Women and their insecurities
I am a small town guy who arrived in this big city for better prospects and prosperity.
Say it my hard work or just my sheer luck or as some would say by God’s blessing,
today I have a great job, a good house and a car. Some would say I am living the
perfect urban-Indian dream as an upwardly mobile novae middle-class.
Unfortunately, my car broke down today and I was compelled to opt for a mode
of transportation, seldom used by me in the past three years. I was going to take a
bus to my office! I got up on the bus hoping for an enjoyable bus ride after many
days, but something happened on the bus which did shake up my morality and my
grey cells and forced me to take a closer look at our civilized and humane society.
Probably, such incidents are a common sight that get enacted in broad daylight in
front of thousands of commuters or pedestrians, on or off public transports and in
places all around us; maybe for some it is not even an event worthy of any notice
or thought. But it did strike me.
Luckily, (I guess) once on the bus, I managed to get a window seat. After sometimes,
a school girl took the seat beside me. She seemed to be very lively and quite excited
with the bus ride, as were the other kids, all clad in their starched school uniforms.
I somehow felt that she was also a keen observer, trying to catch a glimpse of her
co-passengers through the corner of her eyes, as if she is too self conscious or is
mildly bothered about something. I was a bit amazed feeling her concern, as I
was constantly trying to guess who, in this “civilized” world, would be a reason
for her discomfort. As time went the bus started getting crowded; people had to
stand due to shortage of seats. When the bus was almost full, something caught my
eyes and I was shocked. A middle aged man, who by this time has pushed his way
through the crowd and was standing write over the shoulder of this girl next to me,
was constantly thrusting his pelvis against the upper arm of the girl. I could now
sense that the cheerfulness and excitement in this girl has dried out and she looked
tensed and peeved, while trying to arch her body away from the acts of libido of
this faceless monster right on her side. A feeling of anger, dismay and abhorrence
filled me and sensing her discomfort, I mildly asked her whether she would like
to take the window seat or not. She seemed quite distraught and confused, which
I guess was a natural feeling for a young teenager girl to have in this world of
strangers looking for an opportunity to meet their venereal desires by exploiting
her tenderness. Luckily, she agreed and we instantly exchanged our seats. I looked
up to spot the faceless monster, but by then, he was gone.
I thought of turning off my mind and take a thirty winks as I had still some time
before deboarding. My nap was suddenly interrupted even before it got well under
way, when I heard some commotion from the rear end of the bust – it sounded
like a heated argument. I managed to turn my neck to catch a glimpse and say
a young boy and girl, probably college students, engaged in a verbal duel. From
what I could make out of their conversation was that the boy had done some act
of mischief peeving the girl to the extent of her raising her hand to almost slap
him. She complained of the boys continuous efforts of touching her indecently,
while the guy protested that it was because of the crowd that he could not keep
his balance and had unintentionally brushed against her. But what amazed me
even more was that some of the co-passengers (that included some women also),
instead of supporting her, were blaming the girl for her misfortune.
They said her dress was “inappropriate” and the likes of that, questioning the girl’s morality. Others preferred
to enjoy the show.
I was wondering, whether my counsel was required or not, and that’s when I heard the conductor scream the
next stop – ah, that’s my destination as well! I got up and started moving up, the crowd by now has also thinned.
I turned around to catch a glimpse of the school kid who was seating next to me, she was docked to the window,
daring not to look around and feeling much safe and secured at the window seat. But my jaws dropped to see
that same lecherous middle-aged man, hurriedly pushing through the crowd to take my vacated seat. Uh, but
there were others standing around, why didn’t they protest? Or they, like me are going to get off in the next
or the next to next stops, I wondered. I was shoved by the crowd from behind and with a heavy heart, had to
clamber down the steps and on to the pavement. I walked towards the window and saw the girl, still staring out
of the window listlessly. I sighed and thought, she needs to fight it out herself now.
All these thoughts kept rumbling in my head the whole day. I was oft pondering about our status, where we
were, and where we have reached now, searching in vain but with tremendous hope for signs of any kind of
betterment in the way of life than our forefathers. But I neither could see nor feel the silver lining.
Maybe this is the natural phenomenon of evolution from a beast to an animal, from an animal to human
and from human to the righteous! Maybe the people who always avail the public transport system are well
accustomed to all these. Maybe that’s why these don’t strike them as it struck me. But I literally can’t stop my
fingers from pouring down all these words on my Word Pad as my grey cells are kept on screaming at me,
goading me to put it up for the world to see and ponder. The more we change the more we remain same. Some
may think that I am frustrated (or intoxicated) enough to think philosophical sayings. Well they may not be
But it’s not really philosophy, it’s a perception. We have to just take a look at today’s world; and more importantly
we have to take a quick peek at the curious case of “Womanhood”. Don’t we find our mythological “Draupadi”,
“Sita”, “Kunti”,”Ahalya” and so on all around us? Have we really changed? Though we have so many reservations
for women in almost every arenas of daily life still are they secured ?? Have the narrow lanes of our mind been
transformed into freeways? Well my “frustrated” brain doesn’t feel so. Our social outlook and acceptance haven’t
really moved on. Places, appearances, language, transport, habits, fashion, trends, and modes of entertainments
may have changed; inter relations, education, science may have advanced a lot; they may have made loads of
changes to the social backdrop but have they made any change to the essence of it?
Isn’t it like some old wine in a new bottle but unlike wine it doesn’t improve but deteriorates? The caramel of
the society just remains the same changing its wrapper era after era. And the candy is losing its crunch with
the passage of time.
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