I was walking back home yesterday, and in a very routine way was brooding over various things. How did the day go, how were the people today, and it started a chain of thoughts as usual. It occurred to me that even in the big city I live in, I am still scared to go out in short pants, and dresses at night. It could be just me, ‘coz I see girls wearing smart outfits and roaming around the streets of Bangalore all the time.
I have to take the local commute every day. I don’t have a car, neither do I have a friend to accompany me daily. But why am I so scared?
Just when I was trying to make myself understand that it’s all a baseless fear, a guy in a motorcycle passed by. He was wearing a helmet, he lowered his speed a bit, pulled up the hood, and passed a long shrieking kiss at me!!! The misperception was reaffirmed. Oh, that’s why!
Now as I said, I was in no way wearing something that would have excited him. I was in fact looking the ugliest at the time, wearing my thick glasses, hair tied up behind in a pony, and carrying a bag full of groceries. Who in the whole wide world would want to make a pass at that? But he did! As a matter of fact many do!
Now, I can understand stalking a girl, or may be flirting. That could at least, in a good sense, make the girl want to talk back, and the romance might start. But what good would it do to just scare the daylight out of someone? Is it just for fun? Is it just reconfirming the fact that the male gender have nothing to fear? Especially in a country like India.
I have lived and worked abroad, and never did I feel the same, in a foreign land. I could watch a midnight show of a movie, return back from another city in the middle of the night, and could take a cab safely back home. Never ever did it even occur to me that I might even be in danger.
But in my own country, I have to think twice, and then decide against wearing anything that could even slightly excite the opposite gender. I can’t even roam around with girlfriends till late evenings and return back home, without being taunted at. I respect the girls who do, but I am sure this thought would have crossed their heads too, and they have decided to live a free life, in a so-called democratic country.
I can’t convince myself somehow that in India, we are safe. Why else would the fellow travelers I see every day in buses or autos cover themselves up in shawls or dupattas, even if they are wearing their most flattering outfits? They are scared. They don’t want to be the next Nirbhaya. They don’t even want to be teased or groped. Women in India know for a fact that they need to be cautious from their male counterparts, on the roads, in the trains, in buses, and everywhere they need to be.
Would a mute or even a chatty PM bring about any difference to our country? I just wish this overwhelming issue gets resolved, and quick. Where at one end they say women are becoming equal to men, the other end of the coin shows women are being harassed more than ever! What is the fun in teasing? What is the fun is disturbing another human being to the point of disbelief?