#30daysofme Day 21
26st February 2017
I have not been writing frequently these days. Maybe this activity of daily blogging is getting on me a bit and my struggle against time is forcing me downwards.
I am not in the best of my phases today and perhaps I am PMSing but can not tell for sure. There are a lot of emotions running wild in me and I am trying to catch up with my sprinting thoughts. I do not think that one particular incident is the reason behind my melodrama today as there were small daily unhappy doses which usually gets accumulated and then one day explodes in the outer surface. We call that day TODAY.
You all know that only a few days ago three goons snatched my mobile from my hand and ran away on a bike. Yesterday something traumatic happened and it made me question a lot of things about my city, my gender and my life in general. I was coming back home in evening from work and since I was tired I took a rikshaw for my ride and as I was nearing my home, two adolescent boys came from no where and hit me with two water balloons one after another. For my Non-Delhi friends = a week before Holli most of the boys in Delhi claim their rights of being a Man (if we can call them men even though they have not reached complete puberty) and some actual Men (if we can only call these goons men) . These boys and men flock around streets in evening and very conveniently target women with water balloons. They stand at sides of road and throw balloons at women travelling, crossing roads, in autos etc and then they run and disappear. Its very common and I hate it to my chore.
But yesterday, these boys did not hit balloons from a distance, they actually came as close to me that they could touch me and one gut slapped the balloon on my cheeks and another hit me on my head and threw another balloon on my back soaking me with shame, humiliation and water. I turned around with shock and screamed at them and to my surprise they crossed the road with giggles and jumps and showed me lewd gestures before they ran into the dingy street where I would never dare going after them. Since I had already been humiliated once, I did not react much instead I became insanely quiet and came home with my drenched clothes and hair. While changing my clothes I felt “thats it”. I do not want to live in Delhi anymore.
Today I decided to cover the distance from metro station to home by bus since it would be closed space and I wont be drenched in dirty water again. But what happened surprised me even more. I felt disgusted by the fear I felt at that moment. What did this country game me after all – fear of being a women and shame of my genitals. That all I have ever learned while growing up in the Capital of our country-
- Do not be too aggressive in life as you could be seen by goons
- Do not travel alone late at night as you could get raped
- Do not chase men who eve tease you as you may get slapped or harassed
- Do not be polite and friendly with people you do not know
- Do not drink alcohol
- Do not go to parties
- Try not to have male friends who get close to you
- Do not show your bra strap in public
- Do not date someone who is not your husband
- Do not leave your husband if he beats you, cheats on you or lives by you
- Do not have SEX outside marriage
- Do not raise a voice if your husband wants to rape you
- Do not teach your kids to be free
- Respect your elders which means say yes to whatever they say
- Do not be too demanding in job
- Do not think that career is everything for you after marriage
The list continues and maybe your family is not telling you to do all this but somewhere down the line if you are an Indian woman living in India then you would have heard these. I do not live by these great virtues but yes they prevail in me. I encountered this with these two incidents. Why don’t our teachers and parents teach us to be brave, train us with real life scenarios, have boot camps to make us active when our normal mode is reactive and why don’t we teach our girls the same. The biggest question is that do we teach our boys to STOP this coward approach. When will we teach our boys that a Man is someone who protects the women and not the one who is standing by road side waiting with balloons in his hands, waiting for a girl whom he can drench and see her misery.
When I started writing today then I wanted to write much more. Basically I wanted to write about my life these days and how I am loosing track etc but this emotion took most of the space of my blog and I wonder this is what writing does to you. It frees you beyond your basic capabilities.
So maybe I should let this be for now and wrap myself in my blanket and pray that tomorrow I will be able to get back on my feet.