Saturday, 29 December 2012

M Sick, and I am feeling lost

I didn't want to write this blog. I have done a lot of FB activism, on you know what. Being in media, you really can't escape unpleasant truths.
So, Damini, Nirbhaya (whatever your name is...my girl) I am shocked about what happened to you.
When the first news came in, I dismissed it of as another rape case. It's only when I read about the mutilation of your genitals, that I felt helpless anger rising within me. And, sadness too. I have been crying silent tears every day since then. I could have been in your place, you know.
Eight years ago, my friend (girl) and I, had hopped into a DTC bus. Only two of us. It was 7 in the evening. I had rejoiced; only someone using public transport in Mumbai and Pune can understand my joy at having bagged a vacant seat. In this case we had the bus to ourselves - empty. We could have sat wherever we wanted.
My friend, smarter than I, quickly caught on what the empty bus meant. Her fear was infectious. We stood near the door, ready to jump, if the situation showed signs of turning ugly.
Delhi instills fear in you; dread and constantly watching your back.
I remember for days after I was groped on a winter evening, I began carrying a stone in my hand bag. The biggest I could find. I may not carry my wallet, but I wouldn't step out of the hostel without carrying the stone. It had saved me from groping fingers and chilling laughter. The chap, who slipped his dirty hands over me, was barely out of teen. I was older and I could fight him off, thanks to a stone lying on the footpath. And, police who were guarding an IPS officer's bungalow. The chap escaped. I was asked not to file a police complaint, by a well-meaning colleague.
Being alone in the city, and with no connections whatsoever, I agreed.
But after that incident, I have lived in perpetual fear. Even today in a new, strange city, I sense a cold hand gripping my heart, while my eyes scan the road for the biggest stone I can find.
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I was lucky. But, you were not.
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After my personal experience, I should probably be able to offer some solutions. Sadly, I can't.
I have been reading several blogs and what I thought were possible solutions, aren't.
I was quite okay travelling in ladies special, living in ladies special hotel or being driven by a lady chauffeur. Till someone said, "Aren't all these an attempt to take us back to the Zenana era? Women in 'Women's Only' world.
 Do I want 'Women's Only' world? Frankly, no.
Are men ready to accept us? I hope so.
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Another blogwriter said she wasn't going to ask her daughters to dress down or carry a chilly/pepper spray.
Or live in perpetual fear.
I haven't carried a chilly/pepper spray. But they could come in handy, you know.
About dressing up/dressing down, I was in salwar kameez on both occasions.
I can shut up people who say that mini skirts excite men to carry out their fantasies on unwilling females in buses, cars, parks, alleys and even house.
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Is the "izzat" and "sharam" if the "izzat" of the girl is violated, responsible for killing of the girl foetus? This thought crystallised when I was watching Pinjar and then Gangajal.
Both the films had a common point, the girls were carried away by goons. In one film, to settle previous score and in the second one because the man had set his eyes on the girl. And, wanted her.
So, jab ladki ko uthwa lete hain, toh woh  gharwalon ke liye mar jaati hai. Knowing how tough it is to rear girls, why bring her into this world then? She, better be happy, with God and his own world.
Shame and stigma. Being a woman means...shame and stigma. And, happiness for a few. May the few increase their tribe.
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M Sick and I am feeling lost.

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