After a short break, the blog is back with #IAMPINK which came as a movie on a Friday is turning into a mass movement for change. It’s about women from different walks of life, sharing their #PINK stories when they choose to stand boldly and hit back. No means No. Change can start in a very small way but from somewhere. Today, I am glad to present Dipanwita Chakraborty who shares her #IAMPINK story with us. Dipanwita stays in Mumbai and blogs on Cocktails, Mocktails and Life.
#IAMPINK: Be Proud, Be Free
This incident happened to me during the 9th grade in school when my maternal uncle was staying with us. This uncle would impose several bans on me and my sister. He wouldn’t stop there and didn’t shy to go to the extent of indulging in moral policing even in front of my parents.
One day, my friends and I were coming back from extra classes and before we dispersed to our respective homes, we stopped on the road when one friend shared some joke. We broke into a loud laughter and at the same moment, my uncle was passing by and noticed me. I also saw him.
On the spur of the moment, I was very much aware that he would go home and complain about my so-called misdemeanour to my mother. Before he could open his dirty mouth, I reached home and narrated to my Mom exactly what happened on the road. Let me make it clear that my parents are very liberal and no restriction in any form was imposed on me. He came back and lectured me on how wrong I was as a girl to laugh out loud on the road in front of so many people.
I was boiling inside and felt like giving it back to him. Since our society always taught us to respect our elders and never answer them back, I choose to keep quiet. However, I recently came to know that the same uncle was caught red-handed by mother, kissing our neighbour aunty, a much-married woman by. He was asked to leave our house and fend for a separate accommodation. So, people lecturing me on high handed moral science don’t make any sense since they themselves have zero morality. My mother has severed all ties with him a long time back and personally, I do not know how he is doing.
He wouldn’t leave any stone unturned to pass remarks on anything I did be it my choice of dressing, the way I sat in front of guests or behaviour in public, the number and kind of friends I used to hang out with. He had a huge issue with me spending time in the company of my classmates who were boys.
But, the impact of his continuous taunts on me was so massive so that I stopped talking and befriending people. My self-confidence took a severe dent such that I looked down upon myself since he always made me feel that I was a good for nothing. I became extremely silent.
I started to hate him but also every person who pointed anything wrong in me. The day this uncle left our home was the happiest day in my life. Back then, I wasn’t aware of the real reason he left our house but whatever happened was for my own good.
I valued my freedom a lot more than I might have done had things been otherwise. Maybe, yes. But, I ain’t sure, how. Now, I am much more confident and vocal about my preferences. I never hesitate to voice my feeling and air perspectives as a secure person. I can relate to every girl who might have been through such situations at any point in time.
Last year, it was the same uncle who sent me an FB request. I blocked him immediately.
There is another incident that happened to me while I was travelling in Mumbai and was on my way to Siddhivinayak temple. I took the local and alighted at Dadar. Now, anyone familiar with Dadar station would know how jam-packed and crowded it is. The moment I started walking on the railway over bridge, I felt someone was touching me on the back. At first, I thought it could be a mistake or must have happened due to the rush. After 30 seconds, I was again touched. As I turned around, I saw a man looking directly into my eyes. I asked him to maintain a little distance and let it pass since I wasn’t sure whether it was a deliberate attempt. I lost it when I felt the familiar, unwanted touching sensation for the third consecutive time and simply turned around, slapped him right across his face.
He was flabbergasted but kept quiet and stopped in his track like a statue wherever he stood, letting others go ahead of him. I left after warning him not to do any such thing with any girl in the future.
What I feel is every girl should stand up against such indecencies. With an increase in the number of girls standing up against such people, such kind of incidence would certainly come to a standstill. It might take another decade or three to achieve the target but it has to start from somewhere.