Jon’s shackle of love and Kitty’s escape

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Kitty- the Cat had a wonderful owner-Jon, when she was born. In the initial years, though Jon wouldn’t have anything to eat himself, but gave Kitty a plenty so that she could be healthy and happy. He looked after Kitty’s every small needs and requirements. However, there was a catch. Jon put shackles on Kitty, so that she could not go beyond Jon’s watchful eyes.

 

Jon put her in shackles, not because he was a dreadful master but because he loved her so much that he didn’t want her to wander off and get lost in the big-bad world. As a kitten, she was completely unaware that she was tied up with a chain since she was getting all the royal treatment that a kitten could dream of. While she grew up, she still remained lazy and was happy with the royal cat treatment that she was used to. For she even purred and purred until she went blue just to get what she wanted. She was a spoilt cat.

 

While she grew up, still locked up inside, she used to look outside, the other felines playing. Kitty was reprimanded if she even thought of going out and play with the other cats as according to Jon, those cats were of lower stature and will corrupt Kitty’s mind. Since Kitty didn’t have a thinking brain at that time, she reluctantly agreed. Though sometimes, without the knowledge of Jon, she used to sneak out by opening the shackles..but would soon return before Jon’s arrival. However, if Jon found out, Kitty got another round of scolding. So, Kitty had a little say in who could be her friends. Shackles still remained. 

 

As Kitty kept growing big, the shackles started to hurt. Upon Kitty’s repeated cries, Jon finally realized and removed the shackles…but only to put her in a large cage with very limited time-outs when she could move out. Some freedom was better than no freedom. So, Kitty happily took it.

 

Kitty was well brought up by Jon. Kitty knew that. So, she knew what to do and what not to do while outside. However, Jon without having confidence in himself and Kitty, started reprimanding and scolding her whenever she went out with Tom-Cats. Though Kitty was clear that she was well brought up and knew whom to purr and whom not to purr with, Jon would have none of it as he believed that he was the sole owner. But Jon forgot that Kitty now had a life of her own and was not just Jon’s pet!! Cage thus remained. 

 

Jon’s mind was clouded by too much love that he had for Kitty. Hence, he could never imagine that Kitty could do things in her own way, without Jon telling her. Obviously, he expected that Kitty should love her back, which was never in dispute. Kitty also gave in at that time, since she also loved Jon and did not want to hurt him for what he had done for her. Hence, both continued to live together.

 

But as Kitty grew, so did her dreams. Then came a day when Kitty wanted to go out and explore the world on her own. She pleaded with Jon. But Jon, fearful of the world outside and maniac-kind-of-affection he had for Kitty, did not allow Kitty to have her way and instead suggested some other things by which he could keep Kitty forever. These episodes started to recur every now and then as Kitty’s belief in her dreams kept increasing. However, each time Jon disapproved citing what he suggested earlier was correct.  

 

Jon was also forgetting that he also got a comfortable life after toiling, falling and hurting himself throughout his life. He would have surely realized that there was nothing more satisfying than a life earned through independent hard work. Then why was Jon so apprehensive about letting Kitty explore life?

 

Perhaps Jon wanted Kitty to achieve what Jon could never do on his own. He perhaps saw an extension of his own life in Kitty and wanted Kitty to do what he missed out in life. Perhaps also Jon was fearful that if Kitty be allowed to go out alone to explore and realize her own dreams, she would either fall down, hurt herself and given her young immature age, would be lost forever in this big world. Jon was no pessimist for he always hoped for the best. He could not have been insecure as well, as it was Kitty’s life, not his. Only possibility could be that Jon was scared that if Kitty goes, who would be there for him, when he returned from work. Who would reciprocate the love that Jon had for Kitty?

 

Jon, however, was not realizing that his pure love for Kitty and resultant quest to keep Kitty to himself would one day slowly start to either entirely kill Kitty’s dream or make Kitty break the cage and run out of the house for ever so that she could explore the world on her own. 

 

Kitty, on her part, still believed that Jon was the perfect mentor she could ever have. Kitty believed that she would come back home victorious. However, she was unable to understand why her mentor, after teaching everything was not allowing her to go out and realize her dreams?

