Temple is a place where I go to feel calmness, to connect to the supreme power I believe in, and to refill the innocence and strength of my soul. Being a true believer in god and the universe, I always felt that whenever I’ll face any difficulty in life, whenever I’ll feel helpless, my inner strength which I get from god and my unprecedented , will come into play and I will be able to face any situation.
Eve teasing is much popular and much talked of phenomenon all around the world nowadays. But whenever I was questioned about it, as how will I face any eve teaser or any misbehavior with me, I felt satisfied and secure, I used to believe that I know I can handle it, not because I was trained in self defense or anything but because I knew certain tactics which all girls have been told at least once in their lives, “shout at the eve teaser, punch him on the face, kick him on the shin or where the sun never shines” also I had created a plan in my head for any such situation , if I ever come across, but fortunately, that day never came, until one dreadful evening, when I was in my most favourite place, the place I felt most secure in. yes! You guessed it right, TEMPLE.
It was one evening, when I had gone to temple with my father, I was standing in the queue to get the prasadam, it was some important day for the Hindus (ekadshi), I was waiting for turn, wanting to get the prasadam and get done away with the tiring queue, however, while I was standing, I felt a light press on my right breast, and that touch! I can never forget that touch in my whole life; it sent a shiver down my spine, as if someone had just pricked my soul with their long, dirty nails. I immediately looked back, but there was a long queue of people, there were women, as well as men. Who could have I blamed, though I had seen the sleeve of a blue shirt, when that hand groped me, but how could have I blamed someone, when I had no proof! This was the EXCUSE my brain made up to let it go. I was shook; there were questions in my head, some deep spiritual questions. Wasn’t I in a place where my strength should have been at highest level? Wasn’t I being protected by my god, whom I trust so much? Why did he let it happen to me in his abode? Why couldn’t I speak? Why did I let someone get away so easily after putting his dirty hands on my pure psyche? Why did I felt so insecure and skeptical when otherwise I pretend to be so courageous? Was it all in my head? Am I really that vulnerable? But also on the other side of my debate with myself I had questions/excuses like, maybe I hallucinated? Maybe it was some accidental push? After all no evil soul or dirty psyche can act in a pure place like temple? And with this little debate in my head I moved on, just like that! Asking myself to be careful of any such incident in future. But now after so long, when I recall that incident, it again creates a gyre of emotions and a whirlpool of questions within me.
This made me realize what the girls all around the world, in buses, trains, malls, markets, roads etc must have felt. This insecurity of being judged for being the victim, the fear of facing something worse and this self judging attitude, how all this must effect thousands of girls every now and then all around the world. When being a victim, feels like being the one at fault. And no doubt, there are many reasons to this sense of fear and insecurity among girls nowadays, such as society, family, poverty, class difference, discrimination, patriarchy etc and the list goes on. But no matter how many faces, you get to blame this for, but even you (girls out there!) know that in the list of all those, one person who is also there to blame is you! Yourself! For if you hadn’t been so understanding and tolerated the stuff, and behavior which no one is supposed to tolerate and understand, perhaps you wouldn’t have been taken for granted, by almost anyone in this whole world, Because after all, the person who accepts the wrong done to them, is actually more at fault than the wrong doer. Having the values of forgiving and forgetting isn’t appreciative at all times. Everyone in this world must understand one basic fact, that you are answerable primarily to yourself , no one can make you stand, no one can make you fly, no one can you live a life that you deserve, but you yourself.
In this incident, another mistake I did was to not tell my parents and friends about this ever, I still haven’t told and I feel that is the biggest mistake we all commit. We might think that it will cause them to restrict us, and it might actually happen in some cases, but one of all those close people, would always be there, who will understand you, and will encourage you to rise and take a stand. It could be your family member or any of your friends. But I know for sure, that keeping it to yourself and not discussing will actually, do you more harm than speaking out.
One more thing that I have concluded from this tiny but largely impacting incident was that, the day it all happened, and the place where t happened, had a hidden message/teaching for me. It wanted me to know that the true strength doesn’t come from believing on any entity which can’t even care to show itself to you, a super natural or whatever force you may believe in will never show its effect until you yourself have it in you, to stand up for yourself. That day even f I had gathered a little courage and held that hand instantly to strengthen my doubts and allegations, I would have felt a little at peace, a little more proud of myself, and a little more secure. Believing in something or someone is good, but ONLY believing in someone else, and neglecting the true power you hold within yourself, is not right. The more you give the control of your life, in someone else’s hands, the more vulnerable you become.
Be strong, believe in who you are; be strong, believe in what you feel.American singer -songwriter
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