Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Love

I think I truly came alive,
The day you arrived on earth.
We have known each other,
Through lifetimes,
And have been close.
It will be so, through eternity
For you,
Are my life’s breath!
Different lives, different stories,
Different ways and means,
To find each other.
Scripts that contain a myriad hues
And so full of mystery today,
Only to unravel as the days pass.
And each of us doing
Our little dance
On the stage,we call -
The Universe.
I may forget my lines,
Miss my cues,
All I know is that I come alive
And make contact,
With the very core of my being -
When you are around.
Love you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Life’s blood,
Courses through....
Carrying, much needed
For the body,
To stay alive.....
What about
The soul?
All it needs,
Is love....
And the void,
Shall be filled
With a,

Photo Courtesy: Google Images

Monday, May 13, 2013

Letter to my Harasser - Noorjahan Akbar

Sipping my morning tea and dreaming/planning my day, I came across this post shared by my dear friend Suchismita Mazumdar ( And there, out of the windows, flew my best laid plans for the day. I was swamped with memories of my "street fighter" avataar which had my friends and mother worried sick for me.

Noorjahan Akbar, says it like it is, not just for herself or the women in her country but for all those of us who are fighting the patriarchal mindset. This is responsible for that certain extra tension we carry around our personal space when we are out in public; and some of us unfortunately carry it all the time, even in the confines of our homes. This then translates to a kind of awkward body posture and movements when you negotiate the space and yes those ugly predators are quick on the scent of a supposedly easy "game". All this is very much at the subconscious level, atleast for me and I never quite realized it until I landed in Lagos, Nigeria!! Currently, this place is home too and my experience here has been the total opposite. Just to give an example, Lekki Market here is quite the treasure trove of a place to visit and quite crowded but not once did I have to do a weird pelvic movement or move my buttocks or my breasts out of the way and catch my breath and thank my stars for having just missed a grope. And now reading Ms. Akbar's letter made me wonder if it is a sub-continental behaviour of the Asian variety!

While in travel mode, whether in India or abroad, my radar goes into serious overdrive. If any airline got a whiff of that extra baggage, they would make a killing! But it is a legacy of my father's boot camp training and a combination of my own survival instincts and I guess I also picked up a few pointers from my canine siblings (they have been most kind with sniffer and instinct training). As a kid using public transport to school and later on, to college, I became quite adept at using the safety pins and instruments from my geometry box. And when I could, I would use my nails, fists and knees too. Then, there was this one time, I was returning home from college and in the not very crowded bus, had my butt pinched. I was so furious and disgusted that I actually told this guy who pinched me, that he had to pay me for the service. It was quite the shocker for everyone around and the guy was shamed enough to get off when the driver braked. I went home, put soap on my tongue and gargled and promptly threw up........

Noorjahan, I stand with you, as defiant and now over to you:

A Letter to My Harasser

By: Noorjahan Akbar - Afghanistan Correspondent for Safe World for Women

Hello sir,

I do not know your name, but you passed by me a week after Eid-ul-Fetr in the Bazaar in Kabul. You might remember me. I was the young woman wearing a white scarf and a long red embroidered tunic with dark pants. I was standing by a vegetable stand and bargaining the price of fresh mint when you passed me and nonchalantly pinched my bottom. I turned red. The old man who was selling vegetables noticed but didn’t say anything. He probably sees this every day. This had happened to me more than once, but this time I felt more embarrassed because the old man noticed.

I ran after you and grasped your wrist. Scared and sweating I started yelling. “Why did you do that? How dare you? Do you do this at home to your family members too?” and you started yelling back louder, “you crazy woman! I haven’t done anything. You are not worth doing anything to.”

I was still ashamed to tell people what you had done. You probably remember how everyone was watching us. Other women advised me to keep calm that this would only ruin my reputation, but I wasn’t going to give up now. I started yelling. Soon the police arrived and took us both to the station.

A tall man in uniform asked me what had happened. I told him. You opened your mouth and the police officer yelled, “You, shut up!” Next thing I knew he was beating you. You were on the floor and he was kicking you with his gigantic shoes. Sweat was dripping off his thick eyebrows. He must have been as angry as I was.

I didn’t see you again, but the friend who was walking with you followed me all the way home. He told me, “what is the big deal?! It is not like he f***ked you.” But I was too tired for a second fight that day.

You and your friend probably both claim to be Muslims. You probably even pray at the mosque every Friday or more often. You probably tell your wives that they should not get out of the house because the world out there is filled with horrible men who will disgrace them. You probably even believe that you had a right to touching my bottom because you think a “good” woman would never be out on the streets without a man. Your sisters are “good.” They stay at home when you pressure them to. If I were a “good woman” I would do the same. These streets belong to men.

I am writing this letter to tell you that I never intended for you to get beaten and humiliated, but I am not sorry for speaking out. I am writing to tell you that I know what you are up to. You want to threaten me, scare me, and keep me shut at home where I will learn to tend to many children and cook food for your kind and be submissive to a man that might someday marry me. You want me to be terrified of the world outside and not find my way and my place in it. You want me to believe that the only safe and “decent” place for me is in the kitchen and the bedroom. But I am writing you to tell you that I am not buying that ever again. Not you, not the Taliban, not this government, not my brother or mother, nor anybody else can convince me that I am less than a man, that I cannot protect myself, that I cannot be what I want to, and that the best life for me is in a “safe” kitchen where a man or a mother-in-law has control over my every move. I am not buying that. Not ever again.

I will come out of the home every day and walk bravely down the streets of my city, not because I need to, but because I can and neither your harassment or sexual assault nor an oppressive government will ever be able to take that ability from me again.

With Defiance,

A Woman You Harassed

Note: The letter was taken from

Photo courtesy: Alex Motiuk