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Jun 25, 2016

Is it safe for women in India?

"Is it safe for women in India?"

I have been asked this question several times outside India . Men, women, girls and boys all have asked me while in a random conversation about my country, India. Infact, few Indians living outside feel the same.

Yes, it is a hurting question to hear. Nevertheless, it is concerning at the same time. Not that I am unaware of the fact. I have been through those unsafe moments like so many others across the world. Yes, the world and not just India.

Confused with teenage hormones and emotions, I have felt unsafe when a familiar face troubled me lecherously for months.
Scared from the big college dream, I have felt unsafe when followed by a man double my age. His prying eyes looking for an opportunity to attack. Eve-teased numerous times.
Ready to go for work, I have felt unsafe everytime someone has intentionally pressed their private parts against me or foxily touched my chest giving excuse of a crowded bus.
Tired from evening shifts at job, I have felt usafe when cornered several times by men with malicious intentions.
While in the comfort of my home, I have felt unsafe from receiving postal mails fearing it should not be another letter with naked female body drawn.
When watching or reading news about rape or abuse to a woman, I am scared to death. All those unsafe moments come rushing towards me.

There have been several such instances of violations. But not once did I feel that India as a whole is an unsafe country. Am I in denial? I do not know. I am sure, I am not a jingoist. Don't get me wrong here. I am not supporting this state of my country or any country for that matter. Yes, few among us may be bad. But an entire country being unsafe for that. Never. For me, the world in general is an unsafe place because what could happen to a woman in India could possibly happen anywhere in the world. A woman is raped, abused or violated in the conservative nations, in the non-conservative nations and in nations in-between. And that is an alarming condition for me.

So, my answer to the question is simple. "India is as safe as any country in this world. Until there are perpetrators with intentions to violate a woman, she is unsafe anywhere and everywhere."

Article © Copyright Salvwi Prasad
Creative Commons Licence

Apr 2, 2016

Bus ride and life lesson

It's now a year since I moved out of India. For the past few months, I have been taking the bus-ride for my daily office journey. Each day I take the same bus and quietly grab the same window seat with a rather gloomy facial expression of travelling lonely. So many passengers board and leave at their destinations. There has rarely been any conversation with my co-passengers. Some of them are one time passengers while few others are the regular ones. All that I have done is given an occasional hesitant smile, here and there.

Dec 20, 2015

#KnowYourRights campaign

Our Indian society, its cultural norms and attitude per say has always reflected the patriarchal thought process. Sometimes I think it is a sheer oxymoron that we personify the Indian nation as a female while the societal hierarchy system is predominantly male. However, I would definitely agree with current chorus that the Indian society imbalance is changing. But the larger question is, has that anyway changed the thinking of general mass? It could be “yes” and “no” at the same time.

Oct 21, 2015

Real Togetherness beyond the virtual world


Every time there is a festive season around the corner, we find the corporate world vying to increase sales. One effective way has been television (TV) advertisements (ads) for them.

Cometh the festivals, cometh the emotional ads.

This strategy has certainly worked for years now. With our generation getting closer in the virtual network and apart in the real world, has given advertising minds the required fodder for such ads. So many us are away from home and crave to be near our dear ones, mostly during the festive season. These ads cleverly play with emotions at the right time. Most of us feel the essence of the ads. I do not know how many such leads are converted into sales for the companies. However, many do give their home a call.

When I heard about the Kissanpur – Real Joy of Togetherness initiative video, I thought this was again one such festival strategy. It is true, I was biased by the trend. However, on seeing the video I learnt it is not a festival targeting emotional ad. It is an ad showing us the reflection of what we have become as humans and as a society. This thought being propagated by a brand that is a household name in India will definitely have a larger impact. The video strongly stands by what @KissanIndia believes in - 'We taste good, we look good and we do good'

Aug 6, 2015

Sex, Gender and Sexuality – It’s not black and white anymore

 After Sundown - Sex Gender and Sexuality

Recently, Dutee Chand, an extraordinary sprinter from India, was returned her right to participate in national and international sprint competitions under the female category. Dutee Chand, who identifies herself with the female gender since birth has a condition called hyperandrogenism. This produces high amount of testosterone in her body and led to her ban on participating under the female category by IAAF in 2014. Jazz Jennings of “I am Jazz” fame from USA is a transgender individual. Jazz was born a male and she identifies her gender as female. A condition called gender identity disorder. TIME magazine awarded her as one of the top 25 most influential teens of 2014. Gazal Dhaliwal from India is a transgender- male to female person who fought for her identity and won.

Neither am I a champion of this concept nor a preacher. But these life stories inspired and intrigued me. I decided to delve a little more into the complex topic of sex, gender, and sexuality.

Jun 6, 2015

Wait ! Judge me for my ashes

Emotions Xpressed_Judge me for my ashes
I, son/daughter, was born and everyone was happy. Each one of you celebrated my homecoming after 9 long months. I grew and you captured every moment of me growing into a self sustained human being. You all felt happy. I, daughter/son, was taught to speak my heart always, to be headstrong and stand out from the crowd, to place my viewpoint clearly and respectfully, to live life independently on my own terms. Daughter/son, I learnt the teachings religiously. I believed inherently in the preachings.

