Speak up?

Did you read about the Deepika Padukone incident? Or did you read about this incident? Well, something similar happened to me today. Honestly, it was not too much (as per Indian lechers’ standards) but it made my blood boil. Things like these make my (or any woman’s) blood boil but we are so habitual of it that we let it go. I guess I was just way too inspired by these two incidents.

So this is what happened. I was in the metro and in the regular coach, not the one reserved for ladies. This man started scanning me. If you have ever lived in India, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you are a girl, you have experienced it one hundred percent. If you are a boy, you have either done it yourself or have seen fellow males do it. So, anyway, I got extremely angry and normally I just ignore but, in this particular incident, I gave him a hard glance for a considerable time and he looked away but I realized that he is staring at me every once in a while. Now honestly, it is something that happens in public transportation here every 5 minutes but I still really wanted to confront him! I controlled. Somehow, after few more metro stations, it just happened. I did not even realize that I am doing it. I said,”Kya hai? Koi dikkat hai kya? ab mat ghoorna, bta ri hoon last baar, ab mat ghoorna bas!” It means this: “You got a problem? You dare not stare anymore, i am warning you the last time, don’t stare again. Enough.”. I had thought earlier that he was with some colleagues so he will definitely not be apologetic about it and would try to shame-face me. I was totally readying myself up for that since the past few stations. However, it did not happen. He became silent after uttering some gibberish like “What? me?” very slowly and looked away. I am still not sure whether he was with colleagues or not. Just so you know, a similar incident happened after he had left.

It is not an act of bravery. Heck, I did not even say those things confidently enough. In fact, I am scared enough to not do this frequently. 😛 The point I am trying to make is that I wanted to speak up, take a stand for myself and I did. Even if it’s really nothing, I have the right to speak up if someone else’s gaze is intimidating in a bad way to me. I have basically the right to speak up whenever I want. I DO NOT need to be apologetic about it. And the most important thing, if any of you try to do this (God forbid you land in such a situation), there is a one hundred percent chance that the culprit and the onlookers would try to shame-face you. Make sure that you know that you are not doing anything wrong. They are the wrong ones. You are taking a stand for something so bad, so wrong, be proud of it. Always, always be confident. You know what sucks the most about the incident that I just narrated? The fact that I am sure that all the onlookers in the metro at that time must be thinking me of as such a drama queen. They definitely don’t understand how daunting it is to get stared at like this. In fact, they consider it part of the lifestyle. They would even have outrageous things to say like ‘you were wearing such clothes, what do you expect?’ Pheww! Let’s not even go there.

Lastly, I have only two things to say. First, if you feel the need to speak up, never be ashamed to do it, take stand for yourselves. Secondly, we all know how unsafe our country is for women. So, always be cautious and good at judgement. If you think you are alone or in a troublesome situation, don’t put up a fight or gather attention in any other way just because it is right. It might be hazardous for your own safety. Just be good with judgement. I was in a metro full of people so I could take chances with confronting him, but if I were on a road in the night with such a lecher (God forbid), I wouldn’t have dared to do it.

Just be safe. 🙂 Take care. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Speak up?

  1. Bravo Srishty!!!! If this was your first time to confront a lecher in this outright manner, then you have mostly shown yourself that you can summon up the courage and speak out inspite of the general crowd around you thinking you are behaving extreme etc. And you are very right to use judgement, a woman needs to judge the situation mostly to understand that she’s not in direct danger to herself. One time, I too faced a similar situation in a bus where I’d fallen asleep reading a thick book. A really sick guy’s movements woke me up, and after judging the situation, I beat up the guy fair and square with my book (I was scared he may retaliate but I was willing to take the chance at the moment) and even managed to create enough drama and get him off the bus. I hope that with the current situation in India, more young women like you will speak out more often against atrocities minor and major!

      • Good question, Srishty! No, it wasn’t in India… it was in Dubai where I must tell you, that unfortunately it is once again, Indian men who do maximum bad behaviour. In this case too, it was an Indian guy, and since I was aware that laws in Dubai favor women I could really go ahead and do what I did! Hence, like you rightfully mentioned, judgement has to be made before action.

  2. Nothing is wrong if we protect ourself from such sitiations and the scene which is being described in blog is a common scenerio in metro even everywhere ,when some narrow minded and those who seeing female first time,better make them feel among all,so they can realize.

  3. Bravo Girl..This is the problem with Indian Girls we are shit sacred of raising our voice and the guys take advantage of that.I remembered long back, I had slapped a guy in the bus who was misbehaving but there were people(ladies) telling me to calm down.I was shit scared and angry the whole day but I am sure that guy got a good lesson that day.We need to speak up and that;s what Deepika did recently and you too..Kuddos to the Girl Power..Nice writeup 🙂

  4. Well done Srishty and well written . It takes a lot of courage and at times it comes even without being aware of it . Once I was travelling in a not so crowded passenger express and there was this man who wouldn’t stop staring and finally getting really scared I gathered up courage and asked him to stop , did call him some words too . Luckily for me he was a coward and also he had to get down at that stop . Mumbling something he got down . After that I never travel alone in such not so crowded routes . If we dont stand up for ourselves nobody else will .

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