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It was a warm summer afternoon and I was walking home after class, which was in a supposedly decent residential area. The streets were relatively quiet with few people around when I was approached by a middle-aged man on a bicycle. Naming a school located nearby he asked me for directions. I was looking at his face while explaining and so obviously did not notice that his fly was undone, until he suddenly interrupted me saying, “So will I find anyone there to suck this?” Shocked into silence I fled the scene while he continued shouting after me. For a long time afterwards I never took that road again.
Another time, I was sitting in the aisle seat of a crowded local bus when I happened to have another open fly thrust into my field of vision. This time the man was having a field day blissfully stroking himself while leaning onto the mass of bodies surrounding him. There have been countless instances when phantom fingers have crept up slyly and pinched me or some idiot has “accidently” bumped into me on the bus. But this was the final straw. I very rarely take the local bus anymore.
What did I do to handle the above two instances? Nothing. Have you ever been tongue-tied in an argument, but after the person has left you think about all the smart things that you could have possibly said? I feel much the same way. I wish I had learnt some kind of martial arts, so that I could have given the bicycle guy a kick right where he chose to expose himself. I wish I had had the mind to atleast scream obscenities at him. I wish I had had the guts to pull up the lecherous man on the bus. But I did nothing. Because I am supposedly the docile and polite good Indian girl who is conditioned not to cause trouble, not to create a scene, not to attract attention, not to stand up for herself or to speak aloud about such “embarrassing” situations. I am ashamed to admit it but I accept that I simply escaped and ran away trying in vain hope to avoid or atleast reduce the possibility of such incidents occurring again. But there are numerous women out there who don’t have that choice. Even in the face of continuous harassment they need to go out there and do what they have to do.
You may well ask, what is the point of me writing about something which happened quite some time back and which is probably just a miniscule part of all the more horrible atrocities that happen every day? Nothing really. It’s just a rant. I’ve had it within me for a while and I’ve often fantasized about shouting it out to every flasher that one might have the misfortune to come across. I need it out of my system. I’ve simply decided that enough is enough. I can afford to take a taxi or an auto instead of the bus. But, as a woman I can no longer afford to keep quiet anymore. And that is why I am writing this.
What’s up with you flashers? (No pun intended here) Seriously, do you think that irregular piece of flesh that you choose to whip out so proudly is going to charm anyone out there, making them go weak in their knees and into total submission?! Honestly, what on earth do you expect when you go around flaunting it to the next woman who walks by? Do you really think that it is so exquisitely beautiful and that everyone is simply dying to catch a glimpse of it? If so, here is the plain truth. No it is not. So just stuff it right back in, zip up and get the hell out of my life!
Anne John loves to play with words and calls herself a reader, writer, explorer & dreamer. She has a wide range of interests and has recently jumped onto the Mommy Vlogger bandwagon! read more...
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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