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A Dark Episode: Voice of the criminal
How does it feel to hear the criminal proudly present his experiences?
I was young; I have frequently used the public transport to commute to my school. There have been times when the buses were very crowded, while at times you get to sleep flat on the seats. That was all the memory I had of MTC buses, until I camped with the criminals. As a part of the Cadet’s organisation, I was one of the few nominated by the state to attend a camp in Sikkim. The camp’s objective was to create an opportunity to exchange ideas and hence drew representation from all types of colleges; the students’ pool consisted of the various socio-economic classes in the state. A casual post-dinner discussion got all too revealing.
There was a name to it – they called it “Ollappu” in Tamil (if I am spelling it right). First the girl in the bus is identified. The identification has a process to it. (Some guys were supposedly good at identifying and were sharing their expertise). Post identification, the guy’s group ensures the guy is positioned right behind the girl. The guy, usually being taller and wider has enough body area to cover the entire back of the girl. And invariably, this is planned during the peak hours, which ensures there is enough pressure in the surroundings for a ‘natural’ touch – or otherwise on signal, the group ensures a ‘natural’ touch. They said if they were lucky, they would also get to put their hand in front and still get away with it blaming it on the crowd, the sudden braking etc. Often inter-college fights happen because Guy A wants to ‘Ollappu’ a girl in the bus, while Guy B is already doing it and claims she is his girlfriend.
A simple question – ‘aren’t you ashamed of yourself?’ made me the outlaw, for talking too much, that the rest of my team set out a plan to beat me up or mug me on our way back (I was the only fresher, while they were all college seniors). To me, it really didn’t matter what they were going to do – I had already lost my life in shame, in embarrassment. How does it feel to hear the criminal proudly present his experiences?
What are we even talking about when there is an incorrigible section in the society which seems to be thoroughly amused by such deeds and has gone to the extent of sharing their ‘fun’ experiences even with strangers.
When in Chennai, my radar is always on and scanning.
Living alone as a single working woman in Chennai in the late 90s, the radar HAD to be always on and scanning. Being somewhat partial to the act of walking, I never owned or drove a vehicle. As a result, the simple act of walking on the road was a default necessity in my daily life. And one that demanded that I remain in constant state of heightened alertness.
I was alert and the radar switched on late one evening in 2005 as I walked the short (but rather poorly lit) route from work to home. The street was deserted but for two middle-aged men on bicycles, who were chatting and riding leisurely from the other end of the street. As they inched closer, fragments of their conversation (the state of Tamil Nadu politics, what else) drifted towards me. My radar was on but not blinking furiously when suddenly the right-hand of one of the men lunged towards me, even as the other continued talking. I stepped back in alarm about to start shouting obscenities, despite being acutely aware that there were no passers-by to rally. A good confrontation can be a dramatic piece of street theatre with a clear and compelling message for the audience, Martha Langelan argued in her 1993 book, Back Off! How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers. There was some theatre that evening, but just not in the way I had anticipated.
As I stepped back ready to holler, the man on the second bicycle beat me to the obscenity:
“What the f*** are you doing?” he shouted in Tamil to the harasser. “Are you out of your mind?”
“What the hell do you think of yourself?” I yelled.
“Oh”, said the harasser, looking away and somewhat shocked at facing censure where he least expected it. Then: “Oh, amma, sorry, sorry. Very sorry.”
The bicycles passed me. I quickened my pace and headed in the direction of home, which was less than a minute away. For a few seconds there was complete silence. Then I heard the conversation resume behind my back.
“What was that you did there?”
Our roads continue to be fraught with danger and harassment in public spaces remains a serious quality of life offense against females. We MUST hollerback. We must also urgently reclaim the footpath in Indian cities for pedestrians and demand improved streetlighting on our roads. And, we must not shy away from hollering back in the private spaces of our homes as well, when needed. Especially against that all-too-common ‘that’s what happens to girls who are too independent’ taunt that – sadly enough – often comes from our mothers and grandmothers.
