Monday, December 31, 2012

The Delhi Rape Case - My Vent

What would you do if you saw someone getting molested.

Chances are that every sentence that you are going to read below has no connection with the other. I am angry but, and I want to type. I want to write. I want to share. I need a vent and you will have to read it.

thank you Google for the candle doodle. It is but necessary that we grow beyond symbolism.

Having said that, considering that we are a nation that follows the herd. We should also see to it that there is a big herd of people championing the cause, so that there could be a bigger impact.  We  don’t lead, we only follow. We are on the lookout for leaders.  But not all issues need someone to lead. It should be in our instinct to respond to any form of abuse with a kick, with a shout, with a complaint. But we don’t. we are too scared.  

We provide a society for women where they could just be a scared sacred deity put on the isolated pedestal of shame.

We see it all the time. Women in trains and busses being ogled at. We see women being beaten by their husbands in our vicinity. We see children being beaten. We do nothing.  I have been witness to many such events. And mind you, I can say with utmost pride that I have done something at least. And I have shamelessly shared my doings on facebook. Hoping that of the many people who brand me as attention seeking, would also follow suit and do something when they see something wrong happening to women, homosexuals, transgenders or children. And believe me, they do. Every time I post something on facebook, I get ten  fifteen emails of people who share their hearts deepest secrets with me. Some do it publicly in a fit of rage as comments on this post today. LINK .

This morning, I received a call from an angry girl who wanted to kill all men. She kept screaming her lungs out. I listened. Quietly without uttering a word, I heard. She ended her verbal marathon, with "thanks for hearing me harry. I was molested. I was also molested"

The delhi girl has stirred the nation. She has helped people get their trauma to the surface and deal with it. Those who have suffered sexual violence, can't really forget. They should not pretend to have forgotten. Some angers need a desparate vent. The wounds need healing. The braveheart of india has kindled a spark that will result in a forest-fire of reforms. It has to. A survivor of sexual violence, and I know what it means to receive so much support. What it means to have the whole of india enraged for a common cause. Sexual abuse survivors know. I know. Sometimes I feel I should shut the TV. Sometimes I feel I should shout. Sometimes I feel I should not look at the newspaper. No matter how "healed" you are. No matter how far you have come ahead of the ghastly incidence of sexual assault in your life. Your emotions would take a churning. We are all bound with fine-threads of empathy, so. Thank you India. Thank you media for your sensitivity. We still don't know the name of the girl. Thanks for protecting the girl's identity.

I know, a survivor can't get unraped, we can't get un-molested. And un-sexually assaulted. But we can look now at a window called "change" and breathe. It refreshing to know that India cares. This girl has kindled the spark of empathy. So overwhelmed I am with emotions that I just don't wish to stop typing. Thank you girl. Love you delhi-girl. Love you.

I had a friend writing to me that he is pissed of the people asking him – “aaj raat ko marine drive challenge. Udhar mast protest karke party mein jaayeinge”.  He was fuming  with anger. He was telling me how these so called “concerned” lot were  making a mockery of the whole drama.  

I can sit cushioned in my air conditioned office and speak about woman rights. But there is another India in my house, where my mom gets coffee on order for my dad. there is another India in my neighborhood where my neighbor slaps his wife because she doesn’t give him blow jobs. There is another India within us that wouldn’t shy to call a woman a "chinaal", "randi" or simply say the very affable "chutiya", like it was like whispering some sweetnothings into someones ears. There is another India where we worship women, and then treat her like a rotten apple when she starts menstruating after the initial “coming-of-age-and-now-in-the-Marriage-Market”celebration. We live in two India’s. And these two india’s are a manifestation of our deep rooted culture.

Lets accept it. We are a species of self-righteous  idiots who want to change the world, but not change ourselves.

Lets accept it. We are all ass@les.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A little more than boosting India's "Candle Economy"

We are a nation with a brutally blooming candle economy. May be that's the best thing we could do after the collateral damage. You want to do it when you don't know what to do to give your frustrations a vent - Brilliant. Do it. How many candles would it take to lighten the fury that is brewing within? Use it all. Burn it all. But don't be wicked. Dont let the flame die with the death of the wick.

I have a problem; a big problem with the way we think. We feed our children with stories about how women are either the devi or the daayan. How women are either the sati savitri or the slutty savitri. If things have to change a woman has to become human. You can't speak of human rights when you are thinking that the woman is some celestial being.

And we are a society that manufactures rapists in wholesale. We need to really get into the mind of our society to understand that is we who make rapists. It is not as much  about the sexual act than it is about the desire to dominate and oppress. We teach our children - "jaake usse mazza chakka de", "Beta usko sabak sikhaa de". Our religious books are all written by men. And the morals that we take out of the books is of male chauvinism, which is usually sugar coated with "the supreme sacrifice of a woman".

