Saturday, May 7, 2011

How I Entered the Women's Toilet !!!

Finally I have started blogging !!! Thanks to the continuous pestering of my friend that I am again punching keys and blogging.

As I sat pondering on my desk as to what should I blog about, this particular incident raises its head wanting to flow out through my fingers onto my blog. To cut a long story short, Yes, I had entered a Women's toilet and that too at a public place !!!

I had gone on a Sunday weekend trip with my cousins to a park in Hyderabad. It had been a considerable amount of time since we had not visited a park per se. At times of Multiplexes, discs etc, one hardly ever thinks about parks. But somehow we had managed to convince ourselves to go to a park on fine day.

At the park, we indulged in the many joy rides that we had prided ourselves with during our growing up years. The swings were back in business again. There were almost 12 of us who had gone and had a gala time.

Its always fun going out with people of your age and most importantly when the relation is as close as brothers and sisters. We played all the silly games like Kho Kho, Out N Out and what not. People around us looked at us with amazement but we hardly bothered.

We played this we all got exhausted and then sat down to have our food. As I was having mine, my phone rang in my pocket. I reached out to get it and the moment saw the name of the person who was calling, a smile came automatically to my face. It was the same friend because of whom my fingers are punching the keys right now.

I got up and started talking and soon was transported into an altogether a different world which was right out of the wonderland where Alice belonged.

Unmindful of the things and happenings around me, I started talking and soon realized that there was a lot of sound as I was in the park. My eyes started scanning for a secluded spot so that I could talk without disturbance and suddenly spotted the toilets. I thought I would go in and talk as there would not be much disturbance there.

While talking to my friend, I walked into one of the toilets and bolted the door from inside and continued talking. After about ten minutes,

Thak Thak !!!

There was a loud knocking on my door.

I decided to ignore it and continued with my talked. But then the banging got louder and I got irritated and angry.

With the entire anger concentrated on my nose, I swung open the door,

"Kya Hai???", I told angrily.

The person knocking was a man of small built, unkept hair and a blue uniform. One look at him was enough for me to realize that he was a janitor.

"Saab, yeh ladies log ka toilet hai"
, he told me with a straight expression on his face.

Those words fell like boulders on my ears. I quickly came out and saw the sign on the entrance door and all that was written was 'SHE'. I then glanced at the adjacent door which said 'HE'.

I suddenly turned around to see if there was anyone else who was seeing. To my relief there was nobody else.

"Sorry Bhaiyya"
, I told him and beat a hasty retreat.

I thanked my stars that nobody saw me and nothing embarrassing happened to me.

From that day, I always see the sign twice outside any toilet at the aiport or malls or multiplexes or hotels etc before entering.

PHEW!!! This was one incident which still gives me goosebumps !!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Ballad of her eyes

This is a ballad of her eyes which are more expressive than a writer and more denser than thick forests. Her eyes give you a reason to smile and also be charmed. Even her closed eyes are like people waiting for the sun to rise and every time she flaps her eyes to blink, the world comes to a standstill.

She opening her eyes is akin to a beautiful white swan flying across the beautiful green mountains and her eyes are the window through which you can peep into her heart and there would be nothing in her heart which is not visible in her eyes. One look into her eyes and you can look into them for a lifetime.

Her eyes are so serene enough that it could put a silent river to shame and at the same time compete with the tornado for its ferocity. Her childlike eyes could be confusing at times because behind it lies intense passion and mischief. One look at her and you get bound to her eyes.............Maybe forever.

Her eyes pose a million questions and at the same time could be an answer to a million questions. Her eyes can mislead even her because at times they might fail to see the bad in many plastic people around her. But one look into her eyes can give a dying man a hope to live his life again, with vigor.

Her eyes reminiscent of a distant dream too good to be true. Her eyes are such that can give you a high even without gulping a drop of alcohol. Her eyes are the ones you would wish you could see forever. Even a fleeting encounter with her eyes would make you want to go back in time and catch that glimpse again.

Not everyone can see the depth of her eyes as you would need a pure heart to witness this miracle of her eyes. I have seen this miracle, not because I have a pure heart but because she allowed me to witness it and the person who does good to you without asking anything in return is called an Angel. I didn't know how Angels looked like until I saw her and yes Angels have beautiful eyes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Wannabe Gods

This week has quite been an eventful one, both personally and professionally. The biggest teacher i.e. life has taught me many things which I don't think anyone else would have ever done.

