A dream. When in the midst of chaos, you crave for something that seems improbable, it becomes a dream. My dream came in the form of a Sunday.
After a hectic week of cooking, cleaning utensils, attending lectures and sitting through senior school, aka college, comes this one day – when you wake up with no expectations at all. When you don’t have to plan anything. It’s just you rolling around in your bed, under the comfort of your blanket, even though it’s not cold at all, with the curtains playing kabaddi with you, teasing you with every little gust of wind. When the traffic takes a nap longer than usual and you can feel the calm in every breath. And your life isn’t running according to your pre-planned timetable.
Today was that dream come true. I ate to my heart’s content, took an afternoon nap, feeling like a grandpa as I took it, but weirdly feeling younger when I woke up. At seven in the evening, I went out for dinner with a few women friends. A nice dinner, laughs – the usual. But after such a nice day, even the usual felt abnormally good. I dropped two of the three women back, and the last woman and I took a walk. A nice two-hour conversation, some strawberry ice-cream, and then I dropped her off at her hostel.
But this is perfect, right? Why would I write a blog if everything was okay and had a happy ending? After all, I started this article by calling it a dream – and dreams aren’t reality.
As I walked back, passing through the streets of the student area, there came the line between the dream and reality. The line was being drawn by a biker, who had a friend behind him. He rode in all directions except the one he was supposed to be on, and took a sharp turn, slapped a girl on the butt, who was walking with her friend on the footpath, and then zoomed off.
Take a moment, read the line again, because I had to see and accept what I had just seen.
Now, have you ever watched a movie where there’s a chauvinistic man who throws his authority over the woman and treats her like she’s an object of sex? You’re just watching this and thinking “If I was there, I’d teach the guy a lesson. I’d push him through the glass and beat him up in front of society and publicly shame him.”
Yeah, that didn’t happen. Not one bit.
I watched this, and I stood there. Time stood alongside me. The music somehow muted itself and the ice cream had left my throat dry. And I felt everything and nothing at the same time. Nothing at all. Empty. Not angry, not hopeless, not sad, not disappointed. Just empty. Reality dawned, and I started walking, slowly, but steadily towards my place and I felt panic take over me, and I didn’t have the courage to look back at what I had seen, to see if the girl was okay or crying, because panic brought every negative and demeaning emotion with it. I did eventually look back, but the girl just kept walking, like nothing had happened.
And I thought to myself, in a city like Bangalore, where modern culture and thoughts are at its peak, we have this. If I had faced this personally, I’d be one step closer to killing myself. I’d panic trying to do anything. Maybe even to walk to the supermarket across the road, just with the fear that someone will hurt me. I would stereotype, and say the harshest things about the sex that did that to me, and any morality would seem irrelevant.
But that’s not the thing that hurt me the most. What hit me, was this. Looking at this from a father’s perspective. It’s my dream to have a daughter. A cute, chubby little girl, who’d grow into a fine, mature woman fighting to leave a mark, a lasting impression. Where I’d love her like no parent has ever before and I’d innately protect her from the tiniest miseries.
And then comes this biker. What if my daughter had to face this?
How will she leave a mark on the world, when a random, shallow, useless, filthy and sick man, has left an irremovable scar on her? Because he managed to destroy my dream by being in it for 10 seconds.
And I don’t have a solution here, maybe not even a point, but this happened and the next thing I did was write about this, because a part of me still doesn’t know how to feel.
And this. This is how, a biker broke my life long dream, and this why I don’t want a girl child anymore.