Heinous. Horrifying.

Rape has almost become a synonym to women…these days. Sigh. Nothing seem to scare them. No death threats, not even worldwide protests, awareness, campaigns seem to help. It’s very very sad. And what’s more disheartening is there seems to be no solution to this and people think – in this country, they can get away with everything attitude, and it is their birth right to treat women JUST the way they feel like.

Down south, in India, seemed like a safe zone, until a few years ago for women to thrive in… unlike Delhi and some other North Indian states, but not anymore. All this f****** media furor everyday, is just adding fuel to the fire. And, that, “Kuch Bhi Kar Lo…Kuch Nai Hone Wala…” belief (Nothing is going to happen..no matter what you do) is just giving birth to more culprits on the way…more rape prospects and free will to abuse and mistreat. It’s a shame to mankind.

While I know there’s change happening, I know men who respect women too, treat them well, but it’s just not helping on the massive scale. Verbal Abuse, and ill treatment is no less. Read this, a very very recent incident, written by my friend and the victim of it, was shaken to death almost with absolutely zero fault. Who was this, supposedly, well educated, tamed, so called, civilized guy? I do not wish to run any campaigns, do not wish to take up any protest march, cause everything seems to be futile. All we wish(my friend, my friend’s family and ofcourse I) that this guy, reads this some day, and realizes what he did was not something to feel proud of, and that, will he ever be able to live with his conscience ever, causing so much disgust to someone for no reason). As of now, all I can do is thank God, that you are safe.

” Am I safe? People watched as he verbally abused me – By P.C. 

“ladki parhao..ladki bachao” – Lekin kyun?

Our Prime Minister has started a long overdue campaign to save the girl child. To further support his campaign we have ads on-air from prominent brands like “Ariel” and “Vogue” saying “ladke rote nahi, ladke rulati nahi hain sekhao” and “is laundry a women’s task only”. But then I wonder….. for what purpose are we asking our society to save the girl child .So that they are available to be further abused and berated..? So that a man’s bad day can be vented out on his wife, sister, mother, friend…or in this case a total stranger. Like me.

Yesterday, the 26th of Feb 2015 at around 1:30, I met my friend for lunch. It was a normal day wherein we chatted had lunch and then she walked back to her office and I got into my car to drive back to mine, which is across the Domlur flyover. As I was taking the turn to join the traffic on inner ring road, right in front of Mast Kalander and the Honda Showroom (Amar Jyothi Layout, Domlur, Inner Ring Road), the time must have been 2:15 in the afternoon, a well-dressed man appeared out of nowhere as I was trying to maneuver my way out of that narrow lane, and started banging the car, on the back windsheild asking me to stop…..and that’s when my nightmare started.

This man verbally abused me for the next 15 minutes, claiming that I just tried to run him over! Called me a “Bitch” a zillion times, asking me to get off of my car saying that “we” people are apparently continuously trying to run down pedestrians. At this juncture I would like to point out that I drive an 8-year-old Maruti 800, that can barely go beyond 40kms!! And I am all of 5ft tall and couldn’t harm a fly even if I wanted to, and have been driving for the past 6 years in this very city, without killing myself or another soul.

So, this man in the meanwhile who was dressed in a purple check shirt and a pair of jeans, brown ankle type boots and must be around 5-8″ kept abusing me non-stop in English using the word “f*****g bitch” and “f**k you” every 5 seconds…and kept insisting I get out of the car. I was in shock, but had the presence of mind to stay in the car and lock my doors. I couldn’t drive away because a crowd had gathered and had blocked my path.

Ah the crowd….that patiently waited and watched while this man continued abusing me, not one person thought to tell him, that perhaps you could use proper language. All the while he kept banging the car too, if it was not enough to scare me with his abusive language. I was trying to tell him, that I had not seen him at all, and if I DID try to run him over, that I was sorry….to which he replied…”then you better watch how you drive you f*****g bitch”. Finally after what seemed like ages, when I had a little space I took my car and drove away.

I took the U-turn and stopped the car cause I was shaking like a leaf….and I didn’t think I could drive a mile more. I think I sat there in my car…for how long I have no clue.

Today I am thinking to myself do I feel safe being out on the streets in this city? No. This happened in broad daylight with about at least 50-60 people around…and no one thought it was necessary to stop this obvious Psycho ,because it’s okay to be abusive. Is it? Cause it’s a man’s right in this country? Are we seriously in the same city where in one hand we are paving pathways to Mars and running campaigns to save the girl child?

Yes let us save the girl or else who will we abuse??

Link to the original article here.

Wednesday Photography Entry – Little pot of Joy

Drinking tea in these little claypots, has always been my most preferred way of drinking tea/chai. The tea lover that I am, I can rave about its endless joys – the earthy smell, the earthy flavor, its simplicity, and of course that …it’s completely eco-friendly. Feeling the warmth.. cupping with my both hands and enjoying every sip, is what I call divine. :)

Cup of Joy

Cup of Joy

Heaven ….

Tell me, won’t you just love to sit under the shade of a huge tree with its arms wide spread across, overlooking a magnanimous sea, and do just about nothing…! And let yourself relax every bit. And may be let every inch of your body soak in nature’s glory.

The Beach

The Beach

South Goa, is magnificent. Now, I experienced Goa in just another season, peak wintry time… trust me, evenings were really chilly and mornings were just so perfectly calming. And, there are some beaches which are absolutely untouched – you just need to ride a bike and explore aimlessly.

 South Goa

South Goa

Nature, every time you surprise me with your absolute charm.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone, and travel as much as you can ;)

Another Year that Passed…

2014, when I look back,

you were not that harsh.

