SHE – The nameless faceless ones

SHE was working in the night shift and was on her way home in the company car after a tiring day when it happened. Four strange men forcibly got into the car with her as they were halted at the signal…one man even pulled the driver out and pushed him to the ground. It happened before she really had a chance to comprehend what was going on. As they drove away to have their way with her…SHE wished she had something to help her…

***

They told her SHE would get the best wildlife pictures if she waited quietly in the bushes at the edge of the village until the first faint light of the morning appeared. She did as she was advised and waiting patiently. Suddenly she heard the crack of some twigs. She stilled in anticipation for the animal to make its appearance. It did. It also stood on two feet….SHE wished she had something to help her…

***

SHE was waiting for her bus when a minivan slowed down beside her. The man in the passenger seat lowered his window and beckoned her. She looked at him suspiciously for a moment but then he only seemed to be asking her for directions so she went closer to the vehicle to show him where to go.  The back door slid open before she knew it and a man pulled her in. They laughed as they drove away while she looked helplessly on…SHE had nothing to help her…

***

SHE is me….SHE is also you. SHE is the everyday woman. SHE is every woman who goes about her daily chores but ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time by some cruel twist of fate. SHE is every woman who has suffered at the hands of cruel barbaric men. SHE is every woman who has not had the bright light of the media shined on her misfortune and so has been ignored. SHE is every woman who could have been saved and spared if perhaps she had a little something on her to protect her…I wish SHE had Smart Suraksha with her

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

*****

Please please check out the Smart Suraksha application available for your smart phone. If you ever feel that you are in danger, one click will send a message to five pre-determined numbers from you contact list and to the police too! AND it even sends your location to these numbers…! I urge you to download it and stay safe…

I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Smart Suraksha App

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Woes of women

This morning, there was an article in the newspaper about a woman who was slapped by a relatively high ranking police officer for protesting against the brutal rape of a five year old child in the national capital. You tell me which part of that headline you find most appalling…

I’m from India and most of the time, I’m super proud to be Indian. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Am I patriotic? Probably not. I doubt I would lay down my life for the country or anything, but, I’m loyal to India…except when I read or hear or watch how absolutely miserably we fare when it comes to dealing with crimes against women.

I am aware that women and children (both boys and girls) are molested, abused and raped everywhere in the world, but, somehow, the fact that every second article in the newspaper is about some woman in some city in the country being taken advantage of worries the hell out of me…further, the fact that so many of those rapes are of minors freaks me out completely.

Why is it that when the victim is female, she is not given comfort and assurance that the culprit will be punished severely? Why is she instead treated like somehow the whole thing is her fault? For going to the police to report a rape, women are often ridiculed or beaten up or jailed and in some of the more extreme cases even ostracized from the towns they live in while the jackasses who can’t keep it in their pants roam around freely able to cause others emotional and physical trauma at will. Most of the girls I know have been groped, pinched, kissed or worse by absolutely strange men at least once in their life so far. It is likely that it will happen again. The occurrence of the event is bad enough, but, what is worse is that most of the girls I know (myself included) have accepted it as routine and done nothing about it. But, what would we do? When rapes are not treated seriously enough, how could something as small as a kiss?

Last year, the rape of one young girl made the headlines for weeks together and through her suffering and finally death, the country woke up and announced more stringent laws dealing with heinous crimes of all types. But, men here don’t seem to be afraid of laws like that. They still go on doing what they are doing without fear of capture or punishment.

How have we become a society that couldn’t care less about our women? How do the males of our species believe it’s alright to do the things they do to children, in so many disgusting cases their own? How do those in authority blame the way women dress for molestation? How can an elected neanderthal cite the rise in fast food consumption as the cause for increase in the number of rapes in his constituency?? How do our politicians recommend decrease in the legal age for marriage as a solution to the rape problem? How is marrying the man who raped you justice? Why are these sort of terrible crimes unpunished or not given strict enough punishment? WHAT THE HELL ARE WE TEACHING OUR MEN???

I have so many angry questions and not nearly enough answers….sigh…I wish we lived in a safer India…a safer world…one where it wasn’t so hard to be a woman…

Two months…

Two months from today, am going to be dressed in white…am going to be wearing a wedding ring…am going to go from Ms to Mrs…

Mine is an arranged marriage, meaning my parents did all the work and conducted an extremely good search to find the suitable boy. They probably deserve more credit than I can give them for the happy state I’m in, but, I did say yes! 🙂 They managed to find a chap who is pretty much everything I was looking for…and more. Considering how things panned out and the effort that was involved to locate him, I’m inclined to believe that the term “manhunt” originated in the countries of South Asia and initially referred to finding a good match for eligible daughters and not really to searching for a fugitive……

Anyhow…

Two months and I walk down the aisle…two months and I become a part of a new family…two months and I will be married…

Much like that princess (and in my head, I totally am a princess…sometimes…) in a fairy tale I read when I was very young, I found my frog…and luckily for me…he is indeed a veritable prince…

A Suitable Boy

Mr. Perfect?

