Archive for the ‘For a thought….’ Category

I had moved on. But it seems the hangover of my first novel is dragging on with my soul, as even after seven years, I keep getting reminders from ardent readers that the book is out of stock. So I turned back one last time and decided to give it a complete makeover. The paperback is now available on Amazon.comYou can order print copies from Amazon now

Fresh paperback copies will be available in India, at the Kolkata Book Fair, in January, 2018, where I’ll be personally present to sign your copies. Will see you there!

Cover photography: Sagnik Mukherjee. Cover design and back cover photography: Aneesh Chatterjee.  
FINAL SPREAD JPEG 3

 

Neil Must Die (Extract)

Posted: July 14, 2017 in For a thought....

Book II

Chapter 23

 

…. He slept on the eve of Mahalaya the way he would do on any other night — when he heard the knock.

A soft knock. He woke up startled thinking he was dreaming. And then he heard the knock again.

He stood up slightly wobbly from deep sleep and pulled down the latch. It was dark still. He opened the door. Tuli stood in a nightdress, smiling.

“Good morning!” she smiled.

Neil felt an initial emotion of ecstasy on seeing her. Then he felt irked at his own unshielded emotion.

“What d’you want?” he said groggily, impolitely.

“Won’t you listen to Mahalaya?” her smile had vanished. But she was still cheerful.

Neil waddled back to the bed. “Oh, God!” he said and threw himself onto the bed. He couldn’t deny the happiness inside him, soaring above all anger, on seeing her after a month. He closed his eyes and felt Tuli’s fingers run through his hair.

“I know you are angry… and jealous,” he heard her say. “And you must be wondering why I have become so serious, so sane. I’ll let you know one day… not now…” She stopped. He wondered what she was speaking about. She spoke like a matured adult. He lost his trail of thoughts in an instant dream. Then he heard her again. “Now wake up. See I’ve even got a transistor.” And she switched on the machine. The devotional surge filled the air.

He opened his eyes and tried to wake up. The hymns were dreamlike, permeating inside him to awaken him. For the first time in the 22 years of his life, he found he was listening to the lyrics of the Sanskrit chants and trying to comprehend their meaning. He turned over on his back and cocked his head to look at Tuli. The room was dark baring the dim bulb lit outside his room. At the reflected hue he could see she was somber and preoccupied with something. She looked out of the window into the darkness, that was now slowly blending into dawn.

He wanted to freeze the picture into a frame of eternity and told himself, “This is the happiest moment of my life”. As if she heard him saying that, and turned to smile at him. His lips were parched, but he smiled back.

“You’ve become quite a bouma, huh? Responsible and all that?”

She smiled and looked away. Neil said, “Everyone’s raving about you.”

She cast her eyes down. “You only asked me to stay away from you. And when I did that, you went mad? Jealous?” She looked at him.

He looked at her for a moment and said, “I wanted it, and you did it?”

“Of course.”

He turned to his side and wound his hands around her waist.

“Isn’t Dada awake?”

She shook her head.

“Won’t he listen to Mahalaya?”

She looked at him and ran her fingers through his hair, “What do you think? Will he?”

Neil buried his face in her lap and said groggily. “And I was happily sleeping thinking that at last you were gone and I was a free man — and you had to wake me up.”

The songs and hymns were reaching the climax. The intensity of the emotion wrenched out from the electronic device into their souls and they found themselves silent. As if a voyage was underway; they held their hands and moved towards a haloed resplendence, an existence with no dimension, guided by the devotional inundation as the only witness.

A crow cawed hesitantly, breaking the spell. Another. And then another. Neil looked up and then sat up. He suddenly didn’t want to let go of this moment. He wound one hand around her neck and with the other — he cupped her face and made her look at him. She looked at him, a little questioningly. He tilted his head and kissed her lightly on her lips. Then he smiled and said very softly, “Let’s run away…”

She broke into a smile and hugged him. The next instant she went stiff and released him slowly. He looked at her bewildered. Her face was a horror as she looked at the doorway. He jerked his head around.

