Sunday, October 9, 2016

Death Does Not Become Her

Death Does Not Become Her.
 I composed this poem after a spate of news regarding various suicides committed by women ( famous ones like Jiah Khan, Pratyusha and other girls etc) over love. The aim is to tell girls not to commit suicide over love with callous boys. To have self respect and the courage to walk away before it destroys their self respect. Here it goes :-

Three days ago , I saw you cry
For no reason, no matter why
Why should a happy girl be sad
Nothing in life is ever so bad

Friends and family,wondered aloud
Your sadness, did their happiness cloud
‘Cause happiness , much in season
Should not cause grief, without reason

Suddenly, A news flash on TV,
A suicide, we could not believe
The same girl, took her life
No anger, no seeming strife

A boy, for whom she killed herself ,
For unrequited  love, the heartless elf
For shattered dreams, loss of trust
One sided, blinded by lust

What drives one to such despair
Where no hope lives, no one cares
Death seems the only answer
To a bleak future spreading like cancer

Girls , Let me get started
Love is not for the faint hearted
Winning and losing, part of the game
Cheating just drives you insane

Sadness one feels is expressed
With tears and berating, at best
Never an option, Death’s adoption
Depriving someone else of your affection

Learn to face success and failure
With equanimity and composure
No boy is worth ever your  life
Never, never be seduced by a knife

Dont let boys or their  dearth
Rule your life, esteem and hearth
Your are a woman, your own identity
The mistress of your own destiny

Your worth is defined by you
Not boyfriends, husbands or brothers
Respect is what you deserve
Jettisoning those don’t to it adhere

Dear girls, enough said
Don’t love to end up dead
Use love to enrich your soul
Have the courage to be alone

The future is yours to behold
Death will come as foretold
Hold your head high, fight the world
You are a woman, your power unfurled.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Life of Brownie

At the start, a confession. This is a true story. My discomfort with stray animals is well known. But a small change in attitude and perspective, opened up a another dimension in my life. I am truly grateful to all the wild and stray animals who inhabit earth and try to remind us daily, that life is short, enjoy it don't be attached to it and other material things. 

This is the story of Brownie - An adorable, stray dog who adopted my family. Yes, she adopted us and we were and continue to be completely spellbound by her. 

A couple of years ago, we moved to our present house due to my professional requirements. The house we moved into was small but cozy but the surrounding area was amazing. Next to the sea, landscaped gardens, hammocks under the trees, water fountains, duck ponds, a lovely walking track lined with colourful bougainvillea creepers - It was and is paradise. Where in the big, bad, congested city would you find such a haven of peace. 

Coming back to Brownie- This new place had many stray dogs, which I found irritating, but somehow tolerated them. One night, after returning from a party, Brownie came and stood in front of us and looked at us very expectantly..wagging her tail. We stood there, looking at her for a few seconds, and were about to move on, when she did the most unexpected thing - she lay down folded her legs and exposed her tummy to us! looking at us with pleading eyes to pet her, rub her belly. I looked at her for a few seconds, thinking she would get up, but she continued to remain in that pose. So, I bent down and rubbed her belly and neck for a couple of minutes. As soon as I stopped, she got up and went away.

This became a regular occurrence. She would "waylay" me on way to work and be there when i returned. My kids were a little scared, but when they saw me, they too started to pet her. My wife joined in somewhere along the way and the conversion was complete. We now looked forward to petting her daily... :)

One fine day, after a month, as my wife opened our front door, she saw brownie standing in the corridor, looking at us, waiting for us. After the mandatory petting session, which we all referred to as the "Brownie Tax" , my wife gave her some biscuits and she just lapped it up. 

Thereafter, it was a given. She had fixed meal timings. She would come for her morning breakfast, lunch and dinner. At first, we gave her our normal food, which she would lap up with reverence and devotion and look at us for more. But a few tips from other dog lovers had warned us about the dangers of overfeeding and sweet meats, so we used to  refrain. 

A month later, one fine morning as I opened the door to head out for a walk, Brownie lay sprawled across our door foot mat, in deep slumber. No amount of calling or pushing her made her budge. She had claimed the space as her own!!! I finally jumped over her and went out, thus setting the tradition for the next couple of years. She had achieved her aim. She was now our pet but with freedom to move around whenever she desired. 

