I needed a very strong drug to wake me from the reverie. Almost two months without a post, a poor middle aged woman lost in her books and kids. And suddenly there is a bolt of lightning that strikes and here i bounce back from the dream of books and exams. Hearty thanks for bringing me back to the blogging platform Tarun Tejpal and Mr Justice.
It happens everyday in the life of a working woman. Whatever be the age, you are not exempted, ladies-as they infer, "women are like wine, they age beautifully". The sneers, the 'casual' groping, the lewd remarks, that " I am ready for sex anytime, are you ready, sweet heart?" synonymous body language and the 'plastered to the upper body all the time" looks- we do take everything in the stride and pass it with a smile. It is rather brushing off these advances that take much of the energy provided by the half cooked chappathis and fruit diet we take. Ah the bane of Indian working women!
Working in the largest public sector enterprise of our country makes people like me vulnerable to the sexually thirsty and greedy men ( again it is not a generalisation, there are quite a few "taking care of crybabies" type men too!) who arrive in train loads every other day in the offices. To most of the men ( again, please read most as few here, if you are a misogynist) women who sport a handbag and walk in to the offices for a decent living are ready to jump into the couch with any Tom, Dick ( yes, literally I mean the same) and Harry at their whims and fancies.
There was this supervisor of a goods terminal who always liked to piss ( obviously he loves to show off what little material he has got!) keeping the unisex washroom door wide open. And mind you, he always forgot to pull up the zipper till he got to your table. Flashing his 'property' to seemingly unassuming an innocuous ladies in the office definitely brought him the thrills. And how did i put up with it? Very simple, report to the higher ups- i still remember every word of my written complaint, got myself transferred and blocked his promotion for almost three years.
And there is this gentleman reservation clerk who always likes to grope and touch women around. Passing a pen to this gentleman would scrap off a few ounces off your fingers. Every time he crosses your chair, he makes it a point to grope somewhere on your back and mumble a 'sorry'. Another booking supervisor made it a point to pat our shoulders and say...you guessed it right-"My daughter...you resemble my daughter". The seemingly plain comment never enters the thick skulls of few fellow lady staff who keep bringing sambar and chutney to the tormentor...So you can pat, hug and squeeze your fellow staff and get sambar and chutney in return! One loud " Don't touch me" yelled at my highest pitch was what made him get yards away from me. And i am happy he remembers to maintain the ten yard away principle even after few years. Fellow got good memory ;)
There was this officer on a night inspection at a station who insisted in opening a closed ticket counter in the middle of the night to just 'peep' in who was working, knowing fully well who has signed the attendance and who was on duty. It took the booking clerk a full ten minutes to explain from behind the door that she is not opening the door at any cost at midnight, whoever be the officer. And there is this gentleman officer who loves to be in 'personal contact' with every 'willing' lady staff. My foot! Power and position...a powerful aphrodisiac that make men feel they can jump into bed with every women with a handbag, provided the 'right amount of pressure' is applied at the right time.
If this is the case with educated and loud mouth women like me, imagine the Class 4 workers, women who come as compassionate appointments. Widows targeted by hawks starting from Union people, welfare section staff, bosses above...the list is endless. Makes me sick. One lady was made to carry 50 concrete slabs to the farthest end of the platform just because she did not succumb to the P.Way Inspector. And she continues to suffer even today. And i am helpless...a bystander.
I wish the law grad brings Mr Justice to the books and Tarun Tejpal is made to understand "no one is above the law". More and more women are opening up and I find this change welcoming...only I wish, i had the resource to nail the offenders around me now... Thanks to the young journo and law graduate- ladies, you rock!!!