Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Letter To Our Government

Image from Economic Times

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, 

I was seven, in Kanpur when I was eve teased the first time. I didn’t know what it meant. I knew it was something horrible because my mum banned me from traveling in rickshaws from then on. If I did, I had to have the rickshaw hood up and the rickshaw guy had to be someone we knew. 

My mum and I were in the rickshaw, getting back from school, happily chatting about my day when a hand slipped under my skirt at the traffic light. I screamed, my mum screamed and the poor old rickshaw guy got down to slap the man, whose face I still remember. The men standing there laughed and mocked the rickshaw fellow and we meekly left. 

This was the first.

From then on, I never left my guard down. I became angry.

One of the first things my mum taught me as I was growing up was how to be a lady. Always cross your legs, don’t giggle too much in front of men and hold your head high. But she never taught me how to react when someone violated my personal space, made me feel like I’m an object and looked at me with those disgusting eyes that I wanted to pull out. 

I often wondered as I left home at the age of sixteen, started staying alone and had to be extra careful about my own safety, where so much anger inside me came from? 

I moved to Delhi after a few relatively ‘safer years’ in Maharashtra and understood exactly where and how this stemmed from my very core.

I traveled in buses with pepper spray, wore loose clothing, crossed my arms and carried safety pins. This is how I went to college. 

I could protect my chest, but I couldn’t protect my ass. 

In my mind I would have visions of killing and torturing these men who salivated looking at me. I have to admit, I thought of killing very often. I am human after all.

I have been in Dubai since the past three years and it was only after the incident in Delhi recently that made me realize what a calmer person, moving to the Middle East has made me. I haven’t been angry in three years until now that I see the chaos in my country and being a citizen, I need to stand up to this horrible mess.

As a woman, you never should let your guard down is something I have learned and practice. 

But in my city, I can walk out at 11PM, catch a cab, go to a bar and meet some friends without thinking twice. I know this because I know my rights as a woman are protected. I know that the punishment for anyone misbehaving with me is a death penalty and it will be taken. The law will ALWAYS be on my side in case of an issue like this. I am confident that the government or police will not violate me in any manner but protect me. 

When I told my mum once on how I wanted to report some hooligan’s to the Delhi police, her reaction was, ‘Don’t, they might lock you up and rape you’. 

This is the world we live in, Sir.

I am today; glad to be staying out of my country. 

After traveling to several countries alone, I am traveling to India today and for the first time in my life, I am scared to go back home.

Pleading you to think and act,

An Indian Woman

2012, You were awesome!

If I had asked for pots of gold last year around this time, maybe I would have got a million pots of gold by now. 

They say you should be careful for what you wish for, because most of the times, it does come true.

There are years about people, then there are years about yourself. 

My epic 30th year was mine and all mine in all its glory. I couldn’t have asked for more or any less. Each month amazed me, either with its highest highs or lowest lows. In the end as this one draws to a close, I don’t think any year has taught me so much about my own self than this year has. 

And so, this is how 2012 went... 

This year i wished to keep walking, keep exploring... and that is what i did, in my bright pink shoes. 

my good enough to eat strawberry shoes

I discovered the joy of traveling alone and once again, became my own best friend. 

Turning 30 was so much fun, but jumping off a plane, even better.

With a new camera in hand, I saw my city in a different light. Even though sometimes I disliked it, it  became my home. 

Romanced food and wine. Experienced the beauty of doing nothing in Italy. Came back with oodles of trinkets and a few extra pounds. 

Romantic Rome

Orgasmic food

Enchanting Florence

Dropped my jaw several times and salivated at Swiss, Spanish and Tuscan landscapes. 

Believed in fairy tales again in the heart of Switzerland.

Loved getting into work everyday just for this view... 

Cried when I saw it twinkle.

Tried to understand architecture, failed. So I just stared in wonder instead at ginger bread houses and tree trunk pillars. 

And then after a hard day of staring, discovered my poison by the beach. Lots and lots of Sangria. 

Gaudis Barcelona

Bought my first solitaire. Soon realised, its not my thing. It was worth a ticket to London. Today it lies packed somewhere in my cupboard. 

Practiced my mantra for 2012 everyday.

Each year teaches me this. This one taught me a bigger lesson on letting go. Someday, I will be a pro in that area. As of now, I am still trying...

image from google

Did a bit of dancing, tried an online language course, gave up after the first class, enjoyed cooking, loved photography, learned the art of conversation with strangers, learned the art of conversation amidst being lost in translation, finally owned a mac and an iphone, discovered my love for music again with Joshua Radin....

...And as I look back today, waiting to embark on my last journey before this year ends, back to my own country to friends and family, I cant help but think, was this year really about travel, new experiences and discoveries? Or was it about a journey that I took inside my own self. 

Threw away a lot of masks, unveiled a few layers, fell down and bruised myself, got up and looked at the world with wonder at its sheer beauty and its unending urge to surprise me, every time I lost a little bit of faith. 

image from google

Happy 2013!

** All images are a copyright of idle tuesday afternoon thoughts except the ones mentioned. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

To Rainbow Filled Skies

Image copyright - Idle Tuesday Afternoon Thoughts

Letting go is a scary thing. The moment you start to let go, the knot that holds you together for some reason gets tighter. 

The moment of clarity get blurred and the ‘what if’s’ start hounding your mind.

Why does it feel like you are cheating your own self by the decisions you have made. Why do you start feeling guilty for not sticking to your guns and keeping the self preservation mode on 24/7?

Letting go is not easy. 

Post the hurt and pain comes guilt, confusion and a misbalanced sense of right and wrong.

But letting go is important. There is a reason for everything. And even in that blurred state we need to remember the reason we started to let go was because that one thing was not meant to be.

There is a life, a whole new one waiting to reveal itself, just as this blurry cloud moves away. Just as the knot loosens and we start flying free, into sunny, rainbow filled skies. 


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