Staring? No, we were just looking.

The other day I went to a dairy shop. It was late at night, around nine thirty or something so my grandmother suggested I take my ten year old brother, Yash, with me. My brother, who studies abroad, had come to Kolkata. Staying in a hostel is quite difficult, you don’t get proper food, there is no one to butter you like ”babu take it, have this, have that’ etc etc. So I decided to treat him with his favorite hot milk.

As I went to the shop I found there few old men sitting and enjoying their cup of milk. I went and asked the shopkeeper for a glass of hot milk. There were few people before me so I had to wait for my turn. I was standing near the pavement when Yash said few men were looking at me. In the moment of awkwardness, I shifted my gaze. I started to engage Yash in small talk but I noticed he was eyeing the men who were staring at us. Then they started to approach towards us and stood behind us. They were passing lewd comments. I know they were to me, yet I did not say anything. I paid the shopkeeper and requested him to quickly hand over me my parcel. As we made our way to home, I saw one of them started to follow us. I panicked, I was going to call my father when I saw his car. I was so relived that time! I quickly jumped into the car. My father questioned me what was I doing this late and I told him the story, minus what was about to happen.

At night, I started thinking about the whole incident. What if my father hadn’t arrived on time? What if… what if that man had continued to follow us. What would I do? Just then I heard a knock at my door and I saw Yash came in. He sat beside me and questioned, ‘Di, why didn’t you said anything to those men?’ For a moment I was perplexed. What would I have done? If I had reacted to their comments, there was two options, either they would react back or they would stop. The second option? I don’t think that would have worked. I looked at him and said yes though the comments were made for me, also they were staring at me, but atleast they didn’t approach. If they had approached, maybe even I had done something. He looked at me for sometime then hugged me and said, ‘Di, you don’t worry. I will be always there for you. I will kick anyone who will ever look at you like that.’
I laughed for a moment then I thought, what an ordeal is it for women out there? Women are subjected to so many humiliation every day. Is it so hard for men to realize that?If we don’t react to something, that doesn’t means that we CAN’T!  What pleasure do they get teasing/staring/mocking at others? In metros, buses, bus stop etc, not even a single place is left in earth where a woman can feel safe. There are families, even in urban cities, who don’t allow girls to step out after 7pm! WHY?! WHY SO? What have we done? Why so biased? Just because we are women,we are subjected to such things? And soo much? We are judged at everything. If a girl goes out at night, people make comments? Excuse me, but what is your problem? People blame the society, it is so easy to blame society for all these, but they are such hypocrite! They don’t understand that THEY ARE INVOLVED IN THAT SOCIETY. Is it so hard for them to respect women? I wonder what if for,one day, the people who behave like this has to go through the humiliation we go through everyday? Maybe then they will understand what it truly feels like.

Above all, was I right in not reacting? Maybe I could have reacted but then, what would have happened after that? 


  • Shruti Dugar

    Shruti is a Copywriter & Editor. She specializes in writing about eCommerce, SaaS, Edtech & Marketing. She authored & self-published a book that is available on Kindle. Apart from reading for work, she spends most of her time reading underrated books, riding her bike to get the creativity flowing, and exploring veg restaurants.

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