Thursday, 3 January 2008

A Piece of Meat?

I was out with a female friend at 11.30 P.M on this New Year’s Eve. As we proceeded to walk towards after car after a leisurely dinner, there was a huge crowd milling about. 90% of the people were aimlessly loafing around consisted of groups of men. We hurriedly walked towards our car and that’s when we heard a slap. We turned around to witness a girl screaming at a boy for misbehaving with her, taking advantage of the crowd.

He started to deny but she kept shouting at him. We didn’t stop to see because we realized, we were two girls alone and it would be better if we headed to our car.

I remember someone whipping out a cell phone and taking pictures of us while we sat in the car and backed out of the parking lot. With our backs turned to the person, and his pictures a complete waste, we quickly made out way out of the lot. And that’s when we saw so many men dancing on the streets, drinking, parking their cars anywhere on the road.

Everyone stared in our car. It looked like we were two animals in a zoo to be looked and photographed. In spite of the fact we were ‘fully covered’ and conservatively dressed in overcoats and jackets.

We reached home in about 15 minutes and ringed in the New Year in the safety of our apartment promising we would never go on New Year’s Eve and thanking God that nothing untoward had happened to us.

Next morning’s
newspaper headlines has made our resolve stronger. As I read the paper there was a feeling of disgust, then anger and the aftermath of it all left a bitter taste in my mouth.

It was repulsive and there was a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I fail to understand how can men turn into animals? Or worse than animals. I don’t think even 80 animals will pounce on a female like that.

The sick b******s should be stoned or hanged or castrated. An incident like this in a civilized, democratic state is very shameful.

The men need to be taught since a young age to respect women. Somebody needs to tell them we are not a piece of meat to be hungrily pounced upon.

As for all those people who say that women should not go out at night, dress ‘provocatively’, they need to take a hike because it’s not the women who are at fault, its men who need to control their urges.

I remember missing my school bus, taking public transport for the first time alone. The bus stop near my school where the near empty bus started from, the conductor asking me to sit next to him, stoking my hair and undressing me with his eyes, me terrified, unable to comprehend what to do, suddenly losing my nerve, then regaining it and going to sit in the first empty seat.

Another time, in college, thinking I am much wiser by now, standing, I feel a hand near my crotch and I look up to see a young man in his twenties staring down at me rapaciously. I extricate his hand but say nothing. Just go and stand elsewhere. I have lost my tongue as a feeling of being dirty sweeps over me.

And this another time, I am trapped on the foot board of a bus, an African man decides to massage his penis against my back. Since that day I carry a rucksack with me.

I remember walking down a street near CP wearing a salwar kameez and jeered at by men whistling and singing.

By this time I have learned a bit of karate and I know my basic blocks and punches.

I remember shopping in a south Delhi market, both hands full of bags. A young boy grabbing my waist thinking I won’t react. I remember kicking him with my foot, then dropping my shopping bag to hit him and he telling me ‘sorry sister’.

Another market place, an older man grabbing my breast, me raising my hand to slap him, my mother realizing what has happened, running towards me and screaming at him at the same time, he saying ‘ sorry beta, galti say ho gaya’.

The last time I stepped in a bus I remember a beautiful Delhi, lush green with monsoon rain across my cheeks. Then I remember a man sitting behind me, groping my back. A feeling of disgust, of violation enveloping me. The anger of all these years spilling over, I grab him by his hair and slap him as hard as I can. I haven’t stepped in a bus since that day. I probably would only if my life depended on it. I wrote about it
here.

I remember each incident in horrific detail and sadly I know almost every ‘city girl’ has gone through this. Robbed of innocence at a young age, probably scarred for life for no fault of theirs. I don’t think I was asking for it. Neither were those women in Mumbai.

As for the
police commissioner who was so insensitive to say this was a small incident, may he be born as a women in his next life.

Read here for another blog reaction of the incident.


