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Sexy Boy- A Shrishti Production August 3, 2007

Posted by K in Action, contemporary, Gender.
2 comments

This video was sent to me by a friend. Watch it. I liked it very much. I don’t know what it was meant to communicate, but to me, it was about women and sexual harassment. It’s called ‘Sexy Boy’. (I debated whether to include the name of the video, because for the past few weeks I’ve been getting too many hits from people searching for ‘nude women’ etc, all of who are getting routed to me because of the PETA post. However, I decided I shall not let pervs-on-the-net bully me and my blog.)

It is a Shrishti (School of Design, Bangalore) production. Enjoy and ruminate:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=BeOPnCtbGFU

July 6, 2007

Posted by K in Action, Bus rides, contemporary, Gender.
21 comments

This happened a week ago, but I guess I’m still so kicked about it that I found it post-worthy 🙂

I am a female, right? I am (by virtue of my gender, and the country I live in) a potential rape-victim, right? I should therefore Take Precautions, right? Meaning, take the lighted road, or better still…take NO road when the requirement for lights become inevitable…right? I ought to keep-to-public-places-not-meet-strange-men-not-go-alone-to-new-places-keep-my-phone-handy-etc etc…right?

Well, last Sunday, I took a bus with two friends at 9:30 PM at night. We became Night-Time commuters.

I felt a sense of liberation. I felt as if the tethers binding me to my gender were snapping.

Nothing had changed. I was still in Delhi. I was still a potential rape victim. But you know what? It felt good.
I was under no illusion…I am aware of the horror stories. But it was time to decide that my life couldn’t be one big Precaution.

I wish people spent less time trying to prevent rapes (and by this, I mean the many million conjunctions and restrictions put on the rape-able gender) and more time figuring out what to do post-rape.

AFTER somebody is raped you may well tell them it was not your fault, poor girl, etc etc, but the point is a) You’re probably crying your eyes out while you say all this, leading the person to wonder why exactly it is that you are crying (Lost virginity? Loss of face in society? Fear that *I* won’t recover? Shouldn’t that apprehension be left to *me*, the victim? Shouldn’t your job be to tell me that *I* will indeed recover?) and b)How is someone supposed to swallow that? All her life she has been cautioned, warned, and made afraid of an event that has finally come to pass. And now you expect her to believe that it is actually nothing, not her fault, move on ,child?

Why can’t rape be treated as a violent crime, and just that? Why must we create extra- hoo-haa about it? It rubs off on the victims, doesn’t it? We are ingrained to see it as Different. Hence our reaction becomes different.

Why can’t we, as a society, work at building a non-sexual image of it? It ISN”T sexual(and here I define sexual to mean anything to do with sexuality and sexual intercourse, and by my definition, both these things would be primarily about the individual in question)….the victim never had anything to do with it! The body is violated, just as it is when someone knifes your neck or breaks your jaw, only this could probably be treated as the most violent crime, second only to murder.

It is time to stop making a victim of the victim. Or a potential victim of a potential victim. Or is it?

Changes.. February 10, 2007

Posted by K in Ablility, Action, contemporary.
7 comments

Small changes are all we need to make an equal society. The article in today’s paper (Hindustan Times) about the design of the new one and to rupee coins reminded me about this yet again. It is not easy distinguishing between the new one and two rupee coins. The designers at NID forgot that the country has visually challenged adults who carry out daily transactions. How they forgot to keep that in mind while designing the coins, is a mystery. Or does the fault lie with the Government? Its easy enough playing a tennis match and washing the blame off one’s own hand, but all it would have taken was one strong individual to have reminded the short sighted designers that everybody has a right to distinguishable coins.

Boss, where is toilet? August 26, 2006

Posted by K in Action, Life, Maiden, Reviews/Rants.
5 comments

What is it about people and small rock venues and endless cigarettes? Cigarette after cigarette after cigarette. Turquoise Cottage was my first taste of the metal/rock scene in Delhi, and India. And the first taste was not pleasant. I wasn’t aware that followers of rock music were into smokes. Beer, it was traditionally, nyet? And it was about ordinary everyday people coming in and letting loose. Down to earth. Basic. No bullshit. Has the face of metal changed world over? Or am I seeing with dimmed eyes into a microcosmic world that is unreal? There were elements of reality. A boy on crutches. Several student-types, several genuine music lovers. But there were also the society types, further back, tis true, but they were there. There were people who, for some reason, thought a maiden tribute night was perfect for a romantic date. Then there was a guy who came with 3 ‘girl friends’, all of who were all over him, and all of who he, in turn, felt up. In my direct line of sight. Disgust is too mild a term for what I felt. I wanted to be sick all over. Still do, infact. And burn all over with anger. Disgust and anger. Fine cocktail.

