Yet another horrendous crime. Yet another girl suffering a fate she did nothing to deserve. Yet another monster unveiled and unstopped. Yet another incident crying for justice.
I sometimes wonder what kind of country we live in. I sometimes wonder what should we do to make men respect women. I sometimes wonder if that is even possible.
Let me not go into the terrible terrible stuff that is happening nationally. Let me give you an example of what I experienced personally. I felt so disgusted by the incident that my skin crawls even to mention it here, but I couldnt pent up my anger anymore.
I along with my friend were walking to our college with huge library books in our hands we had got under the book bank scheme to return them before the semester ends. Two seniors came up behind us and we clearly got to hear what they were saying "Haha. Nautanki to dekho. Ab ye laundiyan log bhi padhne lagi hain. Kya karengi in sab kitabon ka. Ghum phir ke to ghar par hi baithna hai".
I made it sound less derogatory than it was; I really cant use the language they did here on my blog.
I felt like slapping those two guys. But I did nothing but walk away silently. Why? You know the reason pretty well.
I feel ashamed to say that the place I study in has such scoundrels who STILL think that girls dont need to be educated, they still are entities that need to be shut in houses. I wonder what gave birth to such cheap and class-less thinking.
I feel angered and humiliated when I think of the kind of people I am surrounded by, the kind of people every Indian girl is surrounded by. But when I got a mail from Blogadda today, calling us to write about the few good men in our life, the ‘Soldiers’ who have strived for us, I took a moment to think if I have someone like that in my life. And since I do, I thought I would share the goodness.
I had a safe and happy childhood, and I have to thank my family and friends for it. I have never been thrown into extreme situations so it is a very small incident that I narrate here, but it is big enough for me to make me feel proud of having such a wonderful presence in my life.
I was in class 8 and we were in Delhi for the Youth Parliament. I was having a gala time, being the youngest in a crowd of class 10, 11 and 12 didi’s and bhaiya’s. The canteen of the school that we were staying in became my favourite haunt because someone or the other would take me there and treat me with incessant chips, chocolates and cold drink.
As a result of this extreme junk food and reckless cold drink/ice-cream consumption, I landed with a throat infection just the day before the final show. My part in the program wasn’t too big or too important but it did feel for me that way; it was my first time as a part of something so grand and so special, my first time away from home without parental supervision.
So I freaked out pretty bad because I lost my voice and could hardly speak anything. And no one had any meds because a cough syrup isn’t something you would carry in the middle of August. People didn’t pay much attention also, there was a lot of work to be done and too little time.
But I pined. I pined for the fuss my mother would have made over me had she been present. I wasn’t silly enough to pine over a small thing like a sore throat in public and make a fool of myself but I did feel pretty wretched.
Then there was this brave soldier of mine who went in the middle of night in that unknown place to a drug store, fighting all sorts of demons and ogres as I liked to imagine and brought a cough syrup for me.
It was very sudden; I was in the room allotted to us moping over the sorry state of my throat after dinner when my soldier walked in and said ‘Catch’ and I caught the medicine bottle in reflex. He didn’t even say anything in explanation, being a man of few words but God, nothing I can say now can express what I had felt back then.
The whole action, of quietly noticing me in pain and searching the right remedy for it from an unknown place touched me so deeply, that I still smile when I think about it and thank my lucky stars for such a Superhero in my life :D
This superhero I talk about is none other than my brother, that guy who expresses his love for me through his actions than through words.
I have never come across anyone who is so caring, who can love so unconditionally, who is so responsible and strong. When my mother had to go to Mumbai for about 3 months for her operation, he was the one who took care of me. I was in class 11th then, caught up in a hectic storm of school and studies and being a girl who was dependent on her mother to even get her hair tied, I was worried to death at the idea of surviving for such a long period without her.
But I had no reason to worry, my brother was there to take care of it all. He used to help my grandmother with the lunch and prepare the entire dinner himself since my father is as hopeless as me when it comes to cooking. He used to wake up early every morning (it was his board exam/competitive exam vacation then) just to pack my lunch box for school and each day, it used to be a delicious surprise.
So my brother is this AMAZING cook. Ask any of my friends, they liked his cooking to the point where they said that he cooks better than even my mother and my mother’s tiffin used to be like devoured within seconds of opening the lunch box. So you can imagine the level.
And when I used to come back home, he used to have my lunch thali ready with all the items mixed neatly with rice and ghee so that I don’t kick up a fuss eating like I generally do. He used to sit with me, listen to me rant about what happened at school, and patiently wait till I was done eating everything. And it wasn’t just my diet that he took care of. My clothes were seen to as well; I never had to bother about freshly laundered and ironed clothes.
As I write this I realize how LUCKY I am to have such a sibling. He is the reason I was brought up this way, he is the reason I have even a small part of my brain sane and healthy.
Then there was that was the time when I was undergoing a 3 year long painful orthodontic treatment and when my father left as well to bring my mother back, I had a dentist appointment to get two of my permanent premolars out.
So, I am like this pro when it comes to the dentist chair, it became a sort of second home to me :P I feel a certain fondness when I see it now, I smile at it like it were my lost brother :P And ahaaa!! Teeth extraction? That’s like my favourite part. I had 10 of my teeth extracted during my treatment and numerous others as a kid :P
But having your permanent teeth extracted, that too two strong premolars was something worrisome. And it was painful. Very painful. More painful that a ruthless dentist taking a pair of pliers like tool and tugging on the wire real hard. It felt sickening when the anesthetic wore out and the pain kicked in, and my brother tried but couldn’t feed me.
Then he made this Khichdi for me. I don’t know how he managed to make it so soft and even in that oh-I-cant-even-open-my-mouth-screwed-up-state I found the thing damn yummy. It was so tasty, I surpassed my appetite and wolfed down the tasty paste-like khichdi.
And believe me, no other Khichdi has ever tasted to good after that. It was made sweeter and more magical by my brother’s love I guess.
That is my Soldier’s story. The person who took care of me when I really needed someone. The person I can share all my silliest worries, the person who will go to any extent just to see a smile on my face.I am lucky to have such a person in my life; lucky enough to have him as my sibling and I when I think of people like him, I get a little more strength to walk in a world that is filled with never ending crime and disrespect towards women.