Posts Tagged 'bangalore'

Conversations with Bangalore auto driver: A woman’s character

I wrote about a part of my conversation with a Bangalore auto driver. Our conversation meandered from NaMo to Muslim-haters, Rushdie, censorship, in that order.

He brought up Rushdie and how ‘westernized Muslims’ do disservice to religion, leave alone others. I asked if he had read the book. He said he didn’t but he has heard what he wrote about – a parody of Prophet’s life. Unable to resist, I asked what he thought of the ‘satanic verses’.

‘Satanic verses?’ (Later I think if he was just checking what I knew?)

groupI explain. ‘Quran, as I understand, was verbally revealed to Prophet by angel Gabriel (Jibrail as I said to him) in the cave of Hira and it was recorded later by his disciples.

So, before founding of Islam, Meccans worshipped three pagan goddesses. One day Prophet came back from cave and announced that these goddesses were exalted. However, few days later, Prophet retracts these verses that angel Gabriel has informed him that Satan tempted him to utter these verses. Hence, the phrase ‘satanic verses’, right?’

At this point, auto driver is ‘impressed’ with my ‘knowledge’. Even while driving, instead of looking at road, he turns to look back, as if seeing me with new eyes.

‘Yes, those goddesses are Allāt, al-‘Uzzā and Manāt. Prophet had perhaps said it out of his desire to make peace with erstwhile Arabs who worshipped goddesses.’

Continue reading ‘Conversations with Bangalore auto driver: A woman’s character’

Conversations with a Bangalore Auto Driver

On a sultry Bangalore evening at 6pm, I waited at the end of a tiring work day to go home. However, even after 40 minutes, I wasn’t able to either grab an Ola or get any benevolent auto driver to agree to take me to my destination, my home. I wasn’t alone. There were other women unsuccessfully trying to do the same.

autoSuddenly the lady beside me caught one auto and took pity on me. She suggested that I share her ride and after dropping off, I could go further to my destination. It was only a minor detour and I accepted. Honestly, there wasn’t much choice; I had been waiting there for long now.

Anyway, inside auto, I realised that the lady, like me, was from Delhi. Our conversation inevitably covered over-chagrining auto drivers, Delhi men, rapes, Delhi vs Bangalore so on. (I still bat for Delhi though less passionately; I may be growing to like Bangalore.)

As soon as the other lady got off the cab, the auto driver, silent all this while, turned to me and asked: ‘Madam, what were you both talking about auto drivers? I am not so educated but I do understand a little bit.’ I felt a chill go down in my heart and tried to remember what had I said about auto drivers.

I kept my cool, smiled at him in the rear view mirror and said: ‘We weren’t talking anything complex and educational anyway. Of course, you understood everything we said. And we did praise you, didn’t we? For not taking advantage of the situation by overcharging us?’ He was mollified.

‘Oh yes! That’s why I didn’t say anything to you. There is no reason why any auto driver should refuse or overcharge’. We had perhaps run into one conscientious auto driver in all of Bangalore. Thank God for that. Crisis averted. But our conversation did not end.

Continue reading ‘Conversations with a Bangalore Auto Driver’

It Happened in Bangalore!

After Mangalore, it happened in Bangalore on 6th February, 2009.

Edited to add: Other than this, 4 more incidents of attacks on women have been reported in Bangalore. Read another victim, Archana’s  account here. More reports pouring in Hindu. See comment section and PCC blog for more links and updates.

Different people, different intentions. But base point remains same. Lack of law and order. Unfair treatment met out to different citizens based on status, gender and connections. It scared me. I am not ashamed to say that. But it also enraged me. It made me more determined not to cow down. I hope, after reading this story, we can find more ways to engage in something more powerful than usual chest-thumping that we do online.   😦 Your take?

A Nude peace protest against Bush's policies in New Orleans. Undignified?

A Nude peace protest against Bush's War policies in New Orleans. Undignified?

I came across this post via Goofy Mama’s blog. This is not written by me. It is written by a courageous girl Saugata Chatterjee. Story, in her own words that was first posted here:

Continue reading ‘It Happened in Bangalore!’

Interview with Consumer Rights Activist-Amit: Part 2

In the last part of the interview, Amit recounted his experience of fighting a consumer court case on MRP overcharging. In this part of the interview, Amit talks about being vigilant when signing a contract and other common issues such as overcharging by autorickshaws:

You have several times written in frustration on lack of awareness about rights. How do you think awareness could help the cause of consumer rights?

First, people might not understand this, but we are agreeing to contracts everyday, throughput our lives, as “consumers”. People think that contracts are fancy legal documents, written by lawyers, prepared on matters of grave importance. But that’s not true. Contract law deals with every transaction that we make in the marketplace, and as consumers we enter into what is called implied contracts. Which by the way, have the same legal sanctity as express contracts. Whether we buy goods or services, as consumers we are using contract law all the time. Therefore, it is imperative that we have knowledge and awareness of what each contract implies or expressly states.

Continue reading ‘Interview with Consumer Rights Activist-Amit: Part 2’


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