Soumen was standing at the door.

(Neil Must Die now available on Amazon, India)NMD Katoa chhad

Whenever I write, I write to keep in mind readers who do not know me personally. However, there are a few readers who are my friends and close associates and who know me from my other varied activities. And they are always shocked at my writings! They cannot associate me and my writing together. I want to know, why are you that shocked at my writings?

Is it because you meet me as a conventional, conformist, rather demure kind of a girl so content at being indoors, happy with her cooking, her plants, her balcony. Very, very ordinary housewife, whose priority in life is her son’s life, her small domain of happiness, her home, which she decorates, and her small businesses which she doesn’t have any plans of making big.

And they they read my writings: My blog, Whiff of Tempest, Titir and Other Tales, and of course, Neil Must Die. It’s then when they get shocked. Rightly said my author friend: “It’s not a right thing to know a writer personally, because there will be something about the author’s personal life which you will not like. The author will be married a few times, or have had a few atrocious sexual rendezvous, which the reader will not be able to relate to. And in your case, your writings are so diametrically opposite from what you are.”

What I am? Wait! Do you know me at all?

Here is where I start laughing. It’s a writers’ prerogative that he/she choses to write or not write exactly the way he-she lives. I’m so sorry I don’t portray a personal life so colorful and bold like the way I feel or write. And moreover, it’s just one part of the iceberg that you see which indeed looks very, very conventional and a conformist. That’s what friends who have met me recently will say. But what about the nine parts that are under water? They are carefully hidden; the past layers buried deep inside; which inspire my writings. But, you see, the claws are invisible. It’s after innumerable rendezvous and several realizations that I have cemented the memories layer after layer in such a way, that even I cannot now dig up the graves. Conventional? Conformist? Me? Well, if you think that’s me, I have been successful.

But, this blog isn’t to share those memories. I am afraid, those layers will go to the grave with me. You can get a reflection of those layers of my life in my writings, my blog where I bear my soul, and my novels. But, no. Never a whiff of a mis-calculated betrayal. My life, my pain, my emotions, are only mine. I can share the realizations from them, but never the true memories. I do not care if readers are judging me, whether they find me homely or atrocious, whether I can, or am making any change in the society. I am truly an arrogant person and an anti-social at heart, and I’m glad when my friends cannot see that. It means I’ve been successful in hiding my true colors.

Do you really want to know about my life and my battles? I really don’t believe anyone would actually want to know anything about me. They have too much of their own and my life is no different than most. But it seems people’s curiosity never ceases, especially after they have read my writings.

It seems somehow readers cannot connect my face to my writings. I believe I have an innocent face, lead an apparent innocent life, within the four walls of my home, ensconced in the cradles of Canadian social security. One marriage, one child, a perfect family life. How does she write such bold articles?

In 1992, when I had just begun freelancing, and was reporting on the anti-social activities in and around a garbage dump area in Kolkata, an American journalist working with me told me: “Surprisingly you write very good English.”

I still haven’t figured out why was he so “surprised”.

In 1998, a renowned filmmaker and neighbor, who had just read my unpublished book, “Whiff of Tempest“, saw me talking with a neighbor about our common ‘maid’ problem; he took me aside and asked: “What did you talk to that woman for such a long time?”

In 2011, my husband’s friend and long-time family friend who had eaten so many dinners at my house, read my blog for the first time and was shocked. He later told me: “Kaberidi, you and your writing are completely two different personae.”

And it happened again: In 2017, an author friend who was reading my writing for the first time, after knowing me as a very homely person in Canada told me these words: “I would have considered you an ordinary person if I hadn’t read your blog.”

My question: God, do I really have such a really boring, dumb face?

Prospective answer: Dear God, thank you for giving me such a boring face, with which I can convincingly hide my years of life’s struggles and desperate decisions. With which I could run sting operations during my reporting days without raising any hackles.

…Thank you for the smile I still have, with which I can camouflage years of pain and sufferings. Thank you for giving me the strength not to discard everything that didn’t fit me, but repair them to fit to my needs.

