Thursday, April 23, 2009

IGNORE IT...That's what they all say...

A student of TISS was gang raped by six men…nothing new…nothing sensational…just another regular occurrence down the road…going by the statistics…it might be happening somewhere right now!

And what can I do about it?

Or can ANYONE do anything about it!

She will always be the victim, the rapist is never the one blamed!

She must have done something, she must be wearing a too-much-revealing dress, she might have gestured in a suggestive way, she might have smiled, talked or passed a glance in an inviting manner!

She wanted it…she had it coming to her!

How can wearing a dress, smiling around or maybe even flirting be same as saying 'Come and rape me!'

What kind of a mind functions behind such inferences?!

And if that's not enough, she is now…IMPURE!

That's all that is about her, everyone wants to be the first and the only one and now that it is no longer preserved, she is no longer considered to have anything human left in her.

She is a news, to sensationalize the gossips, to liven up the newspapers!

The more of it, the better.

Nothing would be more exciting than the minutest details of the ordeal(for her).

Her identity would be the icing on the cake.

This mentality is what the Mumbai Mirror cashed upon. Publishing her FIR, giving out every detail about her baring her name, staying just in limits lawfully yet exploiting every moral obligation.

There have been protestations, blogs(this one included), people voicing their fierce disapproval  but that's about it!

The harm is done. If the original wound wasn't bad enough, it has now been scratched upon more than once, grossly, thoughtlessly, inhumanly, perhaps never to be healed.

I wonder if in all this hue and cry, she lies somewhere, forgotten.

People are speculating upon limits of freedom of press and their moral duties.

She, as a individual, will stop mattering before long.

Everyone will move on when her life has been brought to a standing halt.

Whom can she turn for comfort, an assurance of her being as pristine as she was before when she has most probably been shunned by her own kith and kin…

It's the press that is being blamed but what led to it?

What kind of upbringing ingrains in the minds that it is supposed to be this way.

That this is the ultimate way out for everything, to give a vent to the frustration of a 'no', a let out for the anger at their being futile, a means of exercising control, something to assure them of their 'virility' to gain back their pride, a punishment to her for talking too much, showing too much, for trying to be a independent human, for being there when they happened to be in a mood for fun!

What was it that made this a universal phenomenon?

Happening in every street, mentioned in every journal, reported on every channel, encompassing in its clutches everyone from a six month child to a eighty years old  lady!

And how to undo it?

How to redefine and restructure something that has been handed down since generations!

Something that lives in every mind, perhaps hidden in its deep crevasses, unrecognized, unacknowledged, bursting forth in unguarded moments, as a subtle threat, as the ultimate way of retribution, something to make her regret through her life, something to make her accept her subordinate status, her fragility, something that will stamp that authority on her for ever and prove them the true symbol of manhood! Restore back their pride…

How to initiate the process of sensitizing?

How to make them understand the gravity, the trauma of it when all who don't do it, laugh about it?

And it's not just them, there are them of her kind for whom it’s a matter of mirth…the 'molestation thingy'…because this is all a feministic issue really!

Something they themselves and the ones in their know, the ones for whom they care are somehow excluded!

And what can she do to protect herself?

Or what can anyone do for that matter?

What could the father of that 15 year old do when she was dragged out of the train and raped on gun point by 4 men…

This reminds me of all the travels I have taken alone or with my friends…what can anyone do in the face of it…all of us are living counting on pure luck…that it won't happen to us…

I am afraid, suddenly reluctant to go anywhere, to trust anyone…it is short lived I know, life doesn't and can't stop. I will resort to my reckless self once again, I don't want to miss out more on my life, I can't stop being me and this is not trying to be foolishly brave( a notion frequently voiced…), I can't be a miserably dependant creature…I guess that's what the price they paid for this…yet, I can't see anything that I can, or anyone, can do about it…we all are just moving on…oblivious yet even more aware with every passing moment, of the ubiquitous peril…

I wish I could figure it all out.

I wish I could understand why.

I wish I could tell her she is still herself.

I wish I could kill them all.

I wish I could end this.

I wish I could do something….


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

THE ONE Hour...

'Whats the use of going on time for this one! Why not go, say...15 minutes late...maybe just flip through the 6th Chapter once...ChattArjee advised to do so, there must be something in that!

He is not what-he-is for nothing!'

