Entertainment Is Here

Its Monday. Somebody did something. Media captures it, sells it as breaking news, broadcasting it non-stop.

Social Media takes over by lunchtime.

Social Media Takes Over

People share views. People respond to those views, sometimes not so nicely.

A fight breaks out.

This fight is then taken over in the studio of a media house that night. Viewers are encouraged to take part in the debate on Twitter with hashtags.

More people with views, more people with counter-views, more fights.

A riot breaks out.

A Riot Breaks Out

Is it the end, I think. Is he actually getting VIP treatment by the judiciary? Is he right in saying what he did in the parliament today? Are we misogynist and sexist? What is my Chief Minister doing? Where is my Prime Minister travelling to next?

My eyes close in near drunken stupor, as the arguments get loud, with everybody in the studio getting impatient. I don’t know how the next few hours fly by.

I wake up with a start.

Its Tuesday. Nobody is talking about the yesterday’s storm, nobody cares. Because somebody did something again. And its breaking on your TV right now.

Entertainment is here.

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How The Indian Schooling System Is Depriving Your Parents From Playing With Their Grandkids…

The schooling system in India is so screwed up it is putting immense pressure on men and women in their late twenties-early thirties who are finally thinking of settling down with their partners to basically have children ASAP. Here’s how.

Note : For the sake of argument, I will be considering, by law of averages, an average male child’s life.

SCHOOL

Indian schooling has its pros and cons. One of the biggest cons is lack of career counselling (except for doctors & engineers haha) to help a clueless child move closer to a career he will be happy in and hopefully do well at. The focus never shifts from completing the damned syllabus and scoring marks.

GRADUATION

As a result, an average Indian child is clueless about career, life and work aspirations throughout school, and ends up signing up for the most popular course (we have all been through the great IIT wave) in some college under peer and parental pressure in the wrong hope of making a career out of it. As it turns out, what he has signed up for does not interest him at all. He, therefore, spends another 3 to 4 years of his life clueless.

At the end of his graduation, he is around 21 years old. And clueless. And under pressure.

POST GRADUATION

So, in haste, he either drops an year or yet again picks up the most popular course for his post graduation studies that has the “most value in the market” (we have all been through the great IIM wave). By the time he is done and has a real job, and starts to settle down at work, he has crossed 25, and is on the wayside of the twenties.

MONEY

With this age comes money, true independence, achievements… and dreams. And responsibilities. Living the average club life at the salary of a newcomer, he is stretched thin living his dreams as well as living up to his responsibilities. Investments. Future. This is also the age when the parental pressure for marriage starts to peak.

SETTLING DOWN

He’s 28. Has lived the club life with aplomb, but has little to show for savings. Far from living the dream, has completed responsibilities upto a bare minimum. Stalling for time. Working at it.

BOOM. Married.

He’s 30. Kids? Or the dream home? Tik tok. Tik tok. Take a call.

CONCLUSION

So anyways, if the Indian schooling system was any effective, the average Joe would have a much greater chance of making up his mind and making a go at it. He would either know what he wants by the end of high school, or at least know what all he definitely doesn’t want. Most of all, he would have a much greater chance at being market ready by graduation, and post graduation studies would be a value-add to his already existing work-skills. Also, courses for working professionals would be the norm for post grads, and they would be very specific, and hence, short. The overall happiness quotient would be high, and as a direct result, suicides rate and crime rate would fall flat. Beer would be sold more, and there will be good cheer all around.

Most of all, your parents will be happily playing with their grand kids by 30. Mission accomplished. Enough said.

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So You Got Molested…

At the backdrop of the latest rape case that left the nation numb, here is a list of key learnings that can be further refined and communicated to all women from varied socio-economic backgrounds in the country, and help them get that much closer to Justice.

The following is based on the theory that we have strong laws for crimes against women in India, but the implementation of these laws is at a complete failure. Hence, based on the observations of the happenings in the last few months, I have come up with a short list of steps, that though might be a little hard to follow, are not completely impossible, and if done correctly, might bring up the chances of justice being served to a near 100%. Hence, this piece provides suggestions that are purely reactive in nature.

Here’s a quick list at those steps.

Image

1. Loose all apprehensions : Easier said than done for most, but unfortunately a necessity today. If you feel your modesty has been threatened in any way, loose ALL your apprehensions, and follow the next steps.

2. Get That FIR : By hook or by crook. Hardsell it by waiting for hours. Or get it through somebody that holds some influence in the local police station. Anyhow, get that FIR. It is imperative that you make your complaint formal.

Now for the hard part – Making these guys (The Police) work for you.

Solution – Call for help. Make some noise.

Women's Groups & NGOs

3. Meet Your New Friends – Women’s Rights & Security NGO Workers : If there is one thing that has worked successfully for the victims in the recent rape cases, it is the various women’s groups and associations across the country. The role that they have played in getting justice for women, be it a case as heinious as rape or your daily eve teasing, is immense.

Long story short – Call them. ALL of them.

