I am a twenty-five year old woman living in Mumbai and I would be lying if I said that I have never wished I was not at least in any of these three categories: Young. Female. Indian.
I think when you put these three qualifications together, the concoction that emerges is often difficult to digest. It’s a crime to be these things actually. Why you ask me? Well let me show you what I was staring at last night as I waited in line at Mumbai Central Station to buy a local train Ticket:
Call me crazy but I get offended for being put into the same category as “Elders” and “Differently- Abled”. Reservations in India are a social, political, economic and religious issue and I am not saying I am completely against it but I would like to think that if you want to separate ticket lines according to gender, can you please do it without making women look like weaklings! Whatever happened to chivalry right!
That’s the least of my concerns in this particular issue by the way.
Let me explain my latest crimes.
Young. Female. Indian. And having the audacity to travel the city in Public Transport.
Each time I have to walk through a crowded place, be it a railway station or a bus stop of just any godamn by lane in the city, unless I hold my elbows up like a ninja, I will be groped at least once. (Then there are the days that I score hat tricks *rolls eyes*) I like Ninjas and everything, but sometimes I forget to hold it up and guess what scientific discovery that lead to? An unwanted squeeze of the boob in female humans is equivalent to an unpleasant electric shock in animals.
Young. Female. Indian. And being stupid enough to go out for dinner AFTER DARK.
I was out for dinner and drinks with my female best friend a few weeks ago and was being stared not stared actually, but as at the receiving end of a desperate attempt to convert human vision into X-ray by this not so gentleman on the next table. He walked past our table in slow motion each time he visited the loo and I felt caught in a really bad Matrix type situation. I ignored it for a nit because I just did not want to create a scene and was looking for a peaceful evening out with my friend but after a point I felt so uncomfortable that I mentioned it to my friend. She tactfully tried to block his view by siting in the way and what followed was a sad yet funny head-tilting competition where everyone lost. I lost my sense of comfort, he lost his balance and my friend lost her temper. Eventually after what seemed like too long, he left only to be followed by my pissed off friend who wanted to confront him outside. She asked him what his problem was and he responded by shoving her. Thankfully, his friends intervened and I dragged my friend back in before things got too out of hand. Moral of the story: #beingfemale and being in a bar without a male is a combination you can try only at your own risk. The epilogue to the story was when his friend comes to apologize to our table and explains that his friend just broke off his engagement and is in a “bad place” right now.
Young. Female. Indian. And putting up a decent profile picture on Social Networking sites.
It was New Years Eve and I was dressed up for a party. So I did what needed to be done. Clicked pictures of my friends and I. That’s all ok until I decided to put up one of the pictures where I happened to look decent. At least three of my very well meaning but chauvinistic male friends “advised ” me to take it down because I was looking “too attractive”. (This was the subtlest yet most annoying sexist experience I’ve had including when a waiter at a restaurant told me that I did not need two cokes like I ordered and helpfully changed my order to one WITHOUT MY PERMISSION) Also, the pictures led to at least five ‘acquaintances’ sending me messages that were basically pitiful Indian versions of pick-up lines. Apparently “I have a boyfriend” isn’t a convincing form of rejection these days.
Young. Female. Indian. And having a terrible morning where you drop hot tea and all your belongings on the railway platform.
It was one of those early winter mornings where nothing went right. I was sleepy and still exhausted from the previous days work and was running extremely late when my award-winning clumsiness gene kicked in and I dropped a piping hot cup of tea and all my belongings on the ground at the railway station. I was so upset, I could have burst into tears. After I picked up all my belongings and the broken pieces of my dignity and walked on, a young pink boy comes to ask me for my number.
If looks could kill, I would be under trial for murder right now.
Damn you Hollywood movies and socially dysfunctional Indian males.
Young. Female. Indian. And being financially self-sufficient a.k.a selfish bitch.
I work and as a pleasant side effect at the beginning of each month a tidy amount appears in my bank account. Theoretically, this is the plan since K.G. You should be independent, beta said all my condescending relatives as they patted me on my ponytails. And then, you actually do become independent. Move out of your parents house. Feed, clothe and shelter yourself without asking for help. BIG MISTAKE. Apparently, as I read somewhere being self-sufficient is a huge turn off for men. So basically even though you earn money and can afford to do all things that you wish to, you’ve got to pretend that you don’t.
That explains why buying something sets off this automated guilt trip in my head (my parents must have installed it in my brain when I was asleep) which plays on and on most days leads me to give in and pretend I can’t.
A good woman should always need a man.
Everything else is a crime.