Sunday, 22 February 2015

Besieged on a Train

They came carrying the wind in the tails of their dresses. Claps of thunder announced their arrival and the threat of assault assuaged and permeated the beings of almost everyone but the strongest of will as the wheels of the train turned once more. We knew that we were helpless against them at least till the train came to a stop again and that wasn’t going to be anytime soon.


They moved from coach to coach, seat to seat, identifying their targets, sizing them up. Shifting uncomfortably under their gaze, travellers tried to hold their composure. Only a few succeeded. A few regulars along this route had faced this threat before; many hadn’t. They hardly knew how to react. They had only heard stories of them doing unimaginable “things” to those who didn’t acquiesce to their demands. To face this threat in reality was a completely different ball game. They were living the horror they had smirked at in the confines of their homes. They weren’t finding it so funny now.

As the dreaded ones came upon this shifty bunch of travellers, they saw just the back of some heads and the petrified faces of others through their kohl-smeared eyes that bored through everyone as if in disgust; or was it anger?

The travellers knew what they wanted and few who wished to avoid confrontation just paid them what they could. Others didn’t. Whatever reasons they might have had, they never revealed, instead just turning their faces to look out the window or at each other in supposedly knowing anticipation of what was to follow.

The invaders didn’t take rejection quite well.

Shouts and screams emanated from the coach, punctuated with sobs and claps and o someone eavesdropping, the clamour would have probably sounded like a massacre in progress.

They had taken what they had come for. They always did.

Image Courtesy:

This is what usually happens on almost all trains that pass through Maharashtra from Gujarat. People get terrorized by these violent groups of eunuchs who literally demand money from passengers as if it were their right to get paid – just for asking. And if they are not paid, they start screaming, hitting people and in worst case scenarios, even expose their genitals before those who don’t pay up.

They mostly harass men and especially behave very badly with labourers who hardly earn enough for their own bread, much less pay them. It is my personal experience where I’ve seen gangs of these thugs climb aboard and beat up innocent travellers who don’t wish to pay these ruffians.

There’s even more.

There are a number of groups of these thugs who climb aboard a rain at different stations and leave before the next gang climbs aboard. I’ve actually witnessed five gangs come through the train I was travelling in at one point of time. It was the most harrowing experience I’ve had in a train.

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Now I know that eunuchs are discriminated against and that they don’t get jobs and then this is what happens. But this does not mean that innocents have to suffer for the failure of the system and that the all of them should be blamed for the actions of a few rotten eggs. When asked to comment on this situation, the Public Relations Officer of the Western Railways said that this problem was bound to remain till the government doesn’t resolve whose jurisdiction it is to deal with these miscreants.

And so, even the Indian Railways believes that this problem is not going to be solved anytime soon.

Bon voyage!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Public Display of Affection: The Debate

A lot of people in India have problems with other people hugging, kissing and fondling each other in public places. These people feel that such intimate things should only be done within four walls. Others believe that it is their personal choice to do whatever they wish, whenever they wish to, wherever they want. The argument between the two sides has been escalating for some time now owing to radicals in the former group who wish to preserve the morality of our streets.

There are several factors on which this debate has been raging and it came to the forefront of my thoughts yesterday when my friend brought up the topic. She asked me my opinion on the subject and I gave it. Fortunately, she had an opposing view of the same, which made for a lively discussion.
Here are some of the points we pondered upon.


Image Courtesy: Google Images.

AGAINST: One cannot do anything at any place. People do gross things out on beaches and in gardens. One must see to believe.

FOR: People can do whatever they want until and unless it encroaches upon other people’s rights. Two consenting adults engaged in PDA have decided to do so out of their free will. Who has the right to stop them?

To Look or Not to Look

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

AGAINST: It is right in one’s face and that it can be hard to avoid looking even if one tries.

FOR: One has the choice to look away if one is uncomfortable when people are engaged in PDA. It is entirely based upon viewer’s discretion. And it is actually sort of creepy if one stares at two people doing something to each other.

The ‘Kids’ Argument

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

AGAINST: It affects kids and their mindset about what’s happening in society.

FOR: Today’s generation comes fully equipped to deal with any question. They have a best friend called Google and a cousin called television. Together, they teach the children so much that it cannot affect them to see it in real life.

AGAINST: But how would it affect them to see all these things happening around them.

