My Two And A Half Cents

Why two and a half? Well..I might not get everything out with just two cents worth ergo the extra half cent to properly cover the bases.

Without further ado let me mention that this blog post is about the now uber scandalous Sheena Bora Murder Case. Initially it was just the online editions of the various newspapers which kept bringing us new updates in real time. And then naturally, the talk shows and the intelligentsia had to get into the picture as well.

What I don’t understand is the urge for people to turn social commentators and spew their views across the country, while acting at being some kind of an expert. Given the huge number of people in the country and the sheer number of people we come across and interact with in our lifetime, we do have some insight into the human psyche, behavior et al. But it doesn’t always make us experts on the dark side that is said to be an integral part of everyone.

As the skeletons come tumbling out of the closet, it’s quite surprising to see people from different walks of life authoritatively airing their sound bytes whether their interaction with the people in question was either negligible or entirely NIL.

The only person who I saw offer their views in a credible manner was the lawyer who had handled Indrani Mukherjea‘s divorce. She offered her observations and opinions about Indrani basis their conversations about custody of a child thereby throwing some light on her as a mother. Everyone else rather decisively called her anything to a monster to a con artist and essentially trial by media was well underway.

Most of the other people being asked their expert opinion have an outsider’s view of the case and nothing more. And while they may not be wrong but this is the kind of case that should give the entire nation cause to worry about our moral fabric as a society?

We’ve had worse things happen. And while what happened to Sheena Bora was by no means a small matter, so-called experts throwing a light on alleged causal factors especially the mindset of the accused is quite irresponsible and bound to be erroneous.

What are the obvious elements of the case? Someone got killed. DNA testing has confirmed it to be a young woman called Sheena Bora. She has a brother called Mikhail (or something to that tune) and she was in a relationship with a man called Rahul Mukherjea and used to live in Mumbai. A driver who works for the main accused and is also an accused himself had spilled the beans leading to the entire drama unfolding. Beyond that, most aspects of the case are either contradicted reguarly, still alleged or are getting revealed on an daily basis.

Beyond that anyone who thinks he or she can provide a rationale for the behavior of the key players or illustrate what really happened is got a bad case of overconfidence in their own self.

Let the cops handle the rest. Sheesh.

Ban The Man?

The latest news about atrocities against women has gained quite a bit of momentum. The incident happened in Hyderabad and in a hostel no less. And that’s why the decisions taken by the university management really goaded me to write; since I was a boarder in a hostel when I was at a University.

Apparently the girl students will no longer be allowed to go to the mens’ hostel. Ponder on that for a minute. How is what even remotely a solution? Why bar the female students when there were 2 different groups involved? How is prohibiting women entry of some place, a place which they really can avoid without inconveniencing themselves I agree; without applying the same logic to the men?

Because all throughout, in the name of keeping women safe, a section of women have had their movements restricted while the men have not had any such rules enforced on them at all.

In my hostel we had to head back in no matter how important the work was, the minute it was 10 pm. The boys had no such rules. Or even if they did, no one made sure that it stuck.

So while the girls had to get into a pattern of lifestyle that got cut short at 10 pm the boys roamed free and am sure a lot of them didn’t do things which would have been considered appropriate.

So if a male is inclined to be antisocial, abusive and have any criminal tendencies or inclinations; many of the rules just close off one door for him to indulge his vices while opening another convenient one instead!

What would have been so bad to ensure the deadlines or curfews were applied fairly to both the sexes? Isn’t it about time that the same lakshman rekha that’s drawn out for women be applied to the men as well? Not to get them to empathize but to let them know there are boundaries that can’t be crossed? That is to say if their feeble minds didn’t already clue them into that fact. But having the same rules made applicable does bring in some sense of conformity, identification and can build an adherence in time. The current method’s flaws are there for the whole world to see and judge.

My experience has always been this- more people do stupid things the moment it becomes forbidden (and therefore tantalizing) rather than if it’s not a temptation at all. What isn’t forbidden has little charm because it can be accessed, indulged in at any time and therefore less attractive. If the girls from my hostel had been given the liberty to stay out a bit late and do a movie AND dinner in the same evening whether they were dating someone or just with friends; less girls would have been tempted to go out during broad daylight and do the nasty with totally unsuitable people just because the waves of temptation.

Of course this isn’t to say that an individual still won’t exercise the wrong judgement even when all sorts of liberties are given to them. However, when making rules, it makes no bloody sense of have them applicable for one segment of society and not for the other. It’s Animal Farm all over again albeit with differences.

And getting back to the alleged crime in question- I know people have to take chances and meet people, do things that they like and not become prey to mass hysteria and paranoia but for God’s sake women….THINK! We are living in times when it doesn’t take even the most decent-appearing individual to do a volte face and that too to the tune of a crime or anything heinous. Grab yourselves a safe spot and learn to look after yourselves a little bit better.

