This is a special series in support of the global #RingTheBell campaign to end violence against women. This guest post has been re-published from the bellbajao blog. It’s been written by Pushkar Kirola of Breakthrough.
I was riding my bike into work on Friday morning – from Faridabad to Kailash Colony in New Delhi. I hadn’t got far from home when I passed a dharna for the 23-year old survivor of last week’s brutal rape incident – one of many taking place all over the city, NCR and country. I found myself wondering how I would feel if it had been my sister in that bus. Like most people, I couldn’t imagine how I would feel. I couldn’t imagine how her parents must feel. Raising their daughter and watching her on the way to becoming a doctor for the last 23 years – and then, in just a couple of hours, having it all come undone like this.
I was still lost in these unpleasant thoughts when I turned on to Mathura Road and spotted a chartered bus ahead of me. As I was driving up to it I looked up and noticed it, too, had tinted windows. Here was something else I couldn’t imagine – how could our law-enforcers still be allowing this? I couldn’t see how many people were in the bus, but it looked like just the kind in which anything could be going on on the inside without anyone who wasn’t a passenger coming to know. It’s a Friday today – who could know if or when some drunk men decided to ‘celebrate’ the weekend with a joyride that left another person traumatised, injured and/or near-death?
The bus had stopped to drop off some passengers – I spotted a traffic controller some distance away and drove ahead to him. I asked him how he could allow buses with tinted windows on the roads – especially considering what had taken place over the weekend. Who knows – if we hadn’t allowed tinted windows in the first place, the horrific incident wouldn’t even have had the chance to take place.
‘Where is the bus?’ He asked me. Right on cue, having dropped off its passengers, the bus with the tinted windows zoomed right past us. The controller got on my bike and told me to follow it. At the next stop, I put my bike aside the two of us boarded the bus.
The traffic controller spoke angrily to the driver demanding what he was doing still driving around with tinted windows – didn’t he realise what had just happened? Didn’t he realise this was banned? He made the driver park the bus on the side of the road while he chipped away at the film on the windows and began peeling it away. The other passengers must have been filled with the same anger at the injustice as the rest of us. Feeling themselves unable to do anything on their own, once they saw the traffic controller picking away at the film, they immediately began to do the same – picking and scratching and peeling away the film from the windows. While this was happening, I could see the bus driver glaring at me. I didn’t care for his anger – I don’t know if he would have hit me, though he did look like he wanted to – at that time, all I could think about was the girl in the hospital. She had landed up there because tinted windows just like these had kept people outside the bus from seeing what was going on inside.
Ten minutes later the bus windows were free of film, we were off the bus, and I was back on my bike. I don’t know removing the film from the windows of a bus had any effect on society but I am happy to have contributed towards preventing another incident from happening.
We often don’t raise our voice because we think nothing will happen. And because nothing happens, we don’t raise our voice. An elderly lady on the bus put her hand on my head and said ‘god bless you’ – but I don’t think I did anything heroic or great. I only saw something happen that I believed was wrong and I raised my voice to make it right. Aisa nahi hai ki awaaz sunne wala nahi hota – kai baar awaaz uthane wale bhi nahi hote. Please raise your voice when you see something wrong.
The ‘Wonder Woople’ series features users who are passionate about fashion or food or both. They are the people who spot new, interesting things and love self-expression. They are our tastemakers, influencers and curators.
This is first time two Wooples are being featured together on our blog. Fab models Jigar Shah and Chahat Paul have upped the fashion quotient on Wooplr this past week with their super stylish recommendations. We caught-up with them recently and shot a few quick-fire questions. We must say that this was one of the most fun-interviews we have done!
A li’l more about Jigar…
I’m 20 and a print model from Bangalore. I’ve been doing editorials, catalogs, and TVC shoots for almost 2 years now including ads for 7up, Dairy milk, and Hero Honda. Aside from that I’m just another victim of society… Love Haute Couture, good wine, clubbing, classy music and anything artistic. Enthusiastic about all things unconventional.
