I finally ventured out to watch Mardani on my own; and I am glad that I did. It’s brilliantly ‘inspired’ from the English film Taken and the actors have done full justice to the horrors of sex trafficking and child prostitution.
The ease with which this is all possible; the police and politics power game and the helplessness of the victims – all easily relatable in Mardani since the milieu is India, affected me. And yes anything is possible in India. The law and law makers are nothing but hand in glove with the law breakers.
I can’t but help wonder what power trip do grown men get at raping/forcing themselves on a ‘virgin’ girl child? Sex is about bodily gratification – true! But its not limited to a man’s pleasure. A woman who has sex with a man, and wants him all the more- now that’s a man in my books! So then why must men rape?
There are these theories of how & why women deserve the rape! We ask for it! We titilate! We have no shame! The fault lies with the woman- or so the moral police propound relentlessly! Some of us have bought into these theories too.
I remember a few years back when I had moved into a place of my own in Delhi, a male relative happened to drop by for a cup of coffee. Two hours later, I was uncomfortable with the way he was looking at me and what he was saying to me. Aghast at myself for feeling so (I mean nice girls don’t think such dirty thought- right???), I felt relieved when he left. It so happened that one of my sister-in-laws (very close to me) was in town and I went to meet her. She realised something was wrong and on her gentle prodding, I vomited it all. She comforted me and chided me for blaming myself while ranting at the gentleman in question. But none of us could take it up with him. She advised me to talk to my mother. I did! I got no reaction at all apart from not to discuss this with anyone ever. Is it a wonder we women blame ourselves for rape, our conditioning is such at our homes. At that time, I didn’t have the courage to do anything about this.
When I chose to divorce my husband, I was told things like :
Why bother? Live in separate rooms, if you can’t get along!
It’s not like you are going to re-marry! So leave it!
We will make him promise to not to do ‘these’ things again – so don’t do this.
Not even once was I asked what ‘these’ things were!
Not once did they think why I would take such a drastic step!
Not once did they realise how difficult this was for me!
The core of it all is that we women have no right to feel any respect/dignity of our self and should just be seen and not heard!
This movie took my mind back to the December rape of ‘nirbhayata’ – the sheer depravity, cruelty and violation of a woman’s being had shaken us all- well most of us all! Even then the question was how could they do this? What kind of animals are these? Thousands had poured on the streets to protest, braving police & administration insensitivity. Media had helped to highlight the protest.
I protested too!!!!!
Well, I didn’t protest on the streets but I protest in my hearts of hearts everyday. I have a zero tolerance attitude since the incident and take anyone and everyone’s happiness over disrespect for a woman in any form now. If only that relative would try now…….
I happened to have coffee with a friend and her brother. The ‘ gentleman’ was narrating how at Starbucks that day, there seemed to be an exodus of ‘big’ women. He told us about the person he was meeting with who kept losing the thread of the conversation as he was getting distracted at the sight of so many ‘goodies’. Finally, he told him that relax- it’s a big boobie day at Starbucks today. Embarrassed, the guy behaved after that. Then he went onto regale us with the reactions of some of the men that he noticed while he was there and found them all hilarious, wishing he had taken some pics to show us of the women and the men.
I was getting pissed at this narrative. And I informed him about an incident that took place at that same Starbucks which was reported on a Facebook forum of women. So again a ‘gentleman’ ( there are so many of them) was leching openly at a young (teenage) girl sitting next to him. She was wearing shorts or a short skirt and he was fascinated with her bare legs. So much so that he started to click a picture on his phone of her legs. Seeing this, a lady seated there protested and chided him for what he was doing. Imagine the discomfort of that girl at that ‘older’ man’s sickness! I ranted and fumed over this man’s brazenness since he told that lady to mind her own business, before walking off.
The dude at our table, found this funny and said he sympathized with the guy. I looked at him incredulously while he explained (he was laughing) that can you imagine what that guy must be going through while being seated next to . . . .
