Sunday, July 18, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
What turns two boys, barely in their teens, brutal rapists and thoughtless murderers? Who and what do we blame? The parents, for their inability to teach their children the basic values of humanity? The media, for their complete failure in putting across any kind of positive message ? The society and the education system, for forcefully keeping away from children the knowledge that helps them deal with changes in their body and in their environment?
I cannot think of a more unhealthy environment for children to grow up in than the one we have today. Sure our parents did not share much with us either. Sure we secretly watched TV serials that we were told not to. Sure we huddled together secretly in a corner and chuckled over "dirty adult jokes". But not many of us grew sexually deranged. For today's kids its different (An instance can be found in this post). Their minds mature faster than their bodies. They are exposed to television, internet and other technology from their childhood. They are aware of the fact that they live in a world where power is everything. They know sex crimes are on a rise, politicians are corrupt and money gets you friends. In a world like this, it is important that they get proper and continual guidance from their guardians! Children NEED sex education classes. Children NEED to be told about puberty. They NEED to know all of this so their sexual energy is properly channelised. So they don't learn about such things from pornography! It's time to let go of the taboos of the past. You can't protect your children by hiding the truth.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Anderson, currently residing in Arizona, is now mother to three more children and wife to a loving and supportive husband. Encouragement from news channels, lawyers, police and the Independent Fundamental Baptist support group, helped her come to terms with her trauma and finally land her perpetrator in jail. Willis has been charged with two counts of rape and two counts of having sex with a minor. Presently he has been released on bail of $100,000 but will be arraigned on June 16th in Concord District Court. Anderson hopes to work in future with victims like herself who had no one to talk to.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The source of the strength can be traced down to the crusade of a little girl named Nujood who had been forced into a marriage with her family's thirty-something deliveryman at the age of ten. In her recently published brave autobiography I am Nujood,Age 10 and Divorced, Nujood, now twelve, recalls in horrific details about how her mother failed to voice her disapproval on the match, how her "husband" forced himself on her right after their marriage and how her mother-in-law encouraged her husband to regularly beat her up. When she heard that judges in court could grant divorces, she one day sneaked out of her home, jumped into a taxi and went straight to the courthouse to look for a judge. Soon she became a celebrity of sorts among the Yemeni intellectual circles and eventually won her divorce! Her fame spread so widely that Secretary of State, United States of America, Hillary Clinton addressed her as "one of the greatest women I have ever seen!" (It is safe to say she is the only third grader to have possibly received this honour!). Though initially accused by her family of bringing shame upon them, she is now a lot more loved and respected by her father and brothers for being the chief bread winner of the householder(she supports them with her book royalties)
Nujood's victory encouraged other Yemeni girls to follow suit. Her case was closely followed with that of an eight year old's who had been forcefully married off to man in his 50s to pay off her father's debt.The latest case is that of a twelve year old's who filed for divorce with her thirty year old cousin.Most of these young brides have been taken out of school, brutally raped and beaten up by their husbands, tortured by their in-laws and are too scared to refuse their fathers or go back to their homes for fear of shaming their family.However, the tide has been changing ever since the story of the brutal death of the 12-year old Yemeni girl (which I had mentioned here) hit headlines and brought international attention to the plight of Yemeni girls.
The brave young girls have started a revolution and till now have managed to raise the legal age for marriage to 17. While a lot of work still remains to be done, this change in the mindset of young girls is a much needed progressive change! Hopefully with time they will get what is only their natural right-a childhood.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/lebanese-activists-use-animation-to-fight/#ixzz0nnNac7Y1
Monday, May 3, 2010
Mount up, and take a Salamander's name"
-Rape Of the Lock, Alexander Pope.
For a number of reasons ranging from very sensible to absolutely senseless, women aren't allowed to serve in the infantry of the Indian Army. The chivalric code renders women almost impossible of survival when left on their own without manly protection. Smelling salts and satin gowns are the best a woman can hope for. The world wasn't always like this though. This post is about Amazons from different parts of the world and time lines!Here are some women who screamed "SCREW YOU" as a battle cry and kicked some ass.Hard.
1.The Trung Sisters- Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, daughters and later wives of powerful lords, are credited with resisting the Chinese and basically creating a nation out of Vietnam! Trac's husband, a brave rebel, was executed and Trac herself was brutally raped. Obviously, the Han Chinese picked the wrong girl to mess with. The sisters raised an army of 80,000 women, trained 36 of them(including their mother) to be generals and drove the Chinese out of their lands in 40A.D. Together (though Nhi was the better fighter), they liberated the people of Vietnam and some sixty five fortresses. For the next three years, the successfully resisted Chinese invasion. They were however, defeated in 43 A.D as a consequence to which they committed suicide rather than be slaves.
