After the Earthquake: What the news doesnt show.

Devi, 25, is distraught. The earthquake of 18 September in North Sikkim is taking its toll. Her husband, who works for the GREF is nowhere to be heard of. He was last seen heading down towards Chungthang along with his work party. There is no phone in the area. The closest and only one is a satellite phone manned by the ITBP, 5 km away, across a land-slide prone remnant of a road. The quake has left her already rickety house in shambles. There is no place to store food. Ironic, as the only road leading up to this area is blocked and there is no way for rations to reach the shops.

This is the case all over in North Sikkim, a place where a persons’ status is still measured in the number of yaks he owns. Where houses are constructed with yak dung and mud. Mobiles are not heard of here; there is no network coverage. Communication with the world outside is only when tourists visit and stop to take pictures of wooden houses and pagodas, or visit Lake Gurudongmar.  There are only two television sets in this village of a population of about a thousand. There’s a collective sigh when one of them mentions having heard the villages’ name on the news. Perhaps there’s still hope, they think that the rest of India knows they exist.

The damage is hardly visible here. A few cracks here and there, some leaks. All easily repairable; in due time. The real story begins inside with men mourning the loss of yaks, their only source of livelihood. Falling rocks have crushed in the skulls of three as they stood tethered outside their homes. Others have been swept away by the flowing mud or scared away. The continuous rains make it impossible for the families to dispose of the bodies. All construction work in the area has stopped. All equipment diverted to clearing roads. The men have no work to do. No way to earn their bread. Prema is here all the way from Nepal for the working season. The tin-sheet-house he shares with 6 other men and women has already run out of food. He has no clue what to do and spends his time foraging the mountains for edible roots and shrubs. Here, at 14,000 feet, vegetation is  scarce and the task dangerous. Without trees to anchor the soil, every slope is a potential deathtrap.

The Army is helping out as best as it can. Temporary shelters and hot meals are being provided. Food, though, is turning out to be a dwindling resource. With roads cut off for 50-odd kilometers, there is no supply. Helicopters seem to be the only way to replenish this area. The helipad is teeming with collection parties every day, but the inclement weather and near-zero visibility is preventing any flights from being conducted north of Lachen. The ITBP is doing its bit too. Their sat phone is being used 24 hours. For the plethora of the Army personnel scattered here as well as the civilians, this is the only link with home. Most are rewarded with a couple of minutes of talk with loved ones back home, some turn back disappointed as the sat. phone does not connect with certain numbers.

Television news loop clips of Govt personnel visiting the injured in Gangtok and Rangpo, the most accessible and fastest addressed places. The people wonder if anyone will glance in their direction, whether there will be any help forthcoming from their State Govt. They pray fervently for the Gods to deliver them from this disaster. A fresh bevy of prayer flags are placed all over the mountain sides to appease the Gods and prevent a land-slide from sweeping away their homes next.

Any kind of deliverance, they still look towards the sky, be it helicopters bearing food and supplies or divine intervention.

– Authored by Saurabh Salunke

Just a girl… looking for help and hope.

My mother always told me that trouble never comes alone.

I moved from Bahrain to India for a lot of reasons. I wanted to be independent but i didnt realize i was already independent. I wanted to run away from a boy but i didnt realize i was running into the arms of a boy who would eventually run away from me. I wanted freedom, I didnt realize that I was setting myself up for failure.

I have given up. Given up on me. Given up on life. Given up on hope.

I return back to Bombay in 5 days, I don’t have a place to stay until i find an apartment. And once i find an apartment, I dont have the money to pay for it. Not that I won’t but the current organization i’m working for won’t give me the full and final settlement until the end of the month.

So no apartment, no place to crash until i find said apartment, no one will help me with Nemo, my dog. Something tells me I’m screwed.

I have surgery. Which i keep delaying for weeks because I cant afford it. Which is okay be me because the side-effects of taking 18 tablets a day isnt so bad.And INR 70000 is not a small amount.

So, here, I am, sending out a message to the universe, please help. Please show me signs, show me kindness, show me hope. For all the friends who needed me, needed money, needed a place to stay, needed food, show me hope that there other individuals who’ll reach out to me.

If you’re reading this and you can, please do.

