Who Am I ?

It’s funny that you are asking me who am I because you have met me so many times but hardly ever made an effort to notice or recognize me.

I am the girl you bullied at school, calling me names and making fun of me in public, taking advantage of your being a boy just because I didn’t see eye to eye with you.

I am the girl in college you whistled and groped at while passing by everyday, making me feel afraid, insecure and at risk, trampling my self respect and dignity. And when I resisted your advances the best you could do was throw an acid bulb at my face.

I am that girl friend you took advantage of, making me give you everything that was mine, not only the money but also a part of my body and soul, only to throw me aside later in order to marry someone who offered you a bigger price tag.

I am the co-worker you harassed, sometimes by passing dirty jokes in my presence, at other times by touching my hand while taking a file or bumping into me and feeling me up, never sparing any thought about my rights.

I am the mother you took for granted, ignoring my pleas and concerns, ignoring my emotions and thereby changed me into a monotonic machine that does only two things – work and ramble, until one day you decide that since I am no longer useful I must be sent away to die in anonymity in some God-forsaken old age home.

I am that wife you never took notice of other than in the darkness of night, ignoring all my efforts to please you and grab your attention just because your roving eye and dripping tongue was never satisfied, when one fine day you suddenly realize that I make for a great punching bag – one that never hits you back.

I am the sister you claimed to love deeply, the one you fiercely protected from harm’s way, but when the time came to stand by me and show your support you chose instead to beat me and my lover up and then murder us in cold blood only because we had dared to love.

I am that girl child you killed when I made my presence felt even before I saw the light of day, my only mistake was being a girl and therefore not welcome.

Yes, I tolerated all of this but still gave you a second chance because
I am a Woman.

6 Comments

  • If you think that women are wronged at all stages of life, then perhaps there is something wrong in the way we think about our women. Please note the “we” here means both men and women.

    The general tone of the article is that women are fulfilling all the expectations everybody has from a woman, a loving, accepting, forgiving, gentle, humble, innocent soul; an ideal mother, sister, wife, daughter, and so on. [Ideals we have created for our (or should we say man’s) convenience]. However, all of, or most of women’s expectations are neglected, betrayed in all stages; and if you dare say anything about the rights of a woman, you are labelled as feminist, impractical, partial, and whatnot. If you are a woman standing up for yourself, you get all the labels from selfish to slut!

    When will we wake up from this fantasy of a just world! Perhaps our women are too lazy to think about making any change! “Oh, it’s all right, he can slap me! What is wrong in that, he is my father/husband/whatnot, he was angry you see, and besides he has no one else to express his frustrations, emotions.”

    Well, you deserve to be slapped, and slapped hard, really hard. You should be raped in the moving bus in Delhi; you so desperately want it so that you can have tons of sympathy of the whole world! Everyone is happy, your lifelong desire to be noticed, to be given unconditional sympathy is fulfilled; rapist’s desire to be in control is fulfilled; after all they were women who expected him to be in control, even his mother when she said – “bahu ki zubaan bahut khul gayi hai, use samjha de, aurat hai to aurat ki tarah rahe; aur tu kuch kyon nahi bolta, ghar ka aadmi hai, teri hi baat ghar mein chalegi”.

    I think we will never wake up, because waking up takes effort. Sleeping is always easy, dreaming is always fun, it is secured. It is so nice to think about beautiful flowers, rivers, and poetry when your city is burning. Why face flames, let’s think about love. Wah! Bahadur Shah, wah!

    Now let me answer your points one by one.

    Point: “.. you have met me so many times but hardly ever made an effort to notice or recognize me..”
    Answer: I always noticed you, but am I so weak to acknowledge your presence. Have you ever seen someone higher in authority to notice a ‘small’ servant? Even my wife, mother, sister have done the same with the poor girl who so desperately was seeking someone to notice that she is half naked and hungry, but have enough respect to not ask for food and clothes, only her eyes were speaking.. but she was not a Brahmin, you see, she doesn’t deserve to be noticed. So, I learned there are higher and lower among people, and this is decided by the group that is strong in a region, and higher should act accordingly, not giving too much attention to the weaker. Otherwise the weak “sar chad jate hein”.

    Point: “I am the girl you bullied at school, calling me names and making fun of me in public, taking advantage of your being a boy just because I didn’t see eye to eye with you.”
    Answer: I knew I was powerful and could do anything. I had heard this from other females in my house. I tried exercising this power to see for myself, and well, you confirmed this by not even seeing in the eye after being wronged so much. I am the man. I am God! Ha Ha.

    Point: “I am the girl in college you whistled and groped at while passing by everyday, making me feel afraid, insecure and at risk, trampling my self respect and dignity. And when I resisted your advances the best you could do was throw an acid bulb at my face.”
    Answer: I can do whatever I want to. I was curious about the physical differences we had and I wanted to understand. The most obvious way to me was playing around and breaking you open! I do it with my toys all the time, when I do not understand about my toy helicopter, I play with it for some time and then break it open. Acid bulb, how dare you resist me? You should be punished. Even my dad punishes my mom, and when I object, it is my mother who scolds me as if I am doing something wrong, which obviously means that she deserves the punishment and dad is always right. Even my mother and sister do this all the time to my elder brother’s wife! Weapons are different, sometimes words, sometimes broom, depending on crime. And in my eyes, resisting me called for an acid bulb, so what?

