20 December, 2012

For Every Woman... To Every Man.

Spare a thought about this: Every bit of news, information, opinion and views about the Delhi gang rape case centers mainly around the girl, the rapists, the strengthening of laws against rape, the punishment for the perpetrators, and feeble solutions to curb rape. Everyone seems to circle the theme of ‘What to do AFTER a crime/rape has been done’. Hardly anyone talks about what ‘CAN’ be done to not let such incidents ever happen.

The few measures that are brought up to curb these incidents might work, but are despairingly feeble. The latest news regarding the Delhi-rape case is of removing dark films from the windows of buses. That may reduce the incidences, no doubt, but is it really addressing the issue?

All we hear and read about is ‘furious public reactions’ - emotional outbursts, rage, and hatred. While it’s good to let your feelings out, the views expressed in such state of mind fail to bring a valuable insight into dealing with such cases. Phrases and views like: “cut their b***s, stick a hot iron rod up their a***s, hang them” are spouted from anyone and everyone. People can demand for laws against the criminals/rapists, the Courts can mete out severe punishment to them, they can deliver justice, but the criminals and rapists will always be there to strike...

Hardly anyone questions or gives thoughts to the numerous hidden criminals/rapists who lay in the shadows. They are the ones who won’t give you a chance to fathom their inner mind, to gauge the extent of their actions. What do you do about such people? How do you stop them from harming others?

The ideal solution in these cases is to not have such people live among us. But that’s a highly tall order. It is an idealistic solution at best – but practically, it hardly has any chance of success.

I do agree that extremely strict punishment against such acts would be effective. The faster the punishment is delivered, the more effective and impactful the message that will be sent out to like-minded men. A severe, no-mercy, quick punishment would drive more of an impact in reducing the number of such incidents. However, this method will only ‘reduce’ the number of crimes/rapes – it does not solve the issue of rape not being committed.

What then, is the real solution to all this?

The real solution has to come from within, from within the men themselves.

The real solution lies in every man respecting women, in treating women the right way, in withholding from using women as and when they want, and in maintaining the soul of humanity.

It is up to the man to choose his own character – he can either be a Real Man, or an Inhu’man’.


The other issue that I needed to bring forward is the way the media, politicians, police, protestors, activists, and general public voice their views about such incidents.

The general ‘tone’ used by most in such cases is ‘negative’. The repetitive pejorative notes are sometimes a detriment when addressing such issues. The general public is filled with fury, the politicians condemn the crime, the media highlights the atrociousness of the crimes, neighbours exaggerate their sentiments in discussions – somehow, the basic seriousness of the matter is lost in the negativity that dominates it.

I do understand that we are humans, and as humans, our emotions and our reactions toward such incidents is heightened to a great level, but at the same time, we are also driving wrong messages into the public (read: men who bend towards committing such crimes).

When you talk about: ‘so-many-number-of-rapes-happening-in-so-and-so-city’, ‘city-of-rape’, ‘victim-in-hospital’, ‘less-police-force’, ‘not-safe-for-women-to-roam-at-night’, ‘let-women-handle-guns-against-such-men’ etc. it gives a key to these men who see opportunities galore. It escalates the vulnerability of women in such men's minds.

Such 'grey words' are noticed by these men. They notice that the general public considers it unsafe for women to roam around at night, they see that the women raped are terrified to give testimony, they see that women can be physically harmed (the idea of women being the weaker sex is reinforced through this piece of news), they see the public not having faith in the police, they notice that the police do not seem inclined to be on strict vigilance, they see that the Courts wade through such cases at a slow pace, they see that the general view is that a girl alone at night only calls for trouble  – they note all these details, and feel that the night is theirs, and so are the women.

If instead, we change our tone and report that women can be safe anywhere at anytime as the public is by her side, that women can roam freely without worrying about nuisance elements since the police are constantly monitoring every lane, that women can dress as they like because anyone harming her will be immediately sentenced to harsh punishment by the Courts, that women can be women at any hour of the total 24 hours because they are the ones without whom the men would not have been born in this world - this may bring out a strong, forceful, firm, and confident aura around women, which may keep the wayward elements wary, and at a distance from women. This will of course work completely once each of these are carried out and actioned.

We need to reinforce messages, and actions of positivity, assertiveness, and strength of women. We have to promote the view that women have enough force to tackle such men – they have the force of themselves through the support of the Nation.