I am tired of this life because for 3 years ALL i have done is struggle and while it’s okay for your strength to be tested, I am about done. Suicidal hate comes easy. I can write ballads about it.

My mother told me trouble never comes alone.

Why am I dressed like a slut? Why are you thinking like a rapist?

Baggy Jeans and an old smelly sweatshirt, my toe sticking out of a hole in my pink panther socks, I reluctantly ventured out at 7pm to pick up a friend from the main road across the residential compound where I lived. Laughing to myself ridiculously as I put the pepper spray into my pocket, ‘why do I even need to carry it?’ I thought, there were guards at every corner of this compound.

Just having given Nemo a shower, I smelled and looked like a dog. My hair ruffled and my clothes covered in fur, I was basically as attractive as a homeless man with missing front teeth. The path I usually take was currently in chaos with strays chasing people. With dog perfume on myself and not in the mood to run, I took a diversion through the clubhouse, onto a 20 metre road with very little lighting.

Little did I know that that would be enough.  From the darkness, two men appeared. One immobilized me by pushing me into a wall, while the other held me firmly by my wrists. Man number 1 had his hands up my sweatshirt, letting his hands roughly explore my chest as if looking for hidden treasure. I blanked out; it was actually like I was watching myself from afar, out of body, if you will, while the other man began to lick my neck. The wet stickiness brought me back to my senses; I kicked, screamed and punched as much as my restricted body would allow me. What I felt next was indescribable as they sunk their teeth into my flesh, piercing it and making me wince. I kicked again, this time I got man number one right in the nuts, and he fell to the ground. Man number two holding my wrists slapped me really hard, twice. I found the strength in me to escape as he loosened his grasp, yanking my pepper spray out of my pocket I aimed it in their direction and ran the opposite way.

I did not ask for it. NO ONE ASKS FOR IT.

If you think women ask for it because of the way they’re dressed, tell that to a woman clad in a burqa or a 9 year old child who doesn’t even know what intimacy is.

I want to be able to walk on the road without an apology. As unbelievable as it may sound to some of you, no woman on this planet, dresses for the occasion of rape. So when Slut Walk decided to; or rather a young 19 year old felt that India too needed a Slut Walk, she was supported by the millions. She was also opposed by the millions.

What I don’t understand is this nation, so rich in heritage and culture is the 4th most dangerous country for a woman, that’s nothing to be proud of. Our history, our scenic landscapes and our attractions of today are shrouded with foreigners afraid to visit because of how unsafe it is.

This movement isn’t just for women, it is for the men too, who are harassed and abused and physically manhandled against their will. No means No.

When did ‘NO’ ever mean anything else?

It angered me to read comments, posts and tweets from individuals who thought that this was a sham, publicity stunt etc. Yes, it is a publicity stunt, our government needs to wake up and protect its women and men from people who think power in sexuality is good.

 

 

 

*Edit: The screenshots above are used to raise awareness and not meant to be an attack against them or anything. If any of you think I have wrongly added or posted it here, show / tell me differently prior to posting this and I’ll make the required changes.  Also these are just examples, there are a million more with similar views.

There are a few whom I respected and thought were educated enough to at least hold their thoughts to a cause essential for the women in their lives. For their mothers, their sisters, their wives, their children, their friends.

Somehow we need to educate ourselves more than we need to pick the flaws in this cause. We need to move beyond the name and support its message. Nothing will change overnight, nothing will bring miracles the next morning, but slow and steady wins the race.

Don’t be ignorant, this is as much your country as it is everybody else’s. Educate yourself, read more and then draw conclusions. More importantly, this ISN’T about woman calling themselves sluts, this isnt about an opportunity to go out there and flaunt, this is about equality. If i don’t look at you (no matter how you’re dressed) with impure thoughts, what gives you the right to do the same?

As Phyrodite puts it so eloquently:

“Ever since I marched in a Slut Walk, I have tried to steel myself against some of the criticism thrown its way. It’s hard. Especially when some of the arguments trivialise and ridicule a movement that a number of women and men – both battered by sexual assault and untouched by it have come to believe in.

Slut Walk may be a relevant cause with a misguided name, it may be a cause that resonates with a lot of women, it may be a cause that digs up painful memories for a startling number of men or it may be a cause the ‘elite women and men’ can afford to fight, but it is a cause that has sprung from a fear that is old and crimes that are as old. 