Its about the delhi girl. Its about women rights. But it is not ONLY about the delhi girl. It is not ONLY about women rights. It is about the larger issue of dominance of one over the other in a society that breeds inequality.  And also, the man is not always the sinner, the woman needn't always be the victim. Parallelly as the news of delhi rape case and the national agitation picked up, also there were hate crimes against men and small children.

So, it is proactive educational and sensitization measures that would help. Large national strategy meetings would not help if we spend too much time and debate on the method when we actually should be doing small deeds to seed tolerance in the society of un equals. The issue is not just about rapes, it is a subset of the larger issue of dominance, and hatecrimes. Let's start building a more tolerant society, in whatever way we can. Using whatever methods or expertise or art form we are best at. The world is not bad. Some people are. Delhi is not bad. Some people there are. We need to look at the larger picture. And start furthering the cause towards a tolerant society. Towards a society where you don't live with the fear of being dominated or hated for what you are or what you choose to be. Misogyny, homophobia

Let this dance for change be at a high tempo always. The dance of rage against domination and discrimination. 
Let's not wait for rapes and then contribute to the candle economy. Let's keep the fire lit. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Akanksha students feedback :) (session date : 09 Dec 2012)

i had the good fortune of interacting with students of akanksha foundation on  09 December 2012. The topic  of discussion was  child sexual abuse and sexuality.  I know this may seem narcissistic that I share this here. But i want you to know what emotions emerge as an aftereffect of a simple  heart-to-heart talk. 

I have heard you even before but it was a long time ago. So I don’t remember it and, true be true, I wasn't so focused last time. I really like the session and I had many things to ask, say and confirm after the session but at the end I was totally silent and I really want to salute you for your courage.
I am totally speechless about your courage, to openly share something so painful about your life.


While the session was going, I almost was nearly to cry, but later on the emotion changed and felt like doing something for any of my friend who is going through something like this and help even if he is not my friend.
You are truly an inspiration. I am not able to write everything I want because I am speechless but will definitely add next time. I am lucky I had a session with you. Proudly salute you man. 


मुझे आपसे मिलके अच्छा लगा और आप जिस तरह से अपने बारे में सब कुछ हमें बताया वोह भी बिना शर्म के . कुछ लोग अपने बारे में खुद के साथ क्या होता है वोह कुछ बताते नहीं हैं। लेकिन आपने जो बताया वोह अच्छा लगा और आपके वजह से किसी और गे को चिड़ाते है वोह भी बंद हो जाएगा। ऐसा मुझे लगा। मुझे दूसरो का पता नहीं, लेकिन आपने job ही बताया वोह सुनकर मुझे अच्छा लगा।sorry भैया मैंने आपको ऊपर GAY ऐसा लिखा है। 


Dear Bhaiya,
I really liked the session. One thing that I like about you is you are so friendly and open gay I have seen in my life.


मुझे आज का session  बहुत अचा लगा, क्यूंकि मुझे सेक्स  के बारे में ज्यादा information मिली। और थोडा emotional भी हो गयी। पर आज  आप आये इस लिए मुझे बहुत अचा लगा। और आप आये तोह बात करके बहुत अचा और FREE  लगा। मैं चाहती हु के आप फिर से आये। 


मुझे ये session सुनकर बहुत अच्छा लगा। कुछ नयी story सुनने को मिली। story  के बीच में इतना दुःख हुआ की मैं सोची की  बैठ के बहुत रोऊ । लेकिन एक हिम्मत भी आ गयी की इसी समय रोना नहीं चाहिए। दुसरो की बाते सुनानी चाहिए ताकि उसकी हिम्मत बढे। अगर मेरी ज़िन्दगी में ऐसा कुछ होता है, मेरे गर में या मेरे फ्रेंड के साथ तोह मैं भी उसकी मद्दद करू। 


Dear Harish bhaiya,
After listening all about you, I feel very bad and very sad for you. Whenever you say that I am gay, I was feeling that why were you saying that you are gay. Actually you should not say because I thought whenever you said it hurt me. I was not getting attracted on you (initially) but more attracted to you feeling how you had expressed yourself to us.
Bhaiya, you know that I always like to tease the gay person because I think they only like boys and they like to be with them but after doing session with you I got to know that it’s all about likes. If I like girl I am ok and if I like boy still I am ok because it’s my right.

