Saturday, December 22, 2012

A-Shamed Indian

Forty minutes…forty minutes is all that it took to absolutely crush a young girl’s dreams and aspirations, forty minutes to violate her so mercilessly that five days on, she continues to battle for her life. Forty minutes that brutally rubbed out and rewrote her fate because the Gods on earth had decided otherwise. 

The Delhi gang rape case has created a stir in the public like none other. Spontaneous protests, candle light vigils, protest marches, tear gas, water cannons, lathi charge- in the past five days, the city has seen it all. The protestors, young students, have braved it all. And what are they demanding? Not reservations, not jobs, not money… they just want justice for the 23 year old victim. Despite all their efforts the question remains unanswered, how will the six ruthless men be punished? Will they be sent to the death row? Will they spend the rest of their lives enjoying meals on the State’s expense? Or will they, like most other cases, be left free to plunder our girls?

The girl on the other hand faces an undeniably bleak future. In a series of surgeries, the doctors removed her gangrenous intestines. Her WBC count has fallen to 1500 which makes her more prone to infections. The normal WBC count is 4,000 to 11,000 cells per cubic millimeter and such low counts are often an early indicator of sepsis. Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state caused by severe infection. The next 4 days are extremely critical for her survival.

Even if she does come back from the clutches of death…she has a not-so-normal life waiting for her. Till now she has responded very bravely, asking if her violators have been caught… but once the reality dawns on her… her optimism might waiver. I have not seen much in my life, but from what I have, she will be alone that juncture. Each day will become an unending series of misery and set-backs for her. Rare are the women who can take so much and still laugh. I pray she is one of them.

The outburst of the public anger has really stunned me. And the home minister’s statement left me asking for more. Isn’t it the most general, most standard statement the government makes? Did it contain even a shred of solid action being taken? The secretary who wrote it obviously had no authority to make radical public announcements. It was what we hear every time the people take to the roads. The same old promises.

My question: Who can take the necessary action? The people have no leader, the opposition is mum and those in power are just making appeals to the people to go home. For that matter why focus on just this case? The same day, other girls were also raped in the city. And many more probably were in the country. Is rape, without this kind of torture associated, not a heinous crime? Is it okay for a single man to rape a woman if he doesn’t push up an iron rod inside her? Is it okay if he doesn’t pull-off her finger nails? NO.

Living in the capital city of India, I have come to consider vulgar comments by men as just part of my life. Rude stares are just normal. Having to deal with uncles in DTC buses, who insist on rubbing every part of their body on ours’ is fairly usual. But Rape is something which cannot and should not be passed off as something less than an assault on the victim’s psyche. It is one of those crimes which leave the victim maimed for life- emotionally and physically. It is not a gun-shot wound which heals with time. It is a pain so intense, an emotion so stabbing that it kills the girl over and over again, a million times.

In the past five days, I have devised punishments which I think will serve these men right. But they are too drastic to be spoken of in a democracy, too cruel for the government to handle and of course, not legalized by the Constitution. It seems to me that the only act legal is Rape.   

P.S. Maybe we should really gift our defenders, protectors and politicians, bangles for Christmas. At least their soft music will shame them day and night, because I am honestly ashamed of being Indian. Just ASHAMED.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stay Safe

An ordinary day
An extraordinarily ordinary day is what I would’ve called yesterday, had it not been for the great crowd I saw on my way back home. At first sight, it looked like a mini carnival…people cracking crude jokes, sharing laughs or just hanging around. Whatever they did, there was an undercurrent of excitement…the whole atmosphere was charged. But wait…all this beside a drain? Very unlikely…
That is when a youth ran past my ride…screaming his lungs out “A girl’s dead body has been found.”

Those words shook me like nothing before. It is another thing to see it on the news… but quite another to witness it. Strangely, the crowd went berserk as the girl was pulled out. Men started sniggering. Women turned their face away. What shocked me more was not the corpse (even that is ironical) but the reaction of the people. I couldn’t help but think; Why are we so callous as a nation?

Newspapers in India fill half their pages with reports of murders, rapes and robberies… every single day.
 People kill and they seem to take pleasure in it. Yet the common man does not even flinch at these reports. Blood curdling incidents are often passed off as normal. Why is it that we, the general public, have become mute spectators to this drama? Why have we become so cold hearted so as not to feel the sorrow of others? Because somewhere, it is not the fault of the law courts that murderers roam free on the streets. The fault lies with us.

Women and girls elderly present the softest targets. Often unequipped to defend themselves, they fall easy prey to evil doers. Though I’ve spent all my time criticizing the society and the law… I do not deem it appropriate in this case. All I want to do is to remind you of the most basic safety measures which can go a long way in keeping you safe.

Girls, Ladies, women…whatever your age may be…
You are the best meat… you know why. That is why we need to be extra vigilant. We know all of this already… been told a zillion times. A reminder never hurts.

1)      While on a road, always walk against the traffic. That way you’ll see any car before it stops. No surprises.

2)      Don’t be scared of screaming for help. Real life is not like movies, where help arrives too late.

3)      It really is a good idea not to talk on the phone while commuting from place A to place B. Pay attention to the people around you.

4)      Always have your phone in your hand. Not in your bag.

5)      You are free to travel at any time you want…but try to do that in groups preferably when the roads are not deserted.

6)      Go to clubs…party all you want… but on the way back, make sure the club people hire you a taxi. Let someone know about your location. Keep the cellphone in your hand. Do not doze off. Memorize any landmarks you see on the way.

7)      Even while going out with male friends you trust, stay on your guard. The date rape drug is all too common. Staying alert never killed anyone.

8)      If you drive alone, be wary of basements. Check your car’s backseat before you get in. Lock your doors as soon as you get in. Call your mom when you start for home.  

9)      Girls, when home alone, do not welcome strangers inside. Do not bother about being rude. Do not open up if you do not have the specific instructions. The courier man just might have fancy ideas up his sleeve.

10)   If nothing else works…RUN. Your legs are your best bet. It is unlikely that anyone will bother pursuing you. They’ll more likely leave you in peace.

The tips go on and on… there is a plethora of websites offering you advice. What really matters is that you follow it. I know it sounds primitive. But unless you want to end up like the girl in that drain, adhere to them. These tips are not specific to India…crimes against women are committed all around the globe. Even if you’re a man, help save the many women in your life. Spread the word, share this post… if it keeps even one woman safe, it’ll be an achievement.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Late one night, a few nights ago, one of my friends called me up. After the usual chit-chat she asked me about my blog. She'd actually called to check if I was dead or alive because I haven't posted anything for so long. So this is a kind of a "Hi! I'm still here" note for all of you.

