Keep the Car Running

Every time I’m planning a visit to India my mother calls up expressing serious concerns, as if she would give a damn about my personal welll-being. But the reputation of the family comes first of course, how could she possibly explain her society an eventual rape? These are the kinds of things that fill her mind; she panics and mental paralysis sets in. This is how I try to discern her brain’s process and excuse the fact that her concerns offend me in every possible way.

Yeah, women are not exactly safe from public harassment in India. But truth be told, nor are we in America or Europe. It’s true that if you are a woman, drinking and dancing in Mumbai is risky business; I had to be extremely watchful during my nocturnal escapades. Everyone from the waiter to the white-collar guy at the next table thinks a woman out for a drink is up for grabs. But you know what? It didn’t stop me. I love getting a drink, and I went back to that same damn bar for weeks. It was awkward at the beginning, but it worked out. Unmolested I managed there to read mails, send millions wapps to friends and family, write my daily diary-entry and sometimes even draw, which to me is the ultimate prove I was feeling alright and this happened certainly not due to excessive alcohol consumption, but due to the kind atmosphere. In the wee hours I usually walked alone down the Colaba streets back to my tiny, modest, and comfy home. No incident to regret, ever. Lucky me.

In my country any woman who’s ever tried to have a fun, unfettered night out with girlfriends knows that men drinking in bars often feel free to make lewd remarks and otherwise sexually harass women who aren’t interested. And many of these guys can’t take a hint when women try to move away from them, they just don’t take no for an answer. It happened to us yesterday, good thing was that bar staff were largely helpful; bouncers intervened and tossed out the dum-dum boys of the bar. We were grateful and glad to acknowledge that things are getting better in our country; bar owners are proactively working on keeping us safe.

Bad thing was that I could recognise one of the guys; he often seems to chose by mere chance the same places I visit, even the most unlikely. Scary. This is no joke, believe me. Sensing that my whereabouts are somebody else’s business freaks me out; so much that I’ve been seriously considering leaving the country, moving to India maybe. I pray hard to the heavens that this shit would only stop or proves to be temporary or non existent; my bad, a wrong perception. In overdrive mode…. just in case.


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