The Fall of Man and Rise of the Female Warrior

I got hit by an unknown man on the street a few of days ago.

My mistake- Sheer existence of female parts. And a penchant for righteousness, fueled by adrenalin.

It was around 12am and my friends had stopped the car by the road (Indiranagar 100ft Rd. Bangalore) to go to a store. I was with four other girls and three boys between two cars, all of whom were sitting inside.

I was walking back to the car with a guy friend by my right side, while i walked on the extreme side. That is when i felt this hand feel me up from behind. It took me a moment to register the act when i saw the goon cross me by casually, walking beside another guy.

I was in shocked rage, After all the recent incidents, protests and constant wave of feminist activity on social media, i didn’t understand the gall of this man to take that liberty to to touch me, while i was walking with my friend!

On instinct, i ran up to the guy, flung him around from the shoulder and slapped him straight across the face.. but sadly i didn’t anticipate his next move. He swung around and punched my ear. A deafening sound, legs kicking and arms swirling.. i just lashed out, all taking place in seconds. By then another guy (a friends friend) saw this man hitting me and ran in to intervene. The goon took flight at that moment, and man did he run. two guys followed him down the long street but lost him. The man had scooted and i was left with a bleeding ear.

My friends were in as much shock as i was; especially my guy friends, who aren’t really exposed to this first hand. Rape and harassment is as much of a tale to most men as the plight of the unfortunate souls in Gaza. Most would talk of world news and incidents like midday gossip. But what happens with just small talk and strikes. Is it really helping us? Or is it fueling the cowardice inside us because NOW we KNOW of the existence of the dark side? I have many educated girlfriends who are still terrified of travelling by cabs and have altogether changed their lifestyle to not stay out late or travel alone. Is this right? I agree that caution and awareness is necessary but what the media is doing is essentially hyping situations that keep people all the more scared. These are not solutions to the problem. Its feeding it like how water helps combust large fires instead of  putting it out.

How do I make it stop? No matter how I don my tomboy look, I get treated like a sex slave or a street dog. As you’ve surely witnessed, females encounter a barrage of catcalls, wolf whistles, creepy whispers, sleazy gestures, prolonged stares, and the occasional penis pull-out. Harassment makes me feel hurt  and powerless.  It makes me want to do all kinds of non-sexual, violent things. How inconspicuous can i make myself?  I am and will be, at the end of the day, a woman trying to make it in the world just as much as the other men are. And NOTHING can change that.

I am tired of people telling me to:

-not be conspicuous

-not wear attractive clothes

-not attract attention in public

-not walk on the street

-not take a cab

-not take an auto

-surround myself with bodyguards

-not stay out at night

-not drive at night unless i have a convoy

-not agitate or take things in my own hands

-let a man handle it

Well, basically give up on life, self respect and freedom.  All i hear are the different ways to encourage weakness and dependencies in women, Because how many people are actually fighting back? Empowering themselves or teaching men (even the educated ones) on how to respect women, instead of pointing out the flaws and mistakes of being a woman? Why should we take more precaution than men when we have the same rights over our freedom?

Many would go on to question why i hit the man in the first place, that i wouldn’t have been hit if i didn’t hit him first and how i should let a man friend handle it. They don’t understand the depth of the problem. If i hadn’t acted myself that day, this passive reaction would’ve boosted the goons confidence and he would’ve moved on to worse acts than pinching and feeling. I can guarantee that after the slap from me, he would definitely resist and think twice. I had deterred him and perhaps saved another innocent soul.

Since we all know it’s about power and not about seduction (as no one I know has ever been compelled to fuck anyone who verbally assaults them, unless you have S&M tendencies), we must unite together to push back this cowardly display of “power.” We must speak up when they yell. Encourage our female  friends, lovers, mothers, and others not to be silent, humiliated recipients to this bizarre, manipulative bullying. Men harass only as a display of power over the inferiority of a women, which he is made to believe by improper upbringing (and even more so with these useless protests and strikes) Act and do something when faced with it, because we aren’t victims. This is not an earthquake or a flood. Its something we can help.

Call me stubborn or call me brave- i am not sitting on the sidelines, being scared of what is essentially a silent war between the sexes. It is no different than the war going on between countries all over the world. If this means that i have to put on an armor and carry a shied, then  i would step out suited up, like a Xena warrior princess or Goddesss Durga. you see, we are essentially being forced into being women soldiers. reduced to behave like warriors and treat each day like a battlefield. But if this is what it takes, then i am ready for war. Because im ready to fight my own battles and not be scared. I am not going to compromise on my freedom.

Women, suit up.

The Goddess Durga using her prowess against a Demon

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A Cat’s Tale

I am an animal petting enthusiast. I pet (and stroke) every animal in the field of my vision and reach.

I am also in constant fear of losing my cat, Frodo. Perhaps scared of not providing enough entertainment to his hyperactive mind or even fearing his abduction by fellow aliens who were fur-ball lovers, such as myself.

So, the other day, when at a building meeting, my top floor neighbour exclaimed how she found it so adorable to sometimes find my cat snuggled onto the mat outside her door, that she started leaving tit bits for him to eat outside.The possessive in me immediately rebuked her for doing so, in case he got too comfortable staying out.

I can only vividly imagine Frodo strutting around with head held high,as if to warn me against the extreme cuddling and whisker pulling tactics i used to annoy him. The bloody bugger would get all egoist of this new provider he has found, refusing to come home from his wanderings!

Much to MY dismay, of course. Because i love this silly, stuffed ball of warm purrs.

Ps: Frodo is a domestic cat, and loves (almost demands for) his little wanderings around the neighbourhood, to exercise his reflexes chasing pigeon and mice!!

