Friday, October 30, 2009

The Status Update Bug

“I need chicken, goats and horses for my farm please”

This was my status message on facebook few days back. Sounds stupid right? But it made a perfect sense to me and those ten odd people who commented on this status and sent me these gifts. It was a serious business for all of us and we were (few of them still are) very proud of our status of dedicated farmers. Few days after that, I quit playing Farmville. I was no longer that eager looking, waiting for trees and animals as gifts and dusro ke farm se kauve udaane wali stupid farmer. But I am not here to write about my ex-obsession of Farmville. This post is indeed about another obsession – another stupid one about updating my status with all possible kind of status messages.

Before that, one question pops in my always curious mind – why do we update our status every now and then? Well I know the basic motive behind this is to inform your friends what you are doing at that moment, but are they really interested? I mean, few of the things they may find useful if you write that you are visiting their city soon with lots of gifts for them and staying arrangement already made in a hotel with your vehicle at your (and their) service, otherwise, most of them do not care even if you are burping non-stop or your gas is making ten people faint around you. But this status update bug has bitten most of us around on these community sites.

The status messages are of various breeds. Few of them are motivational quotes (yes, people still are hopeful that nutters like me will learn something), funny one-liners, your current status – whether you are working, holidaying, partying, heartbroken, talking over the phone or sleeping(once my status message said – sleeping Zzzzzzz), the status message updater addict like me will exactly mention that. And I find my status updates too funny when I go back to them after say a week of posting one. So silly of me to mention friendship breaker stuff like “The chicken Biryani was amazingly tasty”. A friend of mine and a hardcore fan of John Ebrahim got so offended after reading this update that she expressed her displeasure and removed me from her friend’s list. Then few days back, she added me again. When I asked her the reason for the same, she said that along with her love for John Ebrahim, she started to believe in PETA too, and turned a vegetarian. Now her current crush is Ranbeer Kapoor, so I am back on her friend’s list.

I have not only offended my friends, but I have hurt ego of many with my status updates. Well on this point, let the image below do the talking.


(click on the image for a better resolution)
I don’t know how many more egos I am going to hurt, but I am not able to stop at all. This addiction is going over the board simply. I type something, and eagerly wait for people to comment on it. Sigh, am I turning into a lunatic? Help me please. Tell me what should I do? I want maximum number of opinions. Uh huh, let me update this on my facebook page. I will get my answer sooner.

PS: In this post, I and Me words apply to all those people(excluding me) who update their status regularly on community sites.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Copy-Paste Post

I got an e-mail this morning that i couldn't help but to share with you all...maybe you have got it too, but rest of you, please enjoy some humour if you can...

###
The Silent Treatment


A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.

Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.

Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,

'Please wake me at 5:00 AM '

He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight.

Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said,

'It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.'

Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

####

WIFE VS. HUSBAND

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.

An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.

As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, 'Relatives of yours?'

'Yep,' the wife replied , 'in-laws''

####


WOMEN'S REVENGE

'Cash, cheque or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.

As she fumbled for her wallet I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.

'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.

'No,' she replied, ' but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'

####

UNDERSTANDING WOMEN ..
(A MAN'S PERSPECTIVE)

I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax,
pour it onto your skin, rip the hair out by the root,
and still be afraid of a spider..

####

W O R D S

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...
30,000 to a man's 15,000.

The wife replied, 'The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...

The husband then turned to his wife and asked, 'What?'

####

CREATION

A man said to his wife one day, 'I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.

' The wife responded, 'Allow me to explain.

God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me.

God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you !!!

####

WHO DOES WHAT

A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.

The wife said, 'You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.'


The husband said, ' You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.'

Wife replies, 'No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.'

Husband replies, 'I can't believe that, show me.'

So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament
and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says........
..' HEBREWS '

God may have created man before woman,
but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece. .