One day, she lay listless at our door. We were all worried as to what had happened to her. So we started looking around for a Vet. In the meanwhile, she vomited. Oooh.. this was not expected.!!! Simultaneously, a security guard came up (lets call him Bharat), and told us that she had eaten a dead fish, washed up along the shore, inspite of his efforts to stop her. This seemed to be regular occurrence. He told us not to worry and gave her a pill. We asked him about brownie and how he knew her so well. He told us his story:-

Brownie and her two siblings (all females), were born in 2010 in the same complex. After birth, the little puppies used to play around in a secluded spot. One day, a municipal van came to collect stray dogs. mother was picked up and the puppies got left behind as they were playing hide and seek else where. The guards and the caretaker found these puppies squealing for their mother and were hungry. Seeing the defenseless little creatures, they fed them from their own tiffin box. Thus started their saga. These puppies - Brownie, Cocktail and Blackie (all named by my wife and kids), became the guards pets. They took care of them as their own children and used to get food from their homes (milk, chapattis, rice , and meat on occasion). In the meanwhile, as they could not afford a vet, they came across a gentleman, who gave them the address of a young vet, who would come to tend to them and give them their mandatory shots, free of cost. In fact, he was on call and whenever anything happened to these three dogs, the guards would call him and he would come there to treat them, free of cost. And thus they grew up to be healthy (though skinny) dogs with pretty good manners.   :)

We were the new entrants to the scene. Bharat, the guard, was quite perplexed when he observed Brownie was missing from her usual place and was not eating well for the last couple of months. So he followed her to find out where she was going. We were touched by his concern. He seemed a bit sad that she had found some one else , but also seemed happy to see her well fed. 

Thus Brownie became our pet. She would accompany me when I went for a walk or jog, play with my daughters, watch them play basket ball and come and lie on her doormat. She figured  out how to get our attention without barking (she would put her nose on the flap of the letter slot and knock). She would spend all her free time at the doorstep. In the morning she would go to meet bharat and her sisters and play with them It was such a sight to see these siblings play hide and seek!!! The basketball court was her territory and she guarded it fiercely. She still guards it fiercely. 

And thus we settled into a comfortable relationship with her. She wouldn't come into the house. She would hang around her mat and after a meal go, burn it out, playing with her sisters and the guards come back and chill. The look on her face while she would look up imploringly at us to give her something to eat, was so heartbreaking. She loved Marie Biscuits and a packet a day was reserved for her.. By the way, her sisters Cocktail and Blackie also joined the party - Buy one get two free!!!

As  Life is about change and Change is Life, all good things come to an end. We had to move from the apartment. While we were packing and moving, she hung around the house, her mat, looking at us with expectation and sadness, knowing that we were moving out. We contemplated many times to adopt her, take her with us, make her our pet, but there was only one thing that stopped us: The guards loved her and so did her sister Cocktail. Though she would have come with us gladly,  we knew instinctively that she would miss her freedom, her sister and her original keepers - the guards. As we were not moving far away, we decided to leave to there and meet her on a regular basis. After we left, our neighbours told us that she would come up to the house and wait for us. Slowly, she realised that we had left and so she stopped her visits. 

For the first few times, after we left, when we visited her, she would greet us with such happiness, that brought tears to our eyes. She would then, gently nudge us towards our old flat, trying to tell us that- this is our home, lets go there, what are we doing down here!!!. Over time that has stopped as she has realised that we no longer stay there. 

However, everytime we visit her, we take her favourite treats for her and cocktail. She greets us with the same love and affection, everytime. She also takes us to her favourite bench along the walkway and demands the love and affection that is due to her. We give it gladly because we love her so much!!!

So dear Brownie, your presence in our life has added another dimension to it. Your selfless love and affection has taught us to love unconditionally. It has also taught us that you don't need money to make a difference in this world. The love the guards have for you, who feed you and bathe you, out of their meagre earnings have humbled us.  Our children are no longer afraid of wild animals and have learned to love them. You have shown us that the door to happiness lies in front of us i.e. if we choose to open it. Love is all around us, we just need to demand it. We thank you with all our heart.


