Let’s shout her name, loud and clear – Jyoti Singh

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The last day of 2015 and I write this tribute to the girl who united us all, who not only fought back a gang rape but gave our conscience a well needed shake or should I call a Shock.

She was called Nirbhaya, she was called Damini an epitome of the fearless one. In her struggle to survive India came together in thousands, across all regions, across all religions. We were stunned; we were terrified at the beastly treatment meted out to her. We cried when doctors said that they have never seen such a strong will to survive.

Do we hear the word ”STRONG WILL”. Last week her mother Asha Devi came out and said that “My Daughter was Jyoti Singh and I am not ashamed to take her name.” The question arises – Who the hell is ashamed? The hindu, while reporting this news also choose to leave some dots……..in place of her name.I understand law restricted revealing her identity but then why did we snatch away the very identity she was born with, the very identity she was trying to establish and the very identity she fought back to save.

We saw Suzette Jordan coming out in open and revealing her identity and shaming her rapists. If Jyoti had been alive today, she would have done the same. This giving symbolic name to a rape victim reeks of patriarchy, the patriarchy where we either crush women or push them on a pedestal where they are Goddess kali or Nirbhaya.

The name signified a movement, a movement where we stood together and asked our society to introspect why a girl out at 9 in the capital of India was so brutally raped. But by calling her Nirbahay, we are reestablishing the fact that a raped women is spoilt and her naming in public will only make her life worse.

We failed Jyoti when she was alive.

Let’s not fail her in death.

No more symbolic names,No more umbrella pseudonyms, No more glamorizing the struggle.

She was Nirbhaya in her spirit but she must have been scared when those bastards attacked her. Let’s not take away that fear of Jyoti Singh, It pinches hard, let it pinch.

Don’t make her an extraordinary saint in the mask of Nirbhaya, She was an ordinary Jyoti Singh with an extraordinary will to fight back.

Let’s not fail her again, Let’s call her loud and clear – Jyoti Singh.

The juvenile that walked free on 20th said that night “मार डाल साली को”(Kill that Bitch), They indeed killed her, lest we keep her alive by calling her Jyoti Singh.

The nation misses you Jyoti Singh. RIP

 

 

Away from HOME…….

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How relaxing is a cup of tea

Beneath the vertical rays

While people come and go in the talks

Sunshine reflects in mom’s greys

That morning paints a lovely scene

From the hues on the skies

And wildly through the lonely trees

The wind of winter sighs

However loud the world screams

At some point the clutter dies

So give me back my shoulder hills

Where I learnt to fall and rise

Where dad’s lessons, fair and just

When “what did you learn” was a must

Long winding walks and tales of sea

And I was bit by a wandering lust

Restore to me that little spot

With creaky walls holding around

Where that mango tree neglected lies

Brown leaves usurp the ground

Though in this four walled space I live today

And around the world I roam

My heart always sings a song

OH! Give me back my Home

This post was written in response to a #WritePrompt #Away from home from @Blogchatter – a wonderful platform for bloggers and the little family they have formed though words

 

 

 

I wish you a little santa

Santa with a festive red ribbon. Vector.
Santa with a festive red ribbon. Vector.

We all are running, running in the race called Life and yes is the run really smooth. Breaks and stumbles all along the path. We fall, We break down, We are bruised and we decide to give up, not to run any further.  The pressure of performing, of a passion left behind, some unanswered calls, an unexpected lie, words said but not meant, an apology that didn’t happen and a life that we never imagined.

In this mess called routine, comes Christmas, the day of being merrier and merrier. On a foggy winter morning when you see cute little santas waiting for their school bus holding their mother’s hand ,u realize Christmas must be round the corner. The day when carols and cakes take a centre stage . Isn’t it sweetness overloaded?

It’s not about the gifts or fretting over holiday plans

It’s about reconnecting with loved ones, practicing gratitude

It’s about forgetting   all of the struggle and strife that mayhave occurred over the past year.

It’s time to forgive and forget and let go of this year’s struggles.

And the best part of this red and white shaded festival is the cute, plumpy, teddy like Santa. Santa signifies the joy of giving, the joy of sharing and love all around. Santa is one such idea where logic and reasoning takes a back seat and the happiness and Merry takes over. Isn’t it like love, you have to believe in it to experience it.

For everyone who is having a tough time, do remember:

Your worth is not a math problem, just because you do everything right and the results don’t come out right, it doesn’t mean that there is a something wrong with you. It’s not about what you bring to the table, it’s about you coming to the table at all, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will be able to enjoy your time there. Life is not about being like all the rest of the world, just because you are single, it does not mean you are any less valuable. Just because you didn’t pass that class, it does not mean you are worthless to society. You are so much more than the “no’s” and the confusion, you are a living and breathing soul, one that is called beautiful and wonderful! No star stops burning in the sky because it isn’t a planet, it does what it needs to do, so must you. So be, and continue to be, until you realize what that truly means because when you see what you really are, you start to see life differently. You were never meant to compete with those around you, you were meant to live life in a way that invites others to join you in this journey.

