Control – iron-fisted!
Power – absolute!
Control – iron-fisted!
Power – absolute!
I haven’t yet
stepped out of my pond.
Some day I may.
But the walls they build –
they worry me.
What if, when I’m ready
the walls are way too high?
I have never seen them.
No one had ever
Thought or said or did so.
for the very first time.
Imagine those looks,
How he might have dithered
When the whole world slammed,
Advised, begged or threatened him –
GIVE UP and act sane!
He has been through the pain of creation,
Only to see his weird baby scoffed at!
What a predicament he’d have been in
When he was damn sure of himself
And could see that rosy light
At the end of the tunnel –
Others, blind yet.
Fed up, he would have cursed
The power that planted the seed
Now too strong to uproot.
Tagged crazy, ostracized,
He envisaged the day
Accolades came his way.
After his lifelong struggle
(Hard up and lost in oblivion)
Was snuffed out by death –
An undistinguished one
Not unusual for
Ahead of their times.
The prescriptions by various political, religious and social leaders in the wake of the Delhi incident have enlightened us, unveiling the mindset of the rapists. And this is how one rapist may speak to you.
Dear sisters and virtuous women,
We are writing this for the sake of all women who wish to safeguard their honour, virginity and life.
You know we don’t rape every woman out there.
But before we explain that, you should acquire some insight into the stuff we are made of.
We have strong bodies but our minds are weak and uncontrollable, at times. Of course we are made of sterner stuff. Unfortunately, we lack control over our emotions especially sexual. The moment we set our eyes on the beauty or the contour of a woman we are turned on. So you may be wondering all the women who have been raped were not noted for their beauty. Yes, but we have the power to imagine the beauty even in an ugly one (just like we morph certain pics). Above all, there is no distinction between the pleasures the bodies of the beautiful and ugly ones could offer. So we compromise on external beauty, looks, size, age.
There are a few kinds of women we prefer/choose/must have to rape. It will be beneficial to you so that you can wipe out such traits (1 to 5) from you if you wish to go unharmed and live a peaceful life.
We are sure you would agree that rape is the best solution to tame down women 1 to 5. Acid attack is effective too, but not as ‘good’ as rape. Our goal is to conserve the family and the patriarchal system in our society. If women start raising their voice the society will soon be headed for its extinction. So sisters, understand this and do follow the given instructions:
Remember, you are too weak to save yourself (from us). You are supposed to be under the protection and at the beck and call of your husband, father, brother or son. We will take good care of you if you are willing to limit yourselves within the constraints of your house. Your desires (food, sex, kids, clothes and ornaments) will all be meted out. Never interfere in our affairs or question our deeds. Never ever demand a trip to the dirty world outside where we will be busy teaching those immoral ones some valuable lessons.
Note: In spite of all these precautions if someone assaults you, chant this mantra: Brother, please let me go. He will immediately melt (thinking of his sister) and comply with your request.
(Why do we feel WE are always right? So who are the THEY, who are never right?)
My Country (right or wrong) is always the greatest!
Beyond the borders you keep on conspiring.
My Religion is frequently targeted
You try to affront us with blasphemies.
My Family has inherited all values and knowledge
While you people are unrefined, sticks-in-the-mud.
My Gender (esp. in certain roles) is often ‘manhandled’
You insolently join hands with the offenders.
My own Self is the paradigm of all virtues (incarnated so far)
While you are the embodiment of all evils (fresh from hell)!
See! In the end I am all alone, to run the gauntlet,
The malicious Society constantly picking at me.
Ironically, my country, my religion, my family, my gender –
Nothing ever sticks up for me.
Where do I belong to?
Excuse me! This monotony is sickening,
……. change sides, for a
better different view?
And thus goes her story:
“I wash my clothes,
I make my food,
I help my mother
I am big enough
And know my duties.
I try to study well,
I am not naughty,
I never tell lies,
I obey my parents,
But they don’t love me,
I don’t know why!”
No dear, they love you.
(She had no evidence to believe so.)
I am not their child
Even yesterday my mother told me
“You were bought from the market
For five bucks.”
She repeatedly tells me,
“Go get yourself run over by some vehicle
You bitch, you wretched creature.
You were not born to me!”
She used to fry fish for me
Nowadays she does that only for my brother.
She flogs me with a hanger,
Burns my skin,
Curses me daylong,
Sometimes makes me sleep in the kitchen.”
But why? WHY?
I sometimes get poor marks.
So study well.
But last day I got 10 on 10
Then she said, ‘You cheated.’
What about your father, dear?
When he returns from work
Mother reports my performance
And he ‘whips’ his share
Using his belt!
