I remember the first time it happened - I broke down and cried.
No one, not one person in the entire street raised their voice as I stood mortified, watching them lower their eyes and slip by. But what hurt the most was that I was stunned into silence myself - unable to protest or to react. I couldn't find my own voice.
Shame flooded my body and I ran across the street - my face stained by the time I knocked on my door. I resented myself as I sank on a pillow, for not having said and done enough while he had stared belligerently after trying to grope and violently grab me.
With his eyes he had mocked whilst they hesitantly watched, and I couldn't find my own voice.
A thousand mutinies in the world but the streets are not yet safe for me, you and us.
They insist our skirts are too short, our blouses too tight and our hips sway both the sides - so it's seriously all our fault.
They advise we should have walked faster ahead, we should have ignored the glances, the voices and their touches and later, that we should forget that it ever happened - for this is how society always is.
They believe that it's how things will be and how society shall remain - because we afterall are frail women.
I was a victim once, but I found my voice. And I wonder, as I pause and stare into the vacant space, when will I hear the others speak?
Will you stand in a corner and hide? Will you lower your eyes and step back? Will you cover your mouth and gasp in plain horror?
-Action Hero Kavitha