What makes us happy?
Here is a list :-

  1.  A new shirt, dress or clothes in general. 
  2.  A new Watch or jewelry, house, car, aeroplane
  3.  Meeting old friends
  4.  Promotions, p
  5.  Meeting parents
  6.  Eating good food, celebrating your birthday, anniversary etc..
  7. A new phone, computer, tablet, tv...
  8. Celebrating festivals
  9. Charity
  10. Falling in Love, one night stands, 
  11. Marriage, Kids
  12. Travel
The list could go on and on, but I am hazarding a guess that the above list probably  caters for about 99% of the reasons for feeling happy.

However, the question that lingers is  "Why Doesn't Happiness Last"?

Its logical to assume that once you get anyone of the above things or reasons to be happy, you should continue to remain happy. I mean, that Rolex you just bought for $10000, its going to last a lifetime. Shouldn't that continue giving you happiness? Or that lovely necklace, that iPhone, dress.... Think about it, why doesn't happiness last, because the "thing" that gave you happiness is still there.

Similarly, with friends, spouses, kids, colleagues, lovers, happiness to see them, live with them, is there, but a strange feeling of discontent does creep in, that niggling feeling.....

Economists have coined a law for it "The law of diminishing returns". They have also got it pat down that "Value" of a thing is relative to its desirability among the masses. The iPhone is an Object of Desire but would it be, if millions had not bought it and random people would not have given you envious looks and admiring glances.

Can one be truly happy? Philosophers, spiritual leaders, religions - they all eschew the virtue of moderation and abstinence as a means of achieving lasting happiness. "Attachment is the root cause of all human suffering" quoted Gautam Buddh.  But then how do you explain that euphoric feeling when you  buy that  "Rolex" you always coveted or that "Ferrari". Does it mean that once you acquire it, you should not care about whether it gets stolen, dented or spoilt? Or does it mean that in the pursuit of obtaining it, you make your life a living hell by working overtime to buy it , and only to discover a few months later, that something better has come out and this is no longer the rage, its not worth the effort?

One may be deeply religious and be one with god, but does that ensure happiness? Does it mean that those people are happier that the others? Could be.. but are they always happy?

Wikipedia  has a very nice article on happiness and you should read it. But as always - without all the mumbo-jumbo and science behind all this - My take on Happiness.

  • Happiness is a state of mind. To be truly happy, you need to be happy every moment of your life. This means that everything that happens or whatever you do should make you happy, (in varying degrees at first), but happy nevertheless. 
  • Your happiness should not be conditional - for eg. I shall be very happy if you do this or if I get that .... To be truly happy, you need to be selfless - i.e. you are happy that your friend bought a new car (not jealous!!) , that your parents did something they like but you don't. Similarly, even if your GF/BF/Friend/Wife/Kid did something that you may not approve off, be happy for them. Being sad and angry only makes you miserable. 
  • Money doesn't buy everlasting happiness (momentary definitely!). The proper use of money shall enable you to achieve everlasting happiness,
  • Happiness is in the moment, because reality is momentary. What is now is past, and what the future holds, you don't know. So be happy in the moment, like a child,  and you will experience ever Lasting happiness.

PS. In reality, this is tough, very tough. The way we humans are wired, the way society has evolved, they way happiness is projected.. years of programming need to be undone. Maybe on our death bed lasting happiness will be achieved- so what- better late than never- keep trying, its a liberating feeling.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow - Or is it?

Goodbye's are tricky - you hate some, you love some.

 Check out this song by Train - 50 Ways to say  goodbye

Imagine saying goodbye to the fab gal/guy you just met at the party or wherever and hit it off with.

You want to sleep,
you want to eat,
Every second your heart beep's,
It's her you want to always meet

Never part
Always in her arms
Till  suddenly one day
Your heart goes astray

You want out
Without a rout
You say goodbye
leave with a shout

Or what about that bore you met, who couldn't stop talking and boasting, how do you get rid of that person, without making them feel bad?  
What about that interesting and powerful person you met? You want to hang around him/her because you are enjoying yourself, you really dont want to say good bye.  
Saying Goodbye is an art. What to say in different situations and with elan is sheer artistry.!!!  
So what are the ways one says good bye and their meanings- lets check it out.

