I still remember the day. It was my 8th birthday.A number of relatives and friends were among the invitees. Everybody was wishing me and adoring me. “You’re looking so pretty dear” my Aunt said. She gifted me a nice big doll. After some time the guests were busy with themselves,talking and laughing. meanwhile, the food was served and my parents also got busy with the guests. I was playing with other girls. Suddenly one of my uncles whom I had hardly seen before came and handed me a box of chocolates.I smiled and said ‘thank you’. He took me in his lap and somehow I realized something is not going right. He was pressing himself tightly against me and a never-felt-before uneasiness was there in my mind. He was stroking my body and was saying kind words. I didn’t know what to say but I was not liking his touch. Somehow I released myself from his grasp as my friends were calling but I began to hate him..for a reason which was beyond my comprehension at that age.
It was the day of our “Freshers’ Welcome” in college. I donned a beautiful saree and mom said I was looking like a princess. She asked me to be careful enough while travelling because I was not quite comfortable in that conventional attire. I availed the Metro as usual and was really feeling happy thinking about the programs we were going to have in the college. Suddenly an awkward feeling tore apart my thought waves. The so-called gentleman who was standing just behind was trying to press my private parts ! It was really crowded but not that he couldn’t stand properly. He was leaning over me intentionally. This time I was not afraid,I was extremely angry. I told him sternly in a rough voice to stand properly but he only laughed lecherously and said ‘sorry’. No one in the compartment paid any heed. I was feeling alone in the crowd of those sick people.
Again another day. Our HOD gave some important notes and I was absent. I had some particular disgust for this professor as he had a penchant for ogling at students whenever he found them alone in the staircase or in the corridor or classroom. Reluctantly , I went to his room to collect those xeroxed material. He told me to sit down and wait. After a couple of minutes he handed me the papers ,touched my fingers and said ” why are you so afraid of me ? you’re such a nice girl.. you can come at my residence anytime and I’ll make it sure that you score the highest “. This time it was not the touch but the very words that enraged me. there was a hunger in his words….a blind anger supercharged my body. At that very moment I understood how a woman could be verbally molested ! But I could just say ” I can’t Sir..Its not possible for me and I will complain the authority if you insist me one more time “. He didn’t utter another word and in the very next exam he made it sure that I scored much lower than I deserved.
This is our country. This is how we women live. We’ve to shield ourselves with a book or file held tightly to our bosoms while walking through a crowded thoroughfare. We’ve to bear lewd comments , ugly ogle from strangers. Protest ? Yes ,you always can,whether it is fruitful or not. You should have the courage to raise your voice. The single ray of hope lies in our protest only.