Even on a global front, there are many things that have instantly grabbed the eyeballs and the media had a gala time reporting and misreporting them. From the Kashmir riots to the Leh disaster, the Mumbai Port crisis, CWG corruption scam etc. But the two bits of news that remarkedly made an expression on me were the Time magazine cover page (I didn't put that pic up here on my blog but you can google it to find out how gory it actually is) of an Afghan girl whose nose and ears were chopped off and a pregnant Afghan woman who was publicly flogged and then shot dead. The people responsible for this inhuman act is the extremist regime that rules Afghanistan - Taliban.

I am not trying to be judgmental in this post, but there are certain things for which I need answers. The 'crime' of the former girl was that she ran away from her in-laws home to avoid the harsh treatment meted out to her by them. And for this she was caught and her ears and nose were chopped off !!! And this was not done by any court or police or army or whatever. But was done by a handful of Taliban commanders because they thought she had done wrong by running away. I don't even need to write whether it was write of wrong because every logical and an empathic person would have known the answer.

My question is who are these people who act as if they are 'God's chosen ones' and in their pursuit of being 'God's chosen ones', they themselves are trying to become 'wannabe Gods'. What a joke???

My question is was ever the girl asked why had she run away?

My question is were the in-laws ever questioned about the ill treatment they meted out to the poor girl?

My question is what was her husband doing in all this fiasco?

My question is whether law is only for women?

The tale of the second girl too is gory enough to send a chill down your spine.

The second girl was actually a widow and when these 'wannabe Gods' found out that she was pregnant despite her husband being dead, she was flogged publicly and shot dead.

The question again arises that at a time when we talk of a peaceful world. Well.... I can't say a peaceful world but certainly a more civilized world, incidents like these totally derail the concept of being a Global Citizen. The beautiful country of Afganistan which shot into prominence in India mainly through movies like Kabuliwalah and Khuda Gawah has now gone to the dogs. Rules are being made and broken on an hourly basis just to keep a power hungry, ill cultured, brutal and ruthless regime happy. Again I am not being judgmental but just letting my anguish flow.

My question here is where is the man responsible for impregnating her?

My question is whether those 'wannabe Gods' took into account that her husband might have died recently leaving a pregnant wife behind?

My question is why weren't there anybody to stand up and speak for the woman?

My question is who authorized these 'wannabe Gods' to decide on killing a fellow human?

My question is whether these 'wannabe Gods' know that even religion tells that killing an innocent person is like killing the whole humanity?

My question is why do these 'wannabe Gods' and many more like them consider suppressing women and their legal rights as something being enthroned upon them?

My question is whether at any point of time will there ever be a check on such incidents or will they continue to become one of the many stories which become history?

Well... as always there are questions, questions and more questions for which most of the time there are no answers. But at least is somebody listening to these questions???


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Angry but Helpless.......

Its been ages ever since I had posted anything on my blog. I am not a compulsive writer but an impulsive one. Something should really excite me to begin writing otherwise I just let it pass. During my MBA days back in Bangalore everything around me looked and sounded exciting but now back in Hyderabad, I won't say life is boring but must admit that it has become very monotonous. But as they say life goes on.

This is an incident which I happened to witness a couple of days ago and it has spurred me to post for the first time in almost 6 months !!!

I was in my car sitting on the back seat listening to songs on my iPod. It was raining heavily and the ferocity with which the rain drops were hitting the windows of the car, it appeared that the windows would soon give way. My driver was singing some songs in his hoarse voice quite sure that since I had my iPod plugged, I can't hear. We approached towards the Khairtabad X Roads (one of the busiest junctions of Hyderabad) from Taj Krishna road.

As we approached the signal, it went red and we stopped just behind the Zebra Crossing. As I was looking outside, something suddenly flashed past the car and almost instinctively my eyesight followed it. It was a girl who was riding a Pulsar bike and jumping the red signal.

Two cops ran towards her with an intention of catching hold of her, but in an instant she dodged both of them and sped away, almost knocking off one of the constable. Both the constables cut a sorry figure and were a subject of sarcastic comments and were letting out wry smiles to pacify themselves.

