Written by Radhika Ramesh
I have always been passionate about journalism for quite some time now. I had always dreamt of being someone as amazing as Sagarika Ghosh or Marie Colvin. Marie died what she loved doing the most and Sagarika is one of the most honest journalists in our country. I have always dreamt of being like either of them or both by God’s grace. As a fresher, this field is never easy for you. You will be given all sorts of assignments to complete even if that doesn’t interest you, but, the good part is, you learn everything.
I have always been enthusiastic about learning a lot, however, I failed to learn why a few men look at me the way my fiancee does. Confused? I am as well. I caught a running bus and me trying to catch my breath caught their attention. I do not know in what way they found me sexy, but, they did walk up to me and touched me. Shocked by what just happened, I screamed on top of my voice and alerted the conductor who was already deafened by my high-pitch squeal. After all the drama of pushing them down, I got a place to sit. A lady sitting next to me said, “Why aren’t you wearing a Dupatta (Please note: on top of my super amazing Calvin Klein shirt)? If you had, they wouldn’t have looked.”
I reacted like I never even heard her, but, when she got up I said, “Why aren’t you covering your saree all around you? I can see your hip and your breasts.” I smirked at her while she left in disgust. I didn’t mean to judge what she wore and what she showed. It’s her body and she can do whatever she wants with it, but, I am quite positive that she won’t victimize another girl for being herself. Another similar incident occurred when I was traveling in a local train. A man (literate I’m assuming as his ID Card had a name of a reputed IT company) was standing right next to me in one of the most cramped compartments of all times.
Although what I wore doesn’t really matter, let me CONFIRM that I was wearing an over-sized Kurtha. This man who was standing in front of me kept turning around. The first two times I thought he lost something that he had kept down. Later, I realized he was not looking down but below my neck. At first, I gave two to three cold stares, but, nope! Guess his concentration never went past that. So, I decided to confront him. I asked him, “DO you know me?” He said, “No, I don’t,” with a question mark on his face. “Then why do you keep staring at my private parts?” I asked. Shocked by my question he moved away from the place and got down the next station. Women out there didn’t want to talk to me because, you know, I’m disgusting like that. I spoke about my breasts in the public and I’m ultimately characterless.
I tell my fiancee everything that happens in my life and he is one of the most supportive human beings I’ve ever known. I’ve always wondered how he looked at me with so much love in his eyes for me. However, I also wondered why these men above looked at me that way? I realized that this horrendous comparison was baseless as these few men looked at me as a piece of meat thrown to them, as a porcelain doll that never talks back and most of all, a woman who will not react no matter what. I reacted and I will keep reacting until I insult them and cut their dignity off their soul.
From age 5 when I was sexually assaulted, to age 23 where I can verbally and physically defend myself, that period is called womanhood to me.