THE ROAD TO HOME – IX — Candles Online

 

They say, “Ending of every story is a happy one, if the story doesn’t end happily, then it’s  not over, the happy climax is yet to come.”

Can’t wait to read the rest of the story!

Anger washed away in the rain along with any obligations. Sagar could see he had been a real fool carrying someone else’s garbage for so long. He couldn’t undo what has already been done but he could definitely do some right. He knew he will fall short of words if he met Samar in-person and […]

via THE ROAD TO HOME – IX — Candles Online

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Silliness in Love

Love

At times I may get upset

Without any reason

But just know that I only want your attention

I know at times I am hard to deal

But please just try…

Just a hug from you, makes me smile

I am not perfect and I will never be

But I promise one thing

No matter where life takes us

I will forever be there to irritate you

Make you mad and then love you ♥

Rape: A Societal Block

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If you don’t feel her terror, you are not human!

“Student abducted, raped in moving car in Gurgaon, one held; Mumbai: Eighty-year-old arrested for ‘raping’ eight-year-old girl; Delhi High Court says 14-year-old gave consent, convict’s rape term reduced; Four-year-old girl raped by school van driver: Police”

Rape rears its ugly façade almost every day in daily newspapers through these headlines. News is filled with all kind of cases from brutal rape and murder by strangers to gang-rape by acquaintances to even rape by own relatives and spouse and it’s not limited to girls in their ‘ripe ages’ with ‘full blossom’ but the mentality has degraded to an extent that even a minor girl of 4 years, an infant girl or an old lady in her eighties are not spared.

Can anyone justify what do such ‘monsters’ see in a 4-year-old innocent girl and let alone an infant?

No! I am not justifying that raping a 20 year girl is acceptable but I am trying to question those who mercilessly blame that women show their body to get raped! She automatically becomes a target of ‘Victim-blaming’, where she is not just a victim of dreadful crime but a sadist society as well!

Sexual violence is often normalized and excused under allegations.

 “She should not have worn such clothes, after all boys will be boys!” “Oh! She was drunk, this was bound to happen, she had no moral values!”, “A husband has a right on a Women’s body that is not rape!”, ”Why was she working so late, a woman should be home before sunset!”

The irony is many times women themselves are seen justifying above statements! This does not make me angry but I pity such women and I have empathy for them. By labeling or accusing the victim, women can see the victim as different from themselves. These women reassure themselves by thinking, “Because I am not like her, because I do not do that, this would never happen to me.” Really? Wish that was true but it’s not, It can happen to anyone!

We need to stop objectification of women’s body and glamorization of sexual violence! It’s not a women’s fault, not her fate, not something a women need to be ashamed of, she did nothing to provoke rape and she is definitely not ‘sinned’.

I have come across varied views on rape as a societal block, but mostly they fall in to two main categories.

One who thinks rape is women’s fault!

To all the ‘wise men and women’ out there who sit at the ‘comfort of their home’ and lecture on how a girl could have avoided rape, how she invited it, have you ever thought how despicable you’re thinking is?

All are not born with luxury in their lap! There are women who are the sole bread-winner of their family, there are women who are ambitious, and there are women who are free-thinkers, who believe in living their life.

But yes! With all due respect to your sordid mentality, No one just no one asks to be raped! In the process of justifying your morbid thinking you are not just ‘Slut-shaming’ the victim but shielding the rapist as well!

There are no words to describe the horror of images of a women being dehumanized, barely considered a human corpse with alien looking fingers moving all over the flesh. When the hunger is met for and after hours of torture, disgrace, enormous pain and helplessness, she is thrown away, lifeless, like a piece of trash; in a gutter; on the road; railway tracks or even brutally murdered.

On the other hand, we have quite a good number of ‘men and women with moral values’ who supports grave punishment for rapist, they don’t blame women and are against slut-shaming, I am sure most of you reading this fall under this category.

Yes, we are filled with anger, we criticize, we organize candle marches, we cry, we have guilt’s that we live in a society where women still don’t have any rights to live freely. Yes, we are ‘good human beings!’

May I ask, have you ever stopped a boy from eve teasing a girl in your own society, while you were crossing the lanes during office hours? ‘I would have, if only I was not getting late for office.’

May I ask, have you ever talked to your male child when you saw him watching a scene in a movie about a girl being hit by her boyfriend? ‘I would have but he is only a child, he wouldn’t understand.’

