Only Americans feel pain?

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I’ve been living in Mumbai for the past 27 years of my life. My brush with terrorism began in 1993. As an 8 year old, watching my dad shave off his french beard was an indication that something was terribly wrong. I can never forget that fear. And I was never allowed to.

Riots. Bomb blasts. Trains. Buses. Cycles. Taxis. Dighys. Hotels. Bakeries. Restaurants. CST. Dalal Street & Jewellery Markets.
You name it and we’ve seen it all.

And over the years, there is still no guarantee that I could be on my way home and not be a victim of ‘terrorism’. People love shoving the ‘resilient Mumbaikar’ angle in my face. I’m not buying that either. Cos we are not resilient. And I’m not proud in saying this, but we are all a bunch of immune assholes. Nothing really affects us anymore. NOTHING.

Not a girl getting raped on a Borivali Local. Or a mother & daughter asking for help in the middle of a busy road in Jaipur. Yes, the Delhi gangrape & Keenan Reuben cases were an exception. They sparked heated debates & protests. And then what? Does anyone know what’s happening? We still do not have a special task force in place to tackle further terrorist activities. Victims haven’t got justice/ compensation yet.

And then, there is an extremely opposite reaction. That of the west. They faced a terrorist attack in 2001 – that could match up to about half of what we have faced over the years. But they acted like the world was coming to an end. They created a ripple effect – wherein they perceived every Muslim to be a terrorist. And the movie New York (starring John Abraham) gives you a fair idea of the ordeal that people went through. They victimized themselves to no extent.

And now, the Boston attacks. Where 2 children died. 100 injured. Many more scarred. Pssshhhh! This article is really something. (read: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/15/opinion/granderson-boston-safety/index.html?sr=sharebar_facebook)

Trust me, I am not justifying anything or taking away anyone’s personal loss. I do condemn the attacks in US. What I can’t digest is their ‘hyperbole’ reaction. Are they the only ones affected? Why is my entire FB timeline mourning their loss? Why is the media hyping it up too?
Weren’t there bombing in Palestine / Iraq/ Afghanistan too? Violence in Kashmir? Aren’t there bad things happening all over the world, to everyone? What makes them so superior? Wasn’t there mindless killing by Bush too, following the terrorist attack in 2001?

I think they are a bunch of overacting wusses, who thought that they had eradicated any trace of terrorism with their world class security. And now, they are gonna overact even more. Some may argue that their methods helped keep the terrorists away for a good number of years. But then they have a whole lot of freaks running amok in schools, shooting innocent children. Or even gurudwaras? What about that??

While US over-reacts, India downplays the whole thing. None of them are any good.
I just want the scales to be balanced. India should borrow some of the ‘extra concern’ that America dishes out to it’s citizens.

Should be a fair world then, no?

#SoldierforWomen: honouring ‘real’ heroes!

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Soldiers for women. Such a noble thought. All I had to do was write about that one person in my life who stood up for me and protected me from ‘evil eyes’. My dad instantly popped up in my head, but I decided to dig deeper. I thought about all my friends, acquaintances, colleagues – strained my brains hard enough to think of that one person who did something extraordinary for me or any other girl. Even a small gesture would do. I was shocked. These were the only 2 instances I could think of. And both included strangers in my life.

#1

A crowded bus is the breeding spot for oglers and perverts. And women who stand in the aisle, waiting to get a seat, are easy targets. This incident occurred on a bus ride from Andheri to Malad. I was standing in the aisle, and the man standing behind me kept falling on me. Every time I turned to glare at him, he blamed it on the bumps from the speed breakers. I let it go, not wanting to create a scene. This happened for a few more times and I had asked him to move away from me. Citing lack of space, he stayed where he was and did something even worse. I felt uncomfortable when I realized that he was trying to feel me up, with his genitals. This time, I turned around a created a ruckus. Everybody stared and did nothing, except one man. He was fragile, he was old. But his eyes reflected an angst that could match up with any youth. He was watching all this from the past 15 minutes, and saw me getting increasingly uncomfortable. He had made up his mind to do something about it, way before I did. He insulted the a#@%hole, gave him a sound thrashing and dragged him off the bus. And then made space for me stand, making sure that no one stood around me. I was amazed, filled with admiration for a man as gutsy as him. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. He was my soldier, especially when I hadn’t found my voice yet. I wish I’d asked him his name that day.

#2

October 20th, 2011. The saddest day in the history of Mumbai. When 2 young guys were assaulted to death in the most inhuman way, just because they tried to save a girl from eve-teasing. Keenan & Reuben – who became the poster boys for eve-teasing thereafter, had their guts spilling all over the floor just because they dared to stop an evil-doer. They were soldiers for the woman besides them.

About a year later, another very brave man – Mr Valerian Santos, father of Keenan Santos, does exactly the same thing that his son lost his life for. At the very same spot. A young girl protested a lewd comment by an eve-teaser, and he was beating her up. Mr. Santos bore witness to this all and stepped in to save the girl. The cops (beat marshalls) looked on and did nothing. And when Mr. Santos questioned them, he was roughed up too.

eve_teasing_chunk

(Read: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/15/2013021120130211113928532fcb47030/Cops-abuse-Keenan-Santos%E2%80%99s-father-for-confronting-pervert.html)

His son saved his girlfriend and lost his life. Valerian still stands by him though, and with this incident – he proved that real heroes are bred. I wish every parent teaches their son to be a #soldierforwomen, and not the reason for their distress. And soon enough, the world will be a better place.

Censor War: The Dirty Picture v/s Agneepath

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How is it that  the Big Bad Ugly Villain with ugly teeth and no hair, absolutely NO hair at all – who could leave children scarred for life, is let loose on National Television during prime time television on a Sunday evening?

How is it that a movie which Sanjay Dutt himself would never like his children to see, is let off with a warning like ‘adult supervision’ and no censor cuts (not that I have heard of?)

Yet, a National-award winning actress whose movie went through 52 censor cuts was deemed as ‘dirty’ for the Indian audiences? And the picture was asked to be screened after 11 pm?!

I fail to understand the minds of the people who get to decide what is good / bad  or us. Obviously, its ok to see the crap beaten out of an obnoxious, deranged hairless psycho; but we cannot watch a fictional representation (with the necessary censor cuts) of a real life character who was probably made popular by the same set of people leading secret lives fantasizing about her!

Bhaiya, this happens only in India. Looks like this Dirty Picture has to walk down an Agneepath, for it to make the CUT for our poojya Censor Board!