Monday, October 26, 2009

The Weird Post

“Well actually I always like weird things more” – this statement of mine in the last post amused couple of good friends…so I thought why not a post on this? So this post is dedicated to few of those friends who, well read whatsoever I write…and rest of you, read it anyways…

My liking for weird things has been there even before I knew this word or the meaning of it…I have always been in love with most of the sports since the time I have started watching and playing them…in my earlier school days, girls of my age played with barbies etc., while I was learning to play cricket…that was the beginning of my love for sports…No, I could not master cricket, because my dear friend Jay never gave me a chance to bat for more than five minutes…and he mastered the game, so the other guys included him and me too (I bugged them by begging of them like hell) in their team…but I hardly got chance to bat or bowl, as I was the only girl in the team, but I mastered fielding, oh yes I was one of the best and I fell in love with it…so whoever asked me what I enjoyed the most while playing cricket? My answer was fielding…do I need to say that’s a weird choice?

One such day while fielding at mid-on, and mom called me for some work…I just looked at her to say I would be home in a while and the ball came with force on my face just below my left eye…I got this black-blue-red bruise on my face…I was lucky that the ball didn’t hit my eye, but at the same time I simply found that bruise cool…but sadly, that was the first and last time I was hit so bad…

Ok, now you don’t require a rocket science to know that I was (rather, I still am) a tom boy... my favourite pass time – hanging out with a bunch of guys in the noon, jumping from fifteen feet long tanks was our favourite pass time in fifth and sixth standard vacations, by the time I was in 8th standard, I started staying alone most of the times, reading each and every word of almost all the newspapers I could lay my hands on, never ever doing homework at school, stayed outside the class as a punishment for being so very regular at not doing homework etc. etc. So in short, I was a spoiled brat too…

Another thing I loved was to travel alone…I used to go to Pune to my nani’s place from Umbergaon alone…it was approximately a ten hour journey, changing three trains, and first time I did this when I was thirteen, and my sweetheart dad was the one to support me in this mission, ignoring mom’s angry glares and outbursts every minute (brave he is na)…

Then came the fun college days, and a new obsession – watching movies alone in the theatre…I simply loved that, but my friends could never see me happy, they always followed me and ended up being with me most of the times…so this obsession hardly lasted for few months and I gave up in the end, but I still go for movies alone sometimes…

Most of the people love beaches, and I don’t like them…they depress me so much, I don’t know why…I don’t find the sky beautiful at the time of dawn or dusk, nor I like chirping birds so much…I guess they keep shitting on me, I am their favourite target all the time, that’s why I don’t like it, but yeah, I don’t like that sound…first rain is the time for football in mud, but hardly any grounds left in Mumbai now, so that I guess is going to be a dream for me…I love the stitches mark – specially on forehead…not got that so far, but I wish I get one soon…

Now this post has turned out to be the most personal one – the post where I have disclosed so many weird things about me, my likes and dislikes etc…I will shut up now…this post is very close to my heart, and those who know me will like this…those who are bored after reading this, then well, what can you do now…you have anyways read almost the whole post, so don’t sigh...


####

55 – True Story

The Twitter Effect

They were laughing like mad after reading those few lines flashed on their computer screen time and again...the feeling they shared was mutual – craziness...then the idea popped in, the idea of a short story, the work was assigned to the queen, but she preferred to stay at the shore rather than swimming in the butter..

PS: This story will make sense to few people only and it is dedicated to them…rest of you please skip this part of the post :D

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ten years in Four hours - A Journey

The excitement of travelling by local train after a gap of around six months, that too during rush hour, excited me as much as my first ever encounter with this Mumbai lifeline 11 years back which was a dream come true for me...most of the people I knew then back in my hostel were too frightened of the train and rush...well actually I always like weird things more, so that answers my liking for local train travelling too...but sadly, that day there was not much of a crowd in the train as it was a second Saturday – usually a holiday for many people...so well I travelled comfortably till Churchgate, seated near the window, no fights and abuses by a single person in the whole compartment. Now that’s saying something...

I get down at Churchgate station platform number one...out of the usual habit, I turn around to take a glimpse of Sydenham College – the Pink building I am still in love with, the B road that still forces me to walk on it whenever I am at Churchgate, and so I do that – a walk down memory lane, to the canteen, the cutting chai out there with the mawa cake(s)...Ah my mouth is watering right now...


The taxi that i am going to travel by for the remaining part of my journey is stuck in trafic, so I have another half an hour to spare...so the second destination of this not at all planned journey – Tea Centre...another chai there, chilly garlic french fries and open face sandwich (new on the menu), and i am all delighted...


