Walk the talk : Crumbling relationships, Social networking, Eve teasing and other things


His silence conveyed that something was majorly wrong. I was in no mood to have a heavy conversation. The rain drops were still shimmering on the freshly washed leaves and the eastern sky was seeped in a rosy hue.

It was becoming uncomfortable.

“Alright , what’s eating you?”

“I could have fucking strangled him with my bare hands If Only I could know him. I had a fair idea but that hand had no face. ”

” Huh?” I was instantly reminded of a post on eve teasing by Ideasmithy called The faceless hand in the crowd.   Had he read it too?

I waited for him to go on. The park was empty so we decided to walk the talk in the serene evening.

He narrated how a hand appeared in a crowded metro and began to grope, touching , pressing his female companion’s body. No , she wasn’t “dressed provocatively” and did not do anything to “entice”  the pervert.

I listened with contemplation.

“Why are some Indian men such perverts?”

“Good Question but it is not just Indian men. Maybe the number of sexual abuse / street harassment or eve teasing  are more here but the situation is as bad as anywhere in the world I guess.

I too have experienced it many times and trust me it doesn’t end on the streets and it isn’t just about physical touch. I have seen the lust in the eyes, in the gestures , in the comments and much more. However I may be dressed I am conscious of those stares, I am conscious of the hidden agendas and the underlying meaning in their conversations or offhand remarks.

Are you aware that it’s not limited to real world , that sexual harassment is rampant on internet and by unsolicited phone calls? Have you heard of Sexting ? ” I asked

“Yes, irrespective of age, from school girls to elder women, some men are relentless. All they see are breasts. Filthy animals, they strip you naked with their fucking eyes.” He fumed.

“Ah! Don’t insult the animals my boy.”

I remembered how one day the autowala kept staring at me from the rear view mirror and deliberately applying the brakes and entering pot holes and puddles on the road.  He kept turning back and staring with a twisted smile on his face. As I sat stone faced not really ready to take up the issue with him on a lonely long road.

“accidental touching/ rubbing/ pushing ” is a common thing which women experience all the time in public transport , crowded streets/ markets etc.

Do we ask for it ? Is it what we wear creates the sudden sexual urge in those men?

What utter crap.”

He told me how he had seen a gang of boys whistle and pass  lewd remarks at a mom and daughter duo on a busy market lane in Patel Nagar. They were “modestly” dressed and were walking back home from school. The girl must have been 10.

“Unfortunately eve teasing has become such a universal phenomenon that we don’t even regard it as an issue. It is crazy to think that women are always at a wrong place, wrong time, in wrong clothes and in wrong company and they initiate sexual crimes ” He said reflectively. I agreed.

To think that a doctor can dare to touch and feel your private parts in the pretext of examining is unimaginable but it happened on protesting he simply expressed that ” a little ‘ fun here and there is good for healthy mind, body and soul” Bloody sucker . I wanted to smash his balls then and there but somehow managed to get out of the freaking clinic unable to collect my disoriented thoughts and shocked to core. I wonder how he runs his practice and was I  the only one to be sexually targeted. I know of a case at Spinal Injury Hospital where a pregnant lady was abused by the doctor in the same manner. Too scared and ashamed she just decided to forget the ugly incident.

It was getting late so we left the park .

” Is it because of crumbling relationships that people indulge in revealing their dark secrets to strangers on social networking sites?” He asked matter-of-factly.

I was taken aback by this sudden change of topic. It’s true that social networking sites have become a comfort zone for people troubled in their relationships and life in general. chatting , talking to unknown faces behind the screen maybe helps in some way to lighten the heart but then there are incidents where this so-called ” sharing and bonding with virtual friends” leads to ugly consequences, harassment and blackmailing. I have been there seen it happening to some people I know.

