What I feel now is…

… terrible. Everybody around me was talking about rape and rights of women and I felt very weird because it was a new thing for me. I felt even weirder when I realized that people are realizing it only now. But, I’m glad that at least a small percentage of people did make an effort to show their solidarity against the inhumane acts against women. Many inquired why I’m not writing a post about what has happened in India. Some even told certain incidents from their life which they wanted me to mention in my post. But, I refrained from writing a post all this while only because I was badly hurt by the incident. I couldn’t cope with the fact that heinous acts can happen to women to any extent.

For an ordinary woman like me the number of stories about being raged and flushed with anger has lost count.

There was a peon in our school who molested most of the “physically matured” girls. The girls who got their period and growth of breasts were very innocent in their minds; after all we cannot expect a 6th girl in late 1990s to be as informative as the same aged girls now. The girls had no clue how to react when he did things to them because they were ignorant. Stories about him circulated among the girls and even the teachers knew about it. Surprisingly, no action was taken though parents complained about him to the school authority. Teachers are not Gods and I realized it when the girls in the Sanskrit class started telling stories about the newly recruited male teacher. It was his hobby to put his hands through the sleeves of the girl’s uniform on the pretext of pinching the girl as a punishment. Things went out of control when one of the girls was caught with the teacher in an empty classroom. The story ended with a twist when the teacher appeared with his wife and kids because he had joined the school saying that he was a brahmachari. Today, when I look back, my blood boils with anger thinking why the parents never fought to throw him out of the school.

Moving to a school in the heart of the city only worsened the conditions. The school being a girls only school taught me a lot of interesting things. Talking to a boy was considered as a serious crime and such girls were branded as “bitches”. So when I told my friends that my best friend is a boy and I played cricket with my neighborhood childhood friends, they almost fainted. Using public transport to school was a terrible thing as the bus conductors hated the students. At times the conductors would pat the bum of the girls asking them to give space for him to move around in the bus. The cleaner man of the bus is adhered to the foot board of the bus that without being touched and caressed by him, girls cannot get out of the bus. Some men love the surroundings of a girls’ school. Men standing of the walls of the school and lifting their lungi and flaunting their penis was not an unusual scene for us. Whenever we have complained, we have always got a standard reply which is like “why did you look at him?”. Pick every girl who studied with me and every one will be having thousands of such stories. Once I even slapped a man who tried to hold me and for more than a week I made my Father drop me in school as I was too scared to travel alone. Travelling in KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) buses are even messed up. The bus has only one door and that too at the rear end. While getting down, you can never make out who touched your bum and who touched your breasts. By the time the women wearing sari get down from a crowded KSRTC bus, if they are lucky there won’t be any scars or nail scratches on their body. And since the bus will be too crowded, we cannot place who did things to us.

The torture saga in the train started when I moved out of house of my graduation. While travelling in the sleeper suddenly we can feel the hands on our legs. We would become wide awake to see a shadow running away.By the time we realize what has happened, the shadow must have disappeared completely. Once a woman complained caught a man when he tried to grope her leg. She was sleeping in the lower berth of the sleeper class. The police beat him and took him away. None of us slept that night fearing what may happen through rest of the journey.

I don’t know why nobody (including me) has ever complained about people throwing stones into the ladies compartment in the trains. While I used to travel in the Cannanore – Cochin Intercity Express, there are two places (before Kuttipuram and before Shornur) where men would be sitting on the gravels next to the rails and when the train passes by, they would hurl stones at the ladies compartment. The daily travelling ladies would ask rest of the crowd in the ladies compartment to close the doors and windows before reaching those spots. I wonder what pleasure and satisfaction the men get by throwing stones at women.

There is a dialog collection which I have heard from the day I started working in Chennai. Though I have switched places, I always have half a kilometer distance to walk to get the public transport. The common dialogues are

“How much milk do you produce?”,”My penis is erected by seeing you”, “Can we book a room?”,”Have you seen my thing? Look, look”,*any of my organs* super super, can I touch them?”

Above are the few “decent” dialogues which are hurled at women who walk that half a kilometer distance. Some other things which they shout at us cannot be put on my blog, it will stink. And to add the surprise, these dialogues are said by even educated, well dressed professionals too. 

