Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More on the Blank Noise Project and Street Harassment!

This further to the Blank Noise Project in which I had participated some time ago. The project, if you do not already know, is about Street Harassment of women. Now, I work above a busy train station, and one of my favorite hobbies is to loll near the entrance/exit of Vashi with a cup of coffee and watch people. Hey, people, no ulterior motive, but this is what I like to do. There’s a smorgasbord of human beings in various moods, preoccupations, attitudes, clothes, states of mind, stages of life, etc. on view and I really like to look at them, being the writer I am.

I just returned from my coffee break. What I saw proves that the Indian male needs to re-look his sexual attitude towards women. (Even I may be at fault here, am in for a lot of introspection in this column here.) I mean there’s a lot wrong with his very sexuality. No, I won’t say depraved because the cause, I guess, lies deeper, in the very attitude of “Oh, I can get away with it, so why shouldn’t I?”

I was watching, sipping my coffee, as a buxom girl in a rather tight tee-shirt was walking with a music device in her ear. A man was walking behind her and suddenly he increased his pace, diverted the direction of his walk across her path, aimed one of his shoulders straight at her breast, caressed it with the outer edge of the musculature around the humerus bone, and walked on. As I was watching, he saw me and knew that I had found him out, and looked abashed. The girl didn’t even know what happened; she was too much into her music.

First of all, he didn’t have to break strides, and didn’t have to walk directly across her path, because a lot of space was available to him, but he did. And the girl didn’t even look at him, which means she is so used to this overtly-sexual behavior that it didn’t register. The man walked ahead, and lost himself in the crowd. (This is my response to the Blank Noise Project.) I don’t know if the tight round-neck tee-shirt was the provocation, or what?

I heard that close circuit television has been installed at stations like Victoria Terminus (VT, I prefer to call it by that name, as I think I would offend my childhood if I call it anything else). Have they caught anyone so far?


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