 

So, one day they sat together…again…

 

Kitty explained again…. Jon heard again…was not convinced again!!!!!

 

It was yet another stalemate. Later that night, Kitty realized that dreams too have a shelf-life. They die after a certain time. That time had come. It was finally the time to decide this way or that way. Kitty thought if she decided to have Jon’s way, then surely the dream would die. Though this may have made her successful in some other manner, but the regret of not giving a shot to realize what she wanted would spook her entire life. It would not have hurt Jon, but Kitty. On the flipside, if she decided to have her own way, then the ride would have been tough. There would have been no pillion rider to help out. But the joy and satisfaction of reaching the destination would have been like no other. The ride would have hurt Jon, not Kitty!

 

Next morning, Kitty was not to be found in her cage. Jon searched everywhere hoping it to be a prank. It was not. Jon lay dumbstruck as to why this happened. Then as he got up slowly, he saw a piece of paper lying close to open window next to Kitty’s cage, which read –

 

“Jon, long time ago, I read this poem by Kahlil Gibran. I hope you will understand. I will be back. It read –

 

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

 

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

The inglorious caste system

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The tragic tale of Naresh and Swati that unfolded recently in Telangana is yet another example of demand and pressure of society (though unfounded, unwarranted and illogical) taking precedence over individual’s choice.

The case of inter-‘caste’ marriage that happened in Telangana is not an one-off incident and has been prevalent in India ever since the caste system itself came into being. Khap Panchayat and honor killing in north India along with caste issues including inter-caste marriages is a menace that comes into light every now and then and refuses to die.

Needless to say, society in general is responsible for direct/indirect suppression of individual’s choices and preferences. The notion that a particular clan gets polluted or gets diminished in size due to inter-caste marriage is a millennium old concept, which has no relevance today. But the mind-set continues to this day as the so-called upper caste finds ways to keep them relevant and somehow show their superiority over others.

There is no denying that there exist hundreds or even thousands of cultures and communities in India, each wanting to preserve its own traditions. Fair enough, each community has the right to do so. But at what cost? What if an individual does not want to be a part of that community?

It is interesting to note that the Hon’ble Supreme Court addressed this issue squarely and in unambiguous terms while dealing with the menace of inter-caste marriages. In Lata Singh versus State of UP [2006 (6) SCALE 583], while dealing with inter-caste marriage between two majors, the Supreme Court declared that “this is a free and democratic country, and once a person becomes a major he or she can marry whomsoever he/she likes”. But observation such as this is so cliched that it is almost no one takes note.

If the parents of the individual do not approve of an inter-caste marriage or inter- religious marriage, the maximum they can do is cut off social relations (though this also does not make sense to any sensible man). But no law permits the parents or to anyone for that matter, to harass, threaten, instigate or commit acts of violence against people who choose their partners with a rational mind and going beyond the “caste” filter.

It is also a very naive notion that anyone who gets married to a person from another community forgoes the good practices of his/her culture/community. He or she may perhaps be continuing the same practices of his own community but at the same time acknowledging the other traditions as well, though not forming a part of it. If such is the case, the question of diminishing of the size of a clan does not arise. Foregoing a wrong practice, whether or not it relates to any particular community, is not breaking-away or revolt, but is rather introspection leading to correct ways.

As far as the question of a clan getting ‘polluted’ or ‘impure’ is concerned, I find it unfathomable to even think that a person (merely based on his birth) can be deemed to pollute some other person. The pollution, in such cases, is not caused by the person discriminated against, but is instead caused by the person, who came up with such thought process. With greatest regret, I have seen and met such people, who are very much in existence and are also my close family members. I hang my head in shame for the ideology they believe in and ideology they are still passing on from generation to generation, without utmost shamelessness. I am also reminded of an event in Uttarakhand, where a school teacher killed a man for defiling a flour mill as he belonged to a “lower” caste. Such people should be purged from society.