The past month has been the most average, the most non-happening month of my otherwise amazing life. Now that I look back, I've been subjected to a notable amount of medicines for:
1) Swollen Tonsils
2) Viral fever
3) Injured eyes

Trust me, you don't want to go through it! The isolation almost killed me. My parents, acting on the doctor's instructions, confiscated everything which has an in-built screen (refer laptops, tablets, desktops, mobile phones, television...). But now I am back! Ready to fill your week with my words again!

Hopefully, you'll welcome me with the same support I initially received. My apologies for leaving you in the dark for so long :(

P.S. Owing to my experience with medicines I've been granted the title of "Almost-a-doctor" Maanya Gupta :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Female Genital Mutilation

“Female Genital Mutilation is technically defined as the process of removal of all or some parts of the external female genitalia. It can be divided into various categories depending on the method used as Sunna Circumcision, Clitoridectomy and Infibulation.”

Screaming out as their aunts hold them down…the victims suffer a pain like none other. Not only is it a physical ordeal, the effects reach deep into the girls’ psyche. It comes to define who they are, how they react in the most intimate moments.

This practice has its roots in the basic philosophy that females are not supposed to enjoy the union with their partners; they are only supposed to bear children. It was and still is used by the society to curb sexual desire among females so that they remain loyal to their husbands and do not give in to desires of the flesh. FGM is meant to be the chain which holds her back.

Mutilated females supposedly uphold their family’s honour and bring blessings upon them. They are viewed as the upholders of modesty, character and right conduct.

In some cultures the process is also viewed as the stepping stone to womanhood. It symbolizes purity. Children born to uncircumcised women often refuse to call them ‘mother’. These ladies are like sinners in the community.

Yet other communities condemn these outward projections as “male parts” on a female body. The woman bearing them is considered to be manly hence, making the procedure necessary for female beautification. The list of myths is endless.

Briefly, FGM is classified under the following categories:
Type I: The removal of the clitoral hood or partial/total removal of the clitoris.
Type II: Often termed as excision, this might include the removal of the inner labia/ outer labia/ clitoris/ all of the above.
Type III: Type III, commonly called infibulation or pharaonic circumcision, is the removal of all external genitalia. The inner and outer labia are cut away, with or without excision of the clitoris. The girl's legs are then tied together from hip to ankle for up to 40 days to allow the wound to heal.
Type IV: It includes methods such as Hymenotomy and Gishiri Cutting.

According to the WHO, 100–140 million women and girls are living with FGM, including 92 million girls over the age of 10 in Africa. The practice persists in 28 African countries, as well as in the Arabian Peninsula, where Types I and II are more common. It is known to exist in northern Saudi Arabia, southern Jordan, northern Iraq (Kurdistan), and Nicholas Birch of the The Christian Science Monitor claims there is circumstantial evidence for its existence in Syria, western Iran, and southern Turkey. It is also practiced in Indonesia, but largely symbolically by pricking the clitoral hood or clitoris until it bleeds.

Forget the statistics for a moment and think: Is it okay for even one little girl to go through this? These ‘surgeries’ are not conducted in operation theatres. Here the “qualified doctor” is most often the girl’s grandmother and the equipment used maybe anything from a glass shard to a scissor. Even anaesthesia is not used. Probability of death from profuse bleeding has high probability (Girls who bleed a lot are branded witches). Even if a girl survives, she is scarred for life.

She faces medical problems like urinary infections, urine retention, septicemia, tetanus, HIV, hepatitis and wound infections. And it doesn’t end here.

Have you heard about a woman’s three sorrows? The first one is the process itself, the second, when she has to be cut open for the wedding night and the third, when she has to be cut yet again for childbirth. Creepy isn’t it?
Yet one thing that I haven’t been able to understand is that how did the practice begin? It does not find mention in any of the religious books (unlike male circumcision as required by Judaism and Islam). What basis does FGM have? Why did it start in the first place?

Another anomaly is the fact that women of the practicing communities support it. They have accepted it as part of their culture. They believe it to be an initiation ceremony where a girl becomes a woman.

Prohibition strengthened tribal resistance to the British in the 1950s, and increased support for the Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960). In 1956, under pressure from the British, the council of male elders (the Njuri Nchecke) in Meru, Kenya, announced a ban on clitoridectomy. Over two thousand girls—mostly teenagers but some as young as eight—were charged over the next three years with having circumcised each other with razor blades, a practice that came to be known as Ngaitana ("I will circumcise myself"), so-called because the girls claimed to have cut themselves to avoid naming their friends. This was primarily a form of protest against interference with women's decisions about their own ritual.

 So the alleged victims are in fact the central actors.

I could go on about the need for change…the need to spread awareness…the need to educate them…but will it really work? What can be done to change the psychology of these people? I, as a non-believer, was repulsed when I first got to know of it…but will it be right to interfere in their traditions? Will we like someone to meddle with our affairs (no matter how silly they might be.)? Is change always for the good?

It is the first time when I haven’t been able to find answers to my questions but what really prompted me to write was the letter in my previous post. India shows up nowhere on the stats associated to FGM…yet it happens here as well.

How can such a practice go unnoticed when there has been so much hue and cry world over? How can we not know what happens in our gardens when we seem to know the lawns of paradise by heart? How can we turn a deaf ear to the screams in our homes while we march out with placards supporting women?

How? And why?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

An Unsigned Letter

Sometimes we stumble upon things which force us to thank our stars that we haven't been exposed to them. Yet, in our own small way we want to contribute and help the victims. The letter that follows is one such collection of words which made me cringe at this harsh reality. This letter was written by an Indian woman revealing the true face of FGM- Female Genital Mutilation.

“Dear Molly,

I am an Indian woman living in Mumbai and I attended a seminar in the United States recently where you spoke on the subject of Female Genital Cutting in Africa.  That day, I know I was the most intent of all listeners, the most interested in what you had to say. Why, you might ask?

It is because I, an Indian woman who has been to University, have myself experienced the practice of FGC.  I know this may surprise you, but it is true.  Did you know that FGC also exists in India?  Many people do not, not even many Indians!

