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A grandma's justice

>> Thursday, April 21, 2011

Death of 23-year-old Soumya, who was pushed out of a moving passenger train, dragged on the tracks and then raped by a notorious one-armed criminal few weeks back had led to widespread protests in Kerala. Soumya later succumbed to her injuries. The girl was the bread winner of the poor family and carried lots of hopes and dreams of her future.

Almost 37 years after she was raped, Aruna  Shanbaug lies unconscious in a hospital bed at a Bombay hospital where she was working as a nurse, at the time of the rape. The criminal served a  sentence of seven  years and lives his life outside,free.

This story was sent to me by a friend of mine. I liked the way this grandma dealt with the issue.In a country like ours, where every rapist walks away with some kind of minor punishments,she is probably a good model.


Gun-toting granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down and shot off their testicles !

The old lady spent a week hunting those men down and, when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way,said Melbourne police investigator Evan Delp.

Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be:  "Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God."
Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the hotel room where he and former prison cell mate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up.

The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas' testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said.
"The one guy, Thomas, didn't lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won't be using it the way he used to," Detective Delp told reporters. "Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they're just happy to be alive after what they've been through."

The Rambo Granny swung into action on August 21 after her grand-daughter Debbie was carjacked and raped in broad daylight by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row. "When I saw the look on my Debbie's face that night in the hospital,I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself because I figured the Law would go easy on them," recalled the retired library worker. "And I wasn't scared of them, either because I've got me a gun and I've been shooting all my life. And I wasn't dumb enough to turn it in when the law changed about owning one."

So, using a police artist's sketch of the suspects and Debbie's description of the sickos, tough-as-nails Ava spent seven days prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place 'till she spotted the ill-fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel. "I knew it was them the minute I saw 'em, but I shot a picture of 'em anyway, and took it back to Debbie and she said sure as hell, it was them," the oldster recalled.

"So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door, and the minute the big one opened the door, I shot 'em right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt 'em most, you know."

"Then I went in and shot the other one, as he backed up pleading to me to spare him. Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in."

"Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God."

Now, baffled lawmen are trying to figure out exactly how to deal with the vigilante granny.

"What she did was wrong, and she broke the law, but it is difficult to throw an 81-year-old woman in prison," Det. Delp said, "especially when 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for Mayor."

The courts and the legislature have to make many changes if the laws of rape are to be any deterrence. The sentence of punishment, which normally ranges from one to ten years, where on an average most convicts get away with three to four years of rigorous imprisonment or with a very small fine; and in some cases, where the accused is resourceful or influential- may even escape by paying huge amounts of money and get exculpated. The courts have to comprehend the fact that these conscienceless criminals- who sometimes even beat and torture their victims- who even include small children, are not going to be deterred or ennobled by such a small time of imprisonment. In the best interest of justice and the society, these criminals should be sentenced to the least of a life time imprisonment. 


What is it all about?

>> Friday, April 15, 2011


I recently made a comment on a post, where I couldn’t quite agree with what the blogger had written. There are many times I have received such comments too. This blogger wrote in reply that he doesn’t care what others think about the issue and was not prepared for any further discussions on that issue. While replying to my comment, this blogger revealed some great discoveries that came out of his big brain and said” And I close the case”, meaning he didn’t want further discussions on the issue, or ” Do not comment if you don’t agree with what I say”

I have, on the other side, seen very tough and hostile sounding arguments over some topics where the bloggers had commented and replied and gone back and again replied with equal or more power, and at the end, become good friends.

We are not here to change the world. Or to hammer our own ideas on to others.
At the same time, we can make ripples that can, on occasions form strong waves.... what we call ‘ the butterfly effect”.

This blogger made the comment that she doesn’t believe in writing about issues and supporting causes, but only believes in doing. That is a wonderful idea in itself. But then, how would others know about it?

Recently I came across a website, change.org. By bringing to surface many issues of social injustice, this site has mobilized opinions of millions of readers across the world, and has been able to make major changes in the attitudes of governments on many social and ethical issues.

Blogging não tenho nada a dizee


So, it is not that opinions have no value.

Matt Haughey is probably best-known as the creator of Metafilter, the first community weblog .He is the co-author of We Blog , and a contributor to numerous other books on technology.

