Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The need to play "Little Daddy"

i was at the toy store today, picking up my son's xmas gift. i went past the "little mommy" series of toys, and realised, suddenly, that there are no "little daddy" toys anywhere. We inculcate nurturing in the play of our girl children - across the world. But not in the play of our male children.

In that, we assume that male children do not have a "need to nurture". The need to love is as natural as the need to be loved. The need to nurture is as natural as the need to be nurtured.

At night, as my son sacrifices his play time to "put me to sleep" - patiently lying down and waiting for mater to relax, i wonder whether that assumption is true.

The need to nurture exists in everyone, and to tell a child that his need to nurture needs to be left unacknowledged, and, worse still,  needs to be denied, is doing something very wrong for our male children.

We tell our male children that their only needs are need to win, need to conquer, and need to race. These needs we acknowledge in the toys of our children - racing tracks, ninja swords, aeroplanes. But the need to love and nurture.. the need to play "little daddy" - where did that go? Why do we laugh at sons and boys who even EXPRESS that need, in the form of a hug or caring for a younger child, et al? But are perfectly comfortable with a girl child who displays nurturing behavior? Hell's bells, we even encourage it.

So, what kind of hypocrisy makes us deny a basic need in our male children, while accepting and applauding the same need in our girl children?

Has anyone wondered, the difference it would make, if boys played "little daddy"s in their growing up?

Sunday, December 23, 2012


they are all still there
all the things
that went into
our love
but now
they dont add up
to that thing
called love.
the children in my class
ask about "synergy"
i want to
explain this to them.

Why a Delhi woman must have a pre approved gun licence

I have lived in Delhi for 9 years. in these 9 years, i have been married, changed jobs, and also had a baby. I have driven the car at any time of night or day. The Other was a very concerned spouse, and i would tell him, "You should be very scared of someone who is not scared of death. Bring it on. "

Friday night, i was too scared to drive out in Delhi at 2130 hours, with a tentative return time of 2300 hours. For the first time ever. Because i wasnt scared to die, but i was very scared of being in a hospital like that.

The sheer outrage at being scared lasted 2 days. Then this morning, i got up and knew exactly what i was going to do. I am going to apply for a gun licence. Then, i am going to invest in a small automatic pistol with silencer. Then, i am also going to invest in shooting lessons.

When they ask me why i need a gun license, i will tell them this:

In this city, your police stands up and declares that it cannot protect women after dark. Now, there is proof that it cannot protect women even in broad daylight. If you cant protect me, i have a right to protect myself. In fact, the police should pay for my license and pistol because i m making their task easier. i am doing what they are supposed to do in the first place.

And while we are at it, remember that government slogan - educate a man and u educate a person. educate a woman and u educate a family. The same applies to guns. Empower a man and u are creating one safe citizen. Empower a woman and you are protecting the family.

As part of a public safety drive, all women above the age of 18 should be entitled to a pre approved gun licence and the  budget should come from the government, which collects taxes but does not do something as basic as physical safety.

I want to see the rape statistics once the men know all women have a right to carry a pistol. And use it in self defence.

Friday, December 21, 2012

tu mere naal bai ke haan deya..

tainu labban gayi si ,
ko kaafraan te
mainu jaapda si
khaure tu kedi kand thalle
dabbya peya honvega
registaan te pahaad
main saare chhan aayi
pher tu
bistere de parle paase
bukkal paa ke lukkda labya
taan mainu pata chalya
koi beli
door jaan layi
ko kaafraan nai paalda
do dilaan de vichkar
jad registaan aa jaave
te seet di rajai vi
bada vadda safar laindi hai
te pher vi paar nahi hundi..

tu, mere naal bai ke haan deya,
methon meelon door lang gaya..

