A few days ago, I went to see an Indian magic show. Tickets were sold at the entrance and seats were “First come First”. I saw a couple take one seat at the start of a row and the other at the end of the row. We tried to sit in the seats in between but they said, they are all reserved. This kinda put me off. I encountered this “reservation mentality” after a long time. A lot of people were doing this. I went up to the organizers outside of the hall to report it and ask if that’s “allowed”. They didn’t want to take charge of the situation and preferred the “chalta hai” attitude. Then one of the organizers walked with me to see what’s going on. He saw the people and made sure I shut my mouth by saying, ” Oh, those people are already here. They have been here an hour before. They are just walking around before the show starts.” I fell for that lie. He was successful.
This incident reminded me of another one that happened in my college. On Saree-Day, when I was in First Year, a couple guys got camera with them and stood at a strategic location. When they saw a girl or group of girls they liked to click, they did. No permission asked. No acquantance required. I was one of those girls. When I saw I was being clicked, I looked the other way just to rebel. But I still felt violated. I talked with a few more girls who felt the same way. I talked to the General Secretary (the captain) of the college. His reply was, “So what? What’s the big deal? They liked you. They took a picture of you. That’s it.” I fell for it and left.
That’s how voices are suppressed. It all depends on the people at the top. They create a culture; a culture of Justice or injustice, of respect or disrespect, by sorting out the things they should have or by overlooking things they shouldn’t have.
(Finishing off a story that formed over the years..)
A few months later, I came to know that one of the photographers was my friend’s (who was in Final Year) younger brother. All my frustration came out on him, “Is he your brother? You know what he did……” The photographer came up to me and apologized the next day. He said he will give me my photo back. Like a big moral police I said that I didn’t care about the photo but I wanted his brother to know what he’s up to. He said “ok” and left.
A couple years later, this photographer started hanging out with my friends after having lost a year. I was reluctant to be friends with him at first but then I was okay. I knew he wouldn’t harm me in any way. And one day, this guy proposed to me. And he was flustered why I said no. I asked him, “Did I ever give you an indication of interest?” His reply was, “Can’t I be interested first?” Fair enough. But little things give away a lot…I didn’t explain..
A couple years later, when I was going through the list of boys I turned down while talking to my boyfriend (who’s now my husband), he said, “How could you turn down a hunk like this photographer and choose me?” My only reply was, “Little do you know my criteria..”
And I should have taken the photo back, for I came to know that I was being used as a bookmark by boys I had never heard about 😦