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My untold, unshared bit of MeToo moment and how it broke me
The writer is Inayat Sidhu, a student with PCTE, Ludhiana and has written a first person’s account of sexual harassment in Ludhiana and what it did to her:
What does one do, when a bunch of hooligans stalking or sexually harassing you have a pistol or a gun and stalk you incessantly? The most likely human approach will be to seek a safe exit from the situation. A couple of days ago in Ludhiana, more specifically, near Aman Park, Rajguru Nagar, I was faced with a bunch of hooligans in a car who followed me.
I was angry, nervous, anxious all at once. I thought let me reason it out with them. So I got out of my car and walked over with a swagger of a young educated I-know-my-rights kind of attitude.
What followed was an argument, lots of overlapping sniggers and I knew I was a subject of fun to them. Finding no end to the problem, I again got into my car and drove back to my PG. The same men again followed me to my PG and entered another PG, an adjacent one. Now, I was definitely nervous. They were stalking me. And here, let me say, I wouldn’t bracket all men, boys into one category. I called a friend of mine, a boy to be my attorney. My friend came with a bunch of boys. So, a bunch of boys came helped a girl in need against a bunch of hooligans.
He went across to them reasoned out well enough. But when he was about to make his way, he saw a pistol fitted into a buckle of one of them. I am not sure nor is my friend whether it was a deliberate show of power. But when my friend told me they were carrying a pistol quite brazenly, I was definitely unsettled. And I remained unsettled for days.
I am a confident girl, who has been brought up on my own set of values, but now I have also started suspecting of myself as a pray. Now I think of myself as someone who cannot take a walk in the park, can’t ride a scooty, am remembered of the Priyanka Chopra ad, “Why should boys have all the fun?.” Now I can’t wear the kind of clothes I want to wear, can’t talk to sexual offenders in a certain way, can’t question any wrong. I have often thought of how practical is it to dial 100 or call an emergency especially when there is a gun put to your temple or is about to be put to your temple?
Now, I have started ignoring all the cat calls, sniggers, whistles, probably, behaving the way women behaved two generations ago. And more recently, when another set of boys followed me, I let them follow me, I chose to ignore and hide. Probably, I now always imagine a stalker is walking with a loaded pistol and there is no one to say no.