The night in Atlanta where me and a friend were scared when a huge African-American made his way towards us, just outside our hotel…or way back in my teens when a guy in a motorcycle forcefully grinded his lips on mine right outside my home or the numerous incidents while travelling on crowded buses or standing in the Majestic bus stop, at seven in the night , returning home from a tiring day spent in doing a project in KPTCL….not happy memories, not worth remembering-but I have to stop burying them, all of us have to stop!
Yesterday night as I was caught without a phone in between the three kilometres from my house to my parents and with a car that refused to move back or forward an inch, with my young son in the passenger seat and at eleven in the night, I was in a quandary!
As it usually happens in India, whenever there is a stopped vehicle, people just gather around and it was scary when an auto driver, a worker from a nearby welding shop, and a painter (not sure why I know this…must have been his hands or the stained pant..I found that my senses are unusually heightened when I am scared/stressed and things I wouldnt observe otherwise, are almost photographically imprinted in my memory!) all came and started enquiring as to what the issue was! It wasnt until a man with a small boy came around that I really relaxed, somehow, a man with a kid , could be trusted and he did help me fix the car and in a couple of minutes, we were home..
But my mind, which plays nasty tricks sometimes, showed me an image early in the morning, of what might have been, a scenario wherein I couldn’t protect myself and my baby and it was scary enough to get me out of bed at six! (and that’s saying something)
As almost everyday, my thoughts went out to the girl who was brutally raped in a moving Bus in Delhi – Jyothi Singh Pandey (That is the name I read in the news, not sure about it though.) Of the atrocities done to her (I cant get the rod out of my head and I hope that rod remains stuck in the collective conscious of the Indian population- a reminder of the brutality and the bravery and a hope that her suffering will not go in vain) and the backlash that her family must have faced and still are facing.
As if her brutal death wasnt enough, there were people with insensitivity and sensationalism on their minds who must have hurt them some more..the worst must have been the insinuation, however masked, that she deserved it! Isnt rape the only crime where the victim is blamed the most?
Another random question that popped into my head was that why is the media stressing about how the guy with her was not her boyfriend and just a friend? Well, what if he was? She still wasnt asking for it!
So, lets circle back to my situation yesterday – what is the sensible thing to do?
Priyanka – Keep my mobile phone charged always.
Asaram Bapu and the likes – women should not go to work/ should have chanted the Sarasvati mantra, which would have dislodged the stone under my car/begged my brothers all around me to help me fix it.
Sheila Dixit – Blame the BBMP who think it perfectly alright to throw stones of every size in the middle of a road which was traversable till yesterday and not give the citizens any warning! or better yet blame the electricity board for not installing streetlights at the turning!
ShivSena – give a knife ..ermm..with which I could protect myself and dislodge the stone and cut veggies! (best of the lot me thinks, though Asaram Bapu comes a very close second)