May 31, 2015

Can a woman carve out a successful corporate career after a break from work ?

The femininity renaissance gave birth to the 21st century woman who is not just a homemaker now but the bread-winner too. The metamorphosis of the timid pupa to an independent butterfly may have taken decades together for the female community nevertheless; this transition has been conspicuous and profound. This attainment of equal status has coupled her challenges manifold. But woman, being the incarnation of patience and dedication has confronted these changes victoriously. 

Read more @ Can a woman carve out a successful corporate career after a break from work?

This article has been published at Ezine Articles.

Image Credits - Ezine Articles
Article © Copyright Salvwi Prasad
Creative Commons Licence

May 20, 2015

I am a 90's kid

I am a 90's kid. One from the other century. The sound of it makes me feel old. Nevertheless, I am happy to belong to that era.

Emotions Xpressed_I am 90's kid

May 13, 2015

My Choice on Vogue India video

Exmotions Xpressed_My choice on Vogue India video

I know its quite out of time to post this article now. I had shared these views on facebook earlier but was lazy to write on blog. But here it goes finally.

Somehow, I do not entirely agree with the Vogue India My Choice video.

What exactly is the message?

Sep 23, 2014

S(HE) equality

In the recent years a lot of events have occurred in the whole word and in our country. Most discussions have happened on “equality”, in all its aspect. And “gender equality” tops the priority. In all this, I stand confused at certain times, when the moot point gets blurred.

When we say “gender equality”, I understand we most definitely are talking about both male and female equality and not just one. But when the balance gets lost, I am left confused. May be until this point even you are baffled, what I exactly want to convey. So, let me help you with some simple questions that itches my brain more often.

Please take care to understand that all the examples/questions that I am about to express below, is my personal perception (which may be correct or incorrect) taking into consideration events happening in the society around us. I do not want to convey that I am right. In fact, it’s more of a discussion with you.

Jun 29, 2013


A casual evening and I was reading a blog on the net. It was a review about a latest Bollywood movie where the so-called leading lady is portrayed as a geek. I could not agree more with this blogger about the lazy portrayal of “GEEKY-NESS”, just a pair of spectacles.  I have always been bemused by the human tendency of associating a material with an abstract attribute. And in this regard, spectacles ON, depicts a person is wise or geek, boring, un-cool and should be consulted for advice. This is exactly what those SPECTACLES were directed to deliver in that movie. And believe me they will be nominated for the special appearance category. Because the moment the story had to show off the sexiness of the lady, she dumped the SPECTACLES.  WHY ???, may I ask.

Jan 25, 2013

The RODS of my window !

The electricity is down. There is absolute silence all over. I can hear the drops of water dripping through one of the taps of my neighbour's flat. My eyes catch the sight of the sun rays falling on the floor through my window, in the hot and humid Chennai afternoon. The railings of the window cast their shadow and divide the sun rays on the floor. The innocent sun rays do not protest. I try to remove the rods from my window so that the sun rays get united again. But my strength is not enough to do so. I need tools which I do not have now. And gradually the sun rays get dimmer as the sun starts to leave the evening sky. I look at the floor again. There is darkness, all united. Even the railings could not divide darkness. Next day, early morning,I get the tools and remove the rods on my window.I sit down on the floor beside the window waiting for the sun rays to visit my house again. This time they fall united looking brighter. No rods to divide them.

When shall we get the tools and remove the rods of religion, caste, creed, race, colour, location and many more, that divide us. When shall we understand that every time we divide, darkness gets more united and stronger? I shall continue to wait beside my window looking at hope, in the horizon.

Jun 23, 2012

Fasting - a way to protest

[Had written this piece for a discussion few months back, just thought of adding it to my collection]

“To fast or not to fast, is the question?”.. I believe fasting and an era stand independent. Fasting as a protest method  is not a genesis of the 21st century and I am sure all of you would agree with me on this atleast. If we rewind , it was prevalent way back in the spiritual era times also when a common man with uncommon will-power fasted to protest and  woo the GODs in heaven. The only change now is that the protest is against other men – Government or Governing Bodies.
I strongly believe that non-violent protest like fasting so profoundly advocated by Mahatma Gandhi[who fasted in protest and we got an independent India to live] or Nelson Mandela[who fasted for the prisoners rights and got a concession from the South African Government.] and now Anna Hazare[the anti-corruption crusader] has only empowered our society.
 Particularly for increasingly insensitive governments who do not rise from their slumber on hearing the hue and cry of the harassed public due to innumerable menace, violent protest will only stand futile. A fasting protest that gathers and captures the common predicament of the mass invigorates the people and inspires to join the protest. Such non-violent protest methods depicts the sanctity , strength and pure intention of the society to embarrass the other party or make them realize the error in their ways.And when such a protest gets coupled with support of the lakhs and media the impact becomes more powerful. The sheer will of a person to fast for the cause of the masses and die for it in itself becomes the clincher. It forces the sleeping beauties in the Government to do nothing but agree. Channelizing such protest and gathering mass support is essential to make it louder for the deaf ears to hear otherwise cases like Irom Sharmila [fighting to remove the AFSPA act in Manipur] or Swami Nigamanand [Fighting for clean Ganges] would become rampant.
I would like to end my discussion saying that if non-violent fasting methods for the first time could bring all parties in the history of Indian politics together then why be violent.

