Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Laddies Night: Live Blogging from Zaras@RK Salai, Chennai

Hemant, our blogger!
(added by Swarna Rajagopalan)
22:40 That's it people. Goodnight, and thanks for rising up to say NO to gender violence.I am Hemant, for Prajnya, signing off. See you at the public forum on Sunday. And feedback and suggestions on the blog to

22:30 We couldn' t have wished for anything better. A big thanks to Zaras, Indian Terrain, Kobbler, and Anupama! Its been a great, great night.

22:29 That's it. Round 3's over. And thanks to everyone who put this together, and a big thanks to the men who walked in stilletos. Vivek, Anand, and Soman take the honors for the night.

22:29 Last round on. Arasu leading the charge again. Here comes the boogie! Three cheers, Prajnya, as men salsa their way round the Zara's ramp to some great music. The DJ's been fantabulous all night, and especially so when the men in stilettos have scorched the ramp. As they tread, Koushik buzzes them up. Zara seems the place to be on this night. It's all happening folks!

22:20 Sweta and Nandhini leave, and we wave them good bye. I have been pestering them to come up with some lines, and they finally drop it: "The fun goes on". True, and thanks gals.

22:17 Round 3. Last chance to be heard, last chance to be walking tall. Get ready folks, Rajni isthyle!

22:15 For people who want to help cases of Gender Violence, Prajnya has a listing of helplines for women in distress in Chennai. Access it@

22:12 SWR has shot me.... on camera. What were you thinking? A double barrel shotgun?

22:00 Anupama waltzes in to tell me something that she calls the 'line of the evening'.
Here goes the conversation:
Anupama: Sir, Would you walk in the stillettos?
Man X: I cannot, because I am not used to the pain. You WOMEN are used to the pain, and therefore you can walk.

I am calling that chauvinism, you?

22:00 Cases of cruelty by husband and relatives is recorded every nine minutes. Indian, that. 6,000 dowry related deaths and still counting. Rapes occur every 30 minutes. 75% of rapists are known to their victims. It is a fast growing time in India. So much for progress and independence.

21:48 Its fantastic to see people putting the hands up against gender violence, especially som when you are the campaign co-ordinator of Prajnya. Giant leaps in 7 days of the campaign. Nights at Zara aren't full of gyaan, people. So go home enlightened.

21:41 That's 90 minutes done. A half time report. 27 men walked in stilettos, that's one small step for the number, but one giant leap for Prajnya. More people saying NO to gender violence. It's been a fun-filled eventful half, and we find people hungry and the co-ordinators of Prajnya smiling.

21:40 "I feel like cinderella, for once in glass shoes", remarks another.

21:36 "Women cannot challenge men anymore that men hadn't been walking in women's shoes" glees a Round 2 participant. I hope his wife isn't sitting beside him.

21:35 Zaras is swinging to the men in stillettos. Yippeee!

21:34 The participants are having a great time, dancing, swirling, and posing on the ramp. Lovely, that!

21:33 Round 2 starts. Hoo.......!!!!!!

21:32 Food for Thought, round 2. 85% of women who have experienced sexual violence never tell anyone about it.

21: 30 We'll be hitting off Round 2 in a few minutes. Cometh the hour, cometh the stillettos.

21: 28 Results of Round 1: Jeffrey takes the honours; takes home a gift voucher from Indian Terrain. He's strutted around the place with energy. And so we rise.

21:27 Can you give us some examples of gender-based violence that you know? email me at and Ill put it up here.

21: 25 Not much of men throwing their hands up. Be a sport, men.

21: 14 Ah. The net connection seems more tidy now. The Prajnya team is at the dinner tables, a few volunteers pulling people in to try out the shoes.

21:12 We find Anupama again. "Gender based violence is not purely women-centered ,or a mere women issue. Its much more than that, and men have to understand that. "

21:10 Anupama of Prajnya has been busy pepping up volunteers. Go, Prajnya, go!

20:58 "Prajnya's public events should be webcast", comments Koushik of Indian Terrain. We'll add that to the suggestion list, dear!

20:56 For some weird reason, the net connection isn't hitting full throttle. Ah, here come in more men, and with colorful stilletos.

20: 50 15 men scorched Zaras ramp on women's shoes! some show that!

20:44 Sweta and Nandhini: "having fun", they are volunteers from Prajnya, having a good time watching men, be women!

20:42 Arasu, the Zaras man, inaugurates Laddies Night and leads the men of Round 1 in walking in stilletos.

I just walked in the shoes, painful! No pain , no gain! Well, kudos to the womenfolk who do this day in and day out.

20:36 Jumping into Hemant's stream... the men in stilletos are marching, where are you??? SWR

20:35 Here we go, we are commencing round 1, whatever that's meant to be! Not the drinks, though!

20:27 We have men complain that ladies shoes are tight(that includes me too), and they are not comfortable. If then societal rules are restrictive of women in a similar fashion, then where can women find comfort?" opines Swarna, head of Prajnya.

20:26 Some basics :Gender refers to a socially constructed roles, behaviors, attributes, adn activities that a society considers appropriate for men and women. However, women are largely discriminated owing to gender. Thus, against gender violence is a campaign that targets this, in particular, violence against women.

20:24 Folks, mail me your suggestions and feed back on this liveblog to

20:20 Zaras is packed and we are trying to get in pics of guys with ladies stillettos on this blog. Hold on for a while!

20:11 Until I finish uploading the picture, there are a few of us, say 4, who have got into ladies shoes. I am feeling tall :)

20:10 Well, I managed to get into Zaras finally wearing, ahem, ladies footwear! Wow!

20:05 Facts for thought! Gender-based violence is a major human rights problem around the world. Women between the age of 15-44; violence is a major cause of death and disability. Earlier, a study by World Bank on risk factors for women rated domestic violence against women and rape higher than accidents, malaria, and other causes.

20:01 This is Hemant, am live-blogging tonights event for the benefit of, well, Prajnya!

20:00 A rainy evening, but that's not gonna dampen my 'spirit'. Am outside with no shoes. Nevertheless, Welcome to the Laddies Night at Zara's - The Tapas Bar. Hoping to see many of you here in support of the campaign against Gender Violence, and well, for a free drink too!

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