I still remember the terrifying night of August 20th, 2013, when I was taken to an unknown place by the auto rickshaw I had boarded at around 8 in the night. Being new to the city I could barely figure out the exact routes and roads of Chandigarh; but the way the rickshaw-wala spoke to me definitely had my gut wrenching in fear!
On our ride of about 30 minutes from sector 18 to sector 32, the driver had said things like, “Kahin dil toh nahi bhul aaye, jo itni der ho gayi?”, “Ghar nahi bulaoge?” I, somehow, managed to reach my PG without being followed or physically abused and locked myself up in the bathroom, crying my guts out in fear! Only I knew what I had escaped that night; being abducted, being raped, perhaps! After the incident I was asked to follow a set of instructions like- not roam around after seven in the evening, not wear revealing clothes (WHAT ARE ‘REVEALING CLOTHES’?), I was also asked to save the PCR number on speed dial in my phone and most importantly, I was asked to stay back at home to escape the ‘Perv’, to escape being teased. The recent sexual harassment case with one of the students from SD College, at her PG in sector 32, clearly states how wrong the perception of staying back home in order to escape perverts is! Sources say the girl was, apparently, offered five thousand rupees by the landlord; if only she had agreed to compromise with him. She, of course, refused and brought the matter into notice of her family and the 55 year old ‘perv’ was finally taken into custody.
They say, “Charity begins at home”, doesn’t sexual harassment being at home too? It was nine in the evening when she was approached and forced by her landlord! She wasn’t roaming out alone after seven in the dangerous world outside, she was rather ‘safe’ at her PG clad in her ‘unrevealing clothes’.
It is a misfortune how roofs and walls no longer keep us from being vulnerable to the pervert; how they will now be reckoned as the dark, perilous, unlit streets; the same streets where fifty men and women go on staring at a woman, judging her ‘revealing clothes’ or ‘slippery tongue’. Yes, once-the-safest-place will now be considered among places where you find ‘pervs’ standing at the end of staircases to ‘enjoy’ the ‘view’, and who sometimes fail terribly at taking their eyes off the buttons of a woman’s shirt! I ponder what seems so attractive to the pervs; is it the thighs of a woman running late to work or her breasts, which she tries her best to hide from their insatiable libido? I also contemplate the reason, and disgust myself at, why a sixteen year old would blow whistles at a nineteen year old stranger.
Let me not use Euphemism anymore and admit that I get molested every day and not just ‘teased’, by those eyes full of insatiable greed for the flesh of a woman! I have tried pilling up my wardrobe with closed necks, scarfs and loose pants to keep my assets unexposed, but that does not seem to be working at all! In fact, the obligatory life that I live- deprived of freedom of expression does not seem to be working at all; neither for me or the ones alike!
We have tried avoiding streets and stayed back at home to escape exploitation of flesh. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work either, because your quenchless lust won’t stop following us!
About The Author
final year student at SD College, an ardent follower of the good old Rock and Roll and a lover of The Wild.