First there was brilliant post by Mad Momma and then Chandni wrote about being harassed and in a excellent post urged us to stand up to stand up for ourselves
These posts got me thinking, now I don’t think if u are women harassment is something alien to u… In India and (in think I some ways abroad too) if u are a women it cant be that u have not been harassed in some way or the way… It could be anything from a small passerby comment, serious eve teasing or something even worse… But all of us have had experiences doesn’t matter whether one is old, young, even a child… doesn’t matter whether one is fair, dusky or dark… doesn’t matter whether one is good looking or not… if u of the female sex u have had it… isn’t it… If there is any of u who has not had a single street harassment experience I would love to hear from u and rejoice in the fact that there is at least one girl who’s spared from it…..
Now as all of u I have had my share of these too…. ranging from the small… “Hey smarty”, “kya baat hai…”,being asked “will u be my friend” to more vulgar comments like “degi kya” to some going even more further and trying to touch on empty streets and then the most common trying to rub at all the wrong places in a crowded bus…. Most of the comments on these posts seem to say that this is more common up north and specially NCR… I have been born and brought in Delhi… lived there for 25 years of my life which includes all of my teenage and the so called young flirty period but the worst I have experienced is after that when I moved to Bangalore…. Its spread all across and no region is better than the other…
I had written about one such incident here… It had totally shaken… I was depressed for weeks… couldn’t eat well… would shudder at any male touch even accidental… avoided that crossing for months even if it meant taking a 1.5kms detour… actually I still try and avoid it though its been almost 3 yrs now may a little more….hubby stood there like rock supporting me and trying to make me understand that he was a pervert, he even said that we should go file an FIR if that would make me better and relived… An FIR in this country and that too when u didn’t know who the guy was a didn’t have any clue to trace him… useless right….anyways its been time and I have gotten over it… but I suffered and that man got his cheap thrill at my cost… isn’t this what happens most of the times…
Then some months back… I was driving back from work at about 6:30 pm in the evening on the ORR…. there was not annoying traffic but at the same time it was not empty roads either… I had noticed one bike trying to overtake me again and again… now normally I find it a very common practice specially in Bangalore… remember I had written what had happened with that honda city guy so I ignored it and kept driving at my own pace… after some time that guy shouted something I thought may be he is trying to tell me something… an open door… a flat tire anything and when I tried to hear what he was saying…. he said “oh maal… kya baat hai baadi jaldi main hai” I shrugged and tried to speed up…. post that he started making all kinds of faces… licking his lips… passing flying kisses and what not… On one of the signals he even tried to touch me putting his hand inside the car through the open window… stupid me I should have closed the window… I know u are all thinking the same… but tell me why? Why cant I have the freedom to drive the way I want, a man is not required to drive always with a rolled up window then WHY AM I?
And at that moment something got into me… it was as if someone has taken over me and I have got this invisible strength from somewhere… probably it was months rather years of suppressed feelings, disgust and anger…Just after the signal I just took my huge Tata Safari and stopped right in front of his car and the most dramatic bollywood style gave him one tight slap… It sounds very funny or may be stupid but I felt so free and liberated at that time… I didn’t care what the consequence could have been… actually I didn’t think. It was an impulsive action but somehow I am proud of what I did…. Luckily for me it was a signaled where there was nice cop standing he immediately came over and so did some more people and when I told them what had happened they told me that I should go from there and they would take care of him…. I know for sure that the cop got him busy giving him a ticket for not wearing a helmet and wanted me to go from there so that he cant follow me… it was evident in the way he spoke… To think of it now the cop did me a favor… he could have done anything had he found my house and this is the fear we constantly live in… don’t we….
We need to stand up for ourselves…get that fear away…. I think we should stop taking this shit and stand up and make noise… do something about it but don’t silently take it….