I don’t want the school to be over
I can’t think of going home
I prefer week days to weekends!
She was just nine.
She was the only daughter.
They were her biological parents.
I have no answer,
Neither did they.
Hope it lasts.
If any one of your students is often found unusually gloomy or naughty, take him/her aside for a little heart-to-heart talk. She may be a victim of child abuse. And you can be of some help.
(100% true story from the city where I live. She is just as old as my girl, whom you see in the picture.)
(Yesterday, 9 September, Keralites celebrated Onam, the national festival of Kerala.)
It’s all about happiness. While many of the festivals segregate people on the basis of religion, Onam has no such bars, I believe. Onam was once celebrated in a
humble but jovial way by every Malayalee family. It used to be a perfect combination of the ingredients required to make an average human (of those days) happy – perfect weather, food (the extravaganza of vegetarian food), games, and other activities like singing and dancing…!
Times have changed. We prefer staying indoors hesitating to make Onam a reality. Nowadays the ingredients mentioned above (except the first one) are accessible to us any time of the year. Onam has nothing special to offer; we find nothing thrilling in it. We are content with the virtual Onam, listening to what the celebrities say about Onam.
Thousands of miles away from the homeland we (affected by spells of nostalgia) managed to prepare a few Onam special dishes at home. Paradoxically, our relatives back there in the land of King Mahabali purchased the readymade Ona-sadhyas (meals). May be the captivating TV programmes do not let them waste their precious holiday in the kitchen. Times have changed (repeated, with a sigh)!
This Onam has touched me deeply. Early morning I got a call from my Uncle greeting us. It truly imbued me with bliss. I decided to pass on the surprise and bliss to some others other than my close relatives. The same pulses of joy were felt when I spoke to my old friend and my cousin (who I met recently after more than twenty years). They too might have spread this spirit of Onam to somebody unknown to me, I wish.
Simple gestures of affection are enough to brighten up and enliven even an ordinary day. Life is all about these little surprises and smiles – only that we store them for special occasions. Today somebody cared and bothered to express it. The latter deed made the difference. I feel buoyant and satisfied today. Let the feeling last forever – for me, for you and for them. Happy Onam – translated as pinnacle of happiness!
“Ma’m, I’m leaving the school,” the girl from grade four came into my room and stated this without any sort of introduction.
It did not surprise me in the least – just another one of those frequently heard statements in any private school around here where students keep on shifting schools for no reason. Still for the sake of asking I enquired the reason.
And the reply, a bit long narrative delivered nonchalantly by the pretty little girl, was listened to by me on tenterhooks!!
“Something unpleasant happened in our family,” said the girl and I told myself, “That’s it… someone ill or dead, or some usual permit issues.”
I was prejudiced.
“Last week my mother sent me out to buy something from the bakala (small shop) in our neighbourhood. There I met one …uncle (Here even children could identify the nationality seeing the outfits, but anyway that is irrelevant here). He told me he was my father’s friend and that he would take me home. I was even offered some sweets.”
At this point I couldn’t help interrupting her, “You knew him? Was he really your father’s friend?”
“No, even though I hesitated to go with him he insisted. He was talking very softly in a friendly manner.. I couldn’t refuse… thought it would be rude.”
“So you actually went out with him?”
By now the teacher and mother in me took over and started advising her at the wrong point, forgetting that the full story was not yet told.
The rest of the story seemed familiar like some scenes from those rare socially relevant films – the scenes which we watch with our hearts in our mouths.
“He took me to a dilapidated building nearby. At a distance in the premises of the building I saw some men having their food. But they did not notice us. May be that’s why he told me to remove my sandals, so as not to attract their attention. He made me walk into the building, barefooted. I was really scared and said I wanted to go home. He assured me he would take me back after sometime. That did not convince me and I started to cry. You know, he slapped me on my face and ordered me to keep quiet!! I couldn’t do that and I yelled. Luckily I heard the approaching footsteps – he too did. In a great hurry the man abandoned me and disappeared!”
I gave out a sigh of relief! Thank God for the courage You gave the girl to scream and for sending those men there!
I could sense every single moment of it, vicariously.
All through last part of the story I was praying although I knew it was all over. Concealing my anxiety was really hard. At last when I heard she was safe I couldn’t swallow it as such.
“But nothing happened, still why are you leaving?”
“My mother is upset and doesn’t want us to continue here anymore. She says we should go back to our country.”
Quite natural. I understand the mother. What else could she do after such an ordeal?
However, I just hope – let her decision serve the purpose; let it not turn futile. Let there be Guardian Angels to save each child in trouble, wherever they are, from the uncles lurking incognito – in all types of outfits!