Tuesday, May 30, 2006

conversations with the opposite sex

A topic that pisses me off. Sorry to start off my comment that way, but there are just SO many dimensions to this discussion that I fear my inadequacy to compliment them all fairly. Yet I cannot resist commenting.

Firstly, about flirting. Pardon my saying if this is unacceptable to others. What is wrong with flirting?? That's how "most" of the relationships begin - those intial conversations, those initial sharing of jokes, laughter, subtle compliments, which somehow awaken the realization that there is a relationship in building. I don't think flirting is wrong - even though my skills might not put me further as a competent ambassador.

Flirting is wrong when you are doing it for the hell of it and with everyone. I think that is then not termed flirting, I call it "playing". That in every sense is wrong.

Terminology is yet another thing that makes all the difference. I was talking to my mother about this post and she said, in her days "flirt" was a person with bad character. Bingo! Explains why it has all the misrepresentation. How we define things indicates how we follow them.
Dictionary.com defiens a flirt as:
- To make playfully romantic or sexual overtures.
- To deal playfully, triflingly, or superficially with

Now the literal connotations of the word which may include sexual overtures makes this word an attribute to a bad character. But how many words in your language are not a part of dictionary. What does "wicked", "sick", "crazy" stand for literally may have no indication of these terms meaning - "great". Yet these are the terms we prefer over the literal meaning.
I think linguistics are too hard to compress in this one post. But I beleive that when any man and woman are in the very initial stages of their relationship building, their exchange of emotions is termed flirting and I think it is the very basic binding of those two people.

Now to the second important point about "chit-chats": Well, I once confronted this attitude on a fellow bloggers post, where I was disheartened to find that it is a popular belief that "all women are the house of temptation and engage men into little conversations (usually inquisitions about religious matters) only to tempt them into wrong deeds, and take them away from God."

God forbids if all the men that I've contacted, or held spontaneous conversations with, especially about religious matters, thought that I had mal-intentions.

I'm a Sikh, a learner. I have always sought to learn and understand as much of religion as possible, from anyone who seemed adequately informed. At others times, conversations were carried on to discover the truth together, hopefully through a continuous exchange of thoughts and ideas. If these "chit-chats" are/were/could be understood as my fellow Sikh men as possible sexual overtures then I will frankly call it a plague of their minds. We see what we want to see. We understand things the way we wish to understand them. For anything, even the room you are sitting in right now reading this, can be viewed in gazillion ways. Likewise are the conversations, people, their expressions, etc. be understood or misunderstood - all by the calliberations of your own character.

God has given us the sense to judge the wrong from right. But God also mentions "open-mindedness". Open your eyes - truth might be something that either you are not looking at or are intentionally ignoring.

Also when men who've used and supported the fore-mentioned quote about women being the root of all evil and the temptations to take them away from God, must stop blaming it on others. Walking on the path towards Satguru is hard. And several temptations that may drive you away are a natural possibility. If however, you want to feel supreme by thinking that "others" (that is women as you state) are the cause to keep you away from your much desired goal, then wake up! And try to learn to take responsibility for your own weak-mindedness.

I here, take responsibility for my words and views. I also am aware that these sentiments were rushed in rage that has long stood and might lack clarity and an even sounder and very much possible backup, leading to numerous misrepresentations.

My aim here is not to hurt anyone. But I think it is important to address these issues. We all have the same goal - getting a step closer to Waheguru. But let not misunderstand the many other issues, whether clearly relevant or astranged from that path.

Bhul chuk maaf.

