A parasite in an auto- another instance of harassment

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Every article has a meaning, and that exactly escalates the efforts to intertwine yourself into it. I want to keep this article as soft as it can be because I know the rage inside my mind has nothing to do with the outside world. The things that make me angry might be normal to others, what I feel like a matter to revolt might be a time-consuming idea for someone and what I want to deal with peace, might itself enrage a lot of rebels.

So this article is more like understanding the condition of a person in a powerless situation rather than coming to a conclusion about what a person should necessarily do or what should be done about the laws or the society or a particular community. This is more like a page from my self created diary, an experienced situation I faced, and I felt it was important to share and empty the brim-filled cup of negativity and anxiety. So, here I go.

28 Dec 2019, Saturday

Dear Friend,

There is a kind of silence I could feel everywhere today. This might not be all of a sudden; this might certainly be a mini-episode of my adventurous life getting an astonishing break and wanting me to wait and think about it for a while before getting back to normal. As you know me, my friend, I love being cheerful, and I always keep those things away that worry me. There is nothing in the world more important than your peace of mind. And I somehow started getting selfish with this. I feel it is alright. You can’t love someone if you can’t even love yourself. How can you withstand giving someone a priority when you can’t also prioritize yourself? How is that even fair to your own life? – a precious gift that is given to you.

So, there are all these mixed personalities in me, and yet they don’t confuse me. They make me, the real me! After a long wait, I arrived home, and for some random reason, I am just being treated like a very loving guest, and this is something not acceptable. I am not getting any scoldings, no irritating questions, nothing. I am still shocked by the fact that nobody questioned about my weight gain, and that’s like wonderful. And to my surprise, Mumma just scolded my brother for me, and that is like once in a blue moon. Otherwise, she doesn’t care much about our fight until we mess up with her freshly placed bedsheets and pillows. So, may my great days last long!

My cousin is marrying, and he is very excited, everyone is! I am a lot excited too for my girly reasons, and all I want to do is shopping. That’s where this story started. I always prefer my darling scooty when I go to the market. So did I this time, but after seeing the jam-packed traffic, we chose to take an auto. It was just a matter of 10 minutes, and a guy pleaded us to share the auto (We don’t have Ola and Uber currently working in this city). So no such booking things happen. We stand, they ask, we bargain, they accept and there starts our third-wheeling ride. So, I was sandwiched between my mother and that guy, and I was eagerly waiting for the stop as I was feeling extremely uncomfortable.

This guy started to show his true colors within the 1/10th time of the total journey. He suddenly decided to lean on me. At first, I thought it is just a part of an auto ride because how can you sit beside someone in such a small space and expect him to maintain a one hand distance. So, I neglected, but by that time, I started feeling his fingers on my stomach and him groping around it and going up. I was feeling too enraged inside, and I had two options, I could turn around and give him a tight slap, or I could get down as fast as I can. I chose the latter.

I will tell you one thing about myself. I am a kind of a very straight forward person. I could have, I really could have slapped him and made him realize his mistake, made him apologize to me, I am sure I have that guts. And like me, hundred other girls can do the same, but we keep calm, shut our mouth and protect ourselves rather than screaming at them and creating a scene. And somehow, I feel this increases their courage. I got down, I couldn’t control, so all I did was called him a “ch***ya” on his goddamn face, and we left. I did look around to check if he was gone because deep down I was scared too, every girl in this nation ought to, I guess with such a decent safety I suppose. All I saw was that he was smiling, looking straight at me. No guilt, not at all ashamed of what he did, of what I understood, of what I reacted. His smile made me more restless, more powerless.

This incident isn’t something happening for the first time in my life. I shared this because this was flickering in my mind, and I just wanted to get rid of it. And also a fresh content under the #me_too page, I suppose. I know this isn’t going to change anything because the people who are reading this are already educated enough, I suppose. And the one who needs to get educated will never read this. The point is, till what time precisely the girls have to protect themselves like this? Till what time shall we expect the youths and even the adults to get proper sex education and stop being desperate? Sexual Harassment has become a widespread but serious issue in India. And I surely do not want to write another page of my diary with a similar context.

It is very disturbing. I wasn’t able to get this thing out of my mind for the whole day, and I just thought about the level of mental harassment the rape survivors might be going through, and my heart sank even at the slightest thought of it.

Yours,
Prachi


Featured Image Credits: Azra Bhagat

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