Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bloggers can be change makers

I don't blog frequently, but whenever I do I write about how can we tackle gender inequality. This maybe because there are few gender bloggers in India, and fewer conversations about how things can be set straight. Over the years the voice is growing a strong unbent backbone, and it won't be long before this will snowball into a revolution.

Ofttimes I have found myself in the midst of blogs and bloggers who have personal anecdotes to share. Yes, memoirs can be good learning lessons but to be told about every moment that they spend under the sun, can sometimes stifle you. I had aspired to be a journalist as a child, but my possessive mother thought that of it as a bad idea. She knew that I won't just be another one in the crowd, who would follow the people in power to earn her bread and butter or would write about parties and events in the glossy pages of a newspaper. She knew that I would seek the truth like a dog that chases a bone, which may create trouble for me and my family, because of which she firmly put her foot down against the idea of me ever becoming a reporter.
In my own way though, as I took up blogging in 2012, although I must admit that I haven't followed a schedule or taken the pains to scribble often, I have seen myself writing a post occasionally that has been an honest account of how gender benders can shake up the system and create a difference in the lives of women like me, who feel like scared cats before stepping out of our homes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

In Your Voice

The earth under my feet moves
and the sky wears her favourite shade of pink
blushes like a bride waiting to
meet her groom.
This ride in a car, or the walk
down the glossy floors of the mall
is a reminder.
May, the summer month washes
the face of the city in a heat wave
Summer is nostalgia.
Summer is the city you live in.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Makeup

My mother doesn't trust women 
who wear it. She says, longer hair
is a better bet as Paul, the apostle said
they are a woman's jewels.

Why are they playing "hide and seek"?
seeking someone who is another person
because the one in the mirror
decided to wear a mask.

Why do they paint their face
black and blue, 
when the sun scorched brown
brings them back to life.

Advice to the Young Woman Poet

Do not imprison yourself in a cage of rules
they will bend and break your bones
let the twinge in your heart
instruct you like an experienced school teacher.

Write a poem because you wish to breath
Experience. Not for the vain glory you get 
showered with.

Read your work 
let it not let you down
instead rise from the ashes
everytime your emotions burn
as ferociously as a forest fire.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Walking Away

Airports fascinated me very much. Everytime I go there, a new story is born. Like common cold the memory takes its own sweet time to heal.
The blue passport with the golden Ashoka emblem was gleaming from underneath my huge black bag. Who would have thought that one day I would be taking leave from a country I had grown up in. My love for India was littered by my love for research. What followed was a struggle that threw my life in shambles. Sometimes, the choices we need to make are never the kinds that we might have decided to make. The project that came my way was like a lover who belongs to another caste or religion, for whom putting up a fight with the rest of the world made more sense than letting go.
Within days, I was freed of my predicament. Of trying to put up with parents who thought that a daughter staying alone in a foreign country, would spell doom on the family’s honour. 
This glossy ambience of the airport was like a precursor to things that were to follow. Much like a reminder of what I deserve and had not got, until now.
The destination board was beaming with blue and red lettered words. I could see a lot of human activity around me, much of which had a lot of bag and baggage to drag. Their noisy kids added to my daunting dilemma, and I decided to hunt for a quieter corner, where in I could be at peace.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Catholic church and its long history of clerical sexual abuse

This is not the first time that a priest has misused his powers and indulged in an act that priesthood forbids. A long and notorious history of catholic priests involved in sex crimes tells us that the preachy church has a rotten history of burying dirty secrets allowing systemic gender violence to mushroom in its backyard.
The latest incident that has rocked the church and its faithful followers is the repeated rape of a minor girl by the vicar of a local church at Kottiyoor in Kannur district,Kerala. He was the manager of the school in which the girl attended classes until February 6th, a day before she gave birth to baby boy.
What is bizarre is a system that had tried to cover up the crime until the Kerala police conducted intensive searches and arrested the accused priest and seven others including five nuns and the doctor of the church run hospital where the girl gave birth to the child, were on the run.  There were picked up on February 7th and booked under non-bailable sections. The police should be applauded for being swift and efficient but what breaks the heart of faithful Christians like me is that the onus of the sexual crime is being put on the minor child. The church conveniently retorted to victim blaming rather than accepting the need to clean up the rot in the system.


According to News Minute's report on an editorial written by Sunday Shalom, a Christian weekly, the rape could have been averted by the girl if she wanted to. The weekly said "Here, the girl is above the age of 15. Let me tell you this, as I consider you like my daughter, you are also at fault. Before the Lord, it is you who will have to answer first. Daughter why did you forget who a priest is? He has a human body and has temptations. He may have forgotten his position for a few seconds, my child who has taken the Holy Communion, why didn't you stop or correct him?"

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Accamma Cherian

"I am the leader; shoot me first before you kill others."
These were the words of the brave Accamma Cherian who led a mass rally from Thamapanoor to the Kowdiar palace of the Maharaja Chithira Thirunal to get the ban on the State Congress lifted. Her courage was hailed by Mahatma Gandhi and she came to be known as the Jhansi Rani of Travancore.
Early Life and Education
She was born on 14 February 1909 in a Nasrani family (Karippaparambil) at Kanjirapally, Travancore to Thomman Cherian and Annamma Karippaparambil as their second daughter. She was schooled at the Government Girls High School, Kanjirapally and later at St. Joseph’s High School, Changanacherry. She did a BA in History from St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam after which she took up teaching at St. Mary’s English medium school, Edakkara in the year 1931. She later went on to become the headmistress of this school and worked for this institution for six years.
Read the rest of the post here.