Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Women of strength

For those of you who aren’t from where I belong, my country n in recent times, my state has been in the news for attack on women. Sexual attacks on women. Rape. I am a mother of a girl child and things like this shake me up very very badly. When things like this happen in places you are familiar with, you just look up and thank god that its not happened to people you know or love. Thats our problem too. We dont act up until it happens to one of us and from where I come from, even if things do happen to one of us, the ones close to us will just blame it on fate!  Fate, my !@@$. So what do we do?
I dont want to start a post on going into the mind of a rapist. I am just going to say they dont have a mind even, forget heart. How can I make sure my girl grows up to be a strong, independent woman, capable of defending n protecting herself if n when the need arises. Asking her to cover herself fully isnt going to do the trick-WHAT IF HE IS LISTING LOOKING AT HER EYES?  Asking her not to be smart and bold may not work either – WHAT IF HE IS LOOKING FOR A SOFTSPOKEN, GENTLE WOMAN AS HIS NEXT VICTIM?  Asking her not to reveal her religious identity even may not come handy – WHAT IF HE IS AN AETHIST?  I even thought of home schooling my daughter and never letting her out of my sight-but again, what if he is just around the corner, waiting to come into my house to hurt my child or the people I care about or myself!
A regional movie I happen to see recently had one dialogue in particular that made me think. It goes somethin on the lines of if you are a small girl and someone tells you that you are a nice, obedient, softspoken girl, dont pay heed to it. Do not grow up thinking that you are the above mentioned. Its a trap. It is told to you so that you convince yourself and grow up to actually be a poor, softspoken, naive girl who will never have the guts to stand up to an eve teaser, a letcher or an abuser. You will be that person who silently suffers all the abuse and torture met out to you and cry when nobody is watching. You will always be abused by one or the other and you will silently bear the brunt of it all. Thats the problem, isn’t it? Most of us keep quiet if a man intentionally touches us inside when we use public transport, if a man letches looking at us, we bear the abuse in a marriage all the while thinking that we are to blame. Why should we keep mum n suffer the pain n trauma.
Everytime you keep quiet, you are encouraging the abuser in him.  He thinks that girls will silently take it all in, no matter how much damage he does n so he commits rape too. He starts with the ‘bad touch’ and slowly n stealthily moves to being a serial abuser n finally to rape. He kills the girls who fight back because he is only used to the girls silently taking the torture. So am going to bring up my girl by asking her to speak out. To speak out no matter who is listening and without thinkin what people will say. She will speak her mind and be gutsy. She will hit the man on his face if he misbehaves.She will stand up n shout if she needs to be heard but she will not surrender n sit silently. The next time someone says how naive and innocent she is, I’ll make sure they take back what they said.
Let us, mothers, help make a world safe for our girls. Lets make our daughters empower themselves. Lets make sure they trust us enough to speak to us about anything small or big n let’s ensure that they trust the power they hold.
Women of strength,
Lets know them
Lets raise them
Lets be them.

For you, my ami.

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Posted in close to heart, Interesting Reads

I am woman

Every year, people all around the world celebrate March 8th as women’s day. Every year I wonder whats the point? I mean,  a day for women? Do we really need one day? And what really happens to us women on that day? Do we have to work less or not work at all? Do we not take up the responsibilities we do everyday? Do we just put our legs up and let the other species do all the things we do or dont do? Does the men..every man give us a leg massage and cook abd do the dishess abd take care of the baby(s) abd head to work and treat us special? Is that what the day is meant to be for? Such a lot of hype. I think if one really wants to have a day for women, then on that day, women everywhere should be able to walk on the road without any eyes oggling at her, she should havw tbe right to decide whether she should or shouuldnt wear lingerie, she should be able to hold a drink in her hand without being stared at n the likes. Above all.. here’s a note to the men.

