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Pruthvi Banwasi

Celebrating Women!!

Dekh zinda se pare…

Rang~e~chaman, jashn~e~bahaar…

Raks karnaa hai to phir…

Paavo ki zanzeer na dekh!


Just beyond the cage…

Dance if you must,…

The garden blooms bright…

Never mind your chains!


This celebrates the spirit in every woman… This brilliant couplet shone in Majrooh Sultanpuri's inspirational book of poems titled 'Never mind your chains.' Have even tried my hand at translating it…

Dear bird, so full of life, Look… at my behest!!

The colours of the garden, the festivity of bloom

If you wish to immerse yourself in zest…

Look not at the chains in gloom!


Having traveled around 15000 plus kilometers across hundreds of villages and small towns in South India, it saddens me to recall the plight of women here… I request every city bred person to understand what these rural womenfolk are going through and redefine 'true liberation' 'freedom of expression' and most importantly 'right to life and personal liberty' as guaranteed by our very Constitution.

While educating myself against eve teasing the reality that they are jacked from womb to tomb in some way or the other glared at me… it is heart wrenching that 'women in India are dying to even be born'!

We do this by the most harmless of ways to the unspeakable ones; the pity is that these are merely ending up as diluted statistics! I can go on and on about the atrocities that are committed against them, but instead let me celebrate women by giving you two instances of what they are made of…

Around a year ago, when the doctor informed us that the baby in her womb might have 'Down's Syndrome' we did not know how to react, on further tests it was clear that the chances of the baby being affected by this ailment was 1:98 (ideally it should be 1:500)... which meant that out of 98 pregnancies one would have to be terminated as it would mean severe complications for the baby.

I thought like an optimistic man and tried to strengthen my wife by saying "Do not worry! The odds are in our favor! I am sure that our baby will not have this!" I myself had found ample solace while telling her these words!

Yogita just said, "If anything has to go wrong, let it happen to my baby, I will never wish harm to another child!"

I was humbled and reminded of how base (as in disgusting, sordid, low…) I truly am!

The second instance is regarding Shiri mari, my 7 month angel! I am least bothered by the fluctuations of fortunes and the constant stab that I feel about not being able to finish my dream ride around India within 28 days on a bike too has given way to a greater purpose in life…

I just want to be a good father to my daughter!

I dream of being able to make every effort to ensure that my daughter is truly independent: in her thoughts, in her attitude, in her every breath… I want her to do everything for the sole reason that she wants to do it, not give her superficial token independence and then use emotional blackmail tactics as latent strings to make her succumb to our ideologies…

Shiri mari keeps hearing this from me, "You are a brave, smart, intelligent, beautiful, sweet girl!"… am sure it will work wonders to her all her life… I will support her all my life… but I will do so by showing her - her strengths!!!

Every time she smiles at me, I feel blessed… every time she reacts to my voice with glee I borrow Hugh Prather's words and state 'What more is there to life?' We need more daughters in this world, we need to make them brave to face this world and we need to pave the way to make the world safe for all our daughters…

We can do all this in our own small yet sure way!

All we need to do is to accord a high degree of respect for them, resist the urge to degrade them, try to make life easier for them, not be silent when eve teasers harass them (read my book Eve Teasing Evils at http://banwasi.com/html/ete1.html), show extreme intolerance when someone messes with them, protect women who are close to us and encourage their academic instincts, constantly remind them that we are here for them, shower a million reasons for them to smile, in all… stop interfering with their right to be born and with their right to live…

My daughter has become my best teacher, she has immensely raised my self worth, she has changed this city, my home and she truly has become the center of the universe for me… I cherish every affection of hers that addresses me…

Be true to yourself and you will realize that everyone in this world cherishes the love and affection that many, many women have unconditionally heaped on you…

Even if we have been given a meager token of a day in a year to acknowledge this openly, let us do it… and let us not cease doing so all around the year too…

Happy Women's Day!

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