Posts tagged Mumbai

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?

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6 things about Clients when you are a Freelancer

  1. They think theirs is the only account you are working on.

And expect you to work on their account 24×7. And I really mean 24 hours. At the payment amount you squeezed me for; I would starve if yours was the only account.

 

  1. They think they are paying you the earth.

Really, for the value I bring to the table, it is still not enough! And why do I succumb to your sob stories. I could write a book on my sob stories.

  1. They expect you to work on their content night and day.

Hello! I need to sleep and eat (and sometimes have a social life), and drive to and fro from your workplace, which you want me to come to, ever so often. I am not your in-office employee. Do you know the time it takes to cover 5 kms in Mumbai, in peak hours? About one and half hours. FYI.

  1. “You operate from your house; that does not cost a lot.”

Again Really! Pay for my house loan, and see how much it costs; pay for my travel, and see how much it costs; pay for my laptop and backup, and see how much that costs! Pay for the air-conditioning, pay for food, and the erratic hours I keep, because ‘I am working from home.’ Really! Live my life. And see if you can juggle all that I do. See if you survive.

  1. “You just have to write, that’s easy.”

Really again! If it was that easy, why don’t you do it!

  1. “You shouldn’t be charging for something that comes to you naturally.”

You are paying me for my experience, you are paying for my expertise; this is the result of education that I put in to be able to write so easily. Talent my dear client, is not something that is easy, it may be natural, but there are years of work put in to be able to look easy. PS: Why don’t you try it yourself!

Then again, there are some client who make all work seem so good!

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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?

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Education and History, and the history of education

Was discussing with a friend whether his company’s language tone should be set as British English or US English, I thought.. I am partial to Brit. English (or rather English as she is spoke). some of teachers and professors studied under the British and that was passed down, or rather enforced. Strictly, at times.

And as my stream-of-consciousness mind goes, I thought of the early educational institutions that make Bombay (ya, ya, I know it is Mumbai, my Municipal Birth Certificate says Bombay). History and Literature, what an amazing combination – it is like listening to Mozart, or Pink Floyd, or singing to Pergolesi.

Formal education began with the Colonial Rule. Education in India was not standardised in the 18th century. It was caste based and mainly men, though if you were royalty, then you had private tutors at home. The Protestants pushed along education reforms. Then came the Roman Catholics, the Jesuits. The beginning and end of education lay with the religious bodies. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, were some of the reformists. The first college in India was in Kolkata (1817)

The Wilson College was the first college built in Bombay in 1832.  It was an idyllic place built on the seafront. The road came in almost half a century later. (And the little forest of trees on Chowpatty beach, was cut down in the late ’80’s when Rajiv Gandhi came to give a speech.)  Ich war dabei. I was there. Morarji Desai (former PM of India) was one of the earliest who studied at Wilson, Milind Soman years later studied there too. It was one of the first places Indian women went for higher education. Along with Elphistone College (1856).  The University of Bombay (1857) at Fort was built much with the help of Dr John Wilson and then Governor Mountstuart  Elphistone. So these have gone through their sexy centennials (sesquicentennials =150 years).

St. Xavier’s College (1869) with the Jesuits upped the ante on education and a ton of ‘celebrities’ in all walks of life have passed through these hallowed portals. And education has never been the same.

Today with the various affiliations in education, one can avail the best in the world at school and graduate levels.

Today with the internet and the computer, US English is default and sometimes everyone forgets how to spell.

 

PS. Somebody please gift me Sharda Dwivedi and Rahul Mehrotra’s book ‘Bombay – The Cities Within’. I will kiss u.

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