Stop this plague called rape

I’m greatly distressed just as several other right thinking citizens across this country are, as I read & hear of the growing incidents of children being raped & sexually molested across India.

I hope & pray this deadly plague of rape which destroys millions of children around the world will come to an end.

I hope the people who indulge in this perversion understand how utterly wrong, debased & filthy it is. Raping children is nothing short of demonic and is a terrible abomination.

I hope these people understand  the implications of their barbaric acts on the innocents who are traumatized & scarred for life – physically, mentally & emotionally.

I hope & pray this plague will end. Soon.

Wrote the poem below after recently hearing about another innocent child who was raped & her happy life forever altered…

 For no fault of mine

Loved & happy
Free as a butterfly
That’s who I am.

*

I am a little girl
My family loves me
That’s my greatest strength.

*

I go to school to learn & play
It’s a new world out there
That’s what I love to do.

*

I made many friends
We laugh and we play
That’s how I grow.

*

The teacher uncle I trusted
Tells me he cares
He holds me & does things
That’s when I know its wrong.

*

He rapes me.
A word I didn’t even know
And my happy childhood he brings to an end.

*

A butterfly I was
That was then
Now I lie sad & wounded on the ground.

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Short Story by Eden

My niece Eden loves to write. At the age of 12 her thoughts are unique & rather deep. Here goes one of her short stories.

Defense is the Best Form of Attack

By

Eden

The drum was beating. The horn was sound.

“The king is coming! The king is coming!” shouted the people of the village.

The king hadn’t visited in a long time, and did not inform anyone about his visit. Nothing was prepared.

So the bakers rushed to get him fresh pastries, and the tailors rushed to get new clothes to gift him. Yet when the king got out of his chariot he said: “I want no gifts or sweets or anything as such. All I want is a brave man to help me.”

Many boys and men stepped out. Too many for the king to choose. So he asked them to battle to see who the three strongest men were. The battle took place then and there. Finally the three men were chosen.

The king still did not reveal what he needed them for. But the men did not question the king; they simply did what they were told.

The king took them on his chariot and invited them to come with him to the palace. When they reached the palace the king explained to them that he had three tigers. Each of the men were to battle with one tiger and make it surrender to them.

The first man battled furiously with force, bravery and strength. The tiger had tried to defend itself but it was too late. The man hit and beat it until it was dead.

The second man, too fought bravely, but did not kill the tiger. He tossed it around and severely injured it. The man soon could not fight anymore. He began to feel sorry for the tiger. He walked away in shame.

The third man did not fight. He simply defended himself from the tiger’s actions. Soon the tiger began to calm down, as he knew the man meant no harm. It soon stopped attacking the man. The man came out without a scar or wound and so did the tiger.

Seeing both the man and the tiger without injury, the king was surprised. He decided that the tiger had surrendered to the man. He then declared the man, the strongest and most respected man in the kingdom and asked him to protect his daughter while he was away. He said all this not knowing that the man did not fight, but just defended himself.

       *                *              *

The Bread Knife

A poem by my dear 12 year old niece, Eden.

The Bread Knife

A bread knife I was,

A bread knife I am.

I sat there on the shelf,

Of the Winchester’s store.

*   *   *

A man walked in,

One fine day.

He took me, and made me,

Cut all the bread.

*   *   *

I cut hard bread and soft bread.

Fresh bread and stale bread.

Wheat bread and flour bread,

Until one day I could cut,

No more bread.

*   *   *

He tried to sharpen me,

But I could not be sharpened.

He tried to shape me,

But I could not be shaped.

*   *   *

He hadn’t taken care of me,

He had to throw me away.

*   *   *

A bread knife I was,

A bread knife I no longer am.

*   *   *

The Great Indian Wedding & the Bane of Interference

 

Greetings from the CouchCoach.

Having been a student of psychology, I have always been fascinated by the human mind – what makes people think the way they do & do the things they do. Me included.

Today I write about an angle of  the big fat Indian wedding famous the world over & the accompanying but less known ingredient called interference (for life) in many cases.

Yes, this accompaniment is a normal part of several marriages after the wedding ceremony &  festivities. 

Interference by in-laws in the lives of the newly wed.

The scope of in-laws include Father-in-law, Mother-in-law, Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, Grandmother-in-law…okay I’ll stop with that, no virtual smelling salts to revive those who pass out reading the list.

*          *          *          *          *

It is a common aspiration for Parents to see their children settle down.  And this aspiration is generally shared by well-meaning relatives & friends. It is extremely common in India for almost the whole community you associate with wanting to see you settled! Which is not a bad thing provided they don’t go overboard.

Settled to a large extent means – married & financially secure (for a daughter the recommended path is ideally Business Tycoon, Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer) , children (minimum 2) & happily ever after. I referred to this famous  settle down syndrome in one of my earlier posts, when I met Mrs. D.

I wish the noble intention ended there.

But, no.

After the marriage happens & all these well wishers  join in the celebration of  the couple’s new life one would imagine they would now give the newly weds the time & space to begin a new life together…along with the blessings they heaped up on the couple during the ceremonies.

Unfortunately it isn’t so in many cases.