Some ten - fifteen seconds later a poor man aged at least 45, completely drenched in the rain peddled his cycle across, jumping the signal.

Those constables who were virtually slapped by the girl almost flew towards this poor man like eagles. They caught him by the collar, pulled him off his cycle and started shoving him. It was clearly evident that they were taking out the frustration of that girl on this poor man. This poor man started begging with folded hands but those constables wouldn't relent. As if all this was not enough, they even deflated his cycle tyres much to the horror of all the people who had lined up at the signal.

The man then slowly pushed his cycle towards the footpath and sat on it looking at everybody else.

I could feel that everyone including me were mad at those mindless constables but none (including me) said anything. The signal turned green and we started moving towards the Khairtabad flyover. On the way, I leaned to my left in the car to see that man. What I saw left me aghast. That poor man was crying !!!

He might have had some urgent work for which he was forced to break the signal, but a couple of mindless constables derailed his hurried journey. Even as we were moving towards IMAX, I kept on thinking as to where could that man find a cycle repair shop in this heavy rain and every time I thought about that man, my anger for those constables compounded. But I was helpless and did not do anything.

All I want to say through this post is that, power is to be used against equals and not against somebody who is inferior to you. Because the constables were unable to get hold of that girl, they trained their guns of a poor cyclist just to get rid of their frustration which I know was wrong....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Capital Punishment

Yesterday as I was browsing, my eyes fell on the news item which said that a 12 year old was raped by around six seven people for over two years, aged between 24 and hold your breath 71!!. My initial reaction was of shock and disbelief. I was both angry and sad. Angry at those insane animals and sad at the plight of that poor girl. Calling those people animals would be an insult to animals as even animals don’t mate if the female is unwilling. Now the question that arises is whether the character of some people has plummeted even below the degree of say a dog or a donkey?

Rape according to me is the most heinous crime prevalent in the society followed by murder. In murder, the judiciary questions the motive and several other instances are taken into account and sometimes even the actual guilty will walk away scot free if he happens to be very influential, as it happened in the Jessica Lal murder case.
But in rape, what could be any motive other than lust and in some cases revenge. Both the motives cannot be justified under any constitution of any country. In a country like India, the cases of rape have increased exponentially and these rapists have been successful in arm twisting the loopholes in our judiciary to their advantage. This pops up the question as to how the cases of rape and murder should be dealt with.

Just imagine the plight of the girl who was repeatedly used like an object by those thugs. Not only her physique but also her soul might have been equally scarred. A little light into that girl’s life tells us that her parents had divorced and married separate partners and left the minor girl to fend for herself. In such a scenario, even her parents are equally responsible for her plight.

The big question which now comes up is that how such heinous crimes should be dealt with? Going by the speed of our judiciary, she may or may not get justice even if she has attained the age of 80. Till that time she would have lost everything in her life and if she is strong enough she might strive to stay afloat in the hypocritical society which would taunt her and make her life a living hell.

This brings to my mind the concept of capital punishment. Capital punishment is a law in almost all Arab countries with punishments varying from stoning the offender to death, beheading by the sword or even castrating. It is because of these severe punishments that the crime rate especially rape, is at a nadir in most of the Arab world.

Should capital punishment be made a law in India especially in the rape cases? I see no reason why it should not be. If it is made a law, even a hardened criminal will think twice before outraging the modesty of a woman. If we make the people believe that the only punishment for rape is death, then I think nobody would dare to put their life on the line and commit such a heinous crime.

As far as I remember, there was only one case in which a certain Dhanajay was hanged for having raped a girl. But he was hanged six-seven years after he had committed that crime. Here many people might argue that maybe Dhanajay was not too influential so he could not come out of it. But if it would have been some influential person, seven years was enough time to arm twist the case and walk away scot free. Seven years is enough time to intimidate the victim or even a witness to turn hostile as it happens in many cases. Is this the kind of justice we are looking at?

The only deterrent I foresee which could act as a hindrance in capital punishment becoming a law is the hue and cry which would be raised by the numerous pseudo human rights activists around the country. All they look out for is cheap publicity. In the process they try to kill the very objective of capital punishment becoming a law.
I agree that every individual has a right to live and reform himself, but consider the plight of the victim who is raped. For her the very purpose of life is defeated. Even if her rapist transforms himself (which I doubt he will), the girl’s life has changed forever.

