I Am A Feminist But Sometimes I Observe Semi ‘Purdah’… For Security

Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it? Well, what I am implying is not purdah in the archaic, Draconian sense of  the term. That a woman is prohibited from interacting with or appearing before “stranger” men (not related to her either by blood or by matrimony) Alternatively while stepping out on the streets she must  thoroughly drape herself from tip to toe in order to shield herself from the gaze of lecherous men and/or avoid lewd remarks from bystanders or passers-by.

On a personal note, I harbour reservations against trades people, workers, shopkeepers hawkers vendors et al. Why? Because many a times certain members of these categories ogle, gape at girls and women (including me) pass lewd remarks, scratch their crotches…there are obscenities galore.

Secondly, through the entire scorching (often sultry) summer season I only dress in spaghetti tops or sleeveless vests and hot pants while at home, neither seeing people nor entertaining. Considering my age and social status, (ageing mom of a grown up kid) it would come as a shocker to most people. Let me confess that they offer utmost comfort. And I suppose I do have the right to be comfortable.

Now as is the case with most households, trades people and workers appear at our front door from time to time. The list could be fairly long: from the courier boy, gas cylinder delivery guy, plumber, the press walla, to women vending steel utensils, fund raisers for local events, or maali (gardener)-on-wheels and so on and  so  forth. I  don’t need to worry  when the  inmates happen  to be home  or  the  maid has come  in.  They manage to handle the visitors rather efficiently.

However the  real  problem crops up when   I  am  home  alone  and  ‘thus’ scantily dressed. So What do I do?  One, I shout out asking them  to wait while I make  a dash for my nightie or  house coat. The patient ones stay put till I  reach them. Others walk off grumbling.  At other time I peep out from behind the door, enquire about their business,  ask them to  dump the  stuff ,  packets bills etc on a  side  table nearby. And when  there are certain  big jobs to be  undertaken indoors,  I allow them to  come in and  subsequently withdraw  to another room thus erasing possibilities  of  prying or whispering.

I am sure  many people may tend to  disagree  mock  and scorn my attitude. But  let me reiterate , I do this  solely to  maintain decency


About the Author


Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...

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