Monday, 6 November 2017

You Break. I Build: A Note to Molesters

Hello Beautiful World!
I am ... well, never mind who I am.  As of now,
Lets just stick to the fact that I am a girl. Like you, I am young, my body is full of joy, my eyes weave dreams. I walk the streets of this city with hope and belief. And yes, there are times I break. I would like to share one such instance in my life, that shattered me  for months but then gave me the strength to emerge stronger. 

One day, I was on my way home from a general store, holding a packet of milk in my hands, walking on the left side of the road, humming some melodious song, enjoying the beautiful weather. Suddenly, I was on the ground, pushed fiercely from behind by someone. I was alive, but my thoughts were dead for some time. I pulled myself back and stood up, and started walking quickly towards my home. I got back home, washed my face, looked into the mirror, and started crying.

What actually happened was when I was walking on the road, a man, aged around 30, followed me on his bike. As he came near me, he raised his arm, hit me on my buttocks so hard that I fell head on the ground. 

Strangely, I felt guilty, ashamed of my body, and careful that no one saw me. Later, I wept as I shared this incident with my older sisters. All they said was, “Dear, this happens to us daily in the bus, work places, colleges... almost everywhere. Don’t worry yourself thinking so much about it. Stay calm and cool.”
They meant that every girl suffered from the problem of eve-teasing. They had taken this to be a part of their life. Something inside me stirred that day, and I realized that I couldn't simply sit back and allow something so degrading and disheartening to be an accepted fact of my life. 

That incident made me look at our society in a new light, and instead of bringing me down, it made me stronger than I was before. I now aim to be the first woman D.G.P. of Telangana, and ensure that eve-teasing doesn't go unchecked in our city anymore.
I now work hard to reach my aim. I built up my body, both mentally and physically. I joined the National Cadet Corps, and received the best cadet trophy, among other awards.

I don’t blame myself for that incident anymore.  We need to kill this menace of eve-teasing in our society. We need to stop looking at it as 'minor' incidents, and let those boys go unpunished. I can still recall with painful ease the hurt and disgust I felt on my own body after that incident. No woman should have to shame her own body just because some pervert on the street dared to degrade it. And the fact that I had to face it when I was just a little girl enrages me even more. Only a change in the mindset of this patriarchal society of ours can curb this problem. Instead of advising girls to 'stay in their limits', and watch their dress and movements, we need to teach our boys respect, and advice them to restrain their actions. 

Today,  I am a girl who is able to raise her voice, and if needed, her hand, towards those men who dare to eve-tease other women and girls. And although it is painful to talk about that incident even today, I'd like to take this opportunity to let myself know that I don't need to hide myself and my story anymore. I am Hima Bindu. My identity is only enriched by the fact that I am a girl, but it is by no means restricted to just that. I have dreams in my head, and passion in my heart, and those are the things that define me. That incident changed me as a person, and I won't allow painful memories to tie me down anymore. I want to serve as an example to all the young girls, and let them know that we don't have to put up with such behavior anymore.

Lets break the silence. Lets bring about a change. 

Cadet Hima Bindu: Passion, Strength, Pride.