Oh Womaniya: Start Taking Charge Of Your Life
I recently came across couple of articles on this forum; “I Was Molested And The Onlookers Stared And Laughed“, “To Those Men Who Can’t Help But Stare” and many more personal stories of women filled with anger and frustration. I have lived in Delhi and I know how “safe” it feels there. So, while I do not contest the gravity of the incidents that have been quoted, what I do not agree with is the mentality that women have. The statements like “No man had the courage to save me” say it all. Hello girls, please wake up!If you think that some hero will come and save you like it happens in bollywood movies, please be prepared to get into a bigger mess, next time you are out alone or at late hours. Though it may hit like a hard fact, I would still state- NO MEN WOULD COME TO SAVE YOU.( even if there are any who can save, chances are that they would be looking in some other direction at that moment, you know by sheer coincidence!). The earlier you accept it the better prepared you would be next time. And please stop behaving like damsels in distress crying “oh poor me!”. Ladies, you really think those idiots are so powerful that you just can cry “oh some hero, please help me” or can get into self pity mode later and do nothing else about it? Really??
Few years back, I was like most of you, sophisticated, corporate, delicate darling. I was learning to deal with corporate politics and in the middle of all that my company was sending me off to one location after another, for work. I was in Hyderabad for a project in 2007 and there was communal tension near Charminar area. I didn’t know anyone in the city and my only backup plan was to call my company HR in case I get into trouble (I now know that was like no plan at all!) After about a year, I went to Bangalore in mid 2008. On one weekday, I was eating at a Pizza hut near my office, peacefully looking out of the window, just happy being away from desk for a while…I didn’t want to be disturbed, so I kept my mobile on silent and out of sight. By the time I finished my lunch and got out of the place and checked my mobile, there were 20 missed calls and several messages waiting. I realised there had been a series of bomb blasts in Bangalore and my friends and family back home have been trying to reach me.
I ran back to office and saw my client’s admin people sending every one off from work. He was announcing who is going with whom, who would drop whom etc etc. Some were getting their family members to pick them; some were staying over at nearby colleague’s place. I was staying at a guest house not too far from office, but it was an area with communal tension. I realised that being an outside consultant, I have been left on my own. I was taken aback by the apathy! Without bothering to ask for help, I left the premise in a hurry, feeling hurt. Thankfully I reached back safely. I finished this project by the end of the year and was about to head in September. I was all set to leave the city in September and a day before my flight; there were serial blasts in Delhi.
Nevertheless next day I reached Delhi with news of more blasts “expected“.I lived there for a couple of months in constant fear of another attack happening at anytime ,more so because my office was in the prime target area of Nehru place. After having felt so scared all this while, I finally came to Mumbai in 2010. While this city usually doesn’t make you feel “alone” at any time, it never makes you feel safe either. There is some disaster or the other happening almost every month. So, I would constantly fear what if Mumbai is flooded again like in 2005, what if I get stuck in a fire in my building, what if I am stuck in riot situation, what if a communally fuelled mob comes after me? I soon realised that l can’t possibly live so scared for rest of my life. Scared of people, scared of disasters, scared of calamities. And then I decided to take control of my situation. I started searching for best professionals to train me to deal with all this and thankfully I found them in Mumbai. Today I am trained in fire, mob, CPR, earthquake, riot, combat, eve teasing situations. Here I am not boasting about my credentials. I am only trying to say that I have changed from that meek little girl to a confident young woman who doesn’t feel like a weakling any more. Today I don’t even expect my male friends to “take care” of me late in the night or “unsafe” situations. It just doesn’t matter to me! I know I can take better care of myself then them and might even be able to keep them out of trouble as well.
So, the moral of the whole story is, PLEASE TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIVES! That is the only sure way of LIVING. Don’t expect help will come from elsewhere. Learn to help yourself.