I hail from the Dawoodi Bohra community, whose head is called the Syedna – we are a sect of the Shias, which came to India from Yemen some centuries ago.

As in many parts of the world, parents in the Bohra community suffered from “son stroke” as did my parents, who prayed hard for a son, after having four girls. They did succeed and we finally had a boy in the family.

I was the third among four sisters.  We were very close and shared many secrets. But none of us, not the ones before me, nor I myself, ever shared or warned the ones closest to us about the frightening and incomprehensible experience that we would one day be forced to go through.  It was not spoken about then and it is not spoken about even today.
I am 60 years old now, but will remember that fateful day for the rest of my life. I must have been around 7 years old when my mother told me we were going to my grandma’s house to spend the day with her.  When we reached my grandma’s house, my cousin (my mum’s sister’s daughter), who was a year younger than me, was also there. We were happy to meet each other.

Then, we were both led to a small room, which had a bed and asked to lie down. We kept asking “Why?” Suddenly, a lady dressed in black came into the room. By now, my cousin and I were terrified, not aware of what was to follow.

Our dresses were pulled up and our panties pulled off, and we were asked to keep our legs apart.  There were our mothers and our aunts holding our legs apart and then I felt something cold being applied to my clitoris, and then to my horror, the lady in black, actually held a scissor-like instrument and cut me there – I screamed and screamed but no one seemed to care. Then this same thing was done to my cousin, who was right next to me on the same bed.

Both of us kept screaming and crying in pain. Everyone left the room and asked us to lie down with our legs apart, and told us that all would be well soon. They locked us in for almost the whole day. The burning and painful sensation between my groins is something I will never ever forget.

I felt betrayed by and angry with my mother and humiliated too.  I just could not understand how my mother could have been so cruel and put me through this horrific experience.  Much later I was told that all Bohra girls must go through it, and that it is ‘good’ for you.  I then understood that my mother had no choice, that for her, she was only doing what was expected of her.  She was being a “good mother” because this is a practice that had been carried out in our Bohra group for centuries and was considered essential for a woman’s good reputation and marriage chances.

Little did I know that this would affect my sexual life to such a great extent that reaching an orgasm would be a difficult thing for me!

My husband and I have made sure that our daughter does not go through the same thing. We warned his mother and mine that they dare not do anything behind our backs.  We know of friends from my generation, who did not want their girls to go through FGC, but often it was the grandma or the aunts who took them away and secretly got it done!

The sad part is that my sisters and I, and my cousins too, did not really discuss our experience till many years later. We have spent years feeling shame and humiliation for a senseless act that we were subjugated to as children, incapable of defending our human right to keep all organs of our body.

I regret also, dear Molly that I cannot reveal my name to you, as I am not certain of the best way to help put an end to this practice that still persists on a large scale in the Dawoodi Bohra community of India.  However, your explanation of how people themselves changed this social convention in Africa through discussing non judgmental information on the dangers and human rights violations of FGC, then allowing people to collectively abandon the practice, seems the best way forward.

In the meantime, I hope that you will publish this letter to let others know that women suffer greatly from this practice, not only in Africa, but in other countries such as India as well.  Women need to break the silence and support one another in this effort so that our daughters will have a brighter future in the years to come”.

Friday, July 27, 2012

With a Thinking Hat...

Beware: This article essentially contains the random musings of the blogger.

Sitting on the steps separating my serene little balcony from the furious waters of the river of wonders created right at my doorstep by this blessed monsoon, I can think of nothing but the small surprises life sometimes gifts us. They come when you expect them the least, often teasing out a smile your lips weren’t aware of. At the time of writing, I have no specific reason to be so elaborate with my words. But I do have every reason to be happy.

When I see big, fat raindrops falling from the heavens above I am always reminded of what my hindi teacher at school, Mrs Minocha, used to say. She would say that no one, not even these drops of water, know their true destiny. If they fall into a snakes mouth, they become venom…but if they fall into a seep (a pearl’s shell), it is transformed into a magnificent pearl.

Life does something really beautiful. It takes our hand and leads us to our ultimate destination. All the while, it lets us pretend that we are making our own path; that we are our own masters. But along the way it gives us presents, relief, joy just when we are about to wear out. What else do you call the silent beauty of the moon when you look at it after a long day’s work? Does it not transport you to a different world, away from the drudgery of everyday life?

To me that moment every morning when I open my eyes is perhaps the most magical. Each night before I yield to my dreams, I make plans for my future, both immediate and distant. I’m certain all of you do that. We sleep with hope (rather the assumption) that we are definitely going to wake up when the sun rises next. What happens if we don’t? Our first breath at dawn is perhaps the best gift nature gives us every day, day after day, for years on end. And yet it is appreciated only by few nutcases like me with empty heads bent on thinking what I think.

Close your eyes for a minute. Please do…I am really serious. Are you still reading this? No? Good… It is really difficult right? Foregoing your optical powers for even a few minutes? Life becomes colorless, literally. Isn’t that another great gift of Mother Nature? Isn’t it another wonderful achievement? We can do this with each part of your body. So if your machinery has all its parts in place, we should send a note of thanks to Him right away.

It is infinitely simple to crib about your life, curse God for messing it up and not giving it the attention it deserves. But it is really difficult to appreciate the little things which He did give us, which not only make our life bearable, but also make it enjoyable. Without these our lives would perhaps be the most unhappening affair in town…living a full life would have been a boring and tiring occupation…

Today, in front of you, I resolve to live a full life…a happy life…a content life…and to forever abstain from a life which might be, in any form, approaching a terrible replacement, with the breath of fresh air blown out.

I hope you will too

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I vividly remember that summer when my well-meaning parents made me endure the torture of swimming classes. If I had to describe the experience in one word I would call it horrible (^1000).
Ever since my little brain realized that one of its functions is to store my memories, it has just stocked up on bad memories of swimming pools. Even as a kid, I wasn’t very fond of testing my swimming abilities in still water. It is not that I was allergic to water; I love visiting water parks…the oceans and seas being major favourites. But I just detested swimming pools. I feared them.

And fear is exactly what I am writing about today. The dictionary defines fear as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” In my case the threat was imagined. But I was definitely, positively and surely afraid of those blue depths.

While I suffered from a very mild form of this intense emotion, other people around me are plagued by worse forms.