Yasinbhai calls me informing that he is waiting outside for me, so I finish my tea and leave from there...my journey has just begun...some work near Stock Exchange and from there to Thankur Dwar near Charni Road via Crawford market, the cab passes by my Hostel, and again the same old nostalgic feeling is back haunting me...the STD booth from where I made calls to mum and dad every second day, the Chinese corner that served us food on all the bad food days of the hostel (four times a week i.e.), the GPO PCO, VT station (it was VT when i was in hostel), bus number 138 that took me from hostel to college everyday, the Bora Bazar lanes that were used so frequently as shortcuts, the hostel building that was home away from home, the charitable hall attached to it that provided us snacks on so many evenings thanks to the weddings and other functions happening there all the time...

After completing the Thankur Dwar work, we are all set to return home, and upon my request, the cab has been taken via Hinduja College, opposite to which my classes where i studied for 5 years are there...the tall ancient looking building with the hoardings of various classes names flashing, the sandwichwala is no longer there near Hinduja College, but the Aarey stall and coconut water fellow is still there, the Golden Star Thali – famous for its Rajasthani Thali and quantity if you are ordering a take away. Three to four people can easily eat from one parcel for Rs. 180/- (I guess the rates are still the same)...though home is still around one hour away thanks to the new Sea Link, for me, my journey, ten years of my life span that i have managed to revisit and relive in four hours, comes to an end...now only the travel part – a mere formality to reach home, or call it my end point...A journey i don’t want to end, well it will never end...it goes on and on, the new destinations are waiting to be discovered, or rather, already there on cards...


PS: Click on the link to read the detailed posts on the Hostel and Tea Centre.
PPS: I have found another place that has embraced the whole Mumbai City in four walls...A post on that will be there soon...and yeah it's another restaurant :D

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Once, There was a Prithvi Theatre Restaurant...


My last working day, diwali preparations almost over, I go and give Diwali cards for priting (finally) to send across the clients...so I am done for the day, well almost...so I meet my partner Heena and we head for one of our favourite hangout joints – Prithvi Theatre...there are quite a few reasons behind me going there:

1) amazing tea we get there (well people, if you want to know where you get nice tea in Mumbai, you know whom to contact right?),

2) the best place to have anything made of eggs – be it bhurji, sunny side up, full fry, omelet etc.

3) best place to crib about. Once you enter there, all the frustration comes out automatically and you feel so relaxed..

4) the ambiance – those wooden benches and tables, dimly lit paper covered lamps, a very casual and chilled out place...

One of my favourites there is the menu card...it gives you all the information about movies and theatre work done on the city, for eg, it has yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan song lyrics, few plays made on the city...additionally, it gives you information and serves you the most famous items available across Mumbai – like merwan cake, city bakery’s mawa cake, chaupaty’s bhel puri to name a few...so in short, one place gives you the whole Mumbaiya feeling in a go...

We had not been to this amazing place for quite sometime...this morning we entered with the intentions to crib about every other thing (I feel we should do that sometimes too...it helps to rewind and it is better than the gossips about people around us and even people we don’t know)...the place still looked so welcoming...we took the best possible seats...my intentions apart from well cribbing was to click the images of this wonderful place and post them here, images of the menu card above all, to know more about the restaurant, the history etc...and, a perfect year-end post (don’t be so happy, I won’t spare you for such a long time...I only mean the Hindu year end, which ends on Saturday :D)...

We are there for last five minutes, but no signs of the waiter for taking the order...nor we can see anybody on the food counter...so Heena goes and inquires...the reply she gets – It is a self service joint...she is a bit surprised at that person’s rude tone, but ignores...she asks if she can get the menu card, again she is denied outright and told to check the board outside and come and place the order...she still keeps her patience and asks whether she will get anything in egg or not...she is denied, and we leave the place next moment without having anything...

The place that was so special to us, so very close is no longer existing in our heart...the service and replies disappointed us and left us sad...the reason behind this? Well this restaurant was always full of theatre people chilling out, smoking and talking...sometime back, smoking was banned in public places which included restaurants too...so it started losing crowd...earlier it was difficult to find a place there, lately you could choose your seats...the most selling items were chai, eggs and bun maska, but people hardly came there...this morning, only 3 tables were occupied...we were surprised initially, but not anymore...