“I was an absolutely dreadful writer until years of daily email and blogging let me practice to the point at which I finally feel I can write well and express myself.
“There are things I won’t write about because I know it would hurt my family or friends, and I’ve come to terms with those compromises. I’ve come to terms with the boundaries I’ve had to draw to maintain order in my life. ”

Hugh Mac leod httpgapingvoid.com

This was something I learned over time and many mistakes. At the time I started blogging, I was in the middle of so many personal problems and took it as an outlet to vent out the issues. It took me time to learn that was a mistake. I had unknowingly hurt some people. After all, one can learn from own mistakes and from others too. That is why I mention it here, so that others could learn from my mistakes. As far as possible, keep very personal matters out of the blog, especially if it involves others.

“Don’t write every post for the social sites. It isn’t genuine and people get tired of it.”
“If you aren’t sure a post is good, sit on it for a day. If you still aren’t convinced, delete it. A bad post is worse than no post.”
“Be prepared to completely run out of ideas after the first 3-4 months.” 

I have faced such situation where I had spent time thinking about what to write. I have seen experienced bloggers churning out posts daily, sometimes even many times a day and have wondered how they come across ideas. The difficulty is not to write, but to write something interesting.

“It’s easy to become big headed when people rave about how great you and your blogs are to the point where you end up being a complete jerk and think you’re the greatest writer. But on the flip side, it’s also easy to become disillusioned and depressed when they rant about and attack you. Part of the skill of being a good blogger that comes over time is that ability to know when to take on board what others are saying about you and when to leave it. It is important to listen to the praise and critiques of others but try to keep them in perspective or it could lead to your downfall”.

During an interview with Elizabeth Taylor, she was asked if she read much of what people write about her in the media. Her answer was no – she didn’t listen to or read anything ever written or said about her, good or bad. Her explanation as to why was

‘If you listen to the good things people say about you, you might just start believing them. If you listen to the bad things people say about you, you might just start believing them’

“One of the temptations of starting a blog is to spend more time trying to emulate other bloggers than establishing your own voice and style. While there are a lot of lessons to be learned from other blogs there is a lot to be said for developing a strong blogging identity of your own".

This is what experts say, and I am not an expert. With millions of bloggers across the world, it would be silly to think that I have become a great blogger. For me, it is just enough that I have met some nice people over the blog and befriended them.

After all, what is it all about?


Hello, Appukka !

>> Monday, April 11, 2011

Whenever I call home, he insists to talk to me. When the telephone rings, he would run to pick it up and answer “ Hello, Appukka "

I don’t know how he invented this name for me. From the time he started saying names, he has been using this name for me, ” Appukka”. He refuses to change it in spite of efforts from all around him. I have heard grand pas being called “ Appappa, Appacha, Valyappacha and all. But I haven’t heard this name. He has invented a unique name for me.

If he starts talking to me, he wouldn’t care whether it is overseas call or not. He would keep on talking till he has exhausted all the stories and the long list of toys he wants. His stories would revolve around fights with Govind, his close friend and foe at school. He would get offended if I try to cut him short.

He is learning fast. Now he would wait for my wife to pick up the telephone first and start the conversation. He would listen to make sure who she is talking to. The other day, he started crying and yelling for the telephone when my wife was talking to me.

She said “This is not Appukka, I am talking to someone else”

“No, No, it is lie. I heard you calling him “Chetta’ “ ( That is the way my wife addresses me !)

He is going to be four years. If my wife scolds him for something, he would say

“Pack my bag, I am going to Appukka”

My wife asked him ‘How will you go? You will need a ticket to go”

“Oh, I will go by Emirates !”

My wife brings him here every time she comes. It is easier to process the visa if you buy tickets from Emirates, and he is used to flying emirates air lines!

I have been watching with awe the way kids learn things. The first time he was brought to the airport to receive me; he had seen me coming out of the air port, pushing the trolley. Since then, if he sees anyone pushing a trolley or cart, he would start calling “ Appukka”. He probably thought, my job was pushing carts!

I think it is easier for them to learn the bad words than the good. He is fond of cartoons and watches the BBC children’s channel. We have permitted him to watch that. They carefully choose the programmes for children. If at all he has learned funny words, it is from the local channels. He has quickly learned words like ‘ Poda choole !,( get lost, broom stick !) Patti, Ponnan ( fatso) and all !

He is a wonderment that has been woven into an unbreakable web of pure love. In his eyes I see full of promises and dreams yet to be revealed. He makes me realize how wonderful our lives are and how much fuller our spirits are for having been given this miracle. You will have the unfortunate experience of dark days and tremendous moments of grief and misunderstanding. But in the end, when all is said and done, you… we… will be more complete, more whole, more loved, more patient and kinder because we were chosen to touch, hold, hug, parent, comfort, nurture and most of love a child.

