A dream of Acid

A few hours ago, I was extremely bored, had nothing better to do and just decided to take a small afternoon nap. It gave me such an eye opening dream(call it nightmare) that I couldn’t help but write a blog post about it. 


It was evening and I was having dinner in a roadside dhaba-cum-restaurant with a couple of friends and my sister. I might have even been a bit drunk. 2-3 waiters were roaming around taking orders and serving everyone. They had no uniform, as dhaba waiters normally don’t, they were thin and were the kind of blokes that normally do such menial work while they are young as they aren’t much educated or from a wealthy family background.

One of them, particularly looked like Theon Greyjoy, a character from Game of Thrones TV series. Medium height, curly hair, a bit whitish and thin, and he wore a dark blue shirt, which was a bit dirty due to his daily work. Looking at him I thought he was someone else, an ex and I started flirting with him. Sometime later I realized it wasn’t someone I knew and felt bad for flirting and just prayed that I hope the waiter didn’t think much of my weird behavior.

When it was time to leave, my sister had gone to wash her hands and the waiter suddenly came and sat beside me. He was smiling at me as if I was still in the flirty mood. He sat beside me and he seemed extremely happy as if finally a girl had given him some ray of hope of having a girlfriend. Before I could say anything, he touched my breasts. I put away his hand angrily but maybe he was drunk himself and did the same thing again as if I was playing ‘hard to get’. It made me so angry as if I wanted to scream hoping it would make him deaf, only if it could make him stop. But I decided against it, thinking if I shock him, he’ll run away and I might not be able to give him a ‘tagda jawab’ for his shameless behavior.

So I held his hand which was still touching me, put one of his fingers in mouth, pretending for a second that I was sucking, just so he doesn’t panic and steal his finger. Then I bit the base of his finger with my molars so hard that I thought he bled a bit. After I knew he was in pain I let his finger go and punched his cheek bone. I screamed at him “If you ever do this again to a girl, you will be beaten more!” in front of everyone, followed by cursing. I used the kind of two-word Hindi slang which begins with an M or a B and the second word begins with a C. I knew he was badly embarrassed and I could see it in his eyes that he wanted to hurt me for payback. I knew it was high time and I picked up my things, stole my sister and left at top speed.

I reached the parking as I had to take myself and my sister home on a two wheeler. All I could pray was that the waiter doesn’t follow me home to see where I live. On my way back home, I made sure to go through all sorts of confusing routes, to make sure a follower gets badly confused and doesn’t find out my address. The fact that the roads were completely empty at that hour of the night was not in my favor either. That night it took me ages to get sleep.

Early next morning I woke up and found myself in my bed next which was next to a locked grilled door through which a hand can pass, but it can’t be easily unlocked from the outside. The door opened directly into a busy street. My sister had already woken up and was standing close to the door gazing outside through the lattice. Suddenly I felt a guy in a black jacket had come to stand outside the door and in that moment I knew something terrible was about to happen. Without wasting a single second I screamed at my sister to get away from the door. She ran to me in the bed and hugged me such that my back was facing the door, while I protected her.

The next thing I could feel was something burning right against my skin wherever it was not covered in clothes. I could hear a low sound as if something was boiling. I knew I had found myself in the middle of an acid attack. In that moment all I could remember was my brother’s words:

“If there’s ever an acid attack, absolutely do not rub your skin to rub off the acid if it is still present on the skin. Acid might not be harmful if it flows on the outer skin. If you rub the broken pieces of glass (in which the acid was brought) on your skin, the glass will tear through the skin and give the acid an entrance inside the body, where it will start destroying the tissues.”

In those moments I prayed those words to be true. I knew I didn’t want to move an inch for a few seconds and asked my sister not to move a muscle either. When I was sure the perpetrator had left, I ran to the bathroom and took a shower, right then, right there in the same clothes. When I knew the water had diluted the acid, I saw myself in the mirror. my skin had marks but I didn’t see more than a few spots of burn. I wasn’t disfigured and the damage was limited to a few little burns here and there. But I knew everyone was going to be able to see it and ask me what had happened.

