Experiences………….and some lessons too

I have been penning rather negative thoughts about being a woman off late and I am sure, I’m being pictured as a hard-core feminist. Well, maybe I am one. How do I care anyway……..

After a rather disorganized and incomplete blog, here I am writing a rather organized blog about my experiences and lessons. After the exercise on Saturday, I have come out as a definitely different person. In this regard, Jasmeen sent out a questionnaire and I decided to answer it.

Here’s how the questions look:

1. what made you join the intervention?

Frankly, I don’t quite know. In a way, I was sick of eve-teasing. Of having to worry about having some guy along with me all the time I wanted to really freak out alone!!!!! There these times when I feel the urge to just aneak out alone and chill out at places! But I had to always worry about finding someone to go with, preferably a guy, specially if it was after dusk. I think, it was my frustration of having had to hunt for company and the general sense of fear while going out alone that made me come to the intervention……

2. How do you think the passerby responded to your stare? Do you normally look at people in the eye when youre out? How was it different this time, if different at all.

Generally, I look away! Even after having passed these people, I had the funny feeling that there were eyes upon me. But I didn’t have the courage to look back and meet the guy in the eye! The age old training of IGNORING things worked all the time. I used to ignore, or rather pretended to ignore these passers-by. But this time, it was different. Maybe because I had decided that I am not going to project myself as weak. There’s strength in all of us but it needs bringing out, polishing etc. This was my opportunity. And I grabbed it. It worked!!!!!!!!! For the first time, I didn’t look away or ignored. It gave me a sense of liberation! I stopped getting worked up about how I was dressed!!!! (That is one thing I am constantly worried about)…..in a way, it was like learning to fly when a new pair of wings has suddenly come to your possession….

3. What were the sublte changes you noticed in your own behaviour? Like (maithili) spoke of how tough it was for her to not give the passers by space while she walked…etc

Yes, true! In the beginning, it was difficult not to stick my elbows out to prevent myself from unwanted brushes from the people walking past! (Something that I used to do unconsciously). And it was difficult not to walk with nudging people!!!! But as I got used to walking on the pavement, DEMANDING for space, I felt that the vibes reached the people walking around! And I could really walk without having to snake through the crowd! Even in a place as crowded as Brigade Road, we can afford to walk freely if we send the correct vibes out!!! This was something I learnt! рЯЩВ

4. What do you feel about such interventions: are they fun? Threatening? Empowering?

Well, yes, this was definitely an empowering experience. The most important thing that came out of the experience was that I realized that I CAN!!!!! I can be what I want to be! I can DEMAND to be left alone (and get it)……..it was fun because it was empowering! Threatening, NO. I didn’t feel threatened. I guess, it had partially to with the fact that I knew I was strong deep down inside and no longer cared for who perceived me HOW!!!!!!

5. Will this alter the way you perceive brigade road/ or the way brigade road perceives you?

Hmmmm………..maybe, I perceive Brigade Road as a place I can hang out in now, without having to think too much about how the crowd to respond to me! ANd even if it doesn’t I don’t really care. But yes, it may change the way Brigade Road perceives me. I was probably just another girl there until Saturday! But now, Brigade Road may think twice before messing with me, in ANY WAY!!!! I feel empowered!!!!!!!!!!

6. What worked for you? What did not?

Everything worked for me! The powerful back-stare worked!!!! The sense of freedom worked. So did the no non-sense look!

7. What did you take back with you that evening?

A feeling of self-worth. And a sense of confidence! And loads of experiences, differences in opinions, courage……………loads……………..

Well, apart from the questionnaire, I learnt that one can do whatever one wants to!

That’s a LOT learnt in the four hours I spent at Brigade Road being a part of the Blank Noise Project!!!!!!!!!!

Pritesh

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6 Comments

  1. unforgiven said,

    April 20, 2006 at 6:11 am

    Women sure have some strange ways to feel better about themselves.

    *shrug*

    What do I know. I am just a man.

  2. Pritesh said,

    April 21, 2006 at 12:54 am

    At the expense of sounding sarcastic and impertinent, “It’s better than to resort to Adam-teasing to prove our feminity”……

  3. fuse me said,

    April 21, 2006 at 6:55 am

    Oh give me a break ‘unforgiven’. You just said last time
    “They do the entire eve-teasing and all that crap simply to prove their male superiority.”

    I think this is a lot less worse way of showing that you are a not any inferior. Pritz, i think your idea about feeling ’empowered’ is a very fine way, especially because it does not encroach on other’s space and rights…

    And again I must say one thing. The guys who resort to abuse or violence and the gut-less cowards. Modestly is not their deterrant, Boldness is. It has been proved time and again that it is the modest and meek women who are most targetted.
    (unless it is a gang-rape, where the cowards hide behind numbers. But once they feel outnumbered, you’ll never see them run faster.)

  4. April 21, 2006 at 9:14 am

    Felt much better after reading this post, Pritesh. It was about power, confidence, self-worth, comfort…all those nice things. That’s what I was perhaps looking for all the time. And I can now feel them along with you. That natural sense of power, rightfulness … things that are right there within us. They are neither to be begged for, not to be snatched away. They need to be discovered inside ourselves. Good you’ve looked at the problem this way too, the right way! Being able to relish one moment of freedom is worth conquering thousand enemies. Being able to breathe a lungful of fresh air is better than owning thousand nurseries. To realise the that presence of the freedom and power are inseparably yours is infinitely more joyous than snatching it back from someone. рЯЩВ

    Noone will be happier than me to see women walking gracefully, confidently … their beauty centred in their benevolence and gravity, not in that mixed look emanating from the excitement of being objects of desire, and fear of being pursued.

    OK! Ananth, relax! I didn’t say anything! рЯШЙ

    Unforgiven, you have said wiser things in your last three posts than we all (Pritesh and Ananth included) combined, and in a better way too. Compliments for that. But, that last one went overhead. рЯЩВ

  5. unforgiven said,

    April 22, 2006 at 6:46 am

    I have a huge problem with sarcasm. I hate it.
    Really.

    Feminity was exactly I was talking about.
    Honest.


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