1)      FEAR OF FAILURE: Almost everyone fears failure. It is that one dreaded word which spells doom for most. Mistakes are looked down upon and the guilty is often labeled incompetent.
What we do not realize is that failure and mistakes are essential to success. Errors do not taint achievements, they add to their value. No task in this world can be completed without a cycle of efforts, failures and finally success.
2)      FEAR OF NOT LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS: Expectations, though often perceived as a source of motivation, can also make our life a living hell.
Children are worried about fulfilling their parents’ dreams while subordinates are always trying to live up to the expectations of their boss. It is of paramount importance for us to understand that we should just give our best shot. Nothing more, nothing less.
3)      FEAR OF UPSETTING/LOSING SOMEONE CLOSE:                This kind of fear is also fairly common. In small amounts, it is in fact good for every relationship. But when it takes unexplainably large proportions, it is the last nail in the coffin. Partners tend to become over-possessive. Frustration creeps in in the absence of proper dialogue. Such irrational fear often leads to a low self- esteem and lack of stability in inter-personal relationships.

The list can go on. We know that fear of any kind hampers growth. It might interfere with the psychological development of an individual. In severe cases, the victim might totally withdraw from society. Ever wondered why majority of the cases of child abuse go unreported? It is because the children fear rejection and ridicule. Why do many women still not report incidents of rape? Again it is because they are afraid of the society’s reaction and the mud- slinging which often follows. Why do young people often resort to death when faced with problems? They fear that they will not be able to take it. They are afraid of what the other people might think of them.

But my question is, is fear really all that evil? Is a certain amount of apprehensiveness not healthy? If we fear nothing, won’t we become careless in all our dealings?

Why is it that a mother often tell her kids that ‘bogeyman’ will come if they don’t eat their food/ don’t sleep on time/ don’t bathe properly/ don’t go to school? This way they are just teaching them to be scared of phantoms in their head.

In my opinion, a certain amount of fear is indeed necessary in today’s life. It only shows that we are concerned about people or that we think about the consequences of our actions. It keeps us safe by making us cautious. However, two things do need to be curbed/ changed:

1)      The irrational fear which often comes to define a person. No fear should be allowed to take over our life and control our actions. True, I sometimes think that some ghosts might pull me off my bed in my sleep. But I do not let such thoughts rob me of my sleep.
2)      The society’s attitude needs to be changed. Any kind of fear is not a weakness. The victim is not incompetent. It is just that he/she might have had certain bad experiences which force them to be afraid of certain things. They need help and support and not ridicule.

Fear itself is not the problem. The problem is the subsequent changes in the psyche of an individual. The problem lies in the attitude of the society which laughs at them. The problem lies in the lack of communication channels for the victim. The problem lies in our traditional way of using weakness as a synonym for fear and in our inability to understand that fear is a rational part of everyday life. He who says he fears nothing tells the biggest lie.

“Fear nothing but the fear which makes you fear this fearless life.”
                                                Go fear J

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Given Up for Dead- A Review

“Every day brought more of the same: another dose of work that never got finished, exhaustion that never ceased, a routine that never varied, and waiting that never ended.” These lines perfectly sum up the days of siege of Wake Island, the far-flung U.S. outpost, by Japan.

On December 8,1941, a few hours after the infamous bombing of the Pearl Harbour, the Japanese forces attacked this tiny group of three islands. It was conceived to be a point of immense strategic location for control over the Pacific during World War II.

Surprised by the attack, the unprepared battalion of marines, sailors and civilians fought one of the bravest and ruthless wars in American history. They showed courage, determination and perseverance unheard-of before. This book tells the tale of their sacrifices and bravery through first-hand accounts of the survivors.

The book starts with PFC Wiley Sloman waking up among the enemy corpses thinking that he has been given up for dead. Then the reader re-lives the agony of the past few days on the island. When the first planes attack, he ducks for cover just like the nearest gun crews. He feels the sorrow and gloom when the Wake Islanders bury their dead. He celebrates their extraordinary achievements, endures rat bites in fox holes and goes through the humiliations of the POW camps. He sees, hears and feels all of it.

Bill Sloan, with his simple and lucid style of writing, recreates those days from Hell again in ink and paper. He captures the dilemmas faced by the commander of the island, the decisions taken and the mistakes made with the eyes of a keen and ruthless observer.

The most touching moments in the book are undoubtedly those of the surrender and the inhuman treatment meted out to the soldiers afterwards. With victory so close at hand, virtually every fighter on Wake wanted to shoot down Major Devereux when he came carrying the white flag. It seems those who died in action were the luckiest of the lot. Those who were tough enough or lucky enough to survive came through with permanent physical and mental scars.

This book effectively serves as a token of appreciation and appreciation to all the brave-hearts who defended the remote outpost with their lives. The author has indeed succeeded in immortalizing those warriors and bringing them much of their deserved glory. He pulled out fading heroes and told their story to the world.

Revealing details about the book isn’t on my plan. But what I can confidently say is that it is an amazing read for all of you who have the stomach to experience the grueling realities of war, the pain of losing loved ones and the ever-lasting will to survive. Truly, Wake is the Alamo of the Pacific.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Part of Me

“Every savage can dance”…that is what Mr Darcy said about dance in Pride and Prejudice. I couldn’t have disagreed more.

I was introduced to Kathak, a classical form of dance, at a very young age. I knew all the taals and tukdas while still in preparatory school. Joining my college’s dance team was an obvious choice then. Western dance styles are way different from kathak but it is an experience I enjoyed to the hilt.

Dance is an art. It needs devotion. It demands a lot of sacrifices, a zillion truckloads of effort and mountains of patience. I always think of it as a slow art. You can’t make a performer in a day. It takes years of silent work before one can step on stage and dazzle the audience.

I vividly remember the long practice sessions we had, dancing for close to eight hours each day, pushing ourselves beyond our limits. In those days, dance became my drug. I was addicted to it. I talked of nothing else, thought of little else. And now that I look back at that time, I think those hours spent in the company of my team-mates, twisting our bodies into impossible shapes, will be the most cherished of my college life.

Whenever I dance, I am transformed into a different person. It is like a trance. It lifts me above the worries of everyday life. When each beat of the music resonates with the beating of my heart, I lose all sense of this world. It is a state of bliss which bestows upon me a sense of achievement, of fulfillment, of being complete. It makes me love myself.

The array of emotions expressed by the slightest change in posture, the silent words said by the movement of my eyes, the great tales told without uttering so much as a word; all left me overwhelmed and humbled.

