Monday, 9 April 2012

I am a woman living in Delhi- Thats enough introduction to my vulnerability!

There is a story you all must have heard about a king whose life was in a parrot. Anyone who harmed the parrot was actually hurting the king. Whoever has ever known my father knows that I am his parrot :)

I haven't been living with my brother, Rahul, for almost 7 years now but every time he has to go out for a wedding, interview or any other event, he calls me ( wherever I maybe!) to ask what he should wear :)

Saurabh- my husband- says that my smile can melt his worst fears away. When he enters the house after a long day at work, the first thing he looks for, around the house, is ME. In his words- he is because I am.

My sons ...well they aren't a part of my body or blood- we are connected by our souls.

These are the 5 men who have made me the core of their lives and I reel in this pride every single minute of my existence!
I am sure every woman who is reading this has a set of such men around her and every man has a woman who is driving him like I drive my men.

Even with so much care, protection and love around me I am very vulnerable. Very insecure. Very suspicious and yes very scared. It is because I have to deal with many other MEN who may or may not harm me. As girls we are fed with innumerable tricks to take care of ourselves when we are on our own. From pepper sprays to "you should learn karate!" to "dont step out when its dark". I am not sure how many of these tricks will work when the day comes to use them.

I do not want to rubbish Delhi as a city in this post as this maybe the story of women in any part of the world but yes, being in Delhi definitely adds a little more caution in my tone. Its all because I have for all my life-" Been here, seen that"

Everyday things that make me cringe in my skin and ask- Just because I am a woman?

  • I often take Radio Cabs to travel around the city for work and when the driver shuffles between songs to arrive at the 'perfect one' before starting the car and the choice is: " Pare ho ja Jatt nu sharaab chadh gayi" followed by " Tip Tip barsa pani, pani ne aag lagayi" - I do feel like jumping off his cab :(
  • My father ensured I drove down myself to college and not take the (in)famous Blue Line buses but in an instance or two when I took them and a 50 year old man pressed himself against me only to say-" Kya hua Beta?" innocently (when I looked back at him to ask what he was trying to do)- I did wonder if he is worthy of calling anyone- 'Beta' :(
  • When I see news stories of the 5 friends who have been caught because they got together to rape a woman in their moving car and I see them standing trying to hide their faces but smiling when a giggling cop pulls their faces up to face the cameras- I can see no remorse in their postures or any anger in the cops! Its all a tamasha which further humiliates their victim and well....scares me to hell.
  • They say my clothes can trigger impaired chemical reactions in a potential rapist's thought process! Oh how conveniently I am to blame yet again for corrupting an otherwise 'innocent' man's mind- I am sorry Dear Rapist- so it is NOT your fault huh?
  • Why have the recent developments in my city made me so cautious that I invariably keep looking into cars that have slightly tinted glasses to check if they are not all men with one woman and hoping she isnt trying to reach out for help :(
  • Even when I am on a busy road or market or street and I see someone leching at me, I cannot expect any other man to help me, so I should not even ask for it- Worse is that the man who should help is already victimizing me in his head by assuming that I am provoking his lecherous counterpart :(
  • Why is it that being a mother of 2 sons, I sometimes thank my stars that Ill be able to leave them alone in the house after a few years if I have some social engagements in the evening but it would have been impossible if I had a daughter? 
  • If I am coming back from a meeting and I am being driven alone in a cab, why do my father or brother or husband take turns to call me and check how far I am from home? I am sure they want the Cab driver to know- We are with her :)

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