I will still bring myself to visit that place in near future...it holds mumbai together so closely...many struggling actors, directors etc. got their first dose of fame there for the first time...the theatre is still one of the bests in Mumbai, but the restaurant, well I hope it gets its soul back soon...but for now, I have lost a very important place that stood by me in my rough patch and helped me unwind always...I always came out smiling from that place...today was different and I hope today was the last time of it being different...


PS: I had to google the images, as I didn't feel like clicking any myself...
PPS: wishing you all Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year...




Sunday, October 11, 2009

A cuppa at The Tea Centre

When I go to town (South Mumbai), there are two “must visit” places – Sydenham College Canteen and Tea Centre...sydenham canteen, a detailed post will follow soon on my or our space, but today it is the time for Tea Centre...a nice and cosy (not for the couples) restaurant located on the ground floor of Resham Bhavan, Churchgate, one minute walking distance from churchgate station...if you are looking for some quiet moments and peace, then this is the place to be at (well, they ain’t paying me anything for advertising them through this post, but I love that place so much that I couldn’t stop myself from writing a post on it)...

(a small part of the poster on the wall)

Tea Centre has been there since the year 1956, but it was not so very popular then and until few years back...it was run by the Tea Board - a government enterprise, and that time they sold tea powder to the wholesalers...few years later, the well known ad man Prahlad Kakkar was approached to groom this place...and the Tea Centre became a vibrant and peaceful joint for tea lovers...


(the full size poster)

The concept of the restaurant is very refreshing, with chattai curtains on the window, a small bell on each table, and above all, a wide range of more than 50 hot and ice teas on the menu is a blessing for all the chai lovers...

I have seen two different looks of Tea Centre - one designed by Prahlad Kakkar, (PK) and the second one by someone appointed by the new management that took over this place couple of years back...(well I couldn't get this information, as the waiter whom we asked post the renovation was new there)...the one designed by PK had light green walls, lots of paintings on exhibition, fewer tables and the bell..all these things combined gave the place a chilled out look...the new one has light brown walls, pictures with witty one liners have replaced the paintings, more tables and chairs, and the bell still remains there...they serve you tea in kullads if you request them for the same...

I used to study there during exams, with a cuppa in hand, peaceful and quiet environment and since very few people knew about it, we were never shooed away...and if my bad luck was haunting me resulting into exams falling post month mid, then college library was the only option...reason? of course, when you are getting tea for rupees 4 in college canteen, why will you spend 40 during the month end at tea centre right? ah, those good old pocket-money days...

Time has changed, so have the teas there...few old ones are out for which we always craved specially at the time of cash crunch...but now I have enough money to have that the whole month, but that Yogic Assam Chai is off the menu...so is the wine tea...but the place still has the same warmth, food has the same taste, waiters are still as friendly as they were, and the bell is still there...

If you happen to visit that place during lunch time, then Chatpati Bhindi is a must order...even if u hate bhindi, you will love this dish there...

There is a Tea Store too inside the Tea Centre, where you will find all possible types of teas you can think of from green tea to dried tea leaves, ayurvedic tea to flavoured tea, everything...they even sell kullads there...all in all, don't miss this place if you are at town and love tea...






(The tea store sneak peek)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Show off post!!!

Gosh, I have been in a major shock for last few hours...SO I had to write this post...Sreya, or Guria, or the MM girl (check her blog to know the meaning of MM guys, don’t expect everything to be served ready-made on your plate...and darn, I have hyperlinked all her names too, so it is not gonna be that difficult) gave me an Award this morning...The Insightful Blog Award...and like all the other awards, i loved this one too...wait wait, are you guys thinking that I am simply showing off? Hell ya, you are right...don’t believe me? Then check the extreme right column of my blog...you will see quite a few awards...I am still missing many...I see a lot of them doing rounds on the blogger and hope to grab them (or simply pick them up from there if I don’t get them) soon...


Ah, in my usual blabbering I again forgot to mention the reason behind my SHOCK...well, I was expecting anything but an insightful blog award...Sreya, gal, I am completely surprised and stumped...innit obvious me feeling so? I have not yet reached on the wrong side of twenties, and you calling me insightful already? Well, loads of expectations on me now...Mr. Obama, I exactly know how you feeling at the moment...but I don’t have to prove anything to anybody, so good luck to you...