Another point to understand is the fact that the water tight compartmentalization of castes that exists today, came into existence in or around 1000 BC when nomadic tribes started to settle down as a community. In a bid to effectively manage the society of that time, people were divided based on their innate qualities. These innate qualities may be broadly categoriszed as Satva (Knowledge), Rajas (Valor) and Tamas (Ignorance). As a result, the ones with good thinking and forecasting abilities formed the learned class or Brahmans. People with qualities of valor formed the Kshatriyas or warriors, who protected the community. Third division was the merchant class and agriculturists, who generated wealth to sustain the society and lastly the working class or labor class, that is, Shudras, who did manual labor. Considering the lack of a proper education system and industrialization, the system developed was well conceived considering the circumstances of that time.

That time has undergone a continuous change resulting in shifting of balance of power. While Brahmans holding monopoly in learning and education dominated the early era, that ruling class was eventually overthrown by next-in-line Kshatriyas, who developed kingdoms with Brahmans becoming mere advisors to the king. Intelligentsia (Brahman) of that period though had the power to spread Satva or knowledge, unfortunately did not do much to remove Tamas. Had Tamas been removed, Satva would have taken its place. Had that happened, downtrodden people would have known how to live their life and would not have been dependent on a particular class. Obviously, ‘Brahman’ class failed in their duties at that time by limited the power of knowledge to only a few. By developing the mischievous theory of lineage, which eventually dictated the rules of the society, the rule makers (in all likelihood becoming greedy and “forecasting” that others may also compete later), ensured that the structure of the society became permanent and irreversible.

In mythology, why was Eklavya made to chop off his thumb by Drona? Why was Karna discriminated all through his life? These two examples stand out in mythologies, which indicate the age-old caste over merit mindsets.

In short, time has changed, mindset has not.

The problem of caste exists today at two levels – one at societal level and the other- at family level.

With increase in number of occupations, the number of classes and communities also grew with each galvanizing into a separate caste or a class. However post independence, with rapid urbanization and with spread of education and industries, the compartments are now getting loose, albeit slowly. Backwardness still remains since vast population still remains illiterate. Unfortunately, much like the earlier times, a part of today’s ruling elite ( few political parties) have still kept that illiterate part of society as ignorant and unaware of their rights, though claiming to be championing their rights. Had such a group been serious about bringing their people up, they would have spent their efforts in educating them and not indulging in inciting violence by claiming threat to their community.

In the instant case, the supposed “backward” boy was not backward by any means since he was educated and capable enough to be in the same college as Divya, who was apparently “upper” caste. Merely because the boy belonged to a particular community cannot be a reason for him to be backward. Going by pure logic, both were at same level.

Going by the turn of events post their marriage, it is clear that it was that “upper caste” family that was backward in its approach. The family relentlessly hunted; girl was coerced to return back – which also led to her suicide under mysterious circumstances. To give the story the expected ending, the boy was kidnapped and found burnt in girl’s father’s field.

While the killers are no doubt responsible and should be served cold blooded justice, but it is the age old backward thinking, that needs to be wiped out. It is easier said than done. But it can be done starting with individuals. Unless individuals show some courage and persistence,it will stay.

Like in my case, quite a few people of “my” community get shocked when they hear such stories. Their immediate reaction is that such things wont work out in the long run, not realizing that marriage in same community also fail (which again, due to fear of humiliation, people refuse to admit about its failure).

At societal level, state machinery has a crucial role to play. If the administration gets swayed or gets buckled down by the voice of the powerful, then there is no point having state machinery. Law is meant to support the weak and keep a check on the strong – not the other way around.

Another area to work upon is education. Education, education and education alone can bring the backwards up and make them realize what is right and what is wrong. Unless people stop taking words of others and start rationally thinking themselves, the backward life style and backward thinking will not go. Such people have so many benefits granted under the law, but their ignorance and illiteracy is stopping them from taking such benefits and come out of their misery.

Again, that education is the only weapon to fight against the wrong practice is proved by Naresh and Swati’s case, who knew that they were right. Blurring of caste lines is what scared the family. It is the people like Swati’s father, who resort to violence to claim vengeance for such act and teach a lesson for if more and more people become aware of their rights, it will be difficult to convince them. And once that happens, it will be difficult to stay at top and control people.

