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When I was asked to write down something on the topic by one of the moderators of the page, I was a little hesitant. Strange thing, yes, but I have never been “victimized” so to say. I could’ve written about my take, how it infuriates me to read about it etc. However, call it cosmos or running out of luck, it did happen.
I was walking towards my car from this Delhi market, supposedly posh, supposedly safe for female shoppers (this seems like an oxymoron, to be fair). Dressed in black Capri and a round neck top, I was crossing the road to get to my car when a car blaring music slowed down around the footpath. Ignoring it, I and my friend (who, by the way, was dressed in jeans and t-shirt) continued walking till the car actually stopped parallel to where we were walking. We almost ran back the way to my car and moved out of there. It was a strange sight, the man peeping out of the car while you’re walking on the road. Almost, giving you the illusion that you’re this exotic, endangered species at a Zoo and he has paid to see you, examine you like a corpse, ogle you like a dog would at his meal.
We moved out the place and I dropped my friend mid way. We didn’t talk about this though my friend got the hint that I was completely taken aback. Maybe, like I said, I’ve been lucky. I never got this close to anything obnoxious, in a city that is notorious for crime against the women. Once I was home, my friend gave me a ring to inform that the same car stopped by at the auto stand where she was looking for an auto. The driver asked my friend way to a place and asked if she could show him around the city as he’s new to the place and a whole lot of conversation which included the length of her hair, how she manages, where she stays and if she’d like to go on a ride. Thankfully, for her, she got an auto immediately after he threw the questions at her and she got home.
If I look at this in retrospect, it doesn’t sound that harsh but the moment when that car stopped and the man peeping out gave us the look, it was enough to creep me out of my wits. Now, there was a police car patrolling the area but neither was it accessible nor do they really care because this sort of “car-following” aka harassment is visible all around Delhi. I was probably in my shell where I believed it can’t happen to me or you know, how you think like that ostrich who believes that if she refuses to see a thing then the thing can’t see her either. Moving from that, the second point here is, these men should be castrated if they really do not know how to take care of their urges. Instead of putting benchmarks like clearing “value education” or “moral science” exams in school, they should probably keep “How to respect individual space and privacy of the opposite sex” as the compulsory paper and have this on your character certificate to make it to college etc, instead of merely relying on parchments that spell out your score. It’s completely dependent on conditioning. If you really must, ask a woman. Do not harass her to be with you. I digress but it’s the rant that was pending for the longest time.
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