Thursday, May 30, 2013
I have learnt to be aggressive, to talk straight and serious when addressing male strangers, to not make eye contact, to not extend a handshake and to certainly not smile, share personal details or be friendly when dealing with men I do not know. Some may think this is a little severe, but when you are bombarded with reports of crimes against women — of men throwing acid in women’s faces, of women being dragged off the street and gang-raped in moving cars, of little girls being lured, raped and murdered, of women being stalked and harassed, most here will likely agree my actions make sense.
Women in Delhi have learnt to be guarded, to keep up a wall, to use reputable cab services and to take pictures of licence plates on our phones and send them to friends as we board auto-rickshaws. We have learnt to text or call loved ones when we reach our destination, to carry pepper spray, attend self-defense classes and have rape alert apps installed on our smart phones. It’s become a way of life. A norm — almost part of our subconscious — which helps us survive in a city which has the unsavory reputation of being India’s rape capital.
The brutality of the December gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in Delhi shocked not only Indians but also the world outside, awakening others to the horrors women face in this largely patriarchal country. I realize now how much of my somewhat cold, aggressive behavior to male strangers is linked to concern for my safety. India has a vibrant culture, diverse population and breathtaking landscapes. Its people are warm and welcoming and economic gains are gradually improving the lives of the poorest in the interior.
Inspite of all this i just wish India would become a country where women can wear what they want, where they are not sexually harassed or stared at on the street, where they can talk openly with men they do not know and can wear the shortest of shorts and the skimpiest of outfits. No one stares. No one cares.
Women are present in large numbers in all public spaces, doing everything from driving garbage collection trucks to policing the streets to loading your bags onto trolleys at the airport. Maybe someday I'd want to believe that men in India would finally allow women to feel comfortable, unconcerned about attracting stares and unwanted attention. To feel liberated, let down their guard and be at peace.
But my point is that it is not just a question of better attitudes towards women on the streets, but also about Government sending strong signals to society to respect women, something we do not see so much of in India. Indian Government passed a new anti-rape law after the Delhi gang rape , but a U.N. expert criticized it as being too limited in scope. The law was watered down by the predominantly male parliamentarians, who agreed to broaden the definition of rape and increase the penalties, yet did not criminalize a husband who rapes his wife, saying this could lead to the break-up of the family unit!!!
And now it gets really difficult for me to understand... What values do we Indians talk about? We worship female goddess but at the mean time rape a woman? and even after all this the government doesn't do whats needed. Trust me... India being the biggest democratic Nation and I being an Indian.. I can clearly state that Democracy is for fools where goon rules!
Posted by Madhulika at 3:53 PM
Monday, March 11, 2013
"He's my unicorn!"At first I didn't get what my friend meant.She said "He's the guy that I always dreamed about existing. Too perfect, making me happier than I ever thought was possible. And I found him. We're finally together.!!!"
This is how my friend described her new boyfriend. Though it was several years ago, that term has always stuck with me, probably because, I think that's a very good way to put it.
Every relationship begins with a crush, an attraction. The person of interest is a dream. You could only WISH to be with them, to be their boyfriend/girlfriend, to know everything about them, and grow with them. They are, a unicorn to you. Unicorn because you think it too good to be true. No one goes into a relationship (seriously) with someone they're not crazy about. You couldn't WAIT to see them, to hear from them. You would give anything to be WITH them...
But sadly, at some point, this excitement, this appeal, this idea of perfection fades. Somewhere along the line, the unicorn, just becomes a regular horse. In my opinion, that the reason why majority of relationships out there do not last. He or she is no longer appears to be "that special" and so you both start to act differently, or do stupid things that eventually lead to breaking up.
To me, the saddest part about a relationship that did not work out, is the inevitable path both parties are on to become strangers. They start out as strangers, grow to learn about each other, eventually become each others' lives, and then break up, and return to being strangers again.
I've been wanting to write about this for several months. I went a little overboard and made a visual representation of a "typical" relationship...from rise, to demise. Seeing it so plainly sorta depresses me since it's quite familiar...but maybe it'll help others who are going along the same path, and now seeing that, they're not alone.