I say this, not just for women in India, but for women everywhere. We do not HAVE to HAVE compulsory safety measures set for us, it should be an involuntary knowledge that women can be safe anywhere, anytime. Everyone ‘needs’ safety, that fact is granted, but once safety becomes a rule, or a measure, then humanity is certainly in danger.


My friend Neha Agarwal came up with the following ideas that could be implemented in bringing down the number of crimes:
  1. Have a database of entire people living in the city. A history of their criminal records or psychological records, their permanent and local address, and contact number should be noted and kept updated. This could be of great help to police to keep a tap on such people. A digital data bank will help them keep a tab on these sort of people which in turn will automatically reduce the crime.
  2. Create a Court like TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) – this special court should have no-bail and direct, instant punishment.

My prayers are with the girl, and for every other woman living in our world. My prayers are also with every man, that they may, each one of them, respect women and help, not harm them.


29 November, 2012

The Code

Ron stopped outside the brick-stone house. His feet dawdled and drew patterns on the sidewalk where he stood. It wasn’t the first time that he had come to the house. Introduced to him by his father, he had spent many a time in the dark coolness of the rooms. 

He liked it there. Dark and heavily curtained, narrow slips of light cheating their way through nooks and crannies between the windows and curtains. The absorbing silence that played through the spaces was what Ron liked most. It had a friendly feeling to it, a sense of comfort. Nothing could threaten him there, no… nothing. Or so he thought, until…

Ron kicked his feet in exasperation as he mentally kicked the past of the shop from his mind. He had come here on a mission, and he was going to see it through.

His feet took firm steps forward. They halted at the door to the shop. Ron lifted his hand, stretched out his steady fingers and punched in the Code. Two beeps answered him – a negative!


In all the times he had entered, the beeps were always a positive – a prolonged beep that welcomed him into the cocoon he so loved. 

She knew… she knew that he was coloured by the darkness. Where there was once light in him, it was now pitch black. Her love had failed her… had turned off the light in him. She had changed the Code, changed it before he could unleash the darkness within him one last time.

He had broken the Code when he befriended the dark... when he enjoyed its power… and when he exerted that dark power over her.

But no more, no more… the Code was broken, the Code was changed… mother and son… stood on different sides of the door… estranged.


NOTE: Thanks to 'The Write Prompts' site that provided me a word to build a post on. It felt really nice to pen/type down whatever came first to my mind. Try it if you like... especially if you're stuck, or bored, or just need a push to start writing again! :)



08 October, 2012

Love 'Stories' !

And love stories only make me cry
Cause they remind me of what I do not have.

And love stories only serve to drive a stake through my heart
Cause they show me what I’ve never had.

And love stories only make me mad
Cause they exist invisible to my heart.

And love stories only make me sad
Cause they show the perfectly imperfect sides of love.

And love stories only wreck my mind
Cause they fly to unimaginable towers of imagination.

And love stories only tear me apart
Cause they touch the blanketed heart of mine.

And love stories only leave me hollow
Cause love has never filled my empty soul.

And love stories only remain the same as their name
Cause that’s what they are –
Love ‘Stories’!



28 September, 2012

Untouched by Dawn

Another evening,
Another sunset
The sun rays don’t seem
To touch me anymore.

It shines on others
It brings them light
But me… No!
It leaves me all alone.

I wait for it
Every morning
Every Clock Strike
Hoping that today
It will caress my head.

I see it dawn,
I see it shine,
But the warmth of it
Escapes my hands.

Another day
Another night
They all go by
Like twins of flight.

One more day
One more dawn
One more hope
To feel the Sun. 


Venice :)

26 June, 2012

'Cost' of Dating

 I recently read an article in a newspaper that talked about the high costs that entails dating. People go to expensive restaurants, indulge in treats that cost a bomb, dress in branded clothes and travel in cars all for just a date.

I’m not against having a good time and enjoying the date, but do we really need to spend so much when one can easily enjoy a date without having to burn a hole in our pockets?
I can almost imagine this happening in the early days of civilization. The guys could barter their onions for a chicken, which they would give to the girls. The girls could then prepare roasted chicken and bingo – a date with a dish of roasted chicken under the moon and star light! Romantic, huh?

Frankly, I have never understood this concept of taking a date to a fancy place! I mean, what exactly are you trying to prove here? That you can afford it? That you are a regular with such places? That you can pronounce those weird French dishes names with the perfect accent? Is that the main aim of a date?

