I have not had 1 day to just sit and relax. Every day has been a race. I shifted into the new house on 1st Dec… On 2nd, after unpacking I met my bro for dinner and shopping. The next weekend, KC came to Mumbai for a sudden visit. On Monday and Tuesday I was in Bhilai to attend my best friend’s wedding. On Friday and Saturday I was in Jaipur for the annual conference. On Sunday I was in Gurgaon. On Monday, it was back to work.
I hope this weekend will be relaxing.
Before I type anything else I need to put down my thoughts on the recent rape incident. Last night a jackass buzzed me on gtalk… it was something on the lines of “I was right… Mumbai is safer… after all, the rape happened in Delhi”. I was late, tired and waiting for dinner. I requested this person to leave me alone right now… but he wouldn’t take a hint and I lost it… I have never been this rude to anyone on chat. Anyway, I was shocked. If you feel happy that it happened in Delhi and you get to prove a point… then, you are no better than an uneducated lout.
There are 2 points I want to make here:
– As a woman I feel unsafe everywhere
– I am not surprised this happened in Delhi… and like this
Point no 1: As a woman I am constantly on my guard. I am conscious when I leave home. I am careful, observant… aware about who is walking in front of me… who is behind me… who is staring at me… whose hands are almost touching me… I think twice about where to go… with who and what time. And it is not just me… it is all women. We are not free. We always, always have to be careful. And our instincts are always right. We know when someone is having bad thoughts about us. And we are not safe anywhere. It is so simple… a touch here… a touch there… how do you figure out in a crowd? It is not about Delhi Vs Mumbai Vs B’glore Vs Kolkata etc. Rapes are happening everywhere… every city, everyday, day and night… forever. And it never ends. I don’t know who these men are… but there are everywhere … it is not about education… they can be poor or rich… they can have a good upbringing or a bad one. There is no way to classify them. I will give you random examples:
I was in class 12th and went for tuition to different professors for Bio, Chem, Physics and Maths. The Maths Prof was a lame guy who held classes in his basement. He had a wife and kid. I performed very well in all my tests and was confident about scoring excellent marks. After the last board exam (it was Maths) I dropped into the class to let him know about the paper. He was pleased to see me. My parents had been pressurizing me to prepare for the DAIICT entrance. I requested the Prof to help me with the preparation. He agreed. A few weeks later I went for class. He was alone in the basement and made me sit next to him on the sofa. It was weird… all of us generally sat on the chairs. His leg was touching mine and I tried to ignore the weird feeling. Suddenly he started saying some random stuff and put his hand on my back. It slid down to my waist… thats when my brain screamed; “Run”. I picked up my books and ran out. I didn’t think or question or rationalize… I just ran. I told my parents a day later but asked them not to do anything. I am ashamed to admit I didn’t do anything… didn’t complain or file a report or anything. I am sure he tried it again… with some other female…. This happened in a safe city like “A’bad” … the man was my teacher… my only interaction with him was in class along with other students. Why did he think he could get away with trying something like that??? I don’t know… it beats all logic.
This world is a shitty, shitty place. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will get better. All the women who are protesting today… where were they yesterday? Why didn’t they protest before the rape??? How many rapes are we waiting for to shake us out of our comfort zones??? Wasn’t Guwahati incident not enough??? And the Kolkata rape? How many more? We still live in a society where women take their husband’s name… what can we expect from this patriarchal society?
Point 2: Here are some to do and not to dos in Delhi:
– Always drive… Better to have a car even if you don’t have a house
– Never take the bus… and definitely not a private bus
– If your friends drops you off in an auto, ask him to note down the plate number for future reference
– Delhi is a state… it has large spaces of deserted roads… some of them not very well lit. You need to be careful
– If you are a woman, you do not have to stop your car even if a cop asks you after 8 pm. Cops are not allowed to stop women after 8 pm
Central Delhi, where all the dignitaries live, is where the cops are seen. All other areas do not have cops. None of the traffic signals have cops. It is easy for a crime to occur. Drinking and driving is very common. People are horrified NOW… what about till now? So, we wait for a horrific rape to happen and then protest? Why not protest before that?
I don’t have a solution. How do you change a society? Do I dare hope that women will someday be free ??? To do as we please… when we please??? Will men stop seeing us merely as sexual objects???