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Mom, writer-editor, dreamer, dog lover, wannabe traveller...yes probably me

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why did Nayana Pujari die? Because she was a woman (which probably was her only disadvantage) in a hurry to reach home where her husband was waiting? Because she wanted to cook him a great meal, smile and spend a few quiet moments with him before she turned in for the night and woke up to another bright day?
Or is it because we are such an insensitive society that there are eyewitness to the atrocities committed on her?
The inhuman witnesses who turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the atrocities being committed on a woman are also to blame that Nayana is no more.
It pains me to think of her husband and family who have to live knowing how badly she died. Of her friends and colleagues who will miss a smiling face in their company. Of other women who travel to and from work after sunset.
Of course the offenders are to blame, but shouldn’t we the people be ready to take part responsibility for the society we have in some way shaped? We who look only in front like we have blinkers and ignore the screaming from the neighbours house-night after night, and we who overlook the Std IX kid we have seen smoking behind the building, we the uncles and aunties who disregard or even cover up the bullying child in the family as a person who is strengthening the younger ones to face the real world, We friends who don’t tell on our good friend’s cheating spouse and we the people who see a man beating a woman on the road.
And we the very people who know something is amiss in a car where a woman is being violently violated.
It doesn’t require an education for us to differentiate between right and wrong. It only requires a conscience. And that is where we are lacking, maybe that is where we have failed. Completely.
But, all is not lost. These terrible deaths have at least made us sit up and think. We could save another Nayana, if we all vow to change just a tiny bit.
I have made that change and told the parents of the 18 year old rash rider that he needs to wear a helmet and requires a strong warning. I have also encouraged my rickshawalla kaka not to spit on the road and I am trying to keep my husband’s temper from flying from behind the wheel.
What have you done? If you haven’t, start now. If you have, do some more. Immediately. Please.
Just the other day, it was 12.30 pm, I had bought my groceries from Food Bazaar which is at Central on the University Road in Pune. I was waiting at the bus stop just outside Central for a bus when the strangest thing happened.
A huge black car came in reverse and parked just behind the bus stop. Intending to board a bus that would come from behind the car, I had both eyes in that direction. Audaciously, the driver would blink his lights at my every glance. It continued and I disregarded it for over 15 mins. Finally he chose to drive away. Only to go ahead, close to Little Italy and wait. Now I was really irritated. I had two choices –ignore or react. I chose to ignore.
But the thoughts that rushed through my head were plenty. What if he had got down and tried to push me in? Or if he had “friends” along. I wouldn’t have been able to do much. And I doubt anybody would have come to my rescue. So I did -the next best thing-I took down his number – and called my husband who unfortunately wasn’t in the city. For a second I considered hopping into a rickshaw and going my way but then realised that would be plain stupid.
Theres a slightly lonely stretch before my home which in the event of “friends” would be dangerous. And hell if he did chose to follow me, id have lead him straight home.
Obviously waiting and going by bus would have been a better option. Thank god good sense prevailed.
In a little while he pulled his sorry ass big black car away. But there will be a time and day when im at the same place at the same time. I hope hes not going to get blatant, coz this time, I’m armed. You see, my safety is my responsibility and I take myself seriously, many a time.