Make it your right to offend.
“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” – Albert Einstein
If you’ve happened to see me, I am what anyone would type-cast as a quiet, meek woman and once, a close friend even described me as ‘fragile’ in her college farewell note to me. Not surprisingly I had always thought of myself as someone who accepts things the way they are, seldom challenging my circumstances, very rarely speaking out against the myriad forms of injustice I saw around me. Due to my own repressed childhood I strove at all times to avoid conflict and assume a ‘safe’ stance in everything I did in life. However, one May day in the year 2007 an incident erased the word ‘fragile’ from my personality dictionary forever.
Resham George and I, mates at Stella Maris College BA English Literature, were doing a two month summer internship as journalists at The Hindu during our semester break. As inexperienced interns amidst a sea of brilliant writers, in that absolutely intimidating building that is The Hindu, we had given up on seeing any story we filed being published, but that didn’t stop us both from chasing a lead about why auto rickshaw drivers in Chennai charged fares as if they were The Orient Express! Having been on the receiving end we really wanted to find out just why they wouldn’t use a meter and decided to start at the nearest auto drivers union of sorts – the one at Spencer Plaza.
I had arrived earlier than Resham and stepped into Landmark to buy nothing in particular and while away the time. As soon as she came into the mall, I walked out towards Phase 2 where we were going to meet. It seemed like a busy morning (days when Spencer Plaza was still the only big mall in the city) and a lot of people walking aimlessly, a typical mall day. As soon as I met my friend we were huddling along towards the stairs when I felt a sharp pinch on my chest which was obviously aimed at my breast but had missed. It took a split second, exactly a split second, to understand that I had been groped. Within seconds my body and face were burning hot, I had dropped the phone in my hand, the lazy backpack was on the floor and I had taken an about turn to accost the bastard who had dared to touch me wrongly, intentionally, that too in a public place and the next thing I know I was chasing an adult man on the circular floor of Spencer Plaza and the only sensation I felt was rage.
Well, thank God for my rage, because I could have easily lost him among the unhelpful crowd even though I screamed out to passersby to stop the man few feet ahead of me. Somewhere behind me I heard dear Resham screaming, “Thief, thief, catch him, catch him!” but nothing was going to distract me. After a full circle of running, luckily, I cornered the groper near the entrance of Pantaloons. I had him, now what? If you or someone you know has been in the same situation the one thing I know we’ll have in common at this point is the way our hearts beat madly, our mouths go dry and our hands are shaking violently and for a moment we are not able to comprehend our next move. I was a bunch of nerves, but more importantly I was a bunch of angry nerves and I let my anger get ahead of me, and if you ask me I’d advise you to do the same any day as long as you’re not alone with your abuser. When I saw his face, I went straight for his collar like a wild animal. I saw his hands come to block me from him but alas, a fist delivered un-aimed blow to his face and another to his neck while a knee kicked him in his balls. Both fist and knees were mine, my sucker punch moment had just happened.
He was obviously shaken that I had run after him, so what followed was a mild surprise. He screamed in anger, “Hey, why are you running after me, who are you?” with a look of an equally wild animal and with an accent I recognized was somewhere from North India. “Who am I you asshole? I’m the girl who you just pinched, forgot me so fast?” Clearly, now you know I took the emotional route. Having said that, and after having clutched his thick gold bracelet with all my fingers, I turned to see the crowd that had gathered around us and looked up to see two circles of people looking down at us from the other floors. Amidst all the confusion I had a second to notice our captive had wet his corporate trousers, something that I’m very proud of. A security guard in the crowd said in Tamil, “Leave him ma, what did he do, why are you holding him?” Lost for words, I went to him and demonstrated just exactly what had been done. He was shocked, clearly one disgusted young man was also angry and did me the courtesy of delivering a couple more blows. I think by then I had made my stance clear; I wanted to get to the nearest police station.