A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. Was this done by the same waiter? Will he ever realize what he has done? I really hoped his conscience told him what he did with me was wrong. Even for the craziest second I thought that maybe he might understand his mistake and as an act of correcting it, he might marry me so I don’t have to be rejected by other guys. The next thing I could think of was I wasn’t even disfigured, and yet felt bad for those who have to live with this. That’s when I woke up.


This dream raised a whole lot of questions in my mind-

How the victims of acid attacks would be feeling all their life?

Was I to blame myself for the acid attack or the waiter? Who was at fault? Was it me, the waiter, the alcohol or the acid?

Can any act be so punishable that you choose to disfigure not only a person’s skin, but their entire existence by throwing a bulb full of acid on them?

If you can think of the answers to these questions or just want to have a say about the matter of acid attacks, please feel free to comment. What this dream DID do, was inspire me to write a post about “How to save your body during an Acid Attack”. However, I might have to do a bit of research into the matter before posting.

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What’s there in a surname?

Patriarchy. Quite clearly!

Ever wondered why a girl has to change her maiden name after marriage and a boy doesn’t? “Because that’s what everyone does!” Aren’t you just tired of hearing- “Boys carry forward the family name.” But the question remains why can’t girls do the same? Why aren’t they encouraged to keep their last names? Just because everyone does it, is it right?

The system of adopting husbands’ surname after marriage and discarding their own maiden names is the norm most of the women follow(or ‘have to’ follow), be it in India or around the world. It can’t be denied that this system is one of the most basic ingredients towards a patriarchal society. Systems like these propagate the idea of an unmarried daughter being her family’s “Paraya Dhan” (translated literally to wealth that belongs to someone else, as if girls are ‘things’ that someone can possess) which has to be given away to someone else after marriage.

Since being born, a girl has the psychological thought process that even her name is not permanent and she will have to change it some day, if she ever wants to get married to a guy who might not allow her to keep her maiden name. When women’s identities are not permanent, can they ever imagine to completely face a society dominated by men? Can they ever really walk shoulder to shoulder with men? I don’t think so.

You might ask, “What’s there in a surname? It’s just a name. We never even use surnames to talk to each other. It’s just on the papers that a surname will change”
Well then imagine this:


You were born with a surname and grew up with everyone identifying you with that name. All your certificates have that name, all your bank accounts, all your email ids and Facebook and Twitter accounts have that name. Your signature has included that name for more than two decades. And suddenly one day, you have to change it. You have to give up all of that, even though you always knew it had to happen SOME DAY. Add to that the fact that you’re not only changing your surname, but you’re even changing houses, leaving your parents, siblings and everything that ever belonged to you. Of course you can take some things with you, but you can’t have it all.


Sound like a cake walk to you? No? Aww! but that’s what most of the women have gone through after marriage, for centuries.

Now, I am not saying that every woman should get stressed whether her husband would let her keep her maiden name or not. After all, yes it’s just a name and there are many more important things that a woman has to weigh in before deciding to marry a guy. There are also plenty guys who love their women enough to let them hyphenate last names or even let the names stay unchanged. But even these guys might face the brunt of his parents if his parents don’t agree that a girl should be allowed to keep her maiden name, esp in countries like India where parents ALWAYS have a say in how children should live their life, no matter how old the children are. Also, no matter what a couple agrees to about the new bride’s last name, their kids in the future will definitely have the groom’s last name. Isn’t it?

There are also plenty of women, who have no problem with changing their surname and actually might want to change it as an act of love for their husbands and be happy about it. But this post is not about whether a girl’s surname should change or not. This post is about promoting the idea that every person has a choice to select their surname. The reason I am not saying ‘every girl’, but ‘every person’ is that, there are a lot of boys who don’t like their father’s names or their fathers either. They should be given a choice to adopt their mothers’ maiden names too if they wish.

The reason why I decided to write this post is not because I love my name too much. But a name is an identity. My name is what I am, and changing it because I married a guy gives undue strength to the idea that girls’ surnames aren’t as important as boys’ surnames and so it is ‘okay’ to change it. Nope, sorry! My surname is as important as any other bloke’s name. Then what about the kids? They will again be given the father’s name? Isn’t that strengthening that same idea? Now that’s where things get tricky.
My opinion is any person who wants to destroy this idea can follow the below given concept, which I would like to call The New Name Concept:

A. Any person who marries another must keep their premarital surname.
B. If a kid is born, hyphenate his surname, with mother’s and father’s surnames.
C. After the kid turns 18 years of age, encourage him to choose. He/she can either keep the hyphenated name or choose the mother’s surname or the father’s surname.