While I am dancing, I can be anyone I wish to be. I am not restrained to fit into a particular image or social norms which bind me. I can just be me, free as a bird in the purple sky of her dreams…

But even as I am reliving those moments from my not-so-distant past, I cannot help but keep in mind that that joy is forbidden to me now. Happy stories do not always have happy ends. A series of events forced me to give up my place on the team. During the days that followed, I alternated between being angry and painfully grief-stricken. It was like having a part of me snatched away. Some part of my little heart went cold. Dance was my passion, still is. But I realized, sometimes you just have to give up the things most dear to you.

Dance helped me learn a lot, from little things like taking care of my own belongings and travelling by DTC to larger lessons of life like discipline and perseverance. It has played a pivotal role in shaping me into the person I am today. It changed this fish’s perspective towards life. I interacted with new people and opened up to this world. I came out of my shell to leave others shell-shocked…

I still dance but it is within the confines of four walls. I do not hear the loud cheering anymore or the thunder-like applause, so common during our performances. That was another world. Today, dance is a form of meditation for me, a way to connect and communicate with my inner self. It is a means to escape into a different world where I am not chained down. Nobody can take away my heart’s foot-tapping beats…

“Swaying to the music, lost to the world… I live the dreams I dreamed as a little girl.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Journey

Sitting on the steps leading up to my balcony, I can’t help but be amazed at the world rushing by. Everyone seems to be in a great hurry to get somewhere while I feel like a task-less lunatic listening to the endless chatter of birds. But what is the great hurry? Alas! I can never understand.

I do not advocate a laid-back attitude towards life but what is the point of running through it? Take any sphere of our life and all of us inadvertently follow these steps:
Step 1: Set a goal.
Step 2: Achieve it.

Shouldn’t there be a step in-between, say step number 1.5, which says: Enjoy the journey? Our life today has become so mechanical that we fail to recognize it. Pick any example and I will show you the lack of imagination in their life. Take a student. What does he do? Most of them aim to get great marks and well, that is the end of it. They do not care if they learn anything along the way. They do not think twice about the methods they employ to achieve their target (which include all sorts of ‘illegal and unfair means’). Where is the fun element of studying?

Another example: let us suppose that you are driving to any random place. How many of you actually notice things going on around you? Obviously your eyes should be on the road but how many of you have ever stopped to admire the setting sun? Or enjoyed the delightful drops of rain when you’re stuck in a never-ending traffic jam? Very few, I’m sure of that.

And what does this attitude give us?
1)   Stress
2)   Tension
3)   Short temper

We are almost never satisfied. We always have a reason to complain, a reason to make life a living hell both, for ourselves and those around us. We never achieve inner peace (anyone reminded of Kung Fu Panda 2?). We never truly understand life.

As someone who has always worked hard to get good grades, I sometimes wonder if I could’ve used those hours in a better manner. Had I diverted even two percent of that energy into things I really liked, would life be more enjoyable? Maybe or maybe not. Who knows?

But now that I have totally changed my view towards life, I feel like a way better person. I always have a smile on my face. I think that is what you call inner peace. It makes the world seem like a happier place. If you embrace life with open arms and not just treat it as a task, meant to be successfully completed, it takes you into its depths. It shows you sights which stay with you forever, springing to life when you least expect them to, and making you smile a smile of contentment.

I learnt that Life is not just about the destination. The journey is more important. It is about the little joys, not about miracles which never happen. It doesn’t really matter if you achieve your goal in a matter of seconds or an entire lifetime. It doesn’t matter if you have aimed big or small. It doesn’t matter what people think of you. All that matters is the quality of lessons you learnt along the way, the value addition to your character and the joy you derived from it. Live your life, you’ve got just one shot at it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Joy Aborted

Instead of teaching me how to fly, you clipped my wings, left me to die.”

Public memory has a very short life-span. True to the last alphabet. A few weeks back, the country was taken by a storm. A popular actor shedding tears on screen brought us to the edge of our chair. It made us think, it made us weep, we swore to work for mankind…the country grieved for her daughters. But where is that passion now? Lost to oblivion…

 And this is exactly the problem with our people. They hear but do not listen, they think but do not act, they feel but are too busy to take initiative. Meanwhile, social evils like female foeticide can take whatever route they want.

This attitude often spells doom for expecting mothers. The effects of a child’s wanton murder are far-reaching…some of them so apparently unrelated that we fail to see the connection.

Medical Effects:
Human body is a very fragile system and when it suffers through an abortion, the effects are severe. Repeated abortions can actually interfere with a woman’s ability to bear children. It leads to problems in conceiving a child again. It also increases the probability of a natural abortion.

It is often seen that women, who have undergone several abortions, often develop complications during their pregnancy. These might range from getting diabetes to a high blood pressure. These may make termination of pregnancy unavoidable.

The medicines used may sometimes cause hormonal disorders. These disorders often make it nearly impossible for the woman to conceive again. Even if she does, her body does not support it. Also the probability of still-births increases multi-fold.

These are just the physical effects. Each time a child is aborted, the mother suffers from severe stress and trauma. The shock of losing a child cripples her psychologically. In severe cases, she may lapse into depression and withdraw from the society in general.

Sometimes extra-mural delivery of the foetus can occur in the interval between administration of feticide and initiation of a medical or surgical abortion. Although signs of life are avoided this is distressing and, in the case of a planned procedure, not the desired outcome.

Potential complications include injection site pain, amnionitis, or sepsis. Digoxin is associated with vomiting as a common side effect. Case reports of maternal cardiac arrest have also been reported following potassium chloride injection.

The effects do not end at the hospital.

Social effects:

In India, the minority is usually oppressed, suppressed and depressed. The story of women, the minority here, is no different. Life for girls is a never ending battle.

The falling number of girls (consequently women) has resulted in an increased number of crimes against women. Stories of sexual harassment, molestation and rape have become common. Incidents of eve-teasing are common place.

Women are given a low status in society, their role often limited to the kitchen and the bed. Mind you, there can be a thousand exceptions to this statement but it is the general story. Their own family members torture them no end. Domestic violence and abuse has seen a significant rise. The number of reported cases is, however, much less than the actual number.

Till a few years back, thinkers would think about the fate of man when there will be no women left to marry. I’d often thought that it would increase the value of females in the eyes of society somehow…like we realize the worth of things only when we lose them. But no, it just resulted in a worse situation for women.