Now he knows he has two of these Appukkas and he has found out a solution. He calls me Babu appukka, and Sheri’s father as Biju appukka. Sheri’s mother is Ivy ammachi. My wife is his Ammacha, and Celin’s mother is Ammammachi.

The oldest among us is his maternal great grandmother. He calls her by her name “Sosakkutty “ !!.


Rape treatment!

>> Thursday, April 7, 2011

I had a heated argument once with a friend of mine on homosexuality. My friend, a doctor, is a born again Christian and a strong believer and has answers for all the questions from the Bible .He reminded me of the fire and destruction at Sodom and Gomorrah as the example of God’s attitude towards homosexuality. The people of Sodom were so obsessed with homosexuality that when the angels came to visit Loath at his home, they crowded in front of his house to get at those good looking guys. Loath, in all his good will to protect his guests, even offers them his own beautiful daughters for sex, but they were not interested. Thus the story goes. The name sodomy came from the name of this destroyed city.

This came to my mind when recently a gay boy joined the department as male nurse. From the beginning, I had felt he was different, but later came to know that a ‘friend’ of his had joined another ward, and they had come together to this place to work. They walk around as intense lovers can be, and share the room. He is one of the best behaved persons in the ward, and committed to his work. I have seen and heard the so called “normal” people secretly ridiculing them, but have wondered at the way they are able to live happily, unconcerned at all the jeers.

Then, last week, I came across this shuddering piece of news.

Lesbians living in South Africa are being subjected to "corrective rape" and severe violence by men trying to "cure" them of their sexual orientation, a human rights group have said. A report by the international NGO Action Aid, backed by the South African Human Rights Commission, said the horrific crimes against lesbians were going unrecognized by the state and unpunished by the legal system. The ferocity of the attack became clear in April last year when Eudy Simelane, former star of South Africa's national female football squad, became one of the victims. Miss Simelane, an equality rights campaigner and one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian, was gang-raped and brutally beaten before being stabbed 25 times in the face, chest and legs.

But scores more women have been deliberately targeted for rape, the Guardian reported.
Research shows 86 per cent of black lesbians from the Western Cape live in fear of sexual assault. Triangle, a gay rights organization, said it deals with up to 10 new cases of "corrective rape" every week.
Same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa and the country has among the most liberal laws on sexual orientation on a continent where many others ban gay sex. But the rapes in South Africa are a brutal sign that cultural attitudes remain deeply conservative.

In a country long plagued by violence, corruption, and an authoritarian government, Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe is one of the worst anti-gay autocrats in Africa. Mugabe has repeatedly located blame for his country’s ill fate and problems on lesbians and gay men, cultivating widespread bigotry and violence. His virulent homophobia has given rise to the rape of lesbian and gay male Zimbabweans, under the guise of “correcting” them into heterosexuality.

Isn’t it hard to believe such brutal crimes happen in the same world we live in, where we talk about equality and justice? Is being gay or lesbian something to be blamed and ridiculed?
The debates about homosexuality, in part because they often involve public policy and legal issues, tend to be sharply polarized.

The policy and legal debates surrounding homosexuality involve fundamental issues of morality and justice. Perhaps most centrally of all, they cut in to issues of personal identity and self-definition. Hence there is another, and even deeper, set of reasons for the polarization that marks these debates.

I still don’t see the rational in people thinking that being gay is a choice. Could you choose to be attracted to the same sex if it was socially beneficial to you? I was born with urges towards the opposite sex, and there is nothing at all that leads me to believe that it is the same feeling homosexuals have towards their sexuality. People are so ….ing arrogant sometimes, they will rationalize anything to fit their agenda. It has yet to be proven scientifically beyond a doubt, but the world of scientific research has determined that it is most likely a developmental and not a true genetic defect. Rather, a low hormone level during normal fetal development is the most likely culprit. It is not a choice for most, no more than say Down's syndrome or autism is a choice. Some straight, gays and lesbians, however, find attraction to both sexes as they likely received more normal hormone levels during development than a completely gay or lesbian individual but not as much as say a common straight individual.

We see a homosexual and say ‘Eeeeeh !”, but consider this, if later in life you get to know that your friend, brother, sister or your very own son or daughter are gay what would you do?
If you want to talk choice, let us talk about choice. There is a choice in being a Hindu, a Muslim, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, or Evangelical. There are even so many "options" in being a Christian and each group will say they are right and the ones going to heaven.

Making a choice is limiting men and women based on a belief. For all those that say "Where's the gay gene." I would ask, "Where's the straight gene?" I personally hope they don't ever find it. If they do, then people will start screaming for gene therapy to get rid of gays. Then therapies to get rid of other things they find offensive.


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