5MinutesBreak, BlogARhythm, Non-fiction

The Call of the Wind – #BarAThon

When we are young, we experience and attend to the call of the wind easily. It’s almost like breathing. I don’t know any child who has not experienced it. That wild thrill of that faint call growing stronger and louder every second, and before you know it, it sweeps you off your feet, accompanying you in vivid experiences.

When I was younger, I spent half my time in the raptures of the call of the wind. It was my sanctuary, a place of freedom. I could be who I wanted to be, do what I wanted, and experience things that were not possible in my daily life.

The wind never disappointed me. She was my best friend. She kept safe all my secrets, my innermost desires, and thoughts. Never once did she betray me. We loved playing together. Our plans and visions getting wilder and crazier every next time.

But I don’t know when I stopped listening to her call. Maybe when I was deluged with college assignments, or stressing over my workload, or pulling my hair out over bills. Somewhere along the way, we drifted apart. No, scratch that, I drifted away from her.

I think she is still around somewhere, tapping at my door, calling out to me. There are moments when I feel her trying to sneak up on me through some long forgotten memory, a tempting opportunity, or by drawing my focus on others doing better than me.

None of them worked on me and she’s been giving up on me lately. I rarely see her these days. At times, I miss her sorely. She was my refuge during brain-numbing, heart-breaking, soul-wrenching days. And I had ignorantly tossed her aside.

I yearn now to hear the Call of the Wind in her full energetic element. I long for my dearest childhood friend, my partner-in-crime to surprise, hound, and entertain me like before. I truly lived when she was by my side. Without her, I am only existing.

I hope to once more hear the Call of the Wind. I hope once more to let myself free in the company of my loyal friend – Imagination.

 

This post has been written for the fortnight long #BarAThon challenge organized by Blog-A-Rhythm.

barathon, blog-a-rhythm, blogger, blogging, writer, story, short story, life of pi, pie, life of pie

 

Cheers,

Venice 🙂

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5MinutesBreak, Causes, Self

I was Eveteased by an 11 year old boy

correct our boys, violence against women, eveteasing, sexual harassment, rape, molest, abuse

#CorrectOurBoys

11 years old. An age where children are engulfed in studies, school, friends, and games. It’s a carefree age. But it certainly is NOT an age when you indulge in eveteasing. It’s not the first time I have faced eveteasing. But it is the first time I was eveteased by an 11 year old boy!

This incident happened to me yesterday. I was passing through a dark and slightly lonely residential area. There were few other people on the road besides me. I had my earphones plugged in but without any music playing. I was walking past a  parked tempo (a small van) where an 11 year old boy was perched atop it, with two of his younger friends sitting on the bonnet.

As I passed it, I heard the boy on top yell out “Preeti, Preeti” at first I thought he was calling out to his sister or friend of that name. He repeated “Preeti” and then continued it with “O ladki, aye ladki” (O girl, hey girl). That’s when I realised he was calling out ‘pretty, pretty‘. I was still registering this when he started singing a popular Bollywood movie song “O ladki beautiful, kar gayi chull” (O girl beautiful, she’s caused me an itch)

The word chull has various meanings, but the way he was singing it, it was extremely degrading. Loosely, ‘chull’ means having an itch that needs to be satisfied, like a desire to want something badly. Chull may also mean, a tease. Here’s a brief explanation of the meaning of the word ‘chull’ . Also found what the singer of the song said about the word ‘chull’ in an interview, here it is:

Kar Gayi Chull is a dance anthem where the guy talks about how pretty a girl is. He finds her so gorgeous that she has turned him crazy. She’s a tease and entices the men into thinking that she’s attracted to them.

In an interview with Rajeev Masand, Badshah spoke about Kar Gayi Chull – “The word Chull is a very North Indian word. It means teasing. It’s particularly a very NCR word” (New Delhi and Delhi).

Something snapped within me at that point. I went a few steps ahead, bent down and picked up a medium sized stone. Then I turned around and walked toward the singing boy atop the tempo, showing him the stone in my hand. “O ladki aa rahi hai, ladki aa rahi hai” (the girl is coming, the girl is coming” he yelled in a panic and started scrambling down the roof of the tempo. I strode toward him and unleashed my fury through a scathing, chilling verbal attack. I can’t remember all that I said. He started fleeing from me. I do remember asking him “Mummy kahai hai? Unko bol du tu ladkiyo ke saath kaise badtav karta hai?” (Where’s your mother? Should I tell her how you behave with girls?”

He sped off at full pace, I followed him and just remember warning him in seething cold fury “Khabardaar jo kabhi kisi ladki ke saath aise karoge.” (Dare you do anything like this to any girl). By then he had run off into a dark lane. His two young friends who had followed him half way, stood rooted to the spot as I stood there in complete rage. “Woh chala gaya didi” (He’s run off) said one. “Usko jaake bol de phir ki kabhi aise nahi kare” (Go and tell him then to not repeat this ever again) I replied.

I threw the stone near them with all my might, not to hit them, but to warn them to keep off from such behaviour.

