Since am still disturbed by Aligarh…

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… I understand how Siras felt. The feeling that anyone can barge into your most private moment and that you are never really safe.

When I was in 12th standard (or was it 11th?), I had Biology tuitions two days in a week at 6.15 am. The gates of the government girls hostel opened at 6 am and I would zoom off on my scooty in the darkness to reach the classes on time. The route I would take was very familiar and I crossed few times a week. There is a small stretch which is not well lit and it has only residences. I didn’t think much about it because aren’t residential areas supposed to be safer? One morning a guy on a bike wearing a helmet slowed down next to me on that stretch. I slowed down to let him pass. He put out his hand and grabbed my right boob. I was so shocked that I almost lost control of my scooty but managed to hold on. I thought he would leave but he went ahead and stopped. He was going to turn back and do it again. I saw two old men walking on the street with their dog, turned around, went to them and asked them for help. The guy in the helmet zoomed past us. The old men suggested I go back home/hostel but I was too worried about my tuitions. How could I miss my tuitions because I got molested? That isn’t how it works. For days after that, I would jump with fright everytime someone got too close to me- male or female. If a bike slowed down on the road near me, I would feel immense fear. The tee shirt I was wearing that day was borrowed from a friend. I promptly returned it and could never look at it again. It took me weeks to feel normal. I could feel the guy’s hand on my boobs for days and nothing could shut that out.

Why am I talking about this minor incident now? Because I know how Siras felt- at the most personal level.

Just go watch the movie.

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