The Scars in the Innocent Minds #LetsTalkAboutRape

 

Almost every girl and woman must have faced and encountered an incident in our lives where some boy or man teased us, touched us inappropriately, harassed or molested us at some point in time or the other. What impact have such incidents left on us? Can we ever forget that day or the moment when these things happened?

Let’s try to remember what happened on that day. Where we went wrong? What did we do to gain such an unwanted attention? How and why were we victimized to such an extent that even years later we cannot overcome that feeling of disgust, fear and hatred. The incidents that I am narrating are very common and happened with my close friends during our growing up years.

  1. She was in her sixth standard, her friend who used to accompany her on her way back home was absent that day, even the senior girls who lived near her house and studied in the same school as hers had left early for home. She had no other choice but to walk alone to her house after school. The streets were generally deserted during the hot summer afternoons and on the way, was a Government Boys School which got over at the same time. She started walking towards home. As she approached near the street that led to the Boys School, she saw three senior boys coming towards her. They were staring at her, passing remarks and laughing at her. She felt nervous. They walked towards her, blocking her way. She clenched the strings of her school bag tightly, scared, nervous. She tried to move away from them but they dodged her way. Finally, she managed to escape. She ran as fast as she could not to stop until she reached home. Years later, she could still remember that afternoon.
  2. She was going for her tuition classes, not far away from her home. She had barely reached the end of the street when suddenly a biker stopped right in front of her. The boy took off her helmet, kissed her and quickly rode off. Before she could even realise what had happened, he had vanished. She stood there motionless, unable to think of anything. She ran back her home, dived into her bed, cried incessantly. She had never seen him, nor had ever met him. When her parents came to know about it, they stopped her tuition classes and hired a home tutor for her. She was stopped from going out anywhere alone. She could leave the house only with her brother. What was her fault? Why was she stopped from going out of her house? Did anybody stop that boy from riding a bike? He wasn’t even an adult!
  3. She was playing Hide n’ Seek with her friends outside her house. She was hiding behind a car. Her friend was also hiding nearby. A man came on a bicycle, he was about the age of her father. He stopped in front of her, got off from the bicycle, stooped down on the pretext of checking the wheel. Staring deeply at her, he unzipped his pants and showed her something! She did not know what it was, but it was very dirty. She felt sick and filthy. She ran back home. She did not know what to say and how to explain. At night, she could still see that man in the dark, grinning at her. She could not sleep at night, nor could she forget that incident years later.
  4. She was in her hostel, pursuing teacher’s training. Vacations had started and she was leaving for her home with a group of friends. They had planned to board the same bus for a certain distance and take different ones after reaching the main bus stop. The bus was over crowded. They manage to board it and after a while found seats to sit. She was chatting with her friend, when she felt something rubbing against her shoulder. She looked behind and saw an elderly man staring at her and rubbing his softest part against her. She felt sick inside. She did not have the courage to say anything to him. She asked her friend to change seat with her. When she rose, the man had vanished in the crowd. She was left with a sick, dirty and filthy feeling inside her.

There must be innumerable such incidents or even worse. The perpetrators could be men of different caste, age group, educational or social backgrounds. What do they get by doing such things? FUN? What fun? From where do they learn such things? From where do they get the right to do such things?

It’s our ingrained mindset of thinking that males are a superior race. Just by being born with a set of different organs, they get the right to do almost anything with their female counterparts.

We always teach our girls to be decent, cultured, obeying and non-complaining. But we are wrong. We need to teach the boys that they are wrong. They are wrong if they think that girls are something to have fun with. They are wrong if they consider themselves as a superior race and expect women to bow down to every whims and fancy that they have. It is not okay to tease, harass, touch inappropriately or victimize them in any way. RAPE IS A SEVERE CRIME THAT THEY COMMIT. THEY DESERVE A SEVERE PUNISHMENT FOR THAT. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, NO MORE TALKS, BUT LETS STOP RAPE.

 

Adding A Bit of Khadi in Our Lives

 

The latest tableau of Khadi Gram Udyog in the Republic Day parade this year reminded me of my college days, when I was fascinated by Khadi Kurtas. It was a sort of style statement to wear Khadi kurta with denim jeans. I loved Khadi kurtas in those days.

When I took my first job as a school teacher I loved to wear khadi gram’s cotton sarees. I had always admired my school teachers wearing crisp cotton sarees in school. I guess somewhere the reason behind taking up teaching as a profession was the craze for wearing those crisp cotton sarees. Even in college, I remember admiring my lecturers entering our classroom with grace in their well pleated cotton sarees. Cotton sarees and clothes seem to accompany dignity and grace. It seems to command respect.