Another problem existing at societal level is its inherent tendency to control the people forming part of it. A particular society may (invariably) require its members to follow the long existing rules, including marrying within that society. The rules seem perfectly ok since they do not interfere with rules of any other society. Its totally an internal regulation. Breaking of this internal regulation and the resultant fear of Societal backlash is ingrained in our minds. The fear is obvious and valid for a simple reason that everybody requires a society to live in and cannot live in isolation. But it is also this fear of isolation and rebuke that keeps the people from speaking up, even if they are right. This fear is perhaps the biggest hindrance for an individual to decide about his future without any preconditions.

It is one thing to preserve one’s own culture but it is another thing to make individual right subservient to society’s right, when such individual right will not cause harm to the society at large as was the case here. Every society has a right to preserve its culture and tradition in a manner it wants to but not at the expense of unwilling people. This inability of the society to let go of such unwilling people and making them lead an independent life is what is stopping the society from moving ahead.

This societal problem is to an extent mingled with the problem that the families also face. For the last decade or two, with the opening of the economies and world getting closer with more and more opportunities, there is a renewed hope and belief among the newer generation to take the world head on and lead an independent life. However, at family level, the families and parents are unable to let go of their children. Why? Is it too much love and care or is it fear of being alone in later part of life? It is indeed a tough question to ask and even tougher to answer.
Well, assuming it’s the case of only too much love and attachment, then the next question will definitely be – then why not let the children choose what they like? The normal reply from parents is “you don’t know what is right and what is wrong”. Well, going by their experiences, this might be true but this will also mean that children would never be able to make decisions on their own. Obviously, parents may be justified in stopping their children, if they are going wrong somewhere but stopping them simply because they don’t like it is not justified. The extent of control exercised can be gauged from the fact that children have difficulties in choosing what they want to pursue, what they want to buy, even with their own money. Even post marriage, children are controlled. It is true that everybody wants love and care but love and care at all times, eventually restricts the person to think freely for his own good.

The other question of being alone in later part of life, if children do take their own independent decisions, is based on assumptions. The first assumption being that independent decisions will always result in children living separately. Another assumption is that children will always choose a partner against the wishes of parents. Given the money mindedness, there is a good possibility of it happening. However, if parents are sure that they have raised their children well, this will not happen. The trust has to be there. Same holds good for second assumption as well. It can very well be the case where the choice is of individual but with prior and unconditional consent of parents.

Going by the facts of Naresh and Swati’s story, it cannot be said for sure whether he or she would have lived separately away from their parents. However, as far as the second issue is concerned, not taking the consent of parents before marriage was indeed the case, which could definitely be a factor for follow-up acts. However, if it were to be believed that girl’s family though reluctant in beginning, did not object later on and that it was the society and others that transpired against them, then it becomes clear that there was no problem at family level. Though approaching the family before marrying should have been the appropriate act, however even after getting married (though without taking parents into confidence), it was nobody’s case (apart from family) to question their decision.

Thus, society is at fault on two counts – meddling with personal lives of others and two, coercing directly and indirectly those who try to take independent decisions. Unwarranted meddling into the affairs of personal lives of people is not a standard that should be set. State should also get serious and instead of gaining mileage from divisive caste based politics, start towards ending the caste system altogether. This may seem to be a utopian concept, however, given the scheme adopted by Himachal Pradesh Government of providing cash incentives of Rs. 75000 to people opting for inter-caste marriages or even Maharashtra Government coming up with such schemes, political will is atleast emerging somewhere.

There is also a need to take a firm stand by Authorities as well as by judiciary against institutions like Khap Panchayat, who openly oppose inter-gotra marriages. If the country is to be considered as developed in true sense, then it is necessary that individuals are free to decide their about their life and coercive agents are removed. Till the time that happens, such news that shouldn’t be there, will continue to come up.

Garbage Bin – the place where we live in!

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Delhi is a strange place with strange people. People are annoyed with agencies for heavy traffic, pollution and unclean roads and spaces. Perhaps it applies to other cities but being a resident of this unfortunate city, I can only talk about it. Delhi can perhaps be used an “model” city to discuss this topic.

Streets are filled with garbage. Corners of majority of the roads are frustrated – for men and dogs pee alike, when neither should be defecating in the open. It’s an open urinal, for God’s sake. People give a damn and just relieve themselves, just as they spit with impunity!