3. St Joan of Arc- The Maid of Orleans who led the French army to several victories. She was hailed as a heroine after she returned to take charge despite a wound on her neck. Heck! Even God thought she was good enough to be a Chosen One! She was however captured and later tried for heresy. The technical reason for her execution was the Biblical Clothing Law( Joan wore men's clothing. During her trial she relapsed to women's clothes but after being raped in prison, she donned men's clothing again as a sign of rebellion.) She was burnt at stake on 30th May, 1431.
4. Rani Laskhmi Bai- I know I have written about her before. But I can never say enough for her. The Lady here has been immortalized in our nursery rhymes. She fought off the British Army till her last heroic breath. Even more amazing, she did all of this with a baby strapped on to her (super mom anyone?)!
5. Beatrix Kiddo- I KNOW she does not exist but hey! It doesn't make her any less awesome! I mean, she.killed.bill! 'nuff said.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Our maid recently got sick with chicken pox. Her replacement, a shy 20 year old with a thick layer of vermillion on her head and a bright orange sari started work today. After a few minutes, in an effort to make her comfortable my mom tried getting chatty with her. Naturally, seeing her attire my mother's first question was if she had married recently. Among the lower classes, it wasn't surprising for a woman her age to be married. What WAS surprising was her shy shake of head. The story that followed was what left us stunned. She had been married to for 12 years. No you did not hear wrong. 12 YEARS. Not just this. She also has children. Two sons(for which I am sure she must be hailed as some sort of golden wombed Goddess) aged 8 and 6. Now, of course we read about child marriages all the time. But hearing a woman exactly my age, give or take a few months, talking excitedly about her family kind of hits you in the gut!
A few days back, there was an article about a twelve year old girl in Yemen, who died along with her baby at childbirth.Some days later about an eight year old who bled to death on her "wedding night". In news today was the story of a fourteen year old who committed suicide because her parents were forcing her into a marriage with a much older man.These instances occur almost everyday in the rural parts of India.According to UNICEF’s “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 47% of India's women aged 20–24 were married before the legal age of 18, with 56% in rural areas.
What could be the possible reason for this appalling practice? Poverty perhaps?The inability of parents to invest in a child who they believe will yield no returns? Or maybe fear of social stigma? Could they possibly feel it better to get their child married off before she had loose moral thoughts of premarital sex? Or probably just the fear of the social stigma attached to having an unmarried daughter in the house? The reasons may be many and twisted but none seem to justify the horrific tradition.
Gloria Steinem said "The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. " Perhaps its time we cleanse ourselves from within. Learn to let go of past practices. Its funny that in a country that puts so much by "morality" such happenings should occur in the name of "family honour". And we all have a part to play in it. So next time you hear of a child marriage waiting to happen, put your foot down. There's more to be done than just be disgusted. On the bright side, the National Plan of Action for Children 2005, has set its goal to eradicate child marriage completely by 2010, and so far, its proving quite successful(statistically at least). So come on India.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
No, I am in no way claiming young boys are slimy slugs who need to be busted, nor am I advocating violence. I am merely pointing out the kind of world kids these days are living in. And from that comes the point of this post- the importance of self defense.
The age eight was important for me. I was eight, travelling with my mother in a packed public bus. There was no place to sit and we were sort of wedged. That is when a man behind me chose to feel up my vagina. I was eight, and I had no idea what to do and how to react. I was eight, when I first knew there was a part of me that felt good when touched. I was eight, and I did NOT like it. Of course, I didn't tell my mother. I felt too scared and confused. I just cried a little when I got back home.
Years later while talking about it to my friends in college, I discovered that we had all had such an incident, in fact, many such incidents, in our lives. I had often scoffed at some of my friends who have traveled all their lives in air conditioned private cars and never known the hazards to be faced in the "real" world! I felt sadly blessed that I was, if nothing else, better equipped to face perverts than they were. I am not over rating myself. Men who feel lucky can't get away so easily with me now! I would shout, or pinch, or kick or something make sure they get what they deserve. Nevertheless I wish I did not have to have so many experiences to end up street smart!
