For a happy life, Making money should not be the ultimate goal,
Rather, it has to be a byproduct of something much greater.
For a happy life, Making money should not be the ultimate goal,
Rather, it has to be a byproduct of something much greater.
Here is a quick question..
Why do we don’t give enough complements (or even care enough) when the person is alive and pour in with appreciations once the person is dead? Why do we do this? For whom are we complementing? Is this true appreciation or pure posturing?
Strange some of our habits and practice.
Back in 2012, I managed to surprise my wife and I got my brother to capture the moment. It was quite an effort as I had to keep my travel to India a complete secret which is quite difficult given that I had a 14 hours of journey without communicating with her. Some day, I will write about what factors to consider for such a surprise if you intend to plan one. For now, enjoy the unedited video which has been watched many thousands of times.
Rape is a peculiar heinous crime. Whenever there is a rape it reminds us that we indeed were evolved from animals and even though we have progressed so much more there are still the some undesirable animal instinct left in us. All these advancements have not helps us in understanding why a perfectly sane man suddenly falls for his uncontrollable desires and becomes an animal?
No one really has any concrete answers why it happens and how it can be stopped quickly. The overwhelming thought is that quick speedy justice with really stringent punishment is the way forward. However, in the most horrific case of Nirbaya the government acted relatively swiftly and those who found guilty were given death penalty. That incident resulted in woman safety getting the due attention it always needed.
However, since the horrific incident, we started hearing more cases and on all all kinds of them – young kids, old woman and from all parts of the country. This was totally unexpected and probably left a lot of us clueless. We always pondered with the question of "What woman want?" but now the million dollar questions are "Why men do this?" and "How the hell do we stop this?". Read on to know my view.
Well, in the long run what is ultimately going to reduce such crimes is by understanding what causes men to do this and address the root cause. However, there are some obvious steps which we can take. For example, We need to the change in mind set of men and society towards woman by stopping objectifying them & reduce the hype around sex. We also need to bring our badly skewed sex ratio back in to balance and reduce gender bias. These points needs to detailed further and there are probably many more steps but it is not the focus of this article. However, it is clear that these steps will be slow process which will take many years if not decades but we need to start acting now. (Modiji, are you listening?)
In the medium term, we need to find ways to root out corruption which is the main reason we have lax systems with loopholes everywhere. An honest government will at least make good efforts in plugging these loop holes (Luckily Delhi is set to have an election soon and one of the political parties (AAP) has promised some very good measures and I believe should be given a chance).
In the short term, we should not wait for the new or any existing government to magically transform the city overnight. So we should take up more responsibility and educate ourselves on different aspects of public life (Radio taxi requirements) and then try to get all gaps plugged by putting pressure on the government & influential people in every way possible (like this done by Shenaz). But unfortunately life still has to go on and we cannot wait until it is "safe enough" for woman to travel.
So women are left to protect themselves and hence I have come up with a list of 20 different steps/actions/ideas a woman can consider to take up to enhance her travel safety in Delhi (or any other city in India or that of the world). Most of these are common sense suggestions which most of us know but I guess we might not follow them in rigour with integrity because we never think that we will be the unlucky one. So it is good to go over them and see which of them you can adopt. Some of these might sound as overkill but amount of effort needed is negligible when compared to the horror one have to endure when attacked and after. If you choose any of the below items and follow with rigour & intensity for a month or two it will become your second nature.
The steps are divided into three sections – before you start section which addresses the preparation that you can make before any journey. The next set of steps are those which you can do when you are onboard a cab or a taxi. Last little section talks of what you can do if someone indeed attacks you. So here we go..
If he still plans to attack?
I was already outraged by what happened in Delhi but a shoddy "be safe" list put together by IBN made me question why write such a piece anyway? Even Rajdeep's show focused on solutions did not spell out enough things that woman can follow today to protect themselves. So I had to write this up with an aim to cover every possible angle. Having said that I am sure there could be many more things which we can do and if you come across any then please suggest and I will add to the list. Above all please share this to as many as possible.
We Indians have a short memory, we really do. Well, we can’t blame ourselves, we have so many things going on in our life that we just have no time to sit, think, understand and remember the “unimportant stuff” like for example the topics of national importance. At best we have that one hour where we watch that 9 PM prime time news over our dinner and get educated about what is happening around us. Beyond that, we don’t really have time. Given that this is how we educate ourselves, i.e. on pre-packaged news, no wonder we never get to understand the real issue. Oh, yes, sorry! We do have time to share that post about AAPs theatrics that everyone is sharing. It is important that everyone knows the truth about them.
Two aspects of AAP is currently very popular – the fact that AAP Quit the government and “ran away from the government” (the infamous ‘Bhagoda’ tag) and the fact that Arvind Kejriwal (AK) is spending time in Jail for what looks like a non-issue and seems like this is one of his Dramas to catch media attention. I wanted to think on these two more closely to understand the merit of these accusations – the Bagoda and the Drama. I am hopeful that you would take time to join me in this assessment.
Aam Aadmi Party Leader Arvind Kejriwal Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Licence
The Bhagoda Tag
One of the key reasons why AAP came into existence was the anti-corruption movement and its commitment to bringing Lokpal Bill into both Delhi and at the centre. In the time leading to Delhi election, AAP made a number of time bound commitments and one of them was to pass the Jan Lokpal bill within a month of coming to power. Post formation of the minority government, it was always known that getting this bill passed might be the most challenging task for AAP but as promised, it went ahead but failed. Given this failure and given its promise pre-election, AAP had to quit the government.