The C rule above can be a disputable one, since if a kid chooses to go with the mother’s surname, the father’s feelings can be hurt or vice versa. But it will also encourage the idea that caring for the child is the responsibility of both parents, not just one’s. If one parent doesn’t take good care of the kid, that parent’s surname will get discarded. Natural selection of surnames? Kind of.

Now this logic might seem a little weird to you. You might be thinking I am basically asking the whole world to change? Well, yes, I AM asking the world to change. Because as long as patriarchy stays, women will always have to bear the consequences. As long as patriarchy stays, women will always be considered expendable. It’s high time we try to weaken the roots of patriarchy. My decision that I will not be abandoning my maiden name after marriage and that I will give a choice a to my kids to select which surname they want is a step towards weakening patriarchy. At a time when women are fighting for equality, it’s needless to say, equality should be everywhere, be it in salaries, jobs or names.

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If you feel that the New Name Concept given by me has loopholes and you have a better solution to the patriarchal name system, or just if you want to share ideas, please feel free to comment.

Remembering Orkut

Google to close Orkut from September 30, 2014. Launched almost 10 years ago, it is what introduced me to the concept of social networking. So much has changed since then. Now whenever someone says “social networking”, the first thing that comes to mind is either Facebook or Twitter but almost everyone has forgotten Orkut. Now, that Google has announced that Orkut will cease to exist, let’s take a walk down the memory lane, shall we?

Well, hello Orkut!!
Internet was only a few years old in India and people were still getting used to the concept of sending emails instead of voice calling personally or sending letters professionally. I still remember, almost 7 years ago, the conversation I had with my 10th grade class mate.


Sometime in late 2007
Friend: Are you on Orkut.com?
Me: No. What is this Orkut.com?
Friend: It’s a website through which you can stay in touch with friends.
Me: But I can do that through calls or email or even Yahoo Messenger.
Friend: Yes, but this is so much more fun. You can add new, even unknown people in your “friend-list”. You can send messages through scrapbook, that everyone else can also read. *winks* You can post photos and have a profile describing yourself on it. Trust me, it’s really fun!
Me: What’s a scrapbook?
Friend: A scrapbook is like a series of messages which you send to someone who has an Orkut account like yourself. All of us have an Orkut account, how come you don’t? *points to other friends*
Me: Fine, I will make one!


So that was the beginning of my introduction to the world of social media and Orkut was how it started.

This is amazing…
When I signed up with my email ID on Orkut, I was fascinated. It was so interesting! It asked me to update my profile picture, country of origin, my gender, my sexual orientation, my religion, my likes, dislikes, my addictions, if I had children, my build, my best feature, school details, college details, my humor, my fashion sense, even my political views. I had never felt so important in my life or never thought these kind of personal details would be of interest to anyone or anything. But Orkut asked me that and I gladly filled in all details. It was not mandatory to fill those details, but it was just so much fun to do. It made me think about myself and my choices deeper than I had ever thought before. I was in love…

After making the profile, I searched and added friends. Read their profile and came to know a lot of things that I didn’t know about them. I started sending scraps to them, writing testimonials for them, liking and commenting on their photos and activities. I also liked and joined special pages dedicated to topics. I also found out what YouTube is due to Orkut. I was hooked and so was everyone else. Well, at least for a few more months…

Where the hell is everyone?
Somewhere in middle of 2009, I started hearing about this new website called “Facebook”. I did try it instantly, but somehow I found it either a bit boring or complicated to understand than Orkut. Or maybe I was just too tired the day I first tried Facebook. I thought this new site is never going to work. Orkut IS where everyone hangs out. I was wrong. Slowly and gradually, I noticed not many people sign in every day as much as they used to. Fewer people were visiting my profile. Fewer new scraps were appearing in mine and other friends’ scrapbooks. I thought maybe it’s because of exams and I was wrong this time too. They had actually found a new place to hang out. A new place called Facebook.