Nobody deserves to be raped, nobody deserves to spend their life fearing for their body’s safety and nobody deserves to be shamed for expressing their sexuality or even enjoying it. I didn’t march for the right to be called a slut – god knows, nobody is marching for that. It’s more than the name. “

Here are a few more thoughts you can read to know more:

Of Boobquakes and SlutWalks

Of Sluts and their Walks

If we discussed men the same way we talked about women

Twitter reacts to SlutWalk Delhi

Also hear it directly from the mouth of a man: Male Perspective

Therefore, before you make a fool of yourself and blame our ‘culture’ know that we have the power to change it, even if it is just one day at a time.

No one has the right to rape or abuse anybody, including sluts.

Moving.

Earlier this year, I decided for reasons of my own to pack up and move cities to start a new job, a new life and new place to live in. Life throws you curve balls that eventually turn into boomerangs.

Although I’ve lived a life of not having regrets, 25 years later, I’ve made my first. My reason for the shift is ridiculous but like I said in one of my earlier posts ‘This is my crazy’. I didn’t think it through, I didn’t weigh the pros and cons, I just followed my heart. And while everyone says follow your heart and not your head, I’ve now learnt to listen to both.

Three years ago I moved to a city that embraced me with love and no judgements. Three years later I moved out and today I feel so judged and weighed in on what my status is.

I don’t hate this city, this is where the boy I will love for this lifetime comes from and it wil always be special to me. This is where I found love, love for food, love for history and friends.

I think what pains me the most is the loneliness, not having my-go-to-boy. Not thinking this move through. But I’ve been a flexible person ALL MY LIFE, so this shift isn’t going to pain me for long. In time, it’ll be another city I’ve lived in, got used to and then moved out. My heart is a traveller and my soul is a wanderer.

Yet, until the next move, Delhi, I’m here to stay and I will get by and I will learn to love you.

On the next wave out…

Delhi seemed like the ideal city, it had the food, it had the charisma and it had the boy I loved. Love. I was drifting away and I needed the move to feel closer. My biggest reason for moving was him. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not but I know everybody needs to do something crazy once in their lives for the one they love. This is my crazy.

Now when I think about it, I’m an idiot. There are a million other ways to show love and I chose the wrong one. I don’t understand why I am here and what it is I am meant to do. My life has lost direction, I have lost feeling.

I dislike waking every morning and changing into clothes and going out. It pains my heart. It doesn’t matter where I work or the job I do, what matters more to me is being happy wherever I am and this is certainly not the place.

In the past, new situations, new challenges used to excite me and make me want to be the best at whatever I did. Today, it’s the complete opposite; I don’t have the will for anything. Sometimes wasting my life away as a hobo seems more appealing. If this is what quarter life crisis feels like then I may die when I turn 50.

I’ve also been affected very personally by someone who has gone out of her way to be intentionally mean. It broke my heart; it destroyed my confidence and made me feel insignificant to this world. Sometimes happy people around me annoy me. Infectious laughter is like loud noises through a hangover.

I don’t want to meet new people, I don’t want to meet old people. I don’t want to look at the bright side of things, I don’t want to sit in my negativity. I don’t want to be lonely, I don’t want people in my face all the time.

Thankfully, someone said something extremely important to me last night and therein lies my hope.

” ON THE NEXT WAVE OUT “

On the Next Wave out... for sure.

Because I have to and not because I want to. This is the first major regret / mistake my lifetime has seen. Somehow, i’ll trudge on through. He got me to it, He’ll get me through it.

Until then, I’ll suck it up.

 

 

Truth be told…

So over the last week i’ve had a few revelations, delayed, but revelations none the less… I tweeted them out, just when i though about them, so i’m going to reproduce them here.

The saddest thing in live is when you fail to be creative. Or breathe.

I make no apologies for being as outspoken as i am. I make no apologies for being as emotional as i am.

I’d rather die with a light heart than a heart full of regrets and bottled-up emotions.

I’d rather let you know where you stand and how i feel about you and not regret it 10 years later.

I don’t know the reason why, my dreams don’t turn out right, still I’ll keep listening to my heart. Who knows, someday they might.

I like that even though the world around me is falling apart, i believe in hope. I am a dreamer and i live in my own world.