Yes, I do know that some of you can do all the above, and some go to such places because they ‘can’ afford it, and ‘are’ used to going to such places. But what about the rest? They are the ones who I’m addressing here.

A date is seen as a way to get to know each other better. To talk, to share thoughts, to discuss, to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Sure, you can do all this in the posh places too, no harm, but then if you’re going to worry all night about coughing up the large sum it rather puts a dampener on the whole feel of the date, right?

Why can’t you leave all that ‘impressing’ the date aside, and just be who you are! It wouldn’t be such a bad idea to go for a walk on your first date! Or go to an art gallery (if it’s a common interest). Dinner doesn’t have to be in a classy elegant place, but it can be enjoying yummy street food, or even tasting classic regional specialities of that area! If you’re the environmentalist type, cycling together would be quite cool, or if you’re the sporty type – then cricket, basketball, football would be a fun way to bring the two of you closer – of course if one of you isn’t sporty, then it’s a good chance to have fun learning the sport, and even if you don’t like sports, you can cheer your date on! Go for karaoke nights, and try a duet! Or set the floor on fire with your dance moves – the duet, and dance could be done at yours or a friend’s place – it doesn’t have to be at a club/pub!

Book lovers – pen down your criticisms together and match them, or see what the other has written – should be fun this one! Revisit childhood – go to the park, swing around a bit – don’t give me those weird looks, it’s fun once you stop ‘acting’ as if you’re an adult (we are all children inside, we just like to pretend we are adults just because we are at that ‘age’).

I could think of a million other cost-effective ways for a lovely date! Eating ice-creams, candy-floss, going to the arcade, strolling through a mall (if the girl isn’t a shopaholic it should be fine), going to the beach and shooting those balloons, all in all just being free of ‘acting your best’, and exhibiting your dinner etiquette, and showing off your French, and polluting the environment with your car/bike!

I know, some of you will say that girls love to be treated like ‘princesses’, but who said that it meant taking them to rich places? As long as you treat her with respect, be honest, listen to her and understand her and give her little happy moments to treasure – she’ll feel totally like a princess.

And to you girls - romance exists between two people. Sure, the ambience does create an effect, but romance can also be created in the most unromantic settings. It’s up to you and your date to spice up the evening, not the surroundings. 


Venice :) 

P.S: Heart-felt thanks to BlogAdda for choosing this post as one of the 'Tangy Tuesday Picks' for 26th June, 2012!!  

01 March, 2012

Hooked to Books

As far as I can remember, the first book I laid my hands and eyes on, was a big, powder blue book of 'Aesop's Fables'. My father bought me the book when I was around 5 years old, and I remember marvelling at the huge size of the book - it contained all the stories of Aesop's and I was so proud of it!

Today is World Book Day (got to know about this day only today), and from what I've read, it's celebrated on April 23rd by the people of Spain as a mark of respect for author Miguel de Cervantes, who passed away on this date. You'll be wondering why it's being celebrated on the 1st of March then, right? Well, U.K observes it on the first Thursday of March, which in this year falls on, well, today - 1st March, 2012. Also, on some more reading, I found that the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) observes this day as 'World Book and Copyright Day', but as people never really like saying long sentences, common parlance uses only 'Book Day'. UNESCO actually thought of this day as a way of honouring literary greats like William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov among others, who were either born or died on this date.

So, anyway, that was a bit of history and understanding behind this whole scene. We, at least a bookworm like me, don't really need a 'Day' especially for books! Thankfully, this day hasn't been massively hit by commercialization, but that day isn't too far. Soon there will be book promotions, discounts and lord knows what other marketing gimmicks around the Day.

I feel it's good in a way, as it will drive the importance of good reading to children. In today's world, where almost everything is available on our fingertips, what with gadgets, cell phones, iPads and the rest, children hardly read any qualitative books, unless it's in their syllabus. In this respect a day like this does help bring attention to the value of reading books. 

As for the adults, those who have loved books since childhood continue to read them, especially ever since the Kindle arrived and created a fine impact on book-lovers. Some bookworms are still faithful to the good old, touch-and-feel-the-leaves-of-the-book type. Whichever way, the important fact here is that, people still read.

I don't know about you guys, but I always feel that the books I have with me are not enough...

My book collection...

 ... and it is one of my dreams to own my own well-stocked library. A whole room dedicated to books - I've even planned the whole interiors and decor of my personal library room! :) 

I remember telling a friend of mine that I would love to spend my life in a room filled with books, scattered on the floor, and me in the midst of that sea of books! How enchanting those moments will be!




