Did you read about the Deepika Padukone incident? Or did you read about this incident? Well, something similar happened to me today. Honestly, it was not too much (as per Indian lechers’ standards) but it made my blood boil. Things like these make my (or any woman’s) blood boil but we are so habitual of it that we let it go. I guess I was just way too inspired by these two incidents.
So this is what happened. I was in the metro and in the regular coach, not the one reserved for ladies. This man started scanning me. If you have ever lived in India, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you are a girl, you have experienced it one hundred percent. If you are a boy, you have either done it yourself or have seen fellow males do it. So, anyway, I got extremely angry and normally I just ignore but, in this particular incident, I gave him a hard glance for a considerable time and he looked away but I realized that he is staring at me every once in a while. Now honestly, it is something that happens in public transportation here every 5 minutes but I still really wanted to confront him! I controlled. Somehow, after few more metro stations, it just happened. I did not even realize that I am doing it. I said,”Kya hai? Koi dikkat hai kya? ab mat ghoorna, bta ri hoon last baar, ab mat ghoorna bas!” It means this: “You got a problem? You dare not stare anymore, i am warning you the last time, don’t stare again. Enough.”. I had thought earlier that he was with some colleagues so he will definitely not be apologetic about it and would try to shame-face me. I was totally readying myself up for that since the past few stations. However, it did not happen. He became silent after uttering some gibberish like “What? me?” very slowly and looked away. I am still not sure whether he was with colleagues or not. Just so you know, a similar incident happened after he had left.
It is not an act of bravery. Heck, I did not even say those things confidently enough. In fact, I am scared enough to not do this frequently. 😛 The point I am trying to make is that I wanted to speak up, take a stand for myself and I did. Even if it’s really nothing, I have the right to speak up if someone else’s gaze is intimidating in a bad way to me. I have basically the right to speak up whenever I want. I DO NOT need to be apologetic about it. And the most important thing, if any of you try to do this (God forbid you land in such a situation), there is a one hundred percent chance that the culprit and the onlookers would try to shame-face you. Make sure that you know that you are not doing anything wrong. They are the wrong ones. You are taking a stand for something so bad, so wrong, be proud of it. Always, always be confident. You know what sucks the most about the incident that I just narrated? The fact that I am sure that all the onlookers in the metro at that time must be thinking me of as such a drama queen. They definitely don’t understand how daunting it is to get stared at like this. In fact, they consider it part of the lifestyle. They would even have outrageous things to say like ‘you were wearing such clothes, what do you expect?’ Pheww! Let’s not even go there.
Lastly, I have only two things to say. First, if you feel the need to speak up, never be ashamed to do it, take stand for yourselves. Secondly, we all know how unsafe our country is for women. So, always be cautious and good at judgement. If you think you are alone or in a troublesome situation, don’t put up a fight or gather attention in any other way just because it is right. It might be hazardous for your own safety. Just be good with judgement. I was in a metro full of people so I could take chances with confronting him, but if I were on a road in the night with such a lecher (God forbid), I wouldn’t have dared to do it.
Just be safe. 🙂 Take care. 🙂