All of you can judge me all you want, by what i say, tweet or retweet, but it doesnt matter. I know who i am and i have nothing to prove.

While not all men are pigs, the ones that are teach us to love the ones that aren’t better.

I wouldnt want to live this life any other way, the scars, the troubles, the negatives have made me this way. No regrets.

I may talk filth but when it comes to loving the man i love, i’ve got an oldskool heart. I always give 110% – if that’s possible.

The good thing about being alive is that we have choices. Choices we are glad we made, choices that we learnt from. Perception matters.

Sometimes all you need is a glass of bourbon and some Jim Reeves.

It’s ok to be air-headed some of the time. But all the time just so you get popoular? That’s just sad. Be proud of your intelligence.

I’m okay with being ‘in-your-face’ and i will be once you grow a pair to be ‘in-my-face’.

Life is a learning curve. Battles pull us down, hope and life pull us up. We need to choose the battle worth fighting for.

We always hope a break will be right around the corner, but if we werent strong we wouldnt be here at all, yknow?

Do you know that feeling of anger and hatred that makes your heart psychically hurt? That’s healing.

Many of you here live your lives living up to other peoples expectations. So not necessary, be who you are. Nothing like it.

You don’t need people on the internet to validate you. Your existence is validation enough. Live up to your expectations.

I’ve missed me by changing for a lot of people, behaving a certain way. Falling over backwards, I missed me.

I’m here to be who i am. No masks. Either you like it or you don’t. You don’t HAVE TO like everyone you meet. That’s just scary.

Relationships come, relationships go. And that’s quite okay. They form the lines on our hands. The lines on our forehead. Makes us wiser.

Yes, i talk about sex and all that stuff you consider ‘gross’ but i’m also honest. I sometimes say things you wouldnt dare to.

We’ve given up our originality & voices because we dare to be politically correct. When we’re puled up for being controversial, we apologize

If heartache is the fashion, then i guess i’m in style. But when you are most emotional, that’s when change happens.

It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to let go, its okay to be angry. If God didn’t want us to have any emotions, he’d make us all politicians.

If everyone took the road more traveled, how boring would your life story be?

Women, you are worth everything and more! Don’t ever let a man touch you unless you are ready, if he truly loves you, he’ll wait.

When you stop changing yourself just so people accept you and you learn to love yourself is when you’ll be accepted.

When you’re fooling yourself into believing you are happy and in the midst of it all, you want to cry. CRY.

I don’t need your approval. I’d rather suffer the consequences than put up with knowing i messed up because i listened to someone else.

I’m old enough to know right from wrong and if i don’t, let me learn. I’ll learn better without you shoving it down my throat.

It’s okay. It’ll be alright. Remember to breathe.

I can walk with one leg too. So tear me down all you want. My mind is stronger than yours. It doesnt resort to violence.

Even if nothing good today happened, know that you have survived. Know that nothing good happens in little bits. Wait for the big blowout!

Today i realised that i’m strong enough to control the things i do. And with God on my side ANYTHING is possible. So what if you dont have everything you wanted in life? You have life don’t you?

The greatest thing about life is that i can ‘choose’ who i want to love. Even if it means that you dont love me back.

A million people will give you advice. A million people will shoulder your tears, but only you will be able to heal yourself.

Sometimes i miss you, sometimes it breaks my heart. But it also lets me know i am strong.

I’m okay with crying, even though it includes self-loathing. Because i make myself cry. Just like only i can make myself happy.

ALL my own thoughts, yes. COPYRIGHT! Also, i like how i am smart sometimes.

To all of you with your own battles that you are fighting, know that in this moment, you are strong. Dont stop believing!

So much love for you.

 

Conversations that let you know Life tries to cheer us up!

