Thank you for not raping me…

It’s close to a year since that happened. A cold as well as cozy new year’s eve….We just saw the sky lit up with fireworks celebrating onset of new year. A landmark we ink in our brains with numerous resolutions, starts, breaks and what not. A need to be away from what we do all year long took me to a drive instead of a party and that’s when it happened… Highway…mishap…robbers…car stopped..dragged out…thirty minutes of captivity..or did years pass…some lost money, few stolen valuables, scars that last actually and factually- both. Parting dialogue ” Ye to hum the toh ladki ko nahi chua warna yahan aur gangs hain jo chhodti nahi hai

I did something I can totally understand now. What happens to be my only or one of the rare instances of folding hands in gratitude in front of someone, I said “Thank you for not raping me.”

What is ironic is that it was a Mumbai highway, not my very own city-the rape capital of India-Delhi. What is ironic is – like I had always heard- when that man was dragging me out of the car, my whole past life did not flash in front of my eyes….instead, what flashed was that it’s all over..that I am going to live a moment now that will give me thousand deaths every day for years to come…This is how 2012 started for me.

That day and since that day I realized what rape can do to your mind, body and soul…I was this close to what could have destroyed my innocence and zest of life forever. We can sympathize, feel sorry, feel our blood boil but we can’t feel even an iota of what it can do to a person…I could not before that incident, despite being a girl…I am sure I sill cannot, despite that close brush…I can best say that it is an invasion of your deepest core of soul..It is so…Bah…its futile trying to describe…

It’s sad, frustrating and agitating to read instances of rape cases. One day you are positive and look forward to what this life has to offer you, the next day you don’t know if you can dream anymore…and then there is a movie that plays in your head hoping how one change in the story of what happened could have changed it for you. I was reading the blog by Aanchal Tuli titled ‘ MA, WHAT ELSE WE DO TO NOT GET RAPED‘  and it is written so close to any girl’s heart that one starts detesting how we have been tamed by our society which really doesn’t deserve the tag of being one….

“Nah its safe, just have car when you step out, Oh its okay, have a male friend drop you back….yeah I am wearing jeans..license to shoo away the lingering rapist round the corner…I carry pepper spray and feel safe” These are such normal usual parts of our life….”

So here it is..Here I am…I am a woman, I am a liability. My parents ensure I wear jeans while using public transport to avoid attention, I need escorts to drop and pick me from public places…My cell phone is not to keep connected but to keep informed… I am positioned in the society to bear the brunt of frustrated, impotent, angry, bored, disinterested, over interested and even indifferent superior sex. I will never be equal because I am equal to a void placed on earth that men deem fit enough to hump and dump and walk away…I have been mentally and subconsciously nurtured that when a man does not rape me, though he could have, I walk away and still feel thankful and highly of him instead of questioning this lack of integrity at the first place…When did this happen? When did I start fearing myself and hoped I could leave ‘me’ back home before I step out to safeguard my body which is actually gate to my soul…

Am I beautiful? Then why do they destroy me? I don’t break what I like…Am I despicable, then why don’t they leave me alone. Am I ugly, or filthy, or intriguing, mysterious, distant, soft, what am I? Am I a person at all?  Or is that a myth?

Yes hang these men, yes please. But oh aren’t you just seeing tip of the iceberg? Hang those who scan me everyday feeling sorry they can’t rape me. Hang those who make judgement about me and believe I deserve to be raped. Hang those who follow me every day feeling a compulsive desire to tear every strand off me. Hang those who take revenge of all their failures, mishaps, guilt, accidents, misfortunes and under performances on me.

Its unfortunate that the system questions why the bus had tinted glasses instead of why the men had that intent. It is sad that men question themselves how to enter me without entering my heart. It is disheartening that i did everything to be as capable as any other fellow human being but my problem was created long before i was born. One chromosome changed my destiny. Many suffered, and continue to suffer one way or the other, and this doesn’t seem to end. We can ponder over our social structure, western influence, cultural disparity, lifestyle preference, personal grudges, technology wrath, legal incompetence,bureaucratic negligence, mental irrationality…The fact remains that I run, and run away all the time, and then I hide…but you know what? I am tired. I am so tired that it doesn’t matter anymore….leave me….

I want to be in a place where no one knows who I am, no one cares if I live or die or disappear one day…

Shweta Gautam
This post was originally published at Its always about the people and the city…

Its NOW or NEVER!!

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