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March 07, 2007

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."

I have not been quiet all the time. I tried not to be a victim all the time. After being harassed a dozen times, you learn. You grow up from a child to an adult pretty fast. It jolts you awake from the sweet innocence of childhood to become a confused adult. I think I learnt to read the signs and be more weary only when I was around 17 and entered college. Every time I caught a bus to go to college, I looked at faces, judged them and hugged my backpack close to my chest. This one time, I was surrounded by men and this one guy kept staring at me. I stared at his hands all the time. As soon as he brought his hand close to me, I shifted and looked straight into his eyes and said in Tamil, "Don't even think about it! You wont know what hit you!" I could see fear and shame in his face and he got down at the next stop. For once, I felt powerful. But of course, for every situation like this one, there were dozens more where I was the victim with fear and shame in my face and tears in my eyes. But I grew stronger. I started looking out for young girls and tried to protect them as much as I could. I swore at the perverts, complained to the bus conductor, called them names but I have nt hit them. I regret it now. I should have slapped at least one of those perverts. It would have made me a little more happier person today and respect myself more.

Today when my 22 months old daughter told me shes afraid to walk on the dark corridor, all I could think about was how was she going to survive the bad, bad world out there if shes afraid to walk in the dark in our own home. I asked her to be brave, held her hand and walked with her. I told her to be strong like me, her mother. I knew I have to be an action hero so that she can be one too. I don't think I was a hero before but I am one now. Like the title quote* of this post, being a mother is my 5 minutes.

Thanks to the
Blank Noise Project for reminding me to stop being a victim.

*Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

26 comments:

Orchid said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
@ said...

wow Boo - really goosebumpy post!
I *know* how hard it would be to have to take that first step and slash back...so hats off to you..
it is too painful for me to talk about my experiences in teh said matter and since my blog is visited by family, I wouldn't even dream of putting it up there...maybe I could leave it as a comment for the BNP.

Unmana said...

I totally empathise with this post.

Orchid said...

Boo,
sorry, in my dizzy state..i left a comment earlier without realising this post was a blank noise online effort....please delete my comment as I feel it is inappropriate

B o o said...

Orchid - Done. No worries! I did nt think it was inappropriate though! :)

The Mad Momma said...

you are right.. i wish i had slapped a couple of them too.. would have made me a happier person too..

SM said...

I just know how u feel about being an action hero for Ashu.
We'll hold their hands, walk in the dark, teach them to be strong and most of all we'll teach them to talk and share.

Tharini said...

Boo...this was ethereally beautiful! I enjoyed reading it sooo much.

Abby said...

Boo,
Hi, i'm a volunteer with BNP and going through all the actio hero posts. i was really moved by what you wrote! i'm from the US but have lived in india for the past 4 years. as much as i love the country i sometimes wonder if i could live here simply because i would not want my niece or my future daughter to experience what i do every day. i hope you keep writing in to the BNP blog! i look forward to reading more of your posts!

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