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Somewhere deep down, everyone is an adarsh kid.
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We see disrespect around us all the time, and so much of it is directed at women. For things to change for our daughters, we need to change the way we bring up our sons. Maybe it is as simple or as complicated as that.
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Is there any city in India which can be termed safe for women? "Eve-teasing" (can we please just retire this archaic, minimising term and call it sexual harassment already?) is a phenomenon that transcends the boundaries of region, religion and caste. Regardless of where you are, if you're a woman you're probably looking over your shoulder, ducking your head or quickening your pace on the streets.
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I would have scoffed at the person who had told me a year back that this is where I would be today -- confident, doing what I love doing and doing it successfully. Change is what creeps up on us unannounced, especially when we are stuck in a rut, and struggling. Who we are and what we will be is decided by how we react to change.
I have conversed with a bar dancer on an airplane, exchanged a Happy Sabbath greeting with a religious man in Jerusalem, listened to a preacher speak about the different archangels, conversed with a chaiwalla by the Ganges about the sacred rivers of India, shared a laugh with a monk and climbed mountains with adventurers. Strangers have revealed their story and I've shared mine. I have been welcome joyously every time I put aside my limited understanding of the world and embraced the uniquely different.