A li’l more about Chahat Paul…
I’m an 18 year old part time model and a student of cosmetology. I love summer because I get to wear all sorts of bright colours that are eye catching. I’m a complete shopaholic and strongly believe in retail therapy. I love sharing my latest fashion finds with my friends and I love Wooplr for that.
Here are some bits from the interview
What are the craziest things you have ever purchased or eaten?
Jigar: I usually experiment quite a bit when making fashion purchases, and the craziest would have to be a loud nylon Zebra print shirt that’s a complete no-no on men! I don’t know what I was thinking but I managed to carry it off, thankfully!
Chahat: Well, just some funky wigs of bright colours.
Jigar: I’m not the biggest food connoisseur but the most exotic food I’ve tried is salted raw, uncooked prawns with the heads still on. And they DO NOT taste good.
If you could splurge on one thing, what would it be?
Jigar: There are way too many - a bottle of Dom Perignon, Michelin starred dinners, a classy watch from Cartier… the list goes on!
Chahat: Victoria’s Secret body mists and lipshades.
Which song is on loop on your iPods right now?
Chahat: I can be the one by Avicii
Jigar: A lot of tracks from Lana Del Rey’s new album ‘Born to Die: Paradise Edition’. I love her and the drama in her music.
Beer or Whiskey?
Jigar: Both. But, Whiskey > Beer!
What shopping mantra / tips would you like to share with the Wooplr community?
Chahat: I’m going to go with a style tip. Keep it simple, yet elegant and classy. That will turn heads for sure.
Jigar: I always shop with a friend to get a second opinion. That’s a tip I’d like to share… Also, set an apt budget and get app-y. Check apps like Wooplr to find popular trends and where to get them!
Who would you like to see most on Wooplr?
Chahat: Kim Kardashian. She has a natural knack for style and I adore her clothing line.
Jigar: Since my sense of style is quite variegated, I’d love to check out Wooplr recommendations from Serge Pizzorno from Kasabian and designer Narendra Kumar. It would also be cool if Jancis Robinson was on Wooplr recommending quality wine!
Here are Chahat’s Top 3 Recommendations on Wooplr
Retro Dress from Ramesh Dembla, Kumara Park, Bangalore
A perfect outfit for a retro theme :)
White Fitted Dress from Forever New, Indirnagar, Bangalore
Elegance in summer!
Dress from Guess, 100 ft road, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Perfect summer dress for a brunch!
And here are Jigar’s Top 3 recommendations on Wooplr
Cerise Pants from Etro Milano, Lavelle road, UB city, Bangalore
Love the shocking Magenta hues on these pants by Etro
Tuxedo from Canali and Bow-tie from Ermenegildo Zegna, Lavelle road, UB City, Bangalore
Crisp black Tux from Canali perfectly accessorized with a bow tie from Ermenegildo Zegna.
Satin Suit Jacket from Splash store, MG road, Bangalore
Satin tux jacket that’s quite the trending party wear for men
We are excited to announce the long awaited Wooplr app for iOS. The new Wooplr iPhone app is now available for free download from the app store!
You can now explore all the stylish and delicious recommendations from stores and restaurants around town on your iPhone. We know you love talking about your food and retail experiences. Now you can quickly take snaps from your iPhone of those delicious dishes and fab products and share it with the Wooplr community.
An optimised version for the iPad is in the works.
Since we launched the Wooplr Android app back in February this year, we have had many requests for an iPhone app. The Wooplr experience is
the same actually better on the iOS based on the initial feedback we have got! So, take it for a spin and let us know of what you think and how we could make it better. Leave a comment or tweet to us @Wooplr. The Wooplr app is available for free download from the iTunes App Store, and is compatible with any iOS device running iOS 4.3 and up. Do email us if you find any bugs. We will squish them at the earliest!