The Final Conquest

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Perched on my favorite rocking chair in the wooden porch of my small house, I was swaying back and forth. A backward stroke of the chair, and dark shadows engulfed my charcoal skin. The magic of physical laws brought it back to its initial position and sparkling sunshine made my face glisten. Darkness after light… Light after darkness…

I closed my eyes to relish my victory. Years of protests, neck-breaking efforts, and innumerable insults had borne fruit. We were free at last. Screens of every gadget I owned were live with a single news.

“The feminist movement has destroyed misogyny once and for all. The last group resisting the change surrendered yesterday night after a heated debate between the two leading parties ended unanimously in the favor of women.”

It was a bittersweet moment for me as a thousand disturbing images flashed across my eyes.

Beautiful feminine features made hideous by the pettiness of male ego. Uncountable pregnancies aborted forcefully and an even greater number of forced pregnancies. People tearing one girl’s scarf and forcing it on another. Glass ceiling, domestic abuse, honor killings, acid throwing, marital rape, sexist comments, and varying shades of sexual harassment. I had seen it all, experienced it all, and fought it all.

It was now a decade ago when one of my male colleagues had said it in defense of his gender but the low blow still stung me. We were having our usual lunch break discussions about the increased surfacing of rape case. He said, “If somebody has a key and they find a keyhole, they insert it in there. That is natural.”

I’d wanted to smack his deplorable face but I acted exactly how my gender did when angered and triggered; calmly but sarcastically. “That means if I find a bat somewhere, I can hit your balls real hard with it because you know it’d be very natural too,” was my tart retort.

Looking back at it, I was burning with anger at the audacity of that piece of sh** when a small crowd disturbed my solitude by blocking the sun. There were other lights though — flashes and cameras. “Ma’am we want to interview you.” Journalists! I thought.

“Go ahead!” I relented.

“Do you think men are your enemy?” asked a kind looking bespectacled man. His glasses were slipping down his nose after every other second.

“No!” I declared, “My biggest supporter throughout the movement had been a man. In fact, it was his brilliant idea that proved to be the stepping stone of our success.”

“Do you mind sharing that secret with us?” he asked visibly thrilled at the opportunity of asking me questions and even more so at getting prompt responses.

“I would love to,” I replied, “It’s not a secret, really. Do you know how the biggest reform came when men began supporting our cause and safeguarding our rights?” I saw him nodding vehemently, which was a dangerous risk, considering the condition of his horn-rimmed glasses.

“The man I am referring to had advised me to teach the womenfolk to raise feminist sons and that I believe did the trick. The opposing party called us whores and the poor men who stood for us were called impotent or gay. My great mentor used to say gays and impotent men are much better humans than these pathetic excuses of men who lack even basic decency I’d chop off my dick any day if it made me such an arrogant bastard.”

“You talk about your mentor a lot. Why didn’t you ever reveal his identity?” It was a different journalist this time.

“I didn’t want him to get hurt,” was my curt reply.

“Does him being a man bother you ever?” asked the guy with the slippery glasses. Good question, I thought. Something bothered me about my mentor but his gender was not it.

“No!” I replied, “Feminists believe in equality and not female Supremacy. We advocate humanity.”

They wanted to ask more questions, but I had had enough and thus excused myself. I retreated inside my home. I needed to talk to my mentor.

“Why am I a man?” He asked me.

“You know why,” I said evasively.

“No, I don’t,” he said, “Is it because the world wouldn’t listen to a woman?”

“No, not the world! The women wouldn’t have listened to another woman,” I admitted reluctantly.

“So you created a visage of a man who ‘helped’ you?” He said in a fake deep voice.

I nodded and said “The world had ingrained women to listen to men for so long. Therefore, I used our psychology to bring us some happiness. I could have saved them from men but how was I to protect them from themselves?” My eyes brimmed.

“It’s all right! You did great,” My reflection told me in a voice that was a distasteful mockery of Liam Neeson.

I smiled at it. No longer was he a figment of female imagination — a man who understood.

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Originally published on Medium

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To Play or not to Play! Week 4, WRNGO—2017

  All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
—As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

Hello everyone!

Here I am with this week’s report on our WRINGO challenge. Our 4th week was unfortunately a bit low on production—but only in terms of quantity. The quality, my dear friends, is as good as always.

It was because of some unforeseeable circumstances that two of our writers failed to produce their share of  writing but the other three had definitely attempted to make Shakespeare proud (that is a bit far-fetched, I know).

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William Shakespeare, while devising ways to kill off each of his remotely likeable character in a story

Shakespeare devising ways to kill off every single remotely likeable character of his story.

My continuous references to the Bard is not because the genre for this week was poetry! It was the second toughest thing in the world of literature—we had to write plays and that also in a word limit of 300 to 1000. Who makes such ridiculous rules, right? Ok we do!

Anyways here are the three plays that were submitted and it was definitely our first attempt at writing a play. I, for one, was scared out of my wits and had almost skipped this  round but then my love fro writing talked me into doing this experiment anyway. Go on, lovely people, read these to have some good time:

Play 1: A Planned Coincidence

When a South Asian decides to get married, he does not only require the consent of the girl but also her parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbours?, and any stranger happening to be in vicinity. On the other hand are the problems faced by South Asian women—is it necessary that I marry the first person accepted by my family ? or is it necessary that I marry ?

These desi social problems are explored by the writers in this one short scene.

Play 2: Her and the Cat

When does a person just stop pretending to be happy? For how long can you fight a society that is not willing to accept you ? What happens when loneliness takes over?

Read this saddening story of a woman and her cat.

Play 3: Murder: A Thoughtless Guide To Taking Lives

A heavy satire on politics of the world. When chaos and motives mingle what are the results? This is a must read play with interesting characters such as Putin, Obama, Nawaz Sharif, Kiera Knightley, Imran Khan, Trump and some more.

Here is an excerpt from the play that will definitely catch your attention:

The Universe is a great establisher. It creates and enforces balance on its own. Our decisions here, the terrible ones we’ve made, the crazy ones we should have made, and the right ones we’ve avoided… out fear… uncertainty… or cowardice…have unbalanced the scales. They have taken their toll on time.

This is all from this week. For the next week, brace yourself for even more variety. We got a free space and each writer is free to follow their desires. I am excited already and I bet so are you. Why don’t you check out out previous work ?

If you are looking to read some great plays by other than Shakespeare then try these two that I simply adore—Pygmalion by G.B.Shaw and The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Also do not forget to check our amazing Facebook page.

Ciao till next week. Happy Reading!