Friday, January 4, 2013

The Chowmein Nation

I know this comes late in the slant, cool airs after the blaze that Delhi witnessed recently, but that's the irony. A woman's life does not end in a fullstop.

It happens everyday. It shouldn't be just about the fact that she was treated 'harshly', 'inhumanly', 'brutally' or 'another strong word'. It is about something else. It is about a four letter word called Pain.

The pain when a man looks at her. Yes, LOOKS! It's a pang of pain that strikes in her heart. You do not have to physically assault her to rape her. You just have to Look. Look at her till she's curled up, her heart beating hard in her heart, looking for a place to hide. You just have to call her names. Words. Words will undress her. Words will make her regret her existence. You just have to 'accidently' brush across her. That fear will be a remembered till she's a hundred years old.

Its a routine for her. She knows when she steps out of the vicinity of her own, she is going to be stared upon. She has accepted and tied the fact that she can do nothing about it around her heart. That string pulls even tighter every time she's accidently touched in a public bus or abused on the streets. Here starts a fear of its own. She could not save herself, what if she is not able to save her daughter? She doesn't want a daughter.

While she was young, her mother had told her - stay alert. From every man in your life. No one is to be trusted. No one is to be blamed later.

So she starts doubting. She is not sure of anyone. She doubts her brothers, uncles, tailors, conductors, ward boys, teachers, swimming instructors. The power to analyze a touch becomes genius. She knows where he's looking at. It becomes her natural instinct. She wishes she had a blanket around her.

Not all are like her. Some give up. Give up to the eyes, the hands and the brothers. Some think they deserved it. Some just take it and move on. Take the load, and make a rope to hang on.

It stops with you. It stops with the stopping of whistles and your heroship. It stops with her security in a bus full of you. It stops with you turning blind towards the fact that she's a girl. Yes. It stops there. If she wants you to see her, she'll make sure you know.

Just Stop it. Stop looking at her. Stop touching her thinking she'll never know. She'll always know and remember and be terrified. Don't kill her trust when she is a kid. Don't let her die because you like to eat chowmein.