The other argument that arises is that how would the girl’s life change if her rapist is killed. My counter argument is that if it is made a law then the rate of rapes would itself decrease as nobody would like to risk their life for anything.
Thanks to the latest technology like DNA testing it is very easy to establish rape and the person who has committed it. If the DNA samples match, then he should be hanged or whatever. The entire process should be speeded up because justice delayed is justice denied. The only time taking process would be catching hold of the criminal in the first place and believing the fact that the police of our country are becoming efficient day by day, then they would be adroit enough to apprehend the criminal quickly.

After implementing capital punishment in rape, it can be extended even to murders which are done without any motives. But that is altogether a separate story. I just hope that the powers concerned are empathic enough to consider the sufferings of the girls who fall prey to this heinous crime of rape and make capital punishment as the only form of justice for rape. This would send shivers down the spines of people who carry out such heinous crimes and it would make the woman feel safer in their own homeland – India.

Women are to be treated with respect. People should realize that every woman is either a daughter or a sister or a mother or a wife. Despite all the reservations and other things, women in India are still looked down upon in the male dominated society. People should not forget that women are at par with men in almost all walks of life. For every Sachin Tendulker, there is a PT Usha, for every Abdul Kalam, there is a Kalpana Chawla and for every Shah Rukh Khan, there is a Madhuri Dixit!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

'Didn't We Actually Have Good Times ?????' - The Pigeons' Story

Today as I sat down in my lawn trying to think about anything that comes into my head. It had been quite a while since I sat there and there was practically nothing I could possibly think of. I began staring into eternity untill something interesting caught my eyes.

Almost ten metres from the bench where I sat, I saw two pigeons that flew in together and perched themselves on the grass. There were some food grains which were littered on the lawn and maybe they had flown in to fulfil there hunger. They started pecking at the grains which were littered.

What was eye catching is that both the pigeons were picking up the grains with their beaks and feeding each other !!! Initially I thought that it was a coincidence or maybe I had seen it wrong. But no, they were really feeding each other. I started observing both the pigeons. They were flying a bit low around the littered food grains and then come down and start feeding each other.

There was an instance when one the pigeons was on the grass and the other pigeon started flying around the pigeon that sat on the grass. The moment the pigeon which was flying perched down, the sitting pigeon took off and started circling the previous pigeon.

I started becoming more and more fascinated and tried to study the pattern of both the pigeons. They were merrily playing with each other, feeding each other and completely enjoying each others company. It was so very evident that both the pigeons were mutually dependent on each other.

Suddenly one of the pigeons flew towards the water fountain which was in the middle of the lawn I was sitting. It perched itself on the edge of the fountain and drank a bit of water. After drinking a bit of water, it stood still and after a while it flew towards its companion which still sttod on the grass and then both the pigeons flew towards the fountain and started drinking water.

Though I didn't understand the intention or the pattern of this strange behavior of these two pigeons. What I thought to myself was that maybe the pigeon which initially flew towards the fountain to have water wanted to check whether the water was safe for consumption or not. Once he was satisfied that the water was good enough, he flew towards the other pigeon and egged it on to drink the water from the fountain on order to quench its thirst.

After the second pigeon drank the water, it nudged the first pigeon and both of them started nudging each other. After a while the nudging became violent and within a fraction of time both the pigeons flew away in different directions.

I was taken aback!!! I thought 'Did both the pigeons fight?' I didn't have an answer but what unfolded in front of me was something I was unable to decipher.

I kept looking at the fountain when one of the pigeons flew back and perched itself on the edge of the fountain and started looking in every direction possible. Now I was damn sure that it was looking for that pigeon with which it had initially flown in. Now even I got involved with the pigeons and started looking in the skies to see whether the other pigeon was around. But it was nowhere to be seen.

After a while the pigeon which had flown back to the fountain flew away cooing very loudly. I sat there for almost twenty minutes after that to see whether either of the pigeons would return but none of them returned.

Maybe the other pigeon had come back in the hope of finding the first pigeon and when it did not find the first pigeon, maybe it flew away never ever to come back to that fountain again !!!

