Tag Archives: Women

Of Darker Alleys (Part 2)


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She started walking faster. She had to get to the house early to make use of all the time she could get. She wanted to get away from them. She was desperate.

She reached the house. She could see the men standing outside impatiently. Bowing her head, lowering her eyes, she walked past them silently. She felt their eyes piercing her back. An involuntary shudder passed through her as she walked in through the wooden door. It was the last time she was going to do it.

It was a beautiful house. Much better than what she had been brought up in. The elders of the house had built it with much love and money. Latticed windows, carved doors, floral designs adorning the middle of the courtyard; she fell in love with the place when she saw it. She used to imagine how she would one day take care of it. Little had she imagined anyone could be as unhappy here as she had become.

Her mother-in-law was walking towards her. She muttered instructions to her. All she caught was the confirmation that they would be back in some time. Possibly half an hour. She didn’t listen to anything else. Not anymore.

The minute they left the compound to attend the neighborhood wedding, she ran to her room. She didn’t want to attend the wedding. It was a trade. The girl was being sold and she wouldn’t know it for a while. That is how the village was surviving. The current generation had almost no girls. Who would the boys marry? They killed their own daughters and bought daughters of other parents only to sell them off as commodities once their utility was over. Higher the demand, higher the price. She preferred the dried grasslands over such fake lushness. At least back at her place, they treated humans as humans.

She had put together a few of her clothes. She was still in two minds if she should run away with her baby or alone. She knew if they found the baby missing, they would not leave any stone unturned to get to her. But if she alone went missing, they might not even bother. With a heavy heart, she picked up her little cloth bag and crossed the length of the house to leave.

She stopped right at the main door. Her son was wailing. Her only son was wailing! She opened the door. She tried ignoring his cries. She could see her freedom waiting down the road. She could hear a hungry heart and an impatient stomach calling out to her.

The mother in her had decided. She had decided to remain human. She closed the doors on herself again. Clutching her bag to her chest, she ran up to his room. Her baby wanted her. Her freedom would have to wait today.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : I do not know about other countries but I do know that such practices are rampant in India. How rampant, where, since when ~ I wish I could answer those questions with surety, but I cannot.

Picture Credits : Ishita Shah.

Of Darker Alleys (Part 1)

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She squinted her eyes to block the Sun out. She counted the coins she had and kept them in a hidden pocket, of her money bag, she had sewn in. Today was the last day she had to do this. Not anymore.

She picked up her bags of vegetables. She saw the vendor stare at her mammary glands. Shuddering at the thought of what he may be thinking, she walked away. Today was the last day she would walk away silently. Not anymore.

She walked down to her home, no, her husband’s home. The men of the village knew what she was. The women of the village were silent watchers. There were many like her here. No one said anything aloud. But the way they stared at her, spoke to her, spoke about her, gave it all away. They were all hand in glove.

Two years ago, she’d set foot in the village. She was happy at the turn of events in her life. From dried grasslands into lush green living. She thanked her fortunes every day and showered love on her fortune changer. At the back of her mind, however she always found something amiss. She ignored it again and again. Her husband’s abject lack of affection, her in-laws’ desire for an early child, the villagers eyeing her with a look that could make fathers drive back daughters into the houses forever, the pity in the eyes of some women for her; it all kept prodding at that feeling of danger lurking around nearby.

Three months ago, she gave birth to her husband’s son. Everyone at the house was overjoyed. She wanted to die. She was a vessel for them. That is all she was. She may be sparsely educated but she was perceptive. She read people’s behavior, heard them talk, noticed things around. She didn’t want to believe her fate. Her husband had married her for a child. Like the other men in the village, he would sell her off after that. The first time her mother in law hugged her was after the test confirmed she was bearing a boy. She sobbed all night.

Once her son was born, she was rarely allowed to be with him. She was to only feed him and take care of him after the others were tired of playing with him. All she became was a nanny to her own son. She had hoped things would change after her child’s birth. They did. The people of the house showered affection. On her son.

(to be continued…)

Graciously Yours!

Seeing me in you.

Looking into your eyes,

I lose myself in their depths,

My hands in yours,

Seem to melt all my troubles away.

Fingers entwined, feet in sync,

I can take the world head on,

Your faith in me,

Is much more than my trust in myself.

Taking you up in my arms,

Kissing your cheeks as I hear you giggle,

My dear little daughter,

It’s the sweetest sound to my ears.

When I look back into the past,

To not have heeded to your father,

I feel absolutely blessed,

You’re nothing less than God’s gift to me.