A few calls were made, one to my then boyfriend and another to a close friend to tell them I was going to be at Greams Road Police Station. He sat between the security guard and me in the auto and I asked him to give me his visiting card. He said he didn’t have one, I asked him if he was married, he said no, where he worked and he said he couldn’t say. In reply I told him he wasn’t going home unless his employers or family came to the station and felt something in me had changed for the first time after that last half hour. Oh, there was change in him too you see. Suddenly I had become “Sister” and I was being requested upon to show mercy and have compassion and let him go. “We all make mistakes” he said in a shamed puppy voice and if it weren’t for the auto driver I would have slapped him again for saying that. I mean, we do wonder what it is with people who choose to the wrong thing, knowing it is wrong, and then try to reason it? (The answer is a taser gun my ex later suggested)
At the station, more drama unfolded – the police were extremely helpful, understanding and sympathized with me, but that was only until we discovered that this moron’s brother-in-law was a judge in the High Court. Their sympathies and appreciation of my bravery suddenly turned into warnings and doubtful advice on why I should not press charges. Not only that, this man was married, had two daughters, one of whom had been born just a week before. Both he and his wife worked at Polaris. When I insisted that they call his wife to the station his brother-in-law asked if he could talk to me alone and said, “I am so shocked that he has done something like this, he’s actually a very nice man… See, I’m a judge in the High Court and I know how you’re feeling right now, but think about your future, you’re just a college student and you’re so immature. Don’t break up a family. If you press charges, I know how to handle it so it will be a waste of your time anyway”. I did my best Iron Lady and said, “Call your sister”.
The problem with Indian women is we’re too scared, not only to speak but also to listen I thought, later, when I had met the wife. She held my hands and apologized which was stupid, because she hadn’t done anything wrong. I simply told her what he had done and that she ought to know this about her husband. At first, she didn’t believe it, she broke down in tears and seemed heartbroken. Although I felt guilty about telling her, I thought it was the best thing to do. My friend who had come over to help later told me I should have kept quiet after reporting him to the police but I argued saying getting him a few blows was as good as not doing anything at all. I’m glad I stuck to my decision because I’m sure if it was my friend who had been groped instead of me she too would have wanted to let people around the man know what a cheap human being he was.
I didn’t press charges, but I went back home thinking to myself that if at that one moment I hadn’t dropped everything, hadn’t screamed and gone after the man who violated my personal space I would have only felt weak and abused all my life. That’s if I remembered the incident, but don’t you agree that most of us often do? Often people around us might tell us we can’t afford to risk our seemingly safe lives by keeping mum about sexual abuse or sexual harassment, but doesn’t that mean we make ourselves victims? Over the years I have come across so many stories from friends and family, morbid stories, some highly disturbing and others just passing references to an unpleasant look while walking across the street or in a bus. What’s disheartening is that there are very few stories that probably end like mine.
In our society, we women are discouraged to make noise about these kinds of hushed issues, issues that are made to seem shameful and as though we have to put up with it in some inexplicably weird way just because we’re born women. Why are we so afraid of shaming the monsters that shame us? Aside from questions that can be answered, aside from pepper spray and taser guns, aside from our conditioning and our immediate response to when we are faced with a situation of sexual harassment, we need to let go of our fears and risk a little action by screaming. By saying No, I will not tolerate it if you give me a lecherous stare. By indicating you don’t need to be man-size to protect your dignity and that you can fight back, stare back, spit back. A lot of my friends are going to disagree with me and say ‘it depends on where you are’ and you’d rather not risk getting attacked in case you happen to be alone. That is fair, but what about in buses, on streets, at homes? We have a right to be in public without having to worry about if our clothes are sticking to us. (I was wearing a salwar kameez for crying out loud, so screw those people up there who say women attract wrong attention!) We have a right to walk straight on the road without having to duck and escape elbows and shoulders. Make it your right to offend people who tell you not to press charges, who tell you not to go behind a man you think you could have caught and brought to task, who tell you to ‘forget it’ because it happens to every other woman. If we need to claim that right, we need to start hollering back today.