The Breakup Goodbye
  1. The classic - Sweetheart - we need to talk - always dangerous!!!!
  2. The hand wringing - Baby , i want to tell you something _ Oh Boy, are we in trouble". This is one goodbye which involves a lot of emotion, crying, time etc.
  3. The Uppercut - The fastest goodbye - Baby - we're done. Bye!! This is one uppercut that floors you and leaves you on the ground stunned. Clean and efficient, does the job well!!!
  4. The Insult -  Baby, you smell/fart/look like a dork etc..  or have you looked at yourself. Very demeaning and makes you feel like shit!
  5. The Ignore - The cowards way out - Stop returning calls, messages, avoid the person on the street...
  6. The Proxy - Send a message through someone or a courier - We're done!
Friendly Goodbye's
  1. Classic - Bye , see you/ya, catch you later - all ok.
  2. Let's catch up sometime -  How about never or if you call , shall consider! These are mostly always rendered without any contact details.
  3. We must do this again - Swings both ways , depending on what tone and expression the other person used .
  4. It's been nice meeting you - Like I care!!! But have a good life, dont bother meeting me in a hurry. Tell me your name next time we meet - I may not remember it..!!!
  5. Bye, Bye, Bye , I gotta run or Somethings come up- The polite brush off, said to a person you would be happy to say goodbye and never meet.
  6. So Give me your number and Lets get together sometime - A good sign that the meeting has gone off well... and there is a chance for something in the future.
GoodBye's related to work
  1. Great doing business with you - Always a good sign - potential for the future.
  2. Ok, Lets fix up something - In trouble pal!
  3. Call me -  Disaster - almost never a good sign.
  4. Listen, I gotta run, another meeting - Boy, am I glad to run. Byeeee and dont call again
I'm sure, there are many other ways to say . In fact , if you come across some good ones, be sure to let me know. Shall add it my repertoire..!!!

Breakup's and Life !

What is love?
Baby don't hurt me
Don't Hurt me
No more

and thus sang Haddaway in one of his most memorable compositions, that brought out his pain when he went through during his breakup.

So, everyone has a story to tell. Of his/her breakup, in school, college, work, life...  Breakups are never easy because the person who gets dumped is left with burning, lingering questions like - Whats wrong with me? What did I do wrong? Is he/she mad? Sometimes the truth is told and you slip deeper into depression or the truth is never told - some half truths like - its not your fault, its mine, I am just not ready for this relationship etc etc. 

Truth be told, we all know when the end of a relationship is near. But we hide, we ignore, the signs that are telling us to get out while the going is good. We hold out for that miracle that will get us back together again, make our lives as exciting and fun when we first met. It's a classic Ostrich in the sand maneuver- the world sees it (the end), your friend's see it, the other half knows it but you still persevere. That hope without hope, clutching at straws, trying to remain afloat, when all is lost. 

How is this related to your work or passion? Well, giving up and walking away is an art one has to learn. I'm not saying don't give it a shot, what I am saying is that if your head  tells you to get out, then get out. Don't listen to that inner voice that tells you to stay and try to make it. Knowing that you have failed, and willing to accept it, with the knowledge that you gave it your best is also an art that one has to learn. Sometimes, somethings are just not worth fighting for. So you need to leave your ego aside and move on.....

Choose your battles carefully!!!!

Love is like a rising stock in the stock market. When there is a bull run, the value rises like crazy but your head tells you that this is short lived, not going to last, that there will be a dip. But what do we do? feel good with the virtual profit, make merry, thinking the good times will roll, but one day we are in for a rude shock- the stock has crashed and you are left holding toilet paper!!!!
However, all is not lost. If you choose your love well (is that really possible!!!), there is a possibility that it can withstand multiple crashes and still come out a winner.  A lambi race ka ghoda/ghodi. 

Remember, learning to walk away when the writing is on the wall, facing it bravely, even when your heart  is crying with pain, and picking up the broken pieces before they have shattered into a million ones, is the true hallmark of a winner. The other is a devdas!!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


What a predictable pattern life weaves around us!! It never fails to amaze me. Let me put it in perspective :-

The Charmed Life

Children born under this tag have it made from the day they were conceived. The best gynaec, best foods, best care, regular check ups, Baby Showers, a customised room (Girly pink or Boy blue), the best gadgets to monitor the health, membership applications to the best clubs and schools, colleges (if you dont qualify for a good college, Dad shall give a generous endowment to get you in), a line of women/boys wanting to hook up, people sucking up to you, never having to hear the word "No", getting to see the world before you complete 21... and the list is endless. (Parties, balls, events, socials , hardly getting to see their parents and vice versa)
The flip side, what motivates this child? When nothing in life is a struggle, its easy to get into drugs for that high, into crime for that thrill, doing things  just because they can and becoming jaded by the age of 21. Some of the smarter ones pick up a hobby/interest and become masters in it and survive the stereotype. I mean, if you dont have to struggle for anything in life, you have to create your own obstacles, your own excitement, your own set of woes or life will be one long equilibrium and make you live in a false sense of reality. Sentences like "You dont know what living hell my life is" are quite common.. :)

