Friday, 15 July 2011

So, Going Out Tonight??!

The latest rape victim of Delhi, is from my neighborhood. The place where this heinous crime happened is barely 5-min walking distance from my house. Every time there is a report on "Delhi Unsafe for Women", I carefully read through it and hold my breath when I reach the name of the place where the crime happened. And every time it was not my place, I used to breathe easy, because lame as it may sound, it made me feel secure about my neighborhood. Well, i was soon jostled out of this mindless day dream, I am not safe where i thought I was secure the most, home. 

Delhi Police Commissioner is facing serious flak for his comments" Women should not venture out late at nite, be indoors be safe". Yeah rite, how dare he tell us what to do? We are the new, modern, educated, independent women. We live life the way we want to, indifferent to age old social barriers. "YES WE REPRESENT TODAY'S WOMAN". But for a second let’s take a break and, just step aside from this entire hullabaloo over new age feminism, and rethink over what he actually must have meant. Wouldn’t your father say the same thing too? Come on girls, he didn’t say," If women get raped, it’s their fault they need to be careful". Dare he say that, we'll march up to INDIA GATE, and demand his immediate dismissal. But what he asked us is to be careful of where we are and who we are with, because the fact is, yes there will not be a policeman minding your back all the time. True they need to pull up their socks, and do every bit possible to make our city, safer for us. But shouldn’t we be doing out bit too?? The most crowded place in Delhi resembles a graveyard at 2 am. The roads become desolate and lonely. So the same place where in the morning, your one scream would attract the attention of thousands of people, at the same place at night there will be no one to run upto for help.

I was just chalking out a few things that might help us feel safe in the city. Add on your suggestions to it. 

1.       Carry a pepper-spray. Who-says-what and how the twitter tabloids are overflowing with reactions, is a time bound discussion. A new controversy will shift the limelight soon enough. At the end of the day it will be us, on our own, minding our backs. The moment your senses prick up and your brain signals you are being followed, or u sense any unwanted vehicle nearby, it would not take less than a second to reach out for your handbag and “arm” yourself. Even if a false alarm, better safe than repentant.
2.       I hate repeating this for fear of sounding like someone from the 70’s, but maybe for awhile, lets not venture out alone in the middle of the night, if we can help it. This is in the firm hope that soon things will take a good turn and women will roam out till late without any fear of being raped or groped. But till that happens, I think its sensible to take precautions.
3.       One thing I will never understand is, why do “THE MEN” who seemingly think it is their birth right to grope women, everywhere from a crowded bus or metro or a marketplace, make dire threats of killing other men who, lets say ‘accidentally’ touch their wife or sister. Strange isn’t it??! So as we say charity begins at home, I think ‘knocking sense into men should begin at home too’. Talk to your brothers, cousins, male friends about this issue and make them realize raping women is not a solution to satisfying your sexual frustrations nor is it a way to prove ones masculinity. I am not saying your friends or brothers are rapists or lecherous, but all boys do know a few lascivious guys, and if u talk to your brothers, and get them talking to their friends maybe u might end up making a difference. Even if this is just a drop in the ocean, the aim is to sensitize people with respect to rape victims.
4.       In most rape cases, the accused is known to the victim. So PLZ… PLZ.. don’t blindly trust the people around u. Specially be wary of men u have just recently met. Okk now if ur shaking your head and saying” oh plz, all men are not that untrustworthy” then sorry to shatter your dream but “all men are not that trustworthy either”.
5.       I am sure all of u women folk out there have wondered at one point or the other, how men can be stupid enough to think that if they stare at us inappropriately stealthily, we wont know or if they touch us’ accidentally’ we wont be able to make out if it was intentional or not. Well guys here’s some news for u, the moment someone starts staring at us, our beware-of-men radar, sends signals, and we sure as hell know who is leering at us or whether a touch was an accident or not. But ladies here is where we are wrong, we quietly tolerate their confident antics with the fear of creating a scene. True, avoid a scene as much as possible, but not at the cost of losing your self respect. Turn back and give the man a good hard stare or politely warn him to stay away. And if he still doesn’t give up, well then I suggest its time to muster up all your strength, turn around and give him a tight one across the face. If in a metro, press the emergency button summon the driver and get the man arrested or if in a bus inform the conductor and claim your father is the DGP or the DSP ( who is going to cross check) and threaten to note the bus number if the man is not thrown out.

All this might be easier said than done, but if we claim to be no less than men and to be confident, strong women, then we better start acting like one too. Delhi will not change overnight nor will its men. We need to do our bit to change it. Like the 70’s revolution to liberalize women from ‘ghar-ki-chaar-diwari, its time to revolt and break through the last chain-links arresting our independence.

Friday, 17 June 2011


It is amazing how much we see around us every day, every minute and every second, yet there is so little we observe or notice. As a child a new flower in the park would excite me to no limits. Nowadays,  gazing down from my apartment balcony, I fail to notice the new bud in a sea bed of flowers. A major part of growing up, I realise, is to forget those little moments of joy we used to find in every minute of our growing up years. But is it really dat hard to forget all our worries & tensions for an hour and just sit & observe the lives moving around us. I took a moment yesterday "from my self-assumed busy life" and spent an hour sitting idle, away from all my worries and observed my surroundings.

1. Two little girls were playing catch and catch in the park. One accidently pushed the other, she fell and scraped her knee. Obviously they started arguing and a fight commenced. I looked away assured that they were done for the day. Five mins later I saw them playing again, as if nothing had happened. I was amazed. Can all our "serious adult fights" be solved this easily too? How much simpler, life would have been if we all had the heart to just hug and end trivial, always-blown-out-of-proportion issues. Sigh...

2. An underground water pipe line had broken and the water was gushing out at full force. The roads were flooded with this new water fountain. Every body crossing the road glanced irritatingly at the whole situation and walked as far away as possible from the new water bed. But a mangy looking stray dog came along, and happily lapped water from a puddle formed. He played in the water, rubbed his back in the muddy water, jumped about and walked away, definitely thanking god for bursting the pipe. Atleast someone found a way to beat the heat.

3. My lab who had accompanied me in this little "observation escapade" was patiently sitting by my side. Every five mins her tail would go thump-thump. Every passer-by known or unknown was wished in her little dogie way, by wagging her tail. It didn't matter to her that most of the ppl didn't even notice her. She kept on wagging her tail at everyone. Amused, I was curious to try her way and smiled at an aunty who had just shifted into our society a few days back. I wasn't expecting an unknown woman to smile back at me, but she did. The joy of greeting ppl we know is always there, but to be greeted warmly by a complete known face was very heart warming.
(Disclaimer- I am not sure if this work on everyone, so its better you don't go about smiling at every other unknown person)

4. Just when I was getting up to leave and go back home, a strong wind blew, and down came a rain of dried flowers from the tree I was sitting under. It was a scene directly out of a Karan Johar movie, only I didn't have a hero with me. I finally got a real time "filmy scene", minus a breathtaking view and designer outfits.

well my day ends here. Yet that one hour relieved me from all my troubles even if only for a few hours. For all those who read this post, try it out. Even if u don't notice or experience anything extraordinary, it is still worth a try.