Monday, January 7, 2013

(High on) Happiness


Have you ever had one of those days when you are happy? Not just happy, but high with happiness? When things just fall in place, when you meet nice people, eat good stuff, today was one such day.

To recount what lead to this day:
  •  I spent one entire weekend with mom without either of us saying anything stingy at the other.
  • We checked out some houses (we’re house hunting for a new place)
  • Mom made dahi puri for me in the evening. Now dahi puri is unhealthy because I have a sore throat, and the chutney and cold curd would not do me good. But eating unhealthy food is fun and she made it because I asked her to.
  • I spent some wonderful time at ‘The chocolate room’ in Ahmadabad. I had a large black coffee, an almond cold coffee, and a Choc√≥-chilli sandwich. It was a wonderful sandwich it had chillies and chocolate scrapings in it. The chocolate would clash with the chilly and it was oh-so-good. I got a nice table all for myself and wonderful internet speed to watch some of my favourite anime.
  • I saw this poster while searching for a new poster to buy. It gave me a sense of reassurance, that there is more to me than some of the problems I had recently started thinking on. 
  • On the way to Baroda from Ahmadabad I got a bus that had half the seats empty. I could sit on an entire three seat row all by myself and read. When the bus conductor turned off some of the lights he let two lights on so that I could read. He then got up from his single seat and sat on another empty row seat. Those of you who have travelled by GSRTC busses know of this seat. It is the single seat at the entrance which has handle bars in front of it for people to hold on to while climbing on/off. So when you sit on this seat, you can sink in a little and rest your feet on this handle bar. Such a comfortable position to read in. 
  • The window in front of me was open with a just little tiny gap that let a cool breeze in. The breeze would hit my naked feet and make me feel as if my feet were in a river of flowing cool water. And the best part was that no one complained about it or asked me to shut the window.
  • I thought of two women whom I admire. One is ofcourse this wonderful doting big sister whom I love as much as I can. The other is of course the is B to my A, the Alpha to my Omega, the Sheila to my jawani, the fevicol to my photo. They just cheer me up.

Now my views on god are not that religious. But if there is a god, I would give a nice tight hug. I would tell him to take some time off and come with me for drinks, my treat. I would ask him to listen to this song (Emotional Attyachar (attyachar is Hindi for torture) from Dev D). The song in itself is a sad song; however it has a special place for me. I had gone to watch this movie in a single screen local cinema house because we couldn’t get tickets anywhere else. Now this song has a nice beat to it. When this song came on screen I was just tapping my feet being as reserved that I am. But some guys in the audience just thought “Chuck it” and got up started dancing to have a wonderful time.

So the idea is to ask God to chuck it and not think of the people who are doing all forms of torture in his name. You know take a vacation with your goddess, and go relax and recharge. If you made this world, we gave it shape as it is now. You don’t have to take it on your shoulders.

Today is also an eventful day for another reason. The father of the Delhi-Gang Rape case victim shared his daughter’s name (Jyoti Singh Pandey). He said:

The word Jyoti is a Hindi word which means light. For some people, this case gives light and heat and casts out darkness and fear. Now I don’t her personally, but I cannot help but feel sorry. That in a free nation, this is the price she had to pay for being free, for just wanting to live her own life. You had every right to live on as you wanted, but a bunch of men thought you wanting to be free was an act of defiance against them, and raped and beat you to a painful death. They and other such people wrongfully believe that just because of being a woman, women have to yield to them as they wish.

I do hope that whether you’re reading this or not, whether we know of each other or not, that you have an equally wonderful day in your life. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Punishment and Justice


Ever since the Delhi gang rape I have been thinking of something. Not because this is the first rape case, or the first gang rape case, but because of the level of depravity the rapists sunk to after raping the girl.

For those of you who are not aware of this case, a girl and her friend took a bus. The driver and his friends beat the girl and her friend with a rod and then went on to rape the girl turn by turn. Then they beat her more and inserted the metal rod in her vagina. They stripped the girl and her friend and tossed them out on the streets. The girl’s injuries were so harsh that her intestines had to be removed. There was hope that she could have a transplant but she died of her injuries.

This case has brought the people of the nation together. People began to voice their concerns loud in forms of protests. Why don’t we have strict anti-rape laws? Why isn’t it safe for women to go out in the open? Why must they be blamed for the rape and not the rapist? What punishment should be given to these men? Some people demanded capital punishment, while some demanded castration. People took to the streets in protests asking for all this. Some people blamed the rapists, the police, the government, there were few who looked inside.

Why look inside do you ask me? I will tell you why. When this barbaric case came to light, many people wept for the all the girl had to face, and cursed the rapists but many also asked “What was the girl doing at that time of the night with a male friend? Why did she take that bus? When we all know that it is an unsafe place for women why did she watch the late show? Did she do something to instigate the rapists in to beating her so badly?” 

I fail to see how it all matters. If she dressed a particular way and the men got so aroused, they should have kept their arousal to themselves. Instead of teaching women how to dress teach the men to control themselves. Women get raped irrespective of the clothes they wear (sari, salwar kameez, jeans, skirts, etc.), of how old or young they are (teens, toddlers, old), or where they are (home, office, public transport, streets). The key aspect here being that there are men who rape, and it is this fact that must be addressed if you wish to get to the root of it all to eradicate.

A fact I believe that contributes to this all is how girls and boys are brought up. Traditionally we are a society which is biased towards the men. This is why we tell girls not to get raped instead of telling the guys not to rape. Idiots. I think it is very easy to blame the victims, and get away with that instead of correcting centuries old incorrect thinkings.  It is easy, but not right. To quote Albus Dumbledore, “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” We need to teach the generations that are to come and that have already come that girls are in no way lower than guys. This means that you cannot just go and have her if you find her attractive; you cannot rape her if she says no. No means No. It’s not just a matter of finding someone physically attractive or pleasing to the eyes. It’s the idea that you want her and you must have her, her consent not being of any matter to him.

 Then you have people who agree that such people are who cannot control themselves, that they are mad dogs or bulls of sort. So they tell me that if one sees a mad dog running or a mad bull you don’t go there and run like mad when it charges towards you. First of all, these are men we are talking of not animals. But I understand where this logic comes from, if we equate them with animals since they can’t control themselves; then they must be treated like animals of such sort. Tie them and lock them up before they bite, put them down.

Now regarding what must be done to these rapists, I was personally of the opinion to not give them capital punishment. Well because if you kill them, it’s the end for them while the girl continues fighting for her life. Instead send them to prison, and make them pay for all her expenses (medical and otherwise till she lives). There is difference between punishment and justice. In discussion with a friend Desi Girl on this that “Justice is the closure for the victim and punishment is about extracting penalty cash or kind from the wrong doer.” However now with the girl being dead I wonder if we should make an example of these rapists. For now it’s a case of not just rape, but torture and murder. So yes, the rapists must be punished, but what about justice? Justice needs to be served to not just her but to all other people who have been raped.

If you want to do your bit about justice and preventing such cases please ‘look inside’ as well.

In one of my google searches in, I found this video.
(Contains violence and dramatized gore)