Help in Need

Last year, Blank Noise asked us for testimonials witnessing street sexual harassment. This year, they asked for testimonials of our action against harassment, and I joined the blogathon on the other blog. And I decided to join it on this one too; but not just cross post from there.

So, I thought I’d make this post about some other action heroes: the men who fought for me when I couldn’t fight for myself, when I asked them for help and when I couldn’t.

A long time ago, a cousin who yelled at someone who ‘passed a comment’; do you even remember, anna?

Not as long ago, but long enough. The first floor of the academic block, outside the corridor of teachers’ offices. Waiting for a viva, I think. A friendly argument over something (I don’t even remember what) ends with me standing with my back pressed against a railing, and the guy I was arguing with standing in front of me, his arms on either side of me gripping the top if the railing, barking in my face. I am scared but determined not to show it; how dare he think he can intimidate me?! He moves away when N touches him on the shoulder, and as he goes away, N asks with a look, “why do you let him get away with it?”

Forward a few years, but still a few years ago. A bus trip in Rajasthan on a rickety old bus. Sitting in the aisle seat, a guy standing next to me starts pressing against me. I look up and ask him to stand properly. He pretends not to understand, as do the men around him. I look to my companions, N and S; S switches seats with me, and the man backs off.

S; S switches seats with me, and the man backs off.


Posted 22nd March 2007