Posts tagged Bombay

Spotlight

 

Just watched Spotlight (2015) directed by Tom McCarthy. A movie on child molestation and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church at the hands of priests in the Boston (MA) area. And I must say it is so near home. Anyone who has been part of a church choir, or the altar boys, or even played badminton in the Stone Hall beneath the Chapel, or dusted and arranged the bookcases of priests, knows what I am talking of, and some of us have gone through suggestive words by these priests.

I am glad I was taught to be open and chat about the day, and I had a good dialogue with my mom who recognized the sentiments behind those words and stopped us from playing badminton, and spending extra time with the priests. I know of a newly ordained priest closer home, who had been sodomized and hence left the priesthood, just after his ordination, before his first Mass.  So I am talking Bombay and Goa – two heavy bastions of the Catholic community.

So what the Spotlight movie talks of is real. A couple of years back the Pope Benedict XVI apologized for these pedophile priests. Never mind that those priests were finally taken away and put in glorious places in the Vatican. The trauma that his flock instilled in their community is here to stay. It is a known fact, yet hidden by Catholic Guilt. Not only are children subject to victimization, even nuns too. A former nun published a book on it, “Amen – The Autobiography of a Nun” by Sister Jesme (Penguin).

A lot of Catholics take priests to be representatives of God. But do they follow the holiness? Celibacy is one of the sacrosanct vows that they have to take. But as humans first and men, it is not easy to be celibate. It is easy to be tempted. I know of a lady following a priest to every parish he was stationed, in the hope of finally getting him. And I know of priests who have quit after years of being a priest and married their fellow parishioners too. But I also heard enough of priests and their shenanigans.

As the movie depicts, kids from poorer families, broken homes, disturbed homes these are the vulnerable prey. It is an indelible scar and very humanely portrayed in the movie. Men 30-40 years later breaking down and crying, urging the reporters to ‘get them.’

This movie is a reality that deserved to be brought to light. Dig in and you will find many more right in your city. It won’t surprise me.

Spotlight truly deserved the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Academy Award; the Oscars were this time, right on some counts.

 

 

Leave a comment »

India. Cry my beloved Country.

All this while I was trying to be polite and say ‘mindsets’ should be changed, mothers are to be blamed; but the sad truth is, the men mentality needs to be changed. Mothers follow the age old custom. Men control and mothers-in-law control even more.

But rape is now the everyday story. With 70% or rapes not being reported. Society and law and police make the woman suffer even more than the actual act. Nirbhaya awakened the need for safety, but also made men realise that they can go free and dance triumphantly. When lawyers support curtailing women, what can one do?

I say castrate the rapists. Make them suffer.

Burn their bodies in 60% burns. Make them suffer.

Douse the fires and leave them to fend for themselves. Make them suffer.

A stronger law should be enforced. And enforced is the operative word. Strict enforcement. Not just mere words.

I have been at the receiving end of cat-calls, yes that was the term used then, I had priests, boys who are now priests, or have wives who are priests, scar me with their sexist statements. (Come to think of it, they had no sisters). To be asked for ‘favours’ to have your brother clear papers is just appalling. And yes it happens in Mumbai. Innocence is aggressively lost.

Yes they are real. My breasts are real; they have been so since I was 12. Breast augmentation was not done in the mid ‘80s in India. At 16, no one does plastic surgery on their breasts. I hated my body. And at 40 for another priest to pass sexist statements, makes me want to hate those people. Body structure is genetic, or ‘god’ given, if you must. As much as I think I am over it, it surfaces. My hope, Karma will deal with these people.

So when I spout ire at Indian men, it is because I have been there!

So yes, suffering to them men.

Emotional scarring can be forgotten or repressed, but emotional pain surfaces. Rape is like a new fad in this country. All because these men know they will get away with it. And men get away with it!

I always maintained Mumbai was safe. You have to learn to value the sanctity of a woman, whether unborn, in the womb, or 3, or 72. What is the sense of praying to Durga, when her daughters in Kolkatta are brutalised; or to Laxmi or Saraswati when teaching and learning is levelled for a woman and hence financial independence is lost.

We are being shamed at international levels. I am hurt. India is now the rape capital of the world. India is now the religious intolerant country of the world. Is this the land of Ashoka? And Chanakya? And the Mauriyas? Or Akbar? Of Gandhi? Of non violence. Of secularism. Of freedom!

I wish gods were real, so they could strike these perpetrators of idiocy.

How can I do something!

How can we do something?

Leave a comment »

People dislike you… don’t bother!

A statement by Winston Churchill goes like this, “You have enemies? Good. That means that you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” But I think the issue here is, because they can’t stand up to you. They feel inferior to you, and they are intimidated by that, and then intimidated by you, and don’t want to admit to that. So it is easy to hate, than to learn and grow.

Various types of people envy you and it is for their own insecure reasons. They know they cannot be you; they are envious of your proximity with their loved ones; they worry about the closeness with common friends; they worry about being replaced; they worry about ‘what will people say’, and myriad of such silly reasons. Simple. They just feel they cannot match up to you. You be yourself. You continue to lift up those who want to and whom you can.

