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While court orders ban sun film in cars for the"safety of women" it is how society views women that needs to change!
Let me first present the facts –
– I took to the wheel only when it became an obstacle to my independence.
– I am a reluctant driver but I can go anywhere in the city, with some groundwork done and armed with directions.
– I may err on the side of caution, but I have had fewer incidents than any male driver I know.
At a get-together with extended family, an aunt asked if I had come along with someone. The “someone” was a male relative, who has just returned from the U.S. and does not even hold a valid Indian driving license. He had napped in the car while I had negotiated Bangalore traffic for a good twenty kilometers and entertained my five-year son for an hour.
My response to her question was that the male relative had napped in the car, but that led to her thinking he had dozed off while he was driving! I was amused by that. The aunt with whom I had this conversation is an elderly person, and considered way ahead of her times – growing up she did everything her two brothers did. Back in the eighties, she used to ride a scooter to work, and continues to do so now.
On the way back home from the get-together, I was flagged because my car had sun film. I had chosen to ignore a piece of legislation that does nothing but pass the buck on for the safety of women, while the traffic police makes a quick buck. The man in uniform was speaking to me, when he noticed an adult male passenger sitting in the back of the car. Immediately, he began addressing him and ignoring me. The policeman assumed the male was in charge – a male who was a guest and couldn’t even have responded since he doesn’t speak the local language. Here was an officer of the law, supposedly enforcing a law that is meant to protect women, but all he was doing was reinforcing the societal assumption that no matter what, it is the man who wields the authority.
It is not the film on windows, but the tint with which society views women that needs to be removed.
Pic credit: Bugmonkey (Used under a Creative Commons license)
Arundhati Venkatesh is a children's books author. Her books have won several awards, including the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2015 for India, Middle East and Asia for read more...
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Homeschooling in India is having a moment. As families become increasingly weary of traditional schooling thanks to cookie-cutter policies and high costs, parents are opting for alternate methods of education
Homeschooling in India is having a moment. As families become increasingly weary of traditional schooling thanks to cookie-cutter policies and high costs, parents are opting for alternate methods of education.
Come Monday morning, homes with young families across the country are in a chaotic yet familiar dance. Ceiling fans are turned off, and lights turned on with a vengeance.
Teeth are cleaned, and breakfasts are shovelled down. Uniforms and shoes are thrown on, and heavy school bags are picked up as parents and kids alike make a mad dash for the door.
Your goals made you move to a new city. I saved my pocket money to call you from a local PCO since my house used to get itemized phone bills.
When I write this, I feel as if I am 19 years old again.
Could we rewind further to our childhood days as tiny tots and neighbors? Due to your dad’s job transfer, you had to move out of town. Our paths crossed again unexpectedly after a decade or more. Amidst the crowd, our eyes met unexpectedly at a family function. I recognized you, but I wasn’t sure if you remembered me. For the entire event, I kept looking for you and felt butterflies in my stomach whenever our eyes met.