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Numbed thoughts

I am disturbed. Yesterday when I read the news about four men raping a 1.5 year old baby girl in Kolkata, I was at my wits end. For some minutes I sat still, not knowing how to react. There were several thoughts doing rounds in my mind.

1. How could someone even think about satisfying their libido with a small baby who is not even 2 years old? I remembered another news several years back where a 2 year old girl was raped and killed in Siliguri, North Bengal. Her body was found in a jungle adjacent to a tea garden.

2. Park Street, now renamed as Mother Teresa Sarani is known to be the safest part of the city for women. Since my college was there, the area is very close to my heart. I’ve treaded the place fearlessly even at around 10 pm during our college fests. Though I was always in a group including boys but still I never felt any insecurity or uncomfortable vibes during those wee hours. What is happening now? First the women and now the baby. How? Why?

2. The baby is the daughter of pavement dwellers. The perpetrators of the heinous act were also pavement dwellers and most probably drunk at that time. But is that an excuse? Can the homeless people be taken for granted? Don’t they deserve any security?

3. When will the administration wake up? The police refused to take the complaint of the woman who was molested in front of a pub in Park Street saying that she was a single mother, what was the need to go to a pub at night? What was the connection anyway? Her highness Ms Mamta Bannerjee claimed the incident to be a planned action of the CPI(M) to malign her reputation. How long will we tolerate your drama Ms Bannerjee?

4. After the Guwahati incident I was very shocked and surprised to see that some well educated high society people blaming the girl as she went to a pub wearing skimpy clothes. But what can we say to them now? What alibi do they have now? With my personal experiences I have realized that a girl’s appearance & clothes have nothing to do with the sick men to pounce on them. They just need someone to vent out their awful libido & frustration on something remotely resembling a female. I have faced such horrible situations in every place possible. In public transports, on the road, in my neighbourhood, even in Vaishno Devi temple. In all the cases I was wearing “normal” clothes such as salwar suit or jeans top or a frock/skirt (I was 10-12 years old when I started facing such incidents). The perpetrators? They range from young to old, decent to people from the lower strata of the society to spoilt brats of rich parents. You will find them in every age group, every strata of the society, every shape, size & colour to be precise.

5. There can be some steps to avoid/stop the eve teasing scenarios such as fight back & react. Hit them hard, shout to attract crowd, spray the pepper/chili thing on their eyes or whatever that scares them. They are basically cowards. They don’t have enough courage to face your wrath and will chicken out easily.

Unfortunately my reflex is really poor. It decides to take a hike to Antarctica when I need it the most in India! I wish I can get over this syndrome but has a very rare chance though. 😦 

If I ever have a daughter, I will make sure that she attends karate/martial art classes and receives a black belt! The singing, dancing, art & drama classes can follow suit.

6. The current state of affairs is sad, very sad. We live under a situation of perpetual threat. Anything can happen anytime. Isn’t their anyway we can curb it, remove it permanently from the society? Till it happens, let’s pledge to be stronger & sharper. Stay happy, stay safe.

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Birthday Bash up on the sky

This post is a continuation of the Manali tale and my birthday celebration. Undoubtedly, it was the best birthday ever!

As the clock struck 12, I started receiving calls & messages which woke up my mother. She wished me! It was after 4 years that she wished me, gave me the special birthday hug & kiss! My father called from the next room as he was staying in a room next to us. When the barrage of wishes halted for the time being, I slept off.

Generally people start birthdays by visiting temples seeking God’s blessings. Even I started the day by visiting temple but the difference was, instead of God, I seeked blessings from demoness Hidimba!

From the very day we entered Manali my eyes were searching for local dogs as they are really cute with extra fur & fluffy tails! My wish was granted! In the temple premises a light brown coloured healthy & sturdy doggy! My father whistled at him & he obliged to stop. I was elated! We clicked pics with him & I must say that he was a very well behaved canine!

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That’s Daddy & Doggy!

Next I clicked pictures with an Angora rabbit with a reasonable charge of Rs. 10!

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Angora Rabbit

Our next stops were Ghatotkach temple, museum and Vashisht temple.

Finally the time came for which I was waiting for last 24 hours! We entered the paragliding camp.

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I was assigned a pilot who would fly with me. I would refer to him as wingman. Cute guy he was! *Blush*!!!

We took a ropeway to reach above 18,000 ft. There was another long trek to reach the place from where we would take off. A very sweet lady accompanied me. She is a trainer at the mountaineering institute. Then came the time. My wingman & another person harnessed me tightly, so much so that I couldn’t even move. I was scared to bits, honestly! I had half a mind to chicken out. The only thing I kept telling myself was, if so many people can do it, why can’t I? Wingman said you have to run & jump off from the cliff. I was like how can I ever do that!!! But when the time arrived, I saw the parachute going up & wingman screamed “Run madam run!” And voila! I was flying!!!

I could sense numerous butterflies dancing in my stomach. My heart stopped beating. I cherished every moment up there. I saw the mountain peaks, tree tops, clouds so close to me as if I could just touch them! I looked down. River beas looked like a tiny silver foil. The people… I couldn’t really identify them as everything appeared sooo small!

The wingman did some twists and turns which thrilled me! But me being not those expressive kinds, couldn’t really scream out loud. After spending quite a while on the sky, it was time to come down. The landing was smooth & I was too elated to describe how I felt at the moment. The world was spinning around me n all I wanted to do was to sit back, and rewind the experience in my brain again & again!

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That’s me up there! It was literally breathtaking

After that we came back, lunched & slept for a while. I couldn’t get over my achievement and received oodles of congratulatory messages from friends & well wishers! Most of them couldn’t believe I actually did it!!! Even I couldn’t? Now I aim to go for sky diving & scuba diving.

In the evening we went to Johnson’s Cafe for dinner. It’s a beautiful place! The decor & the ambience were too good. It had a very English/Italian feel in it. I so wish it was winter so that I could see the fire place with the burning logs in it. The place also had a beautiful garden outside.

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The fireplace

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Lovely blue flowers in the garden

We had trout fish fingers & a white sauce pasta.

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Happy, full & beaming, we came back being absolutely content. My dear parents, I can’t thank you enough for the lovely time!

The day ended with an absolute cracker. We discovered that there’s an unfinished brownie.

Ma: Come on, eat this brown cake.

Me: It’s called brownie Ma, nor brown cake!

Ma: But dogs are called Brownie na!

I just gasped, fainted & passed out!!!

Below are some really funny & interesting posters & grafittis!

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Punjabi movie poster!

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Outside a public loo

My father is so much in love with Manali that he wants to settle there and manage an apple orchard! Our driver Deepu sounded too excited & invited me too to be a part of life in Manali. In a quest to know how I can earn my living, he asked me, “Madam aap kitni padhi likhi hai?” Me: “Post graduation ki hu.” Deepu: Baapre, phir to aap yahan k school ki principal ban jana! Main to graduation bhi nahi complete kiya!”

He said something which was truly evident. In the hills, there is no dearth of resources to earn a living. If you want to lead a lavish life, you may not be satisfied, but if you want to be happy & a fulfilling life, this is the place for you.” Amen! 🙂

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