P.S. I know it’s all easy on black and white, to offer advice and to speak like a champion but much harder to do, but here’s what I’m saying – trying will surely make a difference, and this world a better place.
This is something I, as a male, did when in my teens to help my cousin sister cope with abuse on the roads from layabouts in Bombay, in the sixties.
Quite a beautiful lady, my cousin [elder to me by a few years] who lived very close to where I grew up was being bothered by a stalker as she walked to and from work – off the railway station in one of the lesser known suburbs.
The stalker resided close-by.
My sister’s tormentor Makarand alias Makya was a strapping, powerfully built youth whose mother tongue was Marathi.
Those days, the right-wing Shiv Sena had threatened to run us South Indians [derisively termed Madrasi then and now] out of Bombay.
To put it simply, sis was scared.
Her verbal assailant was a local. Complaining to the cops would not help at all. We south Indians were outnumbered 1000 to two in the neighbourhood Worse, the guy was a known rowdy element. The step may embolden the fellow to grab her hand publicly or do worse things.
Sis expressed these fears.
“Facing the rogue isn’t difficult at all, sis,” I told her.
“Just confront him in the middle of the road and challenge him publicly. I am sure the fair-minded Bombay public will come to your rescue,” I remember telling her.
“With the anti-Madrasi sentiments strong here, I will never feel safe again,” she protested.
We planned a bit … and this is what happened a few days later.
“Darling, I am madly in love with you,” the man was saying in pidgin, mispronounced Tamil.
Sis suddenly stopped in the busiest part of the road abutting the railway station in the morning peak hour traffic and met the rogue head on.
“You are stalking me shamelessly, you criminal! Don’t you have sisters at home?”
My sis still has a loud voice. It was shriller and angrier then.
The fellow did not expect it, but soon recovered his wits.
“Darling, I want to marry you! My siblings will not torment their sister-in-law … I promise!”
The repartee came in the local lingo – a mixture of Hindi and Marathi.
That was what we had expected and the plotted trap was sprung.
“I know that people like you will rape defenceless girls like us at the first available opportunity. Because you are physically stronger, you will always make us feel like vermin and trample upon us as if we are cockroaches,” my sister thundered dabbing her eyes.
According to our plan a bit of glycerine had been added to her hanky to induce a few dramatic tears.
Her agonised tone [she did not have to act at all] and the brine rolling down her cheeks did the trick.
A middle-aged Sikh gentleman felt like taking law into his own hands.
Before anyone knew what was happening, he held the offender was held by the scruff of his neck.
A few well aimed slaps landed unerringly like minor claps of thunder.
Suddenly the public in the vicinity went mad.
Blows rained on that chap – as though he had committed rape openly.
I was lurking nearby ready with the next course of action.
I called the police hinting at a riot around the railway station and hung up before someone thought of tracing the call.
Police constables on patrol duty did not carry wireless handsets then.
Most of them do not do so now either.
But an outpost nearby had a landline.
Two cops, as expected, wandered into the scene, probably on orders from the police station.
The sight of my tearful sister [glycerine be praised] an angry mob and her bruised tormentor told the law enforcers what they needed to know.
“Child, leave this bird’s turd to us,” the fifty-plus looking cop told my sister.
She made herself scarce, as part of our plan.
Unexpectedly, the rowdy made an error – that was not part of our script.
He used the son-of-the-soil card against all job-stealing south Indians and bitched about south Indian job-stealers.
The younger of the two cops was a Kannada-speaking Shetty who looked like the elder brother of today’s Bollywood star Sunil with the same family name.
The other policeman was a Hyderabadi Muslim and that made him a Madrasi too by Bombay standards those days.
The blows were more severe … as the two cops now had a reason to be angry.
My sis’s tormentor’s goose had been cooked for good.
The stalker was being dragged away to the slammer.
I gathered my wits and rushed homeward … and alerted the parents of Makya.
“I was coming from the station and saw the police arresting and beating Makarand! He was bleeding profusely,” I told his mother.
