I have been based in this city, on and off, all my life – and for the most part have been happiest away. These last few days, something changed. Not the city, just my awareness of it. Have a look at my drive to work, it is quite the happiest part of my day. Every round about is a blaze of spring colour, the roadsides are blooming. That I choose to only drive through the pretty parts of Delhi is a very concious decision, why would one live in this city and not enjoy the bestest part of it. I find I am coming to terms with, if not actually enjoying my city.
It is quite spectacular – at least the bits I choose to see everyday. My spirits lift the moment I cross the Dhaula Kuan flyover and start seeing the pretty flowers and nicely maintained road sides. The Teen Murti Circle is a delight, then I turn and the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan takes centre stage – very proud making. The fountains and flowers of Vijay Chowk have to be the best bit of it all – such a wonderful spectacle spreads all the way down Rajpath till India Gate. By now I am in such a happy state that the rest of the traffic becomes
inconsequental and the mood wafts me into my office on a haze of happy colour. How easy it is to change a perspective, I only just realized that I have an infinite ability to see only what I please. Thus, when I drive back to Gurgaon in the evening and leave the pretty bits behind, honestly, I still manage to see a very pretty sunset almost everyday through the haze of pollution. It’s a happy state.
My grandmother called the human race a deadly virus that would destroy the earth. She said we were the only species that destroyed the very things that sustain us. She also said man could be worse than a rabid beast. A beast is acting true to his character, if he attacks, he does so only to eat or protect. Man has no such requirement….She was right.
She was a woman who had lived a lot of life.
This morning I listened to the debate on the radio with unutterable disbelief and horror. Is the making or showing of this documentary even a topic? Why? Why isn’t the fact of what that man said being discussed?
His words reiterate what all of us in our hearts know – she was so brutally assaulted because she fought. He means she would still have been raped, but somewhere in that complete oblivion of right or wrong he does not even begin to think that raping her was equally as bad as brutalising her. What does that say for us all – for his parents, for his village, for his society, which is also ours? He has peers, friends, kin that all actually think exactly as he does. He is not alone – that is what we should be addressing.
There are statements like ‘ what happens if you put a toffee on the road? Obviously the dogs get it’. This from a man who is learned, or so we would assume, he is a lawyer and advocate talking about rape!
This isn’t only an Indian context, it happens the world over. Did anyone see the photograph of Dominique Strauss – Kahn in the Hindu today? He is striding forth in complete power and assurance to attend his trial for rape, pimping and abusing sex workers. He certainly does not think he has done a thing wrong.
Why are we wondering who gave permission for the documentary instead of debating what we can do to condition the minds of men to perhaps emulate the wild beasts that we so happily malign. They do not hurt and abuse for entertainment and pleasure.