Dustbins are perhaps the most unfortunate things in this city. They are like the educated yet unemployed people. They have their own worth, but get a raw deal! People just turn a blind-eye to it, though it proudly beams – Use Me!!

The problem is the rise of arrogant society, spilling garbage (contained in their mind and even otherwise) everywhere. We just don’t care. Why? Everyone is doing it and me alone keeping the place clean won’t make a difference.

Its not just the garbage. We have the spitteratis. People just spit! Though major part of the problem is our grand Pan-masala and tobacco industry, which none of the government will ever be able to shut. Why should they? They are anyways ‘discouraging’ the industries with ‘higher taxes’ (read higher revenue to the government). People are totally addicted to it – they will not get discouraged with some heinous depiction of lung cancer or higher prices. They will continue to chew and let it out. We actually have industries, which encourages people to spit on the roads. Result – tobacco and pan-masala laced spit on the roads.

Then there those, who want to clear their throat due to pollution. Easy way out, isn’t it? Blame the pollution!! Ok, it’s the pollution and what, Sir, are you doing….oh, increasing it further in addition to making the place disease prone!!

Then there are these habitual spitsmen. They just spit. Two people are just having casual conversation, when one guy for no reason, spits out. Everyone will have atleast one such person in his/her circle. These guys may spit either standing at one particular place and create a ugly spit painting on the road or they may do so while riding a bike or a car. I wonder how car drivers are affected by pollution. They can simply roll-up the window panes. Yet, one may often see a driver, occasionally open the window and mostly open the entire door to spit. I watch in astonishment!

The worst part is, you with that little bit of common sense, who does not spit (yeah, few people still exist, who don’t do it on roads), cannot question those who do it? “Kyu, tere baap ki sadak hai?” will be the most common retort.

But, thing to note is that Bhai, tere baap ki bhi toh nahi hai!

Funny part is, these very people when they travel in Metro rail, behave with utmost sincerity and are such gentlemen! You will not find a dustbin inside metro premises, yet the place is clean! Why is it so?

Fear of reprimand? Perhaps. Put a fine and people, like unruly school children, start behaving properly!!

Ohh, even the literate (not educated by any means) also do it. And just look at the excuse. Log hain na, saaf karne ko. Why should I do it? What stops us from being sensible enough to throw garbage in the dustbin or carry it along in our car or our bag and throw them when we see a dustbin? How difficult is that?

Problem is, we have by nature, become lazy  to literally clean up our own shit. We have also become increasingly arrogant to (i) realize our own mistake, (ii) accept the mistake when pointed out and (iii) act upon it. Instead, if one ever tries to correct us, we either abuse or worse, attack!

Its not just the roads, people in general, even in offices do not take cleanliness seriously. It’s the same in offices, where many a times, files and papers lie strewn around. We are not bothered about them as it is the job of the office assistant. It may be his job, no doubt, but it clearly shows that we are not wired to clean it ourselves. Bhai, apne haath gande kaun kare!! There is merit to this…after all, we have spent so much money on own education. Why should after getting a job, we should also do this saaf-safaai wala kaam! It is just like feeling owning an exotic breed of dog but cleaning its shit isn’t part of the deal! Woh Ramu ka kaam hai!

I’m quite certain that if one cannot clean up the filth he/she creates around himself/herself, then given a choice, such people won’t even mind someone else cleaning their shit (I mean literally and figuratively!)

Are we doing the same thing in our homes too? Do we go about spitting and littering our homes? If we can keep our home and surroundings tidy, what stops us from keeping other areas, be it road or public place clean? Are we letting out our frustration by throwing garbage on the road?

We have a habit of blaming others for all the problems. We really do. And we fail to accept that. And until we do that, we will have to live in the garbage dump and start to love the stench and imagine it to be a wonderful scent (which we, by the way, are already doing it!).

 

 

The Great Noida Autorickshaw Problem

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Well, I finally have a reply from Noida city’s Regional Transport Office regarding our beloved notorious auto-rickshaw operators.

Reply are simple statement of facts, which none of us in this city are aware of but should be aware of.