You can also save the following government provided women helpline numbers, although I don’t suggest you should count on these much for obvious reasons (Clue : “government” provided)

Maharasthra (022)-10920; Uttar Pradesh 1090; Gujarat (0265) 2486487; Punjab 1091; Tamil Nadu (044) 26530504; Haryana 1091; Madhya Pradesh (0755) 2661813; Rajasthan (0141) 1091

For other area-specific numbers, click here.

4. Call AAP : Call the local office of the Aam Aadmi Party, state your case, and simply ask for help. Helpline : 09718500606. They are at present the doctors of mayhem for justice. Not extremely media friendly at present, but they will certainly help. Also might not respond to every small incident.

5. Local Media : Call your media friends if you have some. Ask them for help. If you manage to successfully execute points 3 and/or 4, you probably won’t need this. But get the number of the editor of that local newspaper / magazine, save it with you as a precaution.

Loose Your Apprehensions6. Social Media : Share details of your case on the social media. The idea is to basically let everyone know about this. Update your status on facebook : I was sexually molested in the Delhi Metro while going to work by this guy – And upload the picture of the guy. Etc. If you think this is too much, refer to point 1.

The idea is to basically call EVERYBODY and make a LOT of noise.

BOTTOMLINE : Remember, if your case makes it to the media, you have a much bigger chance to get justice. Lastly, what fans the confidence of the accused and further encourages them to boldly and openly do what they do, is the comfort of the knowledge that YOU, the victim, will never be as bold and as open as them.

Think about it.

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The Club Life – I

<Alarm rings>

Its 5:00 am. What!? Already? You gotta be kidding me.

His mind immediately gets into action, pushing the negativity and the laziness away. He jumps out of the bed, standing up straight, stretching his body, making spasms of pleasure-like-relief course through his torso and limbs. He grabs his water bottle and walks out to the balcony, smelling the cold, fresh air.

early_morning_sunrise

Heaven.

It’s still dark. But the trees lining the park in front of his house are starting to become visible. A part of him just wants to get back into the bed, back to the wonderland. He shakes this thought out of his head, and gulps down the entire bottle of water.

15 minutes later, he is driving down the empty Club Road towards the sports complex. As he parks the car and plugs into the music, he starts browsing through the playlists looking for ‘Run1’. As soon as he finds it, he gives it a gentle tap, and starts to warm up with some walking. After some time, he turns up the volume, switches on his running app, and breaks into an easy trot.

Its 5:40 am, and probably one of the best times of the day, he thinks, in the national capital of India, New Delhi. Home.

A few hundred meters go by as he finds his rhythm, trying to time his breathing with the beat and the count of the strides.

Breath in. 1, 2, 3, 4 strides. Breath out. 1, 2, 3, 4 strides.

By the end of a kilometer it gets easy, as if everything is falling into place. He feels relaxed, glad that he finally made it to the run after a considerably long gap. He knows he hasn’t been taking care of himself. Long hours at work, late night parties, the weekends spent responding to emails. Drinking. Sigh. Its not as tough physically as it is mentally. Usually, he is juiced out in the head by the end of the day.

It feels awesome to think about life with great music playing in the background. He’s sweating now. And loving it. Next up, Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’. Hardly the kind of music people listen early mornings. But right now it makes total sense.

The Run

The end of kilometer number 3, and he can feel the strain in his breathing, and in his legs. But he is not giving up just yet. He knows he can easily do another K on a good day. And this looks like as good a day as any. He has always wanted to break the 5 km barrier, but avoids thinking much about it. It will happen if it has to happen, he tells himself in his head. Focus!

The music has changed to House now. Tiesto. He is really just listening to the beat, matching his groove with it, and focusing completely on the breathing. He can see a lot more people on the track now. He gets to see all kinds of people on this track. The fat ones, the fit ones, and everyone in between.

As he completes 4 kms, he can’t help but wonder what it takes to do a marathon. That doesn’t help. He can really feel the pain now in his legs, and the strain in his breathing.

Breath in. 1, 2, 3 strides. Breath out 1, 2, 3 strides.

He realizes he is missing a stride per breath cycle, and its not under his control now. He looks into the running app in his phone. 4.69 kms. Not bad.

They say its better to suffer the inconvenience of discipline, than suffer the pain of regret. Well they’re damn right this time. Suddenly, his mind changes gears – Silently cursing, he breaks into a sprint. He hates the mind games his mind plays with him.

Breath in. 1, 2 strides. Breath out. 1, 2 strides.

He’s giving it all he’s got, pounding the pavement now. He feels like the whole club can hear his rasping breath. His tee is stained with sweat, as he pushes his body, punishing it, trying to purge his sins, by reaching out to that elusive 5 km barrier…

<Alarm rings again>

What the f…!

Alarm!

He opens one eye, looks at the time. 7:03 am. Sigh. He feels the mild hangover from last night’s party taking over trying to shut the lights off again. He shakes his head before he can doze off again, sit ups, reaches out for his water bottle.

It was crazy at the club last night.

He sips his water. Time to really wake up. He drags himself into the bathroom slowly getting out of his clothes, and puts some toothpaste on the brush as he steps under the shower.

Time to live through another Monday morning. Again. Time to live, the club life.

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