Freedom- freely doomed
Sitting down and wondering what my first thought this morning was and what followed, I realized I have an extensive mental checklist that can give a running to even the president’s checklist of scheduled meetings.
As I begin my day, I am involuntarily ticking imaginary boxes. Some of them being: should I use the metro or the bus; if the metro then what should I wear so that I am not gawked at and if the bus, how many men are going to run a top-to-toe scan for god only knows which secret security agency and what should I do about it today that will be different from my yesterday’s reaction.
This is followed by mental ticks in the public transport, alongside consciously keeping an eye on my surroundings; it’s like an inbuilt radar in me now. As I scroll through the news on my phone, reading the devastating news on a girl molested in so-and-so area, a woman attacked by bikers, a girl raped on her way to school, I ink further ticks in my head that something has to be done about this and soon.
These mental ticks are on a constant mode from whether I should use the lift alone to should I be using the stairs if it’s dimly lit. Further should I take the underpass if it is desolate or should I just jaywalk. Mental ticks are applicable to people as well; should I cringe at the site of a guy staring at me incessantly or should I retort; should I be going out with friends after work or should I adhere to the infamous “get home before dark” deadline.
Having ticked these innumerous imaginary but very-much-there boxes, I realized how mentally drained I feel; not because of physical exertion or a tiring day at work, but because of the constant pressure I am putting myself under just because my city is unsafe. Be it public transports, public places, workplaces, educational institutions or our own houses, women have been victims enduring violence and harassment in varied forms. Having ticked that I have myself been subjected to domestic violence in unimaginable ways, the thought itself makes me shiver that so many women are still facing it behind locked doors but open eyes.
The city and the people residing in it, in short our society have exerted women to this extent by attacking their strength, safety and integrity. So many women suffer this plight every single day for years at a stretch, failing to understand when this misery will be put to an end.
So many parts of the world are seeing incredible innovations by women; women who are extremely successful and achieving great laurels. Be it technology, politics, healthcare or education, there is not one avenue where women have failed to leave an indelible mark. A stark contrast to this are the other parts of the world where women are beaten, are locked up in cramped spaces, are deprived of food and water, are molested and harassed, and if I can put this together in a few words, their souls are scarred and they are left to wither.
These women have crushed their dreams and put a blindfold over the broken pieces to let others fulfill theirs at the verge of it. She has given up the basics to get us every luxury we have entitled to ourselves today. We treat her as a luggage we languish for at the carousel, we use her as a distasteful rotten snack who once ripped of its covering is less in worth, we forget to thank her for she is an inanimate and obstinate object for most of us, we fail to value her as we entitle her as a commodity and avail her on our insurance. She is driven to the extent that friction leaves her worn out and at the end of the day we fail to acknowledge her and due her to the respect she deserves.
In an extremely grim state of the society, a flicker of hope can be now seen rising. Today, an amazing number of people have started fighting a battle for all the women who are unable to do so, a battle which aims at equality in every sphere of life. Let it take vigorous campaigning, rigorous rallies, and great movements to bring about this change, these people are not stepping back now. Silence may be the biggest harassment a woman suffers, but this silence is gaining a voice and this voice is undeniably getting louder and stronger. Needless to say but still important to assert time and again, respect women, respect life!