Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Happy Holidays... one and all! Hope you all are having a great time. I am currently in my annual hibernation mood which is likely to continue till the New Year. Hope to see you then...

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Sex crimes: an open letter

Dear Ms. Gandhi

I am writing to you today to share a few ideas to tackle with the declining state of women in India. I am told you have the most power in India and hence can do something about it. I also hope that since you are a woman,  the recent events have equally horrified, enraged, and disgusted you as they did us. This is simply put, is a good faith letter. It's based on assumption that you are a human because no human will remain unmoved by these events. It also assumes that you give a damn about India unlike most politicians. At least you give a damn about women.

I want to propose a few changes in the way sex crimes are dealt in India. It's not a foolproof plan but in my opinion it is an improvement on a lot of things I have heard so far and is definitely is better than current implied plans.

The first idea is creation of a centrally controlled task force to deal with sex crimes. The idea being since its complete focus would be sex crimes, it will be faster to deal. Also it will help to deal crimes cross state borders and to track when offenders move across states. The cases such as these can be tackled faster and effectively.

Expanding on the last point, the next idea is creation of a publicly available national sex offender registry. Not only will it help keeping track of convicted sex offenders by making it obligatory for them to register with local police station, it can also be an effective way of warning the neighbourhoods where such offenders decide to reside (to be done by local authorities by handing over the flyers in his neighbourhood). I think none of us would knowingly invite such a person in our homes. It will make our families safer from such monster. (I am not sure how many people would like to employ such people. Everyone has a right to know who they are dealing with).

Also knowing the way sex crime cases work in our country, can I also suggest to keep the accused rapists on such a list for 2-5 years even if the victim retracts her statement for whatever reason. We need to keep an eye on such individuals. Two sex crime accusations on same individual should automatically mean a jail sentence, even if victims retract their complaints. 

Lastly, as everyone else is demanding: we need fast track courts to deal with such cases. 

I also want to add that the victim's dress or her personal relationships are not a legal argument and should not be allowed  in the court of law. The constitution of India gives us freedom to wear what we like and have relationship with whomever we want. The same constitution forbids anyone touching us without our permission. So please make it clear to all the courts that it is not legal to consider such personal matters in the proceedings unless, of course, you would like to change the constitution of India.

I will not go into the sentencing of accused since the conviction rate is so low in our country that I do not want to indulge myself with such speculation.

I understand that my blog is new and perhaps will not your attract attention but I still want to put it out there on off chance it might. 

Thanks for your attention,

Yours Sincerely
Its Me

P.S.:  Please note that I have used the word 'sex crime' in this letter. It does not necessarily mean only rape. Sex crimes include sexual assaults which are far more common in India and needs to be dealt with. The Guwahati molestation case is a perfect example of such a case.

Anonymity... harder to come by these days. No, seriously  I tried to open a Google plus and Facebook account for this blog but apparently you need a 'realistic' name for that now. What happened to good olden days when you can give any name for those accounts? I miss those days.

Anyway, point being that I need to have a 'realistic sounding' name so I have come up with one. So from now on, I will be Tuhina Mahan. I don't know any Tuhina or Mahan or Tuhina Mahan. I just like the name Tuhina. Mahan was a literal translation of 'the great'. I think its a great name. Next step, setting up my new fake Facebook page. So that's where I will be for next few hours. See you soon...

Friday, 14 December 2012

What's so good?

I woke up today morning to find this photo on my Facebook news feed:

(Photo linked to its source, hopefully. You never know with Facebook links)

Not sure who took this photo and why someone in my friend's list thought it appropriate to share it. I was shocked by the image and appalled by the comments. It ranged from 'Gud', 'nice', 'lovely pic', 'good superb' to 'Maa Annpurna hoti hai beti' and 'Es desh mein agar beti na ho to bhukhe reh jaaenge'. Seriously?

