Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Being Self-Partnered: Are We Glorifying Being Single?

Emma Watson on being #self-partnered

The truth is, everyone on this planet earth needs love and human connection to live a fulfilling life, and that is inclusive of romantic relationships and marriages. I am not saying that everyone SHOULD choose to get married. If you were to look ten to twenty years down the road, those who stayed single were largely those who had issues finding the right person and not because they planned on being single from day one. However, things are pretty much the opposite today. 

A couple of days ago, I came across the term “self-partnering”, which is now trending after Emma Watson glorified her singlehood by coining the term “self-partnership” to her current relationship status. I’m not sure if the women’s liberation movement and feminism in general have been focusing on solving the root causes behind the need to have such movements in the first place.
Take the scenario of working women today, who fight for equal pay, longer maternity leaves and flexi work hours. All these demands go back to their ultimate concern: childcare. During the old days, the men used to be the breadwinners and the women played the role of homemakers. Then, as the living standard increased, women were expected to help share the financial load and this became a necessity for some women who were both victims of domestic violence and financially oppression.
We saw women joining the workforce to address the issues they were facing. Of all these “solutions”, we hardly see where and how men are involved as a part of the solution. We only see women largely adjusting their lifestyles to meet the demands of their family. And today, we paint a picture that relationships are fragile, not worthy, and that men are not dependable. Women are glorifying the status of being single because it is liberating, and it depicts how strong women can be.
If only women are allowed to just be who they are, all these unnecessary restrains wouldn’t have surfaced. If we stopped measuring the worth of women from their skin colour or how well they cook, we could have slowed down the aggravation behind radical feminism. And today, we are subconsciously nurturing financially independent “strong” women because that is the next yardstick that would measure the worth of women. This also indirectly tells that men are not to be dependent on, and if women shed tears or are weak, they are losing the game.

It is so sad to see that we are undervaluing relationships, portraying the wrong image of human and family values to the generations to come. If only we teach men how to rectify issues coming from them and if only women are not restricted and judged for who they are, cared and loved for by men, the second wave feminism and the power struggle in modern relationships could be a lot easier to handle with.

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Monday, 14 October 2019

Can Your Son Fix the Leaking Pipe?
Can Your son Fix the Leaking Pipe? 
Are We Ignoring Our Teenage Sons?

As the doors screeched open, the sunlight creeped through the dark hall where we were lying down on the floor; eyes glued to the television that was screening our favourite movie, “Child’s Play”. A lady in her sixties walked staggeringly into our living room and landed her generously large backside on the sofa, intruding our privacy just like the way the light made its way into our space. From the ray of light, I saw tiny dust particles from the sofa gushing through the air, and before the dust settles, she quickly broke the silence in house. “Is she your eldest daughter? She has grown up so fast. Does she help with you with cooking and cleaning?” she inquired authoritatively to my mother. It is funny how she was not bothered to question if my two older brothers could fix the lights, unclog the kitchen sink or do the simple plumbing job just like the way my father does!

We all know a lady or in our neighbourhood or family, similar to the intruder. Fearing the judgement of the society, mothers in the previous generations raised their daughters to be obedient women. In no time, we realized that women became the victim of domestic violence and a range of other discrimination as men took the “obedient” women to their advantage. We later started to preach about feminism, how girls should be educated and taught them to be strong and independent. We even try to infuse the idea that women do not necessarily need men to complete their lives.

But time after time, we tend to fix the issues plaguing our society by trying to “fix” girls and women whether or not the root cause of the problem lies in them. Are we ignoring our teenage sons? Is it time to focus on how to raise our boys to grow up to become wonderful fathers and husbands? Too many women are now trying to be their own hero as we are forced to believe that men are not capable of being worthy human beings. However, deep down in our hearts, we all know that this is not true. Therefore, let’s pay attention on how we raise our sons just as much as we focus on raising strong and loving girls.

I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Are We Raising Feminists The Right Way?

Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, who went with Aladdin to see the whole world!
How wrong can that be?
We are living in an era where we focus on individualism, and we advocate for feminism now more than the past. But, in the process of trying to form strong individuals in the society, are we forgetting that we are all human beings and that it is our nature to live harmoniously with the society by helping people around us and loving them for who they are?

Feminists often fight for women and men to be treated equally and in the process of raising a feminist society, women are often told to do eveything a man can do so that they would not need to depend on men to get things done. The entire feminism movement stems from the century-long oppression that women faced, which made women in this era to step up and fend for themselves.
It's not true that our mothers are better wives than us, they are just better in concealing pains and traumas than us.
However, as we are trying to raise a feminist society, are we actually solving the root cause of the issue or creating an issue that we need to address down the road? Are we raising men the right way, and are mothers teaching boys to be more compassionate, loving and respectful towards women?

So, I recently came across an Instagram video post by an #instagramkid star, Madison Jade, whose video went viral as she said Princess Jasmine doesn't need Aladdin to go see the whole world. The video fetched a lot of positive comments from the audience.

However, we all know that Princess Jasmine wanted to ascend the throne of Agrabah. Disney has definitely improved the character of the female lead quite a lot as compared to the original version, thanks to the feminism movement! Princess Jasmine wanting to see the whole world and Aladdin bringing her on the magic carpet is not a sign of the princess being weak, but rather an act of accepting the affection from Aladdin, who loves her.