Young girls from states like Bihar, Jharkhand and UP are bought at cheap prices for the prospective grooms. Their family is paid money anywhere between INR 10,000-15,000 (The average cost of a cow is 1000 times the milk she gives per day, which is around 25 liters, making the cost around INR 25,000. That is more expensive than a girl.). These women get none of the honour, love or comforts they deserve after marriage. They are often treated like filth.

Like I said…sometimes the connection is such, we fail to perceive it.

What are the solutions? Is there a way out of it? Can we do anything at all to curb this menace?

One of my teachers suggested a policy of fines and rewards when I asked him the same questions. In his world, we should fine the culprits and reward the informers. But is it really possible for such a function to exist without problems? Can it be enforced?

The existing laws need to be strengthened. The clause in the constitution which allows abortion of a frequency for medical reasons should be amended suitably, the penalties be made unbending and unforgiving.

Women should be educated about their rights and those of their daughters. Families need to be sensitized to this issue. The mass media can play a major role here. A village man may not know his consonants from the vowels…but there will definitely be a radio, a television somewhere in his vicinity.

Young people can volunteer to spread the message far and wide. Talks and seminars can be organized to generate awareness. The government should come forth with more schemes like the ‘ladli yojana’.

The change, when it comes, has to come from within. Our eternal hope, our unending prayers and our unshakeable faith will, one day, let her be born…J

P.S. My sister gave birth to a lovely daughter on the 29th day of May, 2012…her smiling face is my ray of hope…J

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Killing Her

A disturbing print ad to raise awareness of female foeticide from Contract Advertising Mumbai.

Madhya Pradesh, India: When kamala gave birth to her first daughter, her husband, though not overjoyed, was still happy. They distributed sweets in the village and even called a pandit to bless the child. When kamala got pregnant again, her husband forced her to undergo an ultrasound. It was a GIRL. What followed was a series of abortions and a sure and steady decline in their marital life. Finally, when she did conceive a boy, she suffered a miscarriage. Cursed and harassed, she was thrown out of her home by the very husband who had promised to be with her through thick and thin. Gone was the love, the joy…her world was filled with a black emptiness.

This is the story of just one mother grieving for her child. Many more eyes are still brimming with tears. So why is it that we become perpetrators of such evil? Why do we not hear those silent screams of the unborn girls? Why do we refuse to see the agony of these mothers?

The causes are numerous. India has predominantly been a patriarchal society. The boys are expected to carry the family name forward. The birth of a boy is celebrated. Family and friends from far and wide are invited to bless him. The mother takes pride in her achievement. Her status in the family increases. Her mother-in-law loves her more than the other ‘bahus’ who have not given her a grandson yet. She is often treated as a queen and the family’s ‘chiraag’ as a prince.

Our traditions add fuel to this desire for a son. Not only do the sons ensure that the family’s genes never die away, they are also the sole bread-winners. They have been entrusted with the noble task of taking care of their parents in their old age. As per our religious philosophies, it is the son who fulfills the last rites for his parents.

Most of you, who listened to the bedtime stories your grandma told you, are probably familiar with the stories of Shravan Kumar- the ideal son. He took every pain to fulfill the wishes of his blind parents.
This story is often narrated so that the children can learn from him, so that they can imbibe his good qualities. Fair enough. But does this also not show that aching longing of a mother’s heart to have a son like him? Knowingly or unknowingly, such stories give rise to the yearning for a son.

But why only old stories? Take the example of most of the advertisements today…most of them depict a happy family as: 1 mother, 1 father, 1 son (Maybe a son and a daughter if they are feeling generous.). Only recently have the daughters made their presence felt on this front. Why? I know it is a very small, maybe irrelevant revelation. But it just points to our mindset.

From the day a girl is born, she is treated as different. Either she is venerated like goddess Lakshmi or she is cursed like you would a filthy sewer rat. We, as a society, rarely talk of them as equals. We either ban them from participating or we give them reservations. Why?

A girl’s first breath means trouble for her family. In very crude words, girls are considered to be a waste of resources…a drain on the family’s wealth.

The primary reasons are financial and social. This was the common line of thought I observed while talking to people: “you give birth to a girl, you educate her, ensure that she gets all comforts, you give her the best facilities. Then one day, you have to marry her off.” This is where the real problem steps in.

 In India, we follow a system of dowry. This system is not unique to the country. Currently it is being practiced in parts of Africa, East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. But that is what Wikipedia says. If you google it, the rest of the links are all related to India. Dowry is no more “gifts given by the bride’s family to express their joy.” It is the birthright of the groom’s family, a symbol of their status, an indicator of their son’s worth. How can they compromise with that?
It is this burden of dowry which deters parents from welcoming girls with open arms.

Certain other reasons might be the difficulties in ensuring the safety of a girl child.
Also, couples planning on only one child prefer boys for the reasons I stated above. The easy access to medical facilities and the latest technologies has made the prospects of birth more dismal for a girl. Ineffectiveness of law is another reason. How can you control the information given by a slight smile or a frown as the doctor conducts a regular check-up for the health of the baby?

However, I think girls too have a major role to play. There are families who celebrate the birth of a baby girl. They don’t discriminate against them. They provide them with every possible facility. They help them study, allow them to explore new avenues and progress in life. These lucky girls should realize their true potential and should work for the benefit of their gender. By this I do not mean that they should take the plunge and become social activists. Even if these girls develop a progressive mindset, achieve financial independence and put their foot down on such evil practices, it will go a long way to further our cause. Imagine girls who are self-reliant, know the difference between right and wrong and are willing to fight against injustice. I’m sure they’ll uproot this poisonous vine.

I agree that traditions cannot just be tossed in the air. Neither can people change their attitude after reading just one article. Even if I had a magic wand, it would be a tough task setting things in order. But at least we can start. One initiative gets a thousand followers. All we need is that one start. I have just one worry:

This evil of female foeticide has embraced the nation in a tight hug. It feels really good at first, but then it begins to suffocate us. I wonder if we’ll break free before we see stars swimming in front of our eyes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fairy Feet

“A cute smile, warm eyes
Little hands and fairy feet
I’d hoped one day I’ll have
Waiting in your womb
I didn’t see the knife coming
Mom, why was I stabbed?”

