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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Logic and reason -> Raped

Some blog-assessment time I spent last week awoke me to a realization - My blog reeks of feminism, quite strongly. Not my fault, the recent happenings on our side of the world, have made anything women-related, an unavoidable subject. Still, I stuck a sticky-note somewhere on the insides of my head to remind me to mellow down a bit. I told myself in a stern mind-voice to widen my focus and write on varied topics, essentially to mitigate the turning of my blog into a feminist one.

I confined my strong feelings opposing the increase in violence against women, to my Facebook status messages. It was a self-imposed blog post restraint. I read other articles and blog posts that said all that I wanted to say. The vehemence in them made my anger stronger. If not me, someone had done my job. I felt a little bit of vicarious satisfaction. The abstinence mode went well. However the recent events haven’t ceased to hit the headlines; every new day sees more interesting news than the previous day. All this while, the TV guys had a tough time juggling many rape cases, to cover them all in a one hour news show. Now I suppose, is analysis time. The enlightened minds of our country are proposing their ingenious theories and recommending never-thought-of solutions. And I can resist no more.

So here, as I begin, I bow to the leaders, especially the khap panchayat leaders; I stand up and applaud, for the reason that I ‘m uncertain if the best Business Intelligence systems in the world would’ve uncovered the pattern that you identified in no time. (i.e.) As the amount of chowmein you eat goes up, so does the probability of you turning into a rapist. Chhatar saar, #respect.

Some other khap panchayat leaders and former CM of Haryana, Om Prakash Chautala have come up with an incredible solution : early marriage. The logic is simple, yet brilliant. “Parents can decide” when to marry off their teenagers. The girls can marry very early “if they have physically grown up”. This way the boys and girls “don’t stray” and they won’t have the “need to rape”. Mind blowing, I say! Child marriage and rape - two evils make a positive, doesn’t it?

There’s more. Our beloved Mamata, a woman herself, blames the media for glorifying rape. She is an optimistic and a brave woman. Maybe we should stop cribbing; If we look at the brighter side, the pathetic side will vanish, won’t it? You TV guys, stop being obsessed with rape cases. Don’t you malign her government and make it look bad. How is it her fault if her state has rapists loitering about? She doesn’t need to watch her back all the time, she has an entourage following her everywhere. How is it her lapse that we don’t have one? And if we want to be a part of the “open and free market” that our society is, we should be open to everything. We can’t have freedom and safety too, we gotta be brave and positive; we got to make a wise choice.  

Wait, is rape even an issue of concern? 90% of the cases, it’s consensual. HPPC member Dharamvir Goyat says so. And someone’s coined a new term for it: “legitimate rape”. Let’s stop blowing this out of proportion. Women, stop making a fuss. Clearly, the increase in the number of rape cases is a clandestine and Machiavellian plot to slur the government; and nothing more.

God, please kill me. God I get that people can be stupid, I do. I just don’t get how people can so proudly put their stupidity on display. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eat Chennai Eat - The big street food festival

Featured in Dashing Magazine

Chennai on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other, the sunset and hence an orange backdrop, countless stalls serving scrumptious, mouthwatering delicacies from all over the country, throngs of foodies around - some leisurely relishing the food and some rapaciously gobbling it all up, the aroma of grilled food and a strong scent of spicy street side chaat in the air, the hum that’s typical of excitement and of Chennai.  This is exactly what Chennai is going to see for three days from the 12th to the 14th of October.

Rotary International District 3230 in association with Red Chariots brings to Chennai’s Besant Nagar beach, ‘Arusuvai Thiruvizha’- South India’s largest All-India street food festival ever. Nearly hundred culinary experts from all over India have arrived for the carnival, bringing along with them distinctive flavors and recipes to local favorites.

All the earnings from the event will be directed to ‘Happy Village’ which is a project that adopts villages and works towards making them self-sustained. The ‘Happy Village’ team aspires to bridge the gap between rural and urban India, and by doing so it hopes to make a visible difference in the lives of many people. A cause, as inspiring as this gives us a stronger reason to show up for the street food fest.

