Friday, March 10, 2006

And there then there was light...

There was a disgusting school - or junior college on the way to the best bakery in the City. They had avoided it for months now, but Shema was allergic to eggs, and the only decent eggless cakes were in that bakery. They'd put their heads together and come to the conclusion, after much mulling over the pros and cons, that someone had to go order the cake. They found dates when at least three of them were free and made their way to the Bakery as rapidly as they could. Placed the order. Unanimously – and silently - decided to forget the message on the cake, just get it blank. Didn’t want one of their names said out loud – just in case. Ignored the stares from the small group of boys-men who were smoking just outside the sparkling glass front of the bakery. Left as soon as they could.
Luckily, only one of them understood the local language, and she refused to translate. As it happened, her ears had turned red with embarrasment and her eyes were flashing anger. But she only urged her freinds - lets leave a little more quickly. The others understood. One did not need to understand what was being said to know the general drift of it. Anyone could recognise the ugly tones of what people were content to call 'eve-teasing'.

What a simple, almost harmless name for such a terrible thing to do. I would not claim that I am scarred for life, but those incidents do leave me feeling - ugly. Greasy. Anything to get the feel of those eyes and those words off...

But back to the 'story':

However, they forgot that someone would have to go pick up the cake. It had to be cut, hadn't it? And on that day, there was only one person free. She resolved, nobly, that she would do the job. It was fair, after all, and besides, what could happen? She finished lab - being a normal college student, after all - and felt unusally jittery. It was just a cake! She considered calling a couple of guy-friends for backup. She checked her clothes, found the jeans and t-shirt that were normal for college far too 'dangerous' for the job at hand, and went back to the hostel and changed into the loosest set of clothes she could find. Salwar Kameez too. She did her darnest to hide the streaks in her hair, all the while frantically SMSing her friends, hoping someone, anyone was free. There wasn't. She bit her lip and decided to bust a solid 80 bucks extra on taking an auto for those 120 meters of the city.

Her luck, the autos were nowhere to be found. Worse, the school wall was lined with blue-and-navy-blue wearing hooligans for whom (unfortunately) school had just let out. She hadn't prayed for her last exams (no joke) btu she prayed now, but for what, she wasn't quite sure. Please, God, let nothing happen. Her normally lesiure stride was short and rapid, and her bag was clutched into fisted hands. She all but ran to the Bakery.

She did survive. Nothing - much - happened. She did not know what was being said, but she knew what it was being said about. She would learn, as would others, to shut thier ears to these things, and move out of range quickly, especially if you are alone. What a joke, like numbers would make a difference!

And it would happen again.

Really, and they call it teasing? Like what you do with your best friends when you are at ease? TEASING?

I first wanted to write something about this when it first happened to me. I was amazingly protected as a child, I never realised how much till I moved into the hostel and 'independent life'. Again, when I read MumbaiGirl's post. And now this BLANK NOISE PROJECT, even though I am a few days late.

By the way, that anecdote, except for Shema's name and the allergy to eggs bit, happened. I cannot write about the time that something DID happen, but rest assured, that too is 'normal'.

It is 'civilised' and it is 'acceptable' and even in sarcasm I cannot say it is the girl's fault.

It isn't.


Blogger Incognito said...

What saddens me is the fact that every gal has an 'incident' to call to mind -raw and fresh, inspite of it happening a few years back.

When do we stop watching out for unknown hands?

4:37 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

And not just hands too. Nothing I've seen - or felt - beats your horrible bus experience.

Most girls have more than one such "incident". It's... downright sick.

5:55 am GMT-8  
Blogger >|' ; '| said...

eve teasing and harassment will probably be around for quite some more years, given the pace at which attitude changes in our nation... i think that all these posts as part of the blanknoise project will at least inspire some of the people who take to these activites, to desist and actively discourage their compadres from eve teasing.

6:51 am GMT-8  
Blogger Praveen said...

only last year i did know all this happens...and in i ve sincerely prayed that such people die...not a meaningful prayer yeah, but i cudn think of anything meaningful...and its horrible that everybody has such a story...hope things change one fine day

7:55 am GMT-8  
Blogger Cinderella said...