I wish you a little santa. Merry Christmas.

Roshan Radhakrishnan’s Secret Santa project is an inspiration behind this post. Read many such amazing posts on #UnwrapChristmas here

http://www.godyears.net/2015/12/i-believe-in-santa-claus.html?m=1

#UnwrapChristmas

In memory of Peshawar Attack

I was asked to pen down a memoir for a blogging challenge, i was wondering what to write and suddenly Facebook popped up a memory, memory of 16 December 2014, the day when in Peshawar school children were brutally murdered, a day when we were ashamed to call ourselves human.
So for #Blogchatter weekly challenge on memoirs, i am writing a poem on the #PeshawarAttack.
Never ever forget the small coffins.

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सुबह उठते ही कहा था तुझसे अम्मी
आज स्कूल नहीं जाऊंगा
बहुत ठण्ड है आज , थोड़ी देर और सोऊंगा
अलसाई आँखों को मलते
हाँथ में तुमने टूथब्रश क्यूँ पकडाया था
मुझे स्कूल भेजने के बदले
तूने मेरा फेवरेट टिफ़िन बनाया था
अम्मी ने बालों को फेरते हुए कहा था
इस जन्मदिन तुझे नया बस्ता दिलवायेंगे
और पापा ने डांट कर कहा था
बस छूटी तो हम स्कूल छोड़ने नहीं जायेंगे
अभी कल ही तो माँ ने नया ब्लेज़र बनवाया था
और पापा ने न्यू ईयर पर कराची का प्रोग्राम बनाया था
और आज़ छोटे ताबूतों से निकला मेरा एक मासूम सवाल
कि टीचर ने कभी T for Terrorist तो नहीं पढ़ाया था
माँ मैं अब कभी वापस नहीं आऊंगा
उस सुबह की आखिरी हंसी में रह जाऊंगा
पापा से कहना मेरे स्कूल ना आयें
तू देख नहीं पाएगी उन्हें मेरा ताबूत उठाये…………सहर

We are wordsmiths………We Mint words.Happy to be a part of #Blogbuddy program by @BlogChatter.”

 

 

 

 

 

I feel unsafe when……..Part 1

Today there is no country in the world, not one, where women and girls live free from violence. Protecting women’s rights to live in dignity, free from violence, requires our deliberate, urgent and sustained action,”

                                                   Dr. Babatunde ,Executive Director, UNFPA

An international conference to end violence against women closed with action-oriented pledges to end violence against women from 35 stakeholders. Participating UN agencies also launched the landmark Essential Services Package, a toolkit of guidelines, services and best practices for women and girls subject to violence .

The year 2015 marks the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive road map to gender equality. World leaders met in March at the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women and in September at the 70th General Assembly to take stock of the progress made and commit to take action to close the gaps that are holding women and girls back. This year a new Sustainable Development agenda, which for the first time includes specific targets and indicators on ending violence against women, also replaced the Millennium Development Goals.

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

To contribute to the #16DaysOfActivism Against Gender-Based Violence,  Sayfty decided to start a campaign and asked people to share what makes us feel unsafe. Have a look at what men and women around the world had to say:

The policy makers, the members of society, the men, women and children everyone need to read what makes one feel unsafe, be it travelling alone or taking a public transportation.

Lets make this world a safer place.

Images courtesy- Sayfty.com

Email all submissions to team@sayfty.com.  This is an ongoing campaign. Read more about it at 

http://sayfty.com/i-feel-unsafe-when/

And nothing remained the same

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I write these verses
someday you will know
they all are meant
for you
Look for me
search for me
and you’ll find my words
hiding behind
a name
a rhyme
in the spaces between white and black
in the humming of music
in the echo of woods
in the mention of the things left unsaid
these are the hints
to look for my words
find them
unlock them brcause only you have the key
read them
live them
throw them in the silence
Don’t speak
You will hear it again and again
Like the sound of mountains
on the edge of another dream…
when I didn’t hold your hand
and succumbed to an embrace
and you knew me then
and nothing remained the same
so let me talk about words
and cry about death
and say love should not be betrayed
Let me speak about being lost
alone on the beach
while I wish like a child
in this strange silent night,
we could be….
that is all.
you know what I mean,
you have heard it before
You will hear it again and again
Like the sound of mountains
on the edge of another dream
when I didn’t hold your hand…………….

