Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Its a war we fight every day

From my first time on a local bus till date, it has been a constant battle. I remember the first time a disgusting hand gropped me. I was 15 then. I was so scared, that I didn't want to continue with my tuitions. My parents were understanding, they arranged for alternative means of transportation. A temporary respite. In college it began again. Everyday in the bus it was about surviving without an incident that leaves you feeling flithy and disgusted. Everyday was about self preservation through the public transport system. If you asked me for a profile of the kind of men to stay away from in the buses, I won't be able to. I have seen these men come in all ages, in all forms. From words, to looks , to gestures, to trying to touch you .. they will do anything.

Within a year I learnt how to stop being a victim and start protecting myself. Return the look with the stare that tells them you are not scared, Raise your voice and get the crowd on your side.. in metros men will be ready to beat up almost anyone, as if to release all their frustrations. I learnt to do it all.
But it wasn't enough. Because I wasn't the only one going through this. I protected myself, but then I would see other women, girls going through the same thing. Probably they had learnt to keep quiet rather than raise your voice. My reactions were still the same... The same disgust.
I would see the same looks, gestures, hands targetted at others. I knew I couldn't sit silently so I raised my voice again.

So instead of trying survive the bus myself, my fights became about making sure that others survived it too.

Yes, I learnt to survive. That is not the point. The point is Why did I need to learn it? What is wrong with this society that a girl has to fight her away through a 15 min trip on a public bus. When did we become so depraved?

The question I can't help asking is how much longer do I need to keep fighting? Can someone please answer...


Blogger D said...

your question cant be answered coz the fight is endless... and i'm a pessimist.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Pavan said...

Hey chanced upon your blog...hope you wont be plain lazy like me looking forward to read more of your musing...

2:00 AM  
Blogger coolvir said...

Hey....bad experience,and i am sure there are thousands like you in almost all the metros and non metros...

And as far as the question is concerned....i don't have the answer :(((

5:14 AM  
Blogger harty said...

Here's what I feel is wrong with this society.
1) We have converted a society of Kamasutra, Khajuraho, Shakuntala into a society of freaked out people for whom mention of sex is a sin (as if children are born out of abstinence)
2) Our politicians wont give education to the uneducated, but they will give mandir to pray, job guarantee, madrassas and so on.
3) Dont forget, there are so many mothers who want son and who abhor a daughter
4) So many women, when their son marries, expect their daughter-in-law to stay a homely housewife, not wear jeans, not mix with other guys, and so on.

The problem is not just men. Its education, for men and women both. Untill the women start respecting themselves, the men never will.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Ashok's said...

i have a serious question...will seperate transport system for ladies during peak hours help this issue?????

i donno ,,,whether it wil work or not but i am hoping against hope that this will work..but again...these things are happening around the world..at various degrees...if u ask for a solution...i donno..
i believe if indivduals are good then the whole society becomes good...so each and every indivdual has to get this message into his blockhead...

7:22 AM  
Blogger Everything Or Nothing said...

Never realised, a simple bus journey from point A, to Point B would be so difficult for many women..I wonder, what happens to many in local trains of Mumbai...

In a place like India, which is a paradise for many hypocrites..We would probably surpass China, with population and still not talk about sex, why cos its taboo...

Fear can destroy many and women who've learnt not to scream, not to give in, under duress, but to confront the fear, face it, are the ones who have survived and lived better lives than most men!

Good to know, that there is a voice that wants to be heard..Why have you stopped writing???

9:21 AM  
Blogger Karan said...

My first drop .Nice share. Write more often !

11:43 AM  

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