    Point: “I am that girl friend you took advantage of, making me give you everything that was mine, not only the money but also a part of my body and soul, only to throw me aside later in order to marry someone who offered you a bigger price tag.”
    Answer: Excuse me, you were SUPPOSED TO offer everything you had or could have. Didn’t I show my greatness by accepting it that time, your money, body, soul? But then, someone more needy (demonstrated by more items they were able to offer) came, and you see, I am a very kind soul, and just too. More need = more to offer, and I HAD to accept. Are you suggesting you didn’t like that? Lady, watch your tongue and attitude, aurat ho aukaat mein raho, don’t ask for another acid bomb or nude pic on facebook!

    Point: “I am the co-worker you harassed, sometimes by passing dirty jokes in my presence, at other times by touching my hand while taking a file or bumping into me and feeling me up, never sparing any thought about my rights.”
    Answer: You have rights!! Lol

    Point: “I am the mother you took for granted, ignoring my pleas and concerns, ignoring my emotions and thereby changed me into a monotonic machine that does only two things – work and ramble, until one day you decide that since I am no longer useful I must be sent away to die in anonymity in some God-forsaken old age home.”
    Answer: oh mom, it was you who taught me everything, what did you do with grandma?

    Point: “I am that wife you never took notice of other than in the darkness of night, ignoring all my efforts to please you and grab your attention just because your roving eye and dripping tongue was never satisfied, when one fine day you suddenly realize that I make for a great punching bag – one that never hits you back.”
    Answer: What you did was your duty. What else can you do? ..punching bag.. excuse me, I never realized it, I knew it from day 1 when I met you. In fact, it is part of your duty to be the punching bag. Who is the man of the house? Didn’t your mother teach you anything?

    Point: “I am the sister you claimed to love deeply, the one you fiercely protected from harm’s way, but when the time came to stand by me and show your support you chose instead to beat me and my lover up and then murder us in cold blood only because we had dared to love.”
    Answer: There are some things that are more important than anything else. To remain in power, any “bagawat” must be taken seriously. I had to do that. How do you think we (men) have remained in power for so long?

    Point: “I am that girl child you killed when I made my presence felt even before I saw the light of day, my only mistake was being a girl and therefore not welcome.”
    Answer: My choice!

    Point: “Yes, I tolerated all of this but still gave you a second chance because I am a Woman.”
    Answer: Yes, and you WILL give a third, fourth, fifth and 100th chance… because you are a woman!

  • Hi! In general I agree with the idea you wanted to convey in your response. We are responsible of giving birth to a new life, nurture them and inculcate in them some human values that would last them a lifetime. So Yes, we do need to change the way we have been raised to think by our mothers and grandmothers and in general our forefathers (or fore-mothers if you may). I agree that change is needed and that it must start with Us. When something like #dehligangrape happens we are shaken up and we wake up from the deep slumber we are in and start thinking “Why?” If it weren’t for these incidents, we would still have been asleep.

    There is one point though that I didn’t see “eye to eye” with you (meaning, I disagreed with).

    I do not agree that women (or anyone for that matter) would want to be raped or ____ed(insert any other atrocities you can think of) just to gather “sympathy of the whole world”. That’s just impossible. Nobody and I repeat, NOBODY deserves to be raped. Nobody wants to be noticed at the cost of their dignity.

    About giving hundred’s of chances, you are right of course. We will give chances to our men-folk because this is ingrained in our nature ( and no, I do not mean ingrained by society. I mean Nature). It is in our nature to believe in the Greater Good and that everyone needs another chance. (Why else do you think we are called the “Fairer” gender? It is not only due to our beauty but also due to our ability of being Fair and Just.)

    Oh, and one more thing, It is only Love that can save the city when it is aflame. I will tell you why. Even if we are unable to stop the flames from eating up our city, we can still rebuild it if we loved it enough 🙂

  • Thats a real tribute… wish you a happy blogging ahead…

  • Thank you Sreeja. 🙂

  • “zulm ke hausale kuch aur na badh jaayen kafeel, dil ki awaaz daba kar nahi roya karte”

    If we cannot identify and/or raise voice against the wrong, if we think that everything that everyone does is ok, then even the concept of “sati” will work (it has worked in the past, strong movements against it by few strong headed souls pulled it out from its roots).

    There is a time when we should stop giving any more chances. There is a time (when the fire comes to your palace) to do something about it, because otherwise you will not be there to build the new city.

    Most importantly action is required. If you love your city and you see it is burning, what would you do? Write a poem about how nice is the concept of love, and cold breeze and rain? Or will you do whatever you can to control the fire? Well, I most certainly will leave the poetry for some other day, and will try in whatever way possible to save whatever can be and minimize the loss, and control the fire.

    Yes, no one deserves to be raped; and no one deserves to be disrespected; no one deserves to die of hunger and indifference; no one deserves to be killed before being born!!

    May be, as women, you all know better!!

  • I agree with you on this. Action is needed. And its high time too.

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