Old Fox on the Train

The girl was so happy to be traveling back home after a refreshing summer camp with her bunch of friends. The train was cruising smoothly. The old man looked like an old gentleman. Grey haired. Sober clothing. Shriveled skin. Grandfatherly. Harmless. She went to fetch a book from her suitcase near his berth and suddenly he wasn’t the gentleman she presumed. As she was unsuspectingly finding her book, standing next to him, his dirty hand crept up between her thighs slyly. She shuddered. Stunned to silence. She was numbed. She ran back to her group pale in the face, like an animated robot in the cartoons. When she reached the safety of her friends, her tears took courage to well up; to flow, like a stream.

Some boys in her group said ‘let’s beat the old bugger’. The married matron who led the group said just forget it and stay away from him. The girls got scared and suddenly their carefree laughter turned into hushed whispers. The girl’s still weeping. She still can’t find consolation. Other boys said if they didn’t do anything, he could molest another girl and another clueless young kid. The matron’s husband said ‘maybe, it was a mistake. We need to forgive’.

Some boys informed the Traveling Ticket Inspector. He told them to inform the Railway Protection Force constable, who never arrived; probably because it wasn’t night yet and only nights were when his protection was needed.

The old man was quite after that; minding his own business, as if he’d done nothing; casually flipping pages of his vernacular daily. Chatting with his neighbour occasionally. Looking through window but never looking at the group or the fuming boys who still didn’t figure out how to settle this matter, to console their sobbing friend.

The old bugger got down the train. Still without experiencing a strong deterrent to stop the handy extension of his erring mind.

The girl was asking the boys why they hadn’t beaten him up.

The matron and her husband were trying to forget their lame logic… until someone from the group, probably a boy, shouted what if it were your daughter, matron? Angry silence! But silence still.

Somewhere in a distance, yet another uneducated (though literate) brute was playing music out loud in his mobile…’Yeh des hai mera, Swades hai mera’.

All of us feel strongly when we hear such stories. How we wish someone is empowered to help such kids. How we wish someone could take lead in dealing with sick men like the old pervert. We want this scenario to change. Only we have no time, skill or convenience to do something.

Why not support someone who does? MyChoices is doing amazing work to identify, train and support grass-root change agents against domestic violence (DV) and gender biased abuse, which is mostly Violence against Women (VAW) in  India. They call them PeaceMakers! Cool, isn’t it?

Support a Peacemaker today. Your two-mites too can bring the change you want to see.

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When Angels Had A Scare of Their Lives!

Scene 1

A good man decides he and his family will migrate to a greener pasture. Little did he know the people there loved shades of grey and lived to its deepest gradient. But that was okay for the good man. He knew how to handle that. It isn’t rocket science to figure out that a good human in the midst of not-so-good humans becomes the best human. So he began to call the shots in the town-hall of these notorious ancient twin-cities; sat in their highest courts to deliver judgments. Now he kinda enjoyed z-category security – he, his family, his possessions and probably his servants. Then to reinforce his well-being in that dangerous environs, he chose well-connected, influential grooms for his two comely daughters. His wife only had praises for his strategic planning and worldly-wisdom with which he took down every obstacle in all these risky life-manuevors.

Then all of a sudden, one fine evening when everything seemed to be on auto-pilot, two familiar faces appear to the good man. He knows them; where they came from; Who they serve and their position in creation-hierarchy. He bows to them; they tell him they’ve got business to do and need to have a word with him before they began their fireworks :). He’s quick to understand; tells them ‘let’s not discuss this stuff in the street. We can discuss it over dinner’. He takes the men home. The angels and Lot sit down. Everyone in the family is silent. They’re scared like never before. Lot’s face is pale with shame. So, this is how all his labor’s going to end; his much acclaimed wisdom has come to naught. What a fool he was. His wife’s angry. She loves this place, the bustling cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; luxuries of a prosperous city-life; a culture which celebrated self and defied the voice of the Supreme One. Now these men from Heaven say it’ll all be turned to ashes? She didn’t think it was possible for these two innocent looking men. ‘They’re too fair to be harmful, leave alone destructive’ she thought. The good man’s servants, their wives and their children thought so too. Poor cattle and other livestock knew the truth in and certainty of the angels’ words but who would understand their bleats and brays? Who would heed to their warning grunts and pleading bellows?