Someone once told me, that seeing me and my attitude, made them want to be a Christian. That is surprising coming from a community that is fanatical about religion. But it is not Christianity that made me what I am. I just am. I think my parents instilled some values in me, and I was told to be humble. Though this comes across like a very pompous statement. IMHO.

Remember, whoever is trying to bring you down, is already below you!

So do the good you can, and leave the rest. Karma catches up.

Leave a comment »

Rejuvenate.

On the 30th of November, I went for a Classical concert, (mostly Christmas carols) and then to the Celebrate Bandra Kitsch Mandi, a mini fair of sorts, with some more singing, contemporary this time. Foot tapping, we kicked off our heels and danced on the grass. Sometimes it is just great to have girl company, nope… better. It really got me soothed and rejuvenated. Ended up with some good Moghlai food, (of course food) and I was at peace with myself. I felt ready to take on December, a month that usually is very contemplative (read depressive) for me.

I think what did it was the music. So it is official, I am a Beast! Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast…

Have a great December 2014.

Leave a comment »

Happy Endings.

Sometimes, I watch movies, with my brain left outside the theatre. Leave the analyses and laugh along. The Bollywood flick, Happy Ending, is a film that ensures you do just that. I watched the film, just to see if it really meant ‘happy ending’ and for fodder for the blog. Yes, I am that way sometimes.

What the world interprets of ‘happy ending’, as Indians, we don’t talk of it, or are supposed to know of it! Yet we are a population of 1.2 billion and counting. And we gave you the Kamasutra!

I know of someone with long distance girlfriend, and she attempts at, what urban dictionary would call, booty blocking, but men will be men; and booty blocking or not, they will have a happy ending. Another married one has a long term paramour and gets what he doesn’t get at home. A separated couple does it as a need.

Happy endings are thriving and are of rage. I mean whatever happened to just pure friendships. Now it is all about ‘getting it’ or actually ‘friends with benefits’. And there is also a new word for it, ‘xxxx buddy’, rhymes with duck.

So is it all about getting what you want, when you want it. Is a happy ending the end of desire, or the beginning of happiness? Or is happiness a state of mind. Are happiness and comfort the same? Or are we choosing what we feel and how we want to feel? Are we aware of our feelings? Or are we dependent on physical attributes. Physical versus emotional, where would our happiness lie? Or does happiness lie? What is the truth?

And yes the film has a happy ending, in more ways than one. Leave your brains out…

Leave a comment »

On beards

Sometimes I like a man with a beard. As girls, we are conditioned by our dads and my dad was always clean shaven. I had never seen stubble on him. Saw him shave, helped him shave as a kid, but a beard, never.

So sometimes a nice full beard looks good on a man. Makes him look mature, read older. (Though men are never mature at their best, they are still the 11-year-old-boy inside.) A nice full-cheek beard gives a man dignity, and dammit, they look good at any age. And even more so when it is salt-and-pepper. Especially when it is salt-and-pepper!

Other beards are more sophisticated, the French beards for instance. It just helps the face, does not do much to the man, on the whole. To me, they are merely cosmetic, high maintenance and give the air of luxury. And if it is not kept well, it is disgusting. Other varieties on the French beard are pure style. And these fads come and go.

For now, it is the unshaved stubble look that has been on for quite a few seasons. That look is slowly getting to be a tired look. Even if it is a stubble, it has to be kept well. There is maintenance in a scruffy look. As Steven Tyler of Aerosmith once said, “You don’t know how expensive it is to look this cheap.” (He was wearing digs that looked like they came from a flea market in Goa, but they were Galliano!)

Just moustaches are ok. They are for those who want a ‘look.’ They are for those who want to say, ‘look at me!’ Moustaches don’t try hard to make a statement. They are just wannabe’s. One thing I think I haven’t really learnt to appreciate is handle-bar moustaches, and those ’staches that curl outward. And then the men who twirl them when talking to you, is in my exalted humble opinion, just ugghh!

So give me a man with a full beard… That is my latest ‘like’.

Leave a comment »

Rape.

Why do men do it? Don’t they know they came from a woman? Don’t they have a mother or sisters? What is it that drives men to pounce on women? Anyway I’m not interested in knowing the reasons from the men. What I am interested is in punishment for these low life curs. And that is insulting to the dogs.

The rape and death of Nirbhaya is a blot on our souls. A blot on the Indian Constitution. A terrible blot on all the women in power in the New Delhi. India is now the nation where girls are neither safe inside the womb nor outside. And then there are prayers to the goddesses. What a sham!

I am serious about rape. Physical assault is a heinous crime. And in my exalted humble opinion the Muslim countries got the punishment right. Immediate death to the B@$t@rds. The so-called ‘educated’ countries dilly dally on the punishment for so long that it is not deterrent enough for the crime.

My ideal punishment would be to castrate these men. Publish their pictures, and of their families and socially ostracize them. And I think now the ideal punishment should be castration of the criminal PLUS another from their family, an immediate male blood relative.

