Thursday, December 27, 2012

nirbhaya

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away...
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the songs says 'dream on'
i hear something completely different..
I can see them, hear them.. the don't expect me survive, but they're terrified to let me die.. I am too stubborn to let go... the world will erupt in flames if i do, don't you know..

My heart gave out twice, they pumped it back on, my body has been torn to shreds, by the monsters who my champions are out to kill, and a little bit by the healers in their quest to sew me back together again and defy god...

They were out on the streets fighting for me just yesterday, those who stood by and watched as i bled out, almost to the point of dying... they've adopted me as their new inspiration.. I am 'Nirbhaya" the fearless one, their "amanat.' their legacy..

 i am the image that they have of a fighter who will live despite everyone wishing for her death, despite how badly those wolves tore my body... Now new wolves are out hunting my scent.. they are the ones who will lick up teh spilled blood from the streets and feed their war machines with it. the propaganda will go out, loud and strong.. there will be proud men in prouder uniforms, telling the world that they fought off the monsters, they made the world safe for me and my sisters, so that when i finally do leave this world, my fighters won't set them on fire..

I can hear them chanting outside my window.. those who 'fight for me'.. they don't care that the didn't bother to raise their voice before mine was destroyed. they don't care that the wolves they fight lurk amongst them, they don't notice the tattered wool that clings to the wolves they see as sheep.. they even ignore the screams of my sisters who are being snatched away by different bands of wolves even as they continue their chants for my good health...

I do dream you know... i still live.. i dream of a day that i went out with a friend, had a fun evening, and went back to my parents unmolested.. i dream of a day that i walked across a road to my sister without the laughter of a hyena or the growl of a wolf behind my back.. i dream of a time when they would fight off the wolves and not sit back and watch as they tore at me, encouraging them with their indifference and their contempt for 'my kind'. i dream of setting up and walking and talking and acting like a human being.. i dream of being treated like a thinking, feeling, LIVING human being with the right to travel within my city without their eyes following me in the darkness..


and i dream on... till that dream comes true...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

wake up! its not just the police, its us too...

"protest' they say, 'Raise your voice', 'down with government", "down with police and inefficient justice"... does anyone remember that a whole lot of bystanders, the so called "PEOPLE" stood by and stared while the rape victim and her friend were bleeding on the road and inching towards death...???? Civility, civic sense are dead.. social values are dead, what use is your 'outrage' when you still don't stop to help someone in desperate need? what price 'humanity' when you are so quick to judge a girl whose doing nothing except walking down a street, accompanied by a boy?

There's a 23 year old battling for life after having been brutalized by 6-7 men in a moving bus. Her friend, a boy who offered to drop her home as Delhi is 'too unsafe' had to stay in the hospital too because he was beaten with iron rods for trying to stop the drunken men from teasing his friend. there is 'outrage' and 'protests' and talk of death penalty for rape..
and everyone knows that this too shall die down... courts and NGOs and activists have been saying for years that we need to revise rape laws, make provisions for quicker disposal, stricter punishment... when we don't even have the legal provisions punish the sheer horror that this episode was.. it wasn't just a sexual assault, it was a concerted, sickening show of violence against the girl and the boy for standing up to the men who were 'teasing' her. 
She has been beaten, raped, given nearly irreparable internal injuries, hanging on to life by a thread and fighting to stay alive.. and the most the laws can do is book them for attempted murder.. we don't have provisions for punishing aggravated sexual assault, we have procedures that ensure that these cases drag on for years even in the 'fast track' courts which still take two years to decide 'fast track' cases.. 
and we have politicians and political wannabes and publicity hounds who do stupid things like 'visit the victim and her family' at the hospital where she is battling for her life, for the sake of a photo op..

we have 'the people' who will scream and protest and write blogs but will not bother to slow down and stop at the side of the road when there's a bleeding body slumped on the sidewalk.. who won't bother to give basic medical aid or even a cloth to cover up a semi nude, battered person lying before them.. 
we have people who are asking why they 'stepped onto a private bus?' or 'why were they out so late'? 9 pm is late??? thats when all offices start closing!! why would anyone NOT step onto a public bus that is taking passengers, with a conductor shouting out the destination and selling tickets? the problem is with the attitude of 'why bother'.. the problem is with this inertia... you shout and protest and make a big to do about it, and the next morning when some other news breaks you move on to the next topic... questions of basic safety, civic sense, morality remain unanswered... 
and a woman gets harassed or hurt every day....

here's something i saw on IHM's Blog about the attitude of people in this country towards women..

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

amma

to the woman who was the nest that everyone flew back to, as much as we flew away..
the fighter who embraced only the 'practical' traditions and fought against the world to study, work and live with dignity before 'feminist' became a fashionable word.
the disciplinarian who got our huge scattered family to behave themselves for years
the one who was always there.. even when you didn't particularly want anyone to be..
the reason why i, who haven't stepped foot in the puja room in years still remember her favorite bhajans and stories
the reason why i love reading mythology and even more the alternative interpretations of mythology
the one who always squabbled over everything with me, and yet took my side when i fought with anyone else

to amma..
I hope you heard the tales and the songs and the laughter that was around you.. everyone came home and sat and talked to you, just like you wanted every weekend.. it was loud and rambling and there were scattered conversations and side remarks and laughter and an argument or two... and everyone was here..
and we all hoped that you heard us in the hours before you decided to not wake up...
i love you

Sunday, December 02, 2012

penrose staircases...


The bright azure of the open sky with fluffy white clouds scurrying across it make me stop and wonder at my life sometimes.. think of the things I’ve planned and dropped, of the paths that I almost took or got turned around in.. I feel like I’m at the bottom of a glass walled well and while I can see everything around me reflected in the glossy shards that enclose my existence, the only open sky that is within my reach is that little patch that is visible where that glass and stone confine ends..
I feel turned around sometimes.. not quite as if I’m directionless or not trying to get anywhere.. I feel more like sissyphus rolling the heavy rock up a hill, and then picking up a different one after it promptly rolls away from me after the halfway mark…  I’m not exactly directionless or stagnant or not doing anything… I’m just moving rather purposefully down an escalator doing up…or maybe climbing a penrose staircase whichh keeps folding back on itself... no matter how many steps tire out my feet, I haven’t moved much towards the direction I’m trying to head towards…

o nadan parinde ghar a ja...

Raghav turned 11 today.. my baby brother, the one reason i learnt to play mommy to everyone and revel in it coz his smile lit up my world.. i was too young when the brats were born to make any contribution to their younger years... but with almost 14 years between me and this little thing that my chachi brought home, i played nanny and surrogate mum whenever she had to take a break/nap/get work done.. and i would sit and rock him in my arms and sing him to sleep and tell him all my hopes and dreams and fears and thoughts, he was just a baby, but i felt like if he cooed or nodded or flailed around it was in answer to whatever it was that i was rambling at him about... Anu n the brats got rather mad at that .. to them i was the strict big sister who would play disciplinarian and shoo them around... Raghav on the other hand has perennially been the baby who must be coddled..
today is his 11th birthday.. we were all supposed to get together and have fun and have a bithhday party..
but there were no celebrations at home coz amma was hospitalised this morning... and instead of coddling the baby we've all spent his entire life coddling, we were all too busy worrying whether our grandmom would come home from the hospital... i barely even wished him.. aand now i'm wondering how he must have felt all day.. with teh entire extended family milling around teh house, but no one paying him the special attention he's come to expect.. he was so much quieter than he normally is.. even ate and bathed and helped with everything around the house without needing to be fussed at... my baby's all grown up i guess..

and the brats will turn 17 in just a few short days.. where did all that time go???