The food is moderately priced. And “street” food does not imply unhygienic food, rather a high level of hygiene is ensured. Even better news, Dashing Magazine is covering the entire event. Our photographers will capture all the excitement, merriment and the fun as they freeze for eternity, moments from this awaited weekend. So who knows, you might be featured in Dashing’s post-event report.

This weekend, placate your palate; it’s time to treat yourself well. Right now, Chennai is the place to be.

Event: Arusuvai Thiruvizha
Venue: Besant Nagar beach
Date: 12th,13th and 14th of October
Time: 6 PM to 9 PM

Friday, October 12, 2012

The big day for homosexuality - 11th of October

In one of the LGBT protests, an Indian said, “pyar hua ikraar hua, queer hua to kya hua“ J

Twenty five years ago, far away in Washington D.C., ‘The Great March’ happened. It was a political rally with demands including legalization of homosexuality and an end to sexist oppression. With about half million people on the streets, this rally turned out to be massive. ‘For love and for life’ is a very well appreciated documentary that takes one through the passion and the emotions experienced while dramatically narrating the events of the national march. This was a huge step up the ladder, largely because of the power the event showed in response to the homophobic mind-set pervading in the world and to many episodes of discrimination and exclusion. This was the second such march, a sequel to the first one in 1979 that wasn't as big.

The outcome of ‘The Great March’ was that it laid a carpet for the years ahead. It set a platform for people to come out in the open and to struggle to be let free. Since then, there have been many such acts of remonstrance. Several countries have decriminalized or have at least considered decriminalization of homosexuality. For twenty five years, which is a quarter of a century, this might not seem colossal. But taking into consideration that in those days, homosexuality was believed to be an aberration and nothing short of an act of debauchery, it is quite a BIG deal.
Today being gay is still not entirely accepted. Half the world and perhaps more is against it. And out of the minority that’s not against it, the majority gets uncomfortable when having to face it in real life. But homosexuality is no more a taboo. The 25 years have brought it from an unspeakable, horrifying matter to a debatable issue if not an acceptable one. For that, we know we have half a million people to thank.

In memory of the march in 1987, today is internationally known as the National Coming Out day. Ironic, I know.

Today is the day for one to understand, accept, get comfortable with one’s sexuality and come out with it, proudly. Today is the day for all of us to accept each other irrespective of sexual orientation. Today, we will stand up for anyone who is embarrassed or hesitant or afraid to come out. Today, we will cease to discriminate. Today, we will love; we will respect. Today it’s time to let go of fear, for it’s time to come out.  It’s National Coming out day – the 11th of October.
Source :

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October is here!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekendan initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Every new day is a new opportunity and every new month brings with it, many such new days. And hope.

But there is something more about October. October brings in a wisp of freshness, the scent of rain and a gleam of hope.

For my dad, a Chartered Accountant from a lineage of Chartered Accountants, the end of September is anticipated. September 30th is the deadline for income tax return filing. Hence, September is a taxing and a hectic month for every Chartered Accountant, and a pain in the neck for his/her family. The whole month, Dad is NEVER at home. Weekends and weekdays become indistinguishable. The family dinners don’t happen. Going out becomes a rarity. For me or my brother, buying new stuff becomes unworkable. Everyone at home gets happy at the wake of October. For a family like mine, it beats the excitement of any other new month, tenfold – leaving out New Year’s, of course.

This year, I ‘m miles away from home and that changes it all to a different story. This year, I waited all September, for it to end. My best friend was going to visit me. The wait and the pre-visit last week panicking and planning were all worth it. I had a beautiful weekend. The dawn of October was much more to me this year, than any other.

Not just that, October is going to be a tremendously challenging, yet exciting month. The coding phase of my project in my first job ever begins this month. The anxiety I've been going through the last couple of months has reached its climax. I’m nervous and scared as the start was such a fiasco. If not anything else this month is going to decide if I want a career in the software industry. And that’s something.