The lesson which I learned in past weeks is that now I started reacting to even the harmless comment passed on me. I realized that my silence is taken as YES even though it is just a comment.

But I still feel terrible because the peon and teacher still work in the school, men continue to lift their lungis and flaunt their penis, the stones are still thrown at the ladies compartment and my day is not complete without hearing couple of the comments.

473459_10151625998427268_1441258843_oImage courtesy : http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/male-allies/educating-boys-men/

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One Tight Slap!!

Bus Stop

Mananchira Square is an added beauty to the Calicut city.I studied my 9th std and 10 std in one of the schools which surrounded this beauty garden.Since I had this fascination for extra-difficult maths and physics problem,Salmi miss and Annie miss had a special affection towards me.We three were a nice company after the school hours.They used to tell me how much I helped them in reading about new things 🙂

One day,after this problem solving session I was waiting for the bus at the Main Post Office bus stop near the Model Boys’ School.Only after reaching the stop,I came to know that some unexpected strike is about to start at 6pm to 6am next day.The time was around 5.20 pm then.Since the school rush was over,the bus stop is almost deserted with a few people standing at the KSRTC bus stop a 500m away.

It was then I heard some conversation behind me.I didn’t bother about it as I thought two strange people were talking.But after sometime I understood,it’s not two people but its one guy talking all that dirty things to me.Since these kind talks were heard often,I moved away from the guy decently to avoid further issues.

He too followed me saying “Come,Let’s Go….&^%#$$%#*&^”.

So I slowly walked to near the KSRTC bus stop where there was a family waiting for the bus at some 200m.Phew!!!Safe enough.

It was then he took my hands forcefully as if he was my local guardian and whispered “let’s go”.

I still don’t know from where I got the strength.My blood was flushing with anger.I shook my hands in force to get away from him and slapped him right on his left cheek.The slap was too hard and unexpected that he fell to his right side.Next second a bus came and I got inside.May be it was God’s grace that the bus started moving when I got inside.I sat there shivering very badly.I was not getting out of the shock.I didn’t have the guts to look back to see whether he has also got inside the bus.I took water from the bag and gulped it like a crazy girl.

I got down from the bus with shivering legs.I couldn’t walk steadily as I was too scared.I looked back once and I ran to my home.My brother was playing outside but he was too busy to look at me.I rushed to the bathroom and stood under the shower for five minutes.I was still shivering.I dried myself and went to the Pooja room and broke down.I lost all my strength.

I went to my room and lay down.By the time my mom was back from office,I was shivering with fever.She gave hot coffee and a tablet and I slept peacfully.I was alright when I woke up for dinner.I told my parents the story and they went panic!!!

For the rest of the week,my parents dropped me at school on their way to office.

But to be very truthful,it took nearly a month for me to get out of that shock. 😦 😦 😦

I don’t know why I’m scared

Last night I read an article about the new “trends” in eve teasing that is happening very often in Chennai lately.

You can read the article here.

So after reading this article,I was just thinking deeply about this issue.Though guys are around me at home,at office,at meetings,at restaurants,at shopping malls etc and we have fun and we help each other in troubles,it is true that at times I feel scared..

The streets will be crowded with IT people folks late night,but I have always felt little odd walking on the streets after late night meetings.I used to boast to my parents to make them feel better by saying”Don’t worry Mom,after all it is a metro and too many people around me..I will be fine“.But even while telling this to my mom,back of my mind I am still not confident and courageous..I don’t know why. 😦 😦

At times,if I couldn’t get inside the women compartment in the local train,I feel very uncomfortable till I get out of it.It is not that anybody will attack me or tease me but it is some unknown fear deep inside my mind.But the moment I get down at the next station and get inside the ladies coupé,it is so much of relief for me.If you ask me the reason behind it,I have absolutely nothing to state.It is just a fear that makes me walk fast,a shiver that runs down through my spine when I get a false look,an extra heart beat when somebody makes a bad comment or a tensed mind when I feel insecure.

I have no clue why do guys do this.I have always asked my close guys friends the reason behind it and I always end up getting either a weird smile or a vague and stupid answer.

The guys I see around me are good and who respect women and their feelings.They are always ready to help and understand our problems and difficulties.So I have always liked them being around me.I feel safe and secured.

But there may be/there are bad guys whom I have not seen yet and I hope I don’t them see them at all in my life.