Sunday, December 30, 2012

Will the Real Men please stand up?

Even as I write this, there are thousands like me and you who are out there on the streets of New Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Simla, Mumbai, Patna and various other states in India for they are angered. Nirbhaya or Damini or whatever name you want to call her with, the girl who was brutally gang raped in Delhi in a moving bus last week finally succumbed to her grave injuries today. Her death has instilled a fear in each one of us that we could be the next.

Even as her death is deeply troubling, so are some other issues that have happened since the incident.

I wrote about the gang rape just after it happened, and the article and my subsequent post on FB saw a lot of men taking offence.

They said I was attacking their gender.

Why didn't I write about the cases where women harass men and even kill them?

That women are misusing dowry laws to take advantage of men.

A virtual reader Partha goes on to say that "Whatever has happened in Delhi is barbaric (if true and no media exaggeration)".
Partha also says that "on one hand women always object to objectification and on the other hand they want to look sexy and wear all those revealing clothes to show off how independent they are. If men look at them or call them sexy that becomes harassment for them. If men do not look at them, those become impotent."

I was quite mortified after hearing Abhijeet Mukherjee's comments on young women whom he called hypocrites because they held candle light marches in the day and wore make up and went to discos at night. He also called the women "dented and painted". A few hours (and possibly a kick in the ass) later, an apology was issued by the President's son and the way he said "I want to withdraw my statement. It was not meant to hurt anyone's sentiment" clearly showed how it was just a cover up and he was completely unapologetic about it. But it did give us a fair amount of idea what kind of minds are ruling our country. But then, we have known that for a pretty long time. We are not new to moral diktats from the police or the govt. like "she invited rape by dressing in a certain way", or "by being out of the house after 9 P.M." and so on and so forth.

But what really churned my gut was when some fellow virtual people started attacking me for my blatant article which said that “anatomically having b***s doesn't make you a real man. If you are a real man, learn to protect and respect your women. Otherwise you are just another animal. One that needs to be herded and chained and invariably killed one day.”

I still stand by it. And I also want to address the above questions one by one.

Attack on a gender: 

Now, I am really confused here. Are women raped by women? No. Raped by men? Yes. Who am I targeting here? Men. Isn't LHS = RHS? What gender am I attacking? I am just stating the facts.

It’s quite sad that because of a large population of indecent, lewd, uncultured men, a whole gender is being targeted here. BUT. If you are a real man, I expect you to understand that. I didn't expect some of you to have such shallow egos that got hurt at the mere mention of rape. Did you ever think about countless women who have to experience something as horrendous, then face police and system apathy and get on with their lives?

YOU come out of your cozy bedrooms and get real.

2) Why didn't I read write about the cases where women have harassed women? 

Tell me, if your house was on fire, would you call up the fire extinguisher first or get your faulty plumbing fixed first?

The point I am driving at is the country and it's women are facing an unprecedented number of sexual exploitation cases in the form of molestation rapes, gang rapes and forced prostitution. In this regard, a lot of laws have been made and maybe a handful of women misused them for their own benefit. But does that take it away from the real issue its brutality? Don't you realize the gravity of the situation, if gangrapes start happening in the heart of the city, inside public transport ? What is the working class women supposed to do? Sit at home, to defend her honor? Not venture out of the house at all?

I did say in my article that we need the strictest punishment for the culprits. So what's wrong with it? I still demand it and I stand by it!

And we HAVE to address and fix this issue; before we go on to amend the existing laws at a human level and not on a gender bias.

3) Mr.Partha or whoever you are:
You don't quite believe in all the cases of women harassment that media has reported because you think that they are possibly dented and painted too like the women of this country.

You seem to be a spurned lover whose advances got a sharp reaction from a girl. Let me tell you something. The way you have the right to look at a girl (to admire or to scorn at her), the same way, the girl has an equal right to either allow your advances or put an end to it. Be man enough. Learn to take it in your stride.

If your ego is the size of a dinosaur, it’s better to turn to men who will understand your signals better. May be you will never have to "prove" your (im)potency to anyone, ever again.

People like these guys have no right to tell us women what we do/don't do right! Even if a women walks naked on the street, NO man has to right to force himself on her. We live in a civilized society, not in a jungle, where you pounce on anything that looks like a prey.

I don't know if capital punishment is a deterrent, or chemical castration is, or efficient policing and fast track courts et al. What I do know for sure is that if all the men around us pledge to protect us, to see us as equals and not as objects of sexual gratification, this country will be a far better place to live in. Where no mother will ever have to loose a bright and brave girl like Nirbhaya at the hands of drunk and perverted men. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Men will be men! But when did they turn into animals?

