I’m always excited to visit art festivals. It was Saturday evening, in an excited mood to step out to visit an art festival in South Bombay, in my kolhapuris, wearing a long T-shirt, jeans and styled with my long pretty earrings. Feeling pretty and embracing the evening with my friend.
In the evening, we were heading towards not so busy and crowded trains. While we were getting inside the general compartment, an uncivilized gentleman decided to touch me from behind inappropriately and so badly that it started hurting me and I was about to lose my balance. So, my friend helped me to pull me inside the train. I was all shivering and full of sweat, with all the concern he started asking me, “Are you alright? What’s wrong? What happened?” And I was looking around who did this to me? I didn’t even know who touched me!
That was my cue, All I had to do was ask him, why did you do this to me? , or just slap his untouchable face and walk off. But I didn’t. Because I didn’t know who the person was. Was it a boy standing in front of me? Or uncle who’s standing near the door? Or the elder uncle sitting on the left? I was all wondering and not able to speak up to my friend about what happened!
While this entire situation happened, a billion thoughts ran through my mind. I couldn’t digest how easy it was for that man to touch a woman and get away from it so easily. And, I’m here in shock which spoiled my entire mood of going to the art festival. The mood, where I was feeling pretty and confident. Where I was so excited to take pictures. Where I was so excited to eat on the streets. It all vanished in just 15 minutes! It made me feel icky, ashamed and afraid of being touched. Honestly, now I can’t be touched. I can’t be touched by strangers, my family or my friends, without my presence of mind.
What if I’m never comfortable being touched again?
It was not the only time, I felt disgusted. It also happened to me, when I was inside the auto-rickshaw (A man tried to grab my waist, while it was raining heavily) and I was helpless. I felt disgusted when I was going to the grocery store. Some nasty bikers teased me and sped away. I feel disgusted every single time when I’m just walking on a road or going for a jog and there are these uncomfortable stares.
Now you think, there are so many women and also men around us. Who goes through such terrible things or worse every single day. In a country, where we are fighting for our rights, worth and safety.
Concluding this I just want to say, be alert, and get help. There are ways to stop these loutish people from invading anyone’s personal space, sections like 294 and 509 (P.S: Do not misuse the law, it will be unfair to the modesty of other women) or taking help from people around you or going to the cops. Talk to your friends or family, if possible. I still regret not doing anything about it. You can be the reason another girl doesn’t feel the way you did. We can stand by ourselves and for everyone to stop these imbeciles..