Aug 15, 2010

'SHE' dies , Whatsoever !

While surfing the net on the eve of India’s Independence Day I came through a news headline.

“6 lakh girls go missing at birth annually” reads a headline in one of the e-news site for a country whose president is a female herself .No guessing it's India. This survey by United Nations Population Fund is not just alarming but pathetic and at the same time a blot on the nation. The heinous crime of female foeticide and infanticide is prevalent since the Indus Valley Civilization but it's existence in modern India is definitely irrelevant and shocking. This psychic mindset is not just restricted to the remote villages but also to many sophisticated cities.
The baby is sentenced to death the very moment it's gender is disclosed. This condemnable sin is executed in some of the most gruesome and merciless manners. She is thrown into a river or sea as a food for the man-eater fishes or she is abandoned on the roadsides for the dogs to feast upon or she is suffocated in a drum full of milk till she succumbs to death or sometimes cut into pieces by her own parents or even sometimes denied arrival to the world. Such unabashed deeds are committed with elaborate reasons like to elude dowry problem in future , due to superstitious belief or some curse , sometimes for family pride or for continuation of clan and hence the excuses extend till infinity. India is truly a land of contradictions. A land where the Divine female is worshiped with utmost devotion and regarded as Shakti , the human female is mashed brutally. Where should SHE flee and to whom , when the protectors turn into murderers.
Sometimes SHE escapes the slaughter but only for more torture ahead. SHE lives and grows with an innate fear, constantly protecting herself from many vulture eyes. Her plight written will only finish all papers and dry your ink.

I know not if I can do anything to change the headline , but now I only feel relieved and thank GOD that I am lucky to be born to my parents who think otherwise.

Jan 29, 2007

The Lexical Brave-hearts

( I Object ....!!!!!)

"Touche" , the latest most fascinating word of one of my friends and the agog with which she awaits to use it in an argument takes me by surprise . Yes , Argument, the most easiest , entertaining , action packed event where you witness the war of words, the clash of wits, clink of acumen and there she gets her dream chance  to acknowledge her opponent and say ...."Touche"...........

We , the young guns , the high spirited generation flooded with adrenaline are ready on our toes anytime for a "Verbal Mahabharat", where the only weapon is being lexically accoutred and having those larynx cleared. But often on contemplating I am bemused to find most of such arguments futile. Sitting in our cosy corners, sipping a "cutting chai" and relishing hot spicy "pakodas" we moot over any topic, volley of statements from every participant even with minimal knowledge about the same. So is this just for personal entertainment and those smirks or are we really soulfully concerned about the topics. Sometimes as political analyst, some other times aa sports critic and again some other times as social activist myriad roles we play in that same arena of argument.

Satiating our idiosyncrasies and hence feeling triumphant, we often escape the moral and social responsibilities efficaciously with a witty argument, the latest cudgel. But how many of the new world...."Lexical Bravehearts"....would transform their ideals into actions? The answer is quick and unanimous, NONE. So why argue on sensitive issue, when we just want to consume our "chai sipping" and "pakoda eating" time with live entertainment. But this is disappointingly disheartening and sometimes even more disgusting when a missed call or a sudden idea of partying is enough to empty our "verbal cartridges".
Basically we are turning socially and morally impaired. We scream, we shout, we snivel but when it's time to shoulder responsibilities we throw excuses to elude. But those not in this bandwagon they may be the torchbearers for the rest.......!!!!!!

Jan 1, 2007

Masking the ugly look.....

(Unabashedly ...slave to a ubiquitous menace!)

The world that looked colourful yesterday is now ashen. If you visualize red, pink and blue then it’s nothing but delusion. Artifice , Artfully, Articulate. Some sort of mutation has made hypocrisy, an indispensable trait of the genes and mind you this trait has no recessive gene. Ideals and principles are so capricious today than one could have ever imagined. Hypocrisy has shrouded all ideals, views, statements. It camouflages every moment. 

Everything is subject to calculations, profit and loss. And when actions are smeared with avarice, compromising concrete ideals by being obsequious becomes an easy task. Every moment we masquerade ourselves as a completely new individual befitting to the present milieu. The lust for the acme has gagged frankness and kidnapped honesty. The call of the inner voice or conscience is often shrugged off and truthfulness, it’s long lost. Nevertheless, even amidst connivance of the mass the allegiance of few obdurate numskulls towards their conscience may help vanquish LUCIFER......

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