All my life I’ve been a fickle minded and a confused soul. I've always wanted to do so many things – journalism, law, computer science, sociology, blah blah - I've never been able to decide on one.  My whole life, I’ve tried to change that about me. Finally, I have embraced the fact that that makes me, me. When I can try a hundred clothes in a mall, knowing I will buy none, why can’t I do the same in life! I’m going to do all that I've wanted to: I’m going to write, code, read everything I want to, travel, party and so much more. If work doesn't keep me hooked on, I’m going to go hunting for something else that does.
I’m going to explore.
And just saying that feels SO good.

Waking up, now that September has ended, there is so much to do. There is so much fun ahead. There are so many amazing people to meet. There is a beautiful life to live.

Green Day’s song plays in the background as I write this. Nothing, not even October is as inspiring as music is. I feel so good now.
The song has ended, I m done with my post. It just hit me that the weekend is over too. The thought of a Monday morning – such a mood dampener. Is October really any different?



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rants of an Indian girl

Featured in Dashing Magazine and YouthKiAwaaz

            “So how short can a skirt get”, a friend asked me. That got me thinking.

We shunned them as narrow minded, cheap and petty when they complained about Sania ‘s skirt’s length. We hate it when people tell us what not to wear. We believe in freedom of expression and we believe that dressing is a way of expression. We protest against dress codes and claim that they serve no purpose. Some of us think clothes are all about comfort, and some of us go for looks and some of us just don’t care. But all of us unanimously think it’s our business, what we wear and no one else’s.

While freedom is a birthright, a society can’t function as one, unless there is a decorum maintained. We can’t have Poonam Pandeys walking on the street, we are a sane country. We are a civilized society and we do need a bit of propriety in the way we go about our lives. That brings ‘appropriateness’ into the picture. Most of us do know, or at least we believe we know what’s acceptable and otherwise.  We think we are old enough to decide that for ourselves and we detest free advice.

Every occasion/place has a dress code bound to it. It goes untold. No one asks one to wear sober clothes to a funeral or formal clothes to a meeting, one just knows it. The general belief that skimpy/tight-clothes-are-indecent is illogical. Yes, I’d look like a lost my head if I walk into office in beach clothes. The same way, I’d look ridiculous in a ‘pattu pavadai’ at a pool party. It’s all about the occasion, and understanding this is not cumbersome. However, this, I believe is not enough to decide what is okay and what isn’t.

I have always believed it’s not what one wears, but how one wears what one wears that determines what’s okay and what’s not. There is a thin line between looking good and looking vulgar. India’s accepted formal attire – a sari, also happens to be known as the sexiest outfit for a woman. Yet, half of India points fingers at the girls in jeans. A sari can be worn to a party, a meeting, a temple or anywhere else in the world. So can a pair of jeans or a skirt. How appropriate it is, depends on how’s it’s worn. We’ve seen enough of that, to not know it.  Haven’t we watched Parineeta and Dirty Picture? If nothing else, Vidya has taught us that much.

However, the first to be blamed when it comes to inappropriate clothes is not the person in the attire, but the “the western culture” that’s supposedly creeping in just to corrupt the morals of the youth. Sadly, this doesn’t apply to the men in the society. When a woman walks in, dressed in a tank top, she’s judged and ridiculed. Comfort is not an acceptable criterion, I suppose. When it comes to women’s clothes, our Indians get too fond of the Indian culture. At other times, the love magically evaporates. Have you heard of anyone comment about a man in a shirt and trousers? Of course not, how could you have? No, he isn’t blindly aping the “American culture” like the women do. He’s a formally dressed gentleman. Dear Indian sister/brother, use some logic please!

Let me ramble just a little more about the injustice women are forced to live with. Have you ever trekked all the way to a water fall, eager to get drenched? Or have you been so excited to jump in the waves of a sea? I have. And most of the time, reality fails my expectations. Every fun place has some uncivil men who with no consideration of decency/shame, jump in to the water after almost completely stripping (I thank the Gods up in the skies that it’s just almost). I wish someone told them swim trunks are available in the market. Ironically, our Indian friends don’t find that appalling. They prefer to have debates on national television about the cheer leading attire / bathing suits women wear these days.

While some men disparage a woman for her “unacceptable” attire, they gape at her secretly.  Hypocrites, I say.