Liked to hear your story and feelings with (your) sweet voice.
Your fan


I liked this session a lot because I had very different thinking about gays and I thought that gays are gays because of their hormones and because they wanted to become a gay. And I also thought they don’t talk to girls and they behave in the manner that if they see any male they just go and stick to them. But I am very grateful to bhaiya that he came and told us the truth of his life. I also know the cases like this in my community. I would like to share it to you. I have a cousin brother and he always try to misbehave with my own brother when my dad was in hospital, no one was there at my home so my brother used to be at my cousin’s house. And he used to say do it with me and I will give you money or I will hit you, so in fear he used to go in bathroom and my brother was abused. It happened many times and once I got to know about this. So I asked my brother about this and he was so scared that he was not saying anything. But however he said when I started telling him tell otherwise mom will beat you. Then he told me. And now it has stopped happening.


Today’s session with Harish is very nice. I learnt too much from this session. I feel first time that what the other person think when we tease them. I think the session was very nice. And I really appreciate Harish bhaiya’s courage that he fought with this huge problem.


The session was very good, interesting and useful. And it was also informative. And this was the first time when I came across such a speaker who gave us a lot of information about how the world looks at such things which they think that it’s different from their society. And I realized that if somebody is teasing someone as gay, it can affect the victim a lot and this can lead for them to commit suicide.


I like this session very well. When Harish bhaiya came I never thought that bhaiya was a gay. He look like a dude as well. He told us about what happen in his past. He said truly about his past.


The session was very interesting and created awareness. I got to know and learn about gays and transgenders.
This session has taught me how to behave with others and after listening to their problems how to come to the conclusion and solve problems.
I enjoyed the session very much.

Thank you.


To हरीश भैय्या 
आज का class मुझे अच्छा लगा क्यूंकि मुझे वोह सब के बारे में जानना अच्छा लगता है। मुझे आपके बारे में पत्ता था, पर मुझे देखना था  की वह इंसान कौन है। आज आपको देख भी लिया तोह मुझे बहुत अचा लगा।  आपने जब आपकी  story बतायी तोह थोडा रोना भी आया।
Thank you bhaiya.


Dear Harish bhaiya,

मुझे आजका  class  बहुत पसंद आया। अब मज्जा भी आया हरीश भैय्या के आने से पहले मुझे  gay लोगो से बहुत दर लगता था। लेकिन आज के क्लास के बाद मुझे उनसे कभी दर नहीं लगेगा। बल्कि मैं उनकी इज्ज़त करूंगी। 
Harish  भैय्या के कारण मुझे ये सीख मिली की कितनी बड़ी ही क्यु ना  problem  हो उसके सामने हमें डटें रहना चाहिए। 
Thank you भैय्या .


I liked the way when Harish bhaiya was sharing his stories with us. 
जब वोह बोल रहे थे मेरी आँखों में सच्ची का आसू आ रहे थे। जिस अन्दास से वोह बोल रहे थे मैं उनके दर्द को सचमुच feel  कर पा रही थी। पहले जब उन्होंने अपने को gay  बोलकर introduce  किया तब में 10 मिनट तक डरी हुयी थी। 
पर जब उनकी बाते सुनने लगी तोह वोह डर भी चला गया। 
उनकी हिम्मत तोह काबिल-इ-तारीफ़ है। 
मानना पड़ेगा उनकी हिम्मत को। 


 बहुत अचा लगा आपके experience  सुन्नके। 
एक और learning मिली। . I am very happy after hearing your story. Whatever you did, it was a great inspiration for me. I got inspired from you.
Thank you very much for being with us and sharing your real life experience with us.


I like this session very much because I learn much more about child sex abuse. I like many things in this session and one of them is that Harish bhaiya told us that if any child tells you that he/she is suffering from child sex abuse, we should hold his/her hand and listen him/her.
So, thank you Harish bhaiya for coming here and next time please come with Juhi chawla J


I had come when the session was getting over but I got the last part of the session and I was very surprised that you were so courageous to share your story with us. But I still don’t know your story which I will ask my friends. But I feel that you are doing a good job by sharing with us your experiences. Thank you…..
Also by coming late I could quickly understand what were you talking about so your presentation skills are very nice.


मुझे येह बातें सुनकर बहुत अच्छा लगा।  
 gay के बारे में, lesbian के बारे में,  –  की कैसे होते हैं, जब मैं सोचती हु इनके बारे में तब मुझे बूरा कगता है। हरीश भैय्या आप बहुत अछे हो की आपने लेस्बियन और गे के बारे में बताया।  
आपकी कहानी बतायी। आपने ये सोचा भी नहीं के आपको कोई चिदायेगा। बिना डरे अपने बारे में बट्टा दिया। 
Thank  you  भैय्या। 
हमें बहुत अचा लगा और हमें इस बारे में बहुत सीख मिली। 


After this session my thinking towards homosexuals has really changed and my respect towards them has grown more.
Thank you Harish bhaiya

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl

I am not a person who gets too engrossed and serious. 
But I can’t stop thinking about the delhi girl.