Are we being overtly defensive?

Are we being a little too hard up and refuse to feel vulnerable? Or we afraid that men, even twenty years from now, would not treat women right that we need to raise or girls to be their own hero, and rescue themselves? Are we insinuating the fact that "men are men" and that men will not change?

While it is definitely important to have a high self-esteem and to be able to stand on our own feet, I think we should not deny the fact that, at the end of the day, women need men, and vice versa, to love a fulfilling life. After all, we are all just walking each other home. Can't we let our guards down and be more loving and compassionate towards each other?

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 I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

Thursday, 7 March 2019

How The Universe Kicked My Butt

A picture from my solo trip

How the universe kicked my butt
My lecturer called me one fine day, saying that he is seeing many fresh graduates posting on LinkedIn about their difficulties in finding jobs and how some companies are bias when selecting candidates and even when they are all qualified, they have to wait for jobs and for that one chance to break through a career. 
He called me and said the posts on LinkedIn inspired him to come up with ideas to write a book for fresh graduates entitled The Sin of A Fresh Graduate. 
He said he knows my passion for books and writing and thus wants me to write two chapters for the book. 
I'm already into the book and publishing industry but I never wrote a book before this although I have a plan to write one. It's my dream to have my existing book business go big.
Little did I know that this is how the universe conspires to kick my butt and get me doing what I wanted to do.
I wrote the two chapters, and the gist of the chapters is basically encouraging graduates to think out of the box and explore all possibilities including entrepreneurship.
Now, writing the chapters has forced me to walk the talk. It has encouraged me to dive into entrepreneurship again now that I'm free from depression, and I have to make sure that the book is going to be a best seller because I'm in the industry already and I need to be successful to run a successful business.
It's just amazing how the universe conspires to force you and kick you in the butt to make sure you become what you preach.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Juggling Depression and Presence of Mind

Are you busy or productive?

What did you do today? Will they bring you closer to where you want to be tomorrow? #reflection

We all change, grow and evolve every single day. I made my mind that in 2019, I want to make some important life-changing decisions. However, until one month ago, I was unsure if I have all it takes to plunge into the uncertainties I would have to face as consequences to my decisions.

As time passes, and as I took time off for myself during my birthday trip, I learned to listen to myself, my instinct and my soul. What seemed to be blurry had begun to clear up.

I've gained the ability to train my mind to align with the soul and body. There are lesser depressed moments; as I was affected by depression not so long ago. I have reduced the times I need people's opinions or advices as I have started to use my instincts as the compass.

I've learned to chart my goals and visions; and relate them to the work I do everyday to actualise them.

What are your goals for 2019? Where are you now in attaining them?

My goals are financially freedom and happiness.


I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

30th Birthday Reflective Post

After checking into my room
After checking into my room
At Tanjung Aru to watch the sunset
At Tanjung Aru to watch the sunset

Blogging has always been the most effective way to convey my thoughts and views on things that matter to me in life. I started blogging in 2013, when I was in my final semester of university, and that is nearly six years ago.

The first few years had been very exciting moments of my blogging life where I connected with many, many fabulous authors, writer and bloggers across the world. I was also actively writing on Glipho (which is now discontinued), and discovering new friends online. After some time, I went out of the radar for a couple of years as I embark on my job.

Sunset at Tanjung Aru
Sunset at Tanjung Aru

At Pekan Nabalu, on the way to Kundasang

I turned 30 on the 10th of January this year. I planned for a solo trip as I have always wanted to go on a trip all by myself at least once. Somewhere in August 2018, while my brother, my sister-in-law and I were having Briyani for lunch after the settlement of the downpayment for their new home, I browsed through the AirAsia website for a return ticket to Kota Kinabalu (KK), Sabah and booked it without having a second thought. As much as I love my family, I came to terms with the fact that I need to buckle down and be prepared for the transition of staying on my own after having them both moved to their own new house. I wanted to embrace the challenge of travelling to a place that is totally foreign to me and having to enjoy my own company, as I thought it would help widen my perspective on life.

That's my silhouette
Overseeing Mount Kinabalu
The Mount Kinabalu from Desa Dairy Farm

Kundasang is a beautiful place located nearly two and a half hours away from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the state of Sabah. Some of the girls from my university debate alumni team made a plan to visit Kundasang after our trip to Cambodia. However, the plan remains a plan to date. This triggered me to make my own plan for my upcoming birthday.

At the Kipungit waterfall
My tour guide cum driver, Airul
At Desa Dairy Farm

Interestingly, I stumbled upon a post wrote on post on three things to achieve by 30 six years ago. Looking back, I am surprised to learn that I have achieved most of the aims I had back then by the time I am 30. I had completely forgotten that having this post written somewhere in the 2013. Nevertheless, I think these aims were ingrained in my subconcious mind that I am able to achieve most of them without needing to be reminded by a post or a diary.

I wanted to do something else than engineering if I were to further my education, and I completed my MBA at the age of 28. I cleared off my education loan on the very last week of December 2018 since the previous ruling government offered a 20% discount from the total loan for every student who pays off the education loan in a single payment. I also paid off my car loan by the end of 2015 and in the first half of 2016, I secured a bank loan for the house I am living in now. I have created two small businesses ( and, which are based online, and I am looking at ways to bring them both to the next levels at the moment, while actively searching for ways to make passive income. I'm not there yet, but I will be there, surely! I have not decided where I want to live as of now but that probably is not an issue, at the moment.