Hey wait for me, everyone! Sorry Orkut!!
So I decided that I want to stay in touch with all my friends, the way there were staying in touch with each other. I didn’t want to be left out. I loved Orkut, but I hated being alone on it. So I joined Facebook and it got simpler for me to understand it with time. That was a time when a lot of friends were already on Facebook and some were still in Orkut. So I used to sign in at both places and used to spend my time. Even my remaining friends who had stayed back on Orkut abandoned it before I could say “Heya”. After which, I started feeling that signing in on Orkut was a waste of my time and internet and I lost the habit of doing that.

Orkut features that I miss…

  • The habit of checking profiles of friends. These days no one gives importance to reading someone’s profile before clicking on “Add Friend”. But reading others’ profiles and updating your own is the kind of fun I miss a lot.
  • The background themes that Orkut used to provide. It used to provide more than 60 different kinds of themes. Having my own theme is something that gave me a feeling as if I have truly personalized my account and profile. Of course, technically, having personalized themes for each user might increase the loading time of a website and the uniform look that sites like FB try to bring about is easier on the eyes, but isn’t variety the spice of life?
  • The ability to have a theme song for my profile. Yes, I did somehow manage to keep a theme song which would start to play every time someone clicks on my profile. I used to keep songs which would express the mood I am in at a particular time. I also used it to make my friends listen to the latest songs I was “into”. I love music too much and miss it while socializing these days.
  • Call me obsessive but I loved to watch who visits my profile. There was a friend I used to have a crush on and every time my profile was visited by the friend, I used to be VERY happy and if I wouldn’t be visited for more than 3 days, I would start thinking the person has lost interest in me.(I was a teenager, what else do you expect!)
  • Sending, receiving as well as reading other people’s scraps. Reading a friend’s scrapbook used to give me an idea of the kind of person that friend is, the way he/she talks with pals and the kinds of relationship the friend shares with the people on his friend list. It is a bit difficult to figure that out in other social networking sites.
  • Testimonials. They were a kind of appreciative notes that friends would post on each others’ profile. I used to love reading those on other people’s profile, writing those for my friends and receiving one from my friends. These days, there is no such special feature in famous networking sites, using which friends can appreciate each other. Or at least a feature which would stay on their profile. Of course you can write appreciative posts on walls, but walls are temporary and things on walls get forgotten and pushed down by newer posts. But testimonials on profiles used to stay there for a long time. They would make every Orkut user realize why the writer of that testimonial loves them. It made them feel special for who they are, what they are and just the way they are.

Orkut features I won’t miss…

  • Picture banners. These were the kinds of picture messages/gifs some people used to post. Most of them used to have “Happy Birthday”, “Good morning” and such goodhearted messages with flowers and sparkles and the sorts. That was a feature I really wished Orkut could have banned. Sending someone a simple “Good morning” is better than trying to burst that person’s eyes with such eye hurting banners, unless you are Gregor Clegane.
  • The weird fonts. Some people were able to apply stylish fonts to the text they used including their profile names. At times it made the look and feel of my home page a bit shitty. It used to hurt my eyes really.

The thing is, there is always a first time you do something. It is difficult to forget such a thing as it leaves a lasting impression on you. Orkut introduced me to the amazing world of social networking and it is the first popular social networking site India got. It has and will always have a special place in my heart. It was my first after all, no pun intended. Goodbye, Orkut!

The power of a citizen

Today I was reading a post about a 14 year old Yazidi girl in Iraq who escaped from her captors. I have this obsession about Googling and Wikiing(yes I just coined the word) in detail about any article that I read and find interesting. One Google search led to another and I remembered that I need to watch a movie which has been on my “To see” list of movies for a very long time- “Fahrenheit 9/11” by Michael Moore. Then suddenly I realized, that today itself is September 11, exactly 13 years after the events that are talked about in the movie.

There has been an urge in me to write a post about the powers of a citizen since a long time. Whenever I think about wars, their solution, politics and even world peace, I wonder- How can I, a single person, can solve the problems of a whole country? How can I, an Indian, influence the fate of a nation? My nation. Especially when the whole system is so big and the country is so big. That’s when I decided to go ahead and write this post.