The nation is in an uproar over the gang rape of a 23 year old student in Delhi. People are up in arms against the government, carrying out candle light marches and protests, fighting for fast track courts for rape cases and calling for the most stringent and rigorous punishment for supposed "men" who commit such crimes. The common man is blaming the police and so is the government. But why suddenly this hullabaloo? Is this the first time that a woman has been raped? Or is it that we have become so immune to a rape that unless it assumes proportions of a monstrous magnitude like this one, where the girl has not only been raped by 6 animals, but also been tortured physically to an extent that she might not even survive. And even if she does, she will have to undergo various surgeries to fix her vital organs and will possibly have to depend on intravenous fluids all her life. I don't know what to want for her. Should I pray to God for her life, a life where she will always have to depend on others or should I want her to die - a life that was burning bright with dreams of a happy future but maimed, because six animals in our city couldn't control their perversion?

Reacting to news incidents like these feels like a joke now. Because what we are doing is just letting the frustration out of our system. It does not affect anyone. In fact, the people who matter will say that girls invite trouble by their dressing, or by being out on the streets "late" in the night. By that logic, Muslim women who are covered from head to toe should never be raped, or young girls (kids) who stay at home invariably unless otherwise taken out by the parents shouldn't be either. But that doesn't deter people from heaping the blame on a victim. The Khaps in this country have an unmatched sense of humor. They will blame everyone, from mobile phones to chowmein, but never their men for a rape. The problem doesn't lie with a few men, but with a whole society that is hell bent on covering up everything that points a finger at their men. What kind of a democracy is this? Where all the freedom is for the men and all the diktats (on how to dress and behave) for women?

The objectification of women needs to be put an end to. It’s not just rape. Women face eve teasing, molestation, forced prostitution and other such malice just because supposed "men" view women as sex objects. They possibly don't see them as other human beings who have as much right over their body as them. They possibly think that it’s fine to be lecherous, to pass lewd comments or touch them in inappropriate places or even force themselves on her. Who gives them this thinking, this mindset? Their fathers who beat their mothers to establish a patriarchy in the family? Or movies which show that men stalking women to express love is very cool, or how even a policeman doing pelvic moves and dancing around with an item-girl like heroine is "fun"? Or the women leaders who blame a rape victim of being morally unsound or too adventurous for having it brought it upon herself? Who is the real culprit here?

No matter what happens with these 6 men or countless others who are yet to be convicted or even those, who are still roaming freely on the streets, because what's been done is done. But will it really deter other animals before doing or even thinking about it? Attacking this evil at the root is an urgency. Every family needs to teach their sons the correct way to behave with women. The government needs to pull up their socks and make an example out of this case. Had they done this earlier - the Assam molestation case, the Dhaula Kuan rape case, rape of the German diplomat, the Mumbai case, maybe we could have avoided this. The need of the hour is to send out a very strong message, a spine chilling one and it needs to be understood by supposed "men" that anatomically having ba**s is not the only ticket to manhood.  

If you are a real man, learn to protect and respect your women. Otherwise you are just another animal. One that needs to be herded and chained and invariably killed one day.

PS: No wonder the Mayans said that HUMANITY will end in 2012.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wrong Means Right End - Book Review


Book: Wrong Means Right End
Author: Varsha Dixit
Publisher: Rupa
Price: Rs. 140


If you are a fan of Karan Johar movies, you will love this book. But for someone like me, a hardcore fan of Anurag Kashyap's gory and twisty cinema, this one was wan't up to the mark. BUT. That doesn't mean the book was no good. Its dependent on one's choices and perspectives.

Here's a summary of the book:
"After a failed marriage, Sneha, a single working mom, has no time, or inclination, for love. She resists every matchmaking attempt made by the overzealous Nandini, married to industrialist Aditya. But then the past intrudes in the form of the gorgeous and rich, Nikhil, who brings along Gayatri to break-up her ex-fiance, Aditya’s marriage. Sneha enlists Nikhil' s help to salvage the situation. But how does she even talk to a man who clearly loathes her? As Nikhil and Sneha try to grapple with their egos and combustible chemistry, love blossoms."

Like all novels/movies falling in the chick-lit genre, here too, you will find that the male protagonist is a multimillionaire drop dead gorgeous hunk (and not yet 30) and ALWAYS spurned in love (in the past, of course!). The lady is no less than a Charlie's angel - strong, feisty, making it all alone in a big bad world, and someone who will always be fit and sexy even though she hardly finds time to gym (like most of us office-goers).

The protagonists of the book Sneha and Nikhil are undeniably attracted to each other, and at the same time, they can't stand the sight of each other due to some past liaisons. Nikhil is a divorcee (AND multimillionaire hunk!) and Sneha, a divorcee with a son (AND a super sexy working woman of the world!). As much as Sneha wants to avoid meeting Nikhil, she is forced to, as he is the only one who can help her in saving her best friend's Nandini's (sexy lady!) marriage to Aditya (handsome multimillionaire hunk!). Bright? No?No? May be you should read on..

I did not anything profound or something very interesting in the story. The story moves forward with Sneha and Nikhil's expected and unexpected meetings, and the author goes as far as writing out their wild fascinations for us. Not once. Not twice. Many times over. Our very chaste good girl and good guy even try making out in the car. Eevrytime I read how Nikhil wanted to sweep Sneha off her feet in an Adam-Eve kind of way and do ermm...things to her, I was transported back to the Mills and Boon days. Frankly, I had expected better!