p.s.// I will take this opportunity to address the reason why I don't prefer calling every Sikh guy "veer/brother" - Even though my goals might be leading to celibacy, but are you not to marry some Sikh man or woman in life? Would you not want to meet someone perfect for you, with similar aspirations, attitude and personality? At least i'd love to. And even though this is no man-hunt, I don't feel the need to secure my intentions to every man I meet by calling him "veer". I think that's ridiculous. I know, all you women might say that we say that out of respect or casual inclination, but think for one moment, is it not yet another important reason, to keep things from being misunderstood and to assure a safe-zone that you feel inclined to addressing fellow Sikh men as brothers. I know when I'm complimenting any Sikh man on something personal, I very much end up addressing them as 'veer' so that we are clear. Also, if it was not about some probable soul-mate that you were to run into on some course of your life, why do we need to name relationships where there are none. I am related to every man and woman on this earth, but I don't consider them my "brothers and sisters". My relationship with the whole world is that of respect and humanity. But the relationship that these relationships called "brother and sister" is one of much intense depth and love. If you don't share it, don't say it. At least that's my take. Oh and just so that we are clear, when I say that I don't call every man I meet "Veer", I don't even call every woman I meet "Bhain/sister". Be fair. Be genuine. Be true in words as you are at heart.

[I think the last paragraph needs me to again repeat: BHUL CHUK MAAF :)]

p.s.// On that note, I miss you Iksingh veer (L)


Anonymous satvinder said...

lol... you really did get it all out of your system sis.

On the subject of "flirting" I'm not sure what the Sikh stance on this subject would be but I'm guessing due to the Sikh Rehet maryada [code of conduct] I think that it's probably not favourable. I use the term flirting to mean conversing with intention to enter into a relationship of a sexual nature.

Thinking about it from a logical point of view... From my understanding Guru Gobind Singh Ji bestowed the Gift of Amrit and established the khalsa during a time when India was in dire conditions. Mughal oppressors killed, pilfered and raped and there was [is still] a need for a league of people who would be moral and upstanding thus the Khalsa... void of [or at least able to control] the five vices. [Anger, lust, greed, attachment and arrogance].

I imagine that the general stance towards flirting stems from this basic requirement for an exalted level of morality. I think this is why men and women often address each other as brother and sister.

Sorry a feeble attempt at explaining a different viewpoint. My knowledge is limited to a vague understanding of the events of history. Maybe someone else could offer a more comprehensive view on the issue.

lotsa smileys (",)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

paana(satVinder), i think this one's lost her mind!

ni, are you crazy? come over and take care of akaur! AND no pictures to go along with all that text?????

anyways...ummmm i also don't like using brother/sister as something you HAVE to do. sometimes you feel like a brother and sometimes you don't! :)

for example i felt satVinder as my paana from the begining and you as someone who's lost her mind and needs a brotherly hug. ;)

but flirting(the sexual overtone kind) IS bad. and after reading all your text i think you agree as well.

BUT what i hate is when guys aren't as nice(chit chatty, polite) to other guys(hetrosexual) as they're to girls. i sooooooooooo hate that! if you're nice you should do nice things for both sexes. otherwise you're not a nice person. you're just a wishful pervert. (except in the case of women being nice to men who very commonly mistake that as a "comeon"...)

sometimes i demand equality in real life and the question back to me is "do you look like that girl over there?". i so want to kick their ass for saying that. ARGH!

and about your other point about using religion/morality talk for mating purposes. it's an old trick. it's so easy and yet so powerful.

And girls and boys should be notified of this trick as soon as they're able to comprehend this stuff. That's why "granthis"/"gianis"/"priests"/"mulas" have such an easy time raping and sexually assaulting girls and boys and women.

another thing about brother and sister...i don't have a sister and i always wanted one. when i was 12 i told my parents this and they were like "what if it's another boy" and i was like "OHH! nevermind then!..." so when i call you a sister...i really mean it! :)

(Sat Nam Waheguru pull chuk maaf karni!)

ohh boy did i write all that?

ps...thanks for visiting flickr...it's funny cuz i was like how do i get the message out that i have new pics being on "silent" mode. cuz i was so excited 'bout them. and voila! there you guys were. how sweet! i'll send you guys something soon...
(Sat Nam Waheguru pull chuk maaf karni!)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 4:24:00 PM  
Anonymous satvinder said...

on the subject of... "sometimes you feel like a brother/sister... sometimes you don't"

Again... I use my limited knowledge to elaborate... but I think the ideas is that we get away from following our hearts and work towards following our Guru. We work on becoming gurmukh instead of manmukh.

please don't mistake me for someone who has always done this... I'm just an idiot who wanders around putting smileys on people's blogs (",)