This event probably coincided with AAP’s national ambitions and hence quitting the government based on Lokpal bill looked perfect action to garner bigger pan-India support. After all how many have quit government on such principles? There were none that I could find. The only other example was Kiran Kumar Reddy’s quitting as AP’s CM due to division of the state into two. Almost every other party have tried to retain power even when facing criminal charges or big bang scams (I can remember Yadiyurappa and Lalu Yadav very easily). So AAP thought that quitting the government would be seen as a great sacrifice for a cause close to its existence and within a blink of an eye AAP quit the government.
It is not hard to agree with the rational of quitting. However, looking back, it is easy to say that they clearly rushed into it. If they had at least spent some time speaking to media and try to gauge the mood of the people, it would have helped greatly. When AAP quit the government it was very clear that a great opportunity was lost. So yes, we can easily accuse them of squandering an opportunity. They had done so much and if they had stayed in power for little longer, they could have done so much more.
However, the question is could this be labelled as ‘Running away’ from the government? We use such a term typically when someone stops and escapes from a challenging fight mid-way and choose a less challenging fight. However, what AK and AAP did was the opposite – took on a bigger challenge of going national. In fact it is such a big challenge that no other party had ever gone national at such a scale within 2 years of its inception ever in Indian history.
So given this, if we still want to accuse them of anything then it can only be of being over ambitious. Sure, their risk did not materialise and their effort failed spectacularly. But again you can only accuse them of “expecting too much” but not for “not trying”. However, being over-ambitious is not a big crime. Most of us have been guilty of the same at least a few times in our lives.
If you agree with the above assessment, you might be wondering as why did the “Bagoda” tag has become so popular? Well, quitting was the mistake that other parties were waiting for and they just exploited it to the fullest. Given the resources they had, they marketed it very well through all possible media and the novice common man fell for it. Now it is sounds so ‘true’ and we need no invitation to use the Bagoda tag with AK. However, make no mistake, AAP would have got the “power hungry” tag if they had stayed on power post lokpal bill fiasco.
Media Hungry (The Drama)
India is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. So naturally when someone tries to oppose such practices there will be altercations which catches attention of people and media. AAP is one such party which raises voice against incorrect practices if you look at most issues that they have raised there is some merit in it. The media attention might be one of their agenda as you need attention of the nation on important issues but accusing them of acting only for media attention is taking things too far.
Also please also note that media is not stupid to give time for pure attention seekers. There is intense competition in the media industry to get the best story telecasted. If AAP’s issue has no merit then both AAP and the media covering it will lose out credibility. Also given that AAP is starved on cash and resources, you can bet that AAP cannot buy paid news anyways. So if there is news about AAP’s activity then you be can rest assured that there is some merit to it. However, AAP’s opposition has been successful in spreading the ‘Drama’ tag so well that the common man requires no reminders to use the tag synonymously with every action of AAP.
My Final Say
I would feel that this effort of mine was worth it if you even partially agree with the above. What concerns me is the ability of AAP’s opposition to systematically malign AAP’s credibility. There is already an erosion of support for AAP for various reasons but we need to ensure that we are well educated to guard against false propaganda. How to ensure that? Well, next time there is a “dharna” led by AAP then take time to understand their side of the story (from them) before you judge them.
Based on past history and untraceable financial backing that they have got, I have my doubts about other parties but when it comes to AAP, we could disagree with their methods but not their intentions. Delhi’s elections are not far away and given their intentions and actions when in government, I believe AAP deserves a second chance just like the way Modi got at the centre.
Here is a really inspiring video (which you might have watched already) where Will Smith powerfully talks about a lot of things. The stand out quote for me from this is this – (starts @ 5 mins and 50 sec)
"Being realistic is the commonly travelled road to mediocrity"
In an ordinary life, belief follows evidence. In an extra-ordinary life, evidence follows belief.
We all have the power to choose the life we want but due to the way we have been brought up, most of us seek evidence before we believe in our own abilities. But if you want to achieve greatness, this method wont work.
It is always tough to make that call to your friend when you are in need of a help esp. if you had not managed to find time to "be in-touch" with him/her in your "non-needy" days. When we eventually call for this unavoidable favour it is typical of us not to jump on to asking the favour first. At least I tend to speak a lot about everything else first and then its the right time, I make the request. This for me looked like a rational approach as we dont want to be seen as too self centered.
However there is a flaw in this. When you eventually ask for the favour, whenever it may be – after 10 minutes or 30 minutes of the conversation, the friend might think that everything discussed till now was just to get this favour out of him/her and not out of genuine interest for the person (and some might express their displeasure to this by saying 'ahhh, thats why you called me?'). Well, this is a exactly opposite of what you wanted and there is no coming back from this situation.
However I learned a better approach from my wife today. She needed a favour from her friend and first thing she did when she called was to ask for this favour (well, after confirming that he is free to talk and in a state of mind to ask for the favour). This way, she got this primary reason for the call out of the way. Now, she started asking about those things which both of them usually discuss. Just by reversing the order, all her conversation remained genuine and relevant. With this new approach, she not only managed to get the favour across but also got "in-touch" with the friend as well.
We are in the era of "timeless times" where there is a struggle to keep in touch with all those who we want to. However the fact remains that time and again we need favours from one of those who lost touch with for a brief period (if it has been very long* then it does not make sense to ask for favour). But ideally that should not stop us from making that call and with this new approach, I feel it is lot easier for me. Hopefully for you too.
My first and only horse ride went alright. However first few minutes on the horse was the worst part where I had no control over when and where the horse is heading.. here is a clip.