Time and time again, we the citizens, are unsatisfied because of the president, the prime minister, the king, the monarch or whoever presides over the country. We blame them and their “system” for chaos, mismanagement, wars; for being corrupt and what not. We often forget it is WE who put them there. Without the support from the masses, who has ever been able to enjoy that much power? Is each one of us so powerless that we can not do anything while everyone else in the government uses or misuses the money we paid out of our pockets? No we are not!

Our right to vote
This is the most useful weapon all of us possess but seldom use. When an election is being run, how many of us remember even the names of all the nominated candidates? Reading about the nominees, their qualifications, their past history and how they have contributed to their respective electorates is something we all must do before stepping into the poll station.

The News
When some sensational or entertaining news (read “The Ice Bucket Challenge”) comes to the forefront, all of us take note and read it with excessive enthusiasm. The moment a piece of news or a published news article becomes boring, we press ‘X’ and get back on Facebook. News is more like entertainment for most people than active reading of daily news.

If we don’t read news and don’t stay in touch with the world and it’s politics, then do we really deserve a right to blame the government when something goes wrong? Isn’t it shocking how most of our casual conversations involve what our favorite actress wore to the latest awards ceremony instead of how much salary the president of our country took home this year? As they say, ignorance is really bliss!!

Knowing the law
A lot of us have no idea what rights we as citizens have. What does the law permit us to do? In which ways does the low protect and benefit us? we rarely try to the answers to these questions or even ask these questions. For example, as of today, if I buy the shares of an Indian company and own them for more than a year, I would have to give NO tax on the profit I earn after selling them. How many people know that? I wouldn’t expect many. But still, most people whine how the government levies enormous amounts of tax on whatever they earn. The responses from such people when asked “How is tax calculated on your salary?” can often be hilarious. All this in an age when Googling about the tax slabs is a matter of seconds.

There is a reason when a law, a legal system, is formed and followed. The laws are there to protect us citizens, not to protect the ones in power, unlike most activists claim. All we have to do is make the effort to be aware enough to know about such seldom talked laws. The moment we start being ignorant is the moment we give someone a chance to fool us.

We! The united WE!!
A lot of my friends often talk about how the government needs to be better, form better laws, do this, do that, blah blah blah. When I ask them, what have you done or plan to do to change the system, I get the expected answer- “Mere karne se kya ho jayega?” (What can I alone do!!). Multiply this answer with 1,236,344,631 and the product is a nation with 1.2 billion population where everyone is alone. This is the story of every country though. We laugh at a friend who tries to be to interested in politics and call him/her a geek instead of trying to take the same interest or at least listening to what that person is trying to explain. What results is a deadlock where everyone wants to do something and no one really does anything.

On the other hand, at times we see someone doing something, trying to change something and we notice that his efforts are being successful. Only then does our sense of unity kick in and only then do we join and follow in that person’s steps. What results is a revolution! Bringing a revolution is really easy. Taking the first step or not discouraging someone else’s first step is the difficult part.

Having a voice
When we don’t agree with something the government or a powerful person has done, it is not only our right to oppose the action, but also our responsibility to have an opinion about it. We can write, publish, blog(like me) our views, contact media houses and tell them our stories. Media can give us a voice which can bring a viral change. What stops us though is a fear. A fear of actually being heard, a fear of being wrong and a fear of being laughed at. Only if we could overcome this fear all of us can have more power to influence the so called “system”. It’s a basic rule really- To make someone listen, speak!

In the end, we the people, is what makes the system and we the people is what can break the system, if we are not satisfied by it. To have an ideal government, we need to be an ideal citizen first. This post is an attempt by me to inspire you to be such an ideal citizen.

-I dedicate this post to the people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, the resulting “War on terror” and the aftermath of it.

A message from girls to guys

Dear Guys,
We wish you knew the following things about us

Our looks: We girls work very hard to look good. We wax(it is painful), we put on make up and wear dangerous heels just to be the kind of girls you watch on TV. So, when our efforts work, please appreciate us. If they fail, don’t make us realize it because we already know it. Please don’t reject us just because we put on weight. Exercise with us and eat healthy food with us so we can get back in shape. We also like it when you have “limited” body hair. We love smooth skin as much as you do.

