Have you ever fathomed a life where you are constantly watched by several pairs of eyes. Actually, strike that. Have you ever fathomed a life where you are constantly oggled at despite your soundless pleas and screams. Oh and treated as an object for your so called curiosities? No, I guess not. You were never subjected to all this. Yet, you were always considered the better half by society, in spite of you trying to claim otherwise rather half-heartedly.
When we venture out alone, we’re always advised to take a male companion along: a dad, a brother, a husband. Beta, wear something demure. You don’t want people staring at you, do you? I see that dupatta hang limply, draped in an effort to conceal what you can’t. Your feminity.
Was that successful in warding off the unwanted stares? You bet not. Those ravenous eyes won’t notice that we notice them through the corner of our eyes too. What they have really done is to strip the freedom of wearing what we like: modest, bold or elegant. We’re supposed to wear only one thing: ‘WOMAN’.
As if to quench your thirst, you keep gawking at us. Peering slyly. Throwing covert glances our way, whiling your time away for that moment when you can seize the opportunity to corner us and trap us like scared prey. Uh-oh. You should have listened to them when they reminded you to carry a pocket knife and pepper spray.
Footsteps approach us in the nightmares we have. It’s always the fear and anxiety of finding oneself on a deserted road, an empty bus or a parking lot. Let’s add a bit more of spook to it: In the middle of the night.
Hold on. There’s an irony. You claim to be the better one, yet you need ‘five’ to outsmart ‘one’ and that one just happens to be a woman. Kudos. That reflects a lot on your morals. You know what, even the youngest haven’t been spared. We have got only one question: don’t you have a mother or a sister or a wife?
That woman’s heart is racing. Calling unto the heavens and evoking the Lord’s name. Shouldn’t have boarded a bus at 6pm. As an immediate answer to her prayers, a big crowd enters the bus. She heaves a sigh. Never knew that ‘five’were allergic to crowds.
No, society. Our dresses don’t dictate our dignity. It’s high time you accepted that. As for the constant staring and drooling, avert your glances because you’ve been staring too long. Besides, how would you like it if we were to crack open your head and spy on your murky abyss? What say?
One last question to the people who commit these crimes: What were YOU wearing?