That must be the question thousands of unborn girls must be yearning to ask their parents…

Technically, female foeticide is defined as aborting the female foetus after sex determination test or pre-natal diagnostic test which includes:
1)   Ultrasonography
2)   Foetoscopy
3)   Placental tissue sampling
4)   Amniocentesis

 In simple words, it is nothing but wanton killing of girls even before they are born. What fuels this desire? Why do people not want girls? Do we not call them ‘lakshmi’ in the Indian tradition? Then why do people do it? Who does it? Who helps them along? The questions are endless…the answers slow in coming.

The problem of female foeticide is not new to India. It is infact older than the country in years. It began way back in the pre- independence era. A girl child has always been thought of as a burden. Her birth is rarely celebrated. Her life, if she gets one, is littered with thorns… why?

This trend originally started in parts of Northern India like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. From there, it spread like a virus to the rest of the country. Today, only a few states like Andhra Pradesh are untouched by this evil.

If we look at the child sex ratios over the past few years, we’ll see a surprising trend. This ratio gives us the number of girls born for every thousand boys born in the country.

In the 2001 census, the highest child sex ratio has been reported in Mizoram (971 females against 1000 males) and Meghalaya (970).

Notably, Punjab and Haryana, which have traditionally seen low sex ratio, have recorded an increasing trend but still remained at the bottom of the list. Haryana has 830 female children and Punjab 846 against per 1000 male child.

Haryana's Jhajjar (774 females) and Mahendragarh (778 females) districts have the lowest sex ratio while Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh has the highest sex ratio (1,013 females).

In the 2011 census, Kerala with 1084 has the highest sex ratio followed by Puducherry with 1038. Daman and Diu has the lowest sex ratio of 618.
These statistics give us a peek only into the number of girls born…what about those who couldn’t make it into this world? If official figures are to be believed, around 3 crore girls have been aborted…but trust me, this number must be way more in reality.

So who does it? Is it the uneducated, lower income group or people like us? People who have all the comforts and luxuries in the world? People who are well- educated and should, ideally, not discriminate against unborn girls on basis of gender? It is the latter. How do you think pre-natal sex determination to be possible without the use of the latest technology and money? It obviously cannot happen without an organized sector involving medical experts, business enterprises and of course, couples craving for boys. Yes, that is what it is- a multi-million industry with no limits on the profits. (I’m sometimes surprised how we can come up with such impressively objective definitions and terms.)

Over the past decades various NGOs like Jagruti, Centre of Social Research and Naari Sudhaar Andolan have taken up this cause. Then be it through street plays like Apoorn, candle light vigils, silent marches, campaigns, sloganeering, fasts and dharnas...they have tried to get the message across. Thousands of activists have given their life for this issue. But has it really had any effect? Have we really learnt a lesson? No…why else would such cases still be reported then?

In the recent uproar over the issue, everybody missed one point though… female foeticide is not always done under pressure. Women do abort their girls willingly. And it is generally not because of medical reasons or because giving birth to a girl is a way too expensive affair for them. Why do they do it then? Being females themselves, why do they deny life to another girl?

The reasons are numerous…from a simple craving for a boy to societal norms and pressures. The perpetrators of this crime have a zillion excuses for their deed. But then, if you listen to their reasoning, you’ll be forced to think are they really wrong? In the words of the woman who does our laundry:
"The government does support birth-control measures. How is this any different? Is aborting only a female foetus a crime?"

The more we think of it, the more we get entangled in this web of questions. It’ll take us sometime to answer those million un-answered voices…

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Speeding along the roads of Dubai, looking at the tall skyscrapers, I couldn’t help but think: Is it really the heaven it is portrayed to be? Are people really as happy as they look? Or is there another side to this apparently blissful emirate?

Contrary to popular expectation, I will not be talking about burkha-clad women in this series…well, at least I don’t plan to. This particular post looks deeper into the economics of Dubai… what makes it thrive? What makes it survive?

The emirate has a constitutional monarchy with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as the King/ Monarch. Al Maktoum is the name of the ruling family. Dubai has an executive council which works independently of the Supreme council of the UAE. Have you ever wondered how people are happy in a monarchy? I mean these are modern times we are living in. Do they not realize the benefits of a democracy? What benefits are they getting under the present system?

Talking to the locals gave me some insight. But there was a world of difference in the opinions of a registered UAE national and the others. A UAE national is provided with various facilities. They are provided with free education and guaranteed jobs. Some even hinted that they are gifted a house and a car by the government when they marry (this last detail could not be verified).  They have to pay no taxes and in times of financial crunch, the government comes forward to help them. The world-class facilities provided are there for all to see. If you live in India and have never been abroad, your eyes will probably pop out when I tell you that there are absolutely no traffic jams there…the cars run at 120kmph…the roads are super-good and for a change, people obey the traffic rules (the life of a pedestrian is way easier there!).

The ‘others’ category primarily includes workers from the Asian subcontinent or the professionals who came to Dubai after they stopped awarding new citizenships. For these people, the state provides minimal benefits. The birth of a child is roughly a Dh 50,000 affair (1Dh=INR14). Then add to it the cost of his/her education, your daily expenditures, house rents and office rents. The costs rocket through the sky. For them it is often a struggle to make the ends meet. Yet they are still satisfied. Why? Because Dubai provides them with a safe society, safer than their home countries will ever be. This emirate has a crime rate of less than 1%. There are virtually no kidnappings and murders, petty thefts, if any, are reported and the culprits brought to book.

Even the economic policies are strictly pro-Emiratis. Like I said earlier, there is no Income Tax, no Customs Duties which needs to be paid. There are certain other provisions as well. Eg: if a non- emirate national has to setup a new business in Dubai, he needs to do it with local sponsorship. In effect, it means that they have to take up a local partner whose share will be 51% of the company stocks. Isn’t that really pro-citizen? Though the profits and losses can be divided unequally, but you will always have that one Arab voice on your board. For 100% ownership, you need to setup your company in the free zones. But then you are restricted from doing business with the local companies. Your access is limited to the international traders and businessmen because you cannot work outside the free zone. Compare and contrast this with our country. Can any such reform ever come up here? Even if it does, who will benefit from it?

So where does the government’s income come from? Does the Sheikh spend his own money?

