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Showing posts from December, 2012

What Is Wrong With Indian Men?

Even all the highs that a shopping spree gives me this festive time here cannot totally take my mind off the horror.  The news about the 23-year old paramedic student who was gang raped in a moving bus in south Delhi, the area that was home to me for a good fifteen years, convulses me in much the same way it is convulsing India right now. The brutality of the rape is so shocking; the victim has practically no intestines left after an iron rod was inserted into her. Not that people have decent and crime-free existence in the western world, but the frequency of rape in Delhi beats any other place in the country. It is not my assumption; it is what the National Crime Records Bureau states. In fact, going by its reports, a rape takes place every 20 minutes in India. It was in Motibagh, Delhi, some years ago that a north-eastern call centre employee was raped after she went out to have tea at a dhaba after work in the wee hours of the morning. Of course, the victim was blamed for weari

My Year-ender

When I started my career with a news agency, we always had our end of the year specials called ‘year-enders’ or ‘the year that was’. They were summaries on important events of the year in a particular field, say, science, economics, sports, agriculture, etc. With little access to the internet (there was just one computer with net connection), it was a terrible job going through reams of old paper. But these were mostly assigned to the veterans covering the beat. Some of them were pretty good. Like the spelling contest in the US, they could rattle of important events and dates with ease and type away. Sometimes, juniors like me were given some obscure areas if we were lucky enough to take part in this coveted event in the newsroom. I just thought of my own ‘year that was’ this morning and realised the year just passed so quickly. Here I am towards the end of 2012 and soon will be embracing my 40s with gusto and also entering my fourth year into marriage. There was a time when every

'Yes Madam, Sir'

It is hard to imagine Kiran Bedi without her baton, cap and police uniform. On  a cloudy Friday afternoon in Melbourne, India’s legendary supercop queues up for lunch and then sits down to sign autographs of her book Dare To D o. Dressed in a light coloured salwar kameez and Nehru jacket, she is in a hurry as she is about to deliver a keynote address at the Argumentative Indian seminar hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Australia India Institute. As it turns out, many are waiting to listen to India’s first woman police officer whose career was marked by fame and notoriety.   Two incidents stand out in memory when I think of Bedi who joined the IPS in 1972 as the only woman recruit: her facing an angry mob armed in swords with just a baton while her fellow policemen ran away in fear. And, when she towed away Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s vehicle for a parking violation and got nicknamed ‘Crane Bedi’. The stories that surround her are indeed the stuff legends are made of esp

Welcome December

My garden is looking green, the tomato plants are almost reminding me of Jack and the beanstalk standing tall against the wall and my chilly plants are doing so well. The weather is rubbing hot and cold, so fickle that I feel like a ramp queen one moment and like an Eskimo the next. Welcome December, welcome to the onset of summer, of barbecues and festivals and rain and sun. In my mind, I am still trying to get used to the idea of a summer in December as I bid goodbye to my many winters of discontent. My morning newspapers come with many supplements on gifts and sales for Christmas, such a colourful reminder of the holiday season. The radio is full of Christmas songs but Michael Buble is getting into my nerves. My in-laws are preparing their gift list and traditional family Christmas lunch and I am thinking of my traditional New Year’s Eve party. Sometimes the preparing stage is more exciting than ready. A good time to enjoy the company of the handful of people whose friendship I