[Siddharth Basrur]
1:10am
michellllleeeee
[You]
1:21am
Siddddddddddddd
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:21am
wasaaaaa
and?
[You]
1:21am
wanted to call but didnt know whether you’d be free
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:21am
arrre
what time?
[You]
1:22am
Around 5 or so
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:22am
you shouldve called na
today was a good day
in most ways
[You]
1:22am
Was it?
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:23am
i lost my brand new gym shoes though
:(:(
[You]
1:23am
WHAT?
How?
Where?
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:23am
think i left em at the gym
[You]
1:23am
😐
Moron
Ask them if theyve found any?
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:23am
2nd time i used them
will ask tomo
[You]
1:25am
If it makes you feel better, i had a terrible blind date this evening.
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:25am
whaaa?
[You]
1:26am
HE WOULDNT EVEN SHUT UP!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:26am
wher
who?
[You]
1:26am
I think he gave me mouth herpes
my friends set me up for him
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:26am
hahahaha
dude
[You]
1:26am
Throughout the entire date, i kept thinking someone will jump outta somewhere and say ‘You’re BEING PUNKED!’
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:26am
hahahahaha
[You]
1:27am
Not funny.
He had this annoying laugh
where he’d guffaw really loudly.
I didnt know him well enough to tell him to shut up
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:28am
aaawww
[You]
1:28am
he has 3 silver feelings and 2 bad teeth
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:28am
dont worry
[You]
1:28am
he didnt have to tell me
i saw it!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:28am
hahahaha
[You]
1:28am
I wanted to stab him with my fork
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:28am
dont worry
[You]
1:28am
He excused himself to go to the loo and came back with foundation on his face
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:28am
you’ll find plenty of haryanvi mundas in gudgaon
dooood
seriously??
[You]
1:28am
Im sure he carrys a ladies handbag to keep his compact in!
I felt so ridiculous, i wasnt even wearing make-up!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:29am
damn
sounds really bad
[You]
1:30am
Also he saw me type away on my phone and said ‘Aww, cute. You’re telling your mom that youre with an extremely gorgeous man for dinner, right? I know, i know, i have that effect on women!’
I wanted to strangle him Sidd.
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:30am
sheeeeee
[You]
1:30am
And kill him in cold blood!
He wanted to have dessert and i wanted to DESERT him!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:30am
hahahaha
hilarious
this should go on your blog
[You]
1:31am
I wanted that big hole in the ground that everyone talks about to suddenly appear and swallow him up.
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:31am
save this convo
and use
it
[You]
1:31am
I will / 3 hours for dinner and i didnt get to even tell him my name. But i know his family history, im just surprised his last name isnt DOUCHE!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:32am
sick
[You]
1:32am
Also he introduced himself this way ‘Hi, im stan, my friends call me stan the man, you can call me THE MAN’
He’s like the mayor of douchebagville
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:32am
right out of cheezy movie
[You]
1:32am
Where are all the nice guys Sidd?
Are all of them married?
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:33am
hahaha
[You]
1:33am
Or taken?
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:33am
i could ask the same q about the girls
[You]
1:33am
:(:(
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:33am
i always end up getting attracted to chicks with probs
issues
its like theres something written on my forehead
that draws them to me
i also need to learn how to chill the fuck out
and not think too much
[You]
1:34am
I think we were side by side when they were dishing this out
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:34am
and stay in the here and now
uhun
[You]
1:35am
:(:(
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:35am
last in line probably
its cool
we will live to find another lay
[You]
1:35am
Hang in there Sidd, if nothing when we turn 40 and if we’re still single, ill be your back up
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:35am
hehehe
sounds like a plan
[You]
1:36am
marriage of convenience
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:36am
hmmm
[You]
1:36am
And save ourselves from baggage
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:36am
yea
[You]
1:36am
and douchebags
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:36am
douchebags with baggage
[You]
1:37am
We just formed a new category! Previously named: Exes and Flings.
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:37am
hehehe
have you any friends that would like to have a fling with a nice boy
?
ive never had a fling
[You]
1:39am
All the women i know are in relationships or are unhappily married and flinging already 😐
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:39am
so gimme some unhappily married then!!
[You]
1:39am
I promise to change Delhi girls image soon!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:39am
as in?
[You]
1:40am
Theyll be nicer to you! PWOMISE!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:40am
aaawww
thanks
:):)
[You]
1:40am
You’ll like this or hate me —> http://i.imgur.com/8mPNz.jpg (nsfw)
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:41am
hahahahaha
sick
but
hahahahaha
[You]
1:41am
I wasnt sure if it was the horse or the girl
kinda like those confusing images where you have to stare really hard!
[Siddharth Basrur]
1:42am
heheheh
anyhoo
i gots to go
sleepy time is become
[You]
1:44am
Ok, you. Good night.