तुम्हे ढूढ्ने  गयी थी 
बहुत दूर 
मुझे लगा 
पता नहीं  , किस दीवार के नीचे 
दबे पडे हो तुम 
रेगिस्तान और पहाड़ 
सब छन आई 
तब तुम 
बिस्तर के दूसरी ओर 
अपनी रजाई में मिले 

तब मालूम हुआ 
की दूर जाने के लिए 
कोई दूरी नहीं ढूँढ ता 
जब मन के बीच रेगिस्तान आ जाए 
तो बीच की रजाई 
बहुत लम्बा सफ़र पैदा कर देती है 
जो कभी पार नहीं होता 

तू, मेरे साथ बैठे बैठे साथी रे 
बहुत दूर निकल गया मुझ से 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The "system" : The convenient bearer of all things blame.

Yesterday, i heard a completely obnoxious song on radio. The day ended with news of a Bangalore mob molesting a woman. and a Punjab politician murdering in cold blood, the father of the girl his goons were sexually harassing. The father's fault? he met the politician and protested against this behavior.

These 2 things are correlated. When your popular music has misogynistic lyrics, and they are played in our parties, it means we endorse the lyrics somewhere in our heads. There has to be a lowest common denominator of crassness that we absolutely refuse.

The Guwahati girl and the Bangalore girl were not molested by that mob alone. They were molested by each one of us who plays these lyrics and tells our kids its ok for an inspector to whistle on duty, and its a desirable trait.

In india, we have this very convenient attitude of blaming someone else for all our problems. Its always the corrupt policeman, the corrupt babu, the corrupt politician. And when all else fails, its the "System".

Well, guess what? WE ARE THE SYSTEM.

In the case of crass lyrics, i hear stuff like, "Oh but this is all they dish out these days." This is the same film industry that gave us Naushad, Javed Akhtar, Sahir Ludhianvi, even Ghalib, in mainstream lyrics. Why are they now giving us Fevicol and munni badnaam hui? Who makes these songs super hits? When social cinema with stars like Farroq Sheikh and Dipi Naval was successful, it was successful because we liked them. We vote with our money every Friday. The industry just responds to those votes.

The crime against ur family and your popular entertainment are related. Insist on a consistent message each time - to everyone. It is NOT ok to play Honey Singh, or Fevicol and dance to them. It is NOT cool for a 6 year old to dance to an item song. It is NOT ok to look at a person who is 40, and confident, and call her a cougar at the water cooler. It is NOT ok to let your boys and girls have ideas that are anti the other gender, and think that they will change with age as they get attracted to each other. Before they get attracted to each other, they have to learn to respect each other. As people.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

We, the Disablers. Thoughts on Disability Day

This is a post from the Esha blog - www.eshabraille.blogspot.com

Why do Russians get along just fine in Russia? Why do Germans get along just fine in Germany? And why do the blind get along just fine in a Blind School, but really poorly outside? Why do some places witness more inbound migration than some others?

Because these environments are ENABLED for them. When a culture is open and accepting, when it wants to learn, and to enrich itself through further interaction with cultures it knows nothing about, then it becomes an ENABLING culture – it enables itself to continually grow, and it enables other people to become comfortable in itself.

Therefore, if you find a certain section of people “just plain unfortunate” or “so different from us” – please remember, they are not the disabled, we are the disablers.

Compared to a dog, our sense of smell is severly hampered and we are, in the eyes of the dog, quite literally, “smell disabled”. Likewise, a cat’s ability to see in the dark is far higher than ours and to the cat, we appear quite “disabled”, almost blind for half of our lives – the entire night, since we can’t see beyond a certain range at all.

So, in effect, we are all “disabled”. But it never affects our ability to go on with our lives, and does not impact our ability to lead productive lives. Because we have enabled the world to make the best use of the faculties that we do have, and to help us with the stuff that we don’t have. Keyword: we have “enabled” the world.
Why is it not that way for the blind, or the deaf-mute, or the other differently abled? Because we have not enabled this world for their kind of disability. Only for ours.

Today, the World Disability Day is not for the people we call "disabled". It is for us - the Disablers.