Now, having returned from my birthday solo trip, I wanted to write a reflective post on visit. 

1. Trust no one but trust everyone
The scariest thing for any solo traveller is to trust strangers they meet along their journey. When you need to ask for directions, when you're not comfortable with the hotel room you are staying, or when you need a lift from a passerby after your car broke down; you need to trust a stranger to an extend to get your journey going. I learned that I should be open to trusting people to an extend but always be wary of who they are and how they behave. I also learned to listen to my gut feelings about someone I meet. Energy doesn't lie. If you don't feel good about something, do not proceed further with the activity or intention.

2. The universe opens ways for every decision you take
When I was about to book my holiday tickets, I had no idea how I would be spending three days at KK. I only thought of heading to Kundasang. I didn't know exactly how and when I'd be doing it but all I knew was the fact that I'd come up with a plan that would help me to realize my birthday trip. I think, the decision I made to purchase the ticket made the difference. The holiday destination had been finalized and the rest of it followed through.

I was indeed very meticulous when drafting out my plans as I was very conscious about the teeny-weeny decisions I make pertaining to the holiday due to the fact that I would be travelling alone. My initial plan was to travel using a car rented from Kota Kinabalu and head towards Kundasang. I booked a car (without pre-payment) about two months before my trip. As I Googled, I learned that there are quite a number of places to visit, both at Kundasang and KK. With the limited time available, I was concurrently trying to draft an itinerary to fit in as many worthy places as possible. I also booked a few hotel rooms (without pre-payment) via at KK and Kundasang so that I could pick the best one based on my finalized itinerary later and cancel the rest.

I read blog posts from other travellers on noteworthy tips while visiting KK and Kundasang. My mind was pretty much occupied on how the trip should go like and as a result, I got a little restless. Not only that, I couldn't really decide and stick to anything as I was very concerned on getting all the plans laid out right.

However, towards the end of the year, I stumbled upon a Facebook post about a friend having visited Kundasang and I dropped her a message right away. She shared her tour guide's number and little did I know that getting in touch with him would be changing my plans altogether, but for good. I ended up having a tour guide cum driver for the first two days of my trip and having him driving me to places made the trip safe as some roads were a little challenging for new drivers, especially during rainy days since Kundasang is a mountainous town about 1,900 meters above the sea level.

A few weeks before my trip, I got to know that my friend is posted at KK for a couple of months for a project. I stayed with her the last two days and it was a pleasure meeting her after three years.

I was amazed at how everything fell into its place and although my trip swayed from its original plan, I still had an incredible trip and I loved every bit of it.

The Kipungit waterfall
The sunset of 10th Jan

3. Steer clear from noises when you need to gain clarity on life
There were quite a few people who were worried about me travelling alone for my birthday trip like my mom, dad and some close friends. I think despite having my travel insurance booked and assuring them that I've made sufficient research on the trip, they were still worried. Although their fear is totally understandable, at the end of the day, I think I learned to make that leap of faith.

I wanted this trip very badly, not just as a birthday treat, but also as a chance for soul-searching. The need to just stay away from eveything for a bit was so mind-boggling that I had to disguise it as a holiday, and I was sure people around me didn't notice the actual intention, which is much deeper than just a vacation. Your soul knows what you need the best; not the people around you.

Sometimes, when you are at the verge of not being able to explain yourself, the best thing you can do is to steer clear from noises as peace would help you to make better decisions. I am glad I took time to do this as I was able to gain clarity on a few things that I was contemplating. In simplicity, you gain clarity. For all you know, the takeaway lesson from journeys like this would help you stay true to your goals in life in the long run.

4. You're in control; and one step away from a different life
The ultimate reason why we are often encouraged to stretch out of the comfort zone during the lowest point of our lives is to provide an opportunity for us to learn that we are always in control of our lives and that we are always one step away from a life we want. The scariest and out-of-the-comfort-zone thing to do is the most liberating of all.

Me at the Manukan Islands
During the sunset of 10th Jan

Right from the beginning, I knew that I am one click away from booking a ticket and making my plans happen. But, I had so many what ifs and buts that were already marring my vision and as I gave these thoughts more power, they dominated my courage and the plan remained a plan because I was so focused on how to make it happen rather than just deciding that the plan will be achieved. It is the lack of the envisioning power that deters the entire dreams of our lives.

5. Learn how to enjoy your own company
On the third day of my trip, I had nobody to accompany the day-trip. All I did was to simply get a Grab driver to send me to the places I wanted to visit. I learned to enjoy my own company and the company of people I meet along the way. I thought this was one of the most treasurable moments of the trip as I discovered my abilities to blend with people although being an introvert. I fell in love with solitude, and I knew I would be able to continue enjoying the 'me time' upon my return from the trip.