The zero tolerance in me surfaced and when the gentleman could ascertain that I was offended by his attitude, he walked off!
Now this gentleman is not an idiot but possesses a rather intelligent and analytical brain. In fact he dealt with human emotions and their reverberations in daily life in his line of work. He calls himself a life coach! Up until then, I was pretty impressed with the dude.
And then right before my eyes, he turned into a frog ( sadly, even before any kissing was done)!!!
Did I mention that his sister was there too; and she happens to be generously endowed! Wonder how he would feel if someone lumped her in this assessment of Starbucks celebration? Or did the thought not cross his mind?
So was my reaction OTT? Should I have viewed his humour in a more lenient light? Have I become uptight? – I dont think so. Actually, I dont believe so.
Guys it’s offensive to us when you trivialize our bodies- whatever your motivation! Disrespect is not for us- no matter how alpha a male you are.
(I think the dude should have saved this story for his male buddies and not shared with a couple of girls. Certainly not one of the girls- Moi!)
I have zero tolerance for zero respect! How dare he!?! And he is an intelligent man! That’s all I could think of for the next couple of days. But then its the intelligent men who are worst afflicted. Take the recent incidents that have been cropping up in social media pertaining to women. Dont they make you question yet again the sanity of the Indian male?
Case #1: Media is frothing at the mouth over ‘cleavage’- mind you, a pedigreed cleavage. The lady in the eye of the storm has not minced her words to let these so-called journos know of their depravity. Really? A national daily reporting the sighting of a hot and popular actress’s cleavage! Haven’t you seen your mom’s? But then yellow journalism is interspersed with national news with such ease, that the supplements are being read more than the main paper.
Case #2: The “gentleman’ (here we go again) who took out his (you know what) and groped a young girl in the metro. She took his happiness but was pretty brutalized (emotionally) at the apathy at the hands of fellow commuters and the administration.It took courage to display her Zero tolerance and she knows it.
Case #3: And now a rape victim was denied entry in a hospitality establishment in Kolkata – Tagore must be turning in his grave at this mentality of his land! Such sensuous literature, art, music has emanated from this region; one thought men & mentality here were ……. er…….. cultured!
So have I made you feel ashamed to know Indian men!?! Is it better to not interact with them at all? Avoid at all costs? Are there only degenerates out there? What are they being taught at their mother’s breast? (yes its the woman again who is at the bottom of it all)
Listen to this.
I have to tell you about a book launch I attended a few days back. The book is called Sita’s curse by authoress Sreemoyee Piu Kundu. The book’s genre has been classified as an erotica! There was a huge gathering; surprising part, there were men brave enough to sit in the audience while a woman’s sexual desire was being talked about! Kudos to those men- the authoress applauded them too. And there were senior citizens in there too! Wow! I thought! Indian men have come of age to sit amongst a bevy of gorgeous women and listen on a debate about a woman’s carnal pleasures and not flinch! And yes there were many a humorous quip about religious-political groups taking offense and storming the session to teach us our place.
If I go through my friendlist – there are at least 50 men, who are a joy to know. Whether an ex-colleague / fellow hobby enthusiast / friend……. They are on my whatsapp, facebook, conversations, some on my mind too ;-)
They are the ones who call to check if I have reached back safely after a night outing with them; or follow me home to ensure so.
They are the ones who caution me for things like tagging my geo-location on social media all the time.
They are the one who open the door for me.
They are the ones who have let me know that a man can respect a woman.
They are the ones who make me feel glad to be a woman who has “male” friends!!!!
They are the ones for whom I would gladly wade through a swamp of frogs to find the real deal!!! (well not literally, but you get the drift !! ;-) )
At the crux of it, we (women) need to change our attitude first! We need to see ourselves for what we are worth- and ladies we are worth it all!! We need to demand respect; not tolerate nonsense, even if it means letting go of a handsome prince!
Cheers and Kudos to all my women friends, sisters and to the men of substance that I am happy to have on my friendlist!!!!