Every woman has a past. Some were physically abused. Some had violent parents. Some had pubertal issues. Some had sexual abuse as a child from their own family members. Some had messed up love stories. Some had been forced into sex in the name of love. Some had been drugged. Some were date raped. Some had been viciously photographed on bed. Some had been blackmailed by their ex-boyfriend. Some were in an abusive relationship. Some had menstrual problems. Some had a broken family. Some had a divorce. Some had an obesity issue. Some had financial droughts. Some had drug or alcohol addiction. Some had a few unsuccessful suicide attempts.

If you see a woman, who went through any of these but had already wiped her tears, tied her hair up, masked her sorrows with a divine smile, stood tall and strong, started walking towards her future because she still has some hope left inside her and has not given up on the concept of love that still exists in this world, do not stab her with her past. Do not confront her. Do not slap her with more abuse. Give way for her and walk beside her. Make her believe in the goodness this life has. Teach her to trust. May be hold her hands and walk for a while. You’ll know how sweet that soul is and how strong her hopes are! You’ll be amazed at how she carries herself after all her energy has been sucked out.

She need not always be only the woman next door or from a different home. She could be your own friend, your own sister, your own girlfriend, your own wife, even may be your own mother. Do not judge her by her past. Gift her the peaceful future that she deserves. Hold her hands against the world, which knows only to judge. Give her the love that she always yearned for. Most important convince her thay what lies ahead of her is much better than what she left behind.

Men, most of us dont want to be superior than you and it really isnt what we are after. Give us the space to chase our dreams like you do. Taking care of the family, helping you realise your dreams and making you go after them will all be taken care of even if we do have a job! Give us the respect we deserve and stop treating us like your own-unpaid-butler/maid. Give us the love. Hold our hands. Hug us. Stop thinking about what the world will say or think. Let us, women too, live.

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Posted in close to heart

She is married!

Remember this and this? This post will be the end to that series alright. You know you’re someone’s best friend when you go to to that person’s wedding and everyone knows you! And for those who don’t, you’re introduced as a very special member with words like ‘Hey, Meet my best friend” etc. So my girl got married on 5th January 2013 and while I watched her say “I Do” with a voice that I couldnt stop smiling about later, I realised that dreams do come true. It does. All you need to do is to wait. Just a little patience and your dream would come alive. When I saw her that morning I couldnt help sit and admire how much she had changed overnight. Just last week we were shopping, giggling like school girls and making a hue and cry at the shop and now she was here, all decked up, smiling and ready to step into the next chapter of the classic book of life.

All I can talk about is her smile that day. She was smiling from cheek to cheek! While the prayer was going on, while her sister sang for her, while the blessings were showered on her, while Ashish said “I do”, while she said “I do” and through the length of the wedding, she was smiling! And a very naughty one that too. I have never seen a bride as happy as she was. Well she still is. I chose to believe that she was overwhelmed. But no. She was genuinely happy and man am so super happy for her.

Seeing her in a PINK saree sitting next to her man, looking all regal and elegant reminded me of the times when we used to care two hoots about our looks. I remember how much fun we used to have back in our college days. The who-cares-a-damn-about-what-we-wear- attitude and the make up sessions and the haircutting sessions and the saree session we used to have. Then it moved on to the girly phase were we did everything we could to look like girls! It was fun. And all that changed with the blink of an eye. Rugged, tough jeans paved way to elegant looking salwars. Floaters changed into dainty looking sandals. Scrunchy tied hair changed to well styled, blow dried, hair sprayed hair!

That my girl is beautiful,would be an understatement.She literally…literally…took one’s breath away. And through this solemn, peaceful composure – that only comes from a certainty of knowing that you’re doing the right thing  and that my girl is in trusted hands- I watched her as she went from Ms Diviya Ann Koshy to Mrs Diviya Ashish with a magical smile and a skip in her step.

