Late in the night, dark on the streets,
They said I shouldn’t have walked back from work alone
But then how do you explain when the security guard did the same
Right under the torrid sun!
“Short skirts and red lipstick attract that kind of attention”,
“Avoid these to be safe”, they said
But then how do you explain when the burkha was left in stains, stains of shame that sadly mattered more than the pain!
“Don’t let your teenage daughters go partying,
Or else they will get ravaged”
But then how do you explain when the 3 month old wasn’t safe in her own cot at home!
Yes I’m scared, scared as hell to step out of the house. It doesn’t matter anymore whether I’m alone or with someone strong.
Sometimes I’m even scared to enter the house because I dread to find my “favourite uncle” sitting on the couch.
I’m scared to take the train at late hours. I am scared to take the cab. I’m petrified to just walk back alone!
I’m scared to wear the pair of new shorts, I’m scared to wear the jeans. I’m scared to put on a well tailored suit or just drape a saree!
I’m scared to die. I’m scared to be ALIVE.
Who am I?
I am the one month old.
I am the teenager next door.
I am your colleague in a saree.
I am the stranger in a Capri.
I am your mother, your daughter, your sister, your friend, your wife, or just a stranger.
I am every Woman.