I glared at them till they too took off. There were a few bystanders during this whole time who just watched as I dealt with these boys. No one said a word. I turned and continued my journey. As I walked, I was crying before I knew it. At first I cried because of the experience I had just gone through. I was eveteased not by an adult man but by a pre-teen. I then cried thinking that a boy as YOUNG as 11 YEARS OLD had dared, DARED to evetease a girl. That fact crushed me from within.

If a boy as young as 11 has started with eveteasing, who knows what he’ll do next? Molest, attack, kidnap, rape?

 

Like I said before, this is not the first time I was eveteased. Once before, I was rushing home one rainy night around 9:30 pm and was just a few metres away from my home. There was a group of 6-7 college boys on the other side of the road walking in the same direction as me. I had wrapped my white stole (a long scarf) around my head to protect me from the cold wind and was walking at top speed.

Suddenly, as I passed them they whispered amongst themselves, and from across the road sang a chorus of a 90s Bollywood song “O safed dupatte waali tera naam toh bata“. (O girl in the white scarf, tell me your name at least). The original song has ‘laal dupatte’ (red scarf) but they had replaced it with safed (white).

I ignored and walked faster till I reached my building and they continued singing the song and laughing behind me. I didn’t do anything because it was 1 against 6-7 on a rainy night with no other being in sight. It would have been courageous but stupid to take them on.

There is something fundamentally wrong with this attitude and perception males have from a young age that they can get away with anything when it comes to a girl. I feel that these boys and men get influenced by what is shown in the movies. In many movies, the boy stalks the girl, sings songs to her to make her fall for him, and does antics and what not to impress her. Worse yet, the girl falls for such guys in the movies. This depiction screws the boy’s and men’s minds into thinking that this IS the way to behave and treat girls.

We need to educate our boys.

We need to make them understand that eveteasing, sexual harassment, molestation, and rape are not some kind of game! We need schools to incorporate these lessons as a main subject at par with Maths, Science, and Language.

We need to teach our girls to stand up for themselves and stand up for women all around the world.

We need to make self-defence classes for girls a priority in schools. We need to give them all our help to counter such untoward incidents.

I was thinking to myself after the incident, what would have I done were it an adult man who eveteased me. Would I have had the same amount of guts to go after him? Maybe… maybe not. Maybe my adrenaline would give me the courage to go after him or maybe my instinct of self-preservation would kick in and I would ignore it, like many times before.

I have started over time to give it back to men who whistle or catcall me while speeding away in their cars and bikes. I am yet to confront men who do it as they walk past me.

The pain, disgust, and rage I felt at that time and everytime I have faced such an incident leaves me wondering where we went wrong as a society. As parents, teachers, principals, friends, and relatives? Where did we go wrong?

It’s up to us, each individual one to #CorrectOurBoys 

 

Venice.

 

 

 

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5MinutesBreak, Write Tribe

The Year of Pride – 2016

#MondayMusings

 

Half written diaries and planners scramble for space on my bed. Books read, half-read or unread tower on one side, few odds and ends like bookmarks, pens, and paper complete the rugged landscape.

They sort of remind me of the year 2016. Completely messed up, tangled, contorted, confused, and chaotic. Tasks half done, unfinished projects, and plans left in the dust. Yeah, that’s how it was.

I remember when it was just March and I was already wishing that the year would be over soon. I’ve always been one for challenges but 2016 was like a negative vortex, sucking me of all my legendary optimism and will power, shredding them to bits and scattering them far and wide.

Thankfully, the last few months saw the sun peeking through the clouds for me, giving me momentary glimpses of silver linings on the dark clouds.

2016 was not a year without proud moments for myself. They may be little things but I’m proud to have learned to:

  1. Care more about myself
  2. Say NO effectively and straight-forwardly to things I didn’t agree with
  3. Apply ‘Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys’ in life – and loving it!
  4. Invest more time in my blogging through wonderful opportunities by Blogchatter, Blogadda, and The Write Tribe
  5. Not feel guilty about wasting a Sunday just relaxing when my body desperately asks for it
  6. Keep my hopes up that 2017 will be a year just like any other but that I will adapt myself to suit the situations instead of cribbing about them

There. That felt good. It’s good to give yourself a pat on your back sometimes. You deserve it. After all you’ve been through this year, you’re still alive. (Oh, you thought that was for you? Sorry, that was me doing self-talk 😛 – you should try it too, it’s empowering!)

With all said and done, I would like to say, THANK YOU for being here for me. (No, this isn’t self talk now, I’m telling YOU). Your warm comments and likes got me going on the hard days when I hardly had an ounce of energy left in me. Even if you didn’t comment (though I would LOVE it if you did) and just read what I scribbled down here, it made the tough day a little bit lighter and brighter. This may all sound cliche but I mean every word of it.

2016 brought me lovely readers like you. My heartfelt thanks and love goes out to you!

Before we head off into the sunset to 2017, ask yourself, what were the proud moments for you in 2016? Are there any defining moments that made you feel super powerful? Do share and inspire all of us too!

Let’s ROCK 2017!

 

Cheers,

Venice 🙂

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