My tone, needless to add, was appropriately breathless, as part of my plan.
A heavily bandaged Makya limped back home only the next day after his parents had parted with a hefty bribe … because … I learnt later … for good measure … the two cops had included his name as an accused in some unsolved serious crimes … as a vindictive measure for abusing the Madrasis.
[For most Marathi speaking Mumbaikars, anyone from south of Maharashtra is a Madrasi, then and now.]
As expected, none made the connection to our little brain-wave.
Makya never dared to bother my sis again.
Some of the shopkeepers near the station remembered the incident … and tipped off their teenage daughters or sisters about what had seemed like a sure-fire recipe to freeze the spirits of torturing stalkers.
Some of the gals sought out and consulted my sis.
Briefly … the neighbourhood became somewhat safe for whom the MCPs term – the weaker sex.
To be on the safer side, the family of the offensive Makarand shifted to some other distant suburb … because it feared the police would be pick him up at the silliest of excuses for extracting bribes and/or improving their ‘crimes-solved-graphs’ by including him as ‘an accused with a record’.
In the society, then and now, most criminals are created this way – something I do not approve of at all.
I do not know what happened to Makya and I do not care.
I only know that if ‘defenceless’ women fight back with a wee bit of guts and a little bit of planning … the tormentors will run away with their unseen tails between their legs.
Cowards always do.
We often hear stories where we are the victims of eve teasing. My experience involves not victimizing myself in incidents as such. I did not require a magazine, a mother or a friend to teach me that how you walk, you conduct yourself, how you dress determines your level of your vulnerability to being a ‘prey’ to eve teasers and alike. An article in a leading magazine well categorized how a predator selects his prey. If you are on cell phone while walking on the road, if you look down and walk and your body language is more introvert, coy and to yourself, you are more prone to being targeted.
For me, in order to not be the one at the receiving end (anymore): I picked up rocks from the road, charged towards the man who was flashing himself to me, and pelted him with it. What followed next was the man, who was by now caught in surprise, pulled up his pants, and zipped himself while on the run. That day, I realized that our silence has powered them. They are cowards end of the day, and all you need to do is scream a ‘Boo’ and they disappear. I have not stopped since then. But like I say, the way I walk on the road, feeling empowered and the confidence, does not fit their ‘prey’ category and that is why do not get a chance to do this often. Having said this, I am not taking away from the fact this would not put an end to the harassment, but this could be the beginning to creating a more secure space for you. What you wear is completely your choice and not your fault. Do not let them victimize you. You deserve much better. This was my ‘hollaback. to them. I am safe(r) now. Are you?
Street Harassment is called “Eve Teasing” in India – somehow trivializing the problem. As if to say – “its just teasing, can’t you take a joke?”
“If you feel so strongly about eve teasing, why don’t you write about your experiences?” asked my husband. I promptly fell silent. Harassers prey not on the fear of women, but on their sense of shame. Getting harassed is a demeaning experience for most women – and describing what happened makes it even more humiliating.
But, we have to start somewhere – and that’s what I like about Hollaback: It’s a platform against street harassment. Platforms are, by definition, broad-based – unlike Programs that have a specific set of clearly defined goals. A platform is pliable – its as useful as you make it to be.
Platforms such as Hollaback have in-built flexibility – women can use it to condemn Street Harassment, Share tips on fighting Harassment, Provide advance warning to other women on Harassment-prone areas, Promote awareness – and perhaps even influence public policy. A woman need not conform to a set of guidelines while expressing herself in Hollaback – within a broad framework, she’s free to do what she’s comfortable doing.
I’ve always felt that small towns were less tolerant of Harassment than big cities. After a couple of harrowing experiences in the MTC buses of Chennai, I vowed that I would never, ever use public transport in the city.
But Street Harassment extends to all public spaces. A few months back, I was in the popular Spencer’s – Mall? – In the busy Mount Road area, with my cousin. I was contemplating buying some scented candles, when a group of (I’m guessing) American women walked by.