6. Sometimes, failing to plan can lead to beautiful pathways
Despite the fact that I was meticulously planning for a perfect trip, towards the end of the year, I decided to with the flow and stopped bothering much about the places I would cover. I literally had no place on mind for the third day. Island hopping was an activity that crossed my mind but I was tired on the second day. I took all the time I needed to take a shower that morning and went to the lobby to ask for my breakfast. As I was having breakfast, I contemplated on the idea of going for island hopping as I was told that the tide is high. However, it was a bright sunny day and after checking out several things with the receptionist, I booked a Grab ride to the jetty and in no time, I bought my tickets to the Manukan and Sapi Islands. Later, I felt so glad for having visited the islands as the views were breathtaking. At times, letting things go loose could lead to a beautiful journey.
The breathtaking Sapi Islands
The corals at Sapi Islands

8. Learn to trust your decisions when nobody does, and be accountable for them
Most often than not, opinions are just meant to be taken with a grain of salt. There might be a solid reason behind every decision of yours and people around you may have not realized the the depth of thoughts. Do what needs to be done and take accountability for your decision. Even if your plan fails, at least you know why you wanted it in the first place.

10. Take chances
If you're young and healthy, now is the time for you to actualize your dreams more than any other time of your life ever. You can surely attain your wishes much later in your life, but the price you need to pay would be greater. The effort you need to take when you are sick, occupied with a busy career or a family life would be more challenging than the times in life when you have lower commitment level. I learned that taking chances in life is so important as it would make you feel satisfied with the achievements you trade.

The view at Sapi Islands
Sapi Islands, near KK

11. Learn how to take calculated risks
I reckoned that there are risks with everything we do in life and a solo trip is also a risky one, especially if you do not plan things ahead wisely. The planning here refers to your safety precautions and travel tips that you should be aware of before travelling. When you have decided to travel alone, you would be fully accountable of your safety and unknowingly, you'd read more about what should and should not be done wherever you are travelling to.

I think any trip made alone would teach us the ability to take calculated risks in life and this skill would eventually help us take the leap of faith in making changes in our lives for a better living.

12. Celebrate life
This trip undeniably taught me how to celebrate life! I did that by welcoming my 30th birthday with a friend who called me to wish me happiness. We cracked jokes and ended up laughing hard for an hour. It was truly a trip to remember and I would carry these takeaway messages whenever life pulls me down.  

I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Back to Blogging

Hello readers,

I just realized that I've not been blogging for a little over two years now! I've missed expressing my thoughts on issues that matter, especially when I come across mind-boggling news. If there is one thing that has not changed over these couple of years, it has to be how rapes are still rampant to date!

My businesses, job and personal life have taken a vast majority of my time that I hardly could find neither the energy not the time to blog. There was also times I struggled with anxiety and depression.

I'm glad to announce that I've regained composure and very much looking forward to blogging soon.

I've missed interacting with many of you from the Support a Writer group!

Hope to hear from you soon!


Monday, 11 July 2016

Book Review: Sex and Power by Rita Banerji
Sex and Power by Rita Banerji
I would like to thank Author Kelli Sue Landon for helping me to get this book from Amazon. Find Kelli on one of these social media sites if you are a fan of murder mystery and thriller books. 

WordPress: Twitter: @kellisuelandon Facebook:
Her book review site:

I'm glad I read this book. So glad I did. I got to know about Rita Banerji sometime ago and wanted to grab a copy of her book through Amazon, which I couldn't, as the title was and I believe still is not available where I live. Kelli helped me to get the book via Kindle and gifted it to me. It had been on my Kindle device for about a year, if I'm not wrong. I don't read books on Kindle to be honest but finally decided to read it as I know it is worth getting a glimpse of the thoughts of Rita Banerji, an activist whose work largely revolves around women's rights in India. I like how she does extensive research to reveal cultural myths and the way religions both glorified and condoned human beings' sexuality. 

Rita's book will definitely shed some light on issues we thought were taboo. I particularly like how women were so much sexually empowered through religions. The Golden Era saw men and women emphasising 'romance' and 'love-making' where they respected each other. Rita also wrote very distinctly on the influence of religions and how 'sex and power' were viewed and handled differently according to their respective religious view point. 

Towards the end, I'm able to learn on how the present-day India is still struggling in promoting equality and how leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, whose preaching and practice on sexual stance had great disparities their own sexual. 

I would rate this book 10/10 and give it ten stars on Amazon, if I could. 

Check it out on

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I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Denying Your Past Is Denying Your Dignity
Shame prevents us from revealing our past
Image courtesy:
I was reading about Laxmi; the acid attack fighter, her husband; Alok Dixit, and their love story a couple of days ago. I personally feel that Wikipedia should refer her as acid attack survivor rather than calling her a victim. I cannot stop admiring this girl for her courage and the couple whose true love amazes me. It makes me realize that time decides who you meet in life and character decides who leaves and stays. 

You can check out my previous post about her here.

Above all, what I can learn from Laxmi's story is to be true to oneself and stop being bothered about what people who think about being transparent. As an acid attack victim turned fighter, Laxmi's life was destroyed by a man twice her age when she was just 15 years old. Never would she have imagined that turning his love proposals down could invite an ugly consequences. She was thrown acid on her face and body following the rejection, suffered severe burn on various parts of her body and went through surgeries to repair the damages. 

India is a country known for its multi-ethnicity. However, there is something common among all ethnics and that is the way women are treated in the society. When a woman is mistreated or sexually harassed by men, it is because she asked for it. It is because she lured their attention by intentionally misbehaving or seducing men simply by being a woman. Laxmi was not the only to be blamed for what had happened to her. Many other acid attack and sexually-harassed victims do not get a chance for their voices to be heard. They shy away from the society that cripples and labels them with various ugly names. 

