Tag Archives: Women

I say this with pride -I know the author

Review of “A Calendar too crowded by Sagarika Chakraborthy”

To tell you the truth, i didn’t want to review this book. For a couple of reasons, one i am not a big fan of short stories, two I really don’t “get” or “like” feminism overdone and a book full of stories about women sounded just too much to take. But the main reason was that this was written by a dear friend and i didn’t want to be dishonest if i didn’t like it.

But read the book I did! This was not about feminism. It was stories, stories of women. Yes it dealt with topics like rape, prostitution and the like but there were stories of women just like us. I read the stories slowly savouring them, slowly not wanting the book to end. Some characters stay with you and you wonder what happened when the story ended. You feel the optimism, the despair, the happiness the characters share. Some maybe more than others.

Like Sagarika told me you will identify with some of the characters. I loved the fact that none of the characters had names (explanation being that it could be the story of any women). The stories which particularly touched me was the young widow who escapes – (Sags, i need you to tell me what happens after she escapes :-), the ideal mother (i was pregnant then and the women seemed to be narrating my thoughts) and i loved the story on adoption, knowing how close the topic is to the author’s heart.

What stayed with me was the thought that how did a 27(??) year old managing to get into the head and heart of so many characters. How did she have the strength to do so.The book is hard hitting, at times disturbing, it’s the topics we like to sweep under the carpet. Go ahead read it, it isn’t a light read but savour the book story by story!

My only grievance was i wanted more stories !!!

I can’t being to tell you how delayed this review is. I think i read the book close to 100 days ago. I have no excuses, nothing ! Hangs head in shame.

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Modern India – really?

So there is this colleague of mine – let me just call her PR. PR is a doll! A beautiful, smart girl, well-educated – done her MBA from one of India’s top B schools. Her Dad works as one of the top officials in one of India’s most respected government organizations. He has worked his way up, to be one of the top officials. She speaks highly of her father who despite belonging to an SC caste never used the reservation or allowed his daughters to use it. They have had to work their way to whatever they have done in life

PR is dating this mallu Nair boy – a nice boy am sure -nothing great in the looks department,educated less than her, happens to work abroad. His dad used to work in the gulf and came back to settle in Kerala.

His parents are dead against their marriage – their first reason being that she was an SC!!!
They then think that her dad should give them dowry – coz their son isn’t easily available on “sale” or something to that effect.

When she told me about the dowry bit, i was disgusted and asked her if this guy was worth it. I mean even if your parents are demanding dowry – dont u as a man in love with this girl have the guts to tell them this is wrong! Why are you communicating it to her? Because apparently the boy thinks it’s ok!

What shocked me even more – while PR wasn’t thrilled, she was ok with a certain amount of dowry being given. because in her side, if she had an arranged marriage, dowry is a pre-requisite.

Is it me? Am i too naive or idealistic? Do i live in a palace of illusions?

-> I would have thought her dad would say – I will never give dowry for my daughters! They are educated and capable of earning for themselves and hopefully will do so in tandem with their partners. let the couple make a life for themselves.
-> I would have thought she would have told the guy and his family to buzz off
-> I would have at least expected a lot more outrage from PR – am i good enough for you only with a couple of lakhs accompanying me?
-> I would have thought that in this day and age – caste would not matter especially when the girl is educated and of a similar if not better background than yours

Is modern-day India just a facade?

Is our old thought process just buried below this farce of moderness we claim to have?

What does it feel to grow up knowing that you will be acceptable to a man/his family if u come accompanied with the acceptable amount of money ?

And caste – how can it still matter?

Are we just a handful of us – whose parents would never ever even think of paying dowry for us. My mom as a kid used to always joke that she would ask for dowry from anyone who wanted to marry me!

This saddens me – this India which breaks my notion of dowry, caste etc not being an urbane educated class issue.

A leopard never changes his spots!

The front page of today’s mumbai mirror talks about Dimpy Ganguly walking out of their house after a “night of domestic violence”…It’s sad that poor girl looks a shadow of her childlike self as seen in the show.

