Why the world needs a better looking glass
This is a guest post, written by a Bangalore-based blogger perplexed. It is about her experience during a vacation in Munnar, a hill station in Kerala where 3 of her friends had a horrible experience during a night bus journery. This post is about the eve-teasing they experienced all through their holiday and the experience she recounts here is just one of the many she and her friends experienced during the days they were in Munnar.
She has started off well with a contrast to lifestyles abroad. We in India condemn the so-called promiscuous society abroad and feel India is “better” but is it really better, perplexed asks? I loved the title of her post too, Why the world needs a better looking glass and have used the same for this post.
Her experience in Munnar is a common one that girls across India face. Why just a few days ago, my daughter who happens to be the same age as perplexed, was showing her friends around Pune. She, and her friends had the harrowing experience of being followed by a group of boys on Law College Road in broad daylight. It was 1:3o p.m. but these girls were still being followed, whistled at, and teased as they walked. Finally, they managed to shake the boys off but well, this story of harrassment of girls all over the country is so common that there is no doubt that this is not the “culture” that we Indians can be proud of. We in India keep talking of development, but it is clear that culturally we have gone downhill.
Here is the story that perplexed sent me:
It is the 21st century. Over half a century after India’s independence. A lot has changed over the decades. A lot of change is yet to happen. Change being the only constant and the only means to ensure growth and improvement, is necessary, very necessary.
When talking about the difference between two countries, the first ever thing that comes up is the culture. As Indians we are very proud of our country and we ought to be! but that isn’t to say we should be looking down upon another country’s ways and behaviour to pass a harsh judgment. Well, if one is really the keen observer and an unbiased viewer, I suppose one could take the liberty to do that but not otherwise. I will tell you why.
Let me introduce you to a friend of mine, let us call him… Mr.O. He happens to be one of the really nice people I have happened to come across. Someone who is very non-judgmental and doesn’t really voice his opinion until a very thorough observation and analysis has been done. So he tells me.
Mr.O recently went to Brazil for an internship of 5 months. Of course when one says brazil, the first thing that pops into our minds are beaches and the beautiful, hot people. Which I heard is not just an assumption but very much true!
Now, one month into the country and a little bit of partying and networking with the people there, Mr.O came across a startling discovery of the ways of the people there. Apparently, one girl he happens to know had kissed 27 men in one night at a pub and she was in fact not ashamed of that and at some level probably had a sense of achievement in it. people kissing each other is a very common thing everywhere in brazil I have been told. Mr.O seemed a little shocked by this kind of a behaviour.
Mr.O, is not exactly who you would call conservative but he is not someone who could be called very liberal either. That being the case, he told me “it is pretty much screwed up here, this is no way to live”. “India is so much different and better” he said also adding how girls are so much more “cultured” here.
You ask me, how we live in India, is no way to live!!
If you follow me on twitter, you probably know that I went on a holiday to Munnar last week. The place, I tell you is as green as green can get and as pretty as toy land where noddy stays! The weather is perfect, if we opened the windows to our room, we could see the clouds seeping in through them. Hot coffee, beautiful fog covered mountains, thick blankets and 3 most amazing people with me…life couldn’t get any better! It was awesomeness at its best! well…. at least for the most part of it.
The place was beautiful but I had some bad experiences with some people there. No offense to anyone from kerala, but those we came across are not what I call friendly. Maybe we came across the worst of the kind but it is pretty hard to imagine the good when you see so much of the bad.
Among the various bad experiences we had over the 5 days, I will just tell you one of them.
We were on our way to another place and since it was the weekend the train tickets were all booked and even the buses were booked, but luckily though, we got 4 seats on the last but one row. We sat there happily, looking forward to the journey hoping to have a little fun or just catch up on all the sleep we had lost. We were just about to settle down and get comfortable in the seats adjusting the inclination when we saw a group of 5 men walk past us to sit in the last row. Normally, this wouldn’t bother us much. But these 5 men were stinking and drunk. We could smell! It shocked us that drunk men were allowed inside the bus. We went up to the conductor, explained the situation and requested that we be given different seats, to which he replied with “no seats available” as bluntly as possible.
Well, ok we could manage, what’s the worst that could happen anyway? We had been through enough bad experiences over this one trip and besides once the windows are open we probably wouldn’t smell the stink, we thought. But it got worse, the men had got bottles inside the bus and were drinking, creating a havoc laughing out loud and pointing the torch at us at some point. Luckily for us, we don’t understand a word of Malayalam. This did not end there, one jerk in the group put his legs on the arm rest next to our seats hoping to do god knows what until we beat his leg with an umbrella that one of us had carried! This continued for the rest of the journey. We would have gotten off the bus but this was a night journey bus and we were stuck!
Maybe it was just 5 of those men, but what upset us most was the other 20 or more men in the bus who were oblivious to this very obvious discomfort of ours and refused to switch seats even after a request. Hard to believe not one man in the entire bus had the balls to ask those men to shut the fuck up or even just offer us some help. We did manage the situation on our own. We were capable of it even if we just had an umbrella as our weapon. But that isn’t the point.
we were 3 engineers and one doctor in the group. This incident happened to us in a crowd of what seemed like a very literate (if not educated) group of people.
Now, is this what you call a better culture? You decide!
This is not the way to live because I rather live in a place that accepts what it is than live in a place with double standards when it comes to how a man and a women are expected to exist. Worse things happens here, like that tantric who asked a father to have sex with his own daughter, the father who actually did it in the hope of getting better business and the mother who let this happen. It all happens, we would be disgusted beyond limits if everything came to light. It all happens but it is pushed under the carpet, because, you see, it is our superior “culture” to do so.