I don’t know if you’ve been to Spencer’s. It’s a veritable maze that will put the Cretan Minotaur to shame. Most shops are located along narrow corridors. Shopkeepers accost you, as you walk this gauntlet, vying for your attention.
As the American women walked by, one of the shopkeepers called out “Hi! I love Obama”. I smiled inwardly, thinking these men don’t know Obama’s approval rating is abysmal these days. Another man said, “Lady! I like your hair”. One of the women smiled and thanked him, but the women kept walking along the corridor. “You know, you’re beautiful – like Jennifer Anniston” said another man loudly. The complimented woman smiled a little nervously & moved along. “For a pretty woman like you, this shawl is absolutely free”. “No, thank you”, said the woman politely, trying to get to the stairs.
“I’m just trying to be friendly, why don’t you come in” said the man, grabbing the woman’s hands and bag. “NO”, said the woman, freeing her arm. The rest of the shoppers were too shocked to react. What started as a banter and flirtation had deteriorated in a matter of seconds. “I said, Come In!” said the man again & grabbed both her hands. “STOP IT!” shouted the woman and glared at the man. The perpetrator immediately let go of her hands. Her companion – another woman – was shaking with rage. “We’re never coming here again!” she yelled. And together, they marched towards the exit. The man looked confused. This is not how he expected the event to pan out.
By the time we recovered, the incident was over. A dignified elderly gentleman was standing next to me. He was livid. “Is this the way you treat women?” he asked the man, shaking his walking stick at him. “Oh, come off it, grandpa!” said the man, emboldened. “I was just trying to be friendly. Foreign women aren’t usually so stuck up, they’re sportive”.
“Sportive?!” snorted the gentleman. “You louts disgust me!” With that he stormed out. I felt I had to say something. Some words were stuck in my throat – I had to get them out. As I neared the store, the man looked a little ashamed. “Come in, sister”, he said. Great, I’m his sibling now, I thought.
“You shouldn’t have grabbed that woman”, I managed to say evenly, keeping my temper at bay. “We’ll never do it to Indian women, sister” said the man, with his hand on his chest – “White women – they have loose morals. Look at the way they dress, so – provocative”.
For God’s sake, I thought. The women had dressed in long skirts, Capri pants and sleeveless blouses – sensible & appropriate clothes. “You have brought shame on our country. What will these women think about India now?” I asked. The man laughed nervously, thoroughly discomfited. My cousin was less subtle. “You know, I’d love to break your front teeth. But, I just don’t have the physical strength. A pity” she said.
I pulled her arm and we started walking away. As her words sank in, the man started hurling abuses towards us – some of the words obscene. I didn’t care. At least for once in his life, I felt, that man couldn’t get away with bad behavior. Chennai had put its foot down and said “No!” to street harassment.
I don’t even know where to begin with this story of mine, purely because of the sheer duration of time that I’ve been dealing with this. It started when I began using the MTC bus service to go to school everyday. Despite taking a bus at 7.30am, the route was very crowded and was filled with plenty of groping men. In fact, it seemed to me then, that those were the only types around.
It was very upsetting and back then, very shameful. I didn’t know who to talk to about this. I mean, from my point of view, I was doing nothing wrong or provocative. But my presence was enough to incite this activity toward me. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, because it seemed to me that there were a lot of women like me, suffering silently.
As I grew older, I decided to take things into my own hands. I got a little more brash while travelling by bus. I pushed, shoved, elbowed, and yelled my way through the 10-minute bus ride from home to school. I remember a bus ride back from school. Term exams were on and we all left early. The bus back was very empty and there were maybe five other people standing. I noticed someone stand very close to me and he kept exaggeratedly leaning whenever the bus turned. He did it once, and I let it go, I thought he had trouble balancing himself. He did it again, I let it go. The third time, however, I pushed him and his fall was not exggerated.
That’s when some passengers noticed and one of the older women sitting down gave me her seat. Of course, he was not happy that a school girl pushed him. Nor was he happy that people took notice of it and sided with me. He got off the bus a couple of stops after and I reached home without any further incidents.
