard for the development of more and more statues, parks and other amenities in the state capital or in the constituencies of specific leaders (Neta ji and family).”

Criticism is something which I want to refrain from because I am already known to be having a cynical attitude. I call myself an Optimist who now seeks a Silver-lining in all present situations. Hence the best way is to appreciate and to look out for positivity in whatever comes your way. So be it.