 

  1. Is meter mandatory in auto-rickshaws in Noida?
    Reply: It is mandatory
  2.  Is it mandatory to ply according to meters in Noida?
    Reply: Yes, it is mandatory.There is an order to this effect for strict compliance by the authority granting fitness certificate to autos, else there will be strict action against them. However, seldom is this being followed.
  3. Approved meter rate is as follows:First 2 Kms – Rs. 25.
    Subsequent Kms – Rs. 8/km

    Night charges: 25% of normal fare

    Waiting charges: Rs. 30 per hour (minimum 15 minutes waiting time)

    Extra baggage: Rs. 7.50 extra

    Though there is a fixed fare, neither the public is aware nor has authority has taken efforts to make people aware. Auto drivers will, ofcourse, not tell anyone about this.

  4. How many violations have been booked in last three years?
    Year Challaned (Fined) Impounded
    2013-14            3,242        2,130
    2014-15            3,591        2,640
    2015-16            2,951        1,954

Long story short, the above information may not change the situation since no one will take on auto drivers and will give in to their demands but certainly, it is something worth knowing rather than remaining ignorant all your life that you are being ripped off.

But the good thing is, we will now know the extent to which we are being ripped off!!  

Pure

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IMG_0833Pure

At 16000 feet, when there is nothing between you and the nature, when you are far away from human settlement, the sight that you see, the air that you breathe, the whispering winds that you hear, all are nothing but pure!!

Women of China

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While on a business trip this time to China, I could not help marvel as to why China is so far ahead than us-Indians. I am not even going into economic and geo-political point of view but restricting myself to the attitude of Chinese society towards its women.

I do not wish to enter the murky waters of numerous human rights issues plaguing China at present, but I am only restricting myself purely  to my observations of past one week in China as to how the Chinese society, be it in big cities like Qingdao or in small industrial towns like Zibo, treated its people, especially, women. I could not help feel sad for women in India when compared to the situation of women in China.

As I observed, women did all the work, that men would do. Over the course of one week, there was not a single place, where women were not employed and in many cases, did not outnumber. Lets compare both the countries:

Chinese women guard the airports, something that is confined to only security checks as far as women personnel in India is concerned. Chinese airports, in fact, do not have a separate enclosure for women security check and nor do women personnel confine themselves to checking women alone unlike India where separate screened enclosures have been created for women. This fact alone suggests that Chinese do not divide humans into men and women – gender egalitarianism indeed!

Chinese women drive cabs. Woah!!! That’s almost a cultural shock for an Indian. Driving taxi has generally been seen as a male bastion but China does not think so. Indian women, on the other hand, are not safe in their own private vehicles, let alone taxis, whether driving them or in the backseat. Indian society  clearly has a lot of catching up to do.

Then as we went to catch a train, we witnessed women ticket checkers in train stations and people complying with checks without any fuss. Can we imagine a situation in India, where women can safely stand and ask people to show their tickets and can we expect the people to quietly abide by the instructions? I haven’t seen women ticket checkers so far in India for past 25 years and that really sums up the situation here as far as this profession is concerned.

There were women working in large factories. They were handling large machines and feeding raw material stock in production units. The proportion of men and women was almost equal. Indian society, sadly, still does not see  women as strong enough to engage in factories and considers them, at best, suited for simpler “non-fussy” jobs. Even today, only a small percentage of women are encouraged to step out and compete with the world.

Work apart, women are not forced, either due to fear of reproach, unwanted attention or due to moral obligation, to wear a dress of their choice. It is still a distant dream in India for women to freely move about in public places with their own choice of dress. Yes, dress. Something people in developed societies will find it amusing. As many call it here in India – wearing a short dress is immoral and attracts unwanted attention. So, whose fault is it again. The one who is wearing or the one who is watching. Is it the dress or is it the eyes, which ogles at women and scans through their dresses, which is immoral. As one well known law-maker once said of rapes, Men will be Men and they will be naughty!! With a democratically elected law maker saying this in a public event, it says a lot about the twisted patriarchal mindset of the elected and the electors – together forming the society we live in. With this atmosphere, the women can never expect themselves to be safe even in a burqa. In China, on the other hand, I did not witness even a single incident of men ogling at women or women feeling uncomfortable at public place. Women in China wore the dress they felt comfortable in and not a single guy was found to be staring at them or making lewd remarks. Ask any woman here in India and she will recount numerous stories.

