Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What is it to live as a girl in Delhi?

It scares me. The thought of it reminds me of the 16th December incident. The Nirbhaya story has left an indelible scar in the life of every Indian woman.

I have visited Delhi once. It was years ago when I was in the 3rd grade. I had toured around Delhi with my parents. The lotus temple is all I remember today. It was meant to be one of the most peaceful places in Delhi. I had found Delhi inviting as a kid. But today, alas it is not the same.

Recently, my husband had been receiving a lot of job offers from companies that were situated in Delhi. Every time he considered a decent option and came to me for an opinion, he would be offensively denied with a single word, "NO". What followed was another sentence, "Don't you know it's dreadful for a woman to live there?"



And then, it gets me to thinking how do woman survive in Delhi? Recently, one of my colleagues and I were having an argument about working in Delhi. As always I was dreadfully against it. He was however trying his best to convince me. He said that Delhi was a very well-planned city. It had huge roads, the metro is the best in Delhi and house rent is not as exorbitant like Mumbai. But there was one assurance that he as a Delhite couldn't give, "Safety for woman".

I watched an advertisement this morning where the great Arnab Goswami was heard asking questions to the ministers on who is to be blamed for such acts of rape against women. This was the background voice while the video showed three men trying to rape two women of which one escapes and the other is unfortunately raped.

I wondered what would happen if by any chance I woke up in Delhi someday. Would I step out of the house? Would I stay inside and keep checking if the doors are bolted properly? Would I think twice before wearing a particular dress? Would I walk out of the house praying that I should get back home safe? Would I be walking in a street with thousands of male eyes wanting to feast on me?  Would I think hundred times before working late since I will have to get back home before it turns dark? Would I be living scared all the time? Would by heart be thumping each time I was alone? Would I always need a companion or bodyguard for my safety?

The "Would I" questions suddenly stopped haunting me as I realised that this was just my fearful mind playing tricks. I was not in Delhi. I heaved a sigh of relief.

There was one more question that frightened me, "What if someday my city became like Delhi? Who am I to blame then?"
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