I am neither her gender. 
Nor from her state. 
But I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

I know she is now bleeding.
I know we failed in up keeping her dignity - her birthright.
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

Who were these many men.
Who travelled with her in the bus.
They raped her innocence and left her stark naked. 
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

Would she be crying now.
Would she be brave.
Would she be waiting impatiently
To reach her grave.
Would we allow her a decent life.
Would we not kill her again and again,  after being killed once.
O! I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

Would she be hungry.
Would her pain now be any less.
Would her parents be beside her.
Or would she be kept isolated in a bed.
I can’t stop thinking about the delhi girl.

Would she be fighting for justice.
Would she be too scared.
Would she be cursing herself,
That on ominous night, to venture out alone,
She should have not dared, 
Would she be hating her city,
Like the rest who are hating it for what it didn't do.
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

Would she be muzzled by our society, 
The society that asks her
“to attract rape on yourself - what did you do.”
I cannot stop thinking about the delhi girl.

I can't tell you o girl - that everything is alright
I can't tell you that life would be the same.
I can't tell you that your life was never maimed. 
I can't ask you to pretend that it never happened.
I can’t stop thinking about the delhi girl.

Every page of every newspaper is sold with your distress,
I can't tell you to be brave, 
To be brave is the only option left, 
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

I want to tell you that I wish to hear.
Hold you close and hear you say.
As tears would spread your gloomy eyes.
I would have nothing, to comfort nothing that may,
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

I want to tell you delhi girl. 
That they did what they could and left without regret.
I know delhi girl the pain of yours is a national tamasha,
And not possible to forget.
Wish you recover, that’s our only asha.
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

The day you were raped,
A little bit of me died too.
I wish to tell you delhi girl, 
I couldn't do anything for you.
I failed delhi girl.
I failed with the rest of india.
I can’t stop thinking about the delhi girl.

But I hope delhi girl.
Your pain would be the strength to dare.
To create a new india,
where criminals don't go scot free and victims like stark naked and bare.

I wish delhi girl that what happened was just a bad dream.
But how I wish things were not worse that what they seemed. 

I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.
I can't stop thinking about the delhi girl.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

OPEN UP! Kyunki dilli ab door nahi!

Think we have a fundamental problem.
We don't speak about sex, we do a lot of it.
We think of women as devi, or if not - a whore.
We romanticise the idea of respect, than actually respect people.
We see sex as a power game and not a mutually enjoyable act.
We breed, we don't bring up our children.
We weigh religion over logic.
We respect Gods with questionable existence, over visible people and nature.
We love to hate, than loving to love.
We hero worship the villain, more than respecting the hero.
We are not averse to violence, we are averse to sex.
We wean our children as the habitants of the land of hate, (we live in a big bad world) we tell them to "be smart", (a synonym of "be selfish").
We teach our girls to dress up well and blame her if a guy gets attracted, we don't tell the boy that he cannot touch her without her permission.
We think our girls are things, that are made to satisfy man's desire; we don't tell a boy that he should respect a woman's desire.
We treat a menstruating woman as diseased, we don't ask the masturbating man to wash his hands.
We judge more than we live.
The problem is with us. 

NOW! We need to open up. Not just in matters of sex, but for the larger issue of equality in humanity. And that sans our prejudices, and heartless customs. Then alone will there be change.

The rape culture in delhi was not born yesterday. It is the illegitimate child of our unruly upbringing. Delhi hasn't failed. We have failed. If you argue that delhi is an epitome of rape. Let me tell you that this is beyond region. There is a delhi in each one of us. A delhi that throws fit of rage, a delhi that believes in the power gamble, a delhi that believes that if there is a position that's "me*on*top".
We need to open up. Wider. Wider than ever. Wider to a point that we don't shun issues that make us uncomfortable. Wider that we open up to each other, aware - and not weary.
We have strict laws, we don't have proper implementation. More than stricter laws, we need a more open culture. What kind of culture is this where sex is a bad word, and rape is a norm.
What would it take for us to understand that "to address an issue, you need to undress it"
Wake up. Open up!
Kyunki Dilli ab door nahi.

(Written in context of the recent gang rape of a girl in delhi)

Friday, December 14, 2012

A clean slate

You left me alone
In the sinking night.
To hold his hand
In broad day light.

Today you ask
"What if we again tried".
A daunting task,
To re-kindle the flame that has for ever died.

"I wish to lay", you say
"On your heaving chest".
You can anytime, old flame,
But nothing more you can expect

I am not angry with you now,
I am not upset.
I feel no love rather
"indifferent" could be the word unsaid.

To the clean slate I would stick.
Stick To where you left.
You decided our fate.
And today, all I can say is "all the best"

Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

Monday, December 10, 2012

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