She must have barely started talking and she is dressed like an adult and is acting like an adult. No one is concerned about how she doesn't get to have a childhood. She is a child for God's sake. Am I only one saddened by this?

P.S.: No copyright violation intended but guess when you put pictures in an open Facebook profile you have already forfeited that right. 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Lunch

"We wish you a merry Christmas, We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy new year"

So we had Christmas lunch today. At the lunch there was an office choir (not official but office choir as in few people in office made up a choir) and this song has been stuck in my brain (or is it mind?) ever since. Anything and everything I have done since then has this background music to it.

I was sitting in the meeting listening to this super cool presentation today evening and there it went:

"So we can map..." Oh, bring us a figgy pudding, oh bring us a figgy pudding "...and produce the" oh bring us a figgy pudding, "...with such a good rate..." and a cup of good cheer 

Okay, I admit it. They did serve some Champagne and wine along with some classic Christmas pudding that had rum in it. I didn't drink the Champagne or the wine. I just had some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer.

The trouble is that now its time to sleep and I am extremely sleepy at the moment (I am trying to quit caffeine but that's another post) but this song doesn't stop playing. The music system inside my brain doesn't seem to have a stop or even a pause button. I have tried pulling my ears...We won't go until we get some, we won't go until we get some... I have pressed my nose, forehead, my finger, my toes, even my belly button but to no avail. It keeps going..We won't go until we get some, so bring some out here. 

Figgy tidings we bring to you and your kin, 
Figgy tidings for Christmas and a happy new year

We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New year. 

Its going to be a long night. Actually, make it a long month. They don't stop playing till and a happy new year, do they?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Party

Why the hell do we have Christmas parties in the month of December? Yeah, yeah I know, the holidays were a way of keeping people's spirits up during the coldest and shortest days of the year and blah blah blah. But we have electricity now. We stay warm and have light during nights as well. Our routine doesn't change as much as the old days so why do we still have "Christmas parties" (I am of course referring to the annual official, posh parties) during the coldest part of the year?

Don't get me wrong, I like the ideas of holidays during the coldest part of the year but I am strictly against having the biggest celebration of the year during that time. Because you know what, as a woman I am supposed to dress up nicely for those events. This 'dress up nicely' part leaves me very very cold and I hate that. 

So I come back to my original question: Why do we have Christmas parties in the month of December? Why can't we have them in month of June or July? We can actually enjoy the weather AND the party. Just an idea. 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Yet Again

Let me start this blog by saying that this is not my first blog. This is the third time I have started a blog. And no, I am not the type who make a blog and never update it. I blogged quite regularly and had a fairly okay following. I guess, there in lies the problem.

The first time I stopped blogging was due to my breakup. I simply didn't want my ex to read any of my updates - good or bad. I just wanted to cut off that part of my life forever. I didn't want to think the way he will think when he reads this post or that post. It made blogging very tedious. That blog lasted for about a year and a half before I stopped.

I started again a year later and blogged fairly regularly for about five years. Made quite a few friends through blogging and I do feel guilty leaving it behind now with people wondering what happened. Well, the thing that happened was a realization. The realization being that I am gay. There I said it for the first time in the blogging world, on the internet, in a public place that I am gay. I couldn't do so with my previous blog since I didn't use a pseudonym for that blog and a lot of my acquaintances and friends were among the readers (I didn't invite most of them. It was one of those 'word of mouth' thingy). Anyway, result being I can't be honest there Again its tiresome to blog and not be myself while writing. So here I am after about more than five years in blogging world, starting a brand new blog.

I think this post will eventually end up in the 'About' section in some form but for now it will remain my first post. And no, this is not another angry gay blog about social issues, stigma attached to being gay, especially in an Indian community. Its a personal blog. Its about me. And yes I happen to be gay so few of the issues will surface here and there but that is not going to be the identity of this blog. Its simply a venting space for me.

I guess that's enough for the first post. Will update again soon...