The case need not be so with kids of today.They are much more worldly wise. They talk and hear of things we weren't exposed to till our late teenage years. They also possibly face a lot more harassment than we did. Or maybe it seems that way because the harassment actually is brought out in the open these days! So I have a MAJOR request to the parents- I know you want to keep your child's innocence intact.But please face facts here, the world is NOT the greatest place right now. Anything that your child does not know is ignorance rather than innocence. Talk to them about things that can happen to them and how they should deal with it. and please, NEVER EVER EVER make them feel as though it was their fault. there is nothing thaht can break a child's heart and faith more! And no matter how much they scream shout and protest, enroll them into karate classes. ASAP.
For us "fortunate" ones who escaped breaking bricks with our heads, here's a link I found extremely useful!-
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
i wish them cramps. i wish them a strange town and the last tampon. I wish them no 7-11. i wish them one week early and wearing a white skirt. i wish them one week late. later i wish them hot flashes and clots like you wouldn't believe. let the flashes come when they meet someone special. let the clots come when they want to. let them think they have accepted arrogance in the universe, then bring them to gynecologists not unlike themselves.
Friday, April 9, 2010
May 27: Young housewife burnt alive for dowryLUCKNOW: For nineteen-year-old Rinki dreams of a happily married life was never to be. Barely a month after her marriage, she was allegedly tortured and then set ablaze by her in-laws for dowry in Indiranagar in the small hours of Saturday. Daughter of late Gyan Chand, a fish contractor who expired a year ago, Rinki was married to Anil on April 19... However, soon after the marriage, Balakram [Anil’s father] demanded a colour television instead of a black and white one and a motorcycle as well. When Rinki’s mother failed to meet their demands, the teenage housewife was subjected to severe physical torture, allegedly by her husband and mother-in-law... On Saturday morning she [her mother] was informed that Rinki was charred to death when a kerosene lamp accidentally fell on her and her clothes caught fire. However, prima-facie it appeared that the victim was first attacked as her teeth were found broken. Injuries were also apparent on her wrist and chest.
Other laws may be also used as the case permits.This madness can be stopped. And we have to be the ones to stop it!
She weeps silently,
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
1.Food- Avoid over eating at this time. It is better to have small amounts at regular intervals throughout the day than have three large meals at one go. Take care to control salt intake as salt will cause water retention resulting in bloating. Junk food and other fatty food especially fried food are a strict no-no.Avoid meat and dairy products though fish can be very good for you.Include vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, and fruits in your diet.Anything containing caffeine- coffee, cola, chocolate is OUT OF BOUNDS as is alcohol(you have NO idea how much they could hurt). But drinking anything warm will help so tea, especially herbal tea and warm milk are your new best friends. Dates, cranberry juice and Chawanprash cleanse your blood and ease pain. Not eating healthy at this time could also give you gas. Gas+Cramps= ouchouchouch. Drink lats and lots and lots of water.( You are supposed to drink four litres everyday on normal days, so have around 5 during your periods)
2. Exercise- Exercise can do wonders in easing the pain. Walking for about 30 to 45 minutes will help relax your abdominal muscles.there are also some easy Yoga postures you could try. One is lying on your back with your knees bent,slowly bring your knees towards tour chest and "hug" them for about 5 to 10 seconds. While doing so make sure you aren't putting too much pressure on your lower back.Repeat this 10 times atleast.The second Exercise is similar but in the opposite way.Sit straight backed with your legs under you in a kneeling position-so your bottom( for want of elegance) should be touching your heals and your thighs should be touching your calves.Now put your hands behind you or in front on the floor depending on your comfort,and bend till your head touches the floor and your chest touches your knees.Again, be careful to not hurt your lower back. You could also just sit straight backed and slowly breathe in and breathe out.
3.Heat- Anything that provides heat to the abdomen would ease pain. A warm water bath can work wonders. So can a Heat Pad or a hot water bottle placed on your abdomen.
Remember, these do not work for everybody.The whole point is to just relax your muscles and get the blood flowing without hiccups.So the diet is a must but the rest is up to you. Simply lying down and listening to soothing music may also do the trick for you.Get your hubby or your mommy to do a back massage for you!I do not personally take painkillers due to an unexplained fear of stomach ulcers(yes, painkillers give you ulcers) but a lot of the people I know use non steroid ibuprofen or even oral contraceptive pills.
And now I shall go kill someone(its not YOU, its PMS). Have a Happy Period.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
A massive fire at Kolkata’s Stephen Court, a heritage building in the heart of the city has killed 24 people and left about 18 injured, eight of whom are critical.The fire brigade dispatched just one truck that too without proper equipments initially.the later trucks got stuck in a "traffic jam".The Government is offering 1 lakh as compensation to victims' families.(thank you.that definitely makes up for the loss.).and i can't help but be angry at people for being so careless in their lifestyles.For Godsake,GROW UP!