Don’t turn into victims but be forewarned. There is too much going on around you to think you’ll be exempted from the shit. Most women have a spidersense that kicks in…don’t block yours out because it’s fashionable to do so or because it seems out of place. One day it won’t be.


The Perils of Callow Youth

I don’t know what has changed me more: growing up didn’t do much but becoming a parent sure did. And hearing about what goes on in the world around us on a daily basis is one shocker after another. This post may make me sound over the hill and preachy but it still stands because it does seem that many of us, women especially, still haven’t woken up to the fact that it’s a pretty gross world out there.

A couple of friends and I went to a club last night. The club was as most clubs are- darkish with strobe lights, lasers, LOUD music and lots of cocktails. One more instance of growing older was revealed to me last night, that I prefer my drinks to *not* have witty, funny names and not be too diluted with all and sundry ingredients. They should be a healthy splash of alcohol/ liquor, ice cubes and served in clean glass. But that’s another blog post for another day.

Our group was dressed differently from our usual everyday attire and we were getting silly amongst ourselves and saying harmless silly things amongst each other to elicit laughs. What I mean is that we weren’t hyper vigilant in our surroundings but neither did we take this break from status quo to go crazy.

There were plenty of “young” people there who had lesser inhibitions than we did. See one of the biggest disadvantages of being a youth is that you’re lacking in experience for a lot of things in life but you have bucketloads of confidence that whatever happens you’ll be able to see yourself through it. The reason I say it’s a disadvantage is because you can’t always be prepared for what you don’t know is out there.

The PYTs were dressed to what they clearly thought was their hippest best but I was disappointed to see that quite a few amongst them had overlooked a sense of safety and decorum to being fashionable or looking trendy. Case in point the young lady who get her date or at least the guy she was dancing with grab her ass on the dance floor in front of everyone and basically grope her very frequently in front of other guys who clearly were enjoying the show.

Or the other young lady who was in an outfit a few sizes too short and small for her and was sporting a very visible and large camel toe.We have all been there, wanting the freedom to go out and have fun, have a few drinks before we’re legally old enough to, or just barely old enough to imbibe, not wanting to think much about anything and just having F-U-N but with the kind of sticky situations going on all around us, isn’t it better to just dance your heart out, drink till you get a wee buzz and make sure the person you came with has more sense than acting like a wannabe pimp on the dance floor?

But this is age talking. Not callow youth who has some way to go before the fairly complicated life they lead about who likes whom, where do they hang out each weekend and discussing what’s the latest trendy thingamajig et al. I want them to have their fun and not feel pressured to grow up too quickly and sober down into 14 hour work days and mortgages all over the place. But still don’t leave your brains at home either. You’ll need it to let you know if you’re doing the right thing for yourself or not. Having fun intersecting with being irresponsible doesn’t always end well.

But back to the aged ones…we danced, we drank, we ate and we laughed. And I think for that was the funnest thing we could have done there. And we will be repeated it but I for one will not be doing it with a drink called Bunny&Clyde! Gimme a rum&cola any day!

Things Fall Apart Circa 2014

We read Chinua Achebe‘s Things Fall Apart as a foil to The Heart Of Darkness in college. But the name of Achebe’s novel has become highly prophetic especially as a testimony to the times we live in.

The way I see it, the horrific incident in 2012 December just opened the floodgates for the reportage of the kind of bestiality that exists in our society today. And it seems that the beasts are always trying to one up each other in their sadistic turn of mind by inflicting the most unimaginable torture, assault on people; women especially.

And while for the most part we seem to have a citizenry who is outraged by the shocking turn of events, we also seem to have social commentators, politicians and people in a position of power and responsibility who either are content to play ostrich and turn a blind eye, downplay the events or merely give newsbytes on prime time t.v.

Social media platforms are very powerful. Whether people take to a particular status update or comment because it seems fashionable to do so or because it’s struck a chord with them; it allows for the proliferation of information. This is essential in getting to know the pulse of the people out there since it’s dynamic, real-time and reflective of their collective thought process.

What I find truly disturbing is that beyond ranting on Facebook, Twitter and blog posts and gathering for peaceful marches and prayer vigils, nothing really concrete has emerged since 2012 December.

Where the fast track court has managed to sentence the perpetrators of a crime that caught the world’s attention, the overall lawmaking and governance of a nation has failed to curb the tendency of people from acting out their barbaric fantasies or whims.

Which does point out to the seemingly obvious answer that people have devolved to baser state as time goes by and are inclined to act on cavemannish proclivities instead of letting the voice of reason, sanity and humanity impact them in any way at all.

Is this the dawn of the new Dark Ages? Truly a sad commentary about the times we live.