जन्म से मृत्यु के बीच बहती – सरयू नदी

 

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13 साल बाद मैं अपने पैतृक गाँव “नवली” पहुंची . नवली, गोरखपुर जिले में सरयू नदी के किनारे बसा एक छोटा सा गाँव है. वही सरयू नदी जिसका वर्णन रामायण में है. इस गाँव का प्रत्येक व्यक्ति गर्व से बताता है की श्री राम ने सीता मैया के साथ वनवास जाने के लिये सरयू नदी पार की थी. अपनी पौराणिक महत्ता के कारण यह नदी इस क्षेत्र के लोगों के लिये गंगा स्वरुप है. इस गाँव में यह सरयू नदी नहीं है , “सरजू माता” , “सरजू मैया ” और “सरजू देवी ” हैं.

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एक दिन सुबह- सुबह हम नदी देखने या वहाँ के लहज़े में कहूँ तो सरजू मैया के दर्शन के लिये निकले. कुहासे में डूबे गाँव की दिनचर्या शुरू हो चुकी थी. कहीं गेहूं की बोआई हो रही थी तो कहीं मवेशियों को चारा दिया जा रहा था. हम गाँव के प्राइमरी स्कूल के सामने से गुज़रे तो खुले में क्लास चल रही थी, एक उंघते हुए टीचर बच्चों को पढ़ा रहे थे और बच्चे टीचर के सिवा हर ओर देख रहे थे 🙂
गाँव का चेहरा अब बदल चुका है , पहले एक गाँव में तीन छोटे गाँव हुआ करते थे जो purely जाति आधारित व्यवस्था थी. अब शिक्षा की गहरी पैठ कहें या आर्थिक सुधारों की देन ये तीनों गाँव चाहे अनचाहे ही सही आपस में मिल गए हैं. घर पक्के हो गए हैं, बिजली भी आती जाती रहती है, छतों पर डिश ऐन्टेना मुस्कुरा रहे हैं और मात्र एक-डेढ़ किलोमीटर दूर सरयू घाट पर लोग मोटरसाइकिल से जाते हैं.
सरयू नदी के लम्बे , दूर तक फैले छोर पर बैठे मैंने चारों ओर नज़र घुमायी. अभी कल को ही ख़त्म हुई किसी ज़िन्दगी की राख किनारे फैली थी तो कहीं किसी दुसरे कोने पर नयी ज़िन्दगी के जन्म को सरजू माँ आशीर्वाद दे रही थी. एक कोने पे कोई बेटा अपने पिता की आत्मा की मुक्ति के लिये सरजू माँ से प्रार्थना कर रहा था तो पास में ही कुछ बच्चे तट की रेत से सीपी की मुक्ति के लिये प्रयासरत थे.
ये है इस नदी का महत्व – इसने देखा है साल दर साल नयी कोपलों को फूटते , पुराने पत्तों को झड़ते, कभी किसी सूखे में यहाँ के लोगों की जद्दोजेहद और बाढ़ के उतरने के बाद जीवन को फिर से उठते. इसने दी है इस क्षेत्र को गन्ने की लहलहाती फसलें, ये है इनके समाज की जीवनधारा और यही है वो आलिंगन जो इन्हें आखिरी विदाई देता है.
गाँव से वापस लौटते समय हमारी गाड़ी ने जब सरयू नदी को पीछे छोड़ दिया तो मैंने पलटकर देखा और मुझे एक गहरी इर्ष्या हुई , सरजू मैया के किनारे बसे गाँव वालों से . किस तरह एक नदी इनकी पहचान है, इनका सम्मान है ,इनके जीवन का इतना अभिन्न अंग है , इनकी collective identity का नाम है – सरयू . क्या शहर में रहने वालों के पास ऐसी कोई collective identity है?
नोट: इस देश में बहने वाली बड़ी -छोटी सैकड़ों नदियाँ इस देश की जीवनधारा है . इन नदियों को प्लास्टिक और कचरे से दूषित मत कीजिये. अपने पर्यावरण को, अपनी नदियों का संरक्षण करिये. ये हैं तो हम हैं.

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Can’t Do without………Reading #BlogChatter #Prompt

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Courtesy-TheGuardian.com

The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. – Oliver Goldsmith

I can’t do without reading. Flipping the pages and inhaling the mesmerizing smell of a new book never fails to give me the greatest happiness.

When bookstores visit has transformed into online browsing for books , the delivery package with my new books gives me a reason to jump.It’s amazing really, how you travel to places one can only dream of and meet people from countries you never knew existed, without ever having to leave home. The many different emotions you can feel for a fictional character makes you forget they are fictional sometimes. A good book and a comfortable chair to sit on is all I need to make me happy at the moment. It’s an addiction really. An addiction I’m sure lots of you would admit you have. An addiction i am proud of. This is an addiction which should be embraced and passed on to many others.