Imagine if Laxmi had succumbed to the restrictions that the Indian society had imposed upon women, she wouldn't have been recognised internationally as an advocate for acid attack victims. She chose to embrace past gracefully and fight against such cruelty despite not getting full support from people around her. Imagine if she decided to stay within her comfort zone, Laxmi wouldn't have met Alok. He wouldn't have fallen in love with Laxmi's courageous nature. Imagine if she too, like anyone else, believed that all men are not to be trusted as treat women badly, she wouldn't have spotted the kind-hearted man in Alok. 

Laxmi's story is just another example to prove that humanity is within reach and can be experienced if we allow to see goodness in every situation. Staying true to ourselves will only help us gravitate closer towards people who could resonate with our very own thoughts and beliefs. Unfortunately, far too many women and men choose to deny their past and called it the 'dark secret' just because they have gone through something that the society would not approve of. 

Let's just face the fact. How many of us are actually comfortable talking about sexual education, sexual orientation or sexual preferences to children? Do we go ahead and tell people that sexual workers deserve equal rights as other employees? 

Do we actually speak our mind and tell people not to judge us based on our story? 

We don't. Period. 

We never really raise our boys to respect women. We do not make them do the house chores. We still think that a woman's place is at the kitchen. We do not practice what we preach. 

Let's all start living life truthfully. Lend your opinions and feelings a voice and let that voice be yours. Speak up for what you believe in and never hide your story which is ultimately, your life! Registered & Protected 
 I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Not Your Mom, Not Your Milk!

Hello again!
The Herd

I'm writing a post here after nearly 9 months and I must say that work, part-time studies and business have been keeping waaaaayy too busy. Oh, I forgot to mention that in the middle of all these, we've a new house purchase agreement that is going on. 2015 had been a crazy but very successful and rewarding year. I hope all of you had a great year and all the best for year 2016.

I saw this post on Facebook yesterday and I can't stop thinking about it! Initially, I thought this short video is based on a real incident that's happening to women but I just learned that it is based on the reality of all farmed animals and dairy cows being exploited everyday in farms across the world for us to enjoy a glass of milk.

Now, I'm not sure if I should feel glad that's it not happening to women or feel bad for the way we treat cows.

I didn't manage to watch this video past 7 minutes. 

Viewer discretion: For mature audiences only.

Does this ever ring a bell to you that we have been very selective in our battles that we no longer care about things that do not affect us any more?

The Herd replaces female cows with female humans, and by doing so hopes to promote a greater understanding of the suffering inflicted upon cows in the dairy industry. It is known as the first feminist vegan horror film. Registered & Protected 
 I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Charlie Hebdo: Yay or Nay?
As it happened: Charlie Hebdo attack
In January 2015, a group of Islamists went on a killing spree on the streets of Paris following the cartoon publication by Charlie Hebdo demonstrating caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical magazine that largely criticizes many aspects of human life had angered the Muslims and provoked the extremists to hurt the editors and staffs of Charlie Hebdo. Seventeen people were killed in that incident including twelve staffs from the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. 

#JeSuisCharlieHebdo had been the hashtag of the month when the incident sparked a wide debate all over the world with politicians, law makers and the public pouring out comments in favour and against Charlie Hebdo. A large part of the public showing support to Charlie Hebdo and the right to express opinions were merely joining in the uproar without understanding the fundamental arguments that are underlying this issue in general. 

Earlier this month, Charlie Hebdo magazine was awarded the controversial freedom of expression award by the American PEN and Thoret, Charlie Hebdo's flim critic who received the award did not seem to be happy when people say they are Charlie Hebdo. 

“When you say: ‘Everybody is Charlie,’” Thoret said, referring to the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan that consumed social media and became a subject of some debate among those who found its style uncomfortable, “We have two waves of reactions.” At first, he says, of course he agrees. But then, he added, he realises that the slogan itself “doesn’t mean anything”.
It will take months, Thoret said. “We’ll see the way the debate [over freedom of expression] is going” then, he said. It would be horrible, he said, to find himself surrounded by people who all agree with each other. It would remind him, he said, as a film critic, of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. They were happy for the support but, he added: “We are not naive.”
We all know that the magazine is satirical and when we say satirical, it appears offensive and unpleasant for many. Charlie Hebdo is claimed to be a part of the solutions by promoting equality, liberty and fraternity and the magazine is generally for the French audience. The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was the conscious heir to a French intellectual tradition with a long history: radical anticlericalism. 

With these facts on mind, will a satirical magazine succeed in bringing about positive impacts on society and is it okay to expect people to accept what it publishes with an open mind? 

The reaction from Charlie Hebdo following the brutal attack in January 2015.
Charlie Hebdo hurts people. That is a fact we all can't deny. It may have won the award earlier this month but will it be a champion in educating the public on worldly issues and the way we live our lives? As we know, anything good, when is expressed in ways that could hurt others would not be wholly accepted. What more when it involves sensitive issues of religions and cultures? 

There will be a reaction to any action enforced by people and the reaction is often projected with the same spirit and emotions. So, can we really blame the Islamists for reacting in such manner when what happened had provoked hatred in the Muslim society? Although it would have been wiser for them to ignore what had offended them, it is not rational to expect people to react the same way as the others. The attack should have been something that the editors must have expected to happen even before they publish the caricature. 