But the last almost 16 years of giving exams has ingrained in me the habit of going for the ordeal on time, when there is nothing, apart from a few other things, I would like more than to flunk it! There was a time when making commensurate preparations to face the trial came naturally as well, but that seems so long ago now…And saying this I experience yet  another twinge of guilt…

Still, despite of frequent tugs at my conscience (came to know recently that I had been wrongly pronouncing the word all along!) , the situation stands at this…I have prepared one chapter out of three in the syllabus.

Am I worried? No, not me!

I am going around merrily, making fun of my predicament, trying to assure Yamuna that looking around idly for an hour won't be that bad! She claims that she is facing a similar crisis and though far from believing her, She is A Branch Changer for the uninformed, I formulate plans with her to idle away that one hour.

 I have resigned myself to the fate or so I convince myself to think.

There exists a small bubble of hope. You can never stop wishing for miracles can you?

Even if you can't figure out how on earth, or anywhere for that matter, can even the Supreme Power make it happen!

"One chapter, that's 33%, surely we will get two, or at least one question out of it?"

I make my way to the department. The sense of foreboding magnifies further as I enter the arena. Placing my trust in the Prof's ability to set a sensible question paper, I take a seat in Lecture Hall 301.

I have the question paper and answer sheet in my hand.

I pass a cursory glance over the paper.

"What the hell is this?!


Stay cool, Read it again and perhaps you will be able to figure it all out!

Yeah right!

What is a converter, what…Patience!

First things first."

I complete the entries on the answer sheet much as I would like to leave them blank to escape the contretemps I know is on my way.


Go for it now."

I am reading…

"Transient circuits, that can be attempted…

Back to square one….

What is a Converter, Half controlled, Full controlled…Damn!

Chapter 6...

It is all gobbledegook!

Why didn't I heed ChattArjee's advice?

Chill…there IS one question for the likes of you…try it."

I get down to it….

"How is it possible?!

This question doesn't make sense! How can current flow in a short circuited circuit or a reverse biased diode?

I am missing something…I must be…."

I fail to see it.

I consume as much time as possible…better handwriting, slow calculations…but I still do not use scale and pencil for drawing the circuits. I have my limits.

15 minutes are over.

"Now what?"

DD's words resound in my ears…"Start explaining all what you know about thyristors, that will save you from the embarrassment of submitting a blank answer sheet and who knows! It might as well get you some marks!"

"Now What?"

I draw some random, and I mean random, graphs…a lucidly pathetic attempt!

"What ever!

I give up!"

The next problem arises….

"40 minutes left to go…."

I write my name on the question paper, on the back page of answer sheet, on the eraser and again on the question paper, this time on the lower part.

10 minutes gone. Yeah, writing one's name takes that much time if you do it my way.

I look at my jeans, bluish white strip on a blue background.

Blue pen in my hand, I start making the deft strokes…15 minutes later my jeans sports a graffiti... of my name!

15 minutes still left….

5 minutes later my eraser is all blue…or so it would seem to the observing invigilating professor from that distance. It actually has a crisscross design on it on all sides save one which has my name. I wish he would mind his business. He is the same one who knows that I read novels in class.

I see my internal assessment marks taking a dip, if they were still afloat that is.

10 minutes to go….

I look around…I surely chose a wrong place to sit…everyone in my line of sight was scribbling away.

"I can leave…I could have before also, but it will be all the more embarrassing, if there is any scope left for it. I need to know how others did…I am not leaving."

There is a new bubble of hope now…wishing for relative misery concept to come to my rescue.

Did I just say I was distressed?

"Is this how the underperformers in school felt?"

Another twitch...

I am wearing a string of beads in my hand. I get down to count them. The bigger ones turn out to be 35 in number and the smaller ones are a whooping 267! Never thought there were so many of them!

Time is up.


It's over…I survive, even if with a considerable loss of dignity!

There is always a next time…I still have end sems!"

I submit the answer sheet, relieved!

People look happy…happier than me anyway!

Even Mr.L has done better than me, but to do him credit, he did study this time, in Library!

A lot of people apart from me will bear testimony to it.

But still, doesn't mean that you commit the heinous crime of Discussing the Paper!

The most dastardly thing to do in the face of the likes of me!

As if there weren't enough of their likes around!

I am left stranded in the sea of well performers.

The Sage's also didn't go well, I come to know. Bad!

 He did study and much more than Mr.L….

DD has done the usual,that is, good.

I am supposed to be ashamed, I am not…and I am not proud of it!

I resolve to myself to do well in the end sems…as has become customary now….

This is yet another landmark reached…yet another one I would have never liked to encounter!

Declaring my vow to take whatever advice ChattArjee throws my way in future, regarding studies, I pass out into the sun, alive…but badly bruised!