Scene 2 In the midst of all this serious board-room talk, the men of the city – young and old – come knocking at Lot’s door. ‘Hey uncle Lot, we’ve come to take those two guys out with us for the night. We’d like to have a good time with them.’ The good man knew what they meant. Their good-time is a no-holds-barred indulgence of the body. They can’t care less if what’s good to them meant awful cruelty to the objects of their desires. Uncle Lot goes out, shuts the door behind him and tells them the men were his guests and offers an alternative – two girls born in his household who hadn’t been with a man. They say ‘no – the offer isn’t a good one’.  They felt the visiting men were far far winsome. He tells them not to stoop to such wickedness. They launch a furious tirade against him; a few of them are not happy to talk anymore; they push him aside to get to the door and then indoors to the men of their desire. The good man can’t resist them; his security guards too were overpowered by the mob. The two angels sense the gravity of the situation. They quickly swing into action. They pull Lot inside in a fraction of a nano second. The men of the city are befuddled. It was far superior to any magician’s vanishing act. The mob is even more furious. Someone from behind shouted ‘common guys, get inside the door and let’s see the end of it’. The guys in the front can’t find the door. They’ve gone blind – the ones shouting from the back and the ones in the front, all of them at once. The two angels smote them with blindness. For the first time, the men of the city felt uneasy with the happenings of that evening. Tired and clearly scared they left the place. ‘That’s okay, there’s always a tomorrow’ they must’ve thought to themselves. Sadly there wasn’t a tomorrow for any of them. The rest of the account can be read in Genesis 19.

Cut to: The Mirror in the Men’s Washroom

Just like in Sodom of Lot’s times, men are aroused by an astounding variety of propositions. If one were to list everything that could potentially kick up the dust in the minds of men and send all sorts of signals down their spines to the tip of their organs, the list could be unending. Such lists can leave an average human listless (read tired and depressed). So, a wise option is to dig deeper. Get to the roots. Find a unifying factor. What motives churn inside a man? How can men identify if what’s churning inside is good or evil? Does it lead to a healthy relationship or deals a fatal blow to it? Such questions that beg for an answer are usually not even thought of, let alone asked or answers sought.

Kathoey populace of Thailand is a thriving community. The frequency and magnitude of Kathoeys who are successful money-spinners in bars and brothels of Bangkok, is intriguing to a traditional hetero-sexual male. In most parts of Asia, including the Indian sub-continent, the sight of a transgender male or a eunuch doesn’t evoke amorous thoughts. So, what’s it that makes the Kathoeys different? Is it their greater effeminacy? Even if we were to accept that it’s their doctored ‘feminine’ness – through external hormones – a large percentage of them still have their male organ intact. Then, there is the continual history of men’s perversity.

At the basest of their beings, men seek to enter! Enter; discover; explore; penetrate – newer things, places, faces, crevices, openings. That could seem a little far-fetched, but not really. When the devil’s dancing on their heads, that’s what churns their insides. That’s why their brain sends signals down their spine. Be it a post box, a Kathoey, a piece of erotic fiction…you name it, it can make men get a hard-on. 😉

But that’s base – entering. Relieving oneself. It deals a fatal blow to the person. Uses, takes advantage of people. It’s cruel; it’s criminal.

What is noble, then? Love, care, concern, listen to, understand, encourage, comfort and foster people.

Often, men successfully camouflage their baser intents while slyly dangling traits of goodness. When all the sweet talk and that attention is aimed at prompting an entry, you know its evil; it’s all ‘self’ and no ‘others’ in it. Let the post-boxes and other apertures not meant for you, alone 😉

When evil churns in your insides, tell yourself that’s base. It’s not noble. It’s not human. It’s not man!

