On WeChat I Chat With…
It is based on these thoughts I have chosen the characters for WeChat group. The post is written for Indiblogger contest, the topic being: If you could connect with 5 or more people in a WeChat group – Who would they be, and Why? What would you talk about? The entire conversation, discussion and dialogues are imaginary, more based on my worries and concern for my daughters and for young girls in general.
The ‘whos’ are mentioned below. Why they? It is because they are some of the women who inspire the young generation of girls today. Jiah was particularly selected to highlight what a wrong step she has taken. What we discussed are issues related to a girl’s life. A short analysis of what can go wrong, how to tackle, aspirations and disappointments. This kind of chatting can go on and on, often not reaching to any perfect conclusion.
The characters chosen are:
1. Nirbhaya (The physiotherapy intern who was gang raped in Delhi)
2. Jiah Khan (movie actress who committed suicide)
3. Fg. Offr. Harita Deol (made history in September 1994 when she became the first Indian woman to do a solo flight in an Avro aircraft. She was killed in 1996 when her Avro transport aircraft crashed near Chennai on a ferry flight to Hyderabad. She was my junior in IAF.)
4. Kalpana Chawla (needs no introduction)
5. Indira Gandhi.
(All discussions and dialogues are imaginary, with no intention to ridicule anybody.)
(WeChat has managed to do one thing for sure it has made chatting simpler. Earlier after packing kids to school, it would be pick up phone select a friend and chat, but now select your own like minded group of friends and chat together. No need of any more kitty parties may be!)
As I complete my morning chores with a disturbed mind I decide to initiate chat with Jiah.
Me: Jiah, Why did you do this, you foolish girl! You are young, beautiful, with a fair amount of success in the short span of your career, young girls of our country look up to you for inspiration and you did this?!!!
Jiah: It was on a spur of moment…
Me: You could have for once thought of Nirbhaya, the brave fight she put up against those who attacked her brutally. In spite of all pain and injuries, she still wanted to live. I am terribly disappointed that you chose to quit!
Jiah: Yes, a thought about Nirbhaya would have surely changed my mind. I have a lot of respect for her.
Me: Let me check the “look around” function in WeChat for her. Yes! She is around! I am sending an invite to Nirbhaya for group chat, Jiah, you too can chat with her. Let me send a “greeting” to Nirbhaya and see if she responds.
Jiah: Is that possible? How do you do that?
Me: Jiah it is like this: You have WeChat apps, click “+” in group chat conversation and select “Live Chat”, send an invite to the group chat’s members. Hold the button in the middle, talk after the indicator light turns green, record your voice message, as soon as you release call button your friend will get your message.
Jiah: Sounds easy!
(Nirbhaya joins the group chat)
Nirbhaya: Hi to both of you!
Nirbhaya: Jiah you had everything in life yet you quit, why dear?
Jiah:(sends wechat ‘sad’ emoticon)
Me: Hi Nirbhaya! I salute you for your bravery! I go numb each time thinking of the trauma you went through. After you left us men, women, students, came out on streets demanding justice for you.
Nirbhaya: Oh! Really!
Me: Women have never felt so unsafe in metropolitan cities, complaints are not recorded by police under some pretext or other, and often cases reach a dead end because of the fear of humiliation a girl has to face as if it is her fault that she was raped. All this is slowly changing and it is all because of the courage you had shown and the protest and cooperation you displayed during your last few days. I wish a miracle had happened and we could save you somehow!
Nirbhaya: Every woman must put up that fight, show those monsters we are not the ones to succumb so easily. I wanted to do so much for my parents and brothers!
That 17 year old boy is the worst of the lot! I trusted him and entered the bus, thinking of what happened after that, angers me even today. I am waiting for justice, what is happening in my case down there? What do they exactly mean by “trial in a fast-track court”? 5 long months are over! When do I get peace?
Me: Nirbhaya we have not forgotten! But I feel ashamed to admit the snail pace of our courts. Cases go on and on… Off late some cases have been tried and cleared, but the hearing in your case is still on. My junior and friend Harita Deol too admires you. Let me refresh the “look around function” in my mobile for her.
Nirbhaya: This is cool! You can keep adding people to group chat is it?
Me: Yes you can. Select “Social” -> “Shake”. Shake your phone to find friends within 1km. Yes! I see Harita in “people found”. Hi Harita join me here with Nirbhaya and Jiah.
(Fg. Offr. Harita joins the chat group.)
Me: Harita I still remember the day my friends and I celebrated when you did your first solo flight. In 1996 we were shocked to silence. The news of your disastrous crash cast the whole AF station under a pall of gloom!
Fg. Offr. Harita Deol:
Well! It happens! No worries. (She sends a smiley emoticon.)It is time IAF starts recruiting women fighter pilots.