28 comments:

TD23 said...

hi NG
yeaah was really shocked to start my new year with a ghastly news as that. i mean last year this kinda incident had taken place at gateway and this year outside a plush hotel. Mumbai is considered to be a safe place 4 women, but such incidents makes us all think otherwise.
i dont understand why the police should wait 4 the victim to lode a complaint when the offense is actually present on camera?? its confusing. dose sick b@$tards shud def be taught a lesson. a case has been registered, lets hope the guilty r brought to book
take care
ciao
TD23

PS: a very happy new year

Vrij said...

NG.. its a sad state of affairs no doubt. Also, its sad to hear that u too have gone thru such things.

btw.. me too have written something on the same topic.

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hi TD
Long time, no see… how r u doing???
Somehow one never expects something like this to happen in Mumbai…
The police can file a complaint on the basis of account given by the officer who was at the spot… There is a section in IPC where the women don’t need to file the case…

Lets see how the investigation goes… Am so happy to hear 14 people have been caught till now..

My male colleague was saying this morning that it wud be justice if they were left like this in a mob of 80 women… unki dose jab unko wapas milegi tab pataa chalega… :D

Anyways… Take care and wish u a rocking year ahead!!!!

Will drop by your new blog space :)

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hey Vrij
Ask any big city girl... they have all gone thru some similar shit...
Will drop by your blog soon... :)

Rags said...

I have never come face to face with something like this, having grown up in a sheltered existence in Bangalore. But after moving to Delhi, I was amazed at how it all seemed to be an accepted part of daily life. And now that you enumerate it, it's almost surreal as to how prevalent and frequent it is.

n.aka.zephyr said...

Rags
This happens in all big cities... check out 'blank noise' blog (link on the left side of my blog)... u 'll be surprised how bad things are in b'lore too....

moai said...

It is not that far for me but the fear is there. I shared the life of a European Backpacker traveling on her own in India. One day of her life in one of the most traditional area of India (Haridwar)broke for a long time to pieces the idea I had of the Indian Gentleman. I hope everything went fine for her. Really.

I am not giving lessons. We ,french, still have cases of collective rape in our cities("les tournantes" (what an hawfull name for a real torture.))

Which are the sources: well "tournantes" comes really from porno, gonzo industries (autorized by law in France) and to an extent from real proxenetism practices.

Arguments given to law enforcement by convicted were: "she dresses like a h...", "she was teasing us", etc...
Poor little men.

Solution: girl lobbying and NO MORE SILENCE GIRLS:
SPEAK UP OUT LOUD and FEED the police headquarters with any single attempt to your dignity and report to any association that may help you in doing so.

An humorist i loved (P Desproges) said about manhoodships: "from more than one, we are gang of d...s, so leave me alone".

"A partir de plus d'un, on est une bande de cons. J'aime autant etre seul"

PS: I recommend also "secret post card" on your list Zeph.

Rags said...

@ n.aka.zephyr:

I am part of Blank Noise too (the link's on the right side in my blog :)). I was saying that since I grew up in a typical South Indian family (you know how we are) with a younger brother, we weren't really exposed to this. But now and then, when I talk about this stuff to my cousin sister, then I'm appalled, and enraged.

Pramod said...

Firstly, Happy New Year.

Shocking to hear about your experiences. Disgusting to note the conduct of some (or is it 'many' these days) people.

Like you say, these people should be castrated in public view!!! Saudi Arabian rules rock in this regard.

And hey, thanks for dropping by my blog and enquiring. I was on my holiday in India and had no time for blogging, hence the hiatus.

Prasad said...

Holy fck!!!! yes i felt a feeling of disgust on cing the pics in the news channels...nd i thought it was a one off incident!! never knew so many things happen!!! fckkkkkkkkkk!!!! um lik fckkkkkkkk so many things happen!!! dumb mofos!!!

Meher :) said...

Hey NG

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! :)

[Hope for a betetr world :D]

About the post - I do agree.. I have faced a lot of things too - the first time something like this happened.. I was in 8th std and it was so very disgusting.. I started crying.! And to think, I was on my way to the exam hall and my sister, whom I told later on, could only look at me helplessly as I cried..! Thinking back, it is nothing as big as what happened to the girls, but for a school kid, it sure was an ugly thing!!