Posted in close to heart, fiction, m@dness

Awakening

Why doesn’t she just leave?
It’s the first question people ask, when they come to know of her plight.She stays because she hopes it will get better. Maybe they can talk it out and make things work. Maybe she will make him happy again. Maybe he will find a way.
She stays because she is ashamed that they have come to this, that she has allowed him to treat her this way, that she has taken him back before.
She stays because she doesn’t have the courage, hope and willingness to start all over again.
She’s scared to try to make it alone in this big bad world. She is worried she has lost the time and has crossed the age to find life and love again.
She holds on because she is afraid.

He has told her that she can never leave him because thats the love she has. He says that his memories will haunt her no matter where she goes and what she does.He has warned her that the marks and scars, physical and emotional will be with her for the rest of her life.She knows that he means it.

But that was till she realized the love she gave was never acknowledged nor returned. That was till she understood that he was taking her for a ride. She cried her heart out. She screamed and howled and cried for missing him. She went over each memory she had with him and lived through it one last time. She missed him as much as she could so that the missing would decrease as each day passed.

That was till she gave up being the girl she was and turned into a fine lady ready to take on the world. She gained the courage, the wisdom and the skill to show the world she was not ready to give up just yet. She woke up to a new day, a new woman, a new dream and a new story. She told herself she would never ever give up on love and that she will never let a man bring tears to her eyes.

She started writing her own destiny, her own story.When she needs to know just how human she is, She will touch the scars, look at them and remember. And if she remembers enough, she will cry. Then she will ignore them again and go on being happy.

And I wish her this:

Someday she’ll find the man that she wished he could’ve have been.
And he’ll be just another heartbreak in her past that will lead her to the one that’s meant to last.

Posted in m@dness

Stop bugging me jus coz I am single!!

In India, or better still, in Kerala which is God’s own country(and devils own people) if you are a girl and unmarrried at 25, its a crime!!!If you are single then there is something very wrong with you!

Marriage! That all important thing in a woman’s life or so they say! Something that gets even more importance in our society than other trivial matters such as education and women’s rights! Our social mindset is such that an Indian woman is only considered to be a “complete woman” if she has that chain(thaali,mangalsutra etc) around her neck and a baby(two is perfect) on her lap.

As someone who is single, I am constantly being told how essential marriage is for a happy, secure and stable life. It’s a social norm that must be followed; my “well wishers” inform me earnestly. Honestly, I really can’t seem to understand this point of view.

Marriage according to me is a conscious decision to spend your life with someone you truly love and want to be around the rest of your life. What on earth does thatt have to do with a woman’s security and social acceptance? The general arguement is that a woman needs someone in her life to “Take Care” of her. Are we trying to imply that the modern Indian woman is not capable of taking the major decisions in her life and looking after her own needs? As for the majority of women is this country who are not financially independent, isn’t it a better idea to empower and educate them so that they become self reliant instead of just marrying them off to someone so that they are “looked after” for the rest of their lives. And how many times does it work? Haven’t we all seen umpteen examples when a woman is ill-treated by her husband and left to fend for herself? Usually women don’t even have the courage to walk out of an abusive marriage because they are afraid of the social stigma.

We need to stop treating a woman as a “Responsibility” or a “burden” and treat her as an individual with the freedom to live her life as she wants. We need to acknowledge and support a woman’s right to fight against an abusive marriage instead of telling her to quietly accept her lot.The Problem is, a woman’s hopes and aspirations don’t stand much of a chance in our male dominated society. Indian woman is supposed to be the epitome of sacrifice – She is told that she must compromise her own happiness and desires for the good of her family. Yes, there is a little give and take in every relationship. We make adjustments and sacrifices for the people we love – be it friends, family or siblings. But do we really need to submerge our own identity to get the so called fulfillment and social acceptance that marriage offers? Is marriage the only thing a woman can derive happiness and contentment from? Isn’t the freedom to follow our dreams and aspirations and live our life the way we want enough to make us happy? Wouldn’t a woman who hasn’t found the man or cannot be with the man of her choice, be happier living alone, doing what she wants, instead of getting stuck in a marriage where she lives a stifled existence.