Apart, from clothes, I have used several other Khadi Gram’s products. Their hair packs are very natural and herbal based. Lately, I tried using Khadi Gram’s soaps and shampoo. Khadi soaps have good aroma. They are completely herbal. It is non-sticky, does not get easily dissolved in water when left in the soap case. It cleanses well and leaves a fresh feeling. The soaps have a wide variety and have good colors.

Khadi shampoos especially the amla based ones provide natural luster and adds bounce and body to the hair. It is good for normal to oily hair and does not make the hair limp. It prevents hair fall. Khadi shampoos also have a wide variety suiting different hair type. They form good lather and have a deep cleaning effect.

Khadi products have a wide variety, good quality and are indigenous. Even if we include a little bit of khadi in our lives, it will benefit many others, providing employment to innumerable people, thereby, improving the economic conditions of our country.

Khadi is a mark of our nationality. It’s about being Indian and loving India. Even if we include it in a small way, it will help millions of our countrymen.

 

Thank You, Supreme Court, For Passing a Helpful Law

Few years back, my parents were coming from Haridwar. They had hired a private cab. My father was half asleep and my mother was enjoying the outside view. Suddenly, a truck hit the cab from behind. The driver, to save the car, took a sharp turn left. He lost control and the car toppled over and fell off from the road. The car tilted on its left. My father got fainted. My mother and the cab driver did not receive any injuries but my father was severely injured. He had received a terrible head injury. With the help of the driver, my mother brought my father out of the car and came on the roadside. She tried to stop people for help. My father was bleeding profusely and my mother was scared for him. She cried and pleaded everybody but nobody stopped to help them.

After some time, a local passer-by and a gentleman stopped and asked her what kind of help she was seeking. Initially they were reluctant to help her to avoid police harassment. My mother understood that.  She requested those men to just take them to a nearest hospital and leave them at the door. They agreed on the condition that they will drop them at the doors of the hospital so that they can be saved from police harassment.  Then, they took them to nearest hospital and dropped them outside it. They left immediately. My mother started calling out for help at the doors of the hospital for somebody to take them inside for first aid.

On receiving the first aid my father was brought to a Delhi hospital for further treatment. My mother thanked God for sending those two gentlemen who helped them at that time. My father was saved and recovered in due course of time. I shudder to think had those two men not stopped to help my parents, anything could have happened.

We always read and hear about many road accidents where nobody stops to help the victim or his family for fear of being harassed by the police officials and the legal formalities. Everybody thinks that if they stop once to help the victim, they will be called at the police station again and again and will face harassment. Even if somebody wants to offer help, they don’t come forward.

Some time back Supreme Court gave guidelines stating that the “Good Samaritans who come to help the road accident victims and bring them to hospital will not face any harassment by the officials”. It will help all the road victims in timely getting the medical aid and the Good Samaritans will not fear harassment by the hospital and police authorities. It will help to save lives of many who unfortunately meet road accidents and wait for somebody to help them.

A couple of years back, a friend of ours, witnessed a road accident in which an old lady was injure badly. He did not waste a moment and rushed her to the nearby hospital. The lady had received minor injuries and was saved. she thanked him a million times. Our friend was happy to help somebody in need.

I am writing this article to request everybody who reads it to please stop immediately and offer help to anybody who unfortunately meets an accident. Now, with our apex court by our side, anybody who offers help to the accident victims shall be treated respectfully by the officials and will not be harassed anymore. A little effort from our side can save someone’s life.

A Perfect Solution to A Difficult Problem

Sometimes I think that life is a jigsaw puzzle. For some people, the pieces gets fit together perfectly and for others they get all mixed up. Some problems and situations are common to all and are faced by most of the people but even then many of us find it difficult to sail through and some find out a perfect solution. One has to work very hard with each and every piece of this jigsaw puzzle in order to set it at its rightful place to create a meaningful picture.

One such story is that of my aunt, Anita, the youngest of three sisters. She was very attached to her mother who became a widow at a very young age. When she was getting married, she knew that after her marriage, her mother would be alone.

Anita was married in a joint family with father in law, mother in law, brother in law, sister in law and their kids. She created a beautiful balance in every relationship and with a lot of wisdom and patience. She completed her studies after her marriage and took up a job of a teacher in a neighborhood school.

After a few years, her family decided to renovate their house and add another floor. At that time, her mother in law suggested that she should bring her mother to live with them. She was completely taken in by this suggestion coming from her mother in law. Her husband, Sameer, further supported her and encouraged her to bring her mother in their house.

