Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Ring the bell, let the birds fly…

Just like the traffic on the roads, for any girl born and brought up in Delhi, eve teasing is a usual affair. Since childhood, a girl is subjected to some said, some unsaid rules and regulations in exchange for her safety. I still remember how worried my mom was when I joined college just because I had to travel to a secluded part of the city all by myself. Always carry a mobile phone, never venture out alone, prefer going out with a male or in groups, wear non provocative clothes, avoid interaction with strangers in buses, come back home on time….the checklist was too long and irritating to be followed.

But this was almost a decade ago and back then I used to wonder life wouldn't be the same in a couple of years. With women empowerment being a burning issue and India marching towards growth, I expected a better society for the generations to come.
Times have changed and yet they haven’t!

Being a masi to a 14 year old is like having a pet sparrow (mind the comparison but couldn't find anything better to express my feelings!). You love the chirpie song but always dread the sparrow being eaten by the cat. Thinking the sparrow would be safe in the house, you build a comfortable cage in the house. But, is the sparrow happy there? She wants to fly in the sky.  My niece too is a cute little sparrow, wanting to spread her wings and explore the world. She is smart, intelligent, confident and ready to explore the world – the typical woman of the jet age. Loves going for the impossible and hates being confined. It’s a pain when we impose the same decade old restrictions on her. A couple of days back, I asked her to be back before dark as bad elements come out by then to which she snapped and asked me “Masi, in zoo, the ferocious animals are in the cage, not the normal visitors, then why not do something about such elements than unfairly curbing our freedom?” She had a point indeed, yet the practical me had to explain how the real world is different from the stuff we read in books. Poor child never says no to anything I say, but that very moment, a bell rang inside my heart and the heart echoed…

We must be the change we want to see…

The easiest thing in the world is to crib, cry and escape the wrong. However, people who make their own path and stand up against the wrong are the real change agents. The so called “bad elements” spring up from our society, perhaps the guy next door. Cleaning begins from the house. To ring the bell against such elements, we need to go back to the basics and teach every boy around us to respect the mothers, sisters and not take their care for granted. Only then will the society learn that it’s not the attire but the attitude that counts –attitude of the men around us. The bell should ring away the fears till the women in our society can live in peace.

So what are we waiting for

Ring the bell, and let the birds fly…

This post has been written for Ring the bell movement for Indiblogger and 

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