Our feelings: We know you are not comfortable with emotions. We girls don’t expect you to be cry babies or emotional fools but please learn to handle our tears. When we cry and are going through a rough phase, listen to us. When we say “listen to us”, we don’t always expect you to solve our problems or give us solutions, we just expect you to be there listen. Listen without judging us, as shoulder to cry on. You don’t always need to make us smile but sometimes we just need you to hold us while we cry our heart out.

We don’t expect you to be mind readers but we do expect you to be more observant and thoughtful. If we are carrying heavy shopping bags, we would love it if you offer to carry them for us. We absolutely love it when you open doors and hold out chairs. Us girls just can’t get enough of well mannered, chivalrous guys!!

Our periods: We know that you guys don’t like to talk about it and you feel awkward about it. But we would be glad if you just had enough knowledge about it and don’t shy away from talking about the P-word whenever the topic comes up. After all, none of us would exist if we didn’t get our periods every month.

Equality: When we girls say we want to be “equal to guys”, we don’t say that we want to go out working while you stay at home and take care of the kitchen and we DO NOT like to emasculate you.

We just need you to respect us, care for us, our opinions and our happiness. Instead of telling us to blindly follow your decision, ask our opinion before making one. We expect you to help us in our work at home and outside it. Do not stop us from following our dreams and being happy because we like to be recognized in the world, as individuals, as much as you do.

Our sexuality: We love sex as much as you guys do but love is important for us. So please cuddle us and hold us after sex for some time instead of falling right away into sleep. Sometimes we enjoy cuddling more than the sex. Kiss our foreheads and eyes as much as you kiss our lips.

It is okay if you finish first, as long as you know how to use your fingers or toys to satisfy us later. Do not worry about your size. We do not love you because of your size unless it’s the size of your heart.

Lastly…

Our relationships: When we date you, we don’t always expect you to love us and marry us from the beginning. Yes, we do think a lot about commitments and marriages but that doesn’t mean we want to cling to you from Day 1. A lot of us are not sure about the future  so don’t take our little advances as if we are trying to bind you to us quickly. We don’t plan out the future. However, we do appreciate if you think about the future too. We would like it if you just thought or wondered about it, though of course not plan it or expect too much too early. When you give the future some thought, it makes us think you are serious about the relationship.

Yes, even in the 21st century, we still like it when you take initiatives and ask us out first. We friendzone you, not because we never had feelings for you but because you failed to show any signs of interest. Please be more assertive if you want to stay out of “The Dreaded Friendzone”.

Love,
Girls.

A message from guys to girls

Dear Girls,
We wish you knew the following things about us

Your looks: We guys are very visual. What we see affects us a lot. So of course we enjoy watching beautiful women on TV. But that does not mean we expect you to be like them. We know a lot of what we watch on TV and in movies is fake. So don’t starve yourself for that “Size Zero”. Most of us like some flesh on your bones. We guys are not as shallow as you think.

Our feelings: We might not be as emotional as you but we surely don’t have a stone for a heart. We suffer too when we go through bad phases, like a break up. Sometimes our emotions can be more painful to handle than yours because we can not even show our emotions to anyone for fearing of being called “whipped”, a “cry baby” or a “girl”. Most of us cry only when no one can see it.

Our interests: We love sports and playing video games. We love it when you take an interest in “guy things” like those. It makes us feel that you give us enough importance to take an interest in our hobbies. We love it when you join us on the couch in watching our favorite movie, that important football match or playing a video game.

We also love your smartness and your knowledge about politics and current affairs. It’s not your shopping that we dislike, it’s your indecision in choosing between the white dress and the red dress that tires us out and makes us dislike shopping.

Equality: Yes we want treat you as equals but we don’t enjoy it if you oppose us on each and every decision we make. It makes us feel we are doing things wrong. We like it when you depend on us and we enjoy being a “knight in the shining armor” for you because we believe in cherishing and protecting what we love. That doesn’t mean we look down on you. The world is a bad place and at times we just want to protect you from it.

Our sexuality: We love to have sex and we think about it a lot. We guys are just wired that way. Sex is the way for us to express our love for you. It’s as important to us as love is for you. We feel incomplete if you always say “no” for it. Who else do we go to when we want it? We are fed up of using our hands for a large part of our lives. We expect you to be more open about it, accept it and discuss about it. We can’t get enough of women who initiate sex or even dominate us in the sack.

