Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Leaving Delhi.

Yesterday was my last day of work, it felt so strange.

Over the weekend, our dog was hit by a car, it was sooooo scary. She followed us intotown and waited for us outside the cafe, wondering why we wouldn't let her in. We came out and all headed back home, we stopped at the shop to get some water, I waited outside with the pup. We continue our walk and then, a hundred meters away from the house she got attacked by a heard. Chasing a dog in the middle of the street, a car just went BOOM at full speed, it all happened so fast, we thought she was dead. We heard her crying and rolling under the car, the driver didn't even stop as if it was completely normal to hit a dog and continue your way as if nothing had happened. The pup went back on her feet and ran away in a park where even more dogs were waiting for her. We followed her and got to her before the other dogs did. She was shaking and wouldn't move, she wouldn't respond anymore. Sarah carried her into another park and she followed us back to the house. She was bleeding, had wounds everywhere, it was terrifying.

We brought her to the vet (with some great difficulty), she didn't break any bones and only has external wounds. She is now fine and we are trying to (re)-home her. She is now scared of going out (we have her on the rooftop as the neighbours don't want her in the building (they are terrified of her and Islam tells them they can't have dogs in the house).

Today I'm leaving to Mumbai on a 16-hour-train-journey, Sarah is staying for two more nights and the family we're staying with said they might take the pup back to England.

I feel guilty and heart-broken but I know she is going to be fine.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Alive and melting.

It has been soooooooooo hot here in Delhi, we are melting. the AC has been on and off (off mostly though) because of power cuts and mosquitoes are at war with me.I kill them but our flat"mate" (cough cough) keeps knocking on the door and stand there talking gibberish while the light is on and lets all of the Delhi's mosquitoes in.

We are also being invaded by cockroaches... the JOY.

On a positive not, I have been published twice yesterday, you can read my [might I say awesome] work here on the Times of India Crest Edition. *does a little dance*

I also got numerous smiles from the tea and coffee guy in the cafeteria, a nigh impossible task might I add, he is soooo shy and it took time.

Six days of work left, it went so bloody fast.

I have to leave you I am sorry for the shortness of this post but I am losing all of my water here (no internet connection in our room, the only room with air con.

Baby monkey behind TOI building

I hope you are all having a great summer!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Welcome to Brussels, capital of Europe.

Many of my friends and some members of my family don't understand this but I don't like going to Brussels town centre or taking public transport in Brussels especially the underground transportation. They tell me I'm being unreasonable, paranoid and weird.

A few days ago, Sofie Peeters, a Belgian film student released her short movie/documentary that raised a lot of debate. The film, "femme de la rue" depicts sexism in the centre of the capital.

I don't consider myself to dress in a provocative way, it is not my style, I don't like women that do not because it is (they do what they wanna do)  but because in my humble opinion it is vulgar, I don't want to see a girl's chest on the same account that I don't like low cut jeans that show off men's asses (and often women too) because I don't need nor do I want to see people's attributes other than in an intimate context.

Many people say that victims of sexual harassment in the street have it coming because of the way they dress and sometimes walk. Even if a woman was wearing a short skirt, she shouldn't have to suffer from men's lack of respect, education, and self-control. But truth is, whether a woman is wearing a short skirt or a pair of baggy trousers she has high "chances" to be called a bitch, a whore, a slut or to be invited to take it up the ass (pardon my French, it's not me, it's them). It often starts as an invitation to go grab a cup of coffee or a request for a phone number, if you refuse politely they will insist, if you refuse more firmly you become a whore, if you deny their existence you are a whore.

And if it were true that these facts occurred because women dress a certain way, we should educate the men not take a woman's freedom of dressing the way she wants to dress.

I remember being chased a few years back and walking into the first shop that I passed. I remember being spat at for not acknowledging someone's invitations, I remember being called weak and a slut because I took a guy's hand of my bag that he grabbed to stop me in the streets after I ignored him. I remember being spat at in the metro, being stared at insistently as if I were naked and an object of fantasy.

This, women in the centre of Brussels endure constantly, whatever the time, day or night. The subject is a big taboo in our society, people would like women not to speak up, the matter is seen as entirely accepted or described as courtesy or flattery. Personally, I do not think it flattering to be called a whore.

"Ignore it", "if it didn't happen you would feel unwanted", "it's nothing", "it's not as if they physically abused you" are but a few of the responses women get if they dare speak up. I don't want me or anyone to ignore it, I don't know about you but I don't need this to feel wanted, and verbal abuse is still abuse.

From September, verbal abuse, sexist insults and sexual harassment happening in the streets will be punishable by law. I am sorry but as good as it sounds, I find it laughable. How on Earth will the system work? I am awfully sceptic about this and I am pretty sure not 5% of cases will see "justice" ("justice" because I don't know how a fine paid to the government is justice to a victim of abuse).

I duly encourage women to speak up and defend themselves, we are not weak, I will not lower my glaze or avoid certain places because of this (I still take the metro and go to town). If everyone did then they would win.

Further reading:
http://leplus.nouvelobs.com/contribution/602891-machisme-ordinaire-non-le-harcelement-de-rue-n-est-pas-de-la-drague.html# (French)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Started working at The Times of India today (as an intern)!!!!!!!

This week Sarah and I will work on the weekly paper called the ToI Crest. I have already started on a travel piece about... Belgium.

It has been a very long day today, I am not too sure I enjoy the working hours (2pm-10pm) but it'll have to do and I will probably get used to it. We got a ride back home from the editor himself tonight which saved us the trouble of finding an auto rikshaw that would be willing to take us to our part of Delhi.

So today was fun.

On the downside, on our way in, we took an auto-rikshaw and at a stop we were harassed by two men (one on each side of the rikshaw) who wanted to sell us boxes of tissues. The one on my side kept staring at my chest and saying nice after each glance. Then just before we left the guy put his hand, quite deliberately, on my chest to have himself a nice touch. The same happened on Sarah's side... If we hadn't been going I would have punched the guy or crushed his non-tissue-carrying-hand. I'm starting to think I need to travel with a sliding knife... it has never happened to me.