Again, I forgot to mention another award...I have already admitted that I love showing off awards, so why raising your eyebrows again? This one is from Nazish Rahman who thinks that my blog is fabulous...thank god people on blogsphere don’t know me personally, thank you lord for your kindness and blessing always...and Nazish, please be under this illusion always...god bless you too...and yeah, I want to present this award to Insignia...I have passed on awards to almost everybody whose blog and posts I like, but this fabulous blogger is yet to be awarded, and she truly deserves it...




Now this one is nowhere related to what I wrote so far in the post (?)...the image below is of a road direction board located at Borivali Link Road...I know the ways, but if you are coming to Mumbai for the first time, then God bless you all!!!




PS: Darn, I should have named this post God Bless you...i used that so many times...is this because of the Insightful tag? God, please bless me now!!!!!



Thursday, October 08, 2009

Domestic Violence Part 2 - Facts and Measures


DISCLAIMER: THIS POST SPEAKS ABOUT ONE OF THE MOST SENSITIVE TOPICS – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. I INTEND TO COVER ALL THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC WHICH INCLUDE LEGAL ASPECTS, JUDICIAL ASPECTS, ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECTS AND FACTS. THE VIEWS POSTED HERE ARE PURELY MINE. I REQUEST YOU ALL NOT TO GENERALIZE THEM AND ACT PURELY BASED ON THEM. THIS POST WILL BE DIVIDED IN TWO OR MORE PARTS. IF ANY OF YOU HAS ANY DIFFICULTY IN UNDERSTANDING ANY TERM, THEN PLEASE LEAVE YOUR QUERY IN THE FORM OF COMMENT AND I WILL ANSWER IT TO MY BEST KNOWLEDGE.


Applicability of the Law – The Process

1. The procedure for filing the complaint against the accused is that the victim can go to the police station nearby and file the complaint.

2. This offense is a non-bailable offense. To get the bail, the accused has to be presented in the court in front of the judge.

3. This offense is a non-compoundable offense. That means the complaint once filed cannot be withdrawn by the complainant or her relatives.

4. It is a cognizable offense. That means the complaint has be registered and investigated before making any arrests.

******


My previous post and the points above spoke about the legal aspects of the Section 498 – A and Domestic Violence Act. My intentions for this post are not only to give information about how law works and protects you, but to give you a general guideline on how few precautionary measures can help you to protect your and your family’s interest when any kind of a case is filed.


Applicability of the Law – The Practice


In case of complaint filed under Section 498-A and Domestic Violence Act, the usual practice that has been followed is:

1. Whether to lodge the complaint or not, it depends on which party is stronger – the accused or the complainant.

2. Even though it is a cognizable offense, in most of the cases the arrests are made immediately after the complaint is lodged. There is no investigation made before arresting the accused party/ies.

3. Stronger the lawyer, stronger the case. Here I am not talking about a knowledgeable lawyer, but i am talking about influential lawyer. It is easy to know the law. A fresh graduate fighting his/her first case can also help you out in these matters, but when there is a question of getting a bail at the earliest, or making sure that the case gets sorted out as a settlement between two parties, you need a good and influential lawyer. That time it does not matter whether you are right or wrong. All that matters is who is your lawyer.

*****

My previous post got all different reactions from the readers. Few of them found the law very biased towards women to such an extent that women can take undue advantage of it. A few thought that each and every woman must know what protection law gives them, while a few were more curious to know about the actual practice as they rightly said that the law in the books and the law put in practice are two different things. As I mentioned there, and I am repeating here, I am not going to give a biased opinion that can protect or frame anybody, but the points mentioned below are the measures you can take when framed or before being framed:

1. Enter into a Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) before marriage. Prenup is a declaration saying that neither of the parties has demanded or given any dowry. The jewellery, articles, clothes, vehicles etc. all are given to the girl as a gift by her parents and/or relatives. (If any of you require a prenup copy, then please mention that as a separate comment along with your e-mail id. I will send it to you and not publish the comment containing your id.)

2. Get the prenup duly signed and executed by the parties. Further, two witnesses each party must sign the Prenup as well.