You can call me a book worm, a nerd, a person who spends a lot on books, who is always on search of good reads……….but this is who i am: I can’t do without reading.

The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defense. – J.A. Langford

This post is written as a result of a blogchatter prompt #Can’tDoWithout.

 

Change the way you travel……….Be a responsible tourist.

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Photo courtesy: DailyMail.co.uk

When an area starts being visited by tourists, there are bound to be some social and cultural impacts of those tourists on the host community. Look at the above picture .You know what does it depict? It shows the crowds that swarmed the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, in northwestern Guanacaste, and disrupted the nesting ritual for a number of olive ridley sea turtles, which are listed as a vulnerable or threatened species.
As they gathered in the hundreds, the visitors stood in the turtles’ way as they swam ashore and even placed children on top of them to snap keepsake photos, causing many of the creatures to return to the sea without laying their eggs.
IS THIS AN ACT OF RESPONSIBLE TOURISM??

With travelling becoming a contagious epidemic,responsible Tourism is gaining ground as a newly emerging and growing global trend worldwide. It offers opportunities to develop products that can contribute to national socio-economic objectives by providing livelihoods for local economies and contributing value to the maintenance of local heritage, culture and traditions. Responsible Tourism also generates revenues for environmental conservation and management.
Remember – The responsibility is two sided.
Responsible tourism is a tourism management strategy in which the tourism sector and tourists take responsibility to protect and conserve the natural environment, respect and conserve local cultures and ways of life, and contribute to stronger local economies and a better quality of life for local people. (Responsible Tourism Requirements – SANS 1162:2011)
1) The first rule : Do not disturb the wildlife, It’s there home you are entering.
There is no doubt that the mere presence of humans can disturb wildlife and have negative consequences for conservation. A good example would be walking through a seabird colony, causing many of the adults to leave the nest and cease incubation or temporarily abandon their chicks, which could increase their chances of being taken by predators.

No tourism is perfect from an ecological point of view. However, responsible wildlife tour operators and tourists should do their best to follow all of the rules regarding wildlife protection and to choose in-country partners (who provide transportation, accommodation, and other amenities) that operate as sustainably as possible and do not have major deleterious consequences to wildlife or their habitats.Do not smoke-It may catch forest fire, Do not shout,It may disturb nesting animals and Yes don’t take selfie unless it is:

2) The world is NOT your dustbin
We as a responsible tourists should start with a fundamental rule- Put the waste in the bin, have the patience to find one and trash your empty bottles, lays packets in the bin.

iNDIA MUTINIES

Photo courtesy: IndiaMutinies.com
3) The craving to be ethched in pages of history
Oops……some people get it wrong, totally wrong. Its not scribbled in historical sites. Do something worthwile to have a name and meanwhile don’t spoil the beautiful architecture.
Shown below is a love story scribbled on charminar.

GOSSIP MOMK

Photo courtesy: GossipMonk
4) Go Local and promote the indigenous economy
Responsible tourism is also about enabling local communities to enjoy a better quality of life, through increased socio-economic benefits and an improved environment. It is also about providing better holiday experiences for guests and good business opportunities for tourism enterprises.

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Photo courtesy: indiatvnews.com
It offers opportunities to develop products that can contribute to national socio-economic objectives by providing livelihoods for local economies and contributing value to the maintenance of local heritage, culture and traditions. Responsible Tourism also generates revenues for environmental conservation and management.
So next time, stay at a local’s home stay, believe me its a moment worth cherishing and makes you a responsible one too.
5) Go Green
Ecotourism is what is the need of the hour, Contribute your part in reducing the carbon footprints of an area.
Dump your vehicles and take a cycle to stroll around.Its not only good for your waistline but gives you peace and time to enjoy the surroundings.
Conserve water.
Don’t honk, Have mercy on the natural fauna around.
Don’t damage trees or natural plants.

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Photo courtesy: intravel.co.uk

6) Athithi devo bhav
An initiative of the Ministry of Tourism to harness the potential of the tourism industry in India. It aims to create awareness about the effects of tourism and sensitise people about our country’s rich heritage and culture, cleanliness and warm hospitality. It intends to instill a sense of responsibility towards tourists among the stakeholders of the tourism industry.

The main components of the campaign are training and orientation of taxi drivers, guides, immigration officers, tourist police and other personnel directly interacting with the tourists, while simultaneously creating brand equity for the trained persons. This concept was designed to complement the “Incredible India” campaign.

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Change the way you travel……….Be a responsible tourist.

“I am blogging for#ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

Happy Travelling