What plagues the Slum-dog and the Millionaire

Recently, a friend expressed disagreement with the slew of Facebook posts, profile picture changes and links that sought to inform or sensitize their circle of friends about treating women with respect. I too noticed this topic was trending, especially for two reasons. One, Shenaz Treasurywala’s much circulated open-letter to the Prime Minister of India and other men of import or influence in India after yet another rape, which acquired notoriety as Uber Rape Case. The second reason was a campaign led by the United Nations titled ORANGEurhood. The reason for his disagreement with all the ‘posts’ and ‘shares’ was that they were aimed at the wrong target – a wrong section of men in the society. Wrong target because, in his reason, if a man had a Facebook account or a Twitter handle or both or some other sort of presence on the internet’s social space, they fall in the category that behaves respectfully toward women and treat them with dignity and honor.

In that case, all this splash of messages on social and electronic space is misplaced, was his concern. The men who rape, violate the dignity, pass unacceptable comments on and behave crudely with women are in the slums or are those doing lesser jobs like driving (three and four-wheeled) taxis, operating private buses and the likes. They are the scum of the society and they need to be reformed and that cannot be done by spamming Facebook.  I’d like to leave it to you to decide whether or not his line of thought holds water and why. Do take a minute to leave your comments on what you feel.

I respect his concern but I don’t agree with him on that totally.

By the way, there have been responses to Ms Treasurywala’s letter but thankfully, no one questioned the UN Secretary General for all the electricity wasted lighting up the The UN Headquarters and the Empire State Building in orange ;).

The mirror in the men’s washroom shouts loud to anyone who cares that physical desire is part of man’s (male of this species called Homo-sapiens) primal nature – that’s the entire gender. ‘Every’ male needs to be educated, sensitised and enlisted in this constant battle with his fleshly inclinations, simply because it threatens the very fabric the female of ‘his’ species. That’s some ownership-perspective. Sir William Osler, the 19th century Canadian physician and one of the four founding professors of Johns Hopkins Hospital wittily notes, the natural man has only two primal passions, to get and to beget. Wit apart, lets look at wisdom.

Firstly, all that’s natural is not desirable. For example, countless venomous snakes are a part of our natural habitat. We don’t treat them like we treat our pet dogs or cats, do we? When one of those lethal reptiles crosses our path, our reflexes are set off immediately and we ensure safety, by hook or crook. At the same time, no sane person advocates that all the snakes should be wiped out of existence. That’s utter foolishness, from the perspective of ecological balance. Similarly, desire has its right place and practice. Unfettered desire thrills the individual for a moment but imperils the very essence of our society. What judgment could that be, where momentous pleasure supersedes manifold perils; what justice could that be, where individual creed supersedes social interest.

Yes, physical desire in men dies only with death of the body but death need not be the only solution.

Secondly, looking at the other side of the coin helps us understand and solve better.

Women’s expectations from a man are foremost non-physical – faithfulness, consistency in commitment, protection, companionship, support, empathy, sense of humor, value, respect and love-care. There are some slightly physical one she will expect at a later stage in a relationship – like holding hands or snuggling – but all of them can be done with the man’s underpants well in place.

So, when a woman shows some interest in befriending, its never, never for your 6-incher as you might think and brag. She’s in fact, expecting you to deliver on some of those real-manly Key Result Areas (KRAs) that we’ve described. Once her expectations are fulfilled, as Andrologists would confirm, any thing over two-and-a-half will do the job as efficiently.

Now, some of you might be shaking your ‘experienced’ heads in disagreement, with a smirk that says ‘this-is-bull$#!*’

Hey, calm down man. I know your experience is real. No one’s saying women don’t enjoy their time in bed with their men. They do. But any such time in bed should be with their clear minds, express consent, voluntary active involvement and without any coercion – emotional, financial or physical. That’s real copulation. Animal world too follows these basics when it comes to breeding. Sadly, this does not happen very often in a human relationship that’s supposed to be much more than breeding. Let men change…now!