In sum and substance, problem lies in the mindset of the society at large, where men and women are still seen as two distinct species rather than one single specie. Indian society is unable to come out of this mirage. We Indians are still reluctant in allowing women to take up jobs, which “we” “feel” is unsafe for them and want to “protect” them. Firstly, the problem is “we” not the women. It is “we”, who have created this unsafe climate for them. Secondly, this “feeling” of the society is its own giving, largely due to the fact that the patriarchal society is deep-rooted with its twisted understanding about the role of women in society. We are so much in love with our past and male chauvinism that we want to hold on to our chest, without even applying our mind whether the tradition that was followed millenniums ago are still relevant today or not. I am not against the traditions that we have, which are based on sound logic and reasoning but blindly following a practice with seal of approval of a particular religion is only creating a bigger mess. Patriarchal society was required during the era of barbaric invasions, when society was on the lookout for strong men to fight, kill and die, with women handling families. That era ended thousands of years ago. Brains should have developed by now to understand the present times. Sadly, it has not. And lastly, as regards the duty to protect, the question is, protect from whom? the society? How will the society save the women from itself? Indian society has time and again failed to “protect” women in India, when frankly speaking, there should not have been a situation to protect someone.

China, on the other hand, due to its largely atheist population, is atleast saved from illogical religious commandments. They seem to have a concept of one society, one people. Though we may stand here on this side of the border and ridicule the Chinese for their language and their eating habits, but be as it may, their society in so far as governing itself, if not the world, seems to be pretty much developed. India, on the other hand, is not progressing but only regressing downhill on this aspect.

To conclude, I have a firm opinion that China is way ahead than India as far its understanding of the concept of society is concerned and it will take atleast two to three generations to realize and few more generations to correct the mistake.

Gaea’s Reply

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We used to have such good terms, you know!

But you ruined it all….

Didn’t I cut my womb n give you food, just to satisfy your hunger ?
Didn’t I give you the entire river, so that you could quench your thirst ?
Didn’t I wrap you up, so that you could shield from heat, cold and rains?

You used to ask and take from me thanklessly,
in return, did I ask anything from you?

I kept satisfying your greed…
For I was Gaea.

But I too have some limit,
for when you started to run out of control,
I need to remind you as to who runs the house…

So,
When you started to make me bald
and take away my trees,
I had to make you thirsty and starve you for water

When you started to clearing off the lands,
and take away from grains,
I was forced to starve you for food

Now that you are greedy,
and you want more,

So here is the deal to set you right…

You want rain,
I give you floods…

You want less rain,
I give you drought….

You want land,
You get infertile piece of junk

You want food,
You get famine…

It took some time,
But I have understood you now..
If you can impoverish your mother,
then you can do anything to fulfill your greed…

Be we wary of me,
for your thanklessness,
I am coming after you,
to reclaim what is mine
and strip you off what you have,

But irony still remains,
You ignorant shall still ask Above,

What wrong did I do ??

Dear Friend….

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Dear Friend,

I have no idea what you found in me that you have stuck with me for so long.

You have remained with me with times, when I had no money
but also at times, when I could afford to dive into pool of money..

You have stuck to me, when I was a fool in the class,
But also at times, when became a book-worm

You have continued to support me from Day 1, despite knowing nothing of me..
But also until today, when you know of all my nakhre

For you have stuck to me, despite being the intellectually more strong
You have stayed to remain with me, whether I looked good, bad or ugly
For you have no qualms in giving away what you cherished and even happier when for giving it to me

Thank you…
For being the Smile, to share the joy and happiness
For being the big Heart, for ignoring my shortcomings and forgiving me for my faux-pas
For being the Ear, to listen me out
For being the Eye, catch my emotion on my life and confront me then and there
For being the Arms, to hold on to me and not letting me fall
For being the Legs, to walk the extra mile
For being the shoulder, to carry my burden and sorrow as yours

From sharing of lunch to playing in the ground, from playing pranks to crying together, from hearing each other when in need to shouting abuses for not wishing on birthdays, each moment will remain etched in memory forever and continue to remind me of what would have happened, if your timely presence at that moment of need was not there !!!

From an indebted person….

To the priceless people that I have….