Thursday, February 14, 2013

CSA or should the child be replaced by Teenage in this context?

Indira is a happy ,spirited child, does well at academics and is quite active at skit, quiz, elocution at the all-girls school she was studying. Her parents dote her and they live in a conservative town in Tamilnadu. All is well in Indira's world, she gets to meet her cousins who are city-bred and boast their fluency in English , the fancy co-curricular activities and the social network they have. However, none of these seemed to bother Indira and she was only happy to play and gossip and be in their company during vacations.

She attains puberty and it was celebrated with family and friends. She observes changes in her body and asks her mom on what they mean..In due course, many at school take one week leave. (Now, between age 12 and 14 and  if you take a week off from school, then rumors starts circulating, although in hushed tones..), So there are many in the club and she doesn't feel any different and she goes about concentrating at studies, her competitive activities at school and goes about as usual with life, in general..

Come May, Indira's city-bred cousin (cousin brother) visits her place and stays with them for 10 days. This cousin is 3 good years elder to her. The first couple of days pass by with each other catching up (though she finds it difficult to mingle with a brother who used to dote on her earlier but  seem to consider her more of village-types now) . It is a very middle class house where the parents sleep along with their children in a single bed-room. In order to give space and comfort for the guest, Indira's mother moves with Indira's sister to another room for the night sleep. Indira's dad, her cousin and she are now in the bedroom. I's dad is in deep sleep with a heavy snore..

I'd cousin finds this the right time to grope on Indira. Initially, he started with just putting his hands around her..I , being the naive and considering its her brother (and thinking how she used to wrap up her hands and legs around her sister and cuddle and sleep) she didn't remove the hands of her brother. A few more minutes later, the brother puts his leg on hers.While I turned to see if he was doing it intentionally, she found his eyes to be closed. So, considering its all being done in slumber, she let it be.

Deep inside the night, he moves his hand from her stomach to her breasts. By now , she is asleep and suddenly, when she felt a pinch, she woke up only to realize that the brother had now already taken his hands and turned to the other side facing the wall. She was disturbed for some time , but now knowing what to do, she went back to sleep.

Next day, she felt that someone groped her by putting his hands inside of her clothes. Being middle of a dark night and not knowing what to do, she kept quiet. Now, this fellow took her hand and  put it   in his chest too. All this is happening while the dad is in deep sleep and she simply doesn't know what to do. Was it to scream, was it to move away, was it to slap., she goes away to sleep after pressing her brain with many complex stuff which she is not even aware of., let alone being used to..

The partition wall between the bathroom and toilet was not upto the ceiling..The wall was quite high that only a 8 feet person can actually see whats happening in the bathroom from the toilet. Now, this fellow, all of 6 + feet, jumps inside the toilet to hang from the wall to see her bathing!! The most unthinkable!! The girl was still unaware as she was facing the bucket and the soap..He whistles and she spots and throws water on his face and he quickly comes down to the floor. Again, she did not know what to do, whether to tell her mother or not..This fellow was accompanied by his grandmother and it was enough if the news gets on to this old-lady,,It was equivalent to telling the whole wide world..

Sensing Indira's actions and mental state, her mom took a cue of what could be going on and from then on, made sure she pulled Indira with her during night times and keep a strong vigil on her during the day until the fellow left.

Indira and the fellow do bump into each other during family gatherings, they go about with their life just as if nothing has happened..but the bitterness still stays within her .

This is a real-life incident narrated to me by Indira. On hearing this, obviously the first reaction is anger, frustration, cursing the guy etc..None of these emotions are going to make any difference to Indira at this point.

-- What is the protection for girl children , in specific , from evil men within the family? 
-- Parents of the previous generation, in general silently suffered any misbehaviour meted out to them or their children rather than confronting with family..They were cautios and careful in not disturbing the equilibrium within the family..From what I read and hear, I do see this has changed or atleast changing currently..Parents  no more talk in hushed tones for the brutalities meted out to them or their wards by immediate family
-- Children in metros and cities are getting awareness of sexual abuse from their parents and teaches at school. How about children in rural areas? and smaller towns? In smaller communities or social circles when everyone knows everyone else, the girl child is still asked to be tolerant of eve-teasing, look to the ground while talking, pin the dupatta etc. If someone in the metros can hold a placard "My body, my right " and "I will dress the way I wnat to", why is such a freedom not available to children of smaller towns and villages? Moreover, the main case in point here is : who protects or defends the girl child in towns and villages? Parents brrod over the reputation of the family being spoilt rather than trying to listen what their own child has to say.
-- Bringing in awareness, protecting girls , educating them all that is fine..But, why shouldnt boys be instructed, ordered , and parented to behave properly? After all, its they who are the cause of the problem.I'm not putting the blame on the whole community of "men" as in all other cases, just because a few of them behave improperly, even good boys who are decent and well-groomed still get to hear all the advises and such (which they might find irritating!) .The boys should grow up to respect the opposite sex. The entire society need to play a role in making this happen.

The main reasons of my writing this down are:
-- I wanted to vent out..I want to hit the guy ! Yes, I want to..Being unable to do so, I'm writing it away furiously.
-- That CSA happens within the family too
-- That all of us need to be aware and keep our eyes open, as in the above case, sometimes, if required , at night times too.
-- Slap and give these guys a piece of our minds
-- Encourage the girl children to be bold in voicing out such brutalities that happen to them.(After all, all of us in the prettier :) sex have the same structure, just the size varies ). And it is indeed their right to voice out their insecurities

P.S: I'd drafetd this post last weekend and it was waiting to be posted. I opened up the blogger to write a post on this ocassion of V-day. But having finished this one, will post it right away..I read a column in today's newspaper that women world over are celebrating V-day today of a different kind, dancing, playing songs against violence..What better time to post this..Lets all stand up together against violence towards women

Sunday, February 10, 2013

55-er, My first!