I told him we will talk about it some other day but he was not giving up. He had seen me struggling to keep at bay the advances of those “available” men who went by the display picture and wanted to be “Frands” thinking that every woman is easy and on a lookout. They take the networking  for dating sites and endlessly keep pushing till you want to hit them hard. A writer who found me among common friends requested to be added. After sometime he pinged on chat and asked for an evening out with him because he liked my name and found me intriguing . When I refused point-blank he stated that its good to” explore and discover each other”. I found it disgusting that a person of his caliber could stoop to such level.

We were nearing home and the young man was still in a reflective mood. “The whole scenario sucks. Be it home, workplace, streets, malls, markets, public transport, net women are not safe anywhere damn it.” He shook his ahead. I was glad he was awakening to the basic core issues that were eating up the society. I had seen him tackle some with great effectiveness. It made me feel good.

“Men too suffer ” He said .

“Yes, especially those who tag along in life holding the pallu of their mom’s sari. Those adult babies who can not think, act without permission and support of their mommy dearest.” I  said with bile rising in my throat.  “Let’s drop it. Some other day maybe.”

“Umm, No, I meant this abuse stuff. men too suffer at times but they suffer in silence. Maybe that is one reason the social networking sites become their ground to find comfort and solace.” ” I am not saying that justifies for what some creeps do but all men aren’t bad after all.”

I laughed. “Spoken like a man”  I said. “Well, you do want to protect your tribe.”

“Naah, I know each of us is targeted due to some assholes who nothing but burden on this earth. and it agitates me”.

I felt for him. He was struggling with a lot of issues. “It is sometimes not about gender, it is about mind-set and power. It is about how open we are. Being modern is not just copying West, it is about  being fearlessly yourself , it is about looking at things from a larger perspective and mainly looking within.”

“We will continue to talk more about it. I think this walk the talk idea is good.” .

He smiled. “I guess so. I hope the solutions to these things were as easy as talking about them. We talk a lot. ”

Profound.

I knew he had a lot to talk about . So did I. I  have seethed about various issues lately. From bomb blasts and our precariously hanging lives, sexuality, LGTB, relationships, this ridiculous obsession with body image and “beauty”, the moral dilemma and much more.

We were still hanging out in the parking lot when he suddenly caught hold of my hand and said, “let’s go have an ice cream”. I love this kid. 🙂

“Two things I want to know by the way” He said concentrating on the small round pebble he had turned into a football.

One –

‘Why didn’t you teach a lesson of a life time to that motherfucking doctor? and

Two –

Is having a close friend of opposite sex after marriage  such a turn off  especially when this institution of marriage sucks( I agree to this but then can one generalize this) ? Is it infidelity to open up to someone other than your legal partner( don’t know if I liked this term but it tickled me no doubt)?  Why is it that a relationship crumbles so easily and two people who swore love a few years ago can’t bear the sight of each other now and for good reasons”

Those were two too many questions.

“We will talk about it”, I said.

Sleep did not come easy to both of us that night. The questions burned like embers.

One thing was clear. In days to come we were going to have a lot of walk the talk sessions. Sometimes it is better this way.

11 thoughts on “Walk the talk : Crumbling relationships, Social networking, Eve teasing and other things

  1. Profound. The issues are deepseated, and in my cynical opinion, incurable

    Thanks Ritu for reading and commenting. Incurable … ? naaaah I think a mass awakening is needed , a complete mindset change. If we strive for it we can make it happen.

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  2. Enjoyed the snippets of conversation immensely. You touch upon so many topics, each a post in itself! Having been at the receiving end of a lot of leering of the worst kind, I truly wonder if it will ever end.

    Infidelity? To me, each relationship has its own definitions, its own boundaries.

    (P.S. Came across your blog a while ago and this post urged me to comment!)

    Thanks for reading my post Chandni. I know all of us have suffered at one point of time or the other. Though it seems an uphill task but am sure it is not something impossible. I try to look at it positively and hope that the spark will one day become a flame and some deeply rooted age old muck will burn to ashes. On Infidelity.. I agree with you … when relationships com with boundaries that’s where the trouble starts not that I am saying one should become totally uncivilized but then those boundaries are often set by men. 🙂 Keep reading and expressing your views.