May I ask, how many times in your own office, home or society have you ever stood against injustice to women, no matter how minor it is? ‘I would have, but that is not under my control’

May I ask to all women, how many times have you stood for the rights of your own daughters, sisters, and relatives in front of the men in the house? ‘I would have, but men are the decision-maker, aren’t they?

You cannot bring about a National change,   if you are not ready to fight for it in your own homes, own societies, own cities. Stop playing a victim in your own homes, stop being a spectator, stop accepting things that you think is wrong.

It’s high time we learn to take a stand!

Things My Father Taught Me…!

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Have ever been asked a question on who inspires you the most in life, someone who impacted you and continue to do so even now? ‘Mom’ may be the first answer to most of you and this second the fact that ‘Dads’ are often the most unappreciated and under-rated people on the earth.

Brainstorming this for long and using my own life experiences, I strongly believe ‘Dad’s’ are the most amazing, inspirational and self-less creature on the earth ever born, and this is especially true for all the daughters out there!

The relationship between a father and daughter has something special about it, where both learn essential things from each other. The father learns how to open about his feelings while the daughter learns how to be confident and strong.

In my life my Dad has not only been an inspiration but has been a teacher, a mother, a friend and a guide.

Once, I had a week alone with my father as my mother was out of town, by the time she came back I had already skipped school thrice; ate junk on most nights; watched movies the entire night. He taught me to be ‘carefree’!

A year later on my mother’s funeral, I was sobbing my heart out when I caught the gaze of my father, wondering “What now? How are we even going to live the whole life without her?” He looked at me and nodded, it was a re-assurance that he is there, I need not be afraid. He taught me ‘empathy’!

Months after her death were constant struggle and to add to that came the age-long solution, re-marriage! Family kept insisting he should get married right away, but he denied. “How will you look after them alone? She is a girl, you can never be her mother”, they all kept feeding him. I still remember my father turning blind ears to all and he did what he believed in his heart. He taught me ‘self-belief’!

It was a year after her death; my father did everything for us without complaining. He learnt cooking for for us, and used to cook for us each single day. I remember him getting up at 6 in the morning to prepare breakfast, getting us ready for school, seeing us off, and he was always running late for office by the time he himself got ready,. His day ended at 10 in the night when he used to kiss us goodnight.  In the day’s routine he had no time for himself, he was always on his toes ready to make our lives easy. Yet he never complained, never frowned. He taught me ‘Endurance’!

He reminded me of my capabilities every time I failed a test, an exam or a game and made sure I achieve what I truly desire in heart. He criticized me, scolded me, complimented me but never let me fail. He taught me to ‘strive for success!’

 On the day of college admission, I sat there crying as my first tuition fee was to be filled, it was huge. “This is your dream,” he said. “This has been your dream. You only focus on working hard; I will figure it all out.  But remember this is your debt, which you should be able to repay by earning more than you put” He taught me to be self-sufficient!

To every girl her father is the first man in her life and the greatest gift he can give her is making her believe in herself! My father did the same, he taught me that I deserve the best in life and I should never be afraid to speak my mind of.

Most importantly for every daughter, their fathers set the standard for other men in her life. He shows her throughout his life that real love is unconditional and she continues to be the darling princes in his life forever!

Always believe in yourself and make sure you never settle for anything less then you deserve!

A Friend I knew once

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Globally more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression and at worst it can lead to suicide! (World Health Organization statistics)

“Another boring blog!” Some of you might already want to skip reading the rest of it; I might as well, until now.

Because until it affects someone we love, we don’t even know it’s there, it’s really not our problem, so why should we care?

It was May 7th, 2010, Akash’s 24th Birthday. My best friend, my confidant and one of the craziest, wackiest friends in the group we ever had. As the clock stroked 12, I picked up my phone and called to wish him.  I called him thrice to a dead tone, no one answered.  I slept thinking I might as well go to his place first thing in the morning and surprise him.

I woke up at 7 and switched my alarm off. My phone rang a couple of moments later. His name flashed on my mobile. I picked up and screamed “Happy Birthday”.

Momentarily silence and a stranger’s voice from the other end said “He is no more, he hanged himself!” The rest of the conversation is a blur, but it’s a morning that will never, ever leave me and that conversation replays in my mind over and over and over many times a week.

Isn’t it strange, how few short seconds can lead someone’s life in a whole new direction? One single incident in life can alter your own reflection; can change your entire perspective of life!

The horror of my friend’s passing hit me hard. The thought that all of those deep and meaningful conversations had now ended — that he had literally taken my secrets to his grave — shattered me.

As we tried to console ourselves, what bothered me was how a seemingly happy person like him can, do something drastic like that to his life. What could have made him do that?

