Thursday, December 18, 2014

Poem for the Peshawar Incident

“How am I to live now, when everyone thinks I might be a murderer too?”

Article submitted by Prerna Geeta Manian

I have Muslim Friends. I love a man who is Muslim. But does it matter? Does it matter which god do they pray to? Does it matter which religion they subscribe to? It stopped mattering to me yesterday.

They killed people
They killed their own people
If they fought for their own killed loved ones

How is bloodshed for bloodshed right?
Does any religion
Sanction killing your own
Sanction killing offsprings
Sanctions ANY killing, which makes your own
Loved ones cry?

You wanted them to feel the pain
But do you think this act will stop
Them or you to stop your war?
This is just a beginning of a never ending rage

My friend’s brother is scared of going to school
I am in India
I am scared to go to college
What if when I grow up
I send my child to school
And she never comes back?

What you are doing
Is not FOR your religion
But against the very principles of it
Your own brothers throughout the world
Are against you in spirit
You killed children
Who followed your own religion
Where did your love for your religion go?

This means
It is not religion
It is not faith
It is not being a Muslim,
Which makes the sad difference
It is people who have taken to misinterpret it
To interpret it to suit their own needs
Basing one’s identity on wrong tenets of misinterpretation
Of religion, is wrong.

Yesterday, my Muslim friend,
Cried. Her heart pained. She said
“How am I to live now, when everyone thinks I might be a murderer too?”
Can you answer this question?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Remove the Organ, not the Man. Let's trend this solution, NOW.

Many won't agree to this, but death for rape isn't the right punishment. Emotionally speaking, it makes him forget what he did because death renders him brain dead. The victim has to live with the memory while he gets the garb of hell away from the world's cuss words. The curses and eyes are directed towards the victim. She is made,well, a "victim."

How can you just let a man go, just like that, without making him realise each and every moment that what he did was wrong, and shameful on his part, and not the woman's? Why, isn't shame directed towards him? Death just silences him. Silences the issue. Silences the other rapists who are raping women right now, while I write this article.

Death, is too easy a punishment. It is not even a punishment, but it is letting him go, purging off an abstinence rather than its solution.

SEX drive, libidinal energy and sexual frustration is so overpowering that these men, or any man with an overpowering urge to have sex, won't consider future consequences. It is a matter of seconds to make a decision and go for it. They won't fear if they will be hanged, because at that particular moment, their urges need to be satiated. 

Castration, seems the most correct way. When you know, that in future, just for raping one woman, just for this satisfaction, your future desires will be at stake, he might get discouraged. He won't rape any woman, because the punishment that will occur will be the removal of the very organ that he uses.
What about the groping, acid throwing incidents?
A country which thrives on celebrating masculinity, the very organ that makes a man, a man, if removed, the line does not get blurred, it gets debunked and stomped on. If you do it because well, men are men, let us take a step to remove what makes him a man.
The eve teasing incidents will be reduced too. What will he tease for? When, if he does something, will make him a vegetable?
Also, when I suggested this method, one of my friends pointed out that chemical castration does not affect the person's general health, and it also helps in reducing aggression levels. As rape, is more about exerting control and trying to show domination through aggression, this serves as, my friend put it, "an added bonus"
One of my friends also asked me, that if he does not fear death, how will he fear this?
But, here is where all the difference lies. Death is inevitable and it can come whenever and wherever. Man has two potent drives and that is sexual and the death drive. People, actually aren't scared of death, but its suddenness. The act of rape, both instinctual or planned, is all about using the organ to "dominate" over the woman. But, if using it on one woman, renders him useless for his entire life, he is a walking dead man. Death isn't as scary as being ripped off your very identity. What will you choose: an incurable skin infection or that part of the skin itself removed, or the whole hand removed? I will choose that part of skin to be removed, my hand stays, and the infection is gone. Death is removal of the hand, useless and doesn't do good to anyone. Remove the infection, remove the very tool of the crime, and the pain will go away, sooner or later. And the scar of the removed skin remains, he will regret using his biological component as a criminal tool, and it will, for his lifetime, serve as a reminder of his ripped off identity and shameful act.
I have given up on "Let him respect women enough not to even think of rape." Strategy. I am sorry, that will only come if some radical step precedes it. And death just removes the identified.
When I suggested this, a friend of mine beautifully put up another advantage of chemical castration:
 He might even be able to appreciate his potential victim's identity (even if it's on a subconscious level) once the fear that his own identity is at stake grips him.
Once the man even thinks of rape, but suddenly thinks, that he does not even have the organ for it, both his negative masculinity and sexual energy gets questioned. Remove the organ, not the man.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Guest Blog # 2: Laconic Poetry- By Ashwin Kanan

Last guest on my blog was my friend from Chennai, Deepika who had written something I had requested her to write.
This, is a poem written by a very good friend of mine from college, who has delved into the world of poetry recently, and I can say without any doubts, that he has delved into the art pretty beautifully.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Bail on me. Today. Forever."

Sometimes, during  that cusp of just putting your head on the pillow and having your head in mid-air, when your eyes are just about to close, your whole life flashes in front of you.  That life, which you seem to be closing for the next 5-6-7 ( because you don't even know for how long you can shut the world around you, because this particular material of  this very world will wake you up, as you have wound it to do so) hours. That life, which you think you are leading the way it has to be led. That life, which sometimes, you think, is being led by others, for you.

These flashes, though they come for a millisecond, make that thud on the pillow more profound, the very action of going towards the pillow, is alongwith 100 million things that accompany your head. Your head, in its very physicality, is going to touch the pillow, your eyelids are halfway through, that you see 100 flashes.
100, 1000, but they seem 100. You always want definite things around in life, so let it be 100.