Lastly…

Our relationships: A lot of us do believe in true love and soul mates and not all of us are playboys. We don’t like to play mind games so if you have a problem with us, just tell us clearly and we will try our best to work to improve ourselves. We are not mind readers. We don’t think about the future because we like to live in the moment.

Drop hints if you are interested in dating us and we will ask you out. We guys are afraid of being rejected. So if you don’t give us even subtle hints, we might never get the courage of taking an initiative in the relationship. We are very visual and so we like to watch girls. That doesn’t mean we are not happy with you. We are with you because we love you, WANT to be with you and other girls can not take your place. Watching is not betraying.

Love,
Guys.

10 safety measures for women to save themselves from an attacker

Anyone can face assault at anytime. However, if you’re a woman, a predator will see you as an easier target as compared to a man. They might want to rob you, sexually abuse you or even kill you. Whether you’re home alone, at work or on travel, it’s always necessary to ensure your safety.

So, how can women deal with unexpected dangerous situations? Read on…

1. Gain knowledge: This is the most general tip on this list but an important one. To stay safe, you need to be aware that there exist a lot of dangers around you which might strike you when you least expect it.

You must always keep tabs on the crimes against women, not only in your country, but also around the world. Have knowledge of what is going on around you, socially and politically. It’s important to know the ways in which attackers were successful in their motives. So go through the stories of victims, their circumstances and the different ways in which they were abused. Read, watch and learn!

Useful when: Every time. Knowledge and awareness never failed anyone.

Useless when: Never.

2. Mind your surroundings: Keep an eye on everything around you at all times. You never know when a stalker has set eyes on you or when your colleague has developed an obsession for you. Beware of people who stare or follow you. Never open the door unless you are sure who is outside and if that person can be trusted to enter the house/room. Keep only one ear phone on, instead of both when traveling. Beware of drinks offered by strangers.

Keep a check on the behavior of people around you, even the people who aren’t strangers. A lot of times identifying the kind of person your acquaintance is, can play a vital role in saving yourself from that person if a time comes for that. For example, if you notice a male friend who abuses his wife or girlfriend, it’s time for you to steer clear of him, if not outright report him to authorities.

Useful when: Attacker is a stranger or a casual acquaintance.

Useless when: Attacker is someone you trust a lot. That brings me to my next tip.

3. Do not trust anyone easily (including women): Building trust takes time and it always should. Always follow your gut feeling when you start socializing with a new person. Your intuitions will give you signals and you must listen to them.

Have you had a lot of people in your life that broke your trust? If your answer is a straight “yes”, then you know you trust people too easily, don’t you? I am not saying doubt each and every person in your life but when you meet new people, make sure you know their motives when they try to get friendly with you too quickly.

Useful when: Attacker is trying to gain your trust in order to fool you later.

Useless when: Attacker is not trying to gain trust. For example, a burglar/rapist breaks into your house.

4. Be confident: Have a voice. Be assertive. The moment an attacker notices that you are unsure of yourself, hesitant or you “let go” things easily, that’s when he gets encouraged that he can take advantage of you without much hassle.

If someone stares at you, stare right back at them. If someone touches you, warn them boldly, in a loud voice, to not touch you. Search the web and study “Verbal Self Defense”. Self assurance is not over rated.

Useful when: Attacker is less confident and less powerful than you.

Useless when: Attacker takes your confidence as a challenge for himself and thus starts wanting to “tame” you or put you into your place.

5. Dress wisely: Before I start getting hate mail, please let me make one thing very clear. I know that a large part of rapists don’t rape because of clothes and I know, that by asking a girl to dress wisely, the responsibility is put on the girl instead of the criminal. But this post is not just about rapists. A case in point, the flashier you dress, the more you will come off as “rich” and that will only encourage potential robbers to hold you at gunpoint and try to rob you. Also, the taller your heels, the more difficult it will be for you to run away from an attacker.

