Why Write?!

writing

Why not?!

I: ‘I love black.’

They: ‘Blue is better.’

I: ‘I feel she is capable.’

They: ‘Not necessarily.’

I: ‘The movie was more or less dictatorial.’

They: ‘It’s acceptable.’

You might by now understand the gist of the whole play at hand. At a time, where there’s more noise as opposed to substance; where, hashtags dictate and define what popular notion is; and, where one follows suit and tends to accept what is being thrown at. The whole idea of putting down her/his thoughts down on pen and paper is perhaps the only best alternative towards breaking a stereotype of this stature.

In times present, where listening stands as the underrated sibling to shout outs; where, irrationality trumps rationality, it’s not everyday that you get to finish with what you started stating. When you write, you open up. You tend to contemplate; introspect and, retrospect. When you finish, you realize that you’ve moulded your thoughts. And, when you finally publish it, you realize you’ve made yourself heard. The idea of writing should not be curtailed by the 140 character limit as dictated by Twitter, for, one needs to breathe in words by the bulk and volume for expression and for bringing out its soul in its purest sense. It should also not be directed by the likes of craving for acceptance on Facebook, but rather, it should be said and left then and there without the presumption of gaining mileage.

The motive for written text is purely that of self expression. It lets your train of thoughts reach the finish line. Nobody dictates to you as to where to pause and punctuate and, where to place your periods.

And, nobody ever should.

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It’s Acceptance! Not Equality!

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Yes, indeed! But, in ways that differ.

This week, women and men the world over took up the cause for gender equality  up, close and in certain cases, very personal. Women’s Day had arrived yet again! Hallelujah! But was it here to stay? The bitter truth is most obvious. An optimistic ‘Yes‘ and a doubtful ‘No‘ would be the most apparent answer in the present tense. In view of the United Nations effort to bring about a change and, to champion the cause for gender equality, it had launched its campaign for ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality‘ under the watchful eyes of the UN Women; the organization’s entity that looks into the cases for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Prior to a recent panel discussion that I was fortunate to have participated in, which, revolved around the theme as highlighted above, I had a round of insightful dialogues with my fellow colleagues,  teammates and, those within my peer groups. These primarily included the self driven, self nurtured employed women who belonged to categories such as the ‘married’, the ‘to be married’ and, to the ‘I have no clue what’s going on here‘ kinds. The question that I had put forward to them mostly revolved around as to what stopped them from moving further and to run head to head with their male counterparts. And, in the majority of cases, what I’ve noticed was a far out cry, not for the cause of equality, but rather for a state of acceptance of the individual that they represent; for respect; for kindness; for politeness. I have felt that this is also the true underlying principle that gets overshadowed in the very act of feministic views which, in recent times under the advent of extensive role that social media has to play, has been taken in for a ride.

Equality by itself, by definition, is a dangerous term to be put forward, especially in cases involving the sexes. Under the present context we see the two sexes being portrayed as two powerful opposing forces. I for one, is of the strong notion that the cause for equality without the traits of consideration and acceptance is a recipe fit for disaster in the longer run. The reason I believe that gender equality has taken up centre stage in many a cases is because that it can win you elections. As plain as that. It can be termed as the icing on the cake, the cherry on top or the well fabricated halo that seals a book of propaganda, which ever way you wish me to say it. The bedrock of the issue is that, we as a society have invariably and saddeningly have forgotten the act of interaction; of conversing and of actually listening through all the noise that is being played about.

The equality of the sexes cannot be considered on the same tasks at hand. Yes, it does depend upon the individual in person, but things which men are good at cannot be in all cases be replaced by women and the same goes the other way round. I say this with utmost due diligence and respect for both parties at hand. For, a mother can never be replaced by his/her father and in the same way a mother cannot be the best replacement for her/his father. The keyword here is not equality, but acceptance. Feminism is a powerful force in itself but, it should not be channelled in ways by which roles have to be taken up in one’s individual capacity but should be channelled effectively in cases of injustice, mistreatment and, cases of abuse against women in it’s righteous form and principle. And, as an evolving society it is an absolute necessity to listen and not just be heard.

One sees what she/he looks for.

 

Peek-a-boo!

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Boo!

Mirror! Mirror! On the wall! Who’s the greatest of them all!?

This post is in relation to an incident that had happened a couple of weeks past. I was asked to present a brief speech on an object I would best like to immaterialize into and, to tell the whole world about what I would like to shout out if I (this object that I’m now impersonating) was given the gift of speech. Given the little time I had to brood over the topic at hand, the only object that materialized in my mind was that of a mirror. And, I feel I had a pretty good argument as to why I chose this above all others. And, this is me speaking to you, the reader, in the shoes of a mirror.

