Friday, February 27, 2009

Moral Policing?? Talibanism?? Hooliganism??

To start with and give you some reference to context here are some links not forgetting the Mangalore attack on women in a pub

The latest turn of events where women are straight out targeted in this city ... make me MAD. But what else it also makes me is nervous. I've lived in Bangalore permanently for a good 10 years now & on and off before than. I'm a woman, i perceive myself to be a very independent - no nonsense woman. I've never been one to be nervous of being alone or driving home at unearthly hours, taking autos even past 10 at night. I did all this without even thinking twice. Today i find myself thinking this over three.. four time before I do it and even then I'm thinking am i being stupid.

I hate it. Yes i know that statement sounds like a spoilt child, but i hate this new feeling, this new sense of insecurity, of not knowing if who I am is enough to handle this blatant outright attacks on women. One year ago tell me not to drive home at night alone and I'd have laughed in your face. Today I probably will consider what your saying. I've always believed i could take on a man who tried teasing me, or following me home, or doing anything that has happened to the women in the above articles. I always believed I could fight back, hit them if anything, use a can of pepper spray. Today I'm not sure and again i hate this weak in the knees feeling.

Don't get me wrong here am not saying the women are weaker am saying the women of today are on their guard even more for no wrong doing of their own. Even our men can't seem to protect us enough from these goons, these moral police through any of these incidents that have occurred. In fact today i not trusting easily at all. If i'm in a parking lot in a mall I'm constantly on my guard I look around, the first thing is find entrances, see if there is any other person in there that i could possibly count on .. and constantly looking over my shoulder to ensure am not vulnerable or get caught off guard for that single second. Do i like living like this ? NO!! of course no.

Small instances show me how today how while on the outside each one of us try and have an 'I can handle it' attitude on the inside we have each been developing these new senses. Every man we see in a parking lot, or on a bike when i'm driving home, an auto driver or a security guard i know we are looking at him saying could he suddenly hit me, say something nasty about what i am wearing, and try and provoke me to react ?? WHY WHY should i live in this constant over cautious mode and it bothers me that i can't find a concrete way to deal with this, to get rid of these so called moral police...

The other day my mum had to deal with a nasty auto driver in broad day light slinging obscenities at her for putting on her indicator, ordinarily i know my mum would react, yell back at him and tell him to get lost, surprisingly she was telling me you know i rolled up my windows and locked my doors and let him yell. He looked like a goon with his Big red tikka on his head and i was not taking chances as i had other people in my car. This in broad daylight from a woman who would not spare any man, who tried to cross her or take her on.

So how do we women protect ourselves from it? Is it learning a martial art? Do we decided not to react, let them yell and stay out of their way and if we do that, does that mean i'm weak now or that they are succeeding in silencing me... unfortunately i don't know the answer to that.

I have always irrespective followed certain caution whenever i am alone. But i mean thats it - i've been safe for the last 10 years in Bangalore. Do i think all of that will be enough today? I don't know ... I mean women who i perceived as strong women in our society - head's of ngo's, women in top positions in companies were still all targets of these abusive men and these men got away with every single attack.

Do i sound paranoid or am i just being over cautious for no reason??? Is this the exact reaction this so called moral police want?? Have they actually succeed is doing what they came out to do?? And more importantly .. What tangible action can i take to make a change to this horrific culture that is slowly and stealthy seeping in to our city & society...


Saturday, February 7, 2009

25 Random Things About me !

25 Random things about me

The Rules:
Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you (or I think you'll come up with really entertaining things).

1. At one point I had 4 cats & 4 dogs. I love animals, i have loved and lost many and the cause was never a natural death. My Cats were always named after alcohol and my one of my dogs had my sisters names (imagine the confusion). I love Cats & Dogs equally.

2. My cat once had kittens in my bed. I thought she brought a rat to bed - nearly threw it out till i heard it squeal in my sleep.

3. I've changed my name 3 times and by the time I'm married it will be 4.

4. I grew up, lived and studied in the hills (nilgiris) and this had to be the best life anyone could ever have growing up.

5. I LOVE traveling, who doesn't :) Given a chance every holiday has to be a place I've never been to (barring goa though thats an exception oh & london,too many times is never enough)

6. I've had a best friend for most of my life - 23 years to be precise.

7. Water and I are inseparable.It takes me all of 5 secs to get straight in. I learnt to swim watching people, but not before pretending i could swim by walking in the pool and doing the breast stroke simultaneously. Diving (in the sea) is right up there on things I MUST do next.

8. I hated studying, there was nothing i detested more than studying & it amazes me that I managed to get through it. (Why subjects like hindi and math ever existed i failed to understand) I live for my work there is nothing i much rather do.

9. Aiesec truly contributed hugely to making me who i am today - say what you like you Aiesec haters - buts it true and you know it ;)

10. I've been welcomed at an airport with garlands, loud singing and empire chicken kababs.

11. My all time favourite movies include - My fair lady, mary poppins,sound of music and chitty chitty bang bang.

12. My love for music spans genres and ages and i can quite confidently say i am part of a dying group of people my age you know music and songs that go all the way back to world war 1 & 2 :)

13. The latest version of microsoft office drives me mad. Tabs and commands are just not where i know them to be.

14. I cannot run to save my life however I've been on my school basket ball, hockey & badminton teams.

15. I attempted high jump at various levels several times in school the result was always something like this - run run, yes i can make that jump okay bar approaching oh ho this is not happening brakes on slam into the pole OR stop at pole and climb over it one leg at a time OR brakes didn't work so ducked head and went under pole. I always got my house 1 point for attempting)

16. Put on retro music and i'm on the floor in a jiffy and the last one to get off it

17. My Family is the center & the single most important thing in my life - even though i know they complain i never spend enough time with them ;)

18. I've learnt patience ALWAYS pays off - eg date a guy for 6 years = 2 proposals (i love you kiran !!)

19. I'm a "monica" - i hate ring marks from glasses, misplaced carpets, a crumby kitchen slab & peoples feet on my center table(apart from other things)

20. I have failed miserably at riding a bike (my fep girls can vouch for that). I don't think i will ever be able to ride a bike without hitting 20 others at the same time.

21. I've been in love with the same person for 6 years and cant imagine being in love with anyone else but him for the rest of my life.

22. I have a tendency to fall down steps - in college, in a mall, at home ..

23. I have never ever had a fracture as much as i have always wished for one (especially closer to my exams) However i have been stung my a bee, gotten a tennis elbow & caughtmy finger in a gate - all of which immobilized my right arm for 2 weeks each time.

24. I've had a snake in my room for an entire week and been unsuccessful in getting it out till my mum and granddad got on the job !! (you dont want to know how)

25. I start the most amazing journey of my life in a year ... I'm getting married - yipee !!!