The Dispatches Of Hira Singh – James


Dad, what can you do when you have to be a man?”…. James Dean, Rebel Without A Cause

This now, feels my friend Hira Singh, is a difficult question to answer.

How do you define a man? How indeed, do you define a woman? I shall not attempt to answer that latter question, as I am not a woman. However, since I am an Indian, I would like to add in a photograph of an ancient carving.

This is that of the Hindu God, in his aspect of Ardh-Nari, which means – Half Woman. It is a remarkable carving. On the one hand, you should note how the body of Shiv: moves from being man to woman, in one graceful move.


It also, to my mind, shows that men and women contain aspects of both – masculine and feminine – traits. However, I shall possibly come back to this another time

So, what can you do when you have to be a man? Do you behave like Genghis Khan? Are you an effeminate man?

Or, do you stand up, embrace your destiny and walk towards it with clear eyes? Do you then, have the clarity to recognise your destiny, and then have the courage and fortitude  to walk towards it,and not be swayed?

In this journey, do you have the wisdom to carry others along with you on the path, and give them the freedom to find their own, and to respect their choices?

Do you respect the diversity that you see around you, and the world that you live in? Do you then have the honesty to stand by these beliefs? Or, will you be swayed by every passing belief, every passing opinion and shout?

Will you then have the insight to discover your own strength, soul and mortality?

When it is your time to die, will you then have the courage to look death in the eye, and go to Yama, with peace in your eyes?

Will you have become a man?



  1. Maybe, you are not limited by the terrible cultural oppression of every society of being labeled a man or a woman.
    If you see yourself as a person.
    You are both.
    And then you are free.

  2. Your writing is so perfect in this post! It moves gracefully through just like the subject matter. The carving is so interesting. Man and woman are the yin and yang of life. We cannot live without each other as each brings their own energies which are dependent on one another.

  3. I did not know that Shiv moved between male and female but it does make perfect sense to me. After conception we are all female and it is only later in gestation that the individual differentiates into male or remains female. As we continue to learn more about the science there are varying degrees of maleness and femaleness. Hopefully, as we mature, we find our balance in our mate.

    1. Well, Shiv does not generally move between male and female. In this aspect, he does.

      However, you may find, when you read Hindu mythology, that a God generally has a consort – the Goddess. She is not some meek figure, but is strong in her own right, and has definite qualities..

      Gauri and Kali are two different aspects of Parvati.
      It is Durga who kills Mahisha, the demon.
      Saraswati is the Goddess of learning, and Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth.

      I don’t think the problem here – at least in India – is religion. It is the manner in which society has chosen to interpret the role of men and women, and how this has evolved – or not – over time

      1. If the female Goddesses are strong and powerful, does that translate into a more powerful role for women in general?

      2. Well… now you ask the question. In normal society, no…

        Yet, we have had powerful women in India… Modern times – Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi.. Detestable women, but powerful. Chief Ministers of three states… Heads of several banks are women… An ex-President.

        So, when these women were elected, we did not make such a fuss of it, the way that the Americans will do when Clinton becomes President. We took it in our stride.

        This is one of the strange dichotomies of the Indian character

      3. Let us hope the Clinton doesn’t make it to the Presidency ( Trump neither) They have a real woman, Dr. Jill Stein who is running for the Green Party who would be better than any of them.

      4. She is an American woman who is running for the Green Party. She won’t be on every ballot but she is a real contender. If you Google her name you will find out a lot more about her. Another good point is that it isn’t likely that she will lead us into war.

      5. True, not many people have heard of her because she doesn’t have big money backing her. Nevertheless, she is there and she is running. The world is going to be dragged from one war to the next with Hillary.

      6. I agree with you on your assessment of Hillary.

        It seems she is not liked at all.. But, it is the TINA situation at hand.. There is no alternative.

        Her or Donald

      7. I googled her… She is something.

        I did not even know that there is something called The Green Party.

        No way she can win. The rich, powerful and connected will never let her win

      8. Aha! Are they fed up enough?

        In India, it took one brutal rape for people to wake up.

        Now, they have dozed off again

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