The fault

Who are we to go around blaming the system, the police and the government for everything that's happening? Have we looked inside ourselves, seen how we all are as responsible for the sorry state of women in the country as much as anyone else?

Years ago, my parents say India was a safer place for women . My mother could stay out till after dark with her friends, playing and hanging out. As the years went by, we imposed curfews looking at the inflating crime rate. Did it make things better? No. Are things worse now? For sure. In the convent school I studied in, in Agra, my elder sister's batch wore skirts. Ten years later, salwar kameez was made compulsory for all girls in middle school and higher. Did it make things better? No. Are they worse today? Yes.
When did all of this happen, India? Probably when we were busy keeping our women inside and sending the men out, teaching them their roles and places. This mindset everybody is rushing to condemn has been built by us over the years with the women are as responsible for it as the men. Teaching their girls to stay indoors and behave decent but forgetting to teach their boys to respect women. The fault lies with the society and it's teachers. 'Don't do this, it's not proper for a woman too behave this way, behave like a lady, girls are not supposed to be doing this, it's for the guys only'- treating women like objects.
The fault lies with the girls for letting themselves be assaulted and tortured, raped physically and mentally and not do anything about it. The fault lies with the family for telling her to remain silent because speaking out brings a 'bad name' to the family.

The events of today are not a wake-up call for the government or the police, they are a wake-up call for us. Why did we remain silent for so long? This is not the first crime nor the last but why did we have to even bear any of it over the years? Nothing can be built in a day and something which has been growing for centuries cannot be broken down in a day either.

I'd like to ask every person out there walking on the road holding placards or sitting at home using the social media, are you willing to face your faults before pointing your finger on someone else? You need to change yourself before you go out attempting to change the world. The conviction and strength to bring about a change would come only when you're living it. Otherwise we're looking at just another rape, just another death and just another public outburst.

Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai : A Review

'Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai', debut novel by Rishi Vohra ( is basically a tale about romance and wooing.
Nothing new here, given that the fiction market in India is flooded with love stories. But what makes this book different from the others are the characters, especially the protagonist Babloo. 'Babloo! What a commonplace everyday name' is what I said to myself the moment I read it. But those are not the words used in relation to Babloo in the book because Babloo is no ordinary man. Don't get your hopes high here, though, because he does not have any superpowers (no matter what happens towards the end of the book *ssshhhh* ). On the contrary, poor old Babloo here is ridiculed by society, neglected by parents and perpetually compared with his working younger brother- just because he is different and happens to suffer with a behavioral disorder.
The novel is set in a railway colony situated near the busy railway station of Bandra, Mumbai. The author gives us a glimpse into a typical Indian residential colony- gossiping ladies, road-side Romeos, interfering neighbors and so on. I did like the way he has captured the little nuances of family life in middle class India.
Babloo's love interest, Vandana, is a self-dependent, working woman who has dreams of making it big in the advertising world and travelling to the US. However, she is handed over a menial secretarial position and constantly harassed by her boss. She looks for a friend in Babloo, one who can understand her need to be silent and introspective and can always be depended on. But Babloo is knee-deep in love with her and, given his psychiatric issues, cannot find a way to be with her. The twist in the plot comes when Vandana's parents arrange her marriage with Babloo's younger brother, Raghu. What follows is a fast-paced tale of love, betrayal, sex, violence and justice.
Love does triumph in the end, but not in the way expected!
Reading this book I realized that this may be one of those narratives which can be easily adapted into a movie. It has all the elements and scene descriptions are very sharp.

Overall, it is a well-planned, nicely narrated, good-paced piece of work which would go down well with any age-group or gender.
Ideal for a quick dose of high entertainment!