While the pigeon was flying away, the only thing that I could decipher from its cooings was that maybe it was trying to ask the other pigeon,
'Didn't We Actually Have Good Times ?????'. But there was no answer.....

I sighed deeply, got up from the bench and went back home with the incident which had just happened, deeply entrenched in my mind.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yes Mom, Angels DO Exist !!!

Its almost been two months ever since I had posted anything on my blog. I am currently penning down a novel titled 'TROIKA', it takes away a major chunk of my time so not much time left to post on my blog. Today I somehow managed to squeeze in this post.

So today after I completed the sixth draft of my novel, I made up my mind to post something on my blog and the first thing that came to my mind was Angel.

I grew up listening to fables of fairies and angels which my mother often told me during my childhood and most of the stories were innovative creations of her own. Perhaps the ability to tell stories was germinated in me by my mother.

My favourite fables were the ones which had angels in them and my mom made sure that almost all the stories which she narrated to me had angels in them. My first perception of an angel was the one who was almost perfect, the one who could do no wrong, the one who would go out of the way to help us, the one who makes us laugh and even lends a shoulder to cry on, the one who becomes a reinforcing force behind us or maybe the one who brings an altogether a new meaning of life.

'Pari Ki Kahani' was the name of my bed time fables. When my mom used to go away after narrating the fable to me, I would sub conciously end up thinking about angels. I thought that if angels actually existed, then why didn't I have one? If I had an angel with me then why my friend gets higher marks than me??? Why do I fall down and hurt myself???

As I began to grow, I realised that angels existed only in the fables of my mom and not in real life. Slowly I became disinterested in the fables about angels. But was I right??? Did angels actually not exist or did they exist and I am not able to identify my angel???

Well...there could be many ifs and buts, but the fact remained that I had conciled myself to the fact that angels are a work of feasible fiction. But as they say, you realize many things only in the face of adversity.

I am extremely proud and thankful to my parents for having given birth to me with a golden spoon. Hardships were alien to me in my upbringing. But as life progressed with its unmatchable and unfathomable speed, the situations around me conspired in such a way that I had to leave my sweet home and come to an alien city...

Everything about the city was alien. The people, culture, traffic sense, traffic police etc were absolutely alien. I started my journey in this city on a rocky terrain. The road was exciting but bumpy, adventurous but dangerous. So the only option I had was to tread the road steadily and safely.

Then through the journey I met many people and they became a part and parcel of my journey. From amongst those people, there was this someone who kept pace with me throughout my ups and downs. Pushed me when I slowed down, encouraged me to fly when I was running, steadfastly behind me in case I faltered. My myopic view did not allow me to differentiate much between this somene and hoards of others around me.

My time in the alien city just flew by even before I could decipher all the nitty gritties involved in the journey. In the end when everything began settling down and when the roller coaster ride was coming to a dreadful halt, I began to realize that I was not alone throughout my journey. There was some paranormal someone that held me, guided me and waded me through the umpteen rigours during the eventful ride. But I was still at a loss to figure out who that someone was???

I virtually tried removing everybody involved with me one by one from my life and see whether their absence would have made any difference to my time spent in the alien city??? I went on with the trial and error method and finally stumbled upon that someone. The moment I took that someone out of my life, I began experiencing a vacuum and the moment I placed that someone back in my life, my journey in the alien city appeared complete. BINGO!!! I had found that someone...

But then I started to ponder who this someone actually was. At that very point of time my grey matter went into a flashback and mummy's 'Pariyon Ki Kahani' started playing in my mind. Was that someone an angel???

The more I pondered, the more concrete the reason started to become and finally I concluded that it was an Angel who had actually helped me tide through the various crests and troughs during the time spent in the alien city.

Finally I made an 'in-heart' confession to my mom by accepting that 'Yes Mom, Angels DO Exist!!!' and I was lucky to have one.

Finally I gathered courage to go and tell that Angel a big THANK YOU. But before I could realize, that angel flew away without ever asking anything in return...

I am sure everybody might have had angels in their lives at some point of time or other and I am also sure that none of them had an angel akin to mine !!! (I am sure everybody feels that way)

P.S: The above write up is a classic example of 'Fictional Facts'