The Middle Class Life

 Kids born into middle class families aspire to lead the The Charmed life. They grow up with about 20-60 % of the luxuries the rich kids grow up with. They seem to be more grounded. but most are amazingly insecure. They get many things (of lower quality) and therefore they have the fire to improve their lot to come up to the level of the richie rich. Most of these kids lead a very comfortable life, go to decent schools, have loving parents and friends and seem reasonably satisfied. They know that if they do the bare minimum, they can continue to do well  and lead a nice middle class ordinary life. Ideally speaking, these kids have the most balanced lives and one would expect them to be balanced. Many are.. but like everything else, they too fall prey to drugs, drink and other vices

The Poor Life

These kids have it bad. They rarely get anything they want. Its mostly hand-me-downs, leftovers and a whole lot of insults and pity. They are looked down upon because they are poor. Yes, some kind souls who lead the above two lives take pity on them and try to help them, but by the time they grow up, they have become "Maximizers". They don't think long term (They cant afford to!!!), get what they can NOW, and basically live life in the moment because they don't have a choice. Many of them continue in their miserable existence, roughing it out but those who cant, turn to crime, drugs, drinks and what all!!

These patterns pretty much cover the entire gamut of humanity across continents. Yes there are exceptions to the rule and some of them breakout to do different things, but largely, we all follow the script. Deviations from the script are not welcome as they rock our comfort zone. If nothing bad happens, and the comfort zone goes on for a longish duration, we are again very unhappy. That is the predictable pattern of life.  Just like leading a charmed life doesn't ensure happiness, leading a middle class or a poor one does not mean that you shall never experience happiness. It is all a state of mind!!!

We need to see life as it is. That the fundamental law of life is change. Ennui does not befit humanity. We have tried to make our lives predictable and safe, but our instincts make us change that to do dangerous things. For e.g. Skydiving. In the earlier days, humans had to save themselves from predators, so there used to be a thrill in life. You were always on the alert. Now a days, that threat has been diminished to a large extent, so people go and try out other dangerous stuff to give them that thrill.

So finally we come to the question that people have been asking since beginning of humanity - Why are we here? What is the meaning of our life? Why was I born? Where will all this take us? If we are all destined to die, then what is the point of it all. These are tough questions with no clear cut answers.

For some, the meaning of life is loving, caring, sharing their resources with others. For some its domination, for the others its enjoying all aspects of life without really worrying if others are having a good time. Everyone has a different reason to live. The moment we start thinking about "higher ideals", we feel lost and powerless. I mean, isn't it easier to say "I really don't care" what my life should mean. I am just living it and taking things as they come. Human beings need to do something to justify their existence, animals don't. They simply exist!

There is another issue. If every human being knows that he is going to die, then why are we born in the first place? God created this universe and everything in it. So if we were anyways going to die, why are we born in the first place. I mean, would you start an activity knowing that whatever you are going to do is going to be destroyed eventually! Some reasons are that we are born to :-

  • make a difference in someone's life, 
  • To improve our world
  • To create bigger and better things
Is it true? Has my being born made life easier for someone? (human/animal). Have I really improved the world? Did the world need improving in the first place?? By creating bigger and better things have I achieved something or just justified my existence and ensured stroking my ego as I would be remembered for a long time to come (Taj Mahal, Pyramids etc).

Spiritualists say the meaning of life is to become one with god. Everyone gets a chance, through their actions and deeds, over lifetimes to achieve that. But again, who said that it was necessary to become one with god?
Or why is it necessary? These things are told to us because the truth is frightening. It is terrifying to be told that there is no reason for you to live. You just have to live or exist. Thats why so many deviations are built into our lives, so that we don't think about all this.