Your reflection is by far, perhaps, the most beautiful and the best impersonation of you as the individual that you truly are. I don’t merely reflect to you, your form, but your entire train of thoughts in it’s truest self. Mind you though, I’ve only seen this behind closed doors. I’ve seen you swear, I’ve seen you weep, I’ve seen you on your knees, I’ve seen you slump, I’ve seen you smile, I’ve seen the worst of you and the best in you, I’ve seen you play an air guitar, I’ve seen you be the rockstar and, I’ve seen the Princess in you. But, what captured my imagination the most was that little twinkle in your eyes. That little spark deep within you. The real you, unadulterated. I’m sure you too have seen that in you, through my eyes; but, alas! The moment you notice that sliver in your bedroom door, I’ve seen it all wash away. I see you impersonating someone else in place of the individual that you truly are. You tend to forget that, what truly excites you. You tend to forget me. You cease to exist! This is perhaps betrayal in it’s worst kind.

If I had the chance to strangle you and to not knock you out of your senses, I would have. In all honesty, I would. For, you see my friend, in reality, you’re not betraying me, but in truth, it is you who stands betrayed in the longer run. I encourage you to fly, I encourage you to step up and play your air guitar, I’m urging you to step in and walk the walk of that Princess in you, for, I have never seen anyone else like the true you when, you look into my eyes. You tend to believe that this part of you where you tend to pretend is euphemistic, but sadly, it isn’t. Pretending to be whom you’re not is simply synonymous with you being put up as a mannequin.

The only justice that you could do to me is to make a commitment. Not to you, but to me. To not let what defines you to be set on fire but rather to set yourselves into one to define what you are. Do not be afraid of that little sliver in the door for, it isn’t a demon nor a dragon and if it indeed be one, it can be slayed. Stand tall my friend. Fret not.

So, who stands as the greatest of them all!?

– You do!

A Frequency Lost, and Stranded in Time.

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A.I.R.

326 stations nationwide. Covering 92% of whole of the subcontinent. Reaching out to 99.19% of an overall population of in excess of 1.2 billion and rising. Available in 23 different languages and in 146 different dialects. These are the official figures as enumerated by All India Radio as per their records available online. So what’s the big deal? They definitely seem to have some of the best figures any radio channel could possibly dream of, right? But, still how many of us would prefer tuning into A.I.R. when you’re given the most  obvious choices of other more exuberant and ravishing stations available On Air as in the likes of Radio Mirchi, Radio City, Radio One? Just to name a few from the list of many.  Well, in all honesty I would be very much be surprised if there were more takers for A.I.R. in the urban stand point as in comparison with its rural counterparts.

With the start of  the year 2008, the whole of the country was re-introduced to a form of mass media which was long forgotten and considered extinct; Radio. With the onset of visual media and the rise of the internet, this form of reaching out to the masses was considered in all of it’s certainty as obsolete. And, it was this very reason that was named time and again to justify the fall of the A.I.R. from it’s position being one of the most reliable and respected means of reaching out to a country that was slumped into a trance of uncertainty and doubt, following the post independence era. But, however, Radio continued to be a very much rivaled and active form of broadcast in the West. The only difference was the fact that, they continued to evolve with time; it ceased to stay dormant and inactive in the face of more challenging forms of media. At one point in time radio was primarily used as a media for news broadcast, but when visual media started playing a more vibrant role in this domain, it had to diversify into other spheres of interests, such as music, debates, discussions and so forth.

Soon as this revival made it’s was into the late 90’s and the early millennium, it struck gold. Advertising. With the limited number of audience it commanded, they were able to use this as an effective tool as to generate a source of revenue, which otherwise used to be a free-for-all service which was accessible to all those with a receiver. It was with this that the whole renaissance for this form of media kicked in. Making note of the prospects at hand, private players started swarming in for their slice of the lion’s share; and before you knew it a whole lot of changes set in, the first would be the exuberant role of a ‘Radio-Jockey‘, as in comparison to the conventional format whereby which anchors for radio shows were streamlined with the news reporters and presenters, the new age of such anchors were rather more charismatic and random individuals who took up a rather unconventional approach of presentation, that was more attractive and all the more more informative to a wider range of audience, specially in sync with the present times and generations.

Now, this was what the buzz was, as far as the west was concerned, and it wasn’t too late before the ripples were felt by various Indians within the private domain who realized the potential and started setting up their own stations. And as per current statistics, there are close to 240 stations in active operations in the country, generating about 8 billion in revenues in 2008 and expecting to touch 18 billion in 2012, as per data and sources available online. Of this Radio Mirchi is reportedly said to have a share of a whooping 40% share of the overall domestic market, while A.I.R. continues to be in the scratch, ironic to the fact that it continues to have an indisputable reach and range over the masses.

The reason for this ‘outrage’, as I would like to refer it to, is rather clearly evident if you click on the following link (http://allindiaradio.gov.in/).  Yes, if your response is somewhere related to ‘being old’, well you’re right on spot. It never has made a daring leap to change in the midst of it’s private counterparts. The best part is the fact that if you go back over to it’s official site, you’ll notice a column by the name ‘Archives’; with all do respect, the whole site in itself resembles an archive. That’s where the root cause of the whole problem lies. If you tune into A.I.R. or ‘Akashwani’ (Meaning ‘The Sky’s Voice’) as it’s popularly known among the masses, you’ll find it’s range and choice of programs dull and not in sync with the present times. In such a scenario, it’s isn’t much of a surprise as to why it repeatedly fails to make it’s way into the popularity list. In such a scenario, it’s also very unlikely that it can lure in much advertisements and promotions.