Though no one could even picture the mental agony he must have gone through right before the moment he decided to take his own life, that suffocation, that mental block, that feeling of utter uselessness, that helpless feeling that he is all alone in the world, that cry of pain that no one, just no one could understand what he is going through.

I tried to picture his entire life now, trying to analyze could we have stopped him from doing that?

He lost his mother in a car accident a year back. He often used to tell us he was closest to her and her absence instills voids in him. His father was a busy man and he hardly get to see him.

Few months back, he failed to get admission in his dream college due to low scores and had to settle for another ‘low key’ college.

That did change him I guess; he stayed at home more, talked less, ate less, which he called ‘diet’. If he was with us, he would get drunk, not the one we all enjoy. That was different; he would just sit and drink glass after glass. Whenever we tried to have a conversation, he would just laugh and say we are being melodramatic.

I can never forget what he said once and now it echoes in my mind every single day. I was having an argument with him on his changed behavior and was forcing him to visit a counselor.

He simply replied “Being lost at sea was a comfort!” and walked away.

I called his father immediately and told him how worried we were for him and he agreed to take him to a counselor right after his birthday which was two days from then. Yes! the same fateful day he took his life!

If only, we realized the seriousness of the situation much earlier, if only we could have made him talk, if only he received help.

Instigating major, but necessary, change in our life can be just as painful.

It changes us all for better and worse but we have to realize no matter how bad it may seem, or how alone you may feel, others are always there to help.

 

Work

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Busyness did this to me again!

Its been hectic

I am being frantic

No one to blame

It all feels lame

Clock is ticking twelve

Nine to twelve got working shelve

No guard at the door

Ear-splitting silence filling the core

The sun is up

As I drink my morning cup

Life moves on

In the hustle  of traffic jams and horns

All exists are a mess

Finding a fast-moving lane is anyone’s guess

Headed home with patience all worn

From work I flee and am gone for long!

Belief

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Far in the dark forest

She saw some light

So clear and so bright

Yet not visible to naked eye

She reached for it

Making her way through

Thorns and bushes

Bleeding legs, sunken eyes, aching body

Physically weakened

Yet determined

“Oh! I am there” She felt exhilarated

Energized spirit, relaxed body, full of life,

As she stepped forward, vanished light

Far in the dark forest

She again saw some light

So clear and so bright

Yet not visible to naked eye!

 

Did you ask?

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On one of these cool breezy winter morning in northern India, I was working on an office deadline and I was ‘disturbed’ by a phone call from my best friend. I picked up the phone in disgust and blurted “Hey Babe! I am busy, I will call you later”. Hours later after finishing my work, I called her back and asked how she was doing. But she cut short the conversation adding she was getting late for a party. Normally, I would not have thought about it but I remembered her having severe cold allergies which are usual for her in winters. Well, it seemed odd to me that she was going out so late, when normally she avoids getting out after eight in colder months as a precaution. “No, I am not being melodramatic!” But knowing her for all these years, made me think that I might have created a transient barrier in her mind after cutting her short so abruptly that might have resisted her from opening up now.

This led me to a thought that how many time in life do we actually listen to people? How many time are we available to lend our ears? We always hear to respond as we have been taught everything in life has logic, everything is definable.

Is it? Can you define an empty heart? Is it just a mere absence of someone, absence of love, long nested hatred or having lost the strength to love again! Why is it that being so close to people we can never measure the depth of their pain or love? We meet several people each day, our friends, our family, a stranger who just smiled at us and made our day. They all make our world happier but have you ever thought the pretense they might have to project to hide the storms growing inside them? How many times have you actually had a conversation with your loved one, asking them if they are genuinely happy?

“Oh, well who has the time? They will tell us themselves if they want to.”  But maybe you could have made a difference by ‘asking’. May be you could have stopped a ‘lonely child’ you saw on road from getting lost, if ‘you did ask’, may be you could have prevented a ‘beautiful women’, who was secretly longing to hear that ‘she is beautiful’ from getting into depression if ‘you did ask’, May be you could you have saved a ‘life’ if you picked up an unknown call and ‘did ask’, May be you could have saved a ‘failing marriage’ if you ‘did ask’. May be you could have comforted a ‘dying a soul’, if ‘you did ask.’

Giving someone a reassurance that, “it won’t always feel this bad, somehow it does change, it does get better”, does make things better! Lend your heart to those around you, those who need but won’t tell, you might not do it right, you might not know how but you will surely make a difference.

Your healing word can bring back life to someone, and you never know, you might be the person getting healed!