 

Sketched by - Graciously Yours!
Sketched by – Graciously Yours!

All those mothers who fought to keep their girl child alive whether as single mothers or fighting against their families — You rock!

Graciously Yours!

Accept India’s Daughter.

On 16 December, 2012, the Nirbhaya rape case rocked the whole of India. For a long time, we protested, came out on the streets, demanded change in laws, wanted the rapists hanged, shouted slogans of women’s empowerment, wanted safety for women. The fire is still seen, the flames are still being fanned, the coals are still red and we’re still waiting…

 

 

 

BBC released a documentary on all of this titled “India’s Daughter”. And they’re being taken to task now.

 

Times Now, a prime time English News Channel, of the Times group flashes :

 

“Is it ethical to reveal the identity of Nirbhaya?” 

 

“Is BBC being sensitive by showing the pictures of the victim?”

 

“Should a rapist be given a platform?”

 

“Voyeurism or journalism?”

 

Times of India, a leading English daily in India, from the same Times group, reports with full sensationalism :

 

“Nirbhaya gang rape convict blames victim for full assault.”

 

They went on to report that the rapist says if the Government changes the punishment under the law to death row, the rapists will not make an attempt to leave the raped girl alive. These are words spoken by one of the rapists who even after two and a half years of jail, has the audacity to say it all. From inside the jail when on death row.

 

Most of our media is happily making the BBC journo a scapegoat. The video has been banned. They found someone to blame. They found a new story to sell. They raised burning questions and shouted their lungs out, all in the wrong direction! I am sorry but that is how I feel about things! Wait. I am not even sorry. Thanks to my irritation at the media, I chose to watch the documentary myself to judge!

 

India’s Daughter.

 

Yes, it reveals the identity of the victim. She has a name. And it isn’t Nirbhaya. It’s Jyoti Singh. Her name means “light”.

 

Yes, it shows pictures of the victim. And her parents chose to do that by free will. Who are we to question it?

 

Yes, it recounts the whole horror of what she had to go through. Of what all us women had to go through when we read those gruesome accounts of the rape that went viral all across the internet within days of December 16, 2012. I still feel nauseated when I think about the pain the lady must have lived through.

 

So what? Is that what we should really be worried about? What ethics and victim privacy are we talking about? The lady is no more. All her parents have are her memories. The least we could do is honour those. And let her parents get a platform to speak.

 

I have questions of my own to ask.

 

  • Why are the rapists still alive?
  • Why even after two and a half years in jail, the rapists seem to not have even a drop of remorse in their blood?
  • Why are we not afraid of the law and instead believ it is our birthright to circumvent the law?
  • What has been done to ensure that the juvenile rapist who will be released in December, 2015, has indeed been reformed or not?
  • Why do those rapists and many others like them believe that it is their right to tell off girls to where they apparently belong – the household, by raping them and shaming them?
  • Why does that rapist say that the girl should have endured it all and not fought back?
  • If on death row he can still say that, what would be the extent of vileness in his thoughts if he was out on the roads?
  • Why are we worrying more about giving these rapists a platform and less about all those endless rape victims who aren’t being given justice yet?
  • Will shoving the video out of sight help to shove the grim mindset aside too?
  • Will educated men still believe that women are to be inside the house to be safe, irrespective of our domestic violence data?
  • How long before we come out of denial and accept that our society needs to start treating women as fellow human beings?

 

Each person in India has a right to be defended in the court of law. I’m happy that we’re democratic enough to be giving a chance to these rapists as well. But trust me on this, that when you read what the defending lawyers had to say, your soul will shudder!

“The moment she came out from her house with a boy who was neither her husband nor her brother, she left her morality and reputation as a doctor as well as girl’s morality in the house and she came out just like a woman. A female is just like a flower, it gives a good looking, very softness, performance, pleasant. But on the other hand a man is just like a thorn, strong, tough enough. A flower always needs protection. If that flower is in a gutter, it is spoilt. If you put that flower in a temple it will be worshipped.”

 

Such crude and filthy thoughts from educated men with professional degrees makes me cringe in horror at how bloody patriarchal and backward the Indian society still is. I feel sorry for the women who live with them and bear with them.

 

She was a 23 year old bright medical student on her way to fulfil the dreams of her parents and get them out of poverty. What was her fault exactly? That she was a girl? That she tried to build a life for herself? That she had parents who trusted her? That she was independent and fierce? That she was confident? That she fought back?

 

Jyoti Singh (1989-2012).

