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Thursday, 27 December 2012

In which I resolve to never be afraid....

Dear Reader, it was Christmas two days ago, Christmas for me is a special day and I crave spending it with my loved ones. This is the time of the year when we generally switch from stress mode to holiday mode. With Christmas over and New Years just around the corner all I should think of is making plans to usher the New Year with a bang.

But do you want to know something my dear reader? This year I just don't feel like it. With the events happening around me, it just doesn't feel right. All I keep thinking about is that poor girl (Delhi Gang Rape Victim), who is teetering on the precipice between life and death.

I woke up today to the news that she was moved to Singapore for further treatment after her condition worsened. Now, I can't stop asking - What did she ever do to deserve such pain? It makes me feel ashamed to live in these times. Ashamed, because as a woman, a feminist I went about my life meekly accepting the dangers of moving about in a city like Delhi; or for the matter my tiny hometown.

This incident has jolted all of us out of the lethargic attitude that we generally seem to adopt regarding the harassment and threats to safety faced by women from all walks of life. With the daily protests by the public demanding a change in laws, one would assume that would-be offenders would think twice about assaulting women under these tense circumstances.

Alas, in the past ten days, news of three other incidents, two of which are gang rape cases, came into light. In view of this one can't help but question the mindset that allows and ignores the brutal mental, physical and emotional suppression of women.

I am not saying that incidents of Rape occur only in India, they occur all over the world. However, India has seen incidents of such brutality as to shock even the most hardened criminals.In a society where children- innocents, are aware of Rape, it is deeply disturbing.

I would like to give my own example dear reader, I first became aware of rape as an eight year old girl when the news of the abduction and rape of a sixteen year old girl in my hometown created a huge furore. She had been kept in an abandoned cluster of buildings and was raped repeatedly by the perpetrators who were brothers belonging to an affluent local family. I am happy to report that they are now serving time in jail for their crimes.

This however, is not the case with most of the incidents of Rape and sexual assault where victims don't come forward due to fear and trauma and the perpetrators go scott free. So I leave you with this thought dear reader -  Yes, I feel ashamed to have meekly accepted the limitations of  being a woman and living with safety, but should I feel ashamed about any other thing? The answer is NO and I have resolved to speak against discrimination and injustice and never be afraid. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Rape of Innocence

Dear Reader, as I write this in the safety of a cosy room just a feet away from my mother, a 23 year old girl is battling for her life a couple of miles away.

On Monday, India woke up to the news about a 23 year old para-med student brutally Gang raped and left to die on a street along with a male friend who was also severely beaten. What made it more shocking was the heinous nature of her injuries which are chilling.

I cannot think of appropriate words to describe this incident. It upsets me to think about it not only as a woman but also as a human being. I am a believer in humanity and our capacity to do good but there are times, especially now when one can't help but question everything one believes in.

First, the news about the death of innocent children gunned down by a killer in America and now the brutal physical, mental and emotional violation of a young girl in her prime have left me shaken.

We can just grieve, discuss, and call for actions against those blots on humanity that caused such pain; yet this look at the ugly face of the humanity is jarring.

I could say a lot about the girl but I won't. Her tragedy has been milked by the money-minded albeit well meaning media as well as various activists and women's groups (some of whom are publicity hungering opportunists), while she lies in that grey area between light and shadow.

The common folk however are out on the streets with candles and banners in a show of support for her family. All we can think of is "it could have happened to one of us".

Thus,all I can now do is pray for her recovery to a higher power and that she may have the strength to live with all that happened to her.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Cotton fluff snowfalls and warm winter sun

Dear Reader, winter afternoons are the best! They are meant solely for lazing around and soaking  the gorgeous winter sun ( the best kind! ). However here I am, stuck in a lounge area waiting for something that should already have occurred. So, all I could do was sit back and reminiscence about things that give me happiness.

Winter in India is the best! I love monsoons but winter, especially in India is the best season and my favourite. There is a refreshing nip in the air and the sun isn't at it's scorching best. And every where one looks, there is a riot of colours in gardens. Absolutely beautiful!

Oh how I love winter! My dear reader, the flowers...Chrysanthemums, roses, marigolds, dahlias, lilies, pansies, they are everywhere! One can sit in the garden with a warm cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate and enjoy a tete a tete with loved ones. Perfect, isn't it?

When I was a little girl winters would start by the sound of the "Dhunia" - these are a group of wandering weavers and quilters who go from house to house and reweave feather mattresses, pillows, duvets and quilts stuffed with cotton. The Dhunia used this bow-like instrument which made a peculiar sound like the twang of a base guitar whilst the quilts and duvets were being rewoven and the entire air was then surrounded by cotton fluff which refused to settle down.

This, to my 6 year old self was like my very own private snowfall! It was like one of those fantasy sequences from Disney movies and I absolutely loved the contrast of the warm winter sun, soft sunlight and the shiny cotton in the air.

Childhood is a time when little things and day to day events can be magical. This sense of wonderment is lost as we grow up. So dear reader, take time off from our daily lives and spend some time doing what makes us happy.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Excuse my French....Really???

Dear Reader, it's 6 am on this fine December morning and I have been up since 3..I have a bad cold and am pumped full of drugs and am unable to sleep. So in this current state of sleep deprivation I got the time to think about what I said in the last post the Phrase "Excuse my French"

I have often wondered about this phrase. If one thinks about it why do we use it after we swear; we didn't even swear in French so why..why do we do commit  this unintentional  offence?

In my defence I am completely under the weather and didn't know any better. However this phrase kept ringing in my mind incessantly and I couldn't help but feel  guilty. Now, I can be described as a self obsessed, slightly neurotic liberal. I also like to think that I am fair and logical and I hate being put into brackets and stereotypes.  

So what does my tilted view about my own writing say? Yes you're right! I unintentionally succumbed to a stereotype. I know dear reader, that I have this habit of over-analysing things but that's just the way I am. 

So let us start this day by thinking of stereotypes that are positive...I know one..."The French are the epitome of culture". Is it really true? I think to a large extent that it might be. Do you know that I once sat in an Air France lounge surround by French speakers for five hours just listening to them speak! I was in the middle of a riveting thriller and yet, all I could do was listen to them speak in this beautiful language which was so lyrical. I couldn't really understand all that they were saying (they were really quick) but, it was still a joy to listen to them. I like to talk but, I LOVE to listen (not many people know this!) For all I know, they could have been discussing the weather or describing the state of the Parisian drainage system yet, it was like they were praising one another. 

Someone called French the 'language of Love' and I totally agree. I believe that even if someone calls me a scatterbrained, simpleton idiot in French I would think that they were singing my praises. So then dear reader I end this post with this question-  am I really the only one who wonders about the irony of the phrase "Excuse my French" being used after swear words in another language?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Hello my dear reader, I am sorry but I really don't have anything special to relate......oh wait I have a double attack of the sniffles and the blues in fact I have been so blue I am positively purple which matches my extremely pink and itchy nose...Eeewwww! I hate the common cold I am all tired clingy and weepy and hate the world in general.

I am also not the best person to have around in this time..to be honest I am a huge pain in the arse  (excuse my French). I don't know about you but I always crave endless cups of soup and tea when I am sick and in general want my mum. Since I am at home right now my poor mother has practically become a slave and do you want to know something weird she is ever ready with a supply of tissues, hot drinks and cuddles even when I am absolutely gross.. MOTHERS..they really are the world's most confusing creatures are they not.

Anyway, I am now finished and am signing off for a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. Till the next post...

PS: this post contains nonsense and grammatical errors.