Are women safe?

Whenever an Indian woman

Looks at her watch

And cancels her night plans,

Those men should feel ashamed

And tormented

Every single time,

Until they die.

When they have become brutes

And are no longer men,

Why does the world

Still need them?

And the onlookers who watch, timidly

Instead of preventing this cruelty

From unfolding,

They are not needed in this world, either.

May the tsunami take all of them.




Let us all not be like the onlookers who did nothing as women were molested openly on new year’s night. I was out that day, too. Just because it happened in a different city does not mean my city or any other city, for that matter, is safe. Women like celebration just as much as men. We deserve happiness, too.

Let us all stand together to create a safer environment.

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Homeless

​People ran hither and thither,

scurrying off towards their homes

like timid little squirrels

hiding

from the rest of the world

into their little homes

watching television

as news channels buzzed on.

Outside,

buses were being set ablaze,

wooden logs thrown over vehicles;

The homeless man sat watching

as everyone ran for their lives,

but knew not where to go.


Living without whatsapp

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Humans have taken thousands of years to evolve from being a filthy-looking cave-man to a fine-looking man with tie and suit. Today’s generation relies highly on technology to do stuff – to shop, we need eBay. To learn something, we need an online tutorial. To learn more about topics, we need webinars. To showcase our talent, we need a blog.
To play chess, we need an online partner… for communication, we need facebook… and twitter… and whatsapp… and viber… and kik… and the list goes on, doesn’t it?

I have lived twenty whole years in this earth without whatsapp, and I had lived fine. But last year, after I got introduced to the ingenious app, it seemed like it was an easy way to communicate with friends. I loved it.

Sometime later, ‘love’ changed to ‘need’. Somewhere before this transformation happened, people around me had switched to whatsapp from the conventional ‘sms’. I stopped sending and receiving smses. Whatsapp was the new ‘sms’. And so, before I knew it, everyone had an android phone just like I did.

And then, one very fine day, the very day after my birthday, my friends had decided to go on a picnic, because we were going to part soon. This was like a farewell picnic… if one even exists. We knew we’d never go out together again, so I went along… to a beach… with my cellphone…
And you guessed it.

Still, I never gave up on it. I had been visiting the cellphone service center regularly, because after ten days of getting my mobile from them, I had to give it back to them. Basically, my phone was living half of its time with me, and half (or even more) of the time with the service center’s people. They would take pleasure in making me wait, and though I missed my phone and knew it missed me too, I would let go and walk away.

But last month, I decided that enough was enough. I had struggled a lot, trying to make it live not-so-peacefully. If that’s what gives you peace, I thought, die, Micromax dearest. And then I put it into its coffin and borrowed my mother’s old Nokia.

And I’m currently using it.

It’s fairly basic. I can make a call (if I have balance, that is, which I never do) and receive calls (this is the only thing I do), send and receive messages (thank god it has this facility, but I don’t have a message pack anyway, so there’s no use).

But the only drawback I find in it is that… it doesn’t support whatsapp. Of course it doesn’t. What kind of basic phone does that? Maybe that tiny soapbox-like Nokia Asha touchscreen thing would, but this one wasn’t that. I had to give up whatsapp.

And ever since I’d given up using whatsapp, I have lost track of things. My friends used to inform me about anything and everything in the common groups, and now, I don’t get any updates, thanks to my peacefully sleeping Micromax. I don’t know what others are thinking, I don’t know when our Yuva team is visiting places or when they announce about fundraisings and such things, I don’t know when I get an important email I have to look out for and if someone informs that via whatsapp, I don’t get those pics that we had taken the day before while we had gone out, I don’t get anything! Not that I got all these when I had it, anyway. I didn’t use it couldn’t use it because the signal always seemed weak in my mobile.

I have just realized that whatsapp has become the place for sharing important information… thanks to the ‘groups’ in whatsapp. Though I didn’t even use whatsapp when I had it, its loss is showing me who’s boss. I thought of installing it on my PC, but bluestacks isn’t co-operating. And at last, I’m left with one opinion that I constantly have – take it easy.

I’ve taken it easy, and am living a whatsapp-free life, and it seems that it’s great to live that way. After all, what are friends for? They might as well call me and tell me if it’s that important. And this way, I have begun making calls, which I rarely do, provided I have whatsapp or a message pack.

Living without a cellphone is fairly easy if you wish so. Even when I had one, because of the poor connectivity, I barely used it. I barely got any calls at one point of time. But now, I feel that this is better… I don’t need a cellphone. I’ve never needed one.

It’s all in the thinking.