SS bhenj... I understand that you don't agree with flirting of the nature that I described. And I'm not trying to question your other views... I'm just trying to share some of the little pearls my mamma passed on to me.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 5:03:00 AM  
Anonymous satvinder said...

hope I haven't spoken out of turn or hurt anyone.

smiley? (",)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 5:05:00 AM  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

If talking and writing nice and courteous means flirting than you definitely are flirting! You little flirt! you! I have read your flirting comments on my 8 year old son's blog, a grandma's blog in Belgium, on Blogs in India, in Canada, U.S. and other places I don't know about. Some people in this World are cruel aren't they? It looks like you have been hurt by someone's remarks or something towards you? I like how you said about being open mindedness. It is all in the heart and mind. Personally, I have a harder time addressing older men and women outside of blood relation. I always have this internal dilemma as to what do I address them as. Do I say "Bhai Sahib" "Bhenji" or "Aunti Ji" "uncle ji" "Biji" etc. It is all personal fears that I can't seem to get out. Anyways, just ignore those idiots who may have been trying to hurt you by saying cruel things. Waheguru will deal with their narrow mindedness. From your beautiful writing and blog comments, I can tell you have a great outgoing personality, niceness, humble nature that is very hard to find. Keep up the great work.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Sat bhenji, you have not said outta your turn :P (even if there was a plan of rules..hehe) and don't worry about any of the comments or your view points that you've stated. They are all well recieved :)

Ik Singh veer: I like what you mean. And I'm so glad about flickr...there was turning out to be no other place to find you. Cheers to new passions!

Sikhrus: THANK YOU for cheering me up :D

Sat Naam.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 1:33:00 PM  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

Flirting has a negative connotation. I've tried to use the word positively, but people usually are confused, so I've decided not to use the word. Also Yogi Ji used to say 'a flirty mind is a dirty mind.' He was talking about the literal sense of the word.
I think what you're calling flirting is really just friendliness. People think I flirt (I won't deny that I've done it in the past), but I just smile a lot and like to engage people. Flippant and meaningless chatter doesn't interest me. What time a young lady said to me (after I was talking to another young lady that had just barely arrived in EspaƱola) 'Prabhu you know all the young ladies.' I said back to her 'I know all the young men too.'
If somebody is new in town, I meet them as soon as I first see them. This is how communities are built by welcoming people and being friendly.

It is really hard to have platonic friendships with the opposite sex. The internet makes it easier. All the young ladies I know in the blogsphere are like sisters.
It is insulting for men to blame their problems on women, but at the same time it's hard for men. Women have so much more capacity than men and are way more subtle. Men are like puppies compared to women.
I will say I understand the young men who have a hard time with women and then blame them. I'm not making an excuse I'm just saying it's hard. If you don't know how to deal with something, you just cut it out of your life.
I have women friends (in person too) and I always think it's platonic, but then sometimes things lead me to question. We'll discuss spirituality and the subject will sometimes change to personal lives and interests. I'll be thinking we're friends and things are cool and then one day she'll say or write something like 'so when do plan to get married, what are your thoughts on that?'
That question's alright, but sometimes it's coming from a place that I may not understand or have read wrong. That's why it's tough. I'll immediately think, 'I wonder what she really wants to know and why she's asking this question.'
Also reputation matters a little bit. I would rather my community regard me as a nice young man, than a flirt. I get dirty, or assuming, or questioning looks a lot, when I talk to young women. If they are just old enough, it seems okay and I don't get weird looks, but if they're my age the looks and assumptions are there. I also get the guys asking me 'so do you like that girl.' I've told a few people 'look I'm not interested in any of the ladies that live here.'
I was thinking when I visit Toronto I totally want to visit with you (Sikhi Seeker), but at the same time there are other young men and young women that I want to meet and visit with. I just hope that it's not weird. I just figure I'll be open and honest with everybody and hope that it all works out. I've been to some samagams or Gurdwaray outside of my hometown where I've talked to young ladies and I get weird looks.
I say just keep having conversations with the opposite sex. We all are lucky to have you in our lives, so you can't deny your friends. I always like how you leave nice comments on my blog. It is so cool. I always know when you visit. :-)
Sat Naam.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 3:48:00 PM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Prabhu ji - You really read me through!! Friendly, over-friendly and flirt - such "common" misunderstandings. But I like that, "I know all the young men too" :D.