Sometimes I wonder what makes men do these kinda things,make dirty gestures,ugly comments and above all times when they try to get a brush against your flesh.
I mean it all leads to nowhere,n whats the pleasure in being nasty with a woman specially when men are in bunches.
That look of hate,that look of fear,that look of disgust a woman gives at that it some sorta turn on or what?
"What saddens me is the fact that every gal has an 'incident' to call to mind -raw and fresh, inspite of it happening a few years back."---->totally agree with Incognito,if you happen to be a woman you just have to have atleast 1 horrid incident to keep you alert on your toes the rest of your life.
It sure is a jungle out there.

And hey forgot to say,thnx for dropping by,keep visiting.

8:52 am GMT-8  
Blogger Dreamcatcher said...

It stings whenever I think of the numerous incidents - from lewd comments to silly songs to the far more serious groping. I think I've become so accustommed to the comments part of it that I dont react any longer. Its a kind of numbing thing. And so terribly sad.

10:10 am GMT-8  
Blogger PRADEEP K. said...

Sorry girls. Sorry you had to go through these (and many more) terrible experiences.

We should change all that. We should ensure that our girls can safely move about, without having nasty men brush against their skins for the pleasure of an afternoon.

You have my vote, girls.

8:53 pm GMT-8  
Blogger the Monk said...

what can I say? It's sickening...

12:41 am GMT-8  
Blogger Ashish Gupta said...


4:21 am GMT-8  
Blogger blah_blah_blogger said...

It's been really absurd seeing the stories coming out one after the other with different names and just hopes something somewhere changes.

4:42 am GMT-8  
Blogger onmyowntrip said...

At last you tppk for ever to update .
Yeah that happens every where to most ppl I know and all we do is just brush it off as some thing in the routine .
Eve teasers must be severly dealth with .

6:18 am GMT-8  
Blogger Vikas ( Vicky) said...

Eve teasers.....

i can pray n hope that with the changing attitude/culture this stupid behaviour will be no where in existence.

Wat the hell they wanna to show through this mode of behaviour.

I dont know why people dont understand the simple principle of grace in their life.

"Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace."

2:13 pm GMT-8  
Blogger WA said...

Don't know what to say Camphor, words really do seem meaningless at times. Lets just hope that we can bring up a next generation who are gonna behave better.

4:22 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Naraigin said...

Here reading again - missing my strange Lieutenant.
*hugs* . May you be lifted far above mean things that crawl on the earth. If thats does not work - remember your assassins training Istar.

The Commodore.

10:57 am GMT-8  
Blogger Weebs said...

*leaves you some special toadstool powders known to be good for exterminating rodents*
I also miss you, very much.
The Admiral

11:06 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

-poison- More importantly, we need people to be aware of the magintude of the problem. It happens to everybody, everywhere, all the time. There is something fundamentally wrong with us if we let it continue without protest, and if, for every guy who eve teases, there are two who are willign to come to your rescue if you need it in the middle of the street, life would be easier. Men would be easier to trust.

praveen - I just wish that those people grow up. Change. Do what it takes to become a 'nice person'.

Cinderella - Perhaps they do not know how wrong it is, I don't know. I can't imagine the level of sadism required to be aware of how it affects people and still doing it.

DC ~ The saddest bit is that we are accustomed to it. It is normal to have to deal with it.

Monk ~ Just be there. :)

Assish ~ Oh cheer up, friend. There is worse that can, and has happened to more women than I can count.

blah_blah_blogger - the absurd part was that it was all locked up before. We don't tell family, but we'd broadcast over the net.. Strange are the workings of men.
And women.

myowntrip - Eve teasers should not even exist.

Vicky ~ True. Class comes from within.

WA - I devoutely hope we can.

Weebs - *Huggleglomps*
Oops. *salutes* Thank you Admiral. :D

Nara ~ I do hope I'm far away from such things. :) Thank you, and damn, I miss the Dominion too...

7:41 am GMT-8  
Blogger tangled said...

Honey... too many stories. And everyone has one, and every woman will write or think or dream or cry about a story like this one. I can imagine every one of your female readers feeling that same crawl of the flesh, and feel their heads nodding in agreement.
*sigh* is solidarity the only good thing we can get out of this?

9:47 pm GMT-7  
Blogger Arthur Quiller Couch said...

I kow how this feels.
Carry an umbrella with a sharp ferrule.

10:08 pm GMT-7  

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