My Friend Alexa Post 6 – Durga Puja in Bangalore

I moved to Bangalore in 2004 to join a research program at one of India’s top institutes. Despite living in areas like Yeshwantpur, Indiranagar, and Electronic City for more than five years, I rarely visited more than a couple of puja pandals during my tenure.

In 2014, my husband and I moved to Bangalore after spending half a decade in Mysore. I joined HDFC Bank as a senior manager while he joined the Critical Care Unit of a top hospital. Because our news jobs began in the middle of the year, I was still in probation, devoid of any option to apply for leave during Puja that year. So, both of us spent our evenings at the Koramangla Puja manuals near our apartment in 6th Block and also made occasional visits to the Ulsoor puja.

Bangalore, with a massive population of Bengalis, always felt like home, yet I missed Baba and our para pandal so much that next year I didn’t think twice before booking tickets to return home during pujas.

Happy Maha Saptami to you and your family.

“I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa 2020″ campaign.  This is my sixth blog post and you can read the previous five articles here.

Durga Puja in Bangalore

My Friend Alexa Rant Post 1 – No Country For Women

It is 2020; the world is grappling with a pandemic. But guess what we are busy doing in our country- adding on to the statistics of violence and crimes against women. I don’t have a theme for my blog posts this year, but what I have is a lot of anger and frustration to vent out. So, my 8 posts are going to be rant posts that will make you uncomfortable. And, I am not sorry to stir up the conscience of a sleeping nation.

Yesterday, I woke up to the news of the Hathras Dalit victim succumbing to death. The brutality of the crime managed to ‘shake’ up the nation again. I feel numb; I feel disgusted. The way her body was burned late in the night without her family’s consent proves my faith in #nocountryforwomen. All these PRs of saving the daughters are falsified narratives by the rich and the mighty. You and I have the battle to fight alone.

Before I could call it a day, I witnessed a senior DGP beating up his wife on video just because she objected to his extra-marital affair. Slow claps! A two-year-old baby girl stabbed 100 times by a screwdriver. Another Dalit rape victim dies at Balrampur in UP, 8-year-old raped and critical in Azamgarh in U.P., and a minor girl is raped by three men in M.P. Also, these are just a few of the national average of 87 rapes that get reported per day. Focus on the word ‘reported’; the actual number would be much higher.

The sheer brutality of the crimes makes me question the audacity of the criminals. Why isn’t there any fear in the mind of the predators? After the Hyderabad encounter, people had lauded the police about serving quick justice. Today I want to ask everyone if that incident was powerful enough to induce fear of the law in the minds of the criminals? Did it serve the purpose of stopping any such future heinous crimes? NO! All it did was to give a quick-fix cover-up to cater to the rising resentment in the country. 

What we need is a sustainable system that ensures a safe environment for women, an assurance of quick justice, and severe punishment for the guilty. Looking at the present scenario, where the media is filled with men barking for TRPs and self-declared feminists (read opportunists) are too busy in seeking fulfilment of their vendetta, the future looks bleak and dangerous.

Before I leave, let me tell you that women are at war in this country. And if it doesn’t bother you today because of your privileged status, remember “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are” – Benjamin Franklin.

“I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter‘s My Friend Alexa 2020″ campaign.  Stay tuned to read my second rant post in this series.