Did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, if Cameron, my English professor were to read this line she would probably say it is quite clichéd . But that apart we grew up in a middle class neighborhood in the western suburbs of Mumbai, with relatives scattered like pebbles on sand all over the central and western side.
After being away from India for so long, its funny how my lingo has not changed yet. I still refer to Mumbai with the railways as the backdrop.
This is my way of supporting the blank noise project. Don't know if it will make a piddly of a difference or not, but here are my experiences and many might relate to them.
What makes one violate another humans space is yet another mystery but all I can say it leaves quite a distaste for life. Perverts can be found in all aspects of life and we often tend to ignore and bear the brunt. Some of us stand up to them but it has not made a tremendous difference so far.
The family would often accompany my father whenever he traveled by the railways in the male compartment. We would find ourselves in situations not so pleasant with our dad trying to shield us from the strangers on board. We were only 6 and 7 years old then.
Growing to be 8 and 9 we would often pinch back the groper or dig our nails into their hand. Red has always been feisty from the begining. The groping, winking and suggestive remarks never ceased even after in numerous prayers we said before boarding the train. Finally coming to be 10 and 12 the girls put their foot down to say no more traveling with dad in the gents compartment.
What causes men, middle aged or otherwise, to behave in such fashion with kids probably good enough to be their own is a million dollar question worth researching. The older a man gets the more pervert he is is the general talk of the street.
Growing up Red soon found out that if the instigator was called upon aloud in public places it usually worked like a charm. So Red started calling out aloud often asking them to step back and move away. The embarassment on their faces was a darn give away even if they mouthed sorries or nonchalant mumbo jumbo.
The workplace in often a safe place for most of us. We make friends and trust them often. But on one instance Red was mentally harassed because she was an intelligent, petite Asian chick. Nobody, specially men, don't like women to overshadow them to add to that a newbie is a definite no no. Profanity was intensified, terms like brownie, brown cookie and bitch were used.
Red did not quit, when talking to the HR did not bear fruit, she stepped upwards to the next available ear that would listen. Of course corporates rarely like to accept that there is a problem. Things were resolved in hush hush, everybody denied any existence of trouble and Red was termed a troublemaker by the corporate grapevine. That meant more hard work, longer hours without support. Red trotted on tired or not and finally yes truth did triumph. Red is thankful to the few who vouched for her and supported her whether upfront or behind the scenes. Honesty does pay off.
Red could have initiated a lawsuit but that is not where I come from. Those are not my values. Seems like a bollywood story but it is a chapter from Reds life that she is very proud of. Red stayed on much to others dismay and did pretty good for herself. But Red has never trusted anyone after that. Such incidents mar certain feelings like trust and hope forever. I never let myself forget who I am and where I came from. I am proud to be who I am.
What is it that causes people to hate others, we might never know. Was reading Priya Sivan's comments on her rasam post and read a comment very very derogatory about women in general. Why do some view women only as a sexual object. What gives anyone any right to behave this way.
Many might argue it is the effect of movies and all. But this reason does not stand up tall for itself. if this were true, we would have musclemen a la Dharam style or a la Sanju baba doing dishum dishum on the streets all the time and prancing around the trees would be a regular sight too. If these are irrational then so are the others we see in the make believe world of cinema.
As long as there are people to stand up against these incidents there will be reason to believe that little girls and women will be safe on the streets.
Heres to hoping blank noise will create enough ruckus for the voices wanting to be heard !
Posted 8th March 2007