Sunday, August 10, 2008

Anubhav Pradhan

Anyways, my story concerns something which happened today. I was coming back home in a bus and just as I put off my Mp3 player, I over-heard a conversation between a school boy sitting next to me and his college going friend standing besides the seat (I was next to the window). The boy asked (this is the difficult part because I'm going to try and reproduce the original colloquial dialect in English) 'Ke kar raha hai' to which the college fellow said 'X-ray lai raha hoon'.

This incongrous observation startled me and I turned around (I usually look out of the window whenever I'm in the bus, the inside is not all that appealing...) to see what he meant by that when I saw the duo staring hard at the back of a presumably college going girl wearing a white, sleeveless kurti-sort-of-top and sitting a few seats ahead on the opposite, Ladies row. The material was slightly diaphanous and with sweat making it moist, the straps of her bra were easily discernible. I looked back at the collegiate and saw on his face an expression of what could only have been lust. As I once turned my head to look out of the window, I heard the school boy say 'Maane bhi sikha de ye X-ray lena', to which the collegiate knowingly said 'Abhi tu baacha hai, college main aane par waqt sab sikha dega'. Not wanting to be a party to their conversation, I once again put on my Mp3 player...

I suppose this doesn't fit into the usual definition of harassment simply because the intended victim did not even get to know of it. Even if she did hear those two, she sure did not acknowledge the fact and just sat there calmly, ignoring their amorous observations. The long and short of it all is that I ended up feeling disgusted with humanity at large as also a little disapponited with my own self for not doing anything to tackle the problem at hand. I say 'a little' because that is exactly what I feel- after all, if the person towards whom the so-called attack was being directed remained (or chose to be) ignorant of it, then what right had I to raise hell by arguing with the so-called perpetrators. I am no knight in shinning armour, I have not vowed to protect damsels in distress...why then should I have risked my well being and that too in a case when nothing tangibly perceptible was happening?

This, of course, leads us to another gender issue, of men being regarded by default as protectors. But this is not the forum to go into that...

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