3. Make a list of the articles brought in by the girl at the time of the wedding. The girl has a de facto (actual) right on Stridhan. Stridhan means and includes property inherited by the woman from her family or husband’s family; property received by her under a compromise, adverse possession or in lieu of maintenance; property obtained in partition; and property bought using proceeds from stridhan. However, gifts to the husband by the woman or her relatives will not be part of her stridhan.

4. Evidence plays a very crucial role when a complaint is filed. It can convict the innocent and evict the guilty. Thus it is highly recommended to keep all the documents viz. Marriage certificate, bank statements, Prenup, the list of the gifts received at the time of the wedding, wedding pictures, bills etc. Safely, copy them all and get the marriage certificate notarized so that both the parties have the valid copy of the same.

5. When a woman is physically abused, she should go to the doctor immediately, get the treatment and certificate mentioning the specific reason for the injuries from him. Here, it is highly recommended to go to a government hospital for the treatment as the certificate issued by the government hospital has a stronger legal stand. This point can be raised by a man who has been framed wrongfully by a woman when the case comes in the court. It may or may not help, but can be useful.

6. When a physical or verbal abuse is happening, start screaming and alert your neighbours. This can help you to get witnesses when you do not have sufficient evidences to prove your point. Further, it may help to avoid the damage being done further.

7. The moment you get the idea that there may arise some problem regarding any general or a specific issue; consult a lawyer before hand rather than waiting for the problem to take over first. This will help you maintain peace of mind and nerve when in trouble.

8. If possible, install the recording, itemized bills and caller id facilities on your landlines and mobiles.

****


PS: I have covered almost all the aspects and measures I could think of. If I have missed out on something, then i will surely share that with you in future.

PPS: To read the first part of this post, please click here

Monday, October 05, 2009

Domestic Violence Part 1 - Legal Aspect


DISCLAIMER: THIS POST SPEAKS ABOUT ONE OF THE MOST SENSITIVE TOPICS – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. I INTEND TO COVER ALL THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS RELATED TO THIS TOPIC WHICH INCLUDE LEGAL ASPECTS, JUDICIAL ASPECTS, ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECTS AND FACTS. THE VIEWS POSTED HERE ARE PURELY MINE. I REQUEST YOU ALL NOT TO GENERALIZE THEM AND ACT PURELY BASED ON THEM. THIS POST WILL BE DIVIDED IN TWO OR MORE PARTS. IF ANY OF YOU HAS ANY DIFFICULTY IN UNDERSTANDING ANY TERM, THEN PLEASE LEAVE YOUR QUERY IN THE FORM OF COMMENT AND I WILL ANSWER IT TO MY BEST KNOWLEDGE.

Part – 1. The Law

So many bloggers on this blogsphere have written something related to women suffering from physical abuse by her husband, so many newspapers and news channels report various news about dowry death, or torturing a woman to an extent that she decides to end her life rather than living in such a terrible state. Such cases which catch the public eye through the medium of media are very few. The numbers in the limelight are not even 10% close to what is actually reaching the stage of a police complaint against the accuse (which is a husband always, that is what I have seen at least). Additionally, there are very few people (again, usually women) who actually file a complaint against the party who has been accused of physical abuse, mental torture and/or dowry demand. Most of them prefer to keep quiet about this due to various reasons like family and society pressure, no or minimum financial support, future of kid/s , inefficiency of legal system and so on and so forth.

My intention for writing this post is not to give anybody a negative picture of either the judicial system or the administrative system. I simply want to put forward the picture that I have seen so far in my practice. I have never been directly involved in these matters – in a lawyer’s term, we call it family court practice – but, I have referred to, studied and come across many such cases that fall within the purview of domestic violence.

Earlier, there was only one section – Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code (popularly known as IPC) which protected a woman who had become a victim of domestic violence by her husband or his relative/s. But in the year 2005, a new law – The Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was enacted that specified the smallest of detail that can cause torture and/or physical as well as mental harassment to a woman.

What does the Law say?

Our Judicial system considers the harassment of the women as a criminal offence. Section 498A of IPC says that: S/498-A – Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation-For the purpose of this section, "cruelty" means-

(a) Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health whether mental or physical) of the woman; or

(b) Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her meet such demand.

Definition of domestic violence.- For the purposes of this Act, any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it –

(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or

(b) harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or

(c) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or

(d) otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person. Explanation I.-For the purposes of this section,-

(i) "physical abuse" means any act or conduct which is of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm, or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the aggrieved person and includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force;

(ii) "sexual abuse" includes any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of woman;

(iii) "verbal and emotional abuse" includes-

(a) insults, ridicule, humiliation, name calling and insults or ridicule specially with regard to not having a child or a male child; and

(b) repeated threats to cause physical pain to any person in whom the aggrieved person is interested.

(iv) "economic abuse" includes-

(a) deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an order of a court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the shared household and maintenance;

(b) disposal of household effects, any alienation of assets whether movable or immovable, valuables, shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property in which the aggrieved person has an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of the domestic relationship or which may be reasonably required by the aggrieved person or her children or her stridhan or any other property jointly or separately held by the aggrieved person; and

(c) prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or facilities which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship including access to the shared household.

Explanation: II.-For the purpose of determining whether any act, omission, commission or conduct of the respondent constitutes "domestic violence" under this section, the overall facts and circumstances of the case shall be taken into consideration.

to be continued...

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PS: The explanation given above is what the Law says, whatever is written in the law books has been mentioned verbatim and not the tempered or modified version. How the law works outside books, that will be explained in the next post.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A tale of multiple tales...

Couple of days back I was travelling from Andheri to Goregaon…It was around 4 pm, still the weather was not too humid (now that is saying something)…the autowala was friendly and cheerful too…my my what else I could have asked for…he was telling me his life story…he was from a small village located somewhere near Bihar as I did not know any other place located nearby and Bihar was the next closest place, and was here to make money (I hope there is nobody on my blogger’s list from MNS or sena), he had a small family back home, ek sundar joru (beautiful wife) aur badmash chhotu (his 3 year old son) as he put it…and yes, he was one of the fortunate fellows who had not yet become a victim of “anti north Indian people staying in Mumbai and taking away the jobs of Marathi manus” campaign…

And I reach almost mid-way, enjoying the bumpy ride and stories of the autowala, who happens to be very much talkative as well…he tells me what all problems he faces due to the lack of his knowledge about Marathi language…his license has been confiscated thrice so far for not knowing the state language (I checked the facts, and it is mandatory for the public transport drivers to know the local language) and he has almost mastered it by now…he stays with two more autowalas in a chawl located near Jogeshwari station, the money he earns does not suffice as he has to send it back home, pay rent here, cook food on his own, do all the work himself after the thirteen hours shift, medical and tobacco (I saw the packet in front, so I guessed this particular expense) etc. And his tale was interrupted by the crowd gathered on the left hand side of the road, laughing…my auto also halted as there was a signal ahead, and a little bit of traffic due to people’s curiosity to know what was happening…there we saw a lady hitting her husband with a stick, who was way too drunk to defend himself…I was feeling really sad about it, and my lawyer’s mind even started thinking about the remedies available to him, as the domestic violence act mentions about protecting a woman’s interest...and people were laughing out there instead of stopping them…I know that he was way too drunk, but he at least did not deserve beating from his wife, that too in public? Then we overheard couple of people in the crowd saying that the fellow being beaten up is the one who usually beats that lady always…I did not know whether to feel sorry for the man or his wife...before we got to know anything further, the traffic and signal got cleared, and we moved ahead…

Now it was again the autowala’s turn for his stories…he told me that this was a very common thing where his family is…there ladies only beat their husbands always…husbands are the one who get all the beatings from them…my question – Have you been beaten up ever? He said no madamji, my wife is very nice…she has never beaten me up…rather I have not given her a chance as I moved to Mumbai after 6 months of my wedding…he then spoke about Mumbai traffic, Mumbai weather, policewalas taking bribe and couple of more things I can’t recollect at the moment…and he was to start talking about RTO and I reached home…and one of the most memorable journey that I have ever had in Mumbai came to an end…




PS: I came across this wonderful post by Shruti, a very talented blogger, about parents and old age - Tardy Realization...It is a must read...

PPS: I am not going to be in town for few days...so there might be a slight delay in case of replying to your comments...so thank you all in advance :)

PPS: This post script is for Vishnu, who masters in writing multiple post scripts.. my small attempt towards it..:)