Ladies,wouldn’t you rather be in the driving seat of your own life rather than let your life be driven by someone else where you wouldn’t even have half a chance of back seat driving ! Some of us are lucky enough to live life on our own terms. But we are a minority, and even if our family is perfectly all right with us being single, society is definitely not.
I am not against the institution of marriage. A marriage between two people who truly care for and understand each other, is a real blessing. Just don’t make marriage a social compulsion, something we are obliged to do even if we are not happy doing it. Let a woman make her own choices, let her decide if she wants to stay single or get married and give her the right to walk out of an abusive or unhappy marriage without making it a social stigma.

Posted in m@dness

Gentle Man?!

Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need. Far too many women look up to men to come save them, to fill that gap in their lives, to make them feel safe. What is it? Is it the softness of our skin or the kindness of our emotions that make us so vulnerable?I’d guess both n a lot more.

It always amazes me how, many women like dangerous men. Men who almost from the moment you meet them, you know are bad news. Me, I prefer my men kinder. Gentler. Nice. Niceness is highly underrated by most people.We seem to live in a weird culture in which men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses and women for their strengths. I have seen so many men blaming the woman who he is unhappy with, in the same way he blames the door he walks into in the dark.

When a man gets up to speak, people listen, and then look. But when a woman gets up, people look and then, if they like what they see, they listen. I was watching a  christian wedding recently and I couldn’t help but wonder that when a woman gets married, she vows to love, honor, and obey her husband, though he gets off doing just the first two to uphold his end of the bargain. Why?

I, with deeper instinct, choose a man who takes it on him to complete me, who will encourage me to do what i want to do even if the world doubts my ability,who compels my strength, who will correct me when I am wrong by explaining where I went wrong,who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve. A man who will love and respect me for what I am, a man with dignity who will know when to treat me like a girl and when to treat me like a lady.

A man who has the courage to treat me like a woman.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Being Chivalrous

I am mighty pissed, not because I worked till past midnight tonight,reaaaally late last evening but because the world today has forgotten what chivalry is all about. Okay for those who have forgotten really let’s take a pause here and find out what it means. Chivalry  is having the qualities of gallantry and honor attributed to an ideal knight.

I for one believe in equality of the sexes, I oppose separate queues for women at a ticket reservation counter, I am against gender bias of any form except probably in a  local train (and everyone knows why).

I am pissed because it was late and this particular colleague of mine didn’t offer to drop me home. I stormed out of office thinking, “what an insensitive being, how un-chivalrous of him”. After all the cussing (in my head of course), I began to think. Most women have some distorted meaning of the word chivalry, for them it’s this preferential treatment that they have been subjected too.

I don’t need men opening doors or pulling up chairs for me, neither do I want them to drop me home after working till late, but just like every other woman in India I am a hypocrite and I admit I love it when they do all that. I am a big sucker for this preferential treatment that I have been subjected to – tax benefits, shorter queues, lesser crowds, opening doors, holding my chair and millions of other small benefits that I have taken for granted, so much so that I think it’s my birth right.It has been ingrained so deeply into us that, any accidents on the road we seek to attribute it to the women-are-bad-drivers phenomenon. It allows any woman to walk away scot-free, after having run over any animal / person / thing, without bearing damages (that’s why I am so kicked about driving).

The world has witnessed many waves of feminism that has not just empowered women but has spoilt them as well. How am I ever going to grow up if the men folk flatter me by feeling me up in a public train or if a financial institution honors me with a free credit card? When can I tell myself the world is truly unbiased towards both sexes, for wherever I go there are special fast track queues for women or the woman’s double-discount-dhamaka plasters on every store?

Holding doors or bags etc. are such archaic definitions of chivalry. For me chivalry is in the heart. It’s in the manner of speech. You just know the man is chivalrous when he treats you with respect, he never addresses you condescendingly and his remarks are not derogatory.

When I turn around at my doorway after a long dinner to catch that final smile and wave before he drives off, I know he is truly chivalrous.

Sometimes I think I will make an effort to be this spoilt brat, its totally worth it.hihihihi