After that incident, I was a lot more confident about dealing with the groping variety. Despite my new-found bravado, an overcrowded bus was one place I was utterly helpless in. I still am utterly helpless on an overcrowded bus.
There are times when I feel that there is nothing much you can do, but I don’t see the point in women resigning themselves to being harassed.
I don’t understand why proactive steps are not being taken towards making public transport the one public space where people can travel without the fear of being harassed. I know for a fact that going to the police with a harassment complain will only yield one result, you’ll get blamed.
It’s ridiculous that women choose silence. It’s ridiculous that the very same silence is justified with “what’s the point?”
I know that harassment won’t stop, but if there is something to be done about it, now is as good a time as any to begin!
I’m so used to thinking about harassment on the streets in the first person- trying to get away from the creepy guy pawing me in a bus, ignoring men commenting and catcalling from across the road, and so on. I never really thought about what it must be like from a third person’s point of view.
Last year, I was walking along the beach with a friend, when we observed two people having an altercation in a parking area. A girl was sitting astride her scooter, and a man was standing in front of her. He seemed terribly angry with her about something.
Suddenly, with no warning, he struck her across her face. Fortunately she was still wearing her helmet.
Now this was a public place; and there were at least ten people standing around (other than me and my friend). As soon as he struck her, all the conversation in the area stopped. Everyone looked at them in stunned silence. I could feel the hesitation in the air- “should we go confront him?” “But is that interfering in their lives?” “And what if he attacks us instead?”
I’m ashamed to say I was similarly dumbstruck. I was just shocked at that display of open violence. By the time I recovered my wits, the man had stormed off. The girl took off her helmet, put her head under her arms and began to cry. Conversations started up once again.
I approached her and asked her who the man was; and she said he’s a friend. I told her all the usual things we read in books- he’s not a good friend for you, go home to your parents and don’t follow him home. Tell your parents what happened, and so on and so forth.
As she was about to ride away, I asked her to put on her helmet. She looked uncomfortable and said it was broken. I looked at it- it was horrific to see that he had struck her with such force that her helmet had cracked.
I still don’t know what I should have done. Should I have had the courage to confront HIM? After all, I was in a public place and most of the people there were shocked by what they saw. Surely they would have been on my side. So what do you do when you witness someone else being harassed?
there is a travel agency near my house.the drivers working in it is a great disturbance to the residents, students and working women.if we complaint to the owner he makes those rascals to stand and harass the woman who is complaining to him.this is happening before her residence.they are passing vulgar comments and assasinating her character too. if we complaint to the police they will be silent for only one week.after that the same story continues .
a old lady and her daughters who are running a petty shop and a tailoring shop favours those roughes for their business purpose.her son in law is a auto driver.he is spreading rumours about the woman in all the auto stands.so travelling alone is not safe for her.
the lady who is opposing cannot pass that street.after taking liquor at night they are shouting unparlimentary words about women.they are doing in groups and terrorising the women.even we cannot go to market.who is going to save us we dont know.
My name is Vasanth, the incident i am about to tell you happened to me friend, but it doesn’t stop there, the trauma and helplessness that follow these incidents extend to the family and friends of the victim, my friend was groped by a pervert in a bike when she was taking her dog for a walk in the morning. She is a very strong women but she too was mentally shaken by the incident. As all these animals attack when least expected she couldn’t notice the number of the bike he was riding. But nonetheless she went to the local police station with fuming anger and embarrassment. But the response from the police who were literally trying to dodge from taking up a unwanted unsolved case under them was more frustrating. What bugs me more is the way everybody else advised her to let this go. I fumed for at least a month for my incapability in helping or protecting her. When i learnt about ihollaback one thing that came to my mind was, will this help people in a way to effectively bring these perverts to justice. I work in a ad agency, i would love to work on posters and other marketing kits that will take HOLLABACK to people directly creating more awareness.