Me: You are right!
Harita: Hi Nirbhaya! I am a big fan of you! Just sometime back I was discussing with Kalpana Chawla about how you put up that brave fight against those lechers. A woman’s self confidence is her best weapon to tackle a nasty man. But when it comes to gang attack, I guess the society has to get more alert to stop such incidents.
Nirbhaya: You are so right Harita, had the Delhi police listened to the complaints of the man who was robbed and set off searching for the bus then this incident wouldn’t have happened. People have to be more responsible and alert to what is happening around them, which alone can to a large extent bring down the frequency of such incidents.
Jiah: I was trying to talk but for some reason the indicator light was turning red.
Me: Only one person can talk at a time Jiah. The indicator light will turn red if you press the button while others are speaking, and you won’t be able to talk. Go ahead you can say now, we will listen.
Jiah: Harita, I wish I had known about you earlier. At the age of 22 you achieved so much, and I spoiled my life. You are such an inspiration lady! Nirbhaya, when I heard your feelings for your parents, I realize how selfish I had been.
Harita: Thanks Jiah, I wish you had given some more time to yourself, confided in your parents. They are our most sincere well-wishers. Most ideal way out of your problem would have been to approach a counselor. Bollywood industry must look at this suggestion. Everyday new actors land there with hopes and dreams, not everybody makes a mark. What happens to them who don’t succeed?
(At this point Kalpana Chawla joins in the conversation.)
Kalpana: Hi to you all! I have Harita is in my circle of friends and as I happened to float around saw her chat, so I too joined this group chat.
Harita: You get WeChat in space too?!
Kalpana: Yo! Harita, I was in your range dudette!
Me: Hi Kalpana! To me you are a picture of strength and courage! You dreamed about reaching stars and you really did that! You got selected to NASA, which was a true ‘Wow’ moment! My daughter has read and reread your story several times. She aspires to be an astronaut like you.
Harita: In India, before you became an astronaut, the career of astronaut could be associated only with men. You changed all that! What I like most about you is: you inspire women to live a purposeful life, make them strive for goals in life, thus making it a more meaningful existence.
Kalpana: There are plenty of career options today for girls. Gone are the days when women had to be content with few options. Failure in entrance exams need not be the end of road. Give your daughters a good dose of world’s reality; evolve them as strong individuals, rest they will achieve.
Me: I understand what you mean Kalpana.
Kalpana: Movie stars who don’t make successful careers in cinemas move to plenty other flourishing careers. Jiah, you shocked me. Madam Gandhi too expressed her disappointment on young girls committing suicide over matters of heart and other flimsy failures.
Jiah: (she had nothing to say)
Me: Hello Ma’am, my respects to you! You were my idea of a super woman right from childhood! As I grew up I realized what a great leader you are! I followed you regularly in newspapers admiring your style, confidence and gait. Unfortunately one day you were downed by the very people you trusted!
Harita: We are eager to know what you have to say to us about the present scenario in our country, for women in particular.
Indira Gandhi: We all are in the grip of situations we create for ourselves. How we face the situations and tackle them depends on our bent of mind. So it is important girls are nurtured well right from the start of their life. Educate them, train them well so that they are better prepared to face the ups and down of life. And most important “be your own child’s friend” so that she can approach you with her problem.
Me: Thank you for these words of wisdom.
Indira Gandhi: It feels nice to be in this group chat with you all, though Jiah I didn’t expect to see you so early here. Kalpana, Harita you make me feel proud! You are indeed gems of India!
Kalpana: Thank you Ma’am!
Harita: Thank you Ma’am!
Indira Gandhi: Nirbhaya, to you I hang my head in shame! I could never imagine some men of my country could be as cowardly and heinous as to brutally attack and rape a single unarmed girl. I strongly feel laws have to be amended, new rules made; stringent punishment should be given to law breakers. If fast track trial is moving at this rate, I am worried it will be a year soon and no justice done. A ‘super fast’ track trial must be formulated and culprits be punished at the earliest.
Nirbhaya: I need peace! Redeem my soul!
Jiah: I have learnt a big lesson today: Never give up! I wish the little girls of our country are educated about all brave inspiring women in this world. Every school text books should have stories of these inspiring brave women who have gone down fighting, so that at times of adversity and desperation they are reminded about the brave fights and be inspired to live, overcome and move on!
Indira Gandhi, Kalpana Chawla, Harita Deol, Nirbhaya, Me: Amen !!!
(These are just few of the suggestions or solutions to the different situations, like I mentioned before such conversations do not come to any definite conclusion, ending the chat here on a positive note… hope those who read this get some inspiration in life.)