Sigh! Finally, it all boils down to that- To pierce or not to pierce!
and allow me to say in the same breath (lest the irrelevant may not be heightened)that the physical act of holding an electric blue gun to one's trembling nostril and pulling the trigger with the merciless finesse of a seasoned assasin, DOES NOT hurt...not in the least.
but what disturbs, perplexes and pricks, is all that follows after...
what am i engaged in as i proceed to pierce something as prominent as my nose?
reclaiming previous acts of powerlessness?
adding a sexual stimulant?
'retribalization' of the planet?
and do i now stand back and ruminate over these options, picking and choosing, blushing over the prospect of one while sweeping the other up in a desperate bear hug?
why not take a deep breath, shrug my shoulders and proclaim- all, and none...???
and yet, societal paradoxes have been our lot since eternity. in this ever-flowing ever-ebbing ocean of ironies, the innocuous little nose-pin shuttles between the mainstream culture and the counter-culture. so, what term should our society embody as its distinct identity? - the traditional? or the western\modern? (albeit, in a strictly generalized manner)?
if the culture of traditional societies view body modification practices as an affirmation and reproduction of long established social positions, then the west (still) connects such modifications with the individuating of the self from society.
so then, you tell me, (for i am at a loss)how do i explain my nose piercing?
maybe, i wonder, it has all got to do with one's age; and consequently, with one's social identity- the bride in her bridal finery (in our bengali culture) would reflect greater conformity to her tradition by plugging in that very nose ring (albeit in a magnified and more elaborate form) which however, in a college student\ (or more shockingly!) school student will evoke repugnance....
i try to locate the source of the half-baked stigma...but fail.
is it then that a girl\woman, still nubile, still expected to keep her sexuality under wraps\ feign consciousness of the reality of her flesh, is a threat to society's Book of Knowledge? knowledge of acts, deeds and crimes...surprisingly, acts deeds and crimes that are listed even before they are conceived...and listed with the glaring specifics of age, time and circumstances.
let me then proclaim (with much joy born of the irresistible desire to shock and confound) that my nose piercing is a simple act of non-conformity into which i have subconsciously poured in all the previous options that i have listed...
i choose not to conform to the relieved smile of the aunty next-door who would purr contentedly upon seeing my patched-up nose-hole- "bhalo korechish! toke manachhilo na...tui simple-e bhalo achish!"
and do i not know what the underlying meaning of - "toke mannachhilo na" is?
it is the bubbling fear of the incomprehensible....
of the book that you could read upside down till yesterday, and that appears gibberish to you now.
so, it all boils down to that finally....
to pierce or not to pierce.
and i have pierced!