Firemen recovered 17 bodies overnight as they went from door to door on the 5th, 6th and 7th floor of the building. Only 12 of these bodies have been identified so far.
Stephen Court is a 150-year-old building on Park Street, home to two of the city’s best known restaurants – the iconic Flury’s and Peter Cat.
The fire began at 2.15 pm on Tuesday. It was brought under control at about 10.30 pm.
Initial findings suggest a short circuit or cylinder burst may have caused it.
The fire, that may have started in a lift between the 5th and 6th floors soon spread upwards and sideways, forcing people out of windows onto narrow parapets and ledges as they waited to be rescued. Reports said at least one woman missed her step and fell five floors below.
please pray for the dead.Lets hope such a meaningless loss of life never happens again.RIP.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,-WH Auden,Funeral Blues
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crépe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song,
I thought that love would last forever: 'I was wrong'
The stars are not wanted now, put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world".
Keep adding to the list!(Indira Gandhi and Ashwarya Rai do not qualify)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Lets face it, it sucks being a woman in a world like this.There are a thousand ways to let us know how we are not good enough(cheating ex boyfriends,fashion magazines,annoying tailors,nosy aunts).Little wonder then that I am surrounded with women who are good,beautiful,strong minded and suffering from a mysterious sense of inferiority(I am thankfully not one of them because chocolates keep me happy.fat.but happy).To these lovably idiotic women I present a steaming hot feminist icon-Gloria the hippo.
She gets male attention because she is "big".She stands by her friends no matter what.She is cheerful during the toughest situations.She speaks her mind.And she chooses the better man in the end.
Way to go Glo!To you i dedicate the most eloquent words in the History of music-I like big butts and I cannot lie.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
For days now the country has been talking about nothing but the women's bill.The bill has been an issue of heated debate for nearly 14 years now and has finally(FINALLY) been passed.For those who do not know of it,the women's bill reserves 33% of seats in the Indian parliament for women alone.some salient features of the bill are:-
Sunday, February 28, 2010
You know those bizarre moments like "remember how i lost my wedding ring in hippo poop?", well recently i lost my half-artificial-front tooth while munching on French Toasts(okay so its not as bizarre but who doesn't like drama?).I was in tears from the first moment i saw the gaping hole in the mirror.There's no other way to put it,it looked hideous.I made frantic calls to dad asking him to make an appointment with the dentist.But them busybees could only see me after four days.That entire day I lived in agony.I wouldn't smile at anyone.I wouldn't talk much.And i refused to eat around others.
By the next day I was starting to feel like a hypocrite.I was always telling my girlfriends to be confident of who they are the way they are and here i was failing my own test.But could I really be blamed?Much as I claim proudly to not be a "girly girl",I love to look pretty.I love my bit of kohl when I leave the house,I love my pretty dresses and my filed nails.I love my mascara and my rouge and my funky jewellery when I am out for a party.I love my fuzz free face(even though it hurts like crazy to get rid of your moustache!).The problem was clear to me after i took a sparknotes quiz(yes,that is how i study) called "which gender are you?" .The answer,much to my cold-graveturning-tummyrumbling-toecurling-headboiling sorrow, was "you are a MAN"(and man WAS in capital letters.).It isn't my fault I am plagued with insecurities.okay,I'll give Freudian theories some credit and say men and women ARE a little different(thank you God) but the society that surrounds us is in no way innocent.Right from the time baby girls are wrapped in pink towels and baby boys in blue,we are marking the beginning of a life long gender distinction.
Any girl who prefers short hair to long,or sports to gossip or jeans to skirts is a "tomboy".Any girl who doesn't weep during movies,isn't scared of cockroaches,cannot cook to save her life is frigid and aloof.As if that is not enough,we always have a dozen fashion magazine telling us what NOT to do(pretty much everything) and we always have a dozen million of us religiously following their word too.Well,here's the deal,i love my chocolates,i love my teddy bear pajamas,i hate the bloody sight of pink,i don't like frills,i don't giggle or simper or blush,I laugh a lot and loudly too,i sit cross-legged AND i am proud to be a girly girl!(whatever heck that means!)
So when I finally went to the dentist, he started to explain to me the long painful root canal treatment that he would have to do to give me back half a tooth.and call me a coward but i said no.I can live with half a front tooth but I cannot let myself go through that pain.The dentist's reaction was funny -"it looks hideous".I gave him my brightest half toothed smile and walked out.
p.s-kudos to my male buddies for finding all my dental maladies adorable.it does help!:D