Statutory Warning: Long, serious post ahead
It’s a pity that the first entry I’m typing from my super sexy XPS (see, I was never known for my modesty:P) is perhaps my first ‘serious’ post. Literally! I actually wanted to write about something totally different (will duly do that one after this) but this topic sauntered in my mind from no where. While I was at work (haha), this topic sprung up in my mind..perhaps this is what ignited it. Anyways, I was shifting to another floor today so decided to go back home and write it in peace..Though, on second thought, that was a better time as I was seething with anger then..Anyhoo, let me get down to my thoughts or rather experiences..
I am a female. Brought up in
My house was walking distance from school, so I used to walk back from school with my sister. I was in the 4th standard and used to have my ‘monitor’ badge pinned on my blazer. We used to live in government quarters back then and had to pass this shoddy local school on our way. A boy, with a group of his friends*, perhaps in the 10th-12th class range would start a chant of ‘maneater, maneater’ each time I would pass. I can’t exactly remember how I felt at that time. All I know is that I would just scurry past that area and wish to be away from those big boys blocking the way. My sister is just 2 years elder to me so I don’t think her presence/absence made any difference. I thankfully went home and told my parents about this and they talked to a classmate’s mom who would then accompany us till beyond that sad school. I had briefly written about this here. When I go visiting Ruby’s family there now, I pass that school. Its’ now affiliated to CBSE supposedly (eyes rolling!)..This was the first incident that I can recall of ‘eve-teasing’ for me.
I grew up, got used to comments being passed on the roads and mastered the art of keeping the most perfect stoic expression at all such times. I guess it would be disarming and most disappointing for those a%&holes! Fast forward to IIT coaching time. 11th standard. I started taking public transport to go for my coaching classes after school. I used to be so scared to miss my stop that I would get up approximately 3-4 stops ahead. I have this memory..I’d gotten up really early as always and was standing near the exit. This guy, not too old, came and literally stuck himself behind me. There was hardly any rush and I was wondering why he was standing so close..pressing himself against me..I was too dumb not to realise then..not to turn around and slap him so hard that he could could have heard bells ringing..oh, it makes me so, so mad..One month in
Happy Story: My school friend C had a petite friend who some guy tried to grope on a DTC bus. She turned around..said ‘
Moving on, after a much sheltered life, I find myself in
My group consisted of four of us, all of us had studied outside and were convent educated. We spoke our mind and were not ‘shy and meek’ as the other ‘good’ girls in our class. This I guess was how we were awarded the title of ‘Chameli’ in college. There are some people who ask me why I say college was NOT fun for me..and why I do NOT like talking about it. Yes, I made some friends for life and yes I shared some very good times with them..but if you want to know if I felt even an ounce of pain when I left college..I left smiling..and took very quick steps too. I’m really glad to be out of such a place which had a pack of narrow-minded bas*@#%$. I think I ceased to interact normally..not because of me..but because there was noone normal to interact with. It’s a pity yes, but I believe it made a stronger, bolder person. To f*** with those losers! AC (the only other boy I used to talk to in class) was sitting with me one day and he asked me this question:’Ek baat bata, tumhe log chameli kyun kehte hain?’(Tell me one thing, why do people call you Chameli?)..I pretended not to have heard right..I still remember how my face had flushed that day..could feel it becoming redder and redder..but I remained poised..For those who can’t understand the ruckus behind ‘Chameli’..well, a movie of the same name had been released around the same time where the central character who was a prostitute was named (no prizes for guessing)..Chameli..Then I don’t know how it spread, who propagated the whole thing..but we were known as Chameli by our batchmates..all bunch of losers, with inferiority complexes who had to resort to such cheap measures to attract attention..We were the achievers in college..and quite obviously, this didn’t go down quite well with the MCPs..Apart from the fact that we were hot;-)..and didn’t hang out with them. Case of sour grapes you see:P! DK (one of the four in our group) was ill once and had to be admitted in hospital for a week. The story that was doing the rounds that time was that she went in for an abortion. Now tell me, how gross can it get? Apparently it can. But lets’ not talk about that nowJ.
You know, I’m really happy..I wanted to get back at them..someway..and I guess this is one, small way of doing it..And I feel vindicated today..truly! I didn’t know I had the courage to write about any of this..but hey, I did it..lalalala.. And I’m mighty proud of myself. I did no wrong and its’ not a ‘fault’ to be a girl. IF only, each time a guy felt that it was his ‘birthright’ to tease a schoolgirl, molest a child he’s supposed to be take care of or a family friend (yes it happens..alllll the time) or rape an innocent woman, God would strike him dead with a bolt of lighting..I would be at peace..and so would the entire female population..Anyways, I guess that’s like an impossible wish..but what we CAN do is make ourselves aware in a more active way of such horrid truths. Such things would not cease cause the world is not a perfect place to live in. What we can do is confront such situations. Do any of you have any ideas or suggestions? And please don’t give me bullshit about dressing appropriately because a girl in a salwar-kameez or a girl in capris n a tee..is essentially a girl. I know a colleague of mine who has twins..both daughters..aged 7 years..she was telling me the other day how she’s told them to tell her everyday how their day went and they are to tell her if anyone ‘touches’ them as such..which I think is a really good thing..and at the same time something so sad. Sad cause not even a child is safe. Sad cause it can happen when you don’t even know that it is wrong. Sad cause it could happen at any age..and at anytime..Sad cause even ‘well-educated’ people like me can be ignorant..a case being of my close friend from school who was in a relationship with her sister’s friend..After they broke up (thank God for that), she told me that he would make her lie down and press his thing on her..And you know the worst part, I didn’t realise the gravity of what she had told me..I was that silly! OMG..poor, poor thing! Inspite of topping classes we are unaware and ignorant if someone is violating us. Inspite of working at MNCs we let some men (read dogs) get away with outraging our modesty..Because at the end of it all, all that matters is you are the girl..and you will be the one suffering eitherways..Read this..
Decency and respect towards your womenfolk is something that cannot be taught even after being a professional. I personally, unfortunately encountered this fact at my workplace too..not that I needed much convincing anywayJ..
I have no idea how to conclude this post..writing it all down (I had more things to write you knw..train travails..but didn’t want to go on for eternity) was supposed to make me feel lighter and better..but no, it did not..cause I know this thing is going to continue..if only there was a way out..
* Akele chuha..jhund mein sher (Like a mouse when alone, like a lion when in a group)
PS: I’m scared to have children. How will I protect them and keep them safe at all times?