*Snaps out of daydream*

Yes, so, where were we? Oh yeah, I don't have enough books. Whilst daydreaming I realised that I haven't really read a wide variety of books. I mean, fiction of course consists 80% of my present book collection, but it would be great to read about non-fiction and other categorical books. 

You know what? I have an idea! I'm going to take a pledge - I've decided, that on this occasion of World Book Day - "I will expand my reading to non-fiction this year."

There, that felt good! Now to follow it through... which I will do, not to worry. I have a couple of psychology and geography books from school that I saved - they always make for interesting reads when I'm not in a mood for fiction. So, if I start reading books that cater to other topics, say - religion, economics, quantum physics (will try to understand it first), and history - I guess that will pretty much load my days with new, interesting, exciting, oh-I-didn't-know-about-this kind of moments!

Cool! Now I feel all charged up and electrified... World Book Day is a real help even for regular readers! I'm off to catch up on some reading. If you're a reader - then, have a good time reading! and if you're not, well, it's never too late, pick up a book on a topic that interests you and read one page first, and move on to the next page, and then the next, and next, and next... you get the drift ;)

Cheers folks!

Venice :)

19 February, 2012

On your Marks, Get Set.... START!

There are times in life, when you are torn between staying in a safe, valued environment and taking a step into a new path that is a bit hazy (for the time being).

People love security, respect, value, and success. But what worth is all of those qualities if one is afraid of stepping out of that comfort zone? 

Sure, if you stay on, you may feel good about yourself, feel on top of the world, and that you're going somewhere in life; and it may boost your self-esteem when you think of all the fame you've gained for being good at such and such field. But are you sure that that is where you would like to be? Or have you got so used to the environment that you've forgotten what your talents really are?

It is understandable that people differ, some have high aspirations, ambitions, some are competitive - the ones who drive themselves to do better at each task that comes their way, some like the high feel of fame, of wealth, and of recognition. Most of us, would like to experience one or two of the above items, but how do you know when you start getting obsessed with these items, whereby one focusses on them more and lose touch with themselves?

Tricky, isn't it?

You can work your whole life in a top-notch place, you can have a flamboyant lifestyle, reap in crores of paper notes and be the diva or hunk everyone falls over... who doesn't like these things? In all this however, keeping in tune with your inner self is extremely important, lest one gets carried away.

Humans love security, it's been in our genes ever since the cave men lived in caves, and had fire to keep the animals at bay. No wonder then, that it takes a bit (in some cases 'a bit more') effort on our parts, to walk away from security and enter into fields that offer less security.

One thinks, and thinks and thinks about leaving a safe place before venturing out into the unknown. Some weigh the pros and cons, others may just leap impulsively, and others may just ponder the hours away when it comes to making this decision.

The decision can be made easily if one is absolutely sure about what one wants in life. It also works if one has an 'inkling' or a 'gut feeling' about where one would like to go in life. It may not be the right choice, and it may not be the wrong choice, but as long as one strongly believes that this is the path one would like to navigate, well then, the choice is pretty clear.

One may not have the comfort, luxury, or incentives that were given in the earlier place, but one is blessed with the secure awareness of following one's heart, of realizing ones dreams, of doing ones best in ones best area, of being true to ones self, of having faith and hope within and of bravely moving forward out of that comfort zone and into something one has been wanting to do all this time!

It may be a slow start, it may be a fast start, but it's a START!

Imagine, if everyone was just content being stuck in their respective given roles, would this world have ever progressed? Would there have been diverse fields, innovations, discoveries, ideas, and change? Individuals, in some or the other time-frames in earth years have taken that choice to follow their heart, to do something different, to walk a new road, to try out new things, to voice out their views, to bring about a change and to simply, walk out of that comfort area.

All you need is confidence in yourself, love yourself, trust yourself, know yourself, believe in yourself and listen, listen intently to your heart; but don't forget to listen to your mind too, it's thoughts and your hearts feelings will meet at some point - that's the point you follow. Your mind isn't evil if you are well aware of it's thoughts, it can't control you, unless you allow it to. That doesn't mean you control your mind, listen to it, just sift out the unwanted from the important messages that are relayed in it.

You have this life - live it with your true self - and watch as your inner security, value, respect and wealth (not necessarily monetary) bless you and your life.

Good Luck and God Bless You!


Venice :)