…Thank you for giving me the strength to stack my battles in layers and layers of history, and not let it affect my present and future decisions.

…Thank you for giving me the strength to do a grocery list while writing a novel and letting me take orders for my catering business, The Hang-La, while editing for FinalDraft.

… Thank you for letting me come up with a punchy headline for the latest cover story for my in-house tangy magazine, Citrus, while watering my plants.

…Thank you for giving me the talent to write this blog while waiting for my client to take his food orders.

… Thank you God for letting me talk to you, when I know deep in my scientific and logical heart that you don’t exist.

I tell my readers:  Dearies, You are looking at only one part of the nine parts of me that are under water. And I choose to show you exactly what you can handle.

 

Once again I am writing at the dead of the night… 3 am to be exact. I don’t know why this part of the hour excites me to write such blasphemous stuff. But I always seem to want to talk what’s going in my mind at 3 am.

A deadly hour, but I often do not need to correct my work after that.

With this post I would like to talk directly to the Y generation, the millennium and post millennium children.

A few observations: My daughter-friends are all living my abandoned dream : Happily settled in their careers, doing the things they love, living-in with the persons they love, adopting girl-children and living life exactly on their own terms. I am so happy for you. No dears, don’t get those black circles underneath your eyes just because you are not finding a partner to marry to make everyone happy.

No dahlings, you are already settled in your life. Even if you have a partner, ask yourself, do you really want to get married and get into the rut of a boring-hating-grocery-laundry-kids-grocery-screaming-kids-homework-housework-kind of a relationship? ……………Or watch the sunset holding hands? So please have the courage to turn around and tell everyone who confronts you. “Thanks. I am settled.”

My son-friends too are fine, but wished they’d get out of this rut of being in multinational companies, living an imprisoned life of earning too much money they don’t need, being an engineer or a techie, exuding this false smile to their gloating parents whose dreams they are living. Instead, they have their own dreams, which they cannot seem to pursue. My daughter-friends seem to be a little ahead of them, as they have managed to silence their parent’s crushing pressure about getting married quite well. But how can you even go near your engineer father to tell him, “I want to be a musician?” I know how tough it is to gate-crash out of the golden box that you are in now. The only way you can get peace is by marrying a fair-complexioned, convent-educated, slim, homely girl. Wear that monkey-cap and garlands, and set your coffins ablaze.

And if you don’t want peace and can withstand a few temporary hysterical cries, you should pack your bag-pack and head for the nearest taxi-stand. Once the taxi is running, you can decide where you want to start your dream journey from.

Believe me, at 21, which is 28 years back, I did try to do something like that but didn’t have the courage to sit through the drama.  I got a job as Junior Reporter in Shillong Times and my mother didn’t let me go. “Get married and go wherever you want!” she wailed. So I had to wait till I got married and get this “cup of honor” badge from the society and my mom, that a man was ‘supporting me’.

Luckily, you have moms who are from my generation, who had rebelled and had given up halfway. Just like me. So it may be easier to convince them without much of an emotional drama.

I always tell my y-zen friends: Always listen to your parents. Just disobey them in 2 things: In your career and marriage.

My generation was perhaps the last one who HAD to get married to prove their existence, whether they were engineers or doctors or writers or journalists. “Toh kab settle hona hai?” “When do you plan to settle down?” “Shaadi kyun nahin kar rahi/raha hain?” “Why can’t he get a bride?” “Is she lesbian?” “Gay hain kya?” As if, if someone didn’t get married, she/he had some kind of a disease. Despite this pressure, a lot of my contemporaries are, thankfully, single, divorced, have walked out of marriages when things went all wrong, and their children are doing just fine, contrary to what the morons believe. I feel proud of you, guys.

