I am woman. Please read the word in neither singular nor plural. For I, am neither a young girl, nor an adult woman. I represent all the female population of the country, irrespective of their age, social status. I can speak on behalf of an individual female, or a society.
A few days ago, one of us had gone to the temple to marry her love secretly. This man had promised her a good life ahead, and to take care of her. Then yesterday he called her to the marriage court to legalize their relationship. Elated, she reached there, the formalities completed. Two of his relatives were present on the occasion to sign as witnesses. The four got into a car, she was supposed to go back home and break the news to my family. On the way, her husband gave her something to drink, it was very hot. She soon felt dizzy and was losing her senses. Her husband and his two relatives then molested her, raped her. Repeatedly in the car. After their carnal desires were fulfilled, she was thrown on the side of a road. A kind man who was passing by noticed her and reported the police immediately.
She survived. But another part of my soul got broken.
One of us when read the story in a newspaper remarked “She should not have married the man secretly in the first place! She did a wrong thing and this was coming!”
One of us, a young girl who loves a boy in her college, weeped silently and said to herself “This could have happened to me. Should I stop loving the boy I love so much?
Another one, a happily married woman, who had also married a man against her family’s wishes said “I am so lucky my husband is such a good person. Poor girl.”
Today as my kind were waiting at the bus stop, a young gentleman was standing with them. He looked well groomed, and definitely educated. The girls and him got into the bus. It was full, as usual and the girls were feeling uncomfortable. A very creepy looking man slowly started to take advantage and touching one of them. She was scared, frightened, she looked at the only man in the bus who looked to be good mannered. Shocked she was, as she saw the boy coolly looking at her, smiling, and then slowly reaching for his phone at take a pic.
A young one, hardly 10 years old of my kind had gone to her neighbor’s house to deliver a mail that had come to her house. Her mother sent her saying “Give this to uncle. And say Namaste when you meet him!” laughing and jumping, she went and knocked at his door. The man invited her in and offered her some sweets. She was happy. As she opened a toffee wrapper, he picked her up and asked her in a stern voice to not tell anyone what was about to happen next, or he would kill his mother. The toffee dropped from her hands, and helplessly she let the man win. She was scared he would kill his mother, she loved her mother very much. He asked her come again the next day. She did, and over and over again. It was only when one day the mother noticed her girl bleeding that she knew something was wrong.
By the time people came to know about the man’s true colors, it was too late for the girl. She lives, her heart beats, but only with hatred. Hatred towards men.
It is not only the few of us who get hurt, who get taken advantage of, who get slowly killed. When one of us dies from inside, I get broken piece by piece. One by one, every part of me has come to look at men as untrustworthy creatures.
Who do I trust? My husband? My neighbor? My colleagues? Educated men? Poor men? Rich men?
Have I not seen enough, been humiliated enough, scarred enough.
Those among me who are blessed with a good family, a good lover, a good colleague do exist. And they do say that trustworthy men exist. But even when she steps out of her house, she shudders at the thought of whether she would make it safely to her destination.
A few of us have started learning self defense. Some of us carry pepper sprays, red chilli powder. It is as if a full blown war is raging between the men and women.
When my existence started in this country, woman was a revered being. I was worshiped, respected, loved and cared for. I did not have to fight everyday.
Today, I fear for the worst. I die a little each day as one of us raped, molested, killed, brutalized for dowry, and treated like a speck of dust. It will not be long, before my very existence will be just a hollow shell, with all trust, love and respect for men wiped out.