Karishma Jangid is a Mass Media student at K.P.B. Hinduja College. Born and brought up in Mumbai, she believes kindheartedness is the real beauty! She is passionate about mythology and literature, books and music. She wishes to share and gain knowledge, spreading smiles on the way!
Freedom : Reality or Myth
I am walking down the street. It’s 11.30 PM. It’s dark, but it doesn’t scare me tonight. I remove my coat from my bag to put it on, as I am wearing a crop top. But then I look around and realize, that I don’t really need to. So, I just let it hang on my right hand. I pass by a group of strangers, men. One of them stares at me. And then he gives me an understanding smile as if he gets how tired I am. I smile back, then walk ahead. And suddenly I hear footsteps behind me. I stop, scared. I look back and see the same man walking towards me. I increase my pace of walking with my heart racing. He catches up to me, I feel helpless. He stops in front of me. My legs freeze. Then he tells “aapki keys gir gayi thi wahhaa”. I sigh in relief, thank him and walk ahead. I reach my home. My father looks at me. I wait for his everyday rant “aisa bhi kya kaam ke der raat bahar raho”. But instead he says “You just missed the ending of your favourite show kiddo! Should have come 5 minutes earlier”. I give him a tired smile.
All of a sudden, the train halts. My journey comes to an end and so does my imagination! Now, I am on my way home. It’s 11.30 PM. It’s dark and I am scared. I remove my coat from my bag and put it on, as I am wearing a crop top. I pass by a group of men, they stare at me vulgarly. I ignore and walk ahead. Suddenly, I hear footsteps behind me. I walk faster, scared. Fortunately, I make it to my home on time. My father looks at me. He starts his daily rant,“aisa bhi kya kaam ke der raat bahar raho”. I say nothing as I know it will lead to yet another argument on why women shouldn’t work. I walk into my room disheartened.
It’s failure on the part of society, that my imagination and my reality contradict each other so bad. In theory a girl is just another human, but in reality she is a human – who people think – is born to tolerate injustice. This question is for every girl reading this, just how many times have you reported or fought back a guy who stared at you indecently? It has become so habitual for us that filing an FIR against a guy staring at you, is a concept you find dramatic! They did not put it in the textbooks, but over the years you learnt how to tolerate harrasment. Tolerating harrasment was sold to you in the disguise of a virtue. A sanskari girl never complains, you know! When, you should have been taught, right from the start, how to fight against it. In fact, you should have never felt the need to fight back, in the first place. Because in this universe or any other universe, being a girl is neither a curse nor a sin. For now, the journey of our tolerance and intolerance goes on, but that doesn’t mean you stop fighting back. Throughout this journey we kept proving that we can fight for our rights and we WILL fight for our rights until our imagination and reality which are parallel at the moment intersect one day!