Saturday, September 1, 2012

Place, Space and Body: a Matter of Concern

Kaleidoscope stays about a kilometer away from major road and rail connectivity. He had no grumble against it. His “walk… walk… walk” destinity was a matter of being in the world. However, recent changes in the never ending urbanization process have made it possible to access newly build Belghoria Express way which is a three minutes of walk from home. Now Kaleidoscope can throw a funny bone to the queen as her world always involved quicker access to Jessor road and VIP road!

Hmmm it’s Express:

Expressway is dark, in fact pitch black after the dusk and is aided with several incidents of murdersBoth sides of the road there are high rise buildings coming up and hence it is not a place for roaming around. Excepting office-time when boarding a bus from the expressway is like fighting for Olympic gold medal, the rest of the time it’s empty and filled with people gambling for the whole day. Therefore, it is the place to be avoided by the queen in absence of Kaleidoscope. Even when Kaleidoscope is accompanying the queen they are to avoid the place after dusk. Even if Kaleidoscope is travelling alone, he should avoid the place after 19:30.

The girl of my college, the girl of my neighbourhood, the girl of my life: three isolated cases

Kaleidoscope’s and in fact everybody’s favourite student, who gives a shocking experience to all the teachers for being a) regular, b) attentive, c)sincere, d) conscience. Additionally she speaks softly and asks questions in otherwise one-way deliberations. She stopped asking questions for the last couple of weeks and this week she stopped answering. Big reason to worry! As Kaleidoscope speaks in private she narrates the repeated threats from one of the local boys as she refused his relationship proposal. The boy happens to be a students’ union leader. So, now she cannot travel alone, she can barely concentrate in studies. She is afraid of conveying this message to her parents as that might put an end to her academic career! Medusa, Kaleidoscope’s colleague is also concerned with this matter. She devotes a blog entry 

Another girl, my neighbour, virtually grownup at our house, is now grownup, still in school, travels alone and hence, is a target for many. She is proposed, harassed, and now needs her mother to accompany her whenever she goes out.

And now the queen narrates all her fears of going to the unknown places, especially places that instigates strong sixth sense! It was a matter Kaleidoscope hardly understood earlier, especially during his college life and afterwards, but now he can make sense of what the sixth sense means. In fact, Kaleidoscope too can now feel there is something, some sense, and some events, no matter how careless and accidental it may seem in public places. There are hands, legs and body that transcend the private-public boundaries for pleasure. No one knows how long that lasts.

The broad spectrum and linkages:

One of the most shocking videos released recently is a long and detailed recording of a gang molestation incident in Guwahati. It reflects on the crimes, which requires a complex response from administration, law and society. We can easily recall the Pinki Pramanik’s case  where she was ‘handled’ by male police officers. We can recall the park street rape case which experiences an unintended politicization. and as part of the process media was accused to cook up the story. For the last several months the country and especially our state is experiencing an unprecedented rise of crime, especially the crime against woman. West Bengal in 2011 climbs up the ladder of “crime against women” rank.Kaleidsocope, like many others finds connections in
1.       Abuse at home.

2.   Khap Diktats: where caste panchayat’s decisions for banning women in UP from going      out and using mobile phone is approved
3.     Honour killing
4.     Dowry related deaths:
5.     Son preference and female feticide.
6.     Female body and advertisements

7.     Concerns for women dress pattern and their free movements that calls for rape!

Kaleidoscope and his avoiding selves:

Kaleidoscope lives in the same world where the interconnected issues are pertinent. Therefore, Kaleidoscope maintains which places to avoid at which time especially when he is with the queen. He has his recommendations for the queen on similar issues. In deep inside he feels the same helplessness while he questions the very foundation of “unsafe”. Kaleidoscope knows what the question is and what question is to be asked. When he suggests the queen to avoid certain places at certain times, and evade the question, “why should that place be unsafe?” he relives, reinforces and reconstructs the world which otherwise he always hates to live in.   


  1. Abhijit Kundu: A must read, I must say, for so many reasons....a touch of new form of journalistic narration which concludes itself, as if in the backend there was no writer..wish we could get more..

  2. We have a big reason to worry about the increasing rate abuse against women. Thanks for brining this issue