Making a "Nonissue" an Issue
come, write about the times you don't talk about because it seems too mundane, too everyday, to regular to seem like a 'story' enough. Come, talk about the times someone violated your body by a 'mere' touch, a 'mere' look and a 'mere' obscenity. Man, woman, does not matter -- it happens to all of us.
I was 9, perhaps, when a man on a busy market road touched my crotch.
Age 10 - held back from grabbing a football from the trio i was playing with, held back by a man who thought the best way to restrain a girl was to squeeze her chest -so what if she barely had breasts.
Blurry images come to mind, of similar gropings. No clear images. But know there are many.
A few images later, the story changes.
Age 15 - A man rammed into me on a desserted street. for the first time I hit back. A loud thwack on his back and a mumbled 'galti se ho gayaa madam' was what I got.
Age 17 - A man followed me and a friend, from college to elsewhere. All along describing his organ to us and telling us what it does. I made the action of a backhanded slap and then walked on.
Age 18 - A rickshaw wallah drove and masturbated while I sat alone in the rickshaw, clueless at first about why he drove so badly.
Age 19 - Groped while getting out of a General Compartment in a train. A firm attempt to tell me where I should belong?
I still hit them, it has become easier to do it now. It has also become easier to not worry about hitting the wrong guy (so what if I do!) because the eve teaser usually sinks into the crowd before you know it. remember a woman telling me 'don't worry about hitting the wrong guy, 'usne dekhke nahin chheda . tune dekhke nahin maara'. Works for me!
It has not happened for a long time. Don't know if it is a sign of indian lafangas finally growing up, or is it just my holding my hands up like I'm a robot, in an attempt to clarify 'this is my space and you can reach no further'.
edit - the idea of designing this entry as a chronological piece by presenting experiences alongside ages - the idea was not entirely original but inspired by www.knownturf.blogspot.com
the writer in me wanted to acknowledge her. thank you, ma'm wherever you are.
Action Hero Gitika