In times of finding itself in such troubled waters, the most obvious answer would be to Anchor itself. A.I.R. has a very huge upper hand as in comparison with it’s rivals; it has the abundant wealth of existing man power and infrastructure; even if you put together the combined resources of all it’s closest rivals and compare it to the former, it wouldn’t add up. It needs to go in and get a hold of jockeys that can attract a lot more audience and one that can rig up the whole rating. The, only hindrance in the way is a strong initiative; that’s the only obvious roadblock in the way.  I’m pretty much sure that there’ll be many lining up for the top job, its as obvious and clear as broad daylight. Once, this is set in, it’ll start luring in the necessary attention it rightfully deserves; with this as the ratings are bound to soar up and at the same time gathering up momentum with respect to potential advertising.

This, is most certainly one sphere which has been long lost and forgotten. At one point in time A.I.R. used to be the prime time form of news broadcast, serving as the medium via which the late Prime Minister himself delivered his freedom speech at midnight to hundreds of thousands of Indian‘s about their long cherished dream of independence and free rule, the medium through which it was capable of knitting together the whole country as one during times of war specially during the Indo -China conflicts of the early 60’s and even at times during famines, droughts and epidemics at various stages in time, serving as an effective informer for the displaced, and the needy.  But due to lack of proper appraisal, face lifts and management, it has most definitely and certainly on the highway to losing a winnable race, if only it musters up it’s spirits.

In all of the optimism and the opportunism that it can muster up I certainly hope and pray that this great service gets restored in all of it’s pomp and glory which it sustained at one point in time and one which rightfully deserves, rather than let it wash away into the clutches of the private domain.

Rape? My Answer? Pepper Sprays.

Way back in school,  there used to be a popular character by the name Johnny Bravo. Out of deep felt respect, I would rather refer to him as Sir Johnny Bravo; respect, none the less. He was comical, a total wreck at being a heartbreak romantic, shunned and despised by all of womanhood alike. You might be wondering as to why I’m trying to make a show of mockery of the subject at hand. Well, actually no. Well, you see the women always managed to take matters into their own hands when it came with dealing issues regarding Sir Johnny. If, you remember very well, they either used to kick him up right in the groin, or if they chose to be more subtle and classy, pepper sprays were their answer.
Now out of immense respect for Sir Johnny here, I certainly do not want to portray him with an image of a serial rapist or anything even remotely close. For, you see I, just like many others adore this man for what he is, for the numerous ways he used to crack up each and everyone of us.

On December the 16, 2012, a female physiotherapy intern was beaten up and brutally gang raped in Delhi, thirteen days later she passed away in a hospital in Singapore,  while undergoing emergency recovery treatments. This particular issue had sparked off  widespread agitations and protests, in the whole of the sub continent, not to make of any special mention regarding Delhi, which happened to be the epicenter of the whole fiasco. Well,  as always, days passed, weeks passed and it’s been close to two months after the whole issue, as it is with any other, it’s all been wrapped up and forgotten, women as always continue to get raped, assaulted, abused, gang raped; until the next outrage rises up for the occasion of candle light protests, social media outcry, and all the chaos thereafter. It’s pitiful, disheartening and unacceptable all at the same time.

There was a whole lot of discussions,  suggestions,  rape laws to be rewritten, so on and so forth.  But however, it wasn’t long before the whole system fell once again in a state of trance to be clasped by the much flattered  ‘Oblivion’s Curse’. During this period in time, a series of changes, (minor, if you ask me), were being brought about, a series of new regulations were set aside that was made mandatory on the part of both men and women to adhere to. At one instance in time a few gentlemen even made the suggestion of making it mandatory for women to kick boxing for their own good, for which I, with all do respect  couldn’t hold back my comic side back, I mean, that’s a bit too far fetched over here in the sub continent, I would certainly not have disagreed to this if this was the far east, in the land of the Orient, but not here. Over here our women are known for their pious state of mind (one which I again would most certainly would like top add, that, is fast depleting.), saris and well famed for their mastery over some of the best appetizing dishes you can possibly find (again, fast depleting; and no, I’ have nothing against women. Hard facts none the less.).

In this particular context however, I would like to point out that if you feel like entrusting the whole business of  safety of women in any nation and typically in my own for that matter, upon the hands of the bureaucracy or the police force, it wont’t be long before you’re let down and left down to rot, it’s a hard fact, after all, all facts are sour and somber, specially for a nation obsessed with Bollywood.
As,  I conclude this post, the only advice I can conjure up is to watch your own back for your own good, and as for pepper sprays are concerned you can order them up in a snitch from healthkart.com, it’s somewhere between 250-350, they’re more reliable than your average government. Trust me.

Take care.