Maybe it’s bounds to be an elitist occupation in India-tis English, the instruments are expensive, and the tapes are expensive. That’s why I want to go to England and catch maiden. Hopefully the venue will be full of people who haven’t come because their parents are more generous than they should be, but because its something that they want in their bones.

There are people like that here too. I obviously did not look at everybody there. I know the people I keep in touch with are different. And the south, too, is probably diff. And the north. But I know I was able to feel the music more when I sat down, and when I was out of sight. Not that I was ever ‘in sight’.

Was it a waste of 100 bucks? No. It was an experience that had to be had. Will I do it again? Yes, if it’s a maiden tribute. Its worth many things to hear Bruce’s statement to Indian Fans. Its worth many things to hear maiden songs resung by excellent bands.

To sum up(I like doing that, don’t I 😉 ) I liked the music(maiden bits), liked the concept, appreciated the effort. The crowd was a let down. As was the smoking, tiny and packed venue and my general sense of out-of-placeness in a very public place.

What is it like to be in a protest march? March 5, 2006

Posted by K in Action, contemporary, Politics, Reviews/Rants.
1 comment so far

When we reached the Ram Lila grounds, I was initially overwhelmed; there were people all around, the lal jhanda was flying everywhere(“Flag ko upar karo! Neeche nahi lagna chahiye!”) There were groups going on mini marches while everybody waited for the march to begin. There was a gentleman in a bush get up spoofing him and many others. There were a lot people around.

It’s when we started out on the march that I felt something in me. That there were a significant number of people who were willing to raise their voices against the government. That would raise their voices against a world dictator. Never mind that a large number of men and women seemed to have been hired for the march. Never mind that amidst the anti-bush slogans there were a fair few cries of ‘lal salaam!’ and ‘samajwadi party zindabad!’ Never mind that a large number of people who were marching probably had no clue as to why they were there. Never mind that the student turnout was disappointingly small. What matters is that there were students, that there was an effort to make a difference.

One (very cute ;)) journalist asked us what we thought would be the impact of the march, and I initially thought nothing. I thought the march would be an expression of protest for some people; but by and large, it wouldn’t affect non-marchers. I still feel similarly, to a certain degree. The march didn’t get reported in the news. And even if some channel did give it air time, I doubt it got more than 1-2 seconds. And thus it would have got reduced to another sterile piece of news.

No matter.

Even if the march didn’t revolutionise India’s pro-bush population, it changed the way some people think.

I know people around me gave Bush a longer thought. I’m sure people around the other marchers, too, gave bush, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran another thought.

I counted not less that a thousand marchers. In fact, I’m sure there were waayyy more than a thousand marchers. If every marcher affected at least four people, we have four thousand people thinking about what needs to be thought about.

And, in turn, if those four thousand people further influence four more people, we have sixteen thousand people willing to question, and stand up against imperialism, state-sanctioned terrorism, and economically motivated violence.

It’s an encouraging thought. After all, this is how the world changes…each drop in the ocean recognising its power.

Dude, youre not welcome March 1, 2006

Posted by K in Action, contemporary, Politics, Reviews/Rants.
3 comments

Tomorrow we participate in the anti-bush march. Why? Because we disagree with bush’s policies. Not domestic, mind you- i feel thats less of my business and more of americans’. But no person can assume the role of dictator supreme in the world. Its unhealthy for anyone country to have so much power. US prezs have being throwing their weight ever since WW1. And sometimes enough is wnough.

Between 28591-32225 dead in Iraq. Civilians, mind you. For what? Weapons of mass destruction.

A ‘war’ with afghanistan. A full fledged, lets-get-our-fanciest-deadliest killer machines into afghanistan. And afghanistan’s air force- 8 whole ancient aircrafts.

Pitting your might(billions and billions of dollars worth of sly killing machines) against non-existant opposition. It would be funny if it didn’t involved god knows how many deaths.

Is there place for a Bush in this world? Most of us know the answer.

There’s nothing we can do about his being President, about his coming to India(he’s probably already here right now). But we can utilise the democracy he goes on about to give him a piece of mind, to give him the royal finger.

Somewhere deep down I hope he’s human and intelligently human enough to recognize why we’re protesting. I hope he goes to bed plagued by guilt every night of his life. I hope he breaks out in sweat everytime he sees iraq. I hope he has night mares about each and every dead body-foreign and american. atleast until he repents.

fuck you bush. and fuck your ‘war’ on terrorism.