The joy of cooking  for her husband and child  overtakes  the need to snooze the 6AM alarm .The door bell rings  and she attends  the dhobiwala.

The dhobiwala counts the clothes reminiscing the pre-baby days when the MIL used to ask him to come later with the answer "She is STILL sleeping" at 8AM.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Being equanimous, when its required..

We all know true character is revealed only during tough times..I would put it as , we get to know more about ourselves only when we are tested..

I am aware of what irks me, I am aware of the bad-behavior that I exhibit during customer care calls..I realize myself that its not the right thing to do, have been chided by S many a times and I resolve innumerable times to change, to consciously keep calm when the conversation does go well..But, I fail 99% of the times..I'm at a loss to figure out what I need to do to improve myself and make the situation better..One thing that comes to my mind right away is : Keep reminding myself before I venture into any such call that I NEED to be patient, I HAVE to keep cool..again, cliched it may sound, will try next time and see if I can be better and continue it..(that's the trick..I keep cool in one conversation and lose out on the following many(: )

Anyways, last 2-3 days, I had to deal with multiple irksome situations with different people.

Starting from a colleague who is a senior in the team, who has been working on the project for long, who is also in the leader category, but does not take responsibility for his actions which cost others time and effort. In spite of repeated emails to be careful with the code he commits (which affects others in the team), he has an excuse for every single thing that is not done the right way.

Another team member whose day starts only at 12 in the noon and in-spite of knowing that it is his responsibility to report results when the day starts so that other team members organize their day, it goes in deaf ears..

An acquaintance who lies blatantly. Talks a statement in the morning and voices a totally different statement in the evening..

Airline customer care who asks "Why did you enter a wrong email address " for a good 15 minutes..Madam, I'm a human, and I make mistakes. This is a  typo (for which I'm repenting by talking to you for a good 15 mins , during which I can channelize my energy in a constructive way) in the email address (Who on earth would wish to intentionally make mistake in the email address while booking tickets ? ) . Kindly excuse me..I do have all the other reservation details. Could you pls forward the ticket to my correct email id? But all this explanation goes in the air..And I sit here , with the temperature having shot up for the 5m radius around me :)

Bank Customer Service : I'm unable to login with my credentials and neither does the link work well when I attempt to go in for "Forgot UserId/Password" . The customer service lady on the other end simply doesn't allow me to explain the problem at hand..While I explain her the whole attempts that I've been doing, she tries to cut it short and says "Mam, I understand your situation, Please be on hold, I will get back" While she is back on the line says "Mam, Just click on Forgot user id/password, fill the steps and you can retrieve your credentials" . I try and tell her that I  have attempted this , but the page always comes back to step 1 (after I enter all details in Step 1) , and neither does it show which field is incorrect..She goes on mute for some time and while she returns, repeats the same statement what she said earlier..My BP shot up and I raised my voice and told her that I am trying the same , but  she merrily repeats the same statement again. I had no option but to hang up.

Bank Customer service (this time, from credit card division): S is traveling and he has left his phone with me. I get a call from the bank and the voice at the other end asks" Madam, I want to speak to S". I say" He is traveling and I'm his wife, Tell me what is it that you are looking for from him?". Comes the reply "I need to talk to S regarding his credit card transactions".
Me: Ok, Tell me, what is the question regarding his CC transaction?
CC (Call Center or Credit card lady or whatever) : Mam, regarding his transactions, I need to talk to him.
Me: I do understand its regrading his CC transactions. But, what exactly do you want?
CC: regarding his transactions
Me: Phew..yes, which transaction, what E.X.A.C.T question
CC: Mam, I'm telling you, its regarding CC  regarding his transactions
Me: Ok , Yes, he is doing transactions in his credit card. What do you want? Which transaction you are concerned about ? What details do you require?
CC: This is regarding CC t.
Me: I raide my voice and ask : Pls tell me your question
CC: When will he be back
Me: On Sunday
CC: Wont he be back on Saturday??
Me: He will be back on Sunday
CC: Can you ask him to call us on Saturday
Me: Since he will return only only on Sunday, I will ask him to call on Sunday
CC: This is regarding his CC T. Pls ask him to call us on Saturday
Me: (raise my voice). Sorry, he wouldn't call you. If you want, you call back

The above situations are fresh in my mind as they happened in the last couple of days. There have been multiple instances when my temper has flared and sometimes, I've been very slow while communicating with the people on other side..It would appear to a spectator  as mockery. But, in order to get the issue resolved, I only try to go allow when I feel that my questions are not being answered. Rather, I try to phrase it differently or go slow while talking just with the hope that it will help the person on the other end. I have been scolded many many times by S for this behavior of mine.
As mentioned earlier, I am well aware that such conversations/such situations are  simply not worth getting tensed or losing temper. At the same time, it irks when we are made to run around pillar to post (in this case, with calling the customer care multiple times, writing to them, following up for days together to getting questions answered. doubts cleared or issues resolved ) ..It is only me that I can change..So, this year, whatever customer support , let it be done with the above episodes..Let me resolve again (so what, if its a repeated resolution..I'm quite tired of resolving over and over for the same stuff..But, I will have this as a reason to stick to the resolution and let me see how I fare :)