I am sure Rahul Mahajan’s PR is working overtime right now to prove that Dimpy did this for publicity and never really wanted to marry Rahul…Now while the couple along with the newspapers and columnists debate who is right and who is wrong, we will all be subject to another Shoeb, Ayesha, Sania scenario. Yikess!!!

But to get back to the point on domestic violence – as per a NHFS india report 33% of the women in India in the age group of 15-49 have faced some form of domestic violence. Another survey done in the US suggests that 42.8% of the women surveyed have faced some form of abuse or the other.

What’s scary is there is very high probability that at least one of the women around you is a victim of domestic violence. She is probably walking around with a smile on her face -but in her heart, she lives her life walking on egg shells, never knowing what is going to “inspire” the next slap.

Now i am no expert on domestic violence, i have seen it at close quarters but that doesn’t mean i understand what a victim goes thru…these are just my thoughts on the same.

There are some women for whom the decision seems seemingly tough – the ones who are economically dependent, have no parental support and are uneducated.

But one wonders why a women who is educated, self-sufficient and confident stays on…it seems easy enough to open the door and walk out …doesn’t it?

Until it happens to u…

None of us can claim to understand it…

She sometimes stays because of obvious reasons – social stigma, your children, parental pressure. It seems so unfair that these factors weigh more than her self-confidence, her dignity and more importantly her safety.

But at times, I think that at the core of it is the abuser. Once the anger has lived its life, the a** is likely to promise profusely, showering gifts (for additional impact might shed tears )that they dont know what came over them, this wont happen again and that they are trying real hard. TRYING??? How difficult is it to keep ur hand down u moron…tie up your hands with a rope to help u remember.

This is likely to make a lot of victims believe it’s not all bad, they look at the positive aspects in the guy and decide a drastic step is not required and they stay on…until the next time when the cycle of violence is repeated.

And that’s why it’s heartening when a 22 year old Dimpy walks out on an abusive marriage in 4 months and decides enough is enough. in the report do see she mentions that he is a nice guy

A marriage which everyone and their aunt had predicted was just for publicity. A marriage ear-marked to fail, which probably gave her many worldly pleasures including a super luxurious honeymoon, a union which took her away from being a wannabe model and made her a social butterfly. Walking out is going to yield her a lot of “Told u so’s” and “She’s doing it for publicity” but at least she can walk without fear.

As Tagore said – where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…

Walk away girl,don’t look back…coz a leopard never changes his spots and yes one slap is all it takes!

So what do u think…why do educated, self-sufficient women stay on in abusive relationships?

p.s. yes i know the whole Tagore poem and know only these 2 lines hold true.

p.s. edited to add as per the latest report…dimpy has gone back to the idiot at the insistence of her father…sigh

Comebacks!!!

Urrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhh…dont u wish u had an appropriate comeback when people make nasty jabs at u…

Today, a colleague of mine passed a pretty sarcy one-liner on my job profile (i do something which is supposed to help/force people to drive numbers) – i was cribbing to another colleague how someone follows up with me to know the number and this a** tells me – “anyway ur job is to narrate the numbers”….*Punch Kick and one Tight slap*…Nutty the warrior princess

What irks me is that it come from a total nincompoop who’s only accomplishment in life is A**licking!
What irks me is that this is the guy who used to come to me for advice as i was one of the few people who knew how to handle his boss
What irks me is that it is none of his business what and how i do things and i wasn’t even talking to HIM!!!
What irks me is that he wouldn’t have had the guts to say the same thing to a male colleague
What irks me the most that 5 hours past the incident i still haven’t thought of a deadly one liner i could have said….Damn i am loosing my touch!

Share with me some of ur deadliest comebacks while i continue to think and fume and fret!!!

Edited to add: Met my good friend “Cheeni” who incidentally was told by her super boss that “XYZ toh dhanda lata hai, Mein toh majboori mein kaam karta hoon aur Cheeni timepass karne aati hai”…Hello!!! Majboori for u because u have wife and children!!! Cheeni pays half the EMI of their home loan dude!!!

grrrr—Men!