Wear skimpy or revealing clothes only at places where all other girls are expected to wear the same kind of clothes and which are crowded enough that it’s difficult to attack you. But it’s just attention seeking if you choose to wear revealing outfits where most of the people might seem overdressed if compared to you. So my point is dress for the occasion, not for attention. If you dress for attention, be ready to get the attention of people whose attention you wouldn’t enjoy.

And try to carry more comfortable-for-running footwear with you in your bag. You never know when it might prove itself useful.

Useful when: Attacker is a nymphomaniac stranger or acquaintance and when there aren’t many people around.

Useless when: Attacker is a trusted person or bully. Your clothes will not matter when someone wants to betray your trust or just plain bully you.

6. Scream: This can help you immediately by alerting the people around you and they can come to assist you immediately. Screaming for help can easily make an assaulter worried and scared of getting caught. If you’re lucky enough, he’ll run for his life, before he’s able to succeed in his evil plans to hurt you.

Useful when: You are near a crowded place.

Useless when: You are gagged or when you are in a secluded or noisy location (but you can still scream for help).

7. Run: The moment you think you are in danger, run for your life! Your life might depend on it. Without caring about your personal belongings like purse or house keys, just run! Try to get as away from your assaulter as you can. Try to find a vehicle, taxi, a crowd of people or at least a weapon with which you can protect yourself in case your attacker catches up to you.

Useful when: You are in a place you know well or a place not too far away from public places.

Useless when: You are bound, over-weight, injured or wearing heels.

8. Learn self defense: Avoiding a danger is way more successful than escaping and surviving one, but if you still get caught into a dangerous spot by an attacker, self defense can come in handy. There are a lot of self defense classes available these days, so join one. Learn and practice combatives, how to surprise an attacker, how to target his sensitive body parts like eyes or groin, how to escape restraints and how to evade you attacker.

Exercise daily, eat right and maintain a healthy weight so that you are strong enough to fight back and fast enough to escape.

Remember: Wounding an attacker can at times make him angrier. So, for example, if you do manage to kick his groin or injure him, make sure you run away at top speed so that he cannot catch up to you again.

Useful when: You are a match to the attacker in strength and size.

Useless when: You are too weak to fight.

9. Alert your family and friends by reaching out to them: This tip only applies in situations when someone you trust is already showing signs of being physically or verbally abusive. It might be your husband, your boyfriend, a relative or a friend. It might be just a slap, but that can be a sign of future physical abuse that this trusted person can harm you with. Marital rape and abuse happen in many houses, but is under reported as compared to non-marital rapes.

Getting away from such an abuser can be difficult as you and others related to you might be emotionally involved with them. The abusive person might even try to force you, beg of you or emotionally blackmail you to stay with them, just to start the abuse all over again once they know that you won’t go away. However, do not forget that a stranger might harm you only temporarily but someone you trust can damage you, your self-worth and your confidence for life!

Talk to your family and friends about this. Ask them to help you in cutting all ties with the abusive person. As last resort, don’t be afraid to report to authorities and get a restraining order.

Useful when: Abuser is a close and trusted person and who systematically tries to hurt you.

Useless when: The attack is sudden and the attacker is a stranger.

10. Improvise: This is the most critical tip of the 10 and will depend on the type of place, weaknesses of your attacker and your strengths and surroundings.One of the most common tricks is to carry a pepper spray, a Taser or pocket knife in your purse for self defence. But what if these are not available to you when you need them? Use anything pointy to stab an attacker. Use stones or bricks to pelt at an attacker. If something inflammable is around like alcohol or petrol, make a Molotov cocktail. Read further about improvised weapons here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improvised_weapon.

You can try to bribe your attacker or give away your whole purse. If running isn’t helpful, hiding might be. If you get a flat tire at a secluded place, try to still drive with it at a very slow speed (about 20 kmph) till you get to a spot where getting help is easier. You might be able to drive a few miles if you sense impending danger. Always lock your car doors and pull up windows and make sure you carry a weapon like a large rod in your car. You can also use your surroundings to make loud noises.

Usefulness or uselessness of this tip depends on the situation you are in.

So the bottom line is, always keep up your fight and do not give up till the end. If this article helps even one woman to save herself then I’d be glad that my tips proved to be meaningful for a life. Though I hope more that you never get into a situation where you have to use these tips.

Stay strong!