So, you’re in your twenties now. You’ve had a free reign in college and finished studying and got your basic qualification. You’re holding that degree certificate in your hands thinking of the whole range of possibilities that have just opened up to you after years of hard work. You can find a good job and finally earn enough to perhaps buy your own car in a few months and maybe shop without guiltily looking at the balance in your bank account which your Daddy had to previously refill every now and again. Ah…the good life! Yes, life is about to change, but maybe not exactly in the way you expect. You begin to catch snippets of conversations that your parents and other well-wishing older relatives are having all involving eligible boys. It is elementary to deduce from such chit-chat, that it looks like they think it’s time for you to settle down and assume your role as someone’s wife and daughter-in-law.

It’s all well if you’re one of those lucky girls who have found the right frog and he has indeed turned into your prince charming but if you form part of the sample of population that isn’t quite so lucky, he who you thought would turn into a prince remained in fact quite an ugly toad and had to be returned to the pond from whence he came. The unfortunate fact of the matter in this situation is that now you don’t have anyone to take home to introduce to your parents as “the one”, so you’re parents start the quest of their lives (involving you in it). They begin the hunt for a suitable boy.

Getting into the mind-set is probably the hardest part of the whole arranged marriage concept. Realizing and then accepting that someone else is almost fully in charge of finding your life partner is quite overwhelming. I know I struggled with the idea before coming to terms with it. At this point in the process, you actually develop a sort of checklist in your head, quite like those advertisements you see in the matrimonial columns of newspapers, “looking for a groom who is highly qualified, he should be at least this tall, about three or four years older, enjoy music and the theatre, and if he’s good looking, well that’s an additional plus that has been thrown in on account of good luck.” There are hundreds of other things that you want him to be because when you begin drawing that checklist in your head; you’re probably for the first time in your life, really qualifying your ideal spouse. Ideal being the key word here.

Anyway, based on your description of the fellow you have your sights on (even if it’s only in your mind), your family scours the place and finds someone they think is the suitable boy. To meet the prospective in-laws, in pseudo-filmy style, you dress in the traditional garb, wear the gold your mother picked out, and sit very quietly not really making eye contact with anyone, let alone your possible knight in shining armour. Then your parents (in cahoots with his); decide to leave you alone with the boy so you can “get to know each other better”. Erm…awkward!! What are you supposed to discuss with a chap you’ve only just met even if you’re supposed to spend your lives together (as the parents are hoping in the next room)?!? You end up doing what is only natural, you spend the next few minutes nervously smiling and glancing at each other, asking very irrelevant and rather silly questions which are unfortunately not the type that lead to other questions and therefore, each response ends in a very uncomfortable silence until one of you is able to rack your brain and think of anything else to say and then…then there is a relapse into that dreaded silence. The cycle continues. Boy number one didn’t really go too well…

But, never say die! It is after all a quest we’re on and although seeing boy number two is easier and you have previous experience to draw upon enabling you to carry on a slightly better conversation with shorter silences, by the time you meet boy number three, you begin to wonder if the fellow you imagined in your head was really that wonderful after all. In between smiling politely at number three and wondering how you agreed to meeting him in the first place, you begin to lower your expectations and the painted picture of your ideal life partner begins to undergo a number of changes. You decide, maybe he doesn’t have to be all that tall. Or maybe even if he is six or seven years older than you, it’ll be okay. It won’t be like you’re from two different generations or anything of that sort. It’s alright if he has never read a novel in his life or never heard of the Beatles or Elvis. You simply hold on to the few essential qualities you cannot imagine your future partner without and with the other toned down ideals in your head, you look at more boys.

At about boy number six, you think you’ve finally met someone who you can talk to. He’s just a little taller than you and he isn’t the best looking guy in the world. But, he seems very smart and he likes Elvis. (Score!!!) So you tell your parents that maybe, if he has no objection either, you would like to get to know each other a little better. Maybe a couple of months later, you get married.

No, he wasn’t the perfect man when you met him and chances are he’s not going to become that perfect fellow over the years. Perhaps if you met him when he was number one instead of six, you would have rejected the idea of being with him. But having grown through this quest you and your parents were on, you realize, the search was for the “suitable” boy not the perfect one and possibly parents do know best. In all likelihood, you will eventually be happier with the most suitable boy instead of the totally perfect because he can probably compensate for your imperfections and make all other things in life appear flawless.