Rape. A four letter word that has just too many horrors, confusions and most importantly lives attached to it. But what indeed does rape constitute for me?
Walking through the sudden twists and turns within a fort in Jaipur, my friend lightly shoved me from behind to give way to a suspicious looking group of boys tailing us. I remember the way my body froze for a second; my penchant for assuming the worst had led me to believe that one of them had touched my lower back.
I merely looked away, letting them cross us. My friend suddenly said, “Abey, mera haath tha.” But that doesn’t always happen, does it?
The word ‘rape’ is small, but its broad sweep contains many, many more violations, which cannot possibly be captured by the clinical and widely accepted definition.
And so the foolish will say, “Oh so that guy just grabbed your breasts? I’m glad you’re fine. It could’ve been worse.”
No, I’m not speaking from a perspective of a woman who doesn’t understand rape because, well, you never know what it feels like till it happens to you, right?
A) That’s wrong. I feel raped every day.
B) I have had the immense fortune of having had many ‘bad experiences’. And no, I’m not giving you the gory details.
When they ask us to do our bit, it should not be about the way we dress ourselves but the way we think. When a pacified colleague says, “I think I’m okay because it was just molestation” or when a concerned friend asks another, “Why were you wearing sheer in rainy season? You should have thought about it!” we violate ourselves.
I believe it is time to accept. Accept that rape is everywhere. It is the only carnal reality we survive every day.
A year after the rape and brutal mangling of a woman’s body, we wonder if ‘she lit a flame’. Where did SHE light this flame, if I may ask? Every newspaper carries an oft overlookable snippet about a gang rape every day. Sometimes more than one, actually.
So much so that rape has become a drawing room discussion topic and a feared reality after the December 16 gangrape. And there is a room for debate about rape now.
But once I leave that room, I get raped.