Astoundingly, some of us from our generation are also quietly living a single life by their choice, despite being socially married to a wrong man and despite living under the same roof (primarily for logistic and financial reasons). They live their own lives and do not much interfere in each others’, after having survived through many, many years of the putrefying “Holy Matrimony”. They have come to terms with the fact that their “irrevocably damaged marriage” cannot be dissolved due to ‘technical’ and ‘logistical’ reasons. Hence, they appear in social occasions smiling and dressed — like a slap on the hackneyed societal cheek which blissfully believe that these are a quintessential happy couple. The couple then have their own set of relationships, without much ado, away from the societal fan fare and remain happy in their own intimate, separate wings under the same roof. I welcome such new kind of “adjustments” .

The fresh new generation are, however, all living my dream. Which I had to give up to please my parents.

Till the last day of my life I will discourage my son to get married until it’s absolutely a necessity for him, and he cannot live without the girl. He doesn’t even want to bring up children, so my headache is really over. I don’t have to save for his marriage, nor plan what to gift my grandchild, each year, every year till she/he too yells at me : Grandmom, STOP!”

Some of you may speak like those Aunties, “What about your family tree?”

F*** the tree! The world is populated enough already. If my son attributes to one less human ‘tree’, he’d be only saving mankind. And I have no objection to that. I just have to figure what is to be done with my son’s baby clothes which I saved for his child.

And hence, for the future of humanity, I encourage all my young friends, do not be afraid of what you are doing, because you are doing JUST the right thing. You are treading on the paths angels feared to walk on. In fact, it may seem lonely right now, with half of your friends married and with kids, but it won’t be long, since some of them may soon join you after parting ways with their spouses and you won’t have any dearth of companions at your beer party!

And kids? Believe me, they will be just fine! Kids are much responsible in a single-parent home and mature enough to know why not to live in a putrid relationship. You don’t realize they are the NEXT generation, and will come with an absolute new set of rules, which even a swanky mom like me won’t be able to fathom.

So Yo!

(April 15, 2017, 3.41 am)

Reduce your expenses. Work from home. Use online platforms. Use free ad sites. Use social media extensively and intelligently. Do not push sell. Wait for responses. Get rid of websites. Be honest. Build relationships. Give yourself time, time and time…
doing-paperwork
After reaching a certain age and entity in my life, I realized that I wasn’t finding any ONE single platform to put into effect whatever experience, skill sets and talents that I had acquired/polished over my lifetime in two countries. I wasn’t getting the appreciation or the value of my abilities.
….. So? Was I going to fade into the twilight yielding place to the new? Was I going to become complacent about my meaty lifestyle and retire?
… No! I wan’t going to give up on exploring new creative ideas and ventures, even if I have to do it all alone.
I wasn’t going to fade away into the twilight without sharing all that with the next generation, and there wasn’t any particular platform where I could bring it all on.
So I decided to use the internet in all its all strength. I decided to publish my ideas on several online platforms: Writing, editing, designing, creating newspapers, self-publishing, teaching editing, cooking and promoting Bengali cuisine, dancing and promoting Kathak internationally, promoting culture tours in India worldwide and writing my own books.
… After a while, I found websites too are passe. They only take up a lot of bandwidth and are costing me money. And no one is going into it. Free ad space is where people are. So I took advantage of free pages on social media and free ad sites to promote my ideas. They are also ‘businesses’ because unless people pay for your ideas they do not take them seriously.
So in a way, I had a chain of business which required zero investment.

I was thinking faster about my personal freedom and choice faster than the speed at which I was approaching 50. I realized I’ve had enough of reporting to my supervisors, trying to sell myself to be at their beck and call, trying to please everyone around myself, other than myself. I decided to finally crawl out of this slavery of being told what to do, and start telling others what they need to do.

It takes a long time; to be able to estimate yourself and set a price tag on yourself in actuality. To be able to emerge from the fear of ‘Monday’ and get self-motivated to do things at your own time and pace. You have been too long judged by others who have been setting  a price tag to you. As I was approaching 50 I suddenly had a feeling that the end was drawing near… that I was surely not going to live as long as I have.

I have so long only lived for others: my family, my job, my boss, money, for anything and anyone, but myself. Yes, earning is important. Loving is important. But not at the cost of sacrificing your dignity and soul so much that you have no answer to give to your soul.