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  3. Awesome post Tiks…and I really understand the pain that women of today (and for that matter, yesterday n tmw) face…men too have their share of it, but then not as much as women do!
    Good series this, walk the talk! 🙂

    Thank you Sree for your comment and thank you for sharing it on FB. Yes unfortunately men do have their share of agony and I had written about it too but that’s a very limited area. I was told recently that a jurno made a pass at me and tried to be over friendly because I am ” naive and vulnerable ” well that is great thing to say .. so all women who arent tigresses are a possible bait for such creeps and the fault is theirs . think about it. 🙂

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  4. reading your post for the 1st time…though have heard about you 🙂

    loved this post…which actually touches upon lots of things!!

    as a woman, i could obviously relate to the what was written..and its something to be frank we just cant do anything..

    its all in the mindset..and as for “men suffering” ..hmm would want to know more on that to actually comment on it..

    relationships are like threads which can tie something wonderfully strong and can easily snap and break something. too complicated or maybe we make it complicated once we start having expectations and get ego in between..

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  5. Reading your post after long..

    And it sometimes makes me wish I had the super powers to punch those guys with a look itself as I wont like to touch them be it for slapping.

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  6. i so know the feeling – when people see ur FB or other social networking site profile pic & treat the platform as some kind of a dating site. i really wonder at times – whats with these men?
    nice post
    came to ur blog thru indiblogger

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  7. Hi Tikuli…:)

    First time am reading your post too…though was very familiar with you on FB…:)

    Awesome and though provoking post…well…many thoughts actually…

    1. To the question as to why Indian men are such perverts – The answer kinda lies in our society’s hypocrisy in terms of “safeguarding” our Indian culture which leads men and (some women too) sexually frustrated from years and unable to vent that out in the correct way which makes them into silent, unexpressed perverts (and many times dangerous criminals). The view of sex being viewed as taboo in Indian society more so before marriage, is more imposed upon and reluctantly and helplessly accepted by most of our younger generation then they even being encouraged to think independently about it and implement the conclusion in their lives.

    2. About the matter of using social networking sites to express hidden feelings…possibly many people find it a safe and unhindered venue to vent out emotionally pent up feelings or those which cannot be discussed openly with family or friends. However, there are drawbacks to it as you have rightly pointed out in your post. And very true point brought out about how ‘men suffer too’. Very true esp in the Indian scenario.

    //Being modern is not just copying West , it is about being fearlessly yourself , it is about looking at things from a larger perspective and mainly looking within. // – Perfect and says it all!!

    Superb write,

    Regards,
    Ranjini

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  8. The problem is that we tend to generalise our problems so deeply that we almost become hypocrites ..Where is this Indian men ! ? there are only individuals . Even Gandhiji was an Indian man . But can you say all Indian men are virtuous just because Gandhiji was ? Vivekandanda was an INDIAN MAN ? was nt he ? but do you generalise that all Indian men are equally virtuous ?

    It will only breed prejudice when you generalise . It is a lack of insight which makes us generalise . when we generalise we close the possiblity of life as such ..

    Having said that , it is very sad . So deeply sad . How uncivlized it had become .India is a very unsafe country indeed for women , men , children . Awareness and politcal will only can bring about some change . I am glad you write about it .It is like a first step . May be some level of generalisation is indeed needed , to bring about some shock .. Let us take up the collective shame as a male for every woman whose modesty have been outraged by some individual idiot !

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  9. You touch a raw nerve in two ways,first, by bringing out in a form as candid as you could get, the issue of perversity . Second, a post very passionately authored that does not need the support of ‘f’s &b’s’ to sail well. Cheers

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  10. I think there was an English movie on that “doctor taking advantage of patients” based on a true incident and she finally takes the Dr to court.

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  11. I still have hope that things are gonna change 🙂
    about the social networking sites.. so true.. I guess almost everyone has been there in that situation.
    wonderfully written Tiks 🙂

    Like

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