These 100 flashes constitute of those recurring images of your first achievement, your first fall, certain moments of your life like the day you laughed so hard, that day when you rode the bicycle, when you think of the bicycle, you think of how you were afraid to swim for the first time, then you swam, then this leads to other incidents, and other, and other.

All these 100 flashes, have one thing in common- you have always been doing something. Doing, doing, working, working, repairing, undoing, reacting, stopping a reaction. Not one flash, there is not even one flash, where you see yourself sitting, thinking, pondering, contemplating, smiling. It is always standing, executing, getting a job done, and not smiling, but laughing- laughing at a joke, at yourself, at someone else, at some situation. You never see yourself smiling, smiling because you saw your life in front of your eyes in broad daylight and not in a millisecond, saw your life in a panorama and not in a flipping comic book style, saw it with your consciousness intact, and you smiled, because you liked what you perceived.

Then your head is just there, just about there to reach the cloth of your pillow, your eyelids have halfway reached their destination, and you see 100 more flashes.

Most of them are about your future, some black and white, some sepia, some duo-tone. Some are about how you could have changed the past, did something different, said something different, said something before doing, did something after saying. You see a person walking back, and you see yourself wanting to stop him, giving him a pat, or a hug. You feel regrets, a sense of urgency, a sense of what if, what if this was not. But then you feel " Well, it was. And it was meant to be this way."

And your head finally hits the pillow.

Your eyelids are closed.

The thud creates a depression, your head settles in.


You wake up. You are late.  The material which was supposed to wake you up bailed on you.

You see the time, you rush.

You curse the material.

You run. Run, And run for completing the day.

You come back, to bed, again.

Wind the material, again. Feeling, you should not be late the next day.

But some corner of your heart, says

"Bail on me like this sometimes. Like Today."

Bail on me, forever.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hold me.

I felt,
I was falling
soon came 
held me
I felt

I felt happy.
I did not know
that "someone" held
to throw me back

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tell them you love them.

"Since then I decided I will tell people that they are great and I am happy to have them in my life, and that they matter to me and if they decide to go from my life, I will at least be happy that I made it a point to tell them how much they meant to me."

 I told this to my friend and she went to the person she liked a lot and told him that he means a lot to her, and that she cherishes his presence. She felt great, she felt free and contented. He had a smile on his face, and reciprocated the same feelings. She came back to me and narrated this incident, and I hugged her and said-'' I don't know why people do not seize the opportunity and tell people that they are likable, amazing and truly great. It is a heavenly feeling." She said that even if he had not reciprocated the same feelings, she would have had the same amount of happiness she had then. Not that a weight, a load was shed from the heart- but something which was meant to be shared, was finally out there.

One day one of my friends got startled when I was talking casually to my 'crush', a senior in my college and in the conversation, randomly told him that he was my first crush in college. I don't know whether he really felt weird or taken aback, but since then our meetings have not been weird, but have become more amazing. He had laughed, smiled and acknowledged my revelation, and it was a great feeling that I did not mediate my thoughts through someone else. Whenever I tell a person I cherish their existence, I feel that if I die tomorrow, I won't regret anything.

But what does 'since then' signify? Since when?

Not that someone I loved and wanted to spend my life with died, or someone very close went so far away that I could not reach them and tell them that they contributed to my life. When in Chennai, I used to pass by a general store where I used to eat 5 rupee Ice cream or a 10 rupees juice while returning home from school. An uncle and an aunty used to greet me with, 'vaa kanna' ( come dear), 'yepdi irundudhu school' (how was school), and other things which strangers won't really ask you. But then it became a ritual. I always used to stop there for some reason or another, and had a unique relationship with the two.

One day, my mother went for some function but came way too early than expected. I was doing my homework, on a register I had bought from the general store. My mother came, and sat next to me and started crying. I asked her the reason and then she said that the uncle in the general store died. A drop made the paper of the register wet, and the ink spread. It was a very symbolic moment for me- a single moment had changed my entire system of thought.

He had had diabetes for a long time, had developed gangrene, and one day he was gone. I forgot what was the main cause of his death, because I did not even consider asking- the fact that he was gone and I won't see a bespectacled man while passing by that area was so overwhelmingly sad that other things were fogged. Now I could only see aunty, sitting, distraught. I continued my ritual, but it was just one-sided. He was gone.

But then, all these days I had not seen one bit of pain on his face. He used to stand behind the counter, and all my life, I had seen only his torso. I never saw the pain that was being inflicted upon him by his feet, and never cared to know or ask. Everyday that man's smile and pleasant countenance used to complete my day, but I had never made it a point to tell him. 'He died a sad man. His wife and his children had left him'- aunty said. I felt, if only I had told him how much his being there, standing behind the counter means to me, he would have been happy for at least those moments I uttered those words, or at least he would have been bestowed with some contentment. 

Since then, it became a system- trying to gain good wishes of people, filling in the void I felt after he had died. The feeling when the guy in the cafe of my college calls me by my name and shares his problems, the old uncle who makes nimbu pani talks politics with me, is a feeling where I believe that the void is huge, but then it will be filled

Not that fearing someone's or our own death should make us tell people how lovable they are, but it is the selfish feeling of avoiding regret, if God forbid they are suddenly gone, (death not being the only reason).The happiness one gets by at least contributing a millisecond of a moment to someone else's joy  made me feel that people should know their importance in my life. Ego comes in the way, but sometimes if you take the plunge, you feel victorious after seeing it was worth it.