So, Charlie Hebdo: Yay or Nay? Yay if the magazine is ready to face the consequences of its actions and the non-constructive criticism. Registered & Protected 
 I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Montreal Massacre 1989: Another Reason Why We Need Feminism
The victims of Montreal Massacre 1989
On December 6 1989, a shooter attacked 14 victims and killed 14 other female students in the Ă‰cole Polytechnique. The attacker's entrance application to the institution was turned down and he believed the female students occupying the class was the reason behind it. 

25 years later, today, our communities are still plagued by gender violence. We have not witnessed any promising improvements on reducing gender violence and efforts taken by activists and advocates have not been truly welcomed evenly by people around the globe for the effect to take place. 

Although female students in higher education institutions have outnumbered the male students, women still see the need to compete for jobs and opportunities once they step out of college. Our voices aren't heard because the society has painted an evil image of feminism over the time that nobody thinks women's problems are problems in the first place. 

Ironically, like the shooter in the incident of Montreal Massacre, we have more men thinking that feminists are the root cause of the problems they have today and sadly, their opinions are greatly echoed by the society. 

Women are losing the strength to even voice out because doing so would always backfire them. Calling oneself a feminist has never been a pleasant experience and as long as we see ourselves remaining silent and not breaking this norm, we will not actually embrace real change. 

Let us all stay united in fighting social injustice while remembering women who lost their lives to gender violence. Registered & Protected 
 I welcome your thoughts and views ! :D Thank you for your feedback

Monday, 13 October 2014

Because You Are Not Good Enough

Because You Are Not Good Enough
Ladies!! If you think you are happy with the way you are, grateful for the talents you have and believe that what's inside matters the most, the brilliant fashionistas are here to prove you wrong!
You are not good enough! - that's the tag line and the fashion statement of an apparel company that has invented thigh gap jeans for ladies. Yes, your thighs shouldn't touch when you wear your jeans. It's not feminine enough. It doesn't define beauty.

At "Thigh Gap" your jeans come with a small wooden stick that you can jam between your upper thighs to create a beautiful (read: painful) gap between your legs. And they're on sale for only $69.99!

Play this video to see this ridiculous idea for yourself. 

After all, we are living in an era where the modeling companies are trying to bring plus size models into the industry. Feminism is surely witnessing the impact of enforcing equality for women and accepting women in all sizes.
Thigh Gap
That is also a sign of modern women choosing to dress the way they want and stop giving a damn to the fashion industry.
Businesses are trying hard to dictate how we live life and they seem to be inventing crazy ideas to keep the oppression strong on our society. They surely know how to play the game pretty well.
On the other hand, what are we, as the consumers supposed to do? Dress the way we want and create or own fashion statement and identity for ourselves. That's the day we will see industries designing clothes according to our needs.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Maya Angelou and The Hidden Past

The world was saddened by the demise of Maya Angelou a few months ago. She was a great leader, a brilliant teacher and above all, a wonderful soul who had so many stories and life's lessons to share with us. Admit it. We actually learn about people more when they are gone. Their good and bad deeds would turn into topics to discuss for the next few days.

Maya Angelou was no exception. She passed away at the age of 86, leaving behind her glorious life as a legacy. The media did a commendable job in highlighting her achievements but what amazes me is the fact that the media glorified the 'good stuff' of her life, the 'past' that we would be proud to talk about, the stories that would earn her more 'respect' and the talents she had that left the entire world amazed. 

What about the past that made her into who she was until the day she died? What about the 'least glorified' stories of her life? The untold mistakes that made her stronger and wiser?

I'm not very sure how many of you had actually read Maya's books. I came to know that she was one of the most successful non-fiction writers after her death. (Shame on me on not knowing this earlier! I know. I will be buying those books soon! *excited* ) Maya Angelou had a very challenging life. She was raped, she was a prostitute, she smoked pot and took drugs. Throughout her life, she was a strong advocate for the underprivileged people. She stood against racism, sexism and other ugly forms of discrimination. In an interview with her, she had explained what it actually feels to be doing something that may be wrong in the society's point of view.

I agree that she had lived life to the fullest and nobody would have preferred talking about her as a prostitute in the wake of her death but ignoring her past as a sex worker, a night club dancer and a madam for lesbian prostitutes simplifies her legacy. This issue was debated by Aya De Leon on Huffington Post. Maya never felt intimidated by her past. She chose to embrace her past, forgive herself and learn from the mistakes. There are lessons she learned from the journey of her life. Her past defined her life and herself.

Her past itself also advocates for prostitutes, lesbians, gays and feminists. Unfortunately, the media did not discuss her struggles as much as they embraced and celebrated her achievements and this is actually an issue that we should address. When someone is walking out of their 'not-so-nice' past, turning over a new leaf and looking forward to living a meaningful life, why do we choose to encourage them to erase their history?

Failure leads to success and success is celebrated but nobody values failure. We are living in a society that is highly judgemental. We are expected to find the route to success without failing because people don't accept mistakes. As soon as we know someone has erred in their life, we quickly judge them, label them, degrade them and undermine their quality of life.