I decided to start building a relationship with myself.
Luckily, by 50 I had a substantial (by my parameters) financial security, enough knowledge and experience to be able to stop being a slave to any-and-everyone, start living life at my own pace, earn moderately to support myself, do whatever I loved doing, and set the right price tag for my talents and experience. I determined exactly when I was going to stop chasing money just for money. Because I had reached all my dreams and had to rebuild some more to sustain me for the next few years of my lifetime. For that, I needed time in my hands, some leisure to build a relationship with myself, explore my dreams and ideas and them lay out the fare for the world to buy.
Thus, began my business ideas. And I began to chalk out a path how to increase flow of money.
How to do all that without any investments?
These are some basic tips.
1. Reduce your expenses
I started meditating extensively to understand what I really want and need in life. Separating myself from peer pressures, societal pressures and trend pressures. I realized my needs are very limited. I didn’t need more than 2-3 summer wear every year. For winter, in Canada you are covered from head to toe, so whatever winter wear I had was enough for the next 2-3 years and the new dresses I got during Durga Pujas were extraneous, but yes, I loved getting new clothes. I also realized I had very basic needs of home-cooked food and love to hang onto my old clothes. I realized there are so many things you buy only because your friend or neighbor has them or it is the fashion trend. Once you separate your own needs from these unnecessary ones, you become more confident and aware of your own identity. Reducing expenses builds up savings. So whatever money I didn’t spend, I saved.
2. Online shopping
I stopped going for shopping unless I needed something urgently. I started doing online shopping.  The good thing about online shopping is whenever you feel like buying something that you don’t really need, but wish for, you can just add it to your ‘Wish List’ to buy later. Later, you may not want to buy it at all. This curbs impulse purchase that we often do when we go out shopping. Online shopping also eliminates the travel expenses to and fro the malls.
3. Working from home
To set up your own business, working from home is the best and only option unless you have to REALLY go out and meet clients. You can give the address of your home as your business address and start using the benefits of the internet in the best possible way.
4. Explore free ads
Whenever I had an idea, I inserted a free ad on the free ad website about the kind of services I am offering, in Canada and India, and shared the idea with the right kind of groups on Facebook. I shared corporate business ideas on LinkedIn and softer ideas on Twitter. Believe me, most of my clients too are sitting on their computers, on their social media, looking through such ads. I have acquired the best and longest-lasting clients through these free ads.
5. Keep sharing ideas but don’t spam
This is where your creativity and understanding of human nature comes in. Keep sharing your ideas on the right public platforms, but keep a reasonable time gap between each ad. You don’t want your readers to spam you. Yet you don’t want them to forget or miss what you are doing, so you have to be regular, consistent but not come on too strong. You have to learn that pace yourself.
6. Self-discipline and self-motivation
People want to see how consistence you’ve been about your ideas. So you have to keep sharing ideas but not repeat them. Give them your ideas packaged in a new gift wrap every time.
And make a routine for yourself every work day. Set your own work days and work times and follow that rigidly. Also give yourself two days off from all this business, or else you’ll lose the energy. Self-motivation and self-discipline is the basis of doing business alone.
7. Interact with people who respond to your posts
Do not spam people if they are not responding. Your business will lose its respect. Communicate consistently with people who responds to you. Remember, people need a soft push to decide, not a hard one. Also it’s selfish just to reply to the responses you’ve got. Try interacting on their own posts too. This builds relationship. If you see a relationship is taking your business somewhere, it’s good. Or else, you may have to stop wasting your time.
8. Give a lot of time on the internet
How am I going to package my which business today, is my first thought of the day. After doing yoga and eating a healthy breakfast during the first hour of my day, and after meeting my family needs, (since I am a mom, a wife, a housewife, a daughter, a sister and a friend first), I begin to think how am I going to sell my business today in such a way that it won’t bother people, instead they will be excited and feel compelled to click on my link. For that, you have to understand the people in your social media and how they use the internet.
9. Websites are passe
I learned one thing clearly: Business is done with people, not with brands or websites. Also business involves another big factor: TRUST.
If you have people giving you orders based on the trust factor you’ve built over a period, you don’t need an expensive website to certify how good your business is. Word of mouth travels faster than light or sound. So believe in yourself, be honest, build trust and be truthful in your services. And it’ll be just a matter of time you’ll be overwhelmed by clients.
Websites only draw unproductive people who are not really serious about doing business with you. They just want to see a fantastic website. And you may want to eliminate people who judge a book by its cover.
10. Hire people on project/on-call basis
My publishing house has an international team of editors, designers and writers. But they are all on project/on-call basis. I draw out a contract stating the same right at the beginning. Hence, since the project is mostly funded by the self-publishing authors, I do not have to pay anything from my pocket. The business mostly depends on creative talents, efficiency of editing and designing, and honesty, honesty, honesty. My pool of editors and designers are extremely experienced and talented. I am proud to say that I’ve hired the best brains who can do a much, much better job than those operating by the name of editors in the market.
Hence, with self-discipline and self-motivation you can slowly give up your full-time job and immerse in your business from home. DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. Step out of your comfort zone slowly, but steadily. Only then can you release yourself from this slavery and the fear of Monday. You cannot even begin to imagine the kind of sense of freedom that your business will give you!
I can proudly say that I am running four businesses and one consultancy service absolutely with zero investment. Of course, by ‘zero’ I mean zero dollars. I needed a lot of investment of my time, intelligence, brains, honesty and some leg work. Rest comes to me automatically.  So whatever you earn, is yours completely.
Let me know what you think of this by commenting below.
Thanks.