One guy tried it after a few days - but this time, I followed my mom's advice, I pinched that guy real hard on his back, in that crowd and he was squirming, trying to break free, with other people shouting at him for jostling so much!! :D but I wished I had a needle or a safety pin with me that day!!

I seriously don't understand why is it that a lot of this species cannot understand that what they are doing is ABSOLUTELY Animal!! Like you said - even animals dont fall on a female at an 80:1 ratio !!!!!!!

In a way, I would say, its upto us ladies to take care ofourselves. I know its TOTALLY unfair when girls are told to stay home and not go out late in the nights, but then, when you look at it, when you know people around us are not people but animals, its upto us to take care of ourselves. I get angry and frustrated when my people tell me to be back home by 10:00 max, but only when you hear such things, you realise how true those words are....better be home safe & bored, than be out scared & frightened, or more worse - scarred for life!

As much as we hate it, the fact needs to be accepted - we are still in a society that has people bordering on the uncivilised, and its not in the near future I see that a sea-change will come over and men will all go out to start respecting women and give them their rights & space & freedom!! Till then, I guess we just need to keep in mind about the jungle around and take care of ourselves......

Meher :) said...

And yeah.. no second thoughts about what they should face as punishment - castration right away!! And Shot till dead in public for rape & rape attempts!!

Curious said...

disgusting seriously!

n.aka.zephyr said...

Salut Moai!

There is a term we call ‘skin tax’ in India. It’s the tax (being groped, hit on etc.) white skinned women have to pay to come here. But all men are not like that.
See you will be surprised, a country like USA has the largest number of rape cases in the world. It is a country which is considered to be free and liberalized.

And the arguments that she was asking for it are so disgusting. No woman ever asks for it.
The problem is if women raise a voice, they are labeled as feminists or bold women. There is a thin line between a feminist and a person fighting for equal rights or self respect.

Interesting comment by the humourist…

n.aka.zephyr said...

hey Rags

How did I miss the link? :D Hmm.. I can understand how it is at home... Usually one doesn’t talk about this ‘stuff’. Talking is part of acknowledging the problem and one should not be quiet about it…

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hey Rp

Happy New Year to you as well!
Oh.. I managed to shock quite a lot of people… As I was saying in my previous comment… since women don’t talk abt it… these things never come out in the open…

And the incident would not have garnered so much attention if the photos would not have been there…. Totally agree with you about Saudi rules on this one…

Will catch up with you on your blog and your India trip :)

n.aka.zephyr said...

Pras
Thanks for the support… dude :) Since that one incident came into the limelight so many women have spoken about other incidents… more power to media, more power to women. amen!

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hi Meher,

Happy new Year to you as well!!
Thanks for your passionate comment… :)

8th standard… that’s too young… my first incident was in 10th standard… its weird how we remember all this and keep it filed somewhere in the back of our heads and these incidents pop out triggered by some event….

Am so proud of you fighting back.. most of them are cowards anyway… once someone fights they probably won’t try again… the problem is when we take it quietly… it makes them think its acceptable to do it again and again… it took me a long time to figure that out…

And even though we have to take care and not step into dark alleys… hell even broad daylight sometimes :D, i think its unfair that we have to sacrifice, make the right ‘choice’… being foolhardy vs being practical…. It sucks big time.. well a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do till the world changes….

Hugs and take care!

n.aka.zephyr said...

Curious
I know!!!
p.s: happy new year!

moai said...

Salut Zeph
No i am not surprised about the ratio in USA. USA women talk when raped and go to police and police listen and arrest and bring people to court and court does its job and ministry keep data of it.

In France, well. It is supposed to be like the USA but it is not. France looks more and more like India in terms of politics and law enforcement.

Pretending to have the right to complain about physical and/or psychological abuses is not feminism. It is written on the chart of HUMAN Rights.

Thisisme said...

Hey Zephy!