One of Maya Angelou's autobiographies, "Gather Together In My Name revealed her life as a sex worker.
“I sat thinking about the spent day. The faces, bodies and smells of the tricks made an unending paisley pattern in my mind. Except for the Tamiroffish first customer, the others had no individual characteristics. The strong Lysol washing water stung my eyes and a film of vapor coated my adenoids. I had expected the loud screams of total orgasmic release and felt terribly inadequate when the men had finished with grunts and yanked up their pants without thanks.”
I must say that we hesitate to accept women's past as compared to men. This double standard has been around in our society for a long time. As a result, women erase the black marks in their lives and avoid being discriminated.

Do you celebrate your past without prejudice and let people know who you are for real or do you think it is necessary to safeguard your darkest secret in order to allow the society to let you live life peacefully? Registered & Protected 

 I welcome your thoughts and views !  Thank you for your feedback

Friday, 26 September 2014

Review: Belonging by Sameem Ali

I finished reading two books in just two days. I made a review for "Daughters of Shame" written by Jasvinder Sanghera in my previous post and this one is for Belonging by Sameem Ali. 

Daughters of Shame and Belonging are two books about #forcedmarriages and coincidentally, these two books were written by Asian women whose parents hail from Pakistan and India. Jasvinder and Sameem's parents migrated to the Great Britain where the ladies were born. 

when I put down Jasvinder's book, I went to my shelf and picked this book up. As I started reading I realized that the story is somewhat similar and it took place also in Britain. Then I knew that forced marriages and honour killings are REAL and these horrible crimes are still happening today. I like the way the story is narrated in "Belonging". It is very engaging and believable. Sameem grew up in a children's home when she was young where life as a kid was beautiful for her and the rest of the kids. When she turned 7, her parents came to take her home and that's where the not-so-nice life started. 

She was basically treated like a slave, forced to do all the housework, forced to marry someone in Pakistan (one of her uncles had unsettled debts and to settle it off, Sameem was forced to marry one of his sons). She never knew what marriage, sex and pregnancy were at the age of thirteen but she was pregnant and had a child at the age of 14. 

Sameem was mistreated by her own family and it is really sad to know that the society still thinks that girls should not get proper sexual education. She never knew that women will go through menstruation and she was not even explained about it after attaining puberty. The society is cruel towards women as we are not even allowed to explore our own bodies and the way they work. We are not supposed to fully mature sexually because knowing what's happening to our bodies would educate us on how to protect ourselves and that would mean less control for men on women. What a shame!

This is an excerpt from the book that makes my stomach churn!

" Mother decided that she could fix the stutter by cutting the skin under my tongue, which she told me was pulling my tongue down in the wrong way. She shouted angrily at Hanif to help her, and the two of them laid me down on the kitchen floor, and told me to open my mouth. I was confused but did as I was told. In Mother's hand was a razor blade, the kind found in an old-fashioned razor. I stared at in horror. "

We have seen gradual improvements on racism, gay-lesbian rights, and many other issues plaguing our society but it's sad to know that we are still battling the war against sexism in 2014. It's sad to see Emma Watson being threatened online by some jerk who thinks he could leak her nude photos and humiliate her.

It's not just the UN ambassador's responsibilities to fight for justice. Let's spread awareness and make this place a better place for women and men. If we continue to portray men as rude, dominating and evil, when are we going to see the gentlemen around? Registered & Protected 
 I welcome your thoughts and views ! Thank you for your feedback

Monday, 22 September 2014

Daughters of Shame: A Review

Daughters of Shame
If you have never read any books written by human’s rights advocate, you should add this book to your TBR list!
I have read the first book written by this author (Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera) and I must say that domestic violence and child marriage are REAL and the pain can be very tormenting even when the victims are no longer abused.
In her first book, she wrote about her childhood and how she managed to escape the forced marriage. I’ve learnt about the Asian community living in the UK through this book and how the girls face similar issues at home.
In this book, she had shared some of the women’s stories whom she is helping through the community-based organization in the U.K by the name of Karma Nirvana. Jasvinder is the founder of this community and she voices out for the victims of honour-based crimes in the U.K.
It is absolutely saddening to see so many women and men who have fallen victims to one of the most atrocious form of crime among the Asian community. Girls as young as twelve are sent back to their parents’ country (which is usually India and Pakistan) where they are forced to marry men twice their age. These girls were often abused and tortured; treated like slaves and their children suffer the consequences of not having educated parents to care for them.
Girls who go against their parents’ wish were often killed by their own families in the name of honour!
I applaud the work being done by Karma Nirvana and Jasvinder Sanghera as the U.K. has enforced the Forced Marriage Act to protect underage children and adults from forced marriages and honour-based crimes. Registered & Protected 
 I welcome your thoughts and views ! Thank you for your feedback

Friday, 8 August 2014

I Have A Dream And I Want To Live It

You and I, we all have dreams. We all want to live the life according to our own ways. We refuse to have our rights ripped off right in front of our very own eyes. We all want our freedom. We want the need to be respected for who we are and the choices we make. What happens when someone tries to snatch these needs away from us? We'd definitely refuse to budge and fight back to retain our dreams. 

Unfortunately, the world is made of some people who think that they don't just own the rights to decide their own lives, but also the lives of others. This young lady's dream was shattered by a man who thought he owns the right to decide how a girl's life should be. This incident happened in New Dehli; one of the largest cities in India. 