Abuse lasts. It messes up your mind. It makes you doubt your capabilities. And even 40 years later you are scarred.

Leave a comment »

Live a life!

A decade ago, I was at a large IT company. At increment time, one section decides to give a raise to everyone, except two girls; the reasoning- “you are South Bombay girls, you two are single, you don’t need the money.” Such is the respect that we, as independent career women, get in the market place.

Another place I worked at, had the men intimidated by our knowledge and professionalism, and that we can handle just about anything under stress. So we got pulled up because the photographs of an outdoor event were too bright and sharp, because the frigging Indian summer sun is too bright and sharp, you dumbhead, and I am not a photographer who knows how to control these things!

It is always said that the boss makes the company, and people stay in or leave their jobs not merely for the money, but because of the immediate supervisor.

So when a friend has his boss tell him that he “had more money than he could spend’, it raises old issues. What gives a boss the right to abuse? This borders on harassment. India has no laws, or dormant laws, to counteract harassment. If any legal action was to be taken, it would take years.

Another very close person I know, has gone grey because of the incompetency of his new boss. An international respected company; (in the Forbes Top 5 global companies worldwide) his new boss does not know her products and makes a fool of herself at meetings, and this chap faces the brunt, on the bottomline. She is a scathing proof of women who sleep to get ahead, in some Indian companies. Though she is pulled up by the international counterparts, one leg in the east and the other in the west can take you only so far! I am ashamed of women like this!

So what gives the bosses the right to cast aspersions on your integrity and knowledge? You have earned the right to be counted as a professional; you have spent years, not to mention money, on education. Is it just the insecurities of the immediate superiors? One company thought I was buying out the company! Ill mannered and uncouth, is it just the egos at play?

Secondly what is HR doing? Most HR departments assume their job stops at the hiring stage. Most HR personnel are themselves incompetent. Most HR are subdued by the owner/superior/supervisor. What suffers at the end is the name of the company, and the employee morale.

Sometimes, we as employees shut up and suck it because we need the money. But at what cost. Isn’t health more important? Leave the b@$t@rd$ and get on with life!

Life is for the living! Live it. Let Karma do the rest. And she does! Send out positive thoughts to the Universe.

Love and light on all!

Comments (2) »

Permission or Informing

A friend of mine recently told me of a group of her friends, living in the far northern suburbs of Mumbai, who needed permission from their spouses or in-laws to catch-up with other friends. Even over a coffee.

Both of us, very independent, liberal, maybe mild feminist to a certain extent, were shocked and appalled at this situation. We ‘inform’. We don’t ask for ‘permission’. Our activities are known by our families, there is nothing to ‘hide’. Nothing to ‘ask permission’ for.

I recounted this tale to another close friend of mine. Male. living in the western suburbs, educated, and I thought liberal enough. And his opinion was ‘yes women need to ask permission’. He wouldn’t let his wife, if/when he married, do things without his permission. Even a chance meeting over a coffee. He says women need to be subjugated. ‘God’ made women to be subjugated! And men to ‘rule’ over them!

I definitely don’t agree! First of all, there is no ‘god’ in the biological evolutionary process. Secondly, there are some things one does not need to ask ‘permission’. Informing should be enough. It is not like the women are taking off and neglecting their families! I think a woman is programmed enough about her responsibilities from the very early years. Is this the age of enlightenment or what? I am open to accepting that this trend of thought would be common in certain ethnic communities, but a Catholic with this point of view, in this age, is simply disturbing.

Sometimes, I don’t understand humanity. Or maybe I don’t understand men! You think you know them, but in the end, they are no better than the Taliban. Should have seen the signs. Some days back, he had said that maybe one day, he could be arrested for ‘domestic brutality’, and wanted a wife who could conform to him and his family; and would make his wife ‘listen’ to him. I pity the lady!

And here I was who always thought that a woman is a woman’s worst enemy. But never underestimate the mitigating forces of Men!

There is a line in the movie, “Fiddler on the Roof”, which goes – it is easier to ask for forgiveness, than permission.

What is your opinion?

Comments (1) »

On Diwali

I love the festival of Diwali. I love this Festival of Lights. Always have. I love the lights; I love the food (ofcourse); I love Indian mithai. I love the early morning rituals; I love the camaraderie; I love the festival; I love the fireworks.

I HATE the noise of crackers and bombs, especially when it is early morning and very late at night post 2am. I dislike when ‘stars’ are put outside homes and not kandeels and lanterns. I dislike when stupid old ladies think that is not right for someone of another religious bent to have diyas lit around the home. (The same who will have a small Christmas tree for the boisterous grandson).

Everything is so bright in Mumbai. Every house is lit like a million stars. Every building has a plethora of lights in the windows, some with artistic shapes.

One Diwali spent in Goa there was no lights, no sound, no noise, no festive-decked streets, no buntings, no hope. It just didn’t seem like the explosion of Diwali had hit the place. It seemed dull. Bad.
I want noise and pomp and glamour for Diwali. And some diabetic-coma inducing mithai. Yummy!

Ok, so I have to up my dose of metformin and glimepiride.

What’s your take on Diwali?

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: