The Other Side of the Gender Debate

When people don’t offer seats to pregnant women on buses and trains, I really wish they would rot in hell.

Since 2007 I’ve been travelling in buses and trains practically everyday including on most Sundays. I often marvel at how women don’t offer seats to pregnant women, while they “book seats” as soon as they walk into the compartment.

The other day I offered my seat to a lady with toddler in tow. While she sat and thanked me, another one told me why did I get up. “If she’s has a young kid, then she should take an auto.”

I’ve read and participated in many debates and discussions regarding women in public spaces and what “etiquette” one applies in these situations. However nothing prepared me for a sixteen year old kid’s response yesterday.

If you’ve travelled by buses in Mumbai, you know that the “reserved” seats are quite prominent on the buses. Seats where women must be given preference to sit. These “reserved seats” are a bone of contention between many a lady and men who travel regularly. The two most extreme situations I’ve seen are that of a college girl asking a senior citizen to get up because it was a “ladies” seat and another when men stand in a relatively empty bus because the only available seats are “ladies” ones. I was quite taken aback at the first incident and mildly amused at the second.

Coming back to yesterday’s bus ride, I was comfortably standing in the bus after I sat for a solid hour in the train. I was probably the only woman standing and strangely enough, a boy got up to offer me his seat. On my repeated refusals, he just said “Baith jao. Gardi mein kisika dhakka lag gaya toh molestation ka charge daal doge”. (Sit down. If someone pushes in the crowd, you’ll file a molestation case.) And smiled.

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it. Are we really putting the fear of the public or “mob” in men of this country or is this how it’s going to be now? Every woman gets offered a seat (read as unwanted chivalry) so that a Dowry-esque accusation doesn’t get filed against the men?

I’m still pondering on what to make of it. Any ideas?

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Why do you hate me technology?

Let me bawl and cry today Ok? Let’s have a heart to heart and I’ll tell you my story and my problems.

At the outset let me clear that I’m neither technologically challenged nor a genius with gadgets. I’m just average. But I’ve my problems.

I spent most of my first two weeks of January rewriting the same assignments multiple times. Once they were lost, then corrupt and finally just not there anymore.

Let’s start with where it all started. I was started BMM five years back, also the time when computers and laptops played a very important role in my life. The system of examination is such, that 50% of all marks are allotted through internal assignments. Therefore, lots of assignments, articles, opinion pieces and reports were written and movies, drama and news clippings made on regular basis.

Twice in this period, my laptops (two different ones) crashed after a long night of work and twice hard disks with around 300gb of data, stopped getting recognised.ย This one time I made a short movie that was saved and playing fine, till the moment it was to be shown to the class. On the podium, on the same laptop, it refused to play. For no apparent reason.

So what does any sane person do? Keep a backup? I saved all my content on a friend’s hard disk. A week after mine stopped working, his did too. Surprise, surprise.

Obviously, then the issue had to be in one particular thing that was on all my devices and hard disks. Solution? I formatted the three laptops and quit using a hard disk while regularly buying and updating my anti-virus and anti-malware subscriptions.

Then I entered my Master’s, and once again, files wouldn’t open, random errors showed up and files that have everything typed and saved, show up blank on being reopened, with no auto recovery.

So let me finally tell you what happened this past semester. I filed everything on my pendrive, and then sent via email. Pendrive got lost after I submitted copies. It was still ok because they were submitted right? Wrong.ย The copies were misplaced and then my email was 99% full so I emptied my sent mail, spam and trash folders. Then a day later I get a call to resubmit them all.

Nevertheless, I wrote them and mailed 6 new files, all redone. Only to discover that 2 files were corrupt and not opening on the computers of 5 people I mailed them to, for back up, you know?

Which brings me to my question: why do some files get corrupt? An hour after they’re saved? When the laptop is protected and nothing seems to be wrong at all? Apparently, “there are many reasons”. Interestingly, there are more entries online on “how to corrupt a word document” rather than “how to recover a corrupt word document”. Sadists.

Anyway, I used all the strength left in me, did those all over again and printed copies before shutting the damn file. And then took five copies of the same before anyone lost them.ย In the end, everyone did 10 assignments, I did 16. Some people take their luck everywhere, no?

P.S. This post was typed on the blogger app on my phone around 9 days back. And saved. Saved. Guess what? It’s still stuck on “saving” a week later. Apparently this is a common issue to the app too. HAD to happen to me right? -_-

P.P.S. If you’re wondering if I’ve quit my book reading for last two weeks, you’re wrong. The reviews are coming up!