I know it may seem I'm extremely bitter/pessimistic for claiming this is the representation of "typical" relationships...but, i'm just keeping it real. Honestly, most of us are not gonna be ONE person forever, and you will break up. The normal stages in a relationship is as follows:
(I'm assuming no one cheated, beated, or did anything truly stupid that deems them unworthy of being counted as a meaningful relationship. Those are deal-breakers right there)
Stage 1: Everyone starts out as strangers. You don't know who he/she will be, you don't even know he/she exists right now.
Stage 2: By some chance, you meet him/her. It could be through a mutual friend, online profile, a friend you've had for a long time and it's just clicking, or a total stranger you bump into on the street. Whatever it is...you meet him/her, and most importantly...you are attracted.
Stage 3: If he/she your type, and you click, you'll find a way to keep talking and getting to know each other. At some point, he/she will be the only person on your mind, you'll always look forward to getting that call or text from her. You flirt, your eyes always meet first in a crowded room...She is your unicorn.
Stage 4: If you make it here...congrats! You have found someone, out of alllll the people in the world...who likes you the way you like them at the same time. If you think about it, that's quite a feat. Make the right moves and he/she is now your boyfriend/girlfriend. Lucky you, you are finally with the most wonderful and perfect boy/girl to you. Thus begins the honeymoon stage as everyone knows it. The beginning of the relationship when the two of you couldn't be happier or more excited that you are together.
Stage 5: Time will pass, and whether you want to believe it or not, the fire won't rage on. But that's okay, it's only normal and healthy for each of you to simmer down and just be chill with each other. This is when you get comfortable. There's no need to fake anything, you'll be real, you'll be honest. Some fights might occur, some problems may arise, but that's fine. Again, it's only normal. What you do and where you go with those arguments and that comfortableness is what makes the difference into the next stage. (The comfortable stage is tricky because it could be very short, or very very long, years even, but you'll never know until after it's over)
Stage 6: For many, the problems persist, and despite trying to make up each time, you're still arguing, upset, or dissatisfied with the relationship. It's only once in a while that you two are actually totally happy, because most of the time... you are just tolerating each other. This is the stage when most people say..."It's not great, but it's not bad". By the way... that's never a good description of a relationship. If you're saying that, you're probably headed for the next stage.
Stage 7: If you've gotten here, most likely there's not much time left for the two of you. There may be valiant efforts to save the relationship, but in the end, everything will add up and it'll be too hard to keep it going. Something was lost along the way and you can't bring it back. Usually both of you will be too afraid to make the final call...but one of you will. It's rarely completely mutual, but each case is of course different. Most likely, both you won't agree at the same exact moment to break it off, and this results in the "he broke up with me" or "she broke up with me" when it was really what both of you were thinking at some point. However, there are definitely the cases that are really one-sided, when she doesn't see it coming at all, and you essentially "break her heart". Those are the worst.
Stage 8: The Break Up. Pretty self explanatory. If you're lucky, it'll be on good terms. Sometimes they're long and drawn out. Regardless of the duration or type...the relationship will end.
Stage 9: Assuming you were total strangers before...There will/must be a time of distance in order to heal. You and your partner are coldly thrown back into a life null of each other, and it takes a while to adjust back. This is the most difficult part. (I could probably make a whole other subchart for this stage). Be strong. "Time heals all wounds"
Stage 10: Depending on your personality/support/life events...stage 9 will end after a certain amount of time. You'll either move on, or find someone new. Usually the most common way people move on...is just finding someone new. It's not necessarily a rebound, but seeing that there's another unicorn out there sorta makes the pain from the last one start to go away. Or you try to convince yourself that your ex was never a unicorn in the first place.
Stage 11: If both of you are mature and have good hearts...the two of you will recall a time when you were very important to one another and a part of each others' lives. This will undoubtedly cause you to sometimes think about them and how they're doing. As a result, once in a while you'll send them an email, or message, or a call to say hello. Maybe even catch up over coffee? This might happen a few times, but after awhile, the time between will become longer and longer. She'll get a new boyfriend, He will be busy in his life, so meeting up won't be a priority. After some time...the two of you won't be talking at all and will have totally lost touch, bringing you back to right where you started... Strangers. After a few more months/yrs...everything the two of you went through will feel like a dream that may or may not have happened....
Posted by Madhulika at 3:42 PM