There were moments of joy, and moments of sorrows,

that quiet amusingly passed.

I traveled & explored, and lived some dreams.

Met new people, made some friends,

found love and much more.

Acquired new experiences & lessons in life.

2015, now I look forward to you,

hopefully, that you would be even better…

bringing in more love, happiness and good health.

For me, and for my loved ones around me.

Here’s wishing all those who have enjoyed reading me…a very very warm and prosperous New Year. I genuinely mean it. :)

Travel Journal – North Goa – 20 Sep

As the dinner simmers slowly on the stove… I sit down to write, collecting my thoughts, with stillness around, about my beautiful sojourn in the quaint little place called Aldona, in Goa.

You know, I never need an excuse to travel. All I need is an urge to runaway to the wilderness of a new destination – to explore something new. So, when the urge sparked, I went ahead and booked my tickets to Goa, for a weekend. Well, it had to be Goa, North Goa, as monsoons cast a mysterious spell in that coastal belt. This time, certainly, I intended to explore more of its native life, unlike the last luxurious excursion, to consume more about the general lifestyle and cultural norms, and of course to taste the food, cooked home style. Hence, I preferred a homestay, which I thought, would help me experience it well. I feel, hotels, can’t fulfil that quest to savor the local flavors, both in terms of food and culture.

The North Goa

The North Goa

During my brief research I stumbled upon “The Only Olive”, a supposedly century old Portuguese style villa, restored and renovated. The lonely planet, Outlook, Condo Nast` and several other travel journals had strongly recommended. I looked up for reviews too, which seemed to me, a reasonably good place to lodge. They all recommended its hospitality and the feel-good-experience, well that is, only if you like the kinds – the rustic, timeless, classic touch. I went ahead, made my reservations. Though it was a brief conversation with the owner, I could figure out, this gentleman, was not here to do just business, but instead, he wanted to leave a fine imprint on the visitors with an ever-so-rich experience in true Goan customary style.

The Only Olive, The Homestay

The Only Olive, The Homestay

As soon as I landed, a fresh most air, welcomed me in Goa. There were soft clouds, all over the sky, but did not promise rains.  It was green – lush greenery sprawling all over. I was picked up from the airport, and on my way, I observed how calm and serene the place was, where people were in no particular hurry, and they wore a smile, which was not plastic – I like to explore this bit, during the transit time, from airport to hotel or whatsoever, in my car, as it helps me gauge a bit about the place. Monsoon had bathed the floras and faunas abundantly, that almost everything sparkled and winked in happiness. The roads were clean and smooth – buttery, magnificently maintained. I thought, it would be fun to drive.

The Journey

The Journey

Maneuvering through the narrow roads, and having crossed, several old terracotta roofed old homes and little markets, we reached the homestay.  It was an hour’s drive from the airport to the destination, Village Aldona, where The Only Olive was perched on a hillock, – a quaint little place, in North Goa, along the sides, there’s a calm river, that flows silently, cautious enough not to stir the tranquility of the place.. And as I walked up to the porch, I could take a sweeping view of the surrounding village, and listened to the constantly chirping birds, that need to be located with careful attention somewhere behind the flowering bushes and fruit trees, specially, an olive one, that the patch of garden boasts of.

The Only Olive

The Only Olive

The caretaker welcomed me with a gentle smile, helped me carry the little bag inside and escorted me to the room. I was amazed to look around – A very high celling, roofed using terracotta tiles, the old teak wood beds, tall wooden doors, the old style iron hooks to lock them, terracotta tiled floor, my favorite unfinished wooden table, positioned for dining outdoors in the courtyard, the old, style, caned arm-chairs.

The Only Olive

The Only Olive

Mug of Joy

Mug of Joy

I simply felt, I could touch the era that’s gone by. Santosh, the very humble, polite caretaker, quickly got some tea, bread and eggs for breakfast. The bread was a local one – rich in fibre, husk and pocketed ones, like pita, slightly chewy but very fresh and enjoyable, that was sold door to door in a little motor bike, piled in a cane basket, covered tightly with a plastic sheet, to ensure its freshness was sealed and intact. I enjoyed my every bite, and then decided to take a power nap, so that the rest of the day could be well explored, unaffected by lack of rest.

The Poi & The Breakfast

The Poi & The Breakfast

Around noon, I could not resist. I woke up, dressed up, to venture out in my rented car. Decided to start with the local market, where the magnificent church, little shops, general stores, etc. were all closely knit.

The Mapsua Market

The Mapsua Market

I drove down, all through the narrow roads, reached the Mapsua Market, photographed the vibrant, colorful fresh stocks, of spices, flowers, breads, vegetables, fresh supplies, in little makeshift shops and push carts.

The Beach

The Beach

After some time, went further to a couple of beaches – famous enough as the party hubs – Baga, Candolim, Calangute and further explored the Fort Aguada and the beach alongside.

The North Goa

The North Goa

The enroute was not so smooth – but it was fun wading through the roads, breathing in the air, that was so relaxed with a tinge of humidity. I walked along, splashed the salty water, looked across the horizon, and slowly retreated to the homestay. It was late evening, where silence enveloped the night and stars twinkled up there in the sky, which was fairly clear, signaling me, it was time to say goodnight…after a tiring day. Of course, on the dinner table, the steaming hot, fresh prawns curry, some rice, crumb fried fish, a veg curry and a green salad, awaited to be devoured. Santosh had neatly cooked and served the food. His services for the day had ended, and he headed home, to spend time with his flock, that stayed right behind.

Goan Fish Curry

Goan Fish Curry

Sigh!!!! Two days of absolute fun thus came to an end. Well, Goa is beyond parties and beaches, only if you wish to explore.