Acid Attack Fighter Laxmi
Acid Attack Fighter Laxmi

This is Laxmi, the Acid Attack Fighter, and this is her story. (quoted from her Facebook page)

My name is Laxmi. Read my story. I'm one of you. In fact, I am like you. I was young and beautiful and I had a dream. Even when I was studying in a Delhi school in Class VII, I would spend hours singing. I'd recorded my songs and sent them to talent hunt competitions. I was waiting for a call from 'Indian Idol'.
I'm from a poor family. My father worked as a chef in a South Delhi home. I became friends with another girl in the neighbourhood and her brother soon started proposing to me. I was only 15 and he, 32 years old. On April 18, he messaged me: "I love you.'' I ignored it, but the next day he messaged again: "I want an instant reply.'' Again I didn't respond.
I kept screaming for help but no one stepped forth. Everyone ran in the opposite direction. I could feel my flesh burning and I covered my eyes with my arms. That reflex action saved me from losing my vision.
Acid corrodes quickly. Within a few seconds, I had lost my face, my ear had melted and both my arms were charred black. A politician's driver took me to a hospital, where I was to stay for the next 10 weeks.
I saw myself in the mirror at the end of 10 weeks and couldn't believe what the acid had done to me. The doctors had to remove the entire skin from my face and keep it bandaged. I've already had seven surgeries and need at least four more before I can go in for plastic surgery, provided I can afford it.
I learnt to live with the physical pain but what hurt more was the way the society reacted. My own relatives stopped seeing me, as did my friends. I stayed indoors for eight years and ventured out only in a ghungat.
My main attacker was out on bail within a month and he soon got married. He returned to a normal life within a month, but what about me? Nobody even wants to be my friend; how can I even hope that I'll have a lover or a husband?
I tried to pick up a job but nobody was willing to hire me. Some said: "People will get scared if they see you." Others said they will call back but, of course, the phone never rang. I tried BPOs, banks and beauty parlours but all I got was rejection. Nobody wants to hire acid victims because of the way they look.
But I ask you, is it our fault? Society accepts those born blind or those who are physically challenged. Why are we shunned? If you ask me, we are worse off than rape victims because with our faces burnt, we seem to have lost our identity.
I still sing. I love music. I love partying. I love nail polish. I design and tailor my own clothes. I have desires like you do, but I seem to scare off people.
The only support I got was from my parents, my doctor, my lawyer Aparna Bhatt and from the couple at whose house my father worked. They paid for my surgeries and are still in touch with me.
Even while my parents were coping with the attack, my brother came down with tuberculosis and my father died. I was shattered for the second time.
In the instant that my father died, I had to carry the burden of being the bread earner for the family. My mother has to constantly be by my brother's side and feels really upset that she cannot spend time with me.
I gathered myself together and pursued my case in court. My lawyer had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, asking for a ban on the sale of acid.
Slowly, I started getting in touch with other victims, most of who are blinded or have lost their hearing. Each one of us is poor and cannot afford multiple surgeries.
You can't bear to look at us but we don't have the money to buy ourselves new faces. My friends - yes, I've made new friends and they are all acid victims - are mostly blind.
You stare at us and gather your children in a hurry, hoping they haven't got scared just looking at us. Why don't you tie a band around your eyes and see how dark it gets.
That's how dark our world is.
I hope you never have to inhabit it, but I do hope you understand it. Don't give me the strength if you can't, but don't try and break my confidence. I've just learnt to move on.
I started an online petition and was happy when 27,000 people signed it. I went to the home ministry to submit it to Sushil Kumar Shinde. We waited for three hours but he didn't have even five minutes for us. I had to finally ambush his car to hand over the petition.
Nahim Khan, the man who had attacked me with acid, had to go back to jail after the court awarded him a seven-year sentence. He will be free in two years and continue with life. But my scars will remain forever..
My legal fight will continue. The Supreme Court has ordered states to pay Rs. 3 lakh as compensation, but what about our medical costs - some of us need to undergo 30-40 surgeries? What about jobs? How about sensitising the police force and trials in fast-track courts?
Even countries like Bangladesh have implemented stringent laws to deal with acid crimes but India has resisted it for so long. So many could have been saved. I need your help. We need the government to compensate us too. What about so many of us who are still suffering. Should the law not be with retrospective effect?
I have a dream and I want to live it.
Today, Laxmi continues to fight for women's rights and campaigns against Acid Attacks in India where the poor regulations of acid sales contribute to rising number of acid attacks. Laxmi was one of the recipients of the International Women of Courage 2014 award. 

Being a female in a male-dominated society has made survival harder. When something goes wrong to the girl, the society talks about her appearance, her behaviour, her dressing sense and everything else she does but nobody investigates on the actual cause of the incident. What women can do to protect herself is actually very limited when the she has no control over how the others (men) behave at large. We are taught to uphold modesty at all times but what's the point of women minding their behavior alone when members of the opposite sex remain assholes all the time? 

Domestic violence takes place at every corner of the world, in different forms. Probably the differences in cultures across the world result in the variations of social issues we all encounter today. But what's certain is the fact that we all understand what is it is like to have our rights violated, despite the cultural and language barriers. Watch this explanatory video.

I too, have a dream To make a change in the society we are all living in today. I do know that there are numerous challenges to face in order to be who I really am. It's my dream and I want to live it. What's yours? Registered & Protected 
 I welcome your thoughts and views ! Thank you for your feedback