Bangalore for Women

Yes! it was another Indiblogger Meet and this time it was for a very real cause and a cause very close to my heart.

The meet this time involved a smaller group of 80 or 90 people and the interaction proved that the ‘Safety of Women in Bangalore’ was a major concern for all those present.

The meet raised a number of issues which women face in the urban areas.

1. Vulnerability of the differently able girls.

2. Discrimination at the work place.

3. Discrimination at getting suitable accommodation by single girls.

4. Lack of proper sanitation facilities.

5. Lack of safety on the roads and on public transports.

6. Vulnerability of the girl-child.

Being a mother of two little girls the last point is clearly a major source of worry for me.

The meet was attended by Franklin Joseph, an expert on Self-defense techniques and what he shared was, that more than weapons one’s confidence and personality is what helps dissuade criminals . He also mentioned that in any adverse situation it is important to not take the offensive route and imperative to diffuse the situation at the earliest.

The mind plays a great role, however how does one keep herself calm? Threat perceived in any form completely blanks out my mind atleast. It is important girls that if you can, then learn one art of self-defense. More than attacking it helps to keep our minds in control and makes us feel not-so-vulnerable.

After a good lunch we bloggers gathered back together to brain storm what could be the possible ways to curb this kind of a rising panic among us women, in the city. There were many ideas.

The first and foremost was of course making people aware and alert. The TOI was already doing their bit by taking out a special edition. However it was felt that the content was not touching a majority section. The illiterate and underprivileged women. So their were suggestions to partner with other media channels, schools, housing societies and corporates to bring forth more active participation and spreading the word.

However there was a general feeling that ‘Ok we are aware, now what?’

So when the TOI editors joined us for a brief chat , there were lots of suggestions to open helplines, provide solutions andĀ  rather than simply highlighting the worries provide some solutions or people, one can reach out to if faced with certain problems.

It is a daunting task and easier said than done. As one lady blogger rightly pointed out that the bias towards the women is so much ingrained in the collective mind of the society that to weed it out would take a life time.

Child abuse and molestation is one major area of concern , little girls are not even spared. How do these innocent ones provoke the libido of a man?

Lack of proper sex education, complicated law and order system, ingrained bias towards the fairer sex all contribute to this panic stricken times we live in and they all contribute to mass social apathy.

Schools i believe need to be more proactive in this field and conduct workshops for kids to prevent child abuse. Knowing the difference between ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ and reacting accordingly.

Another major sore point was clothes or appropriate dressing. There were people on both sides debating the pros and cons of this issue, however as i gathered definitely one has to use their brains while negotiating this world. It is better to be safe than sorry and that applied to dressing as well.

The mind of a criminal is difficult to judge , what provokes them and what does not? That is altogether a separate area of study.

If dressing provokes a man then how would one justify the molestation of a 4 or a 5 year old child?

It was a great meet overall, lots of points shared, lots of revelations, an insight to many different issues faced by women in Bangalore.

To conclude i think education of all types begin at home. If we women can, we can bring up a generation of boys who would respect women and turn to be protectors instead of destructors of modesty. All we need is perseverance and a change in our mindset.

Having a boy does not guarantee a place in heaven!

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Clips and hairbands

Teaching our children to voice their opinion is something and teaching them to exercise their freedom of choice is another thing. I am not too comfortable with the first one but i’m all ready to start teaching the second one to my daughter, all of four years old.

My lessons began with hair clips and hair bands. Each day as i dress my little one i allow her to pick one hair clip from the box. So one day she wears purple clips with a yellow dress and on another day she decided to wear a green clip with a blue frock. Finally i asked her one day ‘ Why did you choose a green clip? wouldn’t a blue clip look good with a blue frock?’ She sagely answered ‘ Mamma i want to look like a garden.’ and on another day she replied ‘ Mamma i want to look like a rainbow’.

Uninhibited freedom to exercise their choice is a gift that i want to give my girl. Yes! i know this is short lived as she grows up and seeks approval of her peers and elders in her social scheme of things.

However today she is free, free to do what her heart desires, free from all social trappings. Ah! childhood it is the sweetest and the best.

Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.

Braiding my thoughts

‘Beautiful, bouncy, thick hair…………..every man wants that in her wife.’ was my granny’s favorite sentence. My 8 year old mind couldn’t decide on the relevance much and dismissed it as ramblings of an ancient mind. My grandmother was the official custodian of my hair. My mother had finally permitted me to grow my hair long. So there i was sitting on the floor on a very hot, summer afternoon as my grandmother tamed my hair into neat, long braids.

Braids are like synonymous to ‘Grandma’s love’ for me. She knew how to braid in five different ways.

I did not like anyone of the braids as that meant sitting still for minutes as she carefully combed, parted and braided my hair. Nothing short of perfect was good for her.Under her loving care and regular nourishment my hair grew long and thickĀ  and was my pride. I went to sleep with my hair in braids, i went to school with my hair in braids, i went to play with my hair in braids. Braids, my grandmother and my childhood are all rolled into one.

Then life happened, exams, stress, career, job and the rest in subsequent order. In all this my hair ran out the test of time, it started falling, started looking dull and was officially neglected.

It was around this time , my granny by then was very old and ailing, that I had gone to visit her. After our initial conversation, she took a good look at me and in her thin hands took my hair, “Get the pot of coconut oil dear, let me apply it on your hair.’ That was the last time she oiled, combed and braided my hair. Today she is no more and tears roll down my eyes each time i see the mirror and see the shadows of a once beautiful, bouncy, long, think hair i possessed. With my granny’s demise has gone my good hair days.

However i finally discovered ‘Dove’ and applying it made some difference to my hair. The shampoo http://www.dove.in/en/Products/Hair-Care/Split-Ends-Rescue/Dove-Split-End-Rescue-Shampoo.aspx, helped my hair shine and my split ends disappeared completely. Thank you Dove!

Dove Split End Rescue Shampoo

Though i definitely cannot get my granny back, but whenever i shampoo and see my hair shine my heart lifts and I remember her smiling and gently touching my hair. Looking forward to braiding again soon with Dove.