I feel the meaning of our life is to add balance to this universe. Creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin. We as humans are born to add instability into the universe, because , if there is no instability, the universe cannot grow or  die. It shall remain in a state of equilibrium, which is boring. So enter human beings with their superior intellect. This so-called superior intellect ensures that we create imbalances, that forces the universe to respond to the change and in the process, create something new or destroy something. In fact, it is the imbalance that humans create, that allows the universe or nature to become stronger and survive. Its a different issue that changes like Global Warming, contributed to by Humans, shall in the long run prove detrimental to the survival of humans.It's just one way to keep us in check.

So, summing up, something evolved into humans or humans were created, as a result of Natures  stabilisation process.We are now de-stabilising that system with our actions. The result of our actions shall annihilate us (If you think nature cares if we survive or die, then think again!!!). We are just pawns in the larger game, which can never end.

Monday, January 7, 2013

How to Make India Safer For Women - Affirmative Democratic Action

The past few weeks in India have been positively horrendous, especially for women. Not a single day goes by without a news channel reporting some atrocity being committed on women - Rape, Molestation, Harassment, Female infanticide.... . The list is too long for comfort and is a damming indication of the misogynist  society that we live in,

The tipping point was reached when  a 23 yr old lady was brutally raped and battered by six men in a moving bus. Massive protests have taken place and will continue to take place till the government does not dispense justice to the girls parents. There have been numerous proposals for change in laws dealing with Rape, Molestation, Sexual Harassment , with most of the proposals proposing severe punishment  upto the Death Penalty. Many have cited the safety that women enjoy in the streets of Saudi/Dubai and have demanded that similar laws be enacted here. Basically, the public goaded by Police Inaction, Political Apathy and a general sense of "Kuch Nahi Ho sakta", have decided to take matters in their own hand and force the government and the police to take appropriate action. 

These protests, I feel, tend to die a natural death, because most of us don't have the time and resources to maintain sustained pressure on the government or police. The politicians know that and so do the police and therefore, most of the times, they just weather the storm (The Anna Hazare-Lokpal bill  is an excellent example). The only way, I feel positive changes  can  be made is by becoming a part of this very system and using the very laws that make us feel so helpless, to work for us by "Affirmative Action". Sitting by the wayside, protesting that something be done are effective only till a certain extent and rarely lead to lasting change. In some cases, the change itself is corrupted (Misuse of the dowry law by women has put women actually on the defensive). Therefore, balance in policy making and governance is the need of the hour and that would entail more women in the policy making process.  Some of the steps that WOMEN can take to improve their visibility in the policy making process are:-

1. Vote for Women candidates

50% (or less) of Indian voters are women. Many women contest elections but never win because women don't vote for them!. The big political parties  field very few women candidates and the independent women candidates, don't have a hope in hell to win. Even Women don't vote for them!!! Women argue that they are voting for the best candidate/party, but I guess the time has now come to become partial rather than impartial. Therefore, for all seats, if the women decide to vote for the woman candidate, It is but natural, that more women shall win and  automatically representation of women in parliament shall increase. Women would not need to ask for reservation in politics and we may not need the Women's reservation bill. 

2. Float a Political Party- Of Women, For Women and By Women.

How difficult is this? We have had women Prime Ministers, have Women Chief Ministers - So why Can't Women float their own Political Party and the Women of India support this party. I know, at the start, there may not be enough number of experienced women politicians, but give it time and I am sure, they can do the job entirely competently. Whether they turn out better or less corrupt than male politicians, only time will tell.

So, the above two steps will increase their representation, but what about society? Respect for women needs to be ingrained in men from birth. Some of the things can be done are:-

1. Mothers/Mother-in-Laws to sensitize their Male Children. 

 I feel Mothers have a very important role to play as they can influence their male children to be polite and teach respect to one and all, especially females right from childhood. This includes Mother-in-Laws especially, who are known to badger their Daughter-in-Law's for sons and kill them for dowry .Come on.. why should a woman mistreat a woman? She also has been in her place before...!!

2. Equal treatment to Male and Female children. 

 Mothers and fathers should not treat their male or female children differently. Equality in the family is the first step to equality in society.

Other things that can be done are:-

1. Increase the ratio of Women to Male Cops .The ratio should ideally be  50:50. Therefore, in every beat, there should be a Male-Female cop combo, so if cases of Rape/molestation etc are detected, hopefully, appropriate action would be taken immediately. For this to happen, women have to join the police and other forces in larger numbers.