Breaking from the womb

Posted: January 19, 2017 in For a thought....

of-course-im-a-good-motherIt’s unnatural, right…when you say that the womb you were born from is poisonous?

When you have lived half your life and you realize that all along it was a lie?

When the vile concept of being a girl child, that was all along an ‘outside’ factor, starts seeping into your own existence till you realize you have been a victim too?

It’s unnatural to believe that a Mother can be so vile. Right?

Yet it’s true. It’s as true as daylight. As true as the sun, the sky, the stars, the beautiful universe that the womb opened and let the girl child into. Yet that womb is so vile: jealous, selfish, cruel, unloving, uncaring, almost willing to dispose off the lump of flesh into a nearby dustbin, if not for the Dad, who wanted a daughter so much.

And it’s because of the Dad the tiny lump of female species survived.

In a world where mothers are herald as angels, I herald one Father as a saint. Who made up for the lack of mother’s love in his daughter’s life, by playing with her, making her stand on his one hand, giving her the best education he could afford, taking her to a vacation when her heart was broken to a million pieces, staying up with her half the nights during her exams, making coffee and Bournvita, giving her the freedom to chose and courage to take her own decisions. While, all along, the mother despicably viewed her daughter growing up, with hostility — often giving vile names to the father-daughter bond.

Let me speak about that Dad. No one speaks about dads.

Let me speak about one Dad who gave her daughter wings to fly, take challenges in life, fund her challenges, support her whenever she got weak, let her cry on his shoulders.

After almost half a century of living in a lie, the daughter learned that her mother was mentally ill all along, since she was a product of hatred for being a girl-child. And all that envy, resentment and toxic feelings that she secreted towards her was a product of her corrupted mind. Now the daughter doesn’t know whom to sympathize with — her mother or herself.

The mother was “mentally ill” and abhorred her daughter so much that she never once felt proud of her daughter’s achievements, never once hugged the daughter who won several awards and medals during her student life. The daughter won accolades and love everywhere, just never got any joy or love from her mom when she got back home.

The mother never once felt love or sadness when she was leaving her house after marriage, never once empathized with her when she was heavily pregnant with her first grandchild, tortured her mentally, emotionally, physically, till she was forced to leave her home in that state.

Let me talk about a mom, who used her daughter’s strength whenever she couldn’t do anything on her own. And then discard her when the job was done. Who used each of her own children against one another so that her children always hated one another and stayed divided.