As far as the printed word goes, Dubai’s income comes primarily from trade and tourism. They have some of the largest and the best malls in the world. They have developed amazing water parks and game arenas. Their airlines is at par with the best in the world. Every year, millions of tourists flock to the place. They use state-owned facilities like hotels, metro, hospitals thus, contributing to their revenue. Because Dubai is a free economy, even Indians have invested millions of rupees in its economy. If we were to pull out all our money, Dubai’s economy would probably crumble. True, India is a rich country, Indians are not.

Another source of income are the taxes the followers of Islam have to pay, namely, Zakat. It is a form of charity which every well-off Muslim is expected to do. The Ruling family has made some of the largest donations in the history of the world. The zakat collections go upwards of Dh 60 million. This fund is used for the welfare of the poor people. However, descendants of Muhammad cannot receive money from this fund.

All this has reduced the dependency on Oil as a source of income. It now accounts for less than 6% of the GDP. The efforts to diversify the economy have indeed paid off.

Dubai is a story of contradictions, a unique blend of the traditional and the modern. People do gossip about their rulers but they also worship him like God. The Sheikhs have indeed done a lot for the people. Else why isn’t there civil unrest? Why isn’t there any crime? They build the tallest buildings in the world, yet still preserve the homes of their ancestors. Like any other country in the world, Dubai also has its share of good and bad, pros and cons. Just that the pros seem to outweigh the cons.

It inspires others to achieve new heights…to break free from the conventional yet have your feet firmly planted on the ground... anyone heard of the Dubai-inspired ‘future’ city in Bihar?

Friday, April 20, 2012

A decade ago, A decade old

A decade ago, a decade old
I stood on the doorstep, crying
You left in a hurry
No goodbye, no farewell
Just a wound, a sorrow still raw in my mind

All you left behind
Was a world full of memories
They made me cry
They made me weep
How could you leave us all behind?

I was strong then as I am now
I shed not a single tear
But that was just an act
I put up for the others.

Only you know of the endless nights
Those dark hours spent crying
I kept on thinking, hoping, willing
That you come back
Say you're fine.

That night, seeing you fallen
I wished I'd said goodbye, one last time
I wished I'd not slept early
I wished I'd stayed by your side.

Waiting outside the hospital
I was sure you will come out unscathed
Those were just kiddish wishes
Which have long since passed.

Numbed by shock and the grief
i felt paralyzed inside
But I put up a brave face
The ten-year old, lost in her little life.

I've fought since forever
I've locked it all inside
Each day I try to the trail you left behind
Becoming a little more like you, less like me.

I know you're watching me now
Those smiling, friendly eyes
I have just one unfulfilled wish
I wish I'd said goodbye, one last time

A decade ago, a decade old
I stood on the doorstep, crying...

Written in loving memory of my Uncle...a candle extinguished too soon...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

THAT feeling

“Life is not a story of success; it is the epic of continued struggle in the face of failure.”

Roughly three hundred and sixty nine days back, I had been a bundle of nerves. I had just appeared for the IIT-JEE and promised myself that I will not, absolutely not, definitely not, look at the answer key before the results came out. That promise had the shortest lifespan. By next morning I knew my score. I knew where I had lost marks (yes…it seems like you never gain enough marks in JEE) and I knew my IIT dreams were perhaps over.

Some of my friends got better marks, some got worse. But no one was satisfied. For the likes of me, we attributed it to sheer bad luck. What else could it be? When I’d devoted every waking hour to my coaching studies? For those who scored better…they were worried they might not get IIT Delhi or the course of their choice. For those who scored worse…well, AIEEE was still there.

In short, everybody had reasons to be anxious, scared and in general, nervous. Then came the most dreaded aspect: projected cut-offs. Someone put it at a meager 200 while others boldly proclaimed it to be around 250. Each time I saw a cut-off which made me an IITian I did a little dance and each time I saw myself being forced to study someplace else…I arranged a small funeral for my dreams. I’m pretty sure it happened with everyone else as well.

For those of us who had really worked hard and not got through, it was like losing focus in life. Some of us disappeared off the social radar while others were brave enough to face the world. Our ways of escaping from the stress maybe different but in the end, all of us border line cases had a little hope…that somehow we’ll make it. Hope turned into desperation and finally when we saw that “Not Qualified” on the result day…it all came to an end.

It was tough to come to terms with the fact that we will not study at IIT. But we had no choice. We sat through other exams and made it to other equally prestigious colleges. We weren’t really happy at first. We thought that we deserve more. We always envied the commerce students for having such an easy life. We called others nerds. I cannot put it in words how it felt when people feigned surprise at me not making it... and when they had a completely clueless look when I told them my college’s name.

Sometimes I really hated my college for being what it is. I disliked everything about it. But then something amazing happened: I settled in. I met girls who had stories similar to mine. I made new friends. I joined various societies.  I worked hard. I got busy. I started enjoying my new life.

There were still times of serious self-questioning. Was I really not good enough? Could I have done better? Should I give it another shot? Is it worth it? Why did it happen to me? Why me? The questions were endless…after a year, I’ve found my answers. I am at peace.

Life doesn’t end at one entrance exam…it begins there. Failure makes you strong in ways you haven’t realized just yet. This holds for all those exams with cut-throat competition around the globe. Some win, some lose…those who lost will win another day   J

Sunday, April 1, 2012

To you, Dear Rapist

On her way back home
You took her by surprise
Your eyes betrayed
The demon lurking inside.

She begged, she pleaded with you
To let her go
Struggling in your iron arms
Only deaf ears heard her
You were strong, mad with lust
She went down fighting.

You robbed her of her honour, her pride
You violated her, her life
She's haunted by the pain, the grief
The black terror she'd felt within
She wished you death that time.

Years after you shattered her life
She's still collecting the shards
Trying to put it back, one piece at a time
Fretting over the lost parts.

The parts which made her smile
The parts she loved
The parts which defined her
Are still lost, hard to find.

She will never forgive you, neither will He
You had no right to rape her
Yes, that is what you did that fateful day
As you lived out your pervert fantasies.

She knows not if you're still the beast
Or if you've changed for good
But this is what she wants to say:
Please don't do it again
Hope someday you'll feel the guilt in your cold heart

That flame will make your life a living hell
Spread it far, Spread it wide if you want to escape
Turn it into a fire, burn your sin, your desire.

For the sake of the life you ruined
Don't let another flower wilt this way
If your heart beats a human beat
We appeal to you.

Don't let Men pluck these flowers away
Protect them, save them from harm
So that none of my sisters writes to you again.