VIP, anyone?

Airlines body bars Shiv Sena MP after he assaults Air India staff

If we voted you to power, I don’t see how we gave you a mandate to skip the queue or to deserve VIP treatment. How does a servant of the public become a celebrity that ought to be put up on a high pedestal?
Yes, a servant of the public- that is what a member of parliament is.
But the public is so used to seeing their politicians have a claim to better treatment that though it may irk them, they are still individuals who speak for themselves. Members of the public aren’t the ones surrounded by bodyguards and yes men.
Suddenly, everyone around such a politician starts considering himself a very important person too.
So you have the driver abusing other commuters and misbehaving with toll booth staff. The assistant demands attention as the stepping stone to the MP if you want to be heard. The distant relative flaunts his relations everywhere with the very common, तू जानता नही मैं कौन हूँ।
Power can be that addictive to those who simply bask in someone else’s influence.
The step taken by Air India and other 6 members of Federation of Indian Airlines in barring Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from their flights after he blatantly misbehaved with an AI staff is commendable.
He created the ruckus when he was seated in economy class of ALL ECONOMY Pune Delhi flight.
What is the airline supposed to do in an all economy flight to accomodate him?
A. Seat him in the cockpit and let him fly the plane.
B. Seat him on the roof of the plane itself.
C. Apply to add business class section to the flight and wait until it is approved, sanctioned and made available.

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These carriers stood up for their staff and that boosts employee morale. The last straw in the hat you need is your employer being apologetic to your client for misbehaving with you.
It has set a great example. Tell me, by what yardstick does a politician deserve special treatment at our expense?
This is a culture that needs to be discouraged.
Politicians are people like you and me, only worse because they apparently live above the law.

The Interview

Tell us something about yourself.

Suffice it to say I am a woman?

So, what do you feel?

I feel a lot of things: angst,  anxiety, paranoia, joy, ecstasy, happiness, delusion and fear, but never too safe.

You don’t feel safe?
Yes. And no, this isn’t a country thing. I mean I tried everything, dressing conservatively, being holed up in my home, not speaking unless spoken to. I followed the instructions you know. I stuck to my side of the road, I moved in groups, you’ll find it funny that I enrolled in karate classes and started keeping pepper spray in my bag.

So, that must have made you feel empowered then!
The illusion frankly. But not safe or protected even then.

Well then miss. This might be the textbook case of female hysteria. We’ll have it fixed in no time.
How is that?
The time tested solution of marriage. You can party hard to bollywood songs, put on bling, wear that red lipstick or the little black dress and have sex as much as you like.

Oh! But what about marital rape?
Umm, well. Let us assume it does not exist.

Oh, okay.

So its time for the HYPOTHETICAL ROUND!!
What happens when you are commented upon, out of the blue.
Well,you see, I’ll talk about tonight. I alighted from an auto and entered a passageway to home. This boy on a bike goes past me, takes a u turn and buzzes past me saying, ‘I love you.’ Dude, I didn’t even know that guy.

What did you do?
I pretended to not have heard him.

So, my hypothetical question is: What if this has happened three years ago?
I would have felt angered. The blood would have boiled over in my veins at such a preposterous act. I would have retaliated with a nasty retort because I was prone to panic.

So what changed?
Did you know an Australian court acquitted a man of harrassing two women because he was influenced by Bollywood and considered stalking women as normal?

What is your point?
My point is, that it is okay for that guy to confess love to a complete stranger because she is a woman wearing red lipstick and walking alone at 8 p m with her hair down. It is okay because well, they get away with it in our movies and telly. It is okay for our representatives to talk shit about women. It is okay for women to shame other women because they were ‘asking for it’. It is okay for our media to go on air on national television and glorify the good girl wronged and doubt the one in a club. If that is okay, it is alright to have a sense of entitlement that lets us get away with rowdy guys because men will be men.

Very well.
Now we reach the end of the interview with one last question. What is your name?
Name,ethnicity,race,nationality,religion, ot does not matter.
Suffice it to say I am a woman.