Thanks for raising the point that it is hard for men...I never tried to understand that. But I gave it a thought and it seems just as hard as it is for women.

The amount of time all of us spend online, on each others blogs, makes it only normal to be attached to each other. I know we should try to avoid these manmukh attachments, but I'm attached to all the people that I visit all the time - it's an important part of my (daily) life.

I'm looking forward to meeting you and my other blogger friends - some fine day!

Waheguru Ang Sang Sahai :)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 4:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gurinder said...

Good thoughts, as always!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Gurinder Bhaji, u r back!! Welcome. you were truly missed!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 9:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome back paa!
i hope all is well with you and your family.

ni, got more pics on flickr of ambarsar...click on the "gurdwara" set on the right.


Thursday, June 01, 2006 9:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gurinder said...

I also missed you guys!!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

Even my mataji who only checks my blog every once in a while said to me 'who's that Sikhi Seeker girl that leaves comments on your blog? She seems really nice.'

Thursday, June 01, 2006 1:32:00 PM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Gurinder bhaji - Glad to know we weren't the only ones holding to old strings :D

Prabhu ji - first reaction - AWWWW! lol And secondly my warm regards to your mataji :)

Sat Sri Akal.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger manpreet kaur said...

Sat nam!

a grandma in Belgium? a grandma in Belgium? is that what bloggerworld thinks of me? Hahaha!
i should stop "flirting" (oops) with this word grandma.

And you should tell my sangat over here about it!

I have a very western way of talking to people (i do realise that and try not to overdo in any way when i frequent indian people!), but even my modest behaviour gave a lot of gossip and slander. By the sikhmen and even more by sikhwomen. They said i have been "flirting" with every men in the sangat, just because i talked to them, because i helped them.
I tried not to care (though i few times i exploded with anger) about these lies.
It has changed now because they start to know me and are aware now of my good intentions.
It hurt me a lot at the time. And some friends advised me to stay away from this narrowminded people, but i never did!
Because, dear SS, it is not important what other people think about you. If you can face Guru Ji and feel you did not do anything wrong, everything is ok.
It is their problem not yours.
And like i experienced myself, slowly they start to know you.
Sorry if i reacted too personal, but i hate it when young beautiful women are put down and discouraged.

Be who you are! A beautiful Kaur!

Thursday, June 01, 2006 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

Rock on Manpreet Kaur Ji!

" i hate it when young beautiful women are put down and discouraged."

Me too. Even the highest stage I could reach in this life I may never know the power of a woman.

"Be who you are! A beautiful Kaur!"

Khalsa spirit! WaheGuru!

Friday, June 02, 2006 3:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anoop said...

Just stay open mind ( You already are) and always engage in conversation. We are here to express our opinions and understand others ( not at all possible without talking to somebody else).
I talk to everybody too ( men, women, homosexual - all).
Gotta talk with you as long as you are a human being. ( This is my take on engaging in conversation with another being- Is that flirting or not- I am not going to worry about it)
oh! title for this post can "conversations with the opposite sex/Human Being"
Aren't we all are human beings first before we are male/female?
Sorry if I said anything wrong- people can always prove me wrong ( I simply love it when people contradict me)
Aha! Gurinder Veer is back after 5 months. Welcome back!

Friday, June 02, 2006 4:16:00 PM  
Anonymous satvinder said...

"it is not important what other people think about you. If you can face Guru Ji and feel you did not do anything wrong, everything is ok." MK Bhenji... this is so so true.

Aren't we all are human beings first before we are male/female? Again this rhetorical question rings so true anoop.

SS bhenji... you are a lovely young person. open minded, friendly and honest... just simply lovely (",)

ps. I'm borrowing MK bhenji's and Anoop's jems

Saturday, June 03, 2006 8:37:00 AM  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Manpreet ji and Anoop ji - thanks for your wonderful insight. It's all a keeper :D

Monday, June 05, 2006 11:28:00 PM  

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