In parts, you do kind of identify with the urban settings and the stress relationships undergo. The characterization of Sneha's and Nandini's friendship is nice, but a little over the top! In parts, it did remind me of the Sex and the City girls. They keep going back and forth, helping each other out in tricky situations and even putting themselves on the spot for the other. In the last few chapters, you will find out how eventually Sneha and Nikhil give the book its name - They did use Wrong Means for their friends, but finally everyone got to a Right End!

The book has some glaring grammatical and editorial errors which are a huge turn off. Many of the situations and characters are so cliched that you get a feeling of deja vu more than once. Like Nikhil's ex-wife (uncovered by Sneha) is a drug addict, Sneha's son suddenly starts calling Nikhil Dad, as opposed to 'Nik' and the likes you know.

PS: This book is a sequel to the "Right Fit Wrong Shoe" by the same author. May be my verdict would have been different had I read that one. Or maybe not! You will have to figure it out for yourself. As I said before, you may like this book if you are a Chick-Lit genre fan. As for me, just a one-time read. Ideal for an overnight train journey or a 2 hour flight.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Blogadda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

An evening worth it's money @The [V] Spot Cafe Bar!!

Merry Christmas guys! No, don't get me wrong. I ain't psyched up yet! But it seems Santa uncle decided to meet me up a little early this season. The Santa in question being BlogAdda ;-) Now you had to guess that! Who else can play Santa to avid bloggers and readers like us?

So this time, apart from giving free books, BlogAdda decided to gift us an evening of fun too! These guys wanted me to do a review of the [V] Spot Cafe Bar. But how can you really review a place without actually being there? Or tasting their food? Or their drinks? ;-) And so BlogAdda indulged us  by giving us coupons worth 2000 bucks to visit the place, enjoy their spoils and then give you all an honest opinion about it. Talk about  mixing business and pleasure! :-P

Thank you BlogAdda for the coupons!
And so, H and I landed at the [V] Spot cafe+Bar in Saket located very close to the Select City Walk mall. It's one of the last places in a street that's lined up with bars and you can actually go bar hopping here. We found the place cozy, as Delhi is really chilly these days. The seating was comfortable and lighting just appropriate. I don't really like places that are too dim for comfort, and after a couple of drinks, they actually start looking spooky.

The look around!
Anyway. So the first thing that gave me an idea of the "coolness" quotient of the places was this:

Awesomely-freaky napkins at your disposal !!
They also had really interesting table mats that had detailed flowcharts on things like "How to hit on a girl without being too creepy" or "How to survive an evening at the bar without your laptop, if you are a nerd"!! LOLing over them, we called for the menus. Their menus are an interesting lot. It's a pity I don't have too many pictures of the same, but our nerves were duly tickled with drinks' names like "Rum-Balram", "Steve's Job" and "Son of a Peach". And yes, the drinks were as good as their names. If I must suggest one drink, you MUST try "Swarg" - a cocktail with an amazing blend of tequila and desi ingredients like lemongrass! I loved it!
Our drinks (on the house) ;-) 
Next we ordered the starters. A (veg) Snack Harem (for me) and a ChickenZilla for H.

Don't these look absolutely delicious?
The presentation was as good as the taste. The veg starter had Arabic sauces and trust me, it was really different from all cuisines that I have had so far. Good music played in the background, and H and I had some really sought-after quality time that day.

And yes, how can I forget to mention their washrooms? They are so interesting, you might end up spending more time there than in the bar. The walls are covered up in potty-licious banter and you'll never feel bored sitting in there for as long as you want. ;-)

We also ordered main course and dessert and were pretty satisfied with the service, the quality and taste of the food.  The general ambiance was good too.

Polishing off the great food with the pretty dessert!

However, I found this place quite suitable for clubbing after a long day at office, for unwinding with friends over a drink. This is not really the place to go if you  are looking at getting sloshed, meeting hippies or junkies  or really loud music that doesn't let you listen to your own voice. In fact, I was kind of intrigued at the really low turnout on a Friday evening. But the manager assured us that they got the maximum crowd on Wednesdays and Saturdays as they were the Karaoke nights or some band was performing.

They also some cool stuff like a video booth where you can use the iPad, click yourself and appear on Channel [V].

A very creative wall with graffiti!

Over all, I really liked the place, where you can actually chill out with friends without burning a hole in your pocket. The menu is quite decently priced. The food is well cooked, the drinks are perfect and the service prompt. You can guess how much we enjoyed from the fact that we overshot our quota of the vouchers and actually ended up paying half a grand extra for the spoils!! Aren't we something!! :-P ;-)

This place definitely gets a thumbs up from me. And I am definitely going back there again.
If you have been to the place, I would love to know your comments on it. And if you haven't, please do and then let me know your views on it :-)

This review has been written as a part of BlogAdda's Sponsored Reviews.