*          *          *          *          *

It is very common for families to want their beloved children to ‘settle down, settle down, settle down’ & then the very same parents / now in-laws ‘interfere, interfere, interfere’ in the couples life. Never been able to figure this one out!

This is more so in the case of the young married man who brings his wife into the threshold of his  home to begin a new life.

I love the Indian family & support system we have which beats out several others around the world. I am not talking about couples paying scant respect to family, tradition or to the wisdom of elders. I am talking about the need for letting go in those cases where in-laws suddenly feel they need to manage, monitor & control their newly wed child’s life…spouse, finance & personal choices included.

*          *          *          *          *

You – as the Parents of the couple were longing for the day they would get married.

You dreamt of it. You planned. You waited. You sweated. You saved.

It finally happened.

Yes!

Now, can you please leave the young couple alone to discover their new life together on this journey called marriage?

*          *          *          *          *

Most often the protagonist is the daughter-in-law who has to make the maximum adjustment as she moves in to her new home, be it living with her husband’s  family or setting up a new place in some cases.

You – as a Parent may have been down that road some decades & beyond. You may know exactly what ticks with your beloved son or unnerves your dearest daughter.  Please be aware that your relationship with your child is not being threatened.

Let’s take the more common case of the beloved son, who has now attained status of  Husband.

You – who were so longing to see your son settled, why are you now so insecure? Why does his new companion become a threat? Wasn’t it at your insistence that he gave in & got married to the woman you selected to be his companion for life in the first place? Didn’t you check her background thoroughly? Didn’t the horoscopes match? Weren’t you the one who was convinced it was a good alliance? Why do you now stand in the way of their conjugal bliss… if at all they even have a chance to attain it?

While the slant to my story may be the arranged marriage, the same is true in love marriages too.

The sheer unwillingness of some Parents to allow young couples to start life on their own is scary. Regardless of whether they stay with his Parents or stay separately &  get remote-controlled.

Parents please learn to let go! In so doing you will draw your children closer to yourself eventually.

*          *          *          *          *

To the Parents (& siblings) of the new Husband

Please don’t interfere with your daughter-in-law  be it her choice of decor, style of dressing, faith, friends, cooking or career. She managed well all these years, thank you. Yes we all know she’s not & never will be your clone. If that’s what you’re looking for you better make it know upfront before getting your other kids married. Respect her individuality, encourage her independence.

Sisters-in-law – don’t be threatened about the new lady in your brother’s life. Be a positive support & you earn yourself two good friends for life!

To the Parents (& siblings)  of the new Wife

Please don’t be unduly critical of your son-in-law – be it his choice of friends, career (the famous “in comparison” to your own or other son’s or whoever else’s) or taking him to task for not indulging your daughter the way you did. He was & never will be your clone. Respect his position & give him the space to be himself.

*          *          *          *          *

The Bible records in the Book of Genesis – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Chapter 2 : 24)

Such amazing wisdom from the ancient Scriptures.

*          *          *          *          *

I speak from a purely India perspective. I don’t know how prevalent in-law domination & interference is in a young married couples life  in other parts of the world . In fact I’d love to hear back on the same for my own education.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Heidi

Heidi by Johanna Spyri was my all time favourite book as a child.

I loved the story.

Over the childhood years I read the book 4 to 5 times.

The above picture is of my original book…rather worn out though it be.

Heidi & her life up in the Alps with her Grandfather have been etched in my memory.

Reading the book made me imagine her life in the mountains.

It was all so vivid.

I am grateful for reading which sharpened our imagination as kids.

Looking back I see the value of not having been brought up on  internet – youtube, google, wikipedia.

Instant information on any topic.

We had to imagine while reading. Period.

A few years ago I got an opportunity to visit Switzerland & see the Alps.

Such an incredibly beautiful country.

Yet it was not very close to my own dramatic imagination of Heidi’s life up in the Swiss mountains.

I am thankful for what we did not have those days.

 

iMAGE

This is about the importance of image as a child.

It was my earliest encounter with this low-down enemy.

Of all things superflous…this perhaps tops it.

The need to impress one’s peers as a child.

*    *    *    *     *
We had an Ambassador car. Mighty fine it was.

Dad would drop me to school in this car. Every now & then.

I was all of 8 years when this encounter with the enemy of ‘image’ happened.

*    *    *    *     *

Dad drove me to school in his car.

So far so good.

His attire? Yes, what did he plan to wear for the drive?

This is where we had a minor disagreement.

A verbal scuffle of sorts between Father & Daughter.

He planned to drive me to school wearing a L-U-N-G-I !!!

For God’s sake!

Of all the darndest experiences of an 8 year old this was the most trying.

I told him “Wear trousers, my friends will see.”

He did not give in.

His position as Father allowed him to get away with stuff like this.

*    *    *    *     *
Another matter altogether that –
~ He was going to drop me opposite my school gate
~ ~ He was not going to get out of the car
~ ~ ~ None of my friends would have been able to see his clothes to begin with to pass judgement

*    *    *    *     *

Still. Such things rankle at 8.

The image enemy lurketh & rears its ugly head every now & then.

As an adult it’s easier to slay it.

 *    *    *    *     *