FOR: They will ask question, uncomfortable questions. Questions that parents in India still loathe answering; questions that are avoided because the subject itself is taboo. It is only when these questions arise that India will open up to the idea of sex education in the country instead of denying outright that there is nothing like sex and that it is just a myth.

Being Gross

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

AGAINST: It is absolutely gross what people do to each other in public places.

FOR: It is an expression of love.

AGAINST: One has to gross to know gross. Some of the things people do are outrageous.

FOR: If people do the same things in their bedroom, it is great. Secretly, everyone wants to do those things, but when others do it, it is gross. That is the hypocrisy of our nation. It is a matter of perspective.


Image Courtesy: Google Images.

AGAINST: Do we think that PDA is something that only people of loose moral character engage in because we are brought up to think that way or is PDA really a threat to our morality?

FOR: Yes, we have grown up in a society where sex and everything associated with it is considered taboo. When we look from the lens of this puritanical morality, anything and everything will appear wrong. But, it is only by questioning ourselves, our teachings and logic can we come to any conclusion about the effect that PDA has on our society.

Note: This post has been written like this since it really did happen in this way. And yes, I didn’t want to reveal the name of the person involved in the argument or which sides either of us took. I would like the reader to decide which side makes more sense and I’d like to know what he/she thinks about this issue. Do let me know.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Got Married... Almost

That means I didn’t, relax Dad.

Valentine’s Day, the one day of the year that commemorates the commercialization of love. That’s so cute. The flowers, the cards, the balloons, the chocolates, the dinner, the sex and everything that comes with it. The day when lovers tend to love each other more than usual and use it to express it in 
various forms.

However, it is the individual choice of each and every person how they want to celebrate this day. Whatever my thought about this day, I respect that fact that others would like to enjoy it, and rightly so.

Sorry, sorry, sorry no… it is against INDIAN CULTURE! STOP! What is this entire western culture thing that you young people are doing? Not nice! This is not what we do. NO!

That’s what some radical fundamentalists in this cultured country of ours believe. And so they declared that any boy and girl seen together on this day would be married at that very instant. It’s as if they were roaming around with a pundit and marriage register around town!

Well OK but what about people of other religions you ask? What other religions they ask? There are other religions in India? Wrong! There is only one religion in India and everyone must get married in the customs of that religion. Period.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

I was roaming around town the whole day with the gang which included ‘girls’ too. I did something even more blasphemous in the evening, I was hanging out with just one of my female friends and I kept telling her that we could be married at any moment if she hung around any longer. But kudos to her, she said that she didn’t give a rat’s arse about the “Keepers of Culture Corps” and even in the worst case scenario of us getting married; I would be a good bargain. She said that. Really! Come on, you can’t make this up!

Fortunately, nothing of that sort happened.

In your face punks!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Never Truly Satisfied

Have you ever been satisfied with something that you’ve seen, heard or felt?

Have you well and truly accepted something as being exactly how you wanted it to be?

Have you truly felt that there was nothing more to be added or removed from the object of observation?

If you say yes, then I urge you to think again.

I’m not talking about things created by you but things you notice around you.

It is not possible that you agree with something as it is without thinking of at least one change that can be made to make the object better in some aspect. I’m not saying this, the philosopher Plato is.

This guy...
Image Courtesy: Google Images.

He says that there is an ‘ideal world’ somewhere with the perfect dimensions of everything we see, hear and smell around us. What we see in this world are just variations of the perfect things in the ideal world.

But we do manage to find some things perfect. It rarely happens, you must agree, but it does. But, is it really so? Do we really find perfection at all? Or do we compromise? Do we accept something close enough to our own idea of the ideal world to be perfect? Is it possible?

I may be treating this theory all wrong but it really brings me to the idea of dissatisfaction and the lack of perfection in our perception to the things around us.

In this imperfect world, does compromise rule our lives? Are we just content living with the discontent that comes with everything that doesn’t meet our standards? Are we so used to being dissatisfied that it has become the natural state of the human mind?

Elders teach us to be satisfied in what is there and others tell us to live in the moment, enjoy life as it is but if that is true, aren’t we actually living a lie?

It is true that we cannot have everything according to our own standards because if that could happen, chaos would run rampant in this world.

But then how do we become well and truly satisfied?

Can science answer that?

Can faith?

Can philosophy?

Well, I sure as hell cannot.