Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is the real issue ?

I do not know who Honey Singh is. I have never heard of Asaram Bapu . These are men who have been hogging the limelight in media for all the wrong reasons,  along with a multitude of politicians who have suddenly realized that they all have their views on rape and that needs to be shared with the nation. 

 I am not into politics. And I do not usually watch TV news. I hardly read the headlines as well. However the last few days, news- hard and gruesome news have been published, telecast and bombarded upon us. While the nation rose in protest against the gang rape , the media found in it fodder for weeks. It helped initially as the media was rallying around the people and demanding for justice and a stronger law against rapists.

And yet with the death of the tragic victim, the issue is, in my mind being diluted and lost in a cacophony of voices of people who have their two bit to say . And that in turn is being debated and discussed by another cacophony of voices.

Are we losing sight of the real agenda here ? Rapes have been on  in the country for ages and yet they were considered yet another casualty. It took a brave girl who fought until death a gruesome gang rape to awaken the people. The media took up the issue but instead of focusing on the real agenda here is quoting every Tom, Dick and Harry and their opinions on rape. And then there is outrage.

The entire issue is being diluted and lost in the clutter. Do we really need to know their views? Cant the media differentiate between need to know, nice to know and not nice to know information ? Can we stop giving them airtime as well and focus on just one single thing - a strong law and even a stronger enforcement of it against the rapists ?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Grow old with me in a cynical cruel world

I am a year older now.  Living my last year of the 30s. I often wonder if growing old is just about grey hair and sleeping early or is it just the way one looks at and reacts to life .

I do not attach much importance to brands . In a way, I look at people in the same vein. I have no space or time for people who are just badge value and are hollow beyond that.

I live in a cloistered world. It scares me to think of the women who fight for their lives everyday. While the entire country is still shocked, confused, angry over the brutal rape of a woman last year, I read today on twitter about a lady who does not have money to even  drink a glass of milk as the mother in law controls her drinking habits. In other words,  she controls the household budget and therefore the amount of milk every member of the family is entitled to

In another family, in laws want their daughter in law to quit her job, while some want their daughters in law to work and contribute to family income. Why is it that we women have no decision making power in our own homes ? We are controlled by family and society at every phase of our lives. We are told how to dress, when to step out of the house, whether to work or not and what to do with our lives.And worse, we let them do it, because that is what becomes a "good " girl.

Our abilities are scrutinized , our looks are criticized, our careers are shortened, our lives are compromised. We are judged all the time - by what we say and do and by what we dont say and do. If we question , we are rebels and are identified as elements not to be emulated. And a lot of women are conditioned to accept this as it is written so in their code of conduct to be a good daughter and a good daughter in law.

My father taught me years ago to not suffer fools. I fight my own battles. But today, I am very scared as I think about the battle the girl fought and lost inside a bus. She paid not just with her life, but died in agony and humiliation. And it is a pity that one of her murderers will walk free because of a statistic..he is underage. Does that give him a right to kill someone ? To violate and inflict violence on someone ?

I have lost faith in our country to some extent - in our leaders and protectors. Above all, in people who gossiped and refused to help those young battered people who lay naked and bleeding in the bush after being assaulted. It could have been me. Is it a crime that I choose public transport over private transport ? Or should I just abide by these codes of conduct and say a grateful prayer everyday , thanking God for keeping me safe ?

I enter this year very insecure . I am very very afraid not just for me, but for a whole lot of us women who wake up and walk into the world confident, ready to face the day and hope to return home safely.. A routine habit that we take so much for granted..ironically may not be so anymore..

Or maybe there is hope somewhere..or did I hear that Hope is a dangerous thing ?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year yet again

Of late I seem to lack the urge to write ; some thoughts however force themselves out in the form of words. As I write this post however, it is about 24 minutes to go for the clock to announce that we have a new year on us. And does that really matter ? Well, yes and no. As humans, we need to live on hope and hope we shall that the coming year will undo the ills of the last year.

2012 has been a terrible year in terms of health. And I have fought a barrage of emotions in my head - from anger, cynicism, fear, lack of faith, insecurity. Sometimes I would prefer to just shut myself from the outside world and just maintain pretenses for the sake of it. However, as the year moved on, I learnt to fight my own battles. I learnt to let go of most of the negativity and accepted the bit that still floated around. I am/was no saint, but today there is a sense of quiet as I write this post.

This phase interestingly has made me more of an observer than a participant. I have been quiet and pensive and listening, reading and watching more than screaming my lungs out . I did speak about my ill health to some people, but some of these well meaning folks were rather bored to hear about it and advised me to think "positive" . Well, that was a week after my second surgery and my third hospitalisation, with the doctor announcing that I had at least another aurgery to go. So, I decided to shut up; however am grateful to a few friends and family who have been with me .

The problem has not gone away ; it wont - its a chronic issue but I am pretty much as normal as I can be; except when the pain strikes every month. Travel gave me back my strength and confidence and also a realistic sense of how much I can push myself.

But something has snapped inside me. I do not know what it is but I have no space , emotionally or otherwise inside me to fight any other battle, but my my own. Thankfully, I just have to deal with the pain and the uncertainty of when it would strike and I need to understand my body and go with the flow.

I am absolutely blank when it comes to any plans, mantras , resolutions or aspirations this year. Frankly I have none. I am just taking each day as it comes and hoping it will keep me busy and chirpy.

The gang rape of the Delhi girl has shaken the entire country and the nation is finally seeing a war cry from its citizens. I have lent a silent voice to the protest but I do hope 2013 will see us women being secure and stronger with a responsible government at the helm. I have very strong views on this subject, but that is for a different post.

Its six minutes into 2013 already and I wish you all health, strength and power. Above all, a clarity in thought and purpose, which is what I am wishing for myself.