Its so true whatever U have wrtten! Rather these days whenever U open up the TVNews..there is some or the other news abt crimes on women! today I saw a video footage of how a village woman was stripped by a huge crowd coz she was suspected of killing her husband! It was barbaric to see that act on TV!
and new years or any late nites..Its completely unsafe for women and I, as a rule, dont venture out on roads even in my car after 830pm..its jst not worth it!Its hard to imagine when u c such incidenst and so common..that v r the same country who think r going to be the next big thing on the world map! We ought to get our basics rght first!
And Abt ur experiences u mentioned..They r Very Very common..I dont think there is a single girl who has used public transport and has not faced this!If i happen to write it here..will fill up pages! but yes 4 yrs in college..and daily commuting in buses..taught me to speak up and screw men basically :P but I really wish all women were that courageous!
All in All..a pretty depressing state of affairs..but tell me this ..how can v imporve the situation! I really wonder..coz I c such educated men also indulging in it..that I cant figure out the reason behind such acts..are so many people..so much sexually frustated..is it really that..or something more srs..?

PS: Happy New Year :-)

mahek said...

Hi zephy,
Really how disgusting it felt to see humanbeings turning avaricious animals and still blaming girls for inproper dressing.
Afte reading your experiences and the several responses (their real life incidences),I am really scared of stepping in metros.Heart throbbing.
I am bit impulsive when it comes on women molestation but my mother always calms me down when my anger rages out.

n.aka.zephyr said...

Salut Moai!

You made a good point… here half the cases don’t get reported… otherwise the statistics will be higher…

So what is the latest buzz in France? Did Sarko get married to Carla? The are visiting India as state guests on 26th jan (our republic day) and our protocol officers were in a tizzy if they should treat Carla as part of his contingent or his partner (it seems spouse is considered a partner vis-à-vis a non married partner)

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hey TiM
Happy New Year!

One rule of news is if a high profile case (like Mumbai incident) happens then similar cases happening around the country get media coverage by the virtue of being the hot top of the day/week/month… So now many cases are popping up in the media limelight which would otherwise get suppressed…

In the capital or the finance hub of the country women don’t feel safe then we definitely need to re-look where we are going wrong…. You cant be the next big thing until you give more or less equal right to everyone… be it women, be it socially deprived….

Delhi buses turn us ‘docile’ creatures into ‘xena warrior princesses’… lol! I call it my combat mood… its sad that we have to constantly look over our shoulder, with these incidents playing at the back of your head….

The only way to tackle is tell the men around us how we feel… plus teach young boys to respect women…let it be a part of school curriculum… like you teach alphabets, language, basic traffic rules, you teach them to respect women…

n.aka.zephyr said...

Hi Mahek

Welcome to my blog!
It is disgusting.. don’t be scared of stepping into the metros.. just be doubly careful when you are here… that’s it :)

Everyone is not out to get you… there are some nice people too!!

moai said...

Salut,

I see that India got intoxicated upon our president private life too. Poor you. He or she may even change before he/she/they arrives in India.

May I suggest you diplomatie to settle on our president being with (escorted by is unproper) C (Cecilia, Clara, Consuella,...)

I am pretty sure to see your most important Bollywood stars posing with him (them.) He loves the Star System. Presently, he is a star.

Nothing more like India Zindabad than a party with Sarko and C. I am sure he will dress up like a Raja just for the media.

Anyway, I am sorry that French Republic (hic) is going to impose you full sarkozysm on a visit. You need training to deal with that.

I swear on the dictionnary that I didn t vote for me.

moai said...

salut a nouveau,


That s interesting, must be freudian in some ways. Ergo Ego sum.

Please read:

I swear on the dictionnary that I didn t vote for HIM.

Anonymous said...

Salut Moai,

Maybe after the offical event is over we might see the 'star' sarkozy :)

Maybe if he visits the Taj Mahal with Carla he might dress up as a Raja.. :D

Unfortunately Republic Day Parade has no movie stars... So I don't know if there will be any 'posing' of the stars...