As a brother I am not of a very over protective kind, at least that is what I try to be in front of my sister. I’ve always wanted her to tackle things on her own and I am glad to say that she’s never disappointed me at that. One over protective dad is enough for her, I guess. ;-)
I have always hated going to pick her up from some place or having to drop her to some place, just because she is a girl. However, despite hating it I have always done it considering the dangerous society we live in. Don’t get me wrong, I can do any thing for my sis but doing something for her which she should ideally be able to do on her own, but for the fear of ‘unsafe’ streets of our cities is something that puts me off a great deal. I hate having to live in this society which makes it compulsory for my sis to be dependent on me for even the smallest of the things.
I consider her to be a strong person as well, as she’s never come back to me crying and complaining about some guy or some event. I hope this means that she is capable enough to handling things on her own. So it came to me as a surprise when one fine evening last year she told me about some guy who was following her from the bus stop till the next traffic signal near my house, for past few days.
Having heard any such a thing from her for the first time, I sat straight and started listening with ‘concerned’ written all over my face. So she smiled and said “don’t worry Dada, I have already tackled and settled it.” It made me feel better and also curious, so I asked her to tell me the entire story.
Here is what happened in her own words:
‘There was this guy, perhaps younger than me, who used to be there at the bus stand everyday when I came back from my classes, and then used to follow me from bus stand to the next traffic signal. I always ignored him. Yesterday he gained courage to talk to me and asked me to become his ‘friend’. Even when I did not respond to him, he kept talking to me. I then told him very nicely that I do not make friends with strangers and that I am not interested, but he kept walking by my side and kept trying… then he wrote his phone number on a piece of paper and tried to pass it on to me, saying take my number and call me. By this time I had started to lose it, so I stopped walking, stared at him and shouted, “don’t you understand that I am not interested, you better walk away or I’ll beat the hell out of you and call police.”
To which he apologetically replied “but I am only asking for your friendship, what’s the harm… “
“NO” I interrupted him, this time in a voice even more stern.
“OK. fine.. but why are you shouting?” he said lamely and went away from there… ‘
I felt relieved, and I told my sister to call me up if she sees him again so that I can take care of him. But she smiled and assured me, “Don’t worry Dada, after yesterday’s dose he would not dare to come again”. There was something special about her smile, she was ‘An Action Hero‘.
I am glad that perhaps this chap was a not so threatening guy, who could perhaps also be given a benefit of doubt that he genuinely wanted to be ‘friends‘ with my sister, not realizing that his friendship offer was actually harassing the girl he wanted to be friends with. I hope that this incident made him realize that what he was trying to do was wrong, however noble(?) his intentions might have been.
If you are a guy and reading this, please keep in mind that your behavior towards women which you consider ‘normal’ or ‘fun’, like whistling, winking, singing, touching or trying to be friends is something which harasses them to a great deal. If you need a proof go ask your sister, mother, wife or girl friend, they go through this harassment every single day.
If you are a girl and you never gave it back to the harasser, know that most of the eve-teasers will just step back as soon as you retaliate. If they don’t get it themselves, it’s your job to make them realize that they are wrong. And then (unfortunately so) you’ll also find some criminal minded ones who don’t understand mere words, for such people keep your kicks, punches and pepper sprays ready.
Posted 21st March 2007