 

Open your eyes, India. You’re half awake. Get out of bed. Whip those sheets off. Open the curtains. The light is out there. See it, embrace it and honour it.

 

Graciously Yours!

For you, Jakarta Girl!

Do you have that one person in your life WHO :

Reads your emotions in text without those crazy emoticons?

Puts her status as “Okay” and you immediately get the #TFIOS reference. (Ref. to the context : Maybe okay will be our always. If you still don’t get point I am trying to make, then you need to get in touch with the world around, cave people!)

Knowingly takes the harder path just because it is the correct one?

Uses “LOL” so many times, you actually wonder how retarded she must be looking if she actually laughed out loud so many times in a day?

Stays 1614 kms away, yet there are times when you feel she hasn’t really moved away?

Buys fancy writing material without blinking an eyelid, but will think twice before buying a dress?

Is insanely crazy yet crazily sane and you just cannot help loving her, despite the really strong moral compass?

Loves to blog, blogs about what she loves, but does not have so much time for her blog as much for her love?

Yes, she’s real.

She’s my person. If I plan to murder someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the vengeance out of me across the living room floor. She’s my person.

Dear, unlike every year, we’re in two different countries, but like every year I still have the best gift I can give you – my words.

I hope you love them as much as I do!

Love you always. And miss you lots.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: Happy Birthday! ❤

Believe Me.

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I may not be the most stunning girl around, but believe me I am going to stun you.

I may not be smiling always, but believe me you’ll smile when you see me smile.

I may not be gentle always, but believe me I am just trying to get away from the shit around.

I may not look like I care, but believe me if you matter I’ll go all the way for you.

I may not look like the epitome of strength, but believe me this heart is stronger than even I perceive.

I may not have the most beautiful eyes, but believe me these eyes see beauty all around.

I may not be the one for you, but believe me there’s no one else like me you can find.

Graciously Yours!

She over He.

There should never have been a battle in the first place.

Co-existence of men and women has been more like no existence for women. For years, women all over the world were, and are, being treated almost like a liability, fairly acknowledging that there were families who understood the meaning of the equal and opposite sex. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t have Enid Blyton, Louisa May Alcott, Amelia Earhart, Rani Lakshmibai and many others. But if I compare, our male compatriots have raced far ahead, since forever. The “STRONGER” RACE, they are after all. Oh yes, I say race because this is a bigger divide than any religion, caste, creed or colour.

He hits her. She accepts it. Either because she cannot leave her family in a lurch. Or she cannot leave him and go out in the world for fear of a worse fate awaiting her.

He expects her to take care of him and his family. She does. He never thanks her. Because he thinks it’s her duty to serve him. She wasn’t born to live for you.

He is waiting in line for a job. She is better. He gets the job. Why? Just like that.

He works hard. She works as hard. His pay cheque is heavier.

He looks at her greedily. She walks away thinking she must have done something wrong. Why? Because he says so.

He abuses her. She doesn’t. Not because she can’t, more so because she doesn’t want to fall to his standards.

Yes, he is stronger. But she is the one who lives in constant fear of crossing the wrong path. She is the one who sees her dreams getting quashed. She is the one who thinks sobbing through the night is easier than defying the men in her life. She is the one who has to see her girl child being killed. She is the one who has to bear the wrath of the child she bore. She is the one who has to bear the sting of words glorifying all that she cannot do or rather all that he wouldn’t let her do. She is the one who gets named whether she’s outgoing, introvert, shy, modern, intelligent, bossy, beautiful, or rather because she exists. She lives through it all.

But, he is the one who’s stronger.

And to what delightful use they put their strength! To hurt her, hit her, stop her, abuse her, rape her. And the men who abstain from pouncing on women? They stare. They share. They sympathize. They blame. But what do they do? They ask, what can we do?

In India, women’s empowerment is almost like the new fad, with corporates like Tata Tea doing a better job of portraying it through their advertisements than the descendant of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi has been able to in the innumerable speeches he has made (the interview with Arnab Goswami being the key highlight of his highs and lows!) or the decade long term of the UPA Government has done. Pardon my naivety! The UPA Government had sanctioned a 1000 crore budget for the safety of women across the country in the year 2012-13. Mark my words. Sanctioned, not disbursed. Because, sadly, none out of the 1.2 billion people in India could come up with a plan good enough to be accorded funds out of the 1000 crore basket.

All day, each day, she strives to make a mark. To be better than she was yesterday. And someday we will coexist. Because he will realize that she would never treat him as badly as he treated her.