July 17th, 2015
Why? Why do you do that? Stare at my breasts like they are cute babies calling out to be cuddled. Strip me naked, slowly, every time I enter the bus? Try to glimpse into my cleavage when I am sitting and reading in the metro.
Who gives you the right? To grope me in the crowded bus? To fall on me “innocently” when I buy popcorn in the theater. When I sit cross legged in the auto and you stop your bike and look hungrily at my legs.
A piece of meat, am I?
How do you think I feel? When I have to continuously watch over my shoulder, because it is 10 pm and there is nobody at the bus stop, except you. Staring at my neck.
When I panic, because my phone is dead, and I am in a cab wearing a backless dress?
When my friends and parents worry that I have to travel alone at night?
When I am sleepless in the bus, thinking, that your hands will pin me down and yank my clothes away?
What makes you think I should not wear that pretty black skirt?
To be scared. Afraid. Tensed. Every time I am not at home.
What makes you think I like it when I find you smiling at my bra strap that shows?
Yes, I wear a bra. Yes, it shows. So?
Ohh, don’t say that its my clothes! I have found you eyeing the waist of that woman who was wearing the plain faded saree. Your eyes get all excited when the young college going girl enters the bus in just a kurta, no dupatta covering her bosom.
And yes, one slip of the pallu or dupatta and you go wild.
Staring. Smiling. And staring.
So, if I have a beer in my hand when I am on a beach, you think you can click my picture?
When I wear hot pants and laugh with a guy you think you can pinch my ass?
Does the lit cigarette in my hand seem like an invitation to you? To come violate my body with your eyes?
Yes, I am a girl and I drink alcohol, so I am an ‘easy target’. Is that it?
Yes, I drink. I smoke. Does that mean I want to have sex with you and every man on the street?
You. Who teach your daughter to be safe from evil eyes, don’t flinch before mentally having sex with me when you see me on the street?
You, who get angry when a boy smiles at your sister, don’t feel ashamed standing at the street corner whistling at me every night.
No practice what you preach, for you, right.
Do you still think I am the one who needs to change?
– Nivedita N Kumar