@bewitchinglyme

Denigrating

A six month sentence is not enough.
A gentle sentence cannot be awarded just because Brock Turner is a man of potential.
That is as good as saying the victim is not.
The woman had aspirations of her own. A man’s future is not of more value than that of a women.
Both were bound to do better in life but for this.
But for the rape culture that exists.
That we teach our boys that denigrating women is okay and they shall always earn forgiveness.
When our swords leap in defence of our men while we shame the victim. We blame her.
Even in such a clear case of sexual assault on a drunk woman, Turner refuses to admit to guilt.
Probably because he believes it to be no big deal. So what if he raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster?
Let us make sure he is portrayed as a man of infinite potential whose life ia ruined because of ‘twenty minutes of action’
Or because the victim was more drunk than him.
Or just because an unconscious woman was not resisting him, it was consensual.
Yeah right.
He says he was drunk.
How often we regret being drunk. But none of my drunk friends dragged women behind dumpsters and raped them.
If being drunk was an excuse, this world would be a more horrible place than it already is!
Drunk enough to be aware what he was doing, what he intended to do!
Or sober enough?
Sober enough to be in the constant consciousness of an unconscious woman that he could thrust himself on for instant gratification.
And yet,
Six months.
For ruining someone’s well being for as long as she lives. For filling her nights with dread of nightmares. For giving her the creeps when she wants to drink.

And the justice system failed us. It failed women. It told victims of sexual abuse that there was no hope for them and they can go to hell.
That men were entitled to ’20 minutes of action’.
That men with means could bring justice to their knees.

Letters

Today, we send and recieve messages from around the world in a blink. There are no frontiers as such. Miles of distance are rendered irrelevant when we want to be heard.
Where, then, does that leave letter writing?
Today it is a luxury few people can boast of. Isn’t it ironic, that when technological progress was being made, people who wrote to their loved ones did that because it was comparatively cheaper. Today, sending an instant message is so much more convenient and wise. Letter writing is expensive.
Yet some of us, long to indulge ourselves into the whole stamps and envelope frenzy. The unbearable wait and excitement in holding a letter freshly delivered is an experience equal to none!
So, last year I made some pen pals through this awesome app Lettrs that lets us send and recieve virtual letters. And I started sending some of these aquaintances who live in India the real ones. They wrote to me too. This has added another dimension to my dull and boring life. I feel so special when the postman recieves my signature and hands me colourful envelopes that have stories inside them!
Each one is unique and an exquisite creation of the sender, containing within itself her individuality and passions.
I hope this positivity that I have added to my routine only grows into something better in the years to come.

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Aparajita

Books

When you start reading a great book, its contours start realigning themselves with your imagination.
The spaces between the pause that jumps from one chapter to the next, they are filled with your essence.
And no two people ever would imagine a book in the same way: using exact pastels and brush strokes.
And that is why when you finish a book, you are left with a loss. You know you have lost something because when you read it again, it will never be the same. The experience might be better, but you will read it in a new light altogether. 
We love to cradle our books to sleep in the hope, that we’d maybe dream about it and that shall be the only manageably close encounter we could ever have with the characters, and the story.
And sometimes, we just hold a book close to our heart and cry. 
Writers, have a task at hand. They definitely need to write about what they picture but there should also be a peephole into the scene the key to which is with the reader. We become, the faceless people inside.
I am that woman, who silently resigns to Kent, Baker Street or Wuthering Heights like an unacknowledged presence: an intruder.
This must be the reason why we relish looking into the ordinary lives of men and women through a tiny peephole. These people, perhaps I’d come across them at a dance or a protest, these people are dull, drab and lead non existent lives.
But the excitement of eavesdropping on their most intimate conversations, that keeps us going.
And we might come off as a stock character, after reading a book, we grow, like the protagonist in it grows out of the mould he was cast in and becomes someone else. It is more like the writer, took me up as a character to influence by the force of the story she weaves.

Late night dilemma

It is past midnight and I don’t feel sleepy at all. So I’ve been bothering my brother with all sorts of ridiculous questions for the last half an hour.
‘Hey, you awake?’ I ask excitedly.
He answers, in a voice that seems to be coming from a land far away,’ What?’
I move a bit closer so I wouldn’t have to shout and wake the neighbourhood up.
‘I’ve been thinking, if there was a chip inserted inside us to track our whereabouts, what kind of technology would be used?’
I couldn’t see his expression then but could very well imagine what it was like.
‘Why on Earth would you be thinking that in the first place?’
He did sound a bit annoyed.
Still I waited for an answer. He sighed.
‘Look, if that chip must act like a transmitter or reciever of geographical co ordinates, they’d be using waves. Radio waves maybe.’
I was interested regardless of the fact that his answer may or may not be entirely correct. But then, I didn’t need a demonstration. This much was enough at the time.