Let me tell you about THAT kind of a mother today. Who never shed a single tear when her daughter left the country forever alone and who got upset whenever her daughter wanted to come home. Who never let her toddler daughter take the window seat in trains, buses, cars or even airplanes. Let me speak about that selfish, girl-child-hating mother today…

Let me tell you the story of the daughter who stood against her mother’s toxicity and on her own feet, made a recognition for herself, and broke free from that womb.

Let me tell you how she cried for days trying to teach herself how to break from that womb, as there was no one to teach her how to do it, no one to share this with (and no tutorials on internet.)

Let me tell you about a successful girl-child who was hated by her mother for being a girl from her birth.

It’s time to tell you about her…

(Disclaimer: This is inspired from true, erratic events occurring around me, and bears no resemblance to any particular person, living or dead)

 

I am unfortunately once again holding the post of Editor in a newspaper. Unfortunate. Very unfortunate. Because I am a quintessential escapist. And I love my escape plans. I hatch plans. Follow some pointers, like not buying a cell phone, etc, just so that I can plan my physical escape some day.

It’s not an honorable thing to do for a responsible journalist who’s worked 20 years in hardcore news media, done sting operations, investigative journalism, sat at the helm of a desk, judging others’ copies and designed how to produce them on the next day’s edition. I mean, it’s a deadly job! You are making a promise to millions.

But that’s exactly why I was becoming more and more determined to escape.

This char. This burn. It singes me everyday. The news I am exposed to grills me slowly till I get roasted. It’s a torture to me to hold a responsible position at a newspaper. But, unfortunately I am once again doing so.

And timely too, for the Nibhaya BBC Documentary to come up.

You know how life is when you aren’t a journalist? You smell flowers, you design kitchen gardens, watch “food food” channel and make lovely dishes at home, Ekta Kapoor is a perfect friend then and her serials make me ignorant, blissful and happy.

But sometimes I become an Editor. And then, all that luxury is over and once again I am set on medium rare for slow roast. “Burn for the world, come on!” is my unwritten instruction.

I don’t know how many of you got to see that documentary. Congrats Leslee Udeen, who perhaps had a personal shot to be cleared when she interviewed the rapist: She had been herself raped.

I remembered in college days one of my very concerned male friend had told me, “If you get raped, don’t resist, Enjoy it.”

I didn’t exactly get raped, but molested on public buses, streets… many a times. Someone even asked me “How much?” when I was waiting for a bus at a bustop coming back from the University.

I beat up a few, ran away in fear and did nothing at times. Beating came a lot later, when I realized I could physically overpower at least one puny man (one lucky outcome of my good build).

But enjoy a rape?

Let’s get to the basics here. We  are all adults. A person approaches you, you balk in fear, you run under cover, you throw things at him, he becomes wilder. And then he decides to pin you down. Imagine the scene. You have a complete stranger trying to pull down your pants. With all his strength. There is no one around. His face is in grimace. He tears off you blouse, and digs one hand right into your vagina. Now one thing here. Our vagina’s are not hollow pipes. They are a closed soft organs. Much as you men forget that you were brought into the world by your loving mothers through that kind of vagina. But that opened like petals only for a few minutes, giving excruciating pain to the mother, so that “flowers” like you can bloom and get a life. Otherwise, the vagina remains usually closed. It gets lubricated when she gets aroused by a man she loves, or she has given permission to possess her body, and then someone can enter her at her consent.

So why were you thrusting your hand in there? What were you looking for?  Maybe you should have had your penis pushed in there instead. You may have had more fun.

And maybe that would have been less painful for the girl, and not taken Nibhaya’s intestine out! She may have lived.

By the way, my dear college friend, tell me, which part of me would be able to enjoy this attack.. can you explain? I’ve never been raped, so I can’t really say I tried to follow whatever you said. I’m sorry I am not YET been raped.

But yesterday, 30 years later, during a long debate with a man, a Canadian man, (Indian born) a family man with a wife at home, told me the same thing. “When you get raped, try to enjoy it”.

Goosebumps ran down my spine: Didn’t the rapist Mukesh Singh just say the same thing on BBC?