Her in laws and her husband were very broad minded and considered her mother as part of their family. They supported her in every aspect.

It was not easy though. To create a balance and form a bridge between one’s parents and in law’s needed a lot of patience, wisdom and maturity. Her mother who was a very independent person herself did not find it appropriate to live in her daughter’s house. Sameer helped Anita in persuading her mother. Sameer always considered her mother as his own. He requested her a lot assuring that he is also like his son and she would feel like home once she comes to their house.

Anita on her part treated her mother in law and mother as equal. At times, when the two would be sitting together, she gave more importance to her mother in law, so as not to let her feel insecure. She ensured that she would give equal love and respect to both of them. It resulted in creating a beautiful friendship among all the three elders. They enjoyed each others company and extended help and support whenever anyone needed. Even while the youngsters were busy with their work, the three elderly were happy giving each other company. Anita and Sameer worked together as a team to make sure that both the mothers ( Sameer’s and Anita’s) and his father were looked after well and none of them would feel neglected.

There were times, when misunderstanding would crop up, leading to situations when her mother would get upset and wanted to go back but Anita sorted out all the differences by focusing on the point of views and emotions of every family member. She tried to bridge the gaps by communicating the feelings of all the members in a rightful manner. Her wisdom enabled her to establish harmony and create peace in the house.

Her children were looked after well by all the elderly in their growing up years. The elderly felt secured and supported her to rise professionally.

In today’s scenario, when I see many elderly living alone and nobody to look after them, youngsters increasingly becoming busy with the struggles to make a living, this couple sets an example as to how by focusing on our goals and working together as a team, we can find a solution for every problem.

Girls should be wise and consider her husband’s family as her own. Similarly, boys also should give equal love and respect to his wife’s family.

Is Nuclear Family System The Perfect Answer?

Is Nuclear Family System The Perfect Answer?

These days nuclear family system is increasingly becoming the order of the day. Many of us opt for this kind of system out of choice and many other due to circumstances. Sometimes youngsters have to leave their parents because of better work opportunities and lifestyle. Those who have lived in joint families must have faced the advantages and disadvantages of this set up.
There are many reasons due to which joint family is losing its glory in present times. A few reasons due to which the joint family system is loosing its luster are:
1. Lack of individual space
Many times the youngsters feel that they are not given enough personal space. Their individuality gets curbed and is not given as much importance as the others.
2. Lack of a balanced communication
Members of a joint family often fail to create a balanced and open communication among themselves. There are often misunderstandings and misinterpretations creeping up due to that which results in quarrels.
3. Lack of acknowledgement
The elderly often fail to acknowledge the positive attributes that the new members bring into the family. The lack of acknowledgement of every positive aspect of every individual often causes disharmony in the family.
4. Lack of mutual cooperation
Mutual cooperation is a must to maintain a healthy relationship. In a joint family set up, lack of mutual cooperation between the family members often becomes a cause of quarrel.
5. Balance in relationships
Many joint families fail to create a balance and impartial relationship between the members, thereby giving rise to feuds.

Due to all these and many more reasons joint family system is giving way to nuclear family set up. But is that a perfect answer?
Can we really say that nuclear family system provides complete happiness?
In the modern times. The expenses are very high and in order to meet the day to day expenses and maintain a decent lifestyle, both the partners have to work. With increasing pressure in the professional front, both the partners are under constant pressure. They have hectic schedules, they leave early and come back late at night. This leaves them no room to exchange pleasantries with one another.
For the few waking hours at home, a lot of time is spent on mobiles and other gadgets. The next day is already planned with many appointments and assignments. It further makes one completely exhausted both physically and mentally. Soon, a feeling of guilt starts seeping in that they are not able to spend time with one another. The warm feelings and spark of love that they once had for each other begins to fade away leading to everyday quarrels and arguments.
The partners begin to lose respect and regard for each other. Those who are worst affected by this situation are the kids who get neglected. They get devoid of the love and care that they deserve. By witnessing the daily arguments of their parents, they feel traumatized.
A possible solution for this could be the formation of a social circle where in the elderly could be included and treated as a part of our family. If we can create this type of neighborhood or social circle, we will be able to attain many benefits and overcome various problems, like:
1) Senior citizens who are living alone will not feel lonely and left out. They will be able to participate in social activities.
2) The youngsters will be able to share their problems with their elders and seek emotional support and guidance.
3) Children will be under the care and supervision of elders like their grandparents.
4) By participating in social gatherings and celebrating festivals together, there will be more enjoyment and refreshment from the hectic schedules of daily life.
5) A sense of security can be established if the youngsters chose to take care of the elderly and the elderly take care of the children.