2. Women should refuse to appear in media that exploits them. 

( This does not apply to women to want to do it- they are free to do it, but if that feeling is from commercial considerations, then the flip side is the effect on men, which can be unpredictable. So every choice has a flipside and a consequence, which may or may not be pleasant. It does not absolve the perpetrator of the crime but one has no way of knowing what someone is going to do its a risk). 

I feel all women have a choice not to accede to the demands of producers and do stuff which objectifies them. If there is no supply, Obscenity shall reduce considerably and therefore media that arouses the baser instincts in males shall not be around to affect a large portion of the male populace. For e.g. The Item Number has become a "must-have" in most hindi movies. If all actresses refuse to do such numbers, automatically, the "Objectification" of women shall reduce as there is no woman who is willing to do such roles. Mother's should sensitise their sons on respecting women by not visiting prostitutes. No demand, no supply. Pure Economics. (Idealistic but I see no other way as all other approaches have failed).

6.  Say NO to the Casting Couch and Promotions for Favours at the Workplace. 

All women (easier said than done!) need to take a pledge that they would not submit to any form of sexual misconduct or suggestions that would help them to advance their career. Again, pure economics shall ensure the best person wins because there is no woman willing to compromise her way to the next promotion. So if supply is not there, automatically, over a period of time, such instances shall reduce and even be eliminated completely. This approach would fail even if one Woman breaks the code. Alternatively, woman entrepreneurs should give preference to women in jobs in their startups/businesses so that Women don't feel the need to succumb to such practices. They would need to carefully  tread the line for equal opportunity lest they be targeted for discrimination.

I know that all the suggestions above mandate women to take action and many shall object to the same. They want society to change their behaviour and perception towards women. But how does that happen? Sitting around and waiting for the past 60 years has not led to much change in the Indian heartland. For lasting change,  the issue has to be approached at multiple levels:-
a. Policy :- Policies favouring equal opportunities exist however, their implementation is flawed. If there is more representation of women in politics and the various National and State legislative machineries, no appreciable change in policy can take place. If more women are there in legislative positions, change will surely take place. 

b. Implementation. Implementation of various policies can take place only if there are enough foot soldiers to carry out instructions in letter and spirit. More women joining the para-military and police forces will automatically ensure that (empathy towards one's species). The number of vacancies in these institutions can increase only through legislation and therefore the need for more women in Policy making positions.

c. Unity:- All Indian women must first unite and take steps that forces men to view them as professionals and not objects of desire or the weaker sex. Any deviation would again result in regression and a "Divide and Rule"  policy being applied by males in power. 

Though crime statistics show that crime in cities is on the rise, the amount of crime that takes place in the villages of India is far more than our cities. The real challenge is breaching the feudal mindset of Indians. Reservations and Caste Politics have ensured that the Dalits (Untouchables) in the villages, today have considerable power in politics. They are forcing changes that give them more opportunities (reservations, promotions) over the upper class. The upper class does not like this but as a self correcting system, this change is being driven by politics and the power of a persons vote. Women need to recognise that power they have and instead of agitating, become a part of the system and then start to change it. 

If policy makers and the society at large are not doing enough to make this a safer and a more equal world for women, then the answer lies in using that very system to achieve your goals. The path is not easy, as things like floating a party, mobilising party workers, making fair legislation, implementing laws fairly (not targeting men for that will result in a backlash ) and in general grooming women not to fall prey to actions that objectify them, I feel in the next 10 yrs or so, visible and lasting changes shall take place and the world in general, shall be a safer place for women.

Therefore, the answer lies in taking up a more active role in changing our society. There are pitfalls, there will be aberrations and deviations but if one remains true to the cause, India and the world in general shall become a safer place for women. Do read an article "The Phoenix Shall rise" on the angst expressed by women

P.S. A word of caution. Women in power may not be much different than males and can be equally if not, more corrupt. There are enough examples. 

DISCLAIMER:- This article solely gives suggestions on ways and means on how life can be made safer for women. It does not promote or profess any form of Civil Disobedience, Anarchism or 
violence to achieve this. In fact, it only gives suggestions on achieving safety for women through legal and legislative means, within the scope of the law and constitution. The law of the land is supreme and so is the Constitution and nothing should be done to violate that. Only legal and legislative means should be adopted to introduce or modify laws.