 

 

Nomadness in Gujarat

Desert wind

Desert wind

The Rann of Kutch- Gujarat This post is based on my travelogue from the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. I travelled with three others and generated a body of work which encompasses wholly the fashion, culture and travel in India through an artistic eye. I explored myself as a model, designer and traveller. This is my experience.

Salt, Sand, Sun and Sea

The elemental letter, S, followed us right from the start of our journey from Baroda to Bhuj. The salt looked like snow, from the white mounds on our way, to the pristine desert, mucky in the morning and crystalline under the hot desert sun.
All four of the elements above were beautifully intertwined such that, the sea dried off on the sand as salt, while the sun came up.
Wind
Oh, the wind! That would threaten to’ huff and puff’ anything off its path. This included my beloved red flowy skirt from a particular shot in the desert. People would go on to ask me where the air blowers were placed !
The wind took shape in front of our eyes, as it would lift up the sands, transforming them into dust storms and finally settling on our hair and faces. (Much to my dismay as it would layer onto the makeup, requiring a re-touch)
Balance and Beauty
This, i feel was the most challenging in every meaning of the word. First, there was the Balance we required in the composition itself. The lighting and colours had to add drama, while the expression and landscape were to tell a story. Anything off the line would just end up looking flaky and confused.
Then there was the Personal Balance that had to be achieved- whether perched on the rock in the white desert, with the wind booming continuously; or when i had to get onto an uneven boulder with my sky high heels! I felt like an untrained circus artist at times, flapping my hand in the air trying to regain Center.

Perched on a rock

White Desert- Perched

1:05 AM 9th of June, 2014

Do visit http://www.whappeningindia.com to see the full body of our work.

Blogging and “The Accident of Touching”

There are small gestures in life that we take for granted. This blog was writtten for the same reason, for the people who i could reach out to and ‘touch’. Because we undoubtedly need that (although apparent) sensory comfort in our lives.

Deborah J. Brasket

The_Creation_Michelangelo“The accident of touching /is so rare! Sometimes /I pause my hand on purpose / and hope to find yours there.”

These are the last lines of a poem I wrote long ago.

But I realize now that’s what this blog is all about, a way of “pausing my hand on purpose,” and hoping to find you there.

It’s all about touching, isn’t it? Touching others with our lives, ourinsights and understanding, our memories and dreams, our poetry and art. Blogging meets this basic human need—to touch others and be touched in return.

Peter_Paul_Rubens_105_1We’ve all heard how physical touching is essential to human health and happiness. They say people can shrivel up and die for want of being touched or having someone to touch. A simple pat on the shoulder, a hug, ahand squeezecan make all the difference. Merely having a pet, they say, saves lives.

But there’s a basic…

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Uramma house, a place of peace and rest

The village of Anegundi has been my home for a few months now and it still holds magic in my mind. It also retains the culture of a civilization, now 900 years old.

Many buildings are restored in this UNSECO World Heritage Site, the progress of which can be debated, but what stays constant  is the history etched in the rocks and boulders, the stories told by the flowing wind and water,and the sheer sense of peace found while walking barefeet in the banana and rice paddy fields.

This is when you respect and bask in the presence of Bhoomi, our mother Earth. Peace.

Sitting by the paddy fields.

Hampi ruins

The Curtain Call

  In tribute to  the village goddess the house has been named Uramma, a quiet haven in the hustle and bustle of Anegundi ,the historical village, near Hampi, Karnataka.

b6f228d4f3f145c06189e3d44340a6db7e1d61a9f2d547d7a6c6ee2ba570f041Set on a 4th century foundation,this 2 bedroom house has been restored by Shama Pawar, Founder  of The Kishkinda Trust.  The form of the house has been restructured , however it retains the traditional materials, accentuated by a beautiful Neem tree around which the whole space was designed.

“Uramma house melds the history, tranquility, earthiness and spirituality of Anegundi with the modern concept of clean lines, simplicity and functionality. It is this fusion that I try to infuse into all my projects and Uramma house embodies it perfectly ” says Shama , a heritage activist from the age of 22.

This property is  part of  the Uramma heritage homes, a rural hospitality initiative, located at Anegundi , situated along…

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The co-ownership of #change

I think this is something we need to strongly understand and implement in India, as crime and social discrimination against women has reached intolerable levels.
Not to mention political corruption, which we ALL want to change, but dont understand what is required to change something that is so deeply embedded in our system.

Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

Change is a difficult thing, resisted by both systems and people. We crave stability, the status quo. Within our everyday lives, meaning is created in the moment: founded on knowledge and experience. It’s forged within communities and evidenced through action. In the Social Age, where organisations are in a state of constant change, it can become harder to create that meaning: when boundaries shift, it’s easy to lose our place. To enact effective change, it needs to be co-owned by the community, not just rained down from on high.

Organisational change is a difficult thing to achieve, but to do it successfully, we have to understand how culture is formed and how it responds to change: once we understand this, we can influence it and craft magnetic messages. We have to find ways to listen to messages going up the chain, not just try to…

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Reflections of a Failed Writer

bohemiaspeaks

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I by no means whatsoever claim nor ever will that what I write has any special significance or inherent value to anyone but myself. I do not claim nor ever will that I am a uniquely talented writer and do not really think so. However, after recently attempting to publish some of my poems in the form of an E-Book and failing to attract that much interest from the world I realized that most writers these days and people in general are constantly thriving for the approval of others and for some sort of recognition or appreciation for what they deem so great and worthy to share.

The bottom line